HRH The Duke of Gloucester to visit heart disease research centre

Posted by ap507 at Mar 23, 2015 11:16 AM |
‘We hope to demonstrate how we created the Centre through engagement with our local community and their tremendous philanthropic support’ - Professor Sir Nilesh Samani, University of Leicester

Issued by the University of Leicester Press Office on 23 March  

PHOTOCALL: There is a photo opportunity at 4pm on Thursday 26 March 2015 at the University of Leicester British Heart Foundation Cardiovascular Research Centre, Glenfield General Hospital, Groby Road, Leicester LE3 9QP

HRH The Duke of Gloucester is to witness at first hand the life-saving work of the University of Leicester, working in partnership with Leicester’s Hospitals, when he visits the new British Heart Foundation Cardiovascular Research Centre at Glenfield Hospital.

The Centre, which is a part of the University of Leicester, is a multi-million pound facility that brings together scientists, doctors and patients with the aim of improving the diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of cardiovascular diseases which kill more than 160,000 people in the UK annually.

The Duke is visiting the £12.6 million centre on Thursday 26 March after attending the service at Leicester Cathedral for the reinterment of King Richard III.  The University of Leicester discovered the king and its researchers formally identified him.

The Duke will be accompanied by the President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leicester Professor Paul Boyle, the Chief Executive of the University Hospitals NHS Trust Mr John Adler, and Professor Alison Goodall, Professor of Thrombosis & Haemostasis in the Department of Cardiovascular Sciences and College Lead for Clinical Research, University of Leicester. He will be shown the David Wilson Biobank where samples from patients are processed and stored and there will a demonstration of how DNA is extracted from these samples.

The Duke will also see the John and Lucille van Geest Biomarker Facility with an explanation of how the van Geest Proteomics Facility is discovering new biomarkers for cardiovascular disease. In addition he will see the Wolfson Cardiovascular Genetics Laboratory where the unit’s world-leading research into the genetic factors that affect cardiovascular disease will be highlighted.

There will also be a tour of the Edith Murphy Biomedical Data to Knowledge Centre which integrates clinical and research data through innovative IT systems.

Professor Sir Nilesh Samani, BHF Professor of Cardiology and Head of the Department of Cardiovascular Sciences at the University of Leicester, said: “We are delighted that HRH The Duke of Gloucester has made time to visit the Cardiovascular Research Centre during his trip to Leicester. In addition to showing him the research we undertake which impacts on prevention and treatment of heart diseases through improved understanding of their causes, we hope to demonstrate how we created the Centre through engagement with our local community and their tremendous philanthropic support”.

Professor Nigel Brunskill, Director of Research and Innovation at Leicester’s Hospitals and Professor of Renal Medicine at the University of Leicester, said "We are extremely pleased to have HRH The Duke of Gloucester visit our Trust and to have the opportunity to showcase our groundbreaking work and talented staff. We are very proud at Leicester’s Hospitals of what we have, and are continuing to achieve, in such a vital area."

The Centre, which opened in June 2014, was made possible through generous philanthropic support from the British Heart Foundation, the Wolfson Foundation and the Edith Murphy Foundation. A £500,000 gift from leading local donor David Wilson and the generous support of individuals, groups, associations and companies from across local communities in the city and county for the £1 million public phase of the fundraising appeal ensured the completion and equipping of the state-of-the-art Centre. The generosity of supporters helped to raise more than £5 million in total for the Centre.

The Centre also helped to secure the University’s biggest ever single philanthropic donation of £7 million from The John and Lucille van Geest Foundation. This tremendous gift established ‘The van Geest Foundation Heart and Cardiovascular Diseases Research Fund’ and funded a Biomarker Facility adjacent to the Centre.

Research into heart disease has been a major focus within the University of Leicester’s Medical School since its inception and the research team comprises of world-class investigators with an international reputation in research into the causes and treatment of the most common types of heart disease.

The Centre is the first four-storey building at Glenfield Hospital and adjoins the existing Clinical Sciences wing which houses the University’s medical research and teaching facilities. The 2,200m² eye catching building further strengthens and consolidates Leicester’s position as a leading international centre for heart research, thanks to the successful collaboration between the University of Leicester and University Hospitals Leicester.


To arrange interviews, please contact:

Eleanor Jackson
Departmental Manager

Department of Cardiovascular Sciences, University of Leicester
BHF Cardiovascular Research Centre

Glenfield General Hospital

Groby Road

Leicester LE3 9QP, UK


About the British Heart Foundation

Coronary heart disease is the UK’s single biggest killer. For over 50 years the British Heart Foundation has 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. Join our fight for every heartbeat in the UK. 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

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