University Campus Suffolk (UCS) and The Somerville Foundation, an international charity supporting patients with heart conditions, have partnered to establish Suffolk’s first heart research centre.
The centre will focus on finding more effective ways to treat and support individuals with congenital heart conditions and will utilise UCS’s expertise in cardiovascular science and exercise physiology and psychology.
Ahead of the centre launch, an exhibition called ‘Scarred FOR life’ will be on display at University Campus Suffolk’s Waterfront Gallery. The exhibition is described as “adults born with Congenital Heart Disease (CHD) baring their scars in celebration of life.”
Next month, in May, UCS and The Somerville Foundation will formally launch a heart research centre, a first for Suffolk, located at UCS’ James Hehir Building on the Waterfront.
World-renowned cardiovascular biologist Dr Christopher Turner, Lecturer in Biosciences at UCS, said “Congenital Heart Defects (CHD) are the most common type of birth defect and the leading cause of infant death in the UK. Recent advances in medicine have improved survival rates, but many patients face physical limitations and an uncertain lifespan into their adulthood. We hope that the research undertaken at this new centre can improve the lives of individuals with congenital heart disease and improve the cardiac screening of the young in the UK.”
There are estimated to be over 250,000 adults who were born with a heart condition in the UK.
John Richardson, National Director of The Somerville Foundation said “We have seen patients’ lives cut tragically short as a result of their illness. We know that there is a world of new discoveries, better treatments and surgical techniques that will in the future help those born with heart conditions live longer, healthier, happier lives. Our partnership with University Campus Suffolk provides a fantastic new opportunity for patients.”