From the Past into the Modern Era


Thomas Maclagan

Dr Thomas Maclagan (Tayside Medical History Museum)

Today, Tayside's Cardiology department takes a multi-disciplinary approach to understanding the pathophysiology of cardiovascular diseases and to the development of treatment strategies, using a patient-orientated resource with the back-up of an integrated cardiac physiology laboratory.

Notable therapeutic discoveries of the past by the likes of Thomas Maclagan and Sir James Black are now being built on by translational research and the development of novel treatment approaches for existing drugs.

Thomas Maclagan (1838-1903) carried out research in Dundee into the anti-rheumatic effects of salicin, a chemical extracted from willow bark.

Maclagan's work was taken up by German researchers who used salicin to develop acetyl-salicylic acid (better known today as aspirin) which is widely used in the treatment and prevention of cardiovascular disease.

Sir James Black (1924-2010), who had studied in Dundee and was later Chancellor of the University (and Nobel laureate), developed the beta-blocker nethalide while working for ICI.

Its successor propranolol signalled one of the greatest breakthroughs in the treatment of heart disease and high blood pressure.

Hearty Lives Dundee is a 1.3 million pound programme to reduce heart disease and improve heart health of people living in Dundee.

The focus is on providing health checks giving information, advice and support to those who would like help in leading healthier lives.

Sir James Black

Portrait of Sir James Black by Helene Train DUNUC ARTS:2929

Cardiac catheterisation laboratory

Ninewells Hospital's cardiac catheterisation laboratory
(Courtesy of Cardiology Dept, Ninewells)

The Institute of Cardiovascular Research in Tayside brings together a team of specialists in

  • vascular biology
  • cardiac disease
  • nutrition
  • epidemiology and fundamental laboratory science

to enable detection and intervention of heart-related diseases at an earlier stage.

All donations are very welcome!

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