Dr Mark Ross is researching how virus affects the cardiovascular system

Date posted

5 May 2020


Edinburgh Napier lecturer Mark Ross is researching the impact of Covid-19 on the cardiovascular system as part of the work of an international taskforce.

Dr Ross - from our School of Applied Sciences - has joined a team from King’s College London led by Professor Georgina Ellison-Hughes, as well as experts from the Universities of Cambridge, Bangor, Adelaide, Liverpool John Moores, the Wise Group and Evolve HealthCare partners on The Coronavirus Literature Review Taskforce.

Head and shoulders of Mark Ross

The researchers are scouring published literature and pre-print servers for information about SARS-CoV-2 and Covid-19 to try to identify drug targets and other therapies. The initiative aims to provide clinicians with the most up-to-date information.

Mark is part of a smaller sub-group of cardiovascular scientists, who reported publicly for the first time on Monday May 4.

He explained: “Our role is to provide the clinicians with information as to how Covid-19 is affecting the cardiovascular system, with implications for those with cardiovascular disease.

Close up of coronavirus

“We are scouring the studies coming out of China, and more recently, Europe and the USA, to identify patterns, impacts and mechanisms of how Covid-19 is affecting our hearts and blood vessels. This includes searching clinical trials to determine potential treatments, and highlighting this information for medics.”

Prior to lockdown, Georgina Ellison-Hughes, a Professor in Regenerative Muscle Physiology, had started work with colleagues in China to test the impact of stem cells in patients with Covid-19.

The taskforce she now leads will interpret the findings of earlier articles and identity any drug targets and re-purposed drugs, as well as other therapies, that may have had an impact.

School of Applied Sciences

Our applied approach to science and social sciences makes a positive impact both nationally and internationally. Through our strength in research, and our reputation for 5-star teaching (QS), our graduates are recognised as work-ready from day one.