Comparative Cardiorenal Research Group

The functions of the heart and the kidney are closely interlinked, meaning that disease in one can cause dysfunction of the other. This is an important, but poorly understood, cause of morbidity and mortality in human and veterinary patients. The Comparative Cardiorenal Research Group is a unique collaboration between medical and veterinary clinician-scientists and basic science researchers, working within Bristol Renal and the Bristol Heart Institute. The goals of the group are to better understand these interactions and their clinical consequences and identify novel targets for future therapies.

Dr. Melanie Hezzell is a, RCVS and American specialist in Veterinary Cardiology. Her research interests include the contribution of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system to progression of cardiac disease, ventricular remodelling and the use of cardiac biomarkers for diagnosis, monitoring and prognosis.

Dr. Natalie Finch is a European Veterinary Specialist in Small Animal Internal Medicine and RCVS Specialist in Feline Medicine. She is currently a Wellcome Trust funded clinical postdoctoral fellow at the University of Bristol. Natalie was awarded the 2013 IRIS award in recognition of her research into feline chronic kidney disease. Her research interests include the role of the endothelial glycocalyx in chronic kidney disease and diabetic nephropathy.

Current projects include:

  • Is the endothelial glycocalyx damaged in cats with cardiomyopathies and chronic kidney disease?
  • Associations between intramyocardial arteriosclerosis and myocardial fibrosis and disease severity in dogs with myxomatous mitral valve disease
  • is fibroblast growth factor 23 associated with left ventricular hypertrophy and dysfunction in cats with chronic kidney disease?


Dr Melanie Hezzell
Senior Lecturer in Cardiology

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