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Fellow recognised for research into “devastating” medical condition

Tuesday 30 June 2020

Professor Nick Morrell (2013) has been awarded the John Vane Medal by the William Harvey Research Institute at Queen Mary University of London. The award is presented annually to celebrate outstanding achievement linked to the Nobel Prize-winning research interests of the late Sir John Vane.

In addition to being a Fellow of St Catharine’s, Professor Morrell is the British Heart Foundation Professor of Cardiopulmonary Medicine at the University of Cambridge’s School of Clinical Medicine. He is a clinician scientist and Director of the new Cambridge Heart and Lung Research Institute.

His award was presented during the William Harvey Research Institute’s Annual Research Review, which this year was hosted online on 24 June. Accepting the award, Professor Morrell spoke about how his research has leveraged clues from human genetics to advance the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension.

“I am delighted and honoured to receive this award from the William Harvey Research Institute for work identifying genetic mechanisms of pulmonary arterial hypertension and developing new treatments for this devastating condition. I have always admired Sir John Vane as a pioneer in cardiovascular pharmacology and how his research translated into life-saving treatments for patients – so it is a genuine privilege for my team’s research to be recognised with an award in his memory,” said Professor Nick Morrell.

Professor Sir Mark Caulfield, Co-Director of the William Harvey Research Institute, commented, “It is a real honour to name Professor Nicholas Morrell as the recipient of the John Vane Medal. Especially in view of his long association with William Harvey Research Institute through our John Vane memorial conferences and his outstanding achievements and contribution to the field of pulmonary hypertension research, which was at the heart of our founder Sir John Vane’s work.”

In patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension, the walls of the blood vessels that supply the lungs become thick and stiff, narrowing the space for blood to circulate and increasing blood pressure. There is no cure available at present, but available treatments can reduce the symptoms and improve patients’ quality of life.

Pictured: The John Vane Medal awarded by the William Harvey Research Institute