Prof Nicholas Mills wins prestigious award for pioneering heart attack research

CVS Professor presented with 2019 BHF Research Fellow of the Year Award

On June 4th, Professor Nicholas Mills was presented with the BHF Research Fellow of the Year Award at the 2019 British Cardiovascular Society (BCS) conference in Manchester, in recognition of his pioneering work in the detection of heart attacks.

Professor Mills, a British Heart Foundation (BHF) Senior Clinical Research Fellow at the Centre for Cardiovascular Science, has worked to improve the detection of heart attacks through the use of high sensitivity troponin tests. Troponin is a protein released from damaged heart muscle, and is an indicator of heart attack. Mills’ research has investigated whether using more sensitive troponin tests could save lives by detecting heart attacks that had previously gone undiagnosed.

It is clear that using a single troponin level to both rule in and rule out a heart attack in all individuals is too simplistic. Troponin levels differ in men and women, and in those with and without other conditions. To continue to improve outcomes from heart disease we need to recognise this variation and use these tests more effectively to identify and target treatment to those individuals at risk.

Professor Nicholas Mills
Nick Mills profile image
Professor Nicholas Mills

This ground-breaking research was published in the Lancet journal in 2018, and was the basis for Professor Mills’ award. The winner of the BHF Research Fellow of the Year award is chosen by the BHF’s Medical Director and Associate Medical Directors, based on research publications by BHF Research Fellows during the previous year. Both Professor Metkin Avkiran, Associate Medical Director (Research) at the BHF and James Can, Director of BHF Scotland, commented on the importance of Professor Mills' research.

Professor Metin Avkiran said: “Research like the study carried out by Professor Mills and his team will ultimately not only lead to better diagnosis and more effective treatment of heart attacks but also allow patients who have not had a heart attack to be discharged safely and with appropriate reassurance.”

James Cant remarked: “We would like to congratulate Professor Mills on winning this award for his outstanding work in this area. Almost every hour in Scotland someone is admitted to hospital having had a heart attack. We want to see nine out of ten people surviving a heart attack in the next ten years and Professor Mills’ important work and the work of our team of researchers across the country can play a pivotal role in helping us achieve this.”

Related Links

Lancet Journal Article

High-Sensitivity Cardiac Troponin and Coronary Heart Disease (High-STEACs Project)