Professor Sir Nilesh Samani announced as next British Heart Foundation Medical Director

Professor Sir Nilesh Samani (pictured) has been announced as the next Medical Director of the British Heart Foundation (BHF). He will succeed Professor Peter Weissberg who will retire in October 2016 after twelve years as Medical Director of the cardiovascular research charity.

Professor Samani is currently BHF Professor of Cardiology at the University, Head of the Department of Cardiovascular Sciences at the University, Director of the NIHR Biomedical Research Unit and a consultant cardiologist at Glenfield Hospital.

He is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and a NIHR Senior Investigator. In 2015 Professor Samani was knighted for services to medicine and medical research.

Professor Samani said: “It is an enormous privilege to serve the Foundation as Medical Director. From my own experience, I know the central role the BHF plays in supporting cardiovascular research in the UK. Advances made through research funded by donations to the BHF have saved countless lives both in the UK and world-wide and reduced the devastating burden of premature heart disease on families and individuals.”

Alongside his new role as the BHF’s Medical Director, Professor Samani will continue research at the University of Leicester and some clinical work at Glenfield Hospital, part of the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.

Professor Paul Boyle, President and Vice-Chancellor, said: “This is a tremendous honour and tribute to the talent of an inspirational member of our University community. Professor Samani's world-class work has helped to establish Leicester as an internationally renowned centre of excellence for cardiovascular research. His results have had a huge local and global impact. He has pioneered major advances in his field and he will bring this wealth of experience to bear on advancing the excellent work the British Heart Foundation does. The whole of the University community wishes him well and we look forward to continuing our association with him in his capacity as Professor of Cardiology at the University.”

Professor Philip Baker, Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Medicine, Biological Sciences and Psychology and Dean of Medicine, said: “Whilst this prestigious national leadership role is a reflection of Professor Samani’s stellar career, I’m delighted that he will continue to lead his highly successful research group in Leicester. We wish him every success in his new position.”