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Developing new class of drugs based on targeting of mechanical pathways can be a game changer for CVDs

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Professor Paul Evans, Professor of Cardiovascular Science, Department of Infection, Immunity and Cardiovascular Disease, University of Sheffield, UK explains Express Healthcare about his award-winning research on atherosclerosis

Please tell us about your research on Atherosclerosis?

The award issued by the world-leading European Society of Cardiology (ESC) recognises my research on a disease called atherosclerosis in which arteries develop fatty plaques that can cause angina, heart attack or stroke. This disease is a major cause of disability and death but the mechanisms that cause it are not fully understood. My lab discovered several genes that are ‘switched on’ during atherosclerosis and drive the disease process, and we are now using this discovery as a basis to develop new medicines for patients with cardiovascular disease with funding from the British Heart Foundation and Medical Research Council.

Can you throw some light on the crucial points of the research? Were there any challenges faced? Any interesting projects you are working on? Please share some highlights on the same?

There are many challenges in research – including obtaining the funding, recruiting researchers and students and optimising laboratory techniques – but when these parts are in place the research can find new disease mechanisms and new medicine which is extremely exciting and rewarding. I have a fabulous team of talented students, research associates and fellows who are driving this work forward.

What according to you could be the game changer technology as far as treatment of heart diseases is concerned? CVDs are on rise all around the globe. Can you share some insights on its prevention and need of the hour?

Work from my lab and others shows that mechanical forces are critical drivers of cardiovascular disease, so I think that developing a new class of drugs based on targeting of mechanical pathways would be a real game changer for patients with cardiovascular disease.

Any key message you would like to give on World Heart Day?

Laboratory-based science is finding exciting new mechanisms of disease and a major challenge for us as a community is to use this information to develop new medicines to transform the lives of people with cardiovascular disease.

And there are some things that we can all do now – stop smoking (this is essential!), eat a balanced diet with fruit and vegetables, destress and exercise!!

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