Making a
lasting impact

molecules

Developing therapies delivering hope

Innovative research at WHR has already advanced our knowledge of human diseases enabling the development of new treatments, in particular drug discovery, to address unmet medical need. Our research covers targets, across both common and rare diseases, leading to discoveries that have enabled new therapies to be identified and existing drugs to be used for new purposes.

Such vital research continues today supported by the Foundation.

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CASE STUDY
Dr James Whiteford

Senior Lecturer at the Centre for
Microvascular Research

I have been the fortunate recipient of two WHRF grants. The first was in 2011-12 and provided the means for us to test and optimise methods of analysing and measuring the process of new blood vessel formation (angiogenesis). Angiogenesis is a rare process in healthy adults but is a feature of numerous diseases such as cancer, arthritis and many eye conditions. Although therapies are in clinical use targeting this process there is considerable scope for improving and further understanding these processes. Acquiring the necessary apparatus and learning these techniques have led directly to us discovering two major roles for a family of cell surface molecules in new blood vessel formation. We have now patented a novel anti-angiogenic therapy for Wet Age Related macular degeneration (Wet AMD) based on our work with these molecules and we are now aiming to take this towards a trial in man.

Our second and most recent WHRF grant has enabled us to employ a highly promising young scientist who has been working on expanding our portfolio of potential anti-angiogenic therapies. This work is ongoing but we have already identified two more candidate molecules which we hope to develop further. This work has also provided the preliminary data for applications to obtain PhD funding for this young scientist, so that they can continue to develop their career and hopefully make a substantial contribution to academic research in the future.

research models
CASE STUDY
Professor Adrian Hobbs

Professor of Cardiovascular Pharmacology

My group have benefitted enormously from the new communal Echocardiographic facility at WHRI funded in part by the Foundation. Our interests lie in left heart failure, pulmonary hypertension (right heart failure) and the development of aneurysm. Pulmonary hypertension patients are plagued by shortness of breath and diminished exercise capacity. Patients with aneurysm are often asymptomatic but ultimately, rupture can lead to rapid loss of consciousness and death. The approaches we are investigating aim to improve exercise capacity and quality of life in PH patients and to slow progression of aneurysm, thereby reducing the incidence of rupture; we are also advocating a pharmacological strategy for aneurysm whereas at present the only option is surgical.

The new imaging facility has achieved two main goals. First, it has significantly increased capacity to permit a multitude of groups across the WHRI (and beyond) to initiate and undertake pre-clinical models of cardiac and vascular dysfunction. Second, it has enabled a markedly more sophisticated analyses of heart structure and function in these experimental models to a level routinely achieved in the clinic. My work has been facilitated enormously by this state-of-the-art equipment, particularly in terms of the pulmonary hypertension and aneurysm studies.

research models
CASE STUDY
Professor Francesco Dell’Accio

Professor of Musculoskeletal Regenerative
Medicine & Rheumatology

The Foundation has been invaluable for the development of my own group and of young individuals within it. In 2008 an award enabled me to retain Dr Joanna Sherwood on a project on the function of chemokines in cartilage biology. This not only resulted in an important paper, but also in the award of significant further funding (one project grant from the MRC and one from Arthritis Research UK) which currently employ two post-doctoral researchers in my lab.

Thanks to all this, Dr Sherwood, who is a co-applicant on these awards, obtained a group leader position in Muenster, where she currently employees two PhD students and one technician. A second award, in 2016, enabled Dr Giovanna Nalesso to continue working on CaMKII. Also thanks to this award she obtained a tenured position (Lecturer) in the University of Surrey.

research models
CASE STUDY
Dr Sian Henson

Senior Lecturer of Translational Medicine and Therapeutics

I really value the funding the William Harvey Research Foundation provided me, it enabled me to carry out a pilot project that was far too preliminary for larger funders. The Foundation saw the potential in my idea and allowed me to create and test a novel highly selective therapeutic.

By providing me with a modest amount of money the Foundation enabled me to establish myself as an independent researcher and go on and develop my ideas further. I believe this is the Foundation's real strength, their ability to support researcher at the start of their careers.

memorial

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that advances the discovery
of new medicines

Research is expensive. The William Harvey Research Institute competes successfully for funds from government and biomedical research charities for its established projects but your donations will allow the Foundation to support the Institute's researchers in starting new lines of work.

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