Our network is a multidisciplinary team of scientists and clinicians. 

We work together to understand and tackle cardiovascular and metabolic disease, including heart disease, diabetes, stroke and vascular dementia.

We benefit from expertise across the Norwich Medical School and Faculty of Science at the University of East Anglia and the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. 

Our mission is to understand how and why cardiovascular and metabolic diseases occur, develop new therapies and diagnostics for the treatment of disease and improve clinical practice.

We achieve this through collaboration with industry and healthcare networks. Major funders of research within the network include UKRI, British Heart Foundation and the Wellcome Trust.

"This forum will enable the collaborative environment needed to help develop ideas and therapies, so we can actually translate these for the benefit of patients and their families."

Dr Amer Rana

2023/2024 Seminar Series

Decoding spatial heterogeneity in the regenerating heart

Dr Filipa Simões, University of Oxford

Date and Time: Thursday 21 March, 1-2pm

Venue: Julian Study Centre, Lecture Theatre 0.01

Host: Professor Andrea Munsterberg, UEA BIO

Speaker bio: Filipa Simões is a Group Leader and British Heart Foundation Research Fellow at the Institute of Developmental and Regenerative Medicine, DPAG, and a Hugh Price Fellow at Jesus College, University of Oxford, UK. Her research is focused on understanding how immune cells, in particular macrophages, can be programmed by their neighbouring cells to repair the damage caused by a heart attack. Her team uses genomics, spatial transcriptomics and functional in vivo and in vitro assays to dissect the spatiotemporal dynamics of cellular microenvironments, identify intercellular signalling networks and decipher how these converge to define macrophage identity, plasticity and function in the healthy and diseased heart.

Filipa has a degree in Microbiology and Genetics from the Faculty of Sciences, University of Lisbon, Portugal, and a PhD in Biochemistry from the Faculty of Sciences and Technology, University of Coimbra, Portugal, which research was undertaken at the Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, University of Oxford, UK. Here she used the zebrafish embryo to uncover the molecular cues driving cardiovascular specification and differentiation. Filipa did her postdoctoral work at the Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics, University of Oxford, UK, where she identified distinct functional cell subpopulations in the developing and the regenerating epicardium, an essential lineage for heart development across species. Through a British Heart Foundation Centre of Research Excellence Transition Fellowship, Filipa identified macrophages as direct collagen contributors to the forming scar during both zebrafish heart regeneration and mouse heart repair. This seminal work reveals paradigm-shifting insights into the source of collagen deposition during cardiac scar formation and is likely applicable across organ systems and fibrotic disease.

Talk title: TBC

Professor Nicola Smart, University of Oxford

Date and Time: Thursday 18 July, 1-2pm

Venue: Elizabeth Fry Building, Room 01.08

Host: Dr Linda Troeberg, UEA MED

Hear from some of our researchers

Professor Samuel Fountain, School of Biological Sciences

Sam’s research, supported by the British Heart Foundation, BBSRC and several industrial partners, focuses on understanding how the nervous system controls vascular and adipose tissue with an emphasis on a family of neurotransmitter receptors.

Professor Andrea Munsterberg, School of Biological Sciences

Andrea is a research scientist addressing fundamental questions of how the heart develops in early vertebrate embryos.

Dr James Smith, Lecturer, Norwich Medical School

The group James works in use stem cells to grow new human heart cells that can be used to study cardiovascular and metabolic disease.

Professor Helen Murphy, Norwich Medical School

Helen’s interest is in early-onset T2D (T2D before 39 years of age) which is associated with hypertension, hyperlipidemia and a severe cardio-metabolic phenotype.

Dr Stephen Robinson, Research Leader, Quadram Institute

The group Stephen works with hope to guide the use and design of microbiota based therapies in order to maintain life-long vascular health.

Dr Amer Rana, School of Biological Science

Amer has had more than 25 years of clinical and lab-based research experience. His goal over the past 12 years has been to translate stem cell and developmental biology into medical therapies.