University takes heart from generous donations from community

Posted by pt91 at May 14, 2012 04:05 PM |
Freemasons raise £50,000 for Cardiovascular Research Centre Appeal
University takes heart from generous donations from community

L-R: Steve O'Connor, Ian Johnson, Tony Molyneux, John Peberdy, Professor Nilesh Samani, Gautam Bodiwala CBE, David Hagger, Professor Alison Goodall, Michael Turnbull, Michael Potter, Dr Frank Nichol.

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 14 May 2012

Jpg image of presentation to Professor Nilesh Samani available from

Generous donations from freemasons in the region have raised £50,000 towards a University of Leicester public appeal for a vital heart research centre at Glenfield Hospital.

The Freemasons of Leicestershire and Rutland, and surrounding counties, have raised the total toward a £1 million public appeal to help equip the new Cardiovascular Research Centre (CRC) that will be completed in July.

Michael Turnbull, member of the University’s Development Board, who was treated for heart failure at Glenfield Hospital two years ago and has made a full recovery, spearheaded the approach to the Masons.  He was instrumental in lobbying local support, as well as approaching members in the counties of Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Northamptonshire and Huntingdonshire for this project.

David Hagger, Provincial Grand Master of the Leicestershire and Rutland Masonic Charity Association, said: “We are delighted to support such a worthy cause that is so close to the hearts of all freemasons and especially those whose families have been touched by heart disease.  We are very proud of the University’s world leading research team and pleased that our gift will make such a big difference to their acclaimed work.”

Steve O’Connor, Director of Development, from the University of Leicester said: “We welcome this very generous donation from the masons and are grateful for their wonderful support.  People have rallied together to support this cause – since we launched a £1 million public appeal in Autumn 2011 we have raised £480,000 from all sections of the community.  This is a tremendous effort in difficult economic times and reflects the importance of the cause for local people.

“Cardiovascular disease is the major cause of death in this country and kills over 198,000 people in the UK every year.  The new Centre will bring together researchers and specialists on one site and provide greater access to state-of-the-art resources, thereby improving research effectiveness.  It will result in more patients and people with a susceptibility to, or suffering from cardiovascular disease, benefitting from more new breakthroughs, and greater understanding, prevention, treatment and care.”

Leading members of the Leicestershire and Rutland group have raised most of the funds (£35k) and will meet Professor Nilesh Samani, Head of the University’s Department of Cardiovascular Sciences, and British Heart Foundation Chair of Cardiology, at Glenfield Hospital on 14th May to hand over their gift that will purchase an automated magnetic bead separation system for the CRC. 

This specialised item of equipment is designed to extract particular types of cell from white blood cells with small magnets that are matched to the cell type.


For more information please contact: Development and Alumni Relations Office at 0116 223 1071 or email:

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