Sir Nilesh Samani, Professor of Cardiology at the University of Leicester, Honorary Consultant Cardiologist at University Hospitals of Leicester, and Medical Director of the British Heart Foundation, has been awarded the prestigious European Society of Cardiology Gold Medal in recognition of his contribution to cardiovascular medicine and research.
The Gold Medal is the European Society of Cardiology’s highest honour, and was presented at the Society’s annual conference last week.
The main focus of Professor Samani’s research has been in understanding the links between genetics and heart and circulatory conditions.
His research, undertaken with collaborators around the world, has identified over 200 genes associated with risk of coronary artery disease which causes heart attacks.
The important findings from his research are being used to understand more about the mechanisms of heart and circulatory conditions, to develop new treatments, and to help identify people at risk earlier so that steps can be taken to prevent the conditions occurring.
His work has established Leicester as an internationally-renowned centre for research into genetics of heart diseases.
Professor Samani has coupled his research with caring for patients at Glenfield Hospital. As a consultant for almost 30 years he has looked after thousands of patients from Leicestershire. His dedication to patient care has been widely appreciated by the local community and he has been awarded a Platinum Clinical Excellence award by the NHS.
As Medical Director of the BHF for the last four years, he has overseen the charity’s £100 million of new research funding every year and its medical activities. He was knighted in 2015 for services to medicine and medical research.
Professor Samani said: “I am deeply grateful to the ESC for this great honour. Being honoured by your peers is particularly special and means so much more.
“It is a great recognition of the quality of the work we do in Leicester. I would like to dedicate the medal to my family, to my wonderful research team and my academic and clinical colleagues in Leicester and to the hundreds of collaborators that I have had the privilege to work with around the world.”