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"The new initiative will allow us to promote collaborative experimental medicine studies, foster new collaborative research programmes and leverage greater support from other external partners, including those in industry." 

Professor Sir Nilesh Samani, Medical Director of the British Heart Foundation 
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NIHR-BHF Cardiovascular Partnership

3D image of heart and circulatory system

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The NIHR-BHF Cardiovascular (CV) Partnership brings together experts funded by the NIHR and the British Heart Foundation (BHF) to advance the scientific and research agenda in cardiovascular diseases, ultimately translating scientific discoveries into tangible benefits for people affected by cardiovascular disease.

The partnership offers world-leading research expertise in pathophysiology and cardiovascular disease mechanisms, making technologies and infrastructure as well as cohorts of well-characterised patients available for early development studies in collaboration with industry and other stakeholders. 

The NIHR’s early translational infrastructure, which is at the core of the NIHR-BHF CV Partnership, has significant expertise and capabilities in cardiovascular science. The NIHR has committed over £41.5 million from 2017- 2022 in cardiovascular research through several of the NIHR Biomedical Research Centres (BRCs), which are also supported by NIHR Clinical Research Facilities (CRFs) and platforms such as genomics, imaging and informatics, including the NIHR Health Informatics Collaborative (HIC).

The BHF is the largest independent funder of research into heart and circulatory diseases in the UK and is actively looking at new ideas and ways of working to deliver maximum benefits to its patients through research.

Our aim

More than a quarter of all deaths in the UK are due to cardiovascular (heart and circulatory) disease; that’s over 150,000 deaths each year – an average of 420 people each day. In addition, there are around 7 million people living with cardiovascular disease in the UK. The aim of NIHR-BHF CV Partnership is to catalyse and accelerate the translation of promising research developments into clinical benefits for people affected by heart and circulatory diseases. This will be achieved by developing world-class translational research in partnership between the NIHR infrastructure, BHF investments through its Professors, fellows and Centres and the life sciences industry. 

To achieve its aims, the NIHR-BHF CV partnership will:

  • identify shared research priorities and strategic goals that will deliver world-leading research and innovation by the NIHR and BHF researchers, and platforms. 

  • provide a collaborative framework for NIHR and BHF CV translational research in order to leverage funding and facilitate streamlined access and delivery of research projects. 

  • increase research capacity and capability in cardiovascular research across the NIHR infrastructure, BHF Chairs, BHF Centres, and partner organisations.

Our benefits

The anticipated benefits of the NIHR-BHF CV Partnership are: 

  • faster translation of scientific discoveries into tangible benefits for patients
  • increased capacity to support clinical research delivery (through development of national cohorts, pulling capability and expertise, developing the next generation of researchers).

  • increased scope and capacity for high quality of research in an identified area of focus or unmet need 

  • increased operational efficiency for delivery of collaborative, experimental medicine research 

  • multi-centre research enabled through creating a national “research platform” which is underpinned by agreed processes and ways of working 

  • improved interactions with external stakeholders such as industry, patient groups and charities
  • opportunities to create strategic alignment between the NIHR, BHF, and other key partners for further cardiovascular research in defined areas of need. 

Our participating centres

The NIHR-BHF Cardiovascular Partnership is chaired by Professor Keith Channon, who directed the Oxford NIHR Biomedical Research Centre for 10 years and is the BHF Field Marshal Earl Alexander Chair of Cardiovascular Medicine at the University of Oxford.

The Partnership’s operations are coordinated by the NIHR Office for Clinical Research Infrastructure.

The participating NIHR Biomedical Research Centres and Clinical Research Facilities host BHF Professors, fellows, BHF Research Centres and/or BHF funded research facilities.


NIHR Biomedical Research Centres 

Institution Academic leads

NIHR Barts Biomedical Research Centre

Professor Panagiotis Deloukas

Professor Mark Caulfield

NIHR Bristol Biomedical Research Centre

Professor Gianni Angelini

NIHR Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre

Professor Nick Morrell

Professor Ian Wilkinson

NIHR Guy's and St Thomas' Biomedical Research Centre

Professor Ajay Shah

Professor Mike Marber

NIHR Imperial Biomedical Research Centre

Professor Sian Harding

NIHR Leicester Biomedical Research Centre

Professor G Andre Ng

NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre

Professor Barbara Casadei

Professor Keith Channon

NIHR University College London Hospitals Biomedical Research Centre

Professor Aroon Hingorani

NIHR Clinical Research Facilities

Institution Academic leads

NIHR Birmingham Clinical Research Facility

Professor Paulus Kirchof

NIHR Coventry and Warwickshire Clinical Research Facility

Professor Christopher Imray 

NIHR Exeter Clinical Research Facility

Professor Angela Shore 

NIHR Leeds Clinical Research Facility

Professor Maya H Buch 

NIHR Manchester Clinical Research Facility

Professor Chris Miller 

NIHR Newcastle Clinical Research Facility

Professor Azfar Zaman 

NIHR Royal Brompton & Harefield Clinical Research Facility

Professor Dudley Pennell

NIHR Sheffield Clinical Research Facility

Professor Chris Newman