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Young Investigators Working Group and Members

The YI network is led by a representative who sits on the BIHS Executive Committee for a 2-year term of office.

Dr Luca Faconti – Executive Committee Representative (2019 – 2021)

Consultant in Cardiovascular Clinical Pharmacology at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust; Research Associate at King’s College London luca.faconti@kcl.ac.uk

Luca joined the Society in 2017 and became a member of the BIHS YI Network. His research focuses on aspects of cardiovascular function and arterial stiffness in healthy subjects and disease conditions. His recent activity, as a part of his ongoing PhD, is based on cardiac pre-load and autonomic function in hypertension. His clinical commitments include working as a Consultant in the Hypertension Unit of GSTT NHS Foundation Trust. In 2017, Luca was presented with the BIHS Young Investigators Award and in 2020 he became a member of the ESH Working Group on Hypertension and the Heart.

He is supported by the YI working group: 

Dr James Sheppard

Senior Research Fellow, Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Science, University of Oxford james.sheppard@phc.ox.ac.uk

James has been a member of the Society since 2012 and was involved in establishing the BIHS Young Investigator Network. He was the YI representative on the Executive Committee 2017-2019. His principal research interests focus on the diagnosis and management of Hypertension in Primary Care. He is interested in topics relating to the accuracy of blood pressure measurement and assessment of cardiovascular risk to permit better targeting of preventative therapies whilst reducing overtreatment and polypharmacy.

Dr Helen Warren

Lecturer in Statistical Genetics, William Harvey Research Institute, Queen Mary University of London h.r.warren@qmul.ac.uk

Helen is a Lecturer in Statistical Genetics at Queen Mary University of London. Her research focuses on cardiovascular genetics and pharmacogenetics, especially relating to blood pressure and hypertension. She is an analyst for ASCOT and BRIGHT (BRItish Genetics of Hypertension Study), and a steering group member for the International Consortium for Blood Pressure. She has been a BIHS member since 2014, and is one of the three volunteer Young Investigator (YI) representatives, who launched the YI Network in 2016.

Dr Carlos Valencia-Hernandez


Dr Sinead McDonagh

Research Fellow, Primary Care Research Group, College of Medicine and Health, University of Exeter

Sinead is a Research Fellow at the University of Exeter Medical School with special interests in blood pressure measurement and management in Primary Care. Her current projects focus on detecting individuals at risk of postural hypotension, investigating the significance and implications of a difference in blood pressure between arms and determining the role of allied health professionals in hypertension management in Primary Care settings. Sinead is also involved in setting up the implementation of a home-based cardiac rehabilitation programme for the NHS.

Sinead has experience in conducting randomised controlled trials and systematic reviews. She has a background in physiology, nitric oxide biology and dietary interventions for reducing blood pressure and completed her PhD in this area in 2018, following a MSc in Sport and Exercise Medicine in 2012 and BSc in Sport Sciences in 2011.

Dr Hannah Taylor
Dr Carmen Maniero
Dr Ryan McNally