Drug Targets in Cardiovascular Disease

A free one-day webinar from the British Pharmacological Society and The British Heart Foundation.

Drug Targets in Cardiovascular Disease: Developing a portal into the guide to Pharmacology for Cardiovascular clinical and basic researchers

Tuesday 18 April, online 

The British Pharmacological Society and The British Heart Foundation are delighted to announce a free one-day online meeting: Drug Targets in Cardiovascular Disease: Developing a portal into the guide to Pharmacology for Cardiovascular clinical and basic researchers.

Building on the work of the IUPHAR/BPS Guide to Pharmacology Database this meeting brings together established leaders in the cardiovascular field to discuss the latest updates in drug development within their area, and the impact that nomenclature and access to tool compounds can have on this.

Event Programme

Tuesday 18 April, online 

Welcome and Introductions

10.00-10.05 Opening and housekeeping 
  • Professor Amrita Ahluwalia Project Lead, Queen Mary University of London 
10.05-10.30 Welcome and introductions and an introduction to The Guide to Pharmacology Database:
  • Professor Steve Alexander Chair of the NC-IUPHAR, Nomenclature Committee, Nottingham University
  • Professor Jamie Davies, Director of the GTP Database, University of Edinburgh
10.30-10.40 The aspiration in creating the CV GTPdb:
  • Professor Amrita Ahluwalia Project Lead, Queen Mary University of London 

Molecular pathways of CVD-Chair: Prof. Pasquale Maffia

10.40-11.10 GPCRs and pulmonary hypertension: novel therapeutic targets
  • Professor Anthony Davenport, Cambridge University, England
11.10- 11.40 Targeting immune pathways in atherosclerosis: a fine balance.
  • Professor Ziad Mallat, Cambridge University, England
11.40- 12:10 Panel discussion 
  • Professor Amrita Ahluwalia, Professor Steve Alexander, Professor Jamie Davies, Professor Anthony Davenport & Professor Ziad Mallat

Lunch 50 minutes

CVD Therapeutics- Chair: Prof. Amrita Ahluwalia

13:00- 13:30 Novel drug targets in diabetes.
  • Professor Mark Kearney, Leeds University, England
13:30 – 14:00 Options and opportunities: drug targets for CVD in the 21st Century
  • Profesor Thomas Lüscher, Royal Brompton & Harefield Hospitals.

Molecular pathways of CVD-Chair: Prof. Tomasz Guzik

14:00-14:30 Targetting guanylyl cyclases: which ones when?
  • Professor Adrian Hobbs, Queen Mary University of London, England

14:30 -15:00  Novel platelet targets: the search continues
  • Professor Steve Watson, Birmingham University

Break 15:00-15:10

CVD Therapeutics- Chair: Prof. Pasquale Maffia

15:10-15:40 Lipid metabolism: are we done?
  • Professor Alberico Catapano, University of Milan, Italy

15:40- 16:10 Targeting cyclo-oxygenase and protecting the CV system
  • Profesor Carlo Patrono, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Rome, Italy

Close of meeting


Online Ticket Non-Member Ticket Free

Speakers & Chairs

Professor Amrita Ahluwalia

Amrita Ahluwalia is Professor of Vascular Pharmacology and Co-Director of The William Harvey Research Institute at Barts Medical School at Queen Mary University of London. Prof Ahluwalia‘s research is focused upon identifying strategies that might improve vascular and cardiac function in cardiovascular disease. A particular area of research focus is in understanding the mechanisms of action of inorganic nitrate and nitrite in the cardiovascular system and in this area Prof Ahluwalia has led the field in translating her pre-clinical observations into the clinical setting. Separately Prof Ahluwalia is a committed champion of equality in the workplace, advanced through numerous initiatives including her role in establishment of the British Pharmacological Society Mentoring Scheme for Women. 

Professor Pasquale Maffia

I am currently a Professor of Cardiovascular Immunology at the School of Infection & Immunity and the School of Cardiovascular & Metabolic Health at the University of Glasgow (UK). I also serve as the School of Infection & Immunity International Lead.
I am an elected fellow of the Royal Society of Biology, the British Pharmacological Society, and the European Society of Cardiology.

