Department of Cardiovascular Sciences

Heart Valve Intervention

Meet our Team


Gerry McCann - lead moderator Gerry McCann is Professor of Cardiac Imaging and Honorary Consultant Cardiologist at the University of Leicester and the NIHR Leicester Cardiovascular Biomedical Research Centre Cardiovascular Theme Lead. He directs an active clinical imaging research programme with funding from the British Heart Foundation, MRC and the NIHR. He is Chair of the British Society of Cardiovascular MRI research group, NIHR Cardiovascular lead for the East Midlands and sits on the NIHR doctoral fellowship panel. Gerry is interested in aortic stenosis, particularly the mechanisms leading to symptom development, the timing of surgery in asymptomatic patients and outcomes following intervention. 

Saul Myerson - ModeratorSaul Myerson is a Clinical Cardiologist and Associate Professor in Cardiovascular Medicine in Oxford, with a specialist interest in valve disease. He has a particular interest in the practical application of clinical tools to useful and relevant research questions that benefit patients (he is not a petri-dish researcher..!). He is keen to understand what are considered important areas/research questions for patients and others in cardiac surgery - not necessarily led by doctors...!

Rana SayeedRana Sayeed is a Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgeon at the Oxford Heart Centre. He has a specialist interest in the treatment of heart valve disease, in particular, conditions affecting the mitral valve.  He is keen to launch a clinical trial about the time of surgery in patients with severe mitral regurgitation but without any symptoms, to ensure that these heart valve patients receive the right treatment at the right time.

Health Services Researchers

Tom Treibel - Moderator Tom Treibel MBBS PhD, is a clinical academic cardiologist with specialist interest in valvular heart disease, heart failure and multimodality imaging. He is a BHF Intermediate Clinical Research Fellow and Senior Lecturer in Cardiology at University College Hospital London; Honorary Consultant Cardiologist at Barts Health. His main research work focuses on the mechanisms of excess mortality in patients with aortic stenosis despite successful valve replacement. He investigates myocardial fibrosis in aortic stenosis using cardiovascular magnetic resonance, cardiac CT and myocardial biopsies. His aim is to improve outcomes for patients with valvular heart disease.

Ines Rombach - Moderator Ines Rombach is a senior statistician at the Oxford Clinical Trials Research Unit (OCTRU). She contributes statistical expertise to the development of grant applications and to the planning, conduct and analysis of primarily surgical randomised controlled trials.   Her research interests include the handling and reporting of missing data in randomised clinical trials, the use of patient reported outcomes and surgical trials methodology

Patient and Public Representatives

Wil Woan - PPI Member

Wil Woan has worked in the voluntary sector for 20 years, with the last 5 years spent as CEO of Heart Valve Voice, the UK’s dedicated Heart Valve Disease Patient Organisation. During this time, Wil has launched several Parliamentary Reports into valve disease treatment in the UK, and has recently set up a Heart Valve Disease All Party Parliamentary Group. Throughout his work at Heart Valve Voice, Wil has championed innovation as means of improving the detection and treatment of heart valve disease, and was chosen to be the UK TAVI Trial patient representative. Wil has worked with leading clinicians and policy makers to produce guidelines and standards of care which provide a framework for the future care of valve disease patients. His work on Heart Valve Voice’s 2018 Gold Standard of Care mapped an optimal treatment pathway, and is now widely seen as the benchmark for all valve disease care in the UK. 

Phil Blakelock

Phil Blakelock  

Phil first came to the world of PPI after engaging with the BHF following surgery to replace a bicuspid aortic valve some four years ago, being invited prior to the operation to contribute to a research programme on heart muscle make-up.  This brought a realisation of the link between physics / science and technology with cardiology, and how this can be brought to bear upon challenging cardiac conditions and the welfare of the population.

Phil has spent most of his career in Defence Engineering and is passionate about all things science. Having participated in a very professionally run heart research programme, Phil wants to influence new programmes and trials so that they are executed in the same way, particularly from the patient’s perspective, on how trials are communicated, and executed.

As a patient representative Phil contributes to many other PPI initiatives, pre-funding application assessments, BMJ patient reviews etc., including the All Party Parliamentary Group on “AI in heart and circulatory diseases”, as well as the House of Lords Committee on “Beyond Digital – Planning for a hybrid world”.


Cardiothoracic Interdisciplinary Research Network Representative

Nathan Tyson CIRN representativeNathan Tyson is currently a higher specialty trainee (Registrar) in Cardiothoracic Surgery in the East Midlands Deanery. He is interested in strengthening the links between clinicians and patient groups in answering the big questions in valvular heart disease. He is looking forward to linking the work of this initiative with that of the Cardiothoracic interdisciplinary research network (CIRN) as a trainee representative.

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