Leicester cardiology consultant awarded prestigious research professorship

A cardiology consultant from Leicester has been awarded a prestigious research professorship from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).

Professor Gerry McCann, cardiology consultant at Leicester’s Hospitals and professor of cardiac imaging at our University, is just one of five eminent medical researchers in the country to have received the award in this round in a highly competitive process. It is the first time anyone in Leicester has been accepted on the programme.

The aim of the NIHR Research Professorships programme is to “fund future research leaders to promote the effective translation of research from bench to bedside”. This means taking what is learnt in laboratories to improve patient care as quickly as possible.

The post lasts for five years and is supported by £1.95 million to increase the capacity of Professor McCann and his team to conduct more research in his area of expertise – using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to study the early signs of heart failure in patients with type 2 diabetes in order to improve diagnosis and management of the condition.

Professor McCann said: “I am grateful to the NIHR for accepting my application onto the Research Professorships programme, and for the opportunities it creates to further develop the heart imaging research team in Leicester.

“We know that heart failure is the most common and deadliest cardiovascular complication of diabetes. With the support of the NIHR, our research will aim to identify which characteristics of patients with type 2 diabetes are most likely to be associated with early heart failure, as detected on a MRI scan.  We will also explore whether early heart failure can be reliably diagnosed by a blood test using a combination of proteins.”

You can hear Professor McCann speak at this year's Frank May Prize Lecture at the University of Leicester, titled 'Using MRI to better understand and manage heart disease'. The event, which is on 29 October, begins at 5:30PM and is free and open to the public.