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Maxwell Centre

Event Type: 
Enterprise related events (Impulse, etc)

Innovation, Impact and the Cardiac Rhythm

Prof Andrew Grace

Professor of Experimental Cardiology

University of Cambridge


We are delighted to welcome Prof Andrew Grace to our February 2024 Innovation Seminar Talk. This month's talk is co-organised by the Maxwell Centre and the Office for Translational Research.


About this talk

Our long-term research has significantly improved many lives alleviating symptoms that have emerged through disturbance of the cardiac rhythm. Achieving technological impact at broad scale has required multidisciplinary teams, substantial investment and commercial engagement. To date there have been a range of exits that have included two ‘unicorns’ one responsible for the subcutaneous implantable defibrillator.

Our ongoing program has two overlapping themes that each take the individual cardiac cell as the ‘fundamental unit of ‘abstraction’.

The first is foundational examining the heartbeat from the perspective of physical biology and has required inputs from an international consortium including centrally the Theory of Condensed Matter Physics Group based at the Cavendish.

The second will have more immediate impact and is designed to obtain frozen samples directly from the human heart in vivo for single cell genetic analysis. The approach requires a specially designed catheter system thus bridging technology and biology. 

The cardiac rhythm is genetically determined, physiologically stable and the heart itself is readily accessible with its function quantifiable; taken together it provides an ideal, tractable system for examining disease gene function.




About the Speaker

Andrew Grace is Professor of Experimental Cardiology at the University of Cambridge. He trained in cardiology in London and Cambridge and then delivered a consistently high-volume interventional practice focused on arrhythmias over >30 years. He completed post-doctoral studies as a Fulbright Scholar in the Department of Medicine, University of California, San Diego returning to Cambridge as British Heart Foundation Senior Research Fellow.

He is a recognized innovator having a particular interest in ‘disruptive’ technologies that have included devices, diagnostics and drugs. Some of his work has changed practice significantly and he made some of the ‘most important contributions’ to the development and implementation of subcutaneous defibrillators. He has spent over 25 years addressing the impact of genetic variation on the heartbeat and most recently has established a network of colleagues based respectively in Cambridge, Seattle, Sydney and San Diego to provide a physically robust model of cardiac electrical measurement extending from charge movements through structurally resolved sodium channels to surface recordings. Working with the Cavendish Laboratory and the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute high-resolution charge density mapping of cardiac activation is being linked to multi-omics in single cells acquired through novel in vivo freeze-sampling; there is high anticipation of therapeutic target identification and rescue.

He has published extensively, given many invited lectures, that include hotline presentations of clinical trial data and highlighted late-breaking basic science, and has held Visiting Professorships internationally. He is an Editor/Editorial Board member of several journals and has been a member of numerous Boards including the UK Government Commission on Human Medicines, European Medicines Agency, European Society of Cardiology Guidelines Committee and International Ambassador for the American Heart Association Leadership Committee. He is a member of Boston Scientific Inc. Advisory Board and has recently been appointed Chair of the SAB of the Heart Research Institute in Sydney.


About the Seminar Series

The Innovation Seminar Series is organised by a number of inititiatives across the University and has a lineup of brilliant speakers who are at different stages in their Innovation and Entrepreneurship journey. If you are a member of the University of Cambridge community interested in all things entrepreneurial, this is a series for you!

This series of seminars happens monthly and speakers will present their ideas and experiences on how innovation impacts their endeavours.

  • We have a varied list of speakers, from academics turned in to entrepreneurs all the way to established companies.
  • The format is a 45 minute talk, followed by Q&A.
  • Attendance is free

Come and join the talk with Prof Andrew Grace.



Data Protection

We collect information about you when you register to attend the Innovation Seminar Series. You can find details on how we handle personal information at

The data we hold for this purpose is very limited (contact details: name, email address, name of the organisation you are affiliated with).

The information you provide will be used to process your booking, and contact you regarding your participation. We may also contact you to undertake post-event evaluation and provide marketing information about events and services offered through the Maxwell Centre, University of Cambridge and the Impulse Programme. All marketing communications will incorporate an option to opt-out of receiving further communications.

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Thursday, 15 February, 2024 - 16:00 to 17:30
Contact name: 
Monica Lucena
Event location: 
Rayleigh Seminar Room, Maxwell Centre