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Prof Derek Yellon to head up BRC cardio programme

Professor Derek Yellon has been appointed as the new Cardiometabolic Programme Director for the BRC.

Professor Yellon has been Professor of Molecular & Cellular Cardiology at UCL since 1993 and has made an impact on clinical cardiology worldwide, holding three honorary chairs: at the University of South Alabama Medical College, at the University of Cape Town and at the North China Coal Medical University.

Much of his research is focussed on ways to protect the myocardium (both diabetic and non-diabetic) from ischaemic and reperfusion-induced injury.

He is the Director of the Hatter Cardiovascular Institute at UCL Hospitals & Medical School.

Commenting on his approach to research, Professor Yellon says: “I enjoy what I do because it stretches from cell biology and complex molecular biology to patient care”.

He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians; the American College of Cardiology; the European Society of Cardiology; the International Society for Heart Research and the American Heart Association. In 1994 he was awarded a DSc for his “substantial contribution to the knowledge of cardiovascular disease and treatment”. He has just stepped down as Vice President of the British Cardiovascular Society and was also past Chairman of the Cellular Biology Working Group of the European Society of Cardiology as well as past member of the World Council of the International Society for Heart Research. He has also this year been awarded a second DSc from the University of Cape Town; this being for his pioneering research and fundamental insights into the way the heart responds to deprivation of blood flow as seen during a heart attack.

Professor Yellon welcomed his new role: “I am delighted to take on this new and challenging role. Cardiovascular disease and diabetes are the major threat to morbidity and mortality in the UK and as such I see our BRC making a significant impact on health care overall. The unique partnership created by UCLH, UCL and the NIHR will allow us to continue our world class research into new therapies, including novel devices; first in man studies; developing improvements in diagnosis, and increasing our cutting edge experimental medicine portfolio. It is also a pleasure to engage with such like-minded individuals within the BRC all of whom have a common purpose which is to provide the best treatment to the patients who come to our hospital”.

Professor Yellon will replace Professor Bryan Williams to enable him to focus on his role as Director of the BRC.

Professor Williams says: “I am delighted that Derek has agreed to join the BRC board as the Cardiometabolic Programme Director. He is an NIHR Senior Investigator and he has a vast experience of experimental and translational cardiovascular medicine, effective leadership and a proven track record of delivering novel scientific discovery into patient care. He has engaged very effectively with both the scientific community at UCL, UCLH, funding agencies, industry and the public, all of which are essential for this key role. I think he will do an outstanding job in developing and delivering our BRC strategy for world class experimental medicine in the cardiometabolic domain”.