Last week’s event celebrated the 60th anniversary of the BHF and the pioneering research it funded.
The MP for Crawley heard about BHF’s vital research over the past six decades and met some of the BHF-funded researchers who have made these advances possible.
Mr Smith said: “I was delighted to attend the BHF Parliamentary Reception and learn about the enormous advances in research that the charity has made possible over the past 60 years.
“Today, heart and circulatory disease are one of the leading killers in the UK, so it is important that the BHF continues to receive support to help fund future scientific breakthroughs.
“I look forward to working with the BHF to help highlight the crucial role it plays in the UK research and development landscape and how the work it funds benefits my constituents.”
Since BHF was launched in 1961, the number of people who die of heart and circulatory disease each year in the UK has halved.
BHF-funded research also contributed to the first heart transplant in the UK, and the charity was behind discoveries that revealed the cause of a heart attack. It has helped transform treatments ever since.
BHF research has also identified numerous genes responsible for conditions that cause sudden heart attacks and cardiac arrests, meaning people can be identified before these life-threatening events occur.
Today, the BHF is the UK’s largest non-commercial funder of heart and circulatory disease research. However, despite six decades of progress, much more needs to be done to improve the lives of the 7.6 million people in the UK who live with these conditions.
The leading charity is now urging more people to donate to the BHF so it can help turn more mind-blowing ideas from the realm of science fiction into life-saving treatments and potential cures.
British Heart Foundation chief executive Dr Charmaine Griffiths said: ‘It was great to speak with Mr Smith not only to recognize the improvements made to people living with heart and circulatory conditions across the UK , but also to highlight the progress we urgently need for those who live in their constituencies.
“The fight against heart and circulatory diseases remains one of the greatest global challenges and, despite enormous progress over the past 60 years, BHF research has never been more necessary.
“We would like to thank all of the MPs and peers who attended our parliamentary reception and signed our pledge to help make science fiction a reality. We look forward to working with them in the future.
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