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Heart disease research given a boost at London Chest Hospital

PUBLISHED: 16:00 19 May 2010 | UPDATED: 16:02 05 October 2010

AN EAST End hospital is going to be leading the way in finding pioneering treatments for heart disease with a brand new research unit opening today. The Barts and The London NIHR Cardiovascular Biomedical Research Unit is based at the London Chest Hosp

AN EAST End hospital is going to be leading the way in finding pioneering treatments for heart disease with a brand new research unit opening today.

The Barts and The London NIHR Cardiovascular Biomedical Research Unit is based at the London Chest Hospital in Bethnal Green.

The state-of-the art research facility will be used to focus on 'translation research trials' where scientists and consultants will be quickly turning lab findings into new treatments for patients suffering with heart problems.

Among the unique trials going on at the new unit, experts are exploring the use of beetroot juice as a way of reducing blood pressure.

And the unit also houses the unique Definition Flash CT scanner which performs a detailed scan of the entire heart in just 250 milliseconds and allows earlier detection of heart problems.

Director of the unit Professor Mark Caulfield, said: "The unit's focus is on translational research, which involves scientists and clinicians working closely together to quickly translate findings in the lab into real 'bedside' benefits for the patient.

"Being based at one of largest centres for cardiac care means the infrastructure has a strong patient focus.

"Our goal is to characterise in more detail the response of patients to new therapies and develop unique cardiovascular imaging strategies."

The unit, run by Barts and the London Trust and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry at Queen Mary was funded by a £5.45 million grant from the National Institute for Health Research.

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