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£1 million to accelerate heart research at UCL

UCL has received a £1 million grant from the British Heart Foundation (BHF) to develop a new team of scientists to apply advances in computer science and big data to tackle cardiovascular disease.

Work funded through the BHF Accelerator Award and led by Professor Aroon Hingorani, Director of UCL Institute of Cardiovascular Science, will focus on machine learning to generate the tools and insights needed to better predict, diagnose and treat heart and circulatory conditions.

"420 people in the UK still die every day because of heart and circulatory diseases."

Funding will support a number of innovative digital healthcare projects, including a new research centre for artificial intelligence (AI) in partnership with Cisco Systems and innovation through the use of UCLH’s electronic health record system, known as Epic.

Professor Hingorani said: “We are thrilled to be recipients of a £1m 5-year UCL BHF Research Accelerator Award. The UCL Accelerator has been designed with the purpose of fostering multi-disciplinary collaboration across UCL faculties coalescing expertise in cardiovascular and population science, health informatics, computer science, engineering and computational biology through jointly supervised academic posts.”

Professor Metin Avkiran, BHF’s Associate Medical Director, said: “Despite the medical advances powered by research, 420 people in the UK still die every day because of heart and circulatory diseases. That’s why we’re continuing to invest in research and supporting our scientists to make new life-saving discoveries.”

Professor Avkiran added: “The BHF Accelerator Awards empower universities like UCL to attract and nurture the very best young scientists and doctors in cardiovascular medicine and complementary fields – and fuel the exploration of new ideas.”