CCUL a pioneer in cardiovascular research among the best National R & D Units
The Cardiovascular Centre of the University of Lisbon (CCUL) is one of FMUL's research centres. It consists of 107 researchers, of which 30 are PhDs and 14 are PhD students. Organised into 13 Research Units, its mission is to understand the processes of cardiovascular science in health and disease: Coronary and Structural Disease Unit, led by Professor Fausto Pinto; Pulmonary Hypertension and Valvular Disease Unit, led by Professor Ana Almeida; Surgery, Imaging and Vascular Biology Unit, currently led by Professor Luís Mendes Pedro; Cardiomyopathies and Cardiac Insufficiency Unit, led by Professor Dulce Brito; Electrophysiology and Pacing Unit, currently led by Doctor João de Sousa; Paramyloidosis Unit, led by Professor Conceição Coutinho; Cardiovascular Neuronal Dysfunction and Hypertension Unit, led by Professor José Braz Nogueira and Professor Carlos Moreira; Nephrology Unit, led by Professor Edgar Almeida; Cardiovascular Autonomic Function Unit, led by Professor Isabel Rocha; Cardio-oncology Unit led by Professor Manuela Fiuza; Angiogenesis Unit, led by Professor Susana Constantino; Rehabilitation and Cardiovascular Exercise Unit, led by Professor Ana Abreu and the Therapeutic and Cardiovascular Pharmacology Unit, led by Professor Daniel Caldeira. This growth environment led the CCUL to a deep internal restructuring, now emerging with a rejuvenated organisation. Professor Fausto Pinto maintains the presidency of the CCUL, now with an internal and external Scientific Committee (Advisory Board) and an Executive Commission. Jointly, they ensure the proper functioning of all Research Units, in a dynamic interaction with various Scientific Platforms that are essential to the execution of the researchers' work. Supported by three pillars: clinical and translational research, pre- and postgraduate training and clinical activity, the CCUL aims to strengthen its fundamental research strand as well as clinical research in a true translational attitude. The CCUL is currently involved in dozens of studies, including thirty-five clinical studies with other international centres and runs 3 Horizonte 2020 projects. Through the innovation and relevance of its research, this centre has managed to attract international and national funding. With Education as one of the main pillars, the CCUL is particularly investing in postgraduate training. The Master's Degree in Cardiovascular Rehabilitation started in the current academic year and the approval of the Master's Degrees in Cardiovascular Imaging and Clinical Research for 2020 are a testimony to it. Every year the CCUL organises different postgraduate courses, Cardio-oncology, Focus on CTO and Pulmonary Hypertension are good examples. Every month, CCUL researchers share their work and discuss new ideas from a multidisciplinary perspective in the so-called Cardiovascular Lunch Break.
In order to engage society, the CCUL created the educational project: For a Healthy Heart. This project was created in October 2018 and its mission is to visit a school (3-18 years) monthly and transmit healthy living habits in order to prevent cardiovascular diseases. Within the scope of this project, the CCUL obtained funding to better promote Cardiovascular Health through the Living Science's Communicate Health Contest. This funding is intended to develop innovative pedagogical communication tools that captivate the young and improve learning efficiency on the importance of a healthy heart while at the same time sensitizing their families.
The CCUL was recently rated as Very Good by the FCT. This evaluation included the delivery of an activity report of the last and next 5 years of research by the CCUL to the FCT and the local visit of an international jury. With the merit of the centre acknowledged in the feedback it has received , it is clear that it is the right time for the CCUL to continue its research by attracting young researchers of recognised value, as well as international and national sources of funding, contributing to the innovation in, and overall impact on, the cardiovascular area.
“The Unit is quite productive with many publications including international collaborations. The translational research approach has been further improved and expertise in basic science has been recruited. The clinical studies with required imaging and other technologies are quite impressive and it is clear that the Unit is an attractive international research partner. Integration of basic and medical researchers has been clearly documented, also in several publications. In summary, this is a well integrated Unit with very high clinical expertise and with increasing translational medicine approach. Continuation along these paths is identified in the Unit application and should lead to further strengthening its international reputation.” Excerto da Avaliação FCT (Junho 2019).
Prof.ª Doutora Susana Constantino
CCUL Executive Director