I serve as Chair of the International Union of Basic and Clinical Pharmacology (IUPHAR) Immunopharmacology Committee, as Elected Vice-President and Chair of the Engagement Committee of the British Pharmacological Society (BPS), as Vice-Chair of the International Union of Immunological Societies (IUIS) Immunotherapy Committee, and as a Nucleus Member of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) Working Group on Atherosclerosis & Vascular Biology. I also serve on the Executive Committee of the British Atherosclerosis Society (BAS), on the Fellowship Committee of the British Heart Foundation (BHF), and as Vice-Chair of the Heart Research UK (HRUK) Translational Research Medical Review Panel.

I am a Deputy Editor of Cardiovascular Research, Associate Editor of Pharmacological Research, Editor in Chief of Frontiers for Young Minds (Health Section), and Editorial Board Member of a number of journals including the British Journal of Pharmacology, and Scientific Reports.

I have a major interest in the immune response in cardiovascular disease. Current research activities address the study, imaging, and targeting of cellular and molecular immune mechanisms involved in the pathophysiology of atherosclerosis, hypertension, and heart failure. I have authored over 110 scientific papers in peer-reviewed journals including Nature Genetics, Nature Reviews Immunology, Immunity, European Heart Journal, Circulation, Circulation Research, Blood, and JCI.

Find out more about my Public Engagement work
Professor Tomasz Guzik

Prof Tomasz Guzik is a Chair of Cardiovascular Medicine at the University of Edinburgh, UK and a Professor of Medicine at Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland. He recently moved to Edinburgh after over 11 years of service as a Regius Chair of Physiology at the University of Glasgow. His research focuses on understanding how inflammation and oxidation intersect in vascular biology, especially in the context of hypertension. His group most important contributions include understanding the mechanisms of oxidative stress and vascular dysfunction in humans (Circ Res, 2000; Circulation, 2002; JACC; 2008; J Clin Invest, 2022) and defining novel role of inflammation and adaptive immunity in hypertension including novel therapeutic approaches tested in clnical trials (J Exp Med, 2007; Eur Heart J 2019, Circulation, 2020; Circ Res, 2020). His most recent work focused on identifying neuroimmune reflexes controlling atherosclerosis (Nature, 2022), mechanisms of cognitive impairment in hypertension (Eur Heart J, 2023) and defining mechanisms of increased vascular risk following breast cancer chemotherapy (J Clin Invest, 2022).

In 2021 and 2022, he was recognised as a Highly Cited Scientist by Clarivate.  He published over 250 original studies with his top-cited original papers receiving >1000 citations (WoS H factor – 68; total 21500 citations). Prof. Guzik received several international research excellence awards, including the Arthur Corcoran Hypertension (AHA) and the JJ Marshal Award in Cardiovascular Research (BSCR).

His group is funded primarily by the British Heart Foundation, the European Research Council and European Commission. He is a member of Chairs and Programme Grant Committee of the British Heart Foundation.

He serves on Editorial boards of several Journals, including the European Heart Journal, Circulation Research and Hypertension. Prof Guzik is an Editor-in-Chief of Cardiovascular Research, serves as a board member of the European Society of Cardiology, is Chairperson of the European Society of Cardiology Research and EU Grants Committee, and is a Chair Elect of the British Atherosclerosis Society.

Professor Ziad Mallat

Ziad Mallat received his MD and qualification in Cardiovascular Diseases from University of Pierre et Marie Curie in 1996, and his Ph.D. in Vascular Biology, Thrombosis and Haemostasis from University of Paris-Diderot in 1999. He joined INSERM, Paris in 1998 and became Research Professor in 2007. He is currently the British Heart Foundation Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine at the University of Cambridge, UK. Mallat is Co-Editor of Atherosclerosis, Consulting Editor for Cardiovascular Research, and serves on the Editorial Board of Circulation Research, and JCI Insight. His work aims to understand the role of the immune system in the development and progression of cardiovascular diseases. Mallat was the first to identify a major atheroprotective role of regulatory T cells and associated anti-inflammatory cytokines, IL-10 and TGF-b. More recently, he identified selective pathogenic and protective roles for defined B cell and innate lymphoid cell subsets in atherosclerosis and cardiac remodelling following ischemic injury. His basic science research is complemented by proof-of-concept clinical trials in patients with coronary artery disease. In 2020, Mallat was elected to the Academy of Medical Sciences, UK, for having made "sustained and internationally recognised contributions to our understanding of cardiovascular immunology and atherosclerotic disease and translated these novel findings into clinical trials."

