BHI Deputy Director Alastair Poole explains the impact for our PhD in Integrative Cardiovascular Sciences.
In December 2020, the British Heart Foundation (BHF) announced new funding for its flagship four-year PhD programmes at 12 universities, aimed at nurturing the next generation of cardiovascular research leaders.
At the University of Bristol, we have been running the popular PhD programme in Integrative Cardiovascular Sciences since 2017, with tuition fees and research costs fully-funded by the BHF.
Understanding the biology and medicine of the cardiovascular system now requires approaches that cross-bridge disciplines, with our current cohort of students working across fundamental bioscience, clinical science and population health.
In this renewal, we aim to build on this successful strategy, introducing new disciplinary strands, supervisors and training in digital health, data analytics, coding and bioengineering. This aligns to the BHF strategy in aiming to prevent disease, identify and manage risk factors, through large scale genomics, data science, AI and multiparameter monitoring of environmental and medical measurements using novel personal and environmental devices. Bioengineering is now seen as an important component of regenerative medicine, and capitalizing on our broad base of expertise in Bristol, we have incorporated several new supervisors into this element. These will provide additional depth and breadth to the training for our students and further opportunities for innovative cardiovascular discovery.
When the funding was announced, Professor Metin Avkiran, the BHF’s Associate Medical Director, said:
“Today’s PhD students are tomorrow’s leaders in cardiovascular research. At this difficult time, it is more important than ever to maintain that pipeline of scientific talent and discovery towards future advances in the prevention, detection and treatment of heart and circulatory diseases.”
We look forward to welcoming our newest BHF PhD students in 2021.
PhD student Ffion Jones talks about what she enjoys about the programme:
This post first appeared in the March 2021 BHI Newsletter