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Cambridge Academy of Therapeutic Sciences


A major new institute opens today, bringing together the largest concentration of scientists and clinicians in heart and lung medicine in Europe.

On 18 August 1979, Keith Castle – despite being described by surgeon Sir Terence English as "not an ideal patient from a medical point of view" – made history, becoming the first person in the UK to undergo a successful heart transplant.

The operation was performed at Papworth Hospital, Cambridgeshire, which specialised in heart and lung surgery. It was not the only 'first' to take place there: seven years later, Papworth surgeons – alongside surgeons from nearby Addenbrooke’s Hospital – conducted the world’s first heart, lung and liver transplant.

In 2019, the hospital – now Royal Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust – relocated to its new home on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus. Shortly afterwards, at the end of February 2020, work began on a new building next door, the realisation of a decade of planning. Construction was barely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic that swept the country, and now, just two-and-a-half years later, it is opening.

Welcome to the Heart and Lung Research Institute.

The building will see more than 380 staff from the University of Cambridge and Royal Papworth housed under one roof, all working together to tackle some of the world’s major killers: cardiovascular diseases are estimated to cause nearly 18 million deaths per year, mostly due to heart attacks and stroke, with respiratory diseases such as pneumonia and lung cancer just behind. There will be 'wet labs', a clinical research facility, data science and epidemiology research teams, spaces for postgraduate education, collaboration spaces and much more.

"There isn’t anything like it in the UK. We have the largest concentration of scientists and clinicians in cardiovascular and respiratory medicine probably in Europe."

Professor Nick Morrell, Director of the HLRI.

You can read the full article here.