Ivy League lectures for Glasgow professors

Issued: Mon, 31 Mar 2008 15:50:00 BST

Five University of Glasgow professors are heading to New York to give a series of lectures at one of the world’s most prestigious universities.

Columbia University will host the talks throughout April, as the Glasgow academics share their experience of public health and the study of heart disease.

Professors Anna Dominiczak, Godfrey Smith, Ian Ford, Carol Tannahill and Andrew Briggs will each highlight their expertise forged in Glasgow’s unique clinical environment.

The poor health of the citizens of Glasgow and the west of Scotland over the past century has allowed researchers to build up unrivalled experience in dealing with cardiovascular health. Medical breakthroughs developed in Glasgow have been achieved through the close relationship between researchers and the public and through the volume of people in the region suffering from cardiovascular complications.

Now, those at the forefront in the fight against heart disease are taking their experiences to New York as part of this prestigious lecture series.

University of Glasgow Principal, Sir Muir Russell said: “The University is building strong links with Columbia and lectures such as these are a first-class way to forge new connections.

“It is extremely rare for five high-profile professors from the one institution to be invited to speak at an Ivy League university.

“We are both pleased and proud to have been invited and our five ambassadors will give New Yorkers an insight into the work being conducted at the University of Glasgow.”

Ian Lapp, PhD, associate dean for academic affairs and education at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health said: “We are delighted to host these important scholars from the University of Glasgow and to provide a forum to explore such a critical global health challenge.”

Professor Anna Dominiczak, Director of the British Heart Foundation Glasgow Cardiovascular Research Centre said: “Columbia is a world leader in biomedicine, and to be invited to speak there is a measure of the research being carried out in Glasgow.

“This is a unique opportunity to take our experiences and understandings and present them over five lectures and we are grateful for the invitation.”

Professor Dominiczak will discuss how systems biology is being put to use in cardiovascular medicine to help develop treatments and drugs. And she will highlight the leading role researchers in Glasgow are playing in the new ways in which heart disease is identified and treated earlier than ever before.

The world-renown West of Scotland Coronary Prevention Study will be the focus of the lecture given by Ian Ford, Professor of Biostatistics and Director of Robertson Centre for Biostatistics. He will outline how, over the past 20 years, the study has followed patients to determine the advantages of taking statins to lower cholesterol. He will also talk about the way in which medical records in Scotland are linked, making tracing patients over a long period of time easy and manageable.

Professor Carol Tannahill, Director of the Glasgow Centre for Population Health, will ask if Glasgow still merits the label of “sick city of Europe”, she will examine what sort of knowledge and learning are needed to turn around the health profile of a city like Glasgow and she will give some examples of approaches that are being developing that bring public health knowledge into the heart of city decision-making. 

Professor Andrew Briggs, Lindsay Chair in Health Policy and Economic Evaluation, will look at how cardiovascular risk tables can be used to estimate life-years gained and will discuss their use for guiding health policy and evaluating health economics.

Godfrey Smith, Professor of Cardiovascular Physiology, will discuss how small intracellular regulatory proteins influence the electrical and mechanical properties of the heart. Alteration in the levels of these proteins have been linked to poor contractility and electrical instability in heart failure. Understanding these novel regulatory processes has lead to new therapies for the treatment of heart failure.

For more information, please contact Ray McHugh in the University of Glasgow Media Relations Office on 00 44 141 330 3535 or email r.mchugh@admin.glasgow.ac.uk


The lecture programme runs from April 2 until April 30.

Full details are -

Wed 2nd April Godfrey Smith, PhD
12 noon - 1pm Professor of Cardiovascular Physiology
Modulation of cardiac excitation-contraction coupling by small cytoplasmic proteins
Columbia University Medical Centre (CUMC), Department of Pharmacology, Pharmacology
Library (BB7-724), 630 West 168th St

Wed 9th April Ian Ford, PhD FRCP (Glasg) FRSE
1pm - 2pm Professor of Biostatistics and Director of Robertson Centre for Biostatistics
The West of Scotland Coronary Prevention Study: 20 years and still going
Mailman School of Public Health, Hess Commons, Allan Rosenfield Building, 722 West 168 St

Wed 16th April Anna Dominiczak, OBE MD FRCP FRSE FAHA FMedSci
12 noon - 1pm Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine and Director of the British Heart Foundation (BHF)
Glasgow Cardiovascular Research Centre
Genomics, Proteomics and other omics in Cardiovascular Medicine
CUMC - Medicine, Physicians & Surgeons Building, Amphitheater, 1st Floor, 630 West 168th St

Fri 25th April Carol Tannahill, MPH PhD FFPH
1pm -2.30pm Director of the Glasgow Centre for Population Heath
Glasgow’s Health - Learning how to improve health in the Sick City of Europe
Mailman School of Public Heath, Hammer Health Center Room 301, 722 West 168th St

Wed 30th April Andrew Briggs, MSc DPhil
4.00pm - 5.30pm Lindsay Chair in Health Policy and Economic Evaluation
Health Economic Life-expectancy Predictions (HELP) for decision makers: can cardiovascular risk tables be adapted to estimate life-years gained?
Mailman School of Public Health, Hess Commons, Allan Rosenfield Building, 722 West 168 St


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