Clinical Research Office. A partnership between Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Sheffield

Academic Directorate of Cardiology and Cardiothoracic Surgery

The Academic Directorate of Cardiology & Cardiothoracic Surgery Research Strategy 2018-2021 is available on request -

Key Contacts

Name Role
Prof Rob Storey
Academic Director
Professor of Cardiology
Consultant Cardiologist
Prof Nigel Wheeldon Clinical Director
Janine Kenny
Group Finance Manager
Helen Denney
Directorate Research Coordinator
Samantha Walmsley 
CRIO Research Coordinator
Non-commercial Studies
Melanie Fox
CRIO Research Coordinator
Commercial Studies

 Research Themes

  Theme name Basic Concept Key Investigators
1 Coronary and aortic valve Intervention Improving outcomes in Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI)
Dr J Gunn
Dr I Hall
Dr K Morgan
Prof R Storey
Dr J Richardson
Dr I Iqbal
Dr A Rahman
2 Electrophysiology Mechanisms of sudden death
Dr N Kelland
Dr J Sahu
Prof S Heller
Prof R Storey
Dr N Lewis
Dr J Lee
3 Atherothrombosis Pathophysiology of atherosclerosis and thrombotic complications, anti-thrombotic and inflammatory therapy
Dr W Parker
Dr A Iqbal
4 Cardiac Surgery Optimising surgical revascularisation and management of valvular disease
Mr N Briffa
Mr P Braidley
Mr G Cooper
Mr S Hunter
5 Thoracic Surgery Management of thoracic malignancy
Mr J Edwards
Mr J Rao
Miss L Socci
6 Heart Failure Optimising management of heart failure Dr A Al-Mohammad
Dr L O’Toole
7 Genetic Heart Disease Genetic causes of inherited cardiac disorders Dr N Wheeldon



The Academic Directorate of Cardiology and Cardiothoracic Surgery provides services to the entire population of Sheffield, and the South Yorkshire Cardiothoracic Centre in Chesterman Wing at the Northern General Hospital is the tertiary referral centre for Barnsley, Rotherham, Doncaster, Bassetlaw, Chesterfield and Sheffield, serving a population of approximately 1.8 million. The Directorate has a history of rapid development and has seen a marked growth in the number and complexity of services it provides over recent years including provision of a 24/7 primary Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI) service for ST elevation myocardial infarction to the whole region.

Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) is responsible for over 110,000 deaths annually in England, the largest single cause of death; 1.4 million people suffer from angina and 275,000 have a heart attack annually ( Consequently, improving the prevention and treatment of CHD and reducing mortality is a major Government priority with a target of reducing mortality in people under the age of 75 years by 40% over the next few years. This will require considerable research activity in order to deliver improved prevention and treatment strategies. The population served by the Academic Directorate of Cardiology and Cardiothoracic Surgery has a high incidence of CHD and so researchers in Sheffield are well placed to contribute to this important area. A wide range of other cardiovascular diseases are prevalent in the region and the Academic Directorate provides a complete range of sub-specialty services for these.

Research Strengths

• First wave of Academic Directorate.
• NIHR Cardiovascular Biomedical Research Unit 2008-2012 and NIHR Biomedical Research Centre Cardiovascular Disease theme 2022-2027
• Strong commercial links.
• High impact research publications.
• Emphasis on sustainability of research, which includes Directorate Research Coordinator support.

Investigators within the Academic Directorate of Cardiology and Cardiothoracic Surgery and the Department of Cardiovascular Science, University of Sheffield (, have a strong track record in a wide range of clinical research areas within Cardiology and Cardiothoracic Surgery. Funding for basic science research within the University Department of Cardiovascular Science is equally strong, providing an excellent base for translating scientific research into clinical benefits for patients. Members of the Directorate have published over 200 articles since 2005, including numerous publications in the highest impact international clinical research journals, and produced research that has received international recognition.

The key areas of focus for research are:

• Facilitate the discovery of new ways of preventing, treating and diagnosing cardiovascular disease.
• Novel therapies for stable and unstable coronary heart disease, including antithrombotic, anti-inflammatory and hormonal therapies and new strategies for percutaneous and surgical revascularisation.
• Management of heart failure, prevention of sudden cardiac death, and sepsis.

The Directorate currently has research active Consultants and active recruiting studies across the range of cardiology and cardiothoracic specialties.

Specialty Areas

Cardiology and Cardiothoracic Surgery provides treatment for a wide range of heart conditions, including: 

Interventional Cardiology: Today, the majority of procedures for many conditions are non-surgical and require a shorter recovery period. Approximately 2,250 patients are treated by the Directorate per annum.

South Yorkshire Heart Attack Centre: Patients from across the region suffering severe heart attacks are diagnosed by highly trained paramedics and brought directly to the South Yorkshire Cardiothoracic Centre for Primary Angioplasty. The life saving treatment is available 24/7 for emergencies and must be performed as soon as possible to limit the damage to the heart muscle during the heart attack.

Heart Failure Service: Have a dedicated heart failure ward where the Consultant Cardiologists and seven nurse specialists aim to provide Gold Standard investigation and treatment. The team work closely with colleagues in the Diabetes Service and community working teams

Cardiac Surgery Service: Offers a full range of specialist cardiac surgery procedures including valvular and aortic disease and coronary bypass surgery. The Team specialises in mitral valve, redo and aortic surgery undertaking 1300 open heart surgery procedures per annum with excellent results.

Cardiac Rhythm Management Service: Provides diagnostic and outpatients services; simple and complex pacemaker services; interventional cardiology procedures; specialist syncope clinic and a dedicated atrial fibrillation clinic. Patients are supported by an Arrhythmia Care Coordinator giving specialist advice and the team work closely with the Heart Failure, Inherited Cardiac Conditions and Adult Congenital Heart Disease services.

Inherited Cardiac Conditions Service: Provides investigations, treatment and support to patients and families with a wide range of inherited cardiac conditions. The team works closely with the Clinical Genetics Service and Sheffield Children’s Hospital to provide a family centred service benefitting from nurse specialists who can provide counselling and lifelong support to patients affected by an inherited condition.

Adult Congenital Heart Disease Service (part of the Yorkshire Adult Congenital Heart Disease Network): Congenital heart disease affects approx 1% of all babies. Survival rates have improved from only 15% in the 1980’s to 85% today surviving into adulthood, thanks to advances in children’s heart surgery. The services offers vital long term care for this growing number of adult patients.

Patient and Public Involvement in Research

The Directorate has a Cardiovascular Research Patient Panel, which is made up of patients, relatives, carers and members of the public. The Panel meet regularly to review research proposals, with the primary aim of ensuring that studies are feasible and the protocols are suitable and manageable for patients.

For more information about the Cardiovascular Research Patient Panel please click here

Cardiothoracic Directorate Research Executive

The Cardiothoracic Directorate Research Executive (CDRE) supports research in the Directorate, guiding Investigators through the research process, providing input into research proposals and facilitating internal and external collaborations. The CDRE oversees the setting up of research studies within the Directorate in order to ensure that research activity fits with the research strategy, is appropriately costed and funded, and receives sufficient support.

All studies involving the Directorate need to be reviewed and approved by the CDRE before they can to proceed. The CDRE holds monthly meetings to review all new studies in the Directorate and investigators requiring approval are encouraged to attend the meeting to present their proposed study to the group. Please contact Prof Rob Storey ( for further information and assistance with this process.