Adrian Chester obtained a B.Sc (Hons) in Pharmacology from Portsmouth Polytechnic and a Ph.D. for the University of London. He is current the Deputy Director of Research at the Magdi Yacoub Institute. He is also an Honorary Senior Research Fellow at Imperial College London and hold an Honorary appointment at the Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Trust. Adrian is also the appointed MYI Health & Safety Officer and Chair of the MYI Health and Safety Committee. Adrian has published over 150 peer reviewed articles, reviews and chapter in books. He has been in receipt of grant funding from the BHF, BBSRC, MRC, Leducq Foundation and the Royal Society. He is on the Editorial Board of a number of Journals and is an Associate Editor for the Journal of Translational Cardiovascular Research. Between 2007-2015 he was the Secretary and Treasurer of the Society for Heart Valve Disease.
His research is focused on the role of valve endothelial and interstitial cells in the regulation of heart valve function and in the processes that lead to the calcification of the aortic valve. These projects are closely related to a programme of research within the Heart Science Centre that has the goal of tissue engineering a human heart valve. The group works closely with Clinicians, Engineers and Material Scientists through a number of national and international collaborative projects.
It is now widely accepted that the aortic valve is regulated by complex mechanisms that are initially evident during embryonic development, and highly relevant during adaptation of the valve after birth and growth into adulthood. Clinical results obtained with the Ross Procedure are superior to all other valve replacements and illustrates the importance of a ‘living valve’. While aortic valves tend to function well throughout life, in up to 3% of people over the age of 75, calcified lesions on the valve impede its function.
The goal of our work is to understand the molecular and cellular mechanisms that regulate the cellular components of heart valves and how these cells influence the function of heart valves in health and disease. In addition to providing a basis of development of medical therapies for heart valve disease, this information will also be used as a blueprint for tissue engineering a “living” heart valve. The descriptions below of the work carried out by members of the group in the Heart Science Centre and in collaboration with a range of different groups across the world demonstrate how we are aiming to achieve our goals.