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We all know the quirky rhyme: beans, beans, good for your heart… but sometimes all the beans in the world just won’t cut it for maintaining good heart health. Unfortunately, coronary heart disease is a leading cause of death, both in the UK and worldwide. Tonight, we will be hearing from two top scientists who will shed light on current research and different approaches in the treatment of one of the most prevalent cardiac heart diseases: heart attacks. There will be games and special Pint of Science goodies to be won! So, hold onto your hearts, and enjoy! (Image credit: Nicolas Raymond)
Healing Broken Hearts with Immune Cells
Dr Alex Ivetic (Senior Lecturer in Cardiovascular at KCL)
White blood cells form an essential part of our immune system. They are incredibly skilled at fighting off infection but are really poor at helping us heal certain types of damage, such as a heart attack. The mission of my lab is to find out why. We use microscopes to delve into the lives of white blood cells and use this information to help us to develop ways in which we can drive healing and improve patient outcome after a heart attack.
Making a Drug to Prevent Heart Attacks
Dr Michael Curtis (Reader in Pharmacology at KCL)
The most common cause of disease in the UK is a heart attack, where loss of blood flow in the heart causes sudden loss of heart rhythm that cut off blood supply to the brain. I have spent 35 years of my life in the fruitless pursuit of a drug to stop this. A few years ago, a young cardiologist read some of my old papers, wistfully outlining what a safe and effective drug would look like, armed with information about a small company making ischaemia-selective cancer drugs. Six years later we are now seeking funding to make our new drug ready for human trials. Why don’t I tell you about it?