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New Centre for Cardiac Research Launched

A pioneering research centre for cardiac research will be launched at the University of Ulster today with the focus on improving the healthcare of patients with cardiovascular disease.

The Centre for Advanced Cardiovascular Research (CACR) is a partnership between Ulster and the Royal Victoria Hospital (RVH) which aims to provide world-leading research in cardiovascular treatment and disease prevention.

Professor Omar Escalona, from Ulster’s Nanotechnology and Advanced Materials Research Institute (NAMRI), is Director of the CACR alongside Dr Ganesh Manoharan as Co-Director from the RVH.

The setting up of the CACR is of immense importance to patients seeking cardiovascular care not only in Northern Ireland but also throughout the world, Professor Escalona said.

“The Centre will strive to be a world leader in the field of coronary care and bring the benefits of cutting-edge research to the people who need it,” he said.

“With the partnership between the hospital and the University, we are bringing together experts in the field of healthcare, bioengineering and nanotechnology. That will initiate and foster collaborations between researchers from different disciplines nationally and internationally."

As well as funding from the University of Ulster and securing a grant from Invest NI and the Science Research Investment Fund, the CACR has received generous donations from the Ulster Garden Villages Ltd and the McGrath Trust to help with its sustainable research activity.

While one focus of the research centre is on the development of new products and treatments, an emphasis will also be placed on educating and training researchers in new and innovative methods to develop their skills in the research areas.

The CACR will be based within the NAMRI at the University of Ulster's Jordanstown campus.

Development of the CACR was led by Professors Jennifer Adgey, John Anderson and Jim McLaughlin. Professor Anderson, alongside Professor Adgey, was part of a key team at the RVH that created the world's first defibrillators and took the life-saving technology from the research labs to the market.

The launch of CACR comes on the final day of Ulster hosting the 37th Annual International Conference on Computing and Cardiology, which has welcomed more than 340 world-leading physicians, engineers, physicists, biologists, computer scientists and others in research and development in cardiology to Northern Ireland.