Cardiac & Vascular diseases
Medical Research Scotland is one of the largest and most comprehensive independent research charities in Scotland. Unlike most medical research charities, our funding isn't restricted to any one disease or condition, we support high-quality research that aims to improve the understanding, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of all diseases and disease mechanisms.
Awards in the past 20 years
The following are some of the awards we made for research into cardiovascular disease.
£148,872 over 36 months to Dr Richard Mort & Professor Iain Jackson (Medical & Developmental Genetics, MRC Human Genetics Unit, Edinburgh) & Dr Kevin Painter (Mathematics, Heriot-Watt University), to take an integrated multidisciplinary approach to modelling normal neural crest cell development and the abnormalities that contribute to human birth defects.
1 in 3,000 babies born in the UK are diagnosed with neurofibromatosis type 1 (Nf1). As well as having an increased risk of developing cancers of the nervous system, >95% of children diagnosed with Nf1 also have variable amounts of skin and hair hyper- or hypopigmentation. Pigment cells are a subtype of neural crest stem cells (NCSCs), the migration of which is a fundamental antenatal development process. Using a unique integration of live imaging and mathematical modelling, this project aims to explain neural crest cell behaviour in these and related disorders.
The first Support Fellowship of £150,000 was awarded to Dr Colin Berry, Scottish Senior Clinical Research Fellow (BHF Glasgow Cardiovascular Research Centre, Glasgow University), for his work on combining computer modelling and MRI to improve heart attack treatment
Heart attack is the leading cause of premature ill health and death in Scotland and worldwide. It is a particular problem because not only is it difficult to predict, but the nature and severity of damage to the heart is difficult to detect. Echocardiography is often carried out immediately after a heart attack, to give doctors an indication of the functionality of the heart. But it cannot tell if there is any swelling or bleeding, so the true extent of the heart damage is not known. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), is the gold standard way to measure heart function. It provides images of the beating heart, is non-invasive and, unlike a CT scan, does not involve harmful X-rays, so is safe to use and repeat - even in heart-attack patients. This project is developing new computer models of heart attack and combining them with the power of MRI scans, aiming to find better ways to prevent or treat heart attack in the future.
£139,339 over two years to Dr Pasquale Maffia & Dr James Brewer (Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy & Biomedical Sciences, Strathclyde University), for the visualisation of antigen presentation in models of atherosclerosis.
Cardiovascular diseases are the most common causes of death in Scotland and are expected to be the main cause of death globally within the next 15 years. New strategies for prediction, prevention, and treatment are needed. Immune responses are known to be important in atherosclerosis ('hardening' of the blood vessels), but the detailed mechanisms remain unknown. Using state-of-the-art technology (multiphoton microscopy) in animal models, this project will, in real time, investigate the detail of all the components of the immune response. The aim is to provide the detail needed to improve current therapeutic approaches and reduce cardiovascular morbidity and mortality.
£80,000 to Dr Christopher Michael Loughrey (Cell Sciences, Veterinary Medicine, University of Glasgow) & Professor Godfrey Smith (Biomedical & Life Sciences, University of Glasgow) for a two-year investigation of the role of intracellular calcium in left ventricular diastolic dysfunction.
The heart's ability to pump blood through the body and then refill again is partly dependent on the action of calcium stored in the heart muscles. In 'heart failure' the heart cannot relax sufficiently for filling. This project will investigate whether the cause is a change in how the calcium works.
£69,347 over two years to Drs Roger W. Brown & Stewart Fleming (Molecular Medicine Centre, Edinburgh University) for a study involving the identification of novel corticosteroid regulated genes and molecular pathways contolling renal sodium balance and blood pressure.
£19,400 to Professor Jill F. Belch (Vascular Medicine & Biology) Mrs Rosemary Levison (Vascular Laboratory) Profesosr Annie Anderson (Centre for Applied Nutrition Research), Dr J. Stewart Forsyth (Child Health) and Dr Faisel Khan (Vascular Medicine & Biology, Dundee University and Ninewells Hospital & Medical School) for the purchase of equipment for research into aortic compliance, measured by ultrasound echo tracking, as an early marker for vascular disease.
£42,647 over two years to Dr Paul Neary (Medical Cardiology) & Professor Godfrey Smith (Biological & Life Sciences, Glasgow Unviersity) to investigate the characteristics of spontaneous SR Ca2+ release in failing human myocardium.
£61,405 over 18 months to Dr Rona L. Carmichael, Proessor Nigel R. Webwter & Dr Helen F. Galley (Anaesthetics & Intensive Care, Aberdeen University) for a study of the interleukin-8 gene and abnormalities of gas exchange following cardiopulmonary bypass.
£61,457 to Drs Robin P. Alston, Michael Souter and Sheena Miller (Anaesthetics, Edinburgh Royal Infirmaty) and Dr Peter J.D. Andrews (Anaesthetics Western General Hospital, Edinburgh) for a one-year investigation into whether postoperative cerebral hypoperfusion only occurs following heart surgery.
Mrs Jean V. Baxter Medical Research Fellowship 1995-97 was awarded to Dr Martin McIntyre (Medicine & Therapeutics, Western Infirmary Glasgow) for a study of endothelial nitric oxide deficiency in cardiovascular disease and its consideration as a target for genetic manipulation.
£100,000 as a capital grant to Professors Henry Dargie (Medicine & Therapeutics), Ian McGrath (Physiology) and Stuart Cobbe (Medical Cardiology, Glasgow Royal Infirmary) all of Glasgow University, to fund the provision of a suite of five research laboratories as part of the University's Clinical Research Initiative into cardiovascular disease.
The Cruden Medical Research Scholarship 1993-94 was awarded to Dr Robert I. Cargill (Clinical Pharmacology, Ninewells Hospital & Medical School, Dundee) to study the effects of vasoactive peptides on the pulmonary vascular bed.
£105,793 over three years to Dr Anna F. Dominiczak & Professor John L. Reid (Medicine & Therapeutics, Glasgow University), Dr Marek H. Dominiczak (Biochemistry, Western Infirmary Glasgow) & Dr Christopher J.K. Packard, Professor James Shepherd & Dr Dairena Gaffney (Biochemistry, Royal Infirmary Glasgow) to investigate the biochemical, cellular and genetic characteristics of familial hypercholesterolaemia in the west of Scotland.