Professor Thomas Lüscher

Professor Lüscher (www.tomluescher.ch) studied medici-ne at the University of Zurich and obtained board certifi-cation in internal medicine and cardiology in Switzer-land and is GMC certifification in the U.K..
He trained at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, USA in cardiovascular physiology and cardiology and was Professor of Pharmacotherapy and Director of Clinical Phar-macology at the University Hospitals Basel, then Professor and Vice-Chairman of Cardiology at the University Hospital Bern and later Professor and Chairman of Cardio-logy and Director of the University Heart Center at the University Hospital Zurich, Switzerland. Since 2017, he is Director of Research, Education & Development and consultant cardiologist at the Royal Brompton & Harefield Hospitals and professor of cardiology at the Imperial College and Kings College in London, U.K.. He also holds a parttime commitment as Chairman of the Center for Molecular Cardiology at the University of Zurich (see www.cmc.uzh.ch).

Professor Lüscher has been mentoring numerous physicians and scientists from around the world with many holding chairs or directorships at universities and major hospitals in Switzerland, Europe, Asia and North America.
His research is translational and focuses on endothelium-derived mediators and their alteration with aging, hypertension, lipids and inflammation as well as on atheroscle-rosis, coronary artery disease, acute coronary syndromes and heart failure. He is among the 0.1% most cited scientists with a h-index of 151 (Research Gate).

He is an editor of the ESC Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine (Oxford University Press 2019) and the Module Innere Medizin (Springer Verlag, Heidelberg, FRG) and of the Manual of Cardiovascular Medicine (Oxford University Press 2022). He lectures worldwide and is also active on social media (https://twitter.com/TomLuscher) and has his own youtube channel (https://www.youtube.com/c/InsideCardiology). He was editor-in-chief of the European Heart Journal 2009-2020 (last IF 29.9) and continues as senior editor. He is now president elect of the European Society of Cardiology.

Professor Steve Watson

Steve Watson holds a British Foundation Chair (BHF) in Cardiovascular Sciences and Cellular Pharmacology in the University of Birmingham.  He is head of the Birmingham Platelet Group, which consists of 11 clinical and non-clinical PIs, including BHF Intermediate and Senior Research Fellows.  His research focusses on cell surface receptors and their signalling pathways, specialising on immune receptors in platelets which signal through Src and Syk family tyrosine kinases.   This includes the collagen receptor GPVI which is the target of a block Fab, glenzocimab, which has entered a Phase 2b clinical trial in Birmingham in acute coronary syndromes (lead Mark Thomas).  Watson has an interest in the genetics of platelet bleeding disorders. 

Watson undertook a degree in Pharmacology in the University of Leeds and then a PhD in Pharmacology in Cambridge on receptor subtypes for the peptide transmitter substance P.  He then moved to Burroughs Wellcome, North Carolina, where he began his work on signalling pathways in platelets.  He moved to the Department of Pharmacology in Oxford supported by fellowships from the Royal Society and BHF.  He was elected to the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2002 and moved to Birmingham in 2004.  He is currently a Wellcome Trust Investigator, Director of a Wellcome Trust 4 year doctoral training programme, and Co-Director of the Thrombo-inflammation theme in the BRC in Inflammation in Birmingham. He has an H-index of 107.

Watson is a Trustee for the British Pharmacological Society and a previous editor for the British Journal of Pharmacology. He is an editor of Trends in Pharmacological Sciences (TiPS) and has just stepped down as Editor-in-Chief of Platelets.  He is a former member of Council of the International Society of Thrombosis and Haemostasis and a founding member of the UK Charity, the Platelet Society on which he is a Trustee.

