Leeds scientists awarded funding to tackle inherited heart conditions

A heart researcher at the University of Leeds has been awarded a prestigious research grant of more than £220,000 by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) to investigate the causes of the inherited condition hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) – the most common cause of sudden cardiac death in young people.

As part of its Fight for Every Heartbeat campaign, the BHF is awarding grants to fund research into inherited heart conditions – deadly disorders that may affect over half a million people in the UK (2), and 27,000 in the Leeds area (3).

Prof John Trinick of the University of Leeds has been awarded a three-year research grant to investigate HCM, which affects one in 500 people (4).

The condition causes abnormal pumping of blood by the heart.

Prof Trinick will be studying an important protein present in the heart which is involved in the correct contraction of the heart muscle.

He will be investigating how inherited genetic errors in this protein are responsible for causing HCM

. This will improve our understanding of the normal functioning of the protein and identify how faults might be corrected to treat HCM.

On receiving the funding Prof Trinick said:

“I’m delighted to win this funding as it will provide a real boost for our research. We’re hoping to make great progress in finding out more about HCM to help all those affected.”

Prof Jeremy Pearson, associate medical director at the BHF, said:

“Genetic researchers have made a number of breakthroughs in recent years, meaning we now know a lot more about what causes inherited heart conditions, but there is still a long way to go.

“We want our Fight for Every Heartbeat campaign to bring much-needed attention to these conditions and raise funds for research to help those affected.

“Without research like Professor Trinick’s, we can’t develop the treatments and tests that many peoples’ lives depend on.

“We rely on donations to fund cutting-edge research into these deadly disorders, and urgently need the public’s support.”

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