About us

The William Harvey Research Institute was established in 1986 by the Nobel Laureate Sir John Vane (discoverer of the action of aspirin and prostacyclin) with the goal of becoming an international powerhouse for pharmacological research operating at the academic/industry interface. We have now grown to accommodate 380 researchers from 45 countries and have been rated amongst the top 20 multidisciplinary pharmacological research centres worldwide. 


  • To lead world-class research in cardiovascular, inflammatory and endocrine diseases with the aim of discovering new mechanisms, validating targets and leading therapeutic innovation with translation into patient care
  • To provide the highest calibre teaching in pharmacology and safe prescribing
  • To be the leading place to train for UK and international postgraduate students and to develop young talented scientists in therapeutic innovation
  • To develop international partnerships with pharma and biotechs.


  • In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework 90% of our research focused on therapeutic innovation in cardiovascular disease, inflammation and endocrinology, and was rated as world-leading or internationally excellent
  • In Nature Journals our cardiovascular discoveries in hypertension, disorders of rhythm and coronary disease along with functional characterization have enabled new therapies and repurposing opportunities for unmet need. Using the translational platform of our successive NIHR Biomedical Research Units (£12m) we have created the £400M Barts Heart Centre where we developed and implement NICE Guidance for hypertension (NICE 2011)
  • Our high-impact discoveries in inflammation on leucocyte migration, annexin, invention of new molecules targeting melanocortin are published in top journals and have been commercialised. Our MRC/NIHR funded stratified healthcare trials of biologic response in arthritis have generated worldwide pharma partnerships 
  • In endocrine research our genomic discoveries in familial acromegaly has allowed us to stratify those who would benefit from early therapy avoiding shortened lives
  • With an EU Cofund (€6M), an EU PhD scheme (€2.9M), BHF PhD and MRC MRes schemes we created the WHRI Translational Academy for Therapeutic Innovation to train future pharmacologists across the world.


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