Watson’s interest in nomenclature began as a PhD student but then took off when he sent a picture of a table from his first PhD student, Steve Guard, to the Editor of TiPS proposing this as the basis of document on receptor nomenclature.  This led to the publication of the TiPS Receptor Nomenclature and Ion Channel Supplement (the precursor of The Guide to Pharmacology Database) which he co-edited with the editor of TiPS, Alison Abbot, for 3 years and then 5 years with her successor, Debbie Girdlestone.  He was a member of the Nomenclature Committee in IUPHAR for approximately 10 years.

Professor Adrian Hobbs

Professor Adrian Hobbs holds a Chair in Cardiovascular Pharmacology at the William Harvey Research Institute, Queen Mary University of London. His research interests revolve around the cardiac and vascular pharmacology of nitric oxide and natriuretic peptides; fields in which he has published more than 200 articles attracting greater than 13000 citations. Adrian obtained his BSc (1st, 1989) and PhD (1992) in Pharmacology from King’s College London, and subsequently received a Fulbright-Hays Fellowship to work at the University of California, Los Angeles (1993). He returned to the UK in 1996 and was the recipient of Wellcome Trust Career Development and Senior Fellowship Awards at University College London before becoming a Reader in 2007. Adrian is a Fellow (2016) and Elected Trustee (2023) of the British Pharmacological Society and been a member since 1996; he has also served on the Membership & Awards Committee (2014-2020) and as an Editor for the British Journal of Pharmacology (2000-2005). In 2004 he received the BPS Novartis Prize. Adrian is Senior Editor for the Nitric Oxide Journal (2016-) and Chair of an International Union of Basic and Clinical Pharmacology nomenclature committee (2014-), and a member of the International Cyclic GMP Conference organising team (2014-).

Professor Alberico Catapano

Prof. Alberico L. Catapano is director of Cardiovascular Research of IRCCS Multimedica of Sesto San Giovanni and of the Lipoproteins and Atherosclerosis Laboratory of the same IRCCS, Director of the Center for the Study, Prevention and Therapy of Atherosclerosis of the Bassini Hospital, President of the Italian Society of Clinical and Experimental Therapy (SITeCS), President of the Italian Society for the Study of atherosclerosis (SISA) and of the SISA Foundation. For the European Atherosclerosis Society (EAS), he is coordinator of the Past President Guidelines of the European  Atherosclerosis Society (EAS), Professor Catapano is currently Co-Chairman of the EAS/European Society of  Cardiology (ESC) guidelines for the treatment of dyslipoproteinemias. and lipid consensus documents, as  well as lead partner of the lipid clinics network. 

His main research interests include the study of atherosclerosis, lipids, lipoproteins and genetic  dyslipidemias, and he has made important observations on heat shock proteins and pentraxins in  atherogenesis, high density lipoproteins in the modulation of the immune response and on the  identification of possible therapeutic targets by exploiting genetic information. 

Co-editor of Atherosclerosis and Associate Editor of numerous other scientific journals, he is the author of  over 600 publications in national and international journals https://bit.ly/CatapanoA-PubMed. 
He has more than 50,000 citations in the last 5 years, over 150,000 in his career https://bit.ly/CatapanoAL- GoogleScholar and is among the most cited scientists in 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022 according to Clarivate. 

Professor Carlo Patrono

Carlo Patrono received his M.D. degree from the Catholic University School of Medicine (UCSC) in Rome, Italy, and trained as a Postdoctoral Fellow at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York with the late Solomon Berson and Nobel Laureate Rosalyn Yalow. He is Adjunct Professor of Pharmacology at the UCSC.

His main research interest is in the study of platelet activation and inhibition in atherothrombosis and colorectal cancer. His research has characterized the human pharmacology of aspirin as an inhibitor of platelet thromboxane production, and provided the basis for the development of low-dose aspirin as an antithrombotic agent. Moreover, Prof. Patrono contributed to characterizing the human pharmacology of selective cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitors and evaluating their cardiovascular effects in different clinical settings. 

