Professor Townend was born in York and educated in Cumbria. His undergraduate training was at the University of Birmingham where he included an intercalated BSc in Physiology. Postgraduate training was in Birmingham and St George’s Hospital London.
He was appointed Lecturer in the University Department of Cardiology in 1994 and then BHF Senior Lecturer 1997-2002. He was appointed as a Consultant Cardiologist at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham in 2002.
Alongside a career in interventional cardiology Professor Townend has maintained an active research programme. He has published in a variety of fields including cardiac autonomic control, coronary artery disease including acute myocardial infarction, interventional cardiology and cardiovascular disease in chronic kidney disease.
Professor Townend was Clinical Service Lead for Cardiology at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham from 2011-2015. He was secretary of the Clinical Autonomic Research Society between 2000 and 2003 and a member of the BHF project grant committee between 2002 and 2005. He was a member of the BCIS Clinical Standards Group between 2012-2016 and Associate Director for R&D at University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Trust 2013-2017.