Leads: Professor Claudia Monaco, Professor Jemma Hopewell
Cardiovascular disease is a growing global problem, and the pipeline of new therapies has been dwindling. In recent years, Oxford scientists have identified potential new treatments for a range of cardiovascular conditions, including atrial fibrillation, vascular inflammation, coronary artery disease, pregnancy-related hypertension and diabetic cardiomyopathy. We are aiming to identify new drug targets – and repurposing existing drugs – that work in different patient populations, building on our expertise in human cardiovascular and immune cells and large scale multiomics.
We are doing this using two complementary approaches:
- Employing single cell biology techniques from human blood and tissue bioresources, we are looking to understand what are the pathogenic changes that happen in the cells, vascular lesions and the heart in particular subsets of patients.
- In parallel, working with the BRC’s Genomic Medicine and Translational Data Science Themes, we will use multiomics and Mendelian randomisation approaches in large-scale datasets to identify new drug targets and assess their impact in patients with multiple chronic conditions. This analysis will be supported by data from major genome-wide association studies (GWAS): CARDIoGRAMplusC4D (looking at the genetics of Coronary Artery Disease) and the MEGASTROKE GWAS, as well as individual patient data from large-scale Oxford-led Biobanks, and academic and industry collaborations.
This combined approach will provide insights into:
- how drugs could be repurposed
- what are the impacts of individuals taking multiple medications concurrently
- how precision medicine approaches can be applied to randomised controlled clinical trials
with the aim of allowing new discoveries to be translated rapidly into improvements in patient care.