Cardiovascular research themes

Exercise and the failing heart

Heart failure is a complex syndrome with impairment of cardiac, respiratory, musculoskeletal and vascular function, all of which contribute to reduced quality of life and mortality. Exercise has established benefits in patients with heart failure but debate continues as to the most appropriate exercise modality.

Our research investigates how the multiple organ and system impairments characteristic of heart failure integrate to cause fatigue and exercise intolerance, and limit quality of life and ultimately survival. We explore the mechanisms by which exercise exerts its benefits and the optimal training regimes that achieve these effects. Our approaches range from the measurement of gene expression to in vivo organ structure and function, complemented by in silico modelling.

View a list of academics within Exercise and the Failing Heart

View a list of postdoctoral researchers within Exercise and the Failing Heart

Key researchers in the area


Area of expertise

Dr Al Benson
Lecturer in Cardiovascular Science

Computational modelling; cardiopulmonary exercise testing; near infrared spectroscopy

Dr T. Scott Bowen
Lecturer in Exercise Physiology

Exercise training; heart failure; muscle wasting; experimental models; pulmonary gas exchange  

Dr Sarah Calaghan
Associate Professor in Cardiac Physiology

Rodent exercise analysis; muscle function; calcium signalling; compartmentalised signalling; caveolae; protein chemistry; post translational modification; light and electron microscopy 

Professor John Coyler
Professor of Biotechnology

Protein engineering; biomarker research; phospho-specific antibodies; quantitative biomarker technologies; medical diagnostics; cardiac cell biology; acute kidney injury

Dr Carrie Ferguson
Lecturer in Physiology

Mechanisms of exercise intolerance, cardiopulmonary exercise testing and interpretation, rehabilitation strategies 

Dr Izzy Jayasinghe 
Lecturer in Cardiovascular Science 

Development of 3D confocal and super-resolution microscopy tools to study the remodelling following exercise-induced skeletal myofibre damage

Dr Matthew Lancaster
Lecturer in Exercise Physiology

Factors predisposing to heart failure in old age; interaction of ageing and heart failure predisposing to arrhythmias

Dr Andrew Smith
Lecturer in Cardiovascular Science

Cardiovascular stem and progenitor cells; cell differentiation and function; gene and protein analyses

Dr Bryan Taylor
University Academic Fellow in Cardiovascular Exercise Medicine

Cardiopulmonary physiology; pulmonary hypertension; pulmonary gas exchange; pulmonary mechanics; respiratory muscle weakness and fatigue; exercise intolerance

Professor Ed White
Professor of Cardiac Physiology

Investigation of the changes in cardiac structure, mechanical and electrical activity in response to heart failure and the beneficial effects of exercise on these factors

Dr Klaus Witte
Lecturer in Cardiovascular Science 
Cardiology; heart failure; clinical trials; patient access