Prestigious fellowship election for NIHR Cambridge BRC researchers

The NIHR Cambridge BRC is delighted that three of our researchers have been elected as Fellows of the Academy of Medical Sciences.

Theme leads Professor Menna Clatworthy and Professor Ludovic Vallier, together with Professor Ziad Mallat, who is one of our researchers in the Cardiovascular and respiratory disease theme, are among 50 world-leading UK researchers who have been elected to the prestigious Fellowship.

To be elected to the Academy, Fellows must have made exceptional contributions to advancing biomedical science.

In the current coronavirus global health crisis, the value of medical science has never been more apparent and like many Academy Fellows, Professors Vallier, Mallat and Clatworthy have redirected their research efforts to tackle the effects of the pandemic.

Professor Ludovic Vallier - Transplantation and Regenerative Medicine theme lead

Professor Ludovic Vallier

Professor Vallier’s team has developed a technology to grow a type of cell in the bile duct known as cholangiocytes in vitro (in test-tubes), so that they can study the effects of coronavirus on the liver. Professor Vallier said: “These liver cells express high levels of the SARS-CoV2 receptors and can be infected by the virus.

“We are using this model to study how the virus can enter cells and also to identify drugs which could limit this process.”

Professor Ziad Mallat

Professor Ziad Mallat

Professor Mallat’s team is studying how SARS-CoV2 infection can lead to heart attacks, and examining whether and how medications that alter the way the immune system works can modify cardiovascular outcomes.

Professor Mallat said: “This work is in close collaboration with investigators of the TACTIC trial and with many investigators in the Department of Medicine, and is also supported through BHF-CRE funding.”

Professor Menna Clatworthy

Professor Menna Clatworthy

Professor Clatworthy’s team is helping to study blood samples taken as part of the TACTIC-R trial, applying cutting-edge technologies to white blood cells (the body’s defence cells) to understand why some people experience an over-active immune response to the virus, and to look at the effect of the trial drugs on this response.

  • Professors Clatworthy, Vallier and Mallat join Dr Helen Firth, Professor Tamsin Ford and Dr Nitzan Rosenfeld from the University of Cambridge who were also elected Fellows. Read more about the announcement on the University of Cambridge website.
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