UK Researcher Recognized for Efforts to Develop New PH Diagnostic, Treatment Tools

Patricia Inácio, PhD avatar

by Patricia Inácio, PhD |

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Professor David Kiely, MD, and his team at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in the United Kingdom, received a national award from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Clinical Research Network and Royal College of Physicians.

Kiely, who is director of the Sheffield Pulmonary Vascular Disease Unit for 16 years, was recognized for his research to develop new tools for diagnosing and treating pulmonary hypertension, and for outstanding research leadership in the NHS.

Kiely’s team provides specialist care to more than 15 million people throughout the U.K. They participated in more than 40 studies focusing on pulmonary hypertension, with several of them leading to new ways to treat the disease.

Kiely’s lab, together with colleagues from other specialties at Sheffield, also helped develop new pulmonary hypertension diagnostic techniques, including magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), that substituted for a number of invasive tests. These new methods were not only safer, but more comfortable for patients.

“Working with specialists from other parts of our Trust and the University of Sheffield, in particular Professor Jim Wild and Dr. Andy Swift, who have helped in developing pioneering new imaging techniques, and Dr. Allan Lawrie who has identified potential new drug targets, has helped our goal of delivering more research for the benefit of patients” Kiely said in a press release.

“We’ve also given patients more opportunities to be involved in research by setting up dedicated research clinics and working with patient groups, such as Pulmonary Hypertension Association UK (PHA UK), to understand what patients want from research and how best to get patients involved,” Kiely added.

One of Kiely’s goals is to increase patient participation, which has significantly contributed to the development of new therapies, he explained.

Moreover, the collaborative nature of his research with other teams was crucial for his lab achievements.

“The award is a result of a huge amount of teamwork by a wide variety of people. I would like to thank my colleagues and collaborators at the University of Sheffield, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, including the Clinical Research Office and Clinical Research Facility, Iain Armstrong of the PHA UK, and most importantly, our patients.” Kiely said.

Now, “we look forward to giving patients more opportunities to take part in research and hope we can do more to improve the lives of people affected by pulmonary hypertension,” he said.