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Dr James Rudd, Heart's Digital Media Editor, interviewed Professor Peter Weissberg (Figure 1), Medical Director of the British Heart Foundation (BHF), in May 2016. As the largest independent funder of cardiovascular research in the UK (around £100 million annually), Peter has sage advice for young researchers considering a career in cardiovascular science. He looks back at some highlights from his 12 years at the BHF. Finally, Peter explains why there has never been a better time to consider a career in cardiovascular research.
The interview was released as an audio podcast, which is available online via iTunes and at heart.bmj.com. This is an edited transcript.
Professor Weissberg underwent most of his early clinical training in and around Birmingham, before specialising in cardiology and being appointed Lecturer in Cardiovascular Medicine in the University of Birmingham in 1983.
Between 1985 and 1987, Professor Weissberg was a Medical Research Council Travelling Fellow at the Baker Medical Research Institute in Melbourne, Australia, where he developed his interest in vascular smooth muscle cell biology.
On returning to the UK in 1988, Professor Weissberg began his long relationship with the BHF when he was awarded a BHF Senior Research Fellowship (Honorary Consultant Cardiologist) in the Department of Medicine in Cambridge. In 1994, he was appointed as the first BHF Chair of Cardiovascular Medicine in Cambridge.
Professor Weissberg was an Honorary Consultant Cardiologist at Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge and Director of Cardiology there for 13 years.
His own research focused on the molecular biology of atherosclerosis, in particular the role of smooth muscle cells and the non-invasive imaging and quantification of plaque inflammation.
In June 2016, he was awarded The Mackenzie Medal by the British Cardiovascular Society in recognition …
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