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British Heart Foundation and Sun Life explore cardiovascular research at the University of Bristol

Image taken during the BHF visit to the GW4 cryoEM Facility

Image taken during BHF visit to GW4 cryoEM Facility.

28 September 2023

We recently had the pleasure of hosting a visit from the British Heart Foundation (BHF) and their corporate partner, Sun Life, at the GW4 Facility for High-Resolution Electron Cryo-Microscopy, situated within the University of Bristol. The occasion provided an opportunity to showcase the practical aspects of cardiovascular research conducted by the Paul lab, supported by BHF funding and utilizing our facility's advanced equipment.

Cardiovascular research is a major research theme at the University of Bristol, with over 200 academics dedicated to the cause under the umbrella of the Bristol Heart Institute, a specialist research institute at the University. The BHF's funding, totaling £19 million across the university in the last five years, has significantly contributed to this ongoing research. Sun Life, a recent partner organisation, marked their first in-person visit, emphasizing the growing collaboration.

The BHF and Sun Life expressed interest in gaining insights into the specific research enabled by their funding. The focus was on visual aspects of research, including results obtained through cryo-EM.

12 representatives from Sun Life along with the BHF corporate partnership management team formed the visiting delegation. Notably, Professor Massimo Caputo, a paediatric cardiac surgeon and collaborator with the Paul lab, added his expertise to the mix.

The visit provided an inside look into the diverse areas of cardiovascular research explored by the Paul lab. Our guests were guided through in vivo work with zebrafish, human platelet preparations, and cryo-EM of cardiac proteins, showcasing the practical aspects of our collaborative efforts.

The atmosphere during the visit was both informative and enjoyable for researchers and visitors alike. Positive feedback, such as being "impressed by the research," resonated well with the enthusiastic spirit of the day.

In conclusion, the visit from the BHF and Sun Life was a meaningful collaboration, providing a platform to bridge the gap between funding and research outcomes. As we continue to appreciate such visits, we look forward to more opportunities for shared insights and collaborative ventures in the field of cardiovascular research.

Further information

Bradshaw, M., Squire, J.M., Morris, E. et al. Zebrafish as a model for cardiac disease; Cryo-EM structure of native cardiac thin filaments from Danio Rerio. J Muscle Res Cell Motil 44, 179–192 (2023).

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