Bristol academic to open the BHF's Ashton Court “mud run”
Press release issued: 5 March 2008
A University of Bristol heart disease specialist will open the British Heart Foundation’s (BHF) “mud run” at Ashton Court this Sunday [March 9]. Andrew Newby, British Heart Foundation Professor of Vascular Cell Biology, and a team of scientists and clinicians from the Bristol Heart Institute will be taking part in the run, to raise money for the BHF.
A University of Bristol heart disease specialist will open the British Heart Foundation’s (BHF) “mud run” at Ashton Court this Sunday [March 9]. Andrew Newby, British Heart Foundation Professor of Vascular Cell Biology, and a team of scientists and clinicians from the Bristol Heart Institutewill be taking part in the run, to raise money for the BHF.
The BHF gives about £15 million to researchers in Bristol in order to discover more about the causes of cardiovascular diseases, and how to treat them.
Professor Newby said: “I am “delighted” by the invitation to open the event, and will be taking the opportunity to thank the British Heart Foundation for funding my research, as well as many other research projects in Bristol.”
Professor Newby’s group are investigating the causes of heart attacks. During atherosclerosis fatty materials, including cholesterol, are deposited on the lining of blood vessels, and form “plaques” that gradually grow and narrow the artery, so the heart is deprived of blood carrying oxygen and nutrients. The lack of oxygen to the heart muscle causes chest pain,which is called angina.
In some people, the plaques are stable, but in others they are prone to sudden rupture, which results in the release of their contents into the bloodstream, which stimulates blood cells to form a clot that completely blocks the artery. This is the most common cause of heart attacks. What makes a plaque stable or likely to rupture is the subject of active research in the Bristol Heart Institute.
Professor Newby added: “”If we could somehow stabilise the plaques so that they didn’t rupture, or predict people at risk from such plaque rupture so they could be given appropriate anticoagulant therapy, we would greatly reduce the number plaques rupturing, and correspondingly the number of heart attacks. Continued funding of our research by the British Heart Foundation is essential to enable us to do this.”
Other areas of research funded by the British Heart Foundation include vascular diseases, such as hypertension (high blood pressure), abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias), stem cells, angiogenesis, cardioprotection during surgery, effect of diet and exercise on heart disease, and risk factors for heart disease.
You can sponsor the Bristol Heart Institute Team at www.justgiving.com/bristol_heart_institute
The Bristol Heart Institute, based in the Bristol Royal Infirmary, consists of over 200 researchers and clinicians in the University of Bristol and Bristol NHS Trusts. As well as improving collaboration between scientists and clinicians within the Institute, the aim is to communicate research findings to the public.
The British Heart Foundation (BHF) is leading the battle against heart and circulatory disease - the UK’s biggest killer. The Charity is a major funder and authority in cardiovascular research. It 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 care.