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Bernard Keavney, BSc BM BCh DM FRCP


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Personal profile


I am British Heart Foundation Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine and a Consultant Cardiologist at Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Trust. I joined The University of Manchester in April 2013 as Director of the Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences, and from August 2016 serve as the Director of the Cardiovascular, Metabolic and Nutritional Science Research Domain in the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health.

I was a preclinical student at the University of St. Andrews and qualified in medicine from Oxford in 1988. Following junior clinical posts, I was an MRC Clinical Research Training Fellow in the Nuffield Department of Medicine at Oxford from 1993 to 1996. I completed training in clinical cardiology and set up my research group in the Department of Cardiovascular Medicine at Oxford 1997-2000 under the mentorship of Professor Hugh Watkins. In 2001 I moved to a Senior Lectureship at Newcastle University, where I founded the Molecular Cardiovascular Research Group. I was awarded a BHF Personal Chair in 2008 which was renewed in 2013.  I have held British Heart Foundation programme grant funding since 2003.

I have been an active clinical cardiologist throughout my scientific career. Between 2001 and 2013 I practiced as a Consultant Interventional Cardiologist; during most of this time my personal procedure volumes were in the top 10% of all operators nationally. Presently, my clinical focus is on inherited cardiovascular diseases, where I am part of an integrated service for affected patients and their families provided with colleagues in the Manchester Heart Centre and the Manchester Centre for Genomic Medicine.

I currently serve as Chair of the UK Biobank International Scientific Advisory Board, as Lead for the Genomics England Clinical Interpretation Partnership Cardiovascular Domain, and as a member of the Medical Research Council's Populations and Systems Medicine Board.

Research interests

My main research interest is in the genetics of complex cardiovascular diseases.  Among contributions my colleagues and I have made to this field are: the first demonstration of limited haplotype diversity over long distances in the human genome (1996); the first success in trans-ethnic fine mapping of a complex genetic trait in man (1998); the first large-scale genetic studies of myocardial infarction (2000-2004); the introduction of the approach known as “Mendelian Randomisation” into genetic epidemiology (2001); several large-scale meta-analyses of genetic associations with myocardial infarction (2005-2008); demonstration of the mechanism involved in the association between MI and its strongest common genetic risk factor (polymorphisms at CDKN2B-AS1 [2010]); demonstration of association between copy number variants in the human genome and sporadic congenital heart disease (2012); the first published genome-wide association studies of congenital heart disease (2013); studies applying insights from GWAS to successfully predict side-effects of commonly used new drugs (2014); and contributions to exome-sequencing studies in congenital heart disease (2016).

My group are now chiefly interested in understanding the functional biology underlying some of the many genetic associations with complex cardiovascular diseases that have been detected in genome-wide association studies (including our own work), and using next-generation sequencing, iPSC modelling and genome-editing approaches to further define the genetic architecture of congenital heart disease.


I am a Clinical Academic Advisor to undergraduate medical students.

I have supervised many students to MRes, PhD and MD Degrees.  Several of these have achieved Honours, prizes and substantial publications from their work.

My collaborations

Postdoctoral Research Scientists

Dr. Munkit Choy, DCVS

Dr. Gennady Tenin, DCVS

Dr Simon Williams, DCVS

Dr Anna Lihakovitskaia, DCVS

Dr Richard Monaghan, DCVS

Dr Donna Page, DCVS

External collaborators include:
Prof. Heather Cordell, Newcastle University
Dr. Mauro Santibanez-Koref, Newcastle University
Prof. David Brook, Nottingham University
Prof. Shoumo Bhattacharya, Oxford University

Dr Matt Hurles, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute
Dr. Alex Postma, Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, NL

Dr Connie Bezzina, Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, NL
Prof. Mark Lathrop, McGill University/Genome Quebec Innovation Centre, Montreal, Canada
Prof. Sonia Anand, Population Health Research Institute, McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada
Prof. Salim Yusuf, Population Health Research Institute, McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada

Prof Bongani Mayosi, University of Cape Town, South Africa

Methodological knowledge

Genetic epidemiology
Human genetic studies of cardiovascular disease
Investigation of expression QTLs
Meta-analyses of genetic data
Functional studies of genetic mutations and polymorphisms
Next-generation sequencing
Interpretation of largescale genetic datasets
Clinical cardiology, including coronary intervention and inherited cardiac disease
Non-invasive and invasive phenotyping of cardiovascular disease


BSc (1st class Hons) University of St. Andrews 1985

BM BCh Oxford University 1988

MRCP 1991

DM Oxford University 1999

FRCP 2004

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Digital Futures
  • Institute for Data Science and AI
  • Manchester Regenerative Medicine Network
  • Advanced Materials in Medicine
  • Christabel Pankhurst Institute


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