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Our expertise is in clinical trials, whereby we aim to discover novel treatments for improving the health of patients with cardiac diseases. We use cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging (CMR) and spectroscopy techniques to improve our understanding of myocardial metabolism and function, and for early detection of cardiac abnormalities in cardiomyopathy, heart failure, valve disease and diabetes. We use cardiopulmonary exercise test to understand cardiovascular exercise physiology, by studying how oxygen and other nutrients are used by the heart during exercise. We work closely with multidisciplinary research teams including MR physicists, biomedical engineers and other cardiac imaging experts in the UK and elsewhere in the world.

Our main current studies are

The EMPA-Vision trial

This multi-million pound, phase 3 clinical trial investigates a novel drug that could help failing hearts. This is the first trial to evaluate the effect of the diabetes medication empagliflozin on cardiac energy metabolism in patients with heart failure. The results of this trial combined with other ongoing multi-centre trials assessing clinical outcomes in patients with heart failure, could make empagliflozin a promising new treatment for patients with heart failure. Trial sponsored and funded by Boehringer Ingelheim

Ox-FAST study

This British Heart Foundation-funded pilot project is the first step in examining whether a drug that is already used to treat high fat levels in people could potentially improve heart function in aortic stenosis, one of the most common and serious heart valve diseases. In this study, we will try to reduce excessive heart fat by targeting it with a fat-busting, fibrate drug which we hope will improve the heart’s function and exercise capacity. If the concept behind it is proven, there is the potential to use fibrates as a new treatment for aortic stenosis, after larger trials.

Our team

Selected publications

collaborators (UK)

  • Dr Pablo Lamata, King’s College London, UK
  • Dr Sanjay Prasad, Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Trust, UK
  • Prof Mary Sheppard, St George’s, University of London, UK
  • Prof Jules Griffin, University of Cambridge, UK
  • Prof Vicente Grau, University of Oxford, UK

collaborators (outside the UK)

  • Prof Alistair Young, University of Auckland, New Zealand
  • Dr James White, University of Calgary, Canada
  • Dr Ntobeko Ntusi, Groote Schuur Hospital, Capetown, South Africa
  • Dr Raymond Kwong, Havard Medical School, USA
  • Prof Jean-Luc Balligand, Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium
  • Dr Christopher Kramer, University of Virginia, USA

Related research themes