Queen Mary University of London William Harvey Research Institute

Queen Mary University of London William Harvey Research Institute

Queen Mary University of London William Harvey Research Institute

About us

The William Harvey Research Institute was established in 1986 by the Nobel Laureate Sir John Vane (discoverer of the action of aspirin and prostacyclin) with the goal of becoming an international powerhouse for pharmacological research operating at the academic/industry interface. We have now grown to accommodate 380 researchers from 45 countries and have been rated amongst the top 20 multidisciplinary pharmacological research centres worldwide.


  • To lead world-class research in cardiovascular, inflammatory and endocrine diseases with the aim of discovering new mechanisms, validating targets and leading therapeutic innovation with translation into patient care
  • To provide the highest calibre teaching in pharmacology and safe prescribing
  • To be the leading place to train for UK and international postgraduate students and to develop young talented scientists in therapeutic innovation
  • To develop international partnerships with pharma and biotechs.


  • In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework 90% of our research focused on therapeutic innovation in cardiovascular disease, inflammation and endocrinology, and was rated as world-leading or internationally excellent
  • In Nature Journals our cardiovascular discoveries in hypertension, disorders of rhythm and coronary disease along with functional characterization have enabled new therapies and repurposing opportunities for unmet need. Using the translational platform of our successive NIHR Biomedical Research Units (£12m) we have created the £400M Barts Heart Centre where we developed and implement NICE Guidance for hypertension (NICE 2011)
  • Our high-impact discoveries in inflammation on leucocyte migration, annexin, invention of new molecules targeting melanocortin are published in top journals and have been commercialised. Our MRC/NIHR funded stratified healthcare trials of biologic response in arthritis have generated worldwide pharma partnerships
  • In endocrine research our genomic discoveries in familial acromegaly has allowed us to stratify those who would benefit from early therapy avoiding shortened lives
  • With an EU Cofund (€6M), an EU PhD scheme (€2.9M), BHF PhD and MRC MRes schemes we created the WHRI Translational Academy for Therapeutic Innovation to train future pharmacologists across the world.


The William Harvey Research Institute at Queen Mary University of London is one of the largest multidisciplinary pharmacological institutes in Europe that was founded in 1986 by the pharmacologist Sir John Vane FRS, Nobel Laureate, for his work on inflammation and vascular pharmacology. Today the Institute has three key themes of cardiovascular, inflammation and endocrine research and has grown to 350 in number, drawing from over 45 Nations.

We host 9 British Heart Foundation/Wellcome/MRC Programmes Awards, 2 European Union Framework (EU) 7 Programmes (11m Euros). Importantly, we place a major emphasis on training the next top class cadre of basic and clinical scientists and through the award of prestigious PhD/ Masters programmes from the British Heart Foundation, the Nuffield Foundation Oliver Bird scheme, an MRC in vivo programme and an EU Marie Curie Cofund scheme (6.5m Euros) we have created the WHRI Translational Academy for Therapeutic Innovation to educate and train the researchers of the future.

Our commitment to translation of bench findings to the clinic is reflected by our successes in hosting two consecutive awards for a National Institute for Health Research Cardiovascular Biomedical Research Unit (£12m), an Arthritis Research UK Early Arthritis Treatment Centre, an MRC Centre in Electronic Health based around innovative trial designs with remote follow-up, alongside opening a £25m new Heart Centre. A reflection of our success in translation is exemplified by our critical role in launching the new NICE guidelines for pharmacotherapy in Hypertension and implementing our research in renal denervation for resistant hypertension within the NHS. This is set alongside an active public engagement programme ranging from organising the Queen Mary Science Festival and exhibiting at the Royal Society Summer School aimed at enthusing the next generation of therapeutic innovators.

Research themes

Our main areas of research are aligned and integrated with the main themes pursued across Barts & The London School of Medicine & Dentistry. These include:

  • Genomics & Stratified Medicine
  • Experimental Medicine & Pharmacology
  • Translational Pharmacology & Therapeutic Innovation

Research Centres


The William Harvey Research Foundation is a charity promoting and supporting fundamental research into cardiovascular and inflammatory disease, leading to new understanding of the human body, which advances the discovery of new medicines.

This pioneering work is pursued by world-leading scientists at the William Harvey Research Institute. The Foundation seeks to strengthen these efforts to develop innovative treatments by supporting essential research, with new funds for project grants, PhD studentships and academic chairs in recognition of outstanding achievement.

Find out more about the William Harvey Research Foundation.