The John and Lucille van Geest Biomarker Facility was established in 2013 thanks to a £2.5 million donation from the John and Lucille van Geest Foundation. This initial investment laid the foundation for the establishment of a state-of-the-art laboratory dedicated to the discovery and development of biomarkers (naturally occurring molecules, genes, or characteristics by which a particular disease or chemical process in the body can be identified) for heart disease.
The facility investigates the use of biomarkers to diagnose heart disease, work out the likely prognosis of the disease for the individual patient, and to monitor the patient’s response to particular treatments. It is one of only a few such laboratories dedicated to heart research in the United Kingdom.
The requirement for biomarkers is especially important in conditions such as heart failure and coronary artery disease, where making the diagnosis can be problematic. Furthermore, the laboratory is also investigating the use of new biomarkers for heart failure and myocardial infarction (heart attacks), so that patients with a poor prognosis might be selected and targeted for more intensive interventions.
The laboratory is also a major contributor to an FP7 European initiative to detect patients who respond poorly to heart failure therapies (Biostat programme), so that such patients could receive further monitoring.
For more information about the Van Geest Biomarker Facility, contact