Senior Investigator Profile

First NameWilliam
Award StatusTerm 1
Current PostDirector, Institute of Cardiovascular Science; Program Director Cardiovascular - UCL Partners
DepartmentDivision of Medicine (UCL) and The Heart Hospital (UCLH)
InstitutionUniversity College London
NHS TrustRoyal Brompton and Harefield NHS Foundation Trust
Region NameLondon
Primary Research FieldCardiology & Cardiovascular Disease
Secondary Research FieldGenetics & Heredity
BiographyProfessor William McKenna is Professor of Cardiology at University College London (UCL), Director, Inherited Cardiovascular Disease, and Cardiovascular Program Director at UCL Partners (University College London/UCL Hospitals Trust).   Professor McKenna is a Canadian from Montreal and graduated from McGill University Medical School following a BA in Art History at Yale University.  He completed Internal Medicine Training at the Royal Victoria Hospital, Montreal and in 1976 moved to the Royal Postgraduate Medical School, Hammersmith Hospital in London where he trained in cardiology and initiated his lifelong interest in the cardiomyopathies.  In 1988 he was appointed Sugden Senior Lecturer, in 1993 Professor of Cardiac Medicine and in 2000 BHF Professor of Molecular Cardiovascular Science at St George’s Hospital Medical School. In 2003 he moved with his Inherited Cardiovascular Disease Group to UCL as Professor of Cardiology and Clinical Director of The Heart Hospital, UCLH. Professor McKenna’s focus has been on sudden death prevention in the young, which has involved clinical and basic research in the inherited cardiomyopathies and arrhythmias.  His recent work has contributed to the identification of disease-causing genes in hypertrophic (HCM), dilated (DCM) and arrhythmogenic right ventricular (ARVC) cardiomyopathy. This is leading to the establishment of new diagnostic criteria for HCM, DCM and ARVC within the context of familial disease, and to the establishment of internationally accepted algorithms for the identification of patients at high risk of sudden death.Professor McKenna as co-chairman of the National Service Framework Chapter on Arrhythmia and Sudden Death, President of the Cardiomyopathy Association and President of the Association of Inherited Cardiac Conditions is currently working for greater availability of clinical mutation analysis as well as the establishment of a national network of Inherited Cardiovascular Disease Clinics. 

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