Edinburgh Imaging

19 Mar 19. BHF Centre of Research Excellence

The University of Edinburgh is delighted to announce that they have been awarded £3M from the British Heart Foundation to continue the BHF Centre of Research Excellence at Edinburgh (REA3).

The British Heart Foundation : The Research Excellence Awards  
The University of Edinburgh, is one of the six universities to have been given The Research Excellence Award, joining the Universities of Cambridge, Glasgow, Imperial College London, King’s College London and Oxford.

The awards will provide funding for the next five years and are aimed at empowering researchers to undertake innovative science, break down boundaries and spark new collaborations in heart and circulatory disease research.

Edinburgh's BHF Centre of Research Excellence builds on two previous BHF Centre Awards and will deliver a new vision of excellence in cardiovascular research in Edinburgh, fostering existing world leading strengths and integrating new strategic direction enabled by our evolving and unique campus environment.  

This new vision has developed a strategy which aligns the University of Edinburgh’s strategic position with the strategic priorities of the BHF.

Our research will be driven through 3 pillars of research excellence that focus on specific research questions central to their field of study with clear interconnectivities through methodologies, technologies and approaches across these areas:

  • Diabetes and the Metabolic Syndrome as Drivers of Cardiovascular Disease
  • Fibrosis and Calcification in Cardiovascular Disease
  • Vascular Dysfunction: Blood Vessels, Vascular Disease and Vascular Dementia

Professor Andrew Baker, Centre for Cardiovascular Sciences, will lead the team in its focus on the first two pillars - covering diabetes & the metabolic syndrome, tissue fibrosis and calcification.  

This award will help us to deliver additional excellence in cardiovascular research in Edinburgh, building on our existing strengths and investing in new academic interactions to further deliver world leading research outputs as one of the very best international centres for the study of heart and circulatory diseases.

Professor Andrew BakerGustav Born Chair of Vascular Biology


Professor Joanna Wardlaw of CCBS will lead the team on the third pillar; researching Vascular Dysfunction: Blood Vessels, Vascular Disease and Vascular Dementia. This cerebrovascular pillar, will link the existing work on cerebrovascular disease done by the UK Dementia Research Institute to theBHF Centre of Research Excellence's vascular dementia research programme.  This work will also include valuable input from Professors Rustam Al-Shahi Salman, Professor Ian Marshall and many others.

Edinburgh's 3 pillars are closely aligned with 2 major cross-cutting themes:

  • Innovation in Imaging 
  • Cardiovascular Healthcare Data Science

Professor David Newby will lead the research on Innovation in Imaging, alongside Professor Wardlaw and Edinburgh Imaging colleagues. This will include novel cerebrovascular and cardiovascular MRI, better image analysis, better consistency between human and high field imaging in experimental models, and a wider use of retinal imaging as a key link between the brain and the body blood vessels.

Professor Nick Mills in CVS, will work with Professor Rustam Al-Shahi Salman to lead a team focusing on the implementation of cardiovascular healthcare data science to improve diagnosis, risk stratification and targeting of treatment. 


This is a great opportunity to combine our strengths in cerebrovascular and cardiovascular research, with the aim to create solutions to disease, that will enhance the quality of life for patients

Professor Joanna WardlawFRSE, CBE Professor of Applied Neuroimaging