WHRI 30th anniversary conference

William Harvey Research Foundation (WHRF) supports
30 years of world-leading science

On Wednesday 22nd June 2016, the WHRF held a successful reception as part of the 30th Anniversary celebrations at the William Harvey Research Institute (WHRI). This was attended by over 40 science, charity and business leaders.

Scientists were on hand to explain to guests and supporters about how the research funded by the Foundation is generating outcomes in areas of unmet medical need. Over £200,000 was recently awarded for research projects on heart failure, vascular dementia, osteoarthritis, eye conditions and Crohn’s disease.

Both guests from local business and supporters of the Foundation commented, “It is wonderful to have all this world-class research on our doorstep” and “on the excellence of the research at the WHRI and the ability to translate this into new drugs and treatments.”

The Foundation is distinct from other medical research charities as it has a primary focus on promoting early-stage, high-risk research in areas of unmet need and therapeutic innovation, designed to create new avenues to treat difficult conditions. Such seed funding is vitally important if subsequent larger-scale studies are to be supported by major charities and the pharmaceutical industry.

The scientific meeting was to celebrate outstanding achievement in inflammation, cardiovascular and endocrine research. It attracted over 350 delegates from the scientific community. The afternoon started with a keynote lecture from Nobel laureate Professor Bengt Samuelsson. The guests were then taken through the history of the Institute by Professor Tilli Tansey OBE and the impact of science on society by Professor Rod Flower FRS.

The Co-director of the WHRI, Professor Mark Caulfield, outlined the journey the Institute had taken over the past thirty years. This included the emergence of the successful translational “bench to bedside” model for research. He emphasised the strong link between basic science and clinical activities and how this will grow in collaboration with the new Barts Heart Centre. Looking to the future, he stressed the importance of genomics and stratified medicine.

Dr John Gordon, Chairman of the WHRF Board of Trustees, commented; “The need for research into cardiovascular, inflammatory, and endocrine disease is as great today as it was 30 years ago. It was very inspiring to share our vision for providing research funding in areas of unmet need with our neighbours in the business community.”

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