Leicester scientists turning unwanted goods into life-saving research

Posted by ap507 at Oct 07, 2013 04:55 PM |
Grant awarded to University researchers from British Heart Foundation

Heart researchers at the University of Leicester have been awarded prestigious grants of more than £150,000 by the British Heart Foundation (BHF).

The BHF is announcing the awards to coincide with the Great British Bag-athon, BHF shops biggest stock donation appeal which aims to raise 1 million bags of unwanted things in September, raising vital funds in the fight against heart disease. Last year’s Great British Bag-athon raised over £4 million helping the BHF to support this new research in Leicester.

Professor Jeremy Pearson, Associate Medical Director at the BHF said:

“Treatments for heart disease have come on leaps and bounds over the past 50 years. Through funding groundbreaking research, the BHF has played a major part in that. But there is still much more to be done and this pioneering research project is helping to advance our fight against heart disease.

“Thanks to generous donations to our Leicestershire shops, the people of Leicester have helped us fund this cutting-edge research. They can help us to fund more research at the University of Leicester by having a clear out and donating even more this year. Every bag you fill is a bag full of life saving research.”

This September is the Great British Bag-athon. BHF shops are aiming to raise 1 million bags of unwanted things, raising vital funds in the fight against heart disease. Visit bhf.org.uk/bagathon for more information.

The grants announced to researchers in Leicester today are:

Grant recipient

Research institution

Grant amount

What the project will aim to achieve

Professor Nicholas P J Brindle

University of Leicester


Searching for new medicines for blood vessel diseases and unravelling how they work


Research: The body normally produces a protein called Ang1 that binds to the cells lining our blood vessels to keep them healthy. In several different heart and circulatory diseases this protein is stopped from binding to the blood vessel cells and the cells become damaged, causing problems like blood vessel leakage. But Ang1 cannot be used as a drug. So, based on our knowledge of how Ang1 binds to the blood vessel cells, Professor Nicholas Brindle and colleagues have made some new molecules that act like Ang1. They bind to blood vessel cells, even under disease conditions, so they could stop the cells becoming damaged. They have now been awarded a grant to test a series of these new molecules, select the best ones to develop into new drugs and make them even more active, and find out exactly how they work. This project may reveal molecules that could be used to develop into new drugs for people with blood vessel diseases.


Context: Damage to blood vessels can cause a number of serious conditions including coronary heart disease and stroke. Understanding how the body repairs the damage in blood vessels could help scientists devise new medicines that could treat diseases with blood vessel damage.



For more information please call the BHF press office on 020 7554 0164 or 07764 290381 (out of hours) or email newsdesk@bhf.org.uk

Notes to editors:

British Heart Foundation

Coronary heart disease is the UK’s single biggest killer. For over 50 years we’ve pioneered research that’s transformed the lives of people living with heart and circulatory conditions. Our work has been central to the discoveries of vital treatments that are changing the fight against heart disease. But so many people still need our help. From babies born with life-threatening heart problems to the many Mums, Dads and Grandparents who survive a heart attack and endure the daily battles of heart failure. Every pound raised, minute of your time and donation to our shops will help make a difference to people’s lives.

For more information, visit bhf.org.uk

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