The charity says it is one of many radical new approaches needed to address a frightening mismatch in research funding compared with the burden of heart and circulatory diseases.
With the World Health Organization forecasting an increase in cardiovascular deaths worldwide, the charity’s Big Beat Challenge is a global initiative to galvanise researchers and inspire transformational solutions to tackle the world’s biggest killer.
Professor Watkins' project aims to develop a cure for genetic heart muscle diseases which affect about 160,000 people in the UK, and about one million in the US. These cardiomyopathies affect the heart muscle, and are the leading cause of sudden cardiac death and heart failure in young people. While treatments to manage the symptoms of the disease exist, there is no cure for the root cause.