Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Two Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics (DPAG) projects aimed at tackling heart failure are to be funded by the 2022 TCS London Marathon with the British Heart Foundation (BHF) as its Charity of the Year, as two of eight handpicked BHF projects.

Branching blood vessels in the heart © Joaquim Vieira

Nearly a million people in the UK are living with heart failure, often a long-term consequence of damage caused by a heart attack. After a heart attack, the heart often fails to form adequate new blood vessels to fully heal.

Associate Professor Sarah De Val and Dr Alice Neal have been studying the pathways regulating the formation and differentiation of vein and lymphatic vessel in both development, and after a heart attack or other tissue damage. Not only are venous and lymphatic endothelial cells crucial for the correct function of the circulatory system, they can also be used as building blocks for other types of vessels.

Dr Joaquim Vieira is studying cells of the epicardium, the outer layer of the heart, which are vital to normal heart development, including the growth and maturation of coronary blood vessels, the myocardial (heart muscle) layer and cardiac valves. If we can understand how epicardial cells contribute to these processes, we can better understand what goes wrong, not only in adult heart disease, but also in congenital heart disease in children.

Read the full story on the DPAG website

Similar stories

New evidence for how our brains handle surprise

A new study from the Bruno Group is challenging our perceptions of how the different regions of the cerebral cortex function. A group of ‘quiet’ cells in the somatosensory cortex that rarely respond to touch have been found to react mainly to surprising circumstances. The results suggest their function is not necessarily driven by touch, but may indicate an important and previously unidentified role across all the major cortices.

Language learning difficulties in children linked to brain differences

A new study using MRI has revealed structural brain changes in children with developmental language disorder (DLD), a common but under-recognised difficulty in language learning. Children with DLD aged 10-15 showed reduced levels of myelin in areas of the brain associated with speaking and listening to others, and areas involved in learning new skills. This finding is a significant advance in our understanding of DLD and these brain differences may explain the poorer language outcomes in this group.

The Gene Therapists Headline at Glastonbury 2022

Rosie Munday writes about her experience taking science to the masses at the Glastonbury Festival.

New research reveals relationship between particular brain circuits and different aspects of mental wellbeing

Researchers at the University of Oxford have uncovered previously unknown details about how changes in the brain contribute to changes in wellbeing.

Night-time blood pressure assessment is found to be important in diagnosing hypertension

Around 15% of people aged 40-75 may have a form of undiagnosed high blood pressure (hypertension) that occurs only at night-time. Because they do not know about this, and therefore are not being treated for it, they are at a higher risk of cardiovascular disease such as stroke, heart failure, and even death, suggests new research from the University of Oxford published in the British Journal of General Practice.