University of Leicester eBulletin

Surgery Past and Present - And Why You May Have a Heart Attack!

June 2002
No 116

As part of the University of Leicester’s 80th anniversary celebrations, a Foundation Professor and a Foundation Student of the University Medical School - who has now become a Professor at the University - will each give a public lecture on their areas of specialisation, looking back to the past and forward into the future.

Both Professor Peter Bell and Professor Nilesh Samani have remained at Leicester, where Peter Bell is Head of Surgery, and Nilesh Samani Professor of Cardiology.  

On Tuesday June 25 at 5.30 pm, Professor Bell will be talking on Surgery Then and Now, outlining the highlights of the Medical School since he first came to Leicester as Foundation Professor of Surgery in January 1974.

At that time the Leicester Medical School was the third of three new schools that the Government had financed, and was almost cancelled because of the current national financial crisis. Though smaller than other medical schools of its time, Leicester proved to have a pioneering spirit, including the establishment of one of the first Chairs in General Practice in the country, which initially under Marshal Marinker set a standard since followed by other medical schools.  

The Leicester Medical School has seen many changes over the decades, not least the increasing specialisation in surgery, including transplantation, cardiac surgery, urology, orthopaedics and vascular surgery. Over the last few years more changes have led to minimally invasive, or key hole, surgery. Leicester’s reputation in vascular and transplant surgery has long been internationally acclaimed.

Professor Bell’s predictions for the future include the increase of surgical specialisation, with fewer operations, and smaller incisions, involving shorter stays in hospital.

On Tuesday 2 July at 5.30pm Professor Nilesh Samani, Foundation Student at the University of Leicester Medical School and therefore one of Professor Bell’s earliest students, also takes a look back in time. In his lecture entitled: “150 reasons why you may have a heart attack . . .!” the Professor of Cardiology and Consultant Cardiologist at Glenfield Hospital will discuss some of the many causes that have been proposed over the years as to why heart attacks occur.   Some – he promises – are amusing, but others have stood the test of time and have led to major advances in the prevention and treatment of heart attacks. 

He will also review new theories, including the work of his own Department, on the role of infection and premature biological ageing, which provide exciting opportunities for future novel strategies for managing this serious condition.

Professor Samani said: “Given my long association with the Medical School, I was delighted to be asked to give this anniversary lecture. While the title of my talk is slightly provocative, I hope it will not put people off! I hope to dispel some of the myths regarding the cause of heart attacks and at the same time provide a framework to understand the condition. The talk will be very much directed towards a lay audience.”

Both lectures take place in Lecture Theatre 1, Ken Edwards Building, University of Leicester main campus, and are open to the public and free.

Note to editors:   Further information is available from Professor Peter Bell, Head of Department of Surgery, University of Leicester, telephone 0116 252 3142, facsimile 0116 252 3179, and Professor Nilesh Samani, Professor of Cardiology, University of Leicester, telephone 0116 256 3021, facsimile 0116 287 5792


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