Leading science, pioneering therapies
BHF Centre for Vascular Regeneration

BHF Centre for Vascular Regeneration

Part of the ground floor of the SCRM building is dedicated to study cardiovascular disease and houses the £2.5M BHF Centre for Vascular Regeneration. Prof Andy Baker is leading the Centre, aimed at delivering vascular repair and regeneration. The Centre, linked to the UKRMP, combines high impact basic science with translation into the clinic and partners closely with the University/BHF Centre for Cardiovascular Science (CCVS, led by Prof Brian Walker) and the Edinburgh BHF Centre of Research Excellence (led by Prof John Mullins). 

Research efforts

  • Evaluate cell types including pericytes and vascular smooth muscle and endothelial cells (Peault, Brittan, Crisan and Mills), in collaboration with Baker, Gray, Caporali and Hadoke (CCVS).
  • Investigate whether vascular lineage-specific properties may be induced and improved using gene therapy and miRNA manipulation technologies or through reprogramming the transcriptome in more differentiated cells. Researchers will then explore the selection of the optimal cell types to populate tissue-engineered vessels and/or decellularised matrices and generate tissue-engineered vessels (collaborations with Xu at King's College London) and to further study pericytes, miRNA and tissue ischemia (Madeddu, Emanueli and Caputo at Bristol University). These will then be assessed in well-developed animal models of peripheral limb ischaemia and myocardial infarction available to CCVS. To quantify engraftment, establish residency and assess safety, researchers will take two complementary imaging approaches within the University’s Clinical Research Imaging Centre (CRIC): positron emission tomography (PET) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) through pre-clinical (Hadoke/Gray) and clinical (Newby) imaging.
  • Establish the immediate fate of stem cells on the day of delivery (Newby). The Centre has the capability to label cells at the GMP cell therapy facility, using PET radiotracers generated by the radiopharmacy suite at CRIC. In collaboration with General Electric Healthcare, researchers will assess the novel PET radiotracer, fluciclatide, as an imaging biomarker to track angiogenesis in vivo in humans.
  • Undertake clinical trials in patients with critical limb ischaemia before progressing to patients with acute myocardial infarction. Peault is currently undertaking a $5-million early phase clinical trial of utilising perivascular stem cells from adipose tissue to assist in bone healing in collaboration with the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine (CIRM).