University of Leicester eBulletin

Heart Accolade Awarded to Leading University Department

July 2003
No 192

Professor Nilesh Samani, Professor and Head of the Division of Cardiology at the University of Leicester and Consultant Cardiologist at Glenfield Hospital Leicester, has been awarded a British Heart Foundation (BHF) Chair in Cardiology. The new Chair is supported by a £1 million investment from the BHF to fund a range of research studies and clinical trials.

Commenting on this prestigious appointment, Professor Samani said: “I am honoured to have been awarded this Chair and delighted that the reputation of cardiovascular research in Leicester has been acknowledged in this way.  

“Cardiovascular research has been a major strength of the Leicester Medical School since its inception. Its sustained excellence has been recognised in all the Government Research Assessment Exercises, including in the 2001 RAE, where cardiovascular research at Leicester received a 5 rating.

“Leicester is one of the few centres in the country where there is an excellent combination of basic and clinical research in the cardiovascular field, a reputation we can build on with this award and the substantial funding that comes with the Chair.”

Professor Sir Charles George, Medical Director at the British Heart Foundation said: “We are delighted to welcome Professor Samani to the BHF family following many years of outstanding research into hypertension and its relationship to coronary heart disease. He will be a great ambassador for the Foundation, helping us to increase our understanding of the causes of CHD and its improved treatment.”

The charity supports 30 BHF professors in the UK who are leading figures in heart research and is the largest independent funder. The Foundation also plays an important role in funding education, both of the public and of health professionals, and in providing life-saving cardiac equipment and support for rehabilitation and patient care.

Professor Samani is to head the University’s newly formed Department of Cardiovascular Sciences following restructuring of the School of Medicine which will take place in August.  

The existing structure of the Medical School will be replaced by five departments:  Cancer Studies and Molecular Medicine; Cardiovascular Sciences; Health Sciences; Infection, Immunity and Inflammation; and Medical and Social Care Education. This new structure will help departments maximise their research strengths and take into account the increasingly inter-disciplinary nature of research projects and resources.  It will also encourage reciprocal research planning arrangements with the NHS. The newly formed Department of Cardiovascular Sciences will include some forty academic staff drawn from a range of clinical areas with a common interest in this vital area of medical research.


For more information please contact:

Professor Nilesh Samani, Head of Division of Cardiology, University of Leicester, telephone 0116 256 3021, fax 0116 287 5792, email Or Caroline Beswick from the British Heart Foundation (BHF) on 020 7642 0284 or call the BHF press office on 020 7487 7178.

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