He is an elected member of the Association of American Physicians, Royal College of Physicians, Academia Europaea and Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei.  
He shared with Dr. Garret FitzGerald the 2013 Grand Prix Scientifique, awarded by the Institut de France, for his work on low-dose aspirin. 
He is a Section Editor of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology and Deputy Editor of the European Heart Journal.  
Prof. Patrono has published over 250 research articles with over 85,000 citations and an h-index of 113. 

Professor Mark Kearney

Professor Mark Kearney is Executive Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Health at the University of Leeds. He is also British Heart Foundation Professor of Cardiovascular and Diabetes Research and clinical consultant cardiologist with an interest in the mechanisms underlying diabetes related heart disease and the natural history and new treatments for patients with heart failure. Mark is currently on the research committee of Diabetes UK having served on the project and fellowship committees of the British Heart Foundation. He joined the MRC Experimental Medicine Committee in 2022, and also became a member of the MRC Infrastructure and Capital Advisory Group (ICSAG). 

His research group includes members with a wide range of skills addressing the link between diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Within ten years over 500million people will suffer from type 2 diabetes which we now know is a disease of the large and small blood vessels. Mark Kearney’s team is working on the link between changes in insulin and IGF-1 signalling in the blood vessel wall and diabetes with the aim of designing new ways of treating the devastating cardiovascular complications of type 2 diabetes. Mark is passionate about training tomorrow’s leaders in cardiovascular research. 

Professor Anthony Davenport

Anthony Davenport is Professor of Cardiovascular Pharmacology, University of Cambridge. He was previously British Heart Foundation Principal Scientist and for ten years held a BHF Science Lectureship.  He has been a member of the  BPS for 30 years and in 2020 he was elected to an Honorary Fellowship of the Society. He is also an International Fellow of the American Heart Association.  He is a long standing executive member of the International Union of Pharmacology Committee on Receptor Nomenclature and Drug Classification, that oversees the BPS/IUPHAR data base of drugs and their targets at http://www.guidetopharmacology.org/. 

His research focusses on the role of G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) particularly the apelin and endothelin (ET-1) signalling pathways in the human cardiovascular system and discovery of novel therapeutic agents. This includes the first G protein biased apelin receptor agonist, MM07, that beneficially increases vasodilatation and cardiac output without desensitising the receptor, in proof-of-principle clinical studies. MM07 has also been shown to be disease modifying in reversing pulmonary arterial hypertension in an animal model.  The X-ray crystal structure of the apelin receptor complexed with a small molecule biased agonist has been determined and  being used to characterise apelin receptor variation in patients from 100 000 genome Bridge project. 

He is a currently a co-investigator with Colin Berry (University of Glasgow) for the PRIZE clinical trial to repurpose an endothelin receptor antagonist for the treatment of microvascular angina. This is a precision medicine trial is enriching the patient population by genotyping for a SNP that increases circulating levels of ET-1.

In response to the pandemic, his research group pivoted to map the expression of ACE2 in the human cardiovascular system, that is essential for SARS-CoV-2 entry into the host cells. Genes encoding ACE2, TMPRSS2 mediating viral entry were significantly upregulated with age in human cardiomyocytes. In the plasma of patients hospitalised with Covid-19,  ET-1 was significantly increased contributing to vasoconstriction and ET antagonists are currently being tested for efficacy.
In collaboration with Sanjay Sinha (University of Cambridge), human embryonic stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes have been shown to be exquisitely sensitive to viral infection but entry could be blocked by novel inhibitors of SARS-CoV-2. In a recent Nature paper led by Fotios Sampaziotis (University of Cambridge),  the  farnesoid X receptor has been shown to regulate ACE2 expression but levels can be downregulated using the clinically approved antagonist ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA) reducing viral entry.


Sponsored by

British Pharmacological Society 

British Heart Foundation 

Supported by 

Cardiovascular Research 

18 April 2023
19 April 2023
10.00am BST to 4.10pm BST
Delivery Method
Online Only

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