Queen Mary University of London and University College London (UCL) have established a joint cardiovascular institute to rise to the global challenge of cardiovascular disease.The endeavour between the two institutions provides system-wide support for UCLPartners' cardiovascular Academic Medical Centre, the hub of which is the new Barts Heart Centre. By combining joint strengths in discovery science, experimental medicine and population health sciences and our involvement with the Farr Institute, and Genomics England, we are driving forward diagnostic and therapeutic innovation and prevention strategies to address the extensive burden of cardiovascular disease in North Central and East London.

The excellence of our cardiovascular (CV) research was recognised by the award of a National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Cardiovascular Biomedical Research Unit (BRU) in 2008 and again in 2012 (£12m). Barts in partnership with QMUL, was awarded NIHR Biomedical Research Centre status effective from April 2017 to March 2022. 

This integrates cardiovasular genetics, stem cell biology, inflammation science, pharmacology, electrophysiology, advanced CV Imaging with experimental medicine and large-scale trials to create a flow of concepts from the bench into the clinic. This is boosted by the new £25m William Harvey Heart Centre and appointment of new Chairs and Teams. A £400m rebuild of St Bartholomew’s Hospital was completed in 2014 and is home to the merged specialist cardiovascular care services of the London Chest Hospital (Barts NHS Trust), The Heart Hospital (University College London Hospitals Trust) and The Royal Free Hospital (Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust). This provides an exciting forum for WHRI academics and our partners above to further enhance and develop cardiovascular translational research.

Major impact

Our research and leadership changed NICE Guidance for blood pressure and cholesterol in 2006 and 2011. WHRI created and lead the Joint UK Society’s Working Group on Renal Denervation, produced the first consensus statement and are forming the UK registry for this technology.

Current grant awards

  • We host three Wellcome and four British Heart Foundation (BHF) Programme Grants (£4 million)
  • We have won two major EU Awards (€11m), a Medical Research Council (MRC) e-Health Centre (£4.5m joint with UCL, the School of Hygiene and Health Protection Agency) and a Grand Challenge Exploration Phase II award from the Gates Foundation
  • NIHR Barts Biomedical Research Centre


  • We host multiple BHF Intermediate Basic Science and NIHR Awards
  • Awarded BHF PhD Studentship Scheme (4 year PhD with MRes for 4 years) in 2012
  • Awarded MRC MRes/PhDs cardiovascular and inflammation in-vivo research awarded in 2012
  • NIHR Academic Fellows in Clinical Pharmacology and Clinical Lectureships in Cardiology, Clinical Pharmacology and Renal Medicine.

Key partners and clinical links

We have strong links to the Barts Health NHS Trust Cardiovascular Clinical Academic Group and University College (UCL) Institute of CV Sciences, UCL Heart Hospital and UCL Partners Integrated Cardiovascular System connecting bench to the clinic. 


Find out more about research at the WHRI


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