University of Dundee University of Dundee
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22 September 2009

Dundee receives healthy boost to research from nation's heart charity

Scientists at the University of Dundee have recently been awarded a prestigious grant of over £87,000 by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) as part of a £300,000 boost for heart research in Scotland.

The charity's special grants are made several times a year to fund research into the causes, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of heart and circulatory disease, Scotland's biggest killer.

Marjory Burns, Director of BHF Scotland, said: 'Thanks to the generous support from fundraisers and volunteers in across Scotland, we can invest in this top notch heart research in Dundee.'

'Each project solves a piece of the puzzle of heart and circulatory disease. We urge people to continue donating time and money so that we can continue to fund such vital and pioneering research.'

Details of the recent grant to the University of Dundee research team:

  • Grant recipient: Dr Sandy Harper
  • Research institution: University of Dundee
  • Grant amount: £87,352
  • What the project will aim to achieve: The nervous system links the brain to the heart and circulatory system so that heart rate matches the body's activity. The nervous system helps to keep heart rate low when the body is resting, and instructs an increase in work rate when the body's activity level changes. Dr Sandy Harper from the University of Dundee will investigate chemical substances in the brain and nervous system called 'neurotransmitters' which send signals to the circulatory system. The findings may lead to new ways to prevent potentially life-threatening heart rhythm disorders that may occur when communication between the circulatory and nervous systems break down.

For more information about the project grant or to arrange an interview with a scientist, contact BHF Scotland Communications Officers Clare Shaw ( or 0131 561 3355) or Marjory Wood ( or 0131 561 3351).

Notes to editors

  • BHF Scotland is leading the battle against heart and circulatory disease - Scotland's biggest killer. The Charity is a major funder and authority in cardiovascular research. It plays an important role in funding education, both of the public and of health professionals, and in providing life-saving cardiac equipment and support for rehabilitation and patient care.
  • For more information about the BHF, visit
  • For more news from BHF Scotland, visit

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Roddy Isles
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