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Latest news and information from the LABB Group

We are just a few days away from Aorta: Structure to Rupture 2024. You can download the final programme and abstract booklet from the links below:

Aorta Structure to Rupture 2024 – Final Programme

Aorta Structure to Rupture 2024 – Booklet_final

The event will take place in the Harrison Hughes Building, The Quadrangle, University of Liverpool with registration from 9 am. We look forward to seeing you all in Liverpool.

File:Harrison Hughes Building 2018.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

April 11, 2024 RiazConferences0

The LABB Group are super-excited to be co-hosting Northern Cardiovascular 2024 in Liverpool on 17th April 2024. The final programme can be downloaded from the link below:

The event is to be held at the Novotel Hotel, Paddington Villlage a 15-20 minute walk from Liverpool Lime Street Station. There is car parking available at Paddington Village Multi-Storey Elm Grove, Grove St, Smithdown Lane, Liverpool, L7 3FA (standard rate £12 per day).,-2.9620475,17z/data=!4m6!3m5!1s0x487b211ab5632aa7:0x6be07685d9efe64e!8m2!3d53.4054889!4d-2.9603843!16s%2Fg%2F11g22z_r2d?entry=ttu

October 26, 2023 RiazNews0

The LABB Group took part in a highly successful multi-disciplinary workshop on aortic diseases with Fudan University and Zhongshan Hospital, Shanghai from 20th – 24th September 2023. Drs Riaz Akhtar (Liverpool) and Baolei Guo were successful in obtaining a Royal Society International Exchange grant to setup the workshop and attendees including researchers from Imperial College London. The Liverpool team who took part were Professor Mark Field (Cardiothoracic Surgeon, Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital), Dr Jill Madine (Dept of Biochemistry), and PhD students Sarah Shirley and Bojin Marinov. At the workshop, the Liverpool team were joined by senior clinicians and academics including Professor Weiguo Fu, Director of Vascular Surgery and Zhihui Dong, Executive Deputy Director of Vascular Surgery at Zhongshan Hospital.

The workshop covered bioegineering, clinical and basic science topics focussed around aortic diseases. Key differences in clinical treatment and aortic disease manifestation were discussed in terms of East and West. The workshop will be followed up with specific research projects that were identified as areas of strategic importance during the workshop.


Save the Date!

We are pleased to announce that “Aorta: Structure to Rupture 2024” will take place once again in Liverpool on Thursday 20th June 2024. This is always an exciting inter-disciplinary meeting bringing together engineers, biologists, and clinicians to discuss state-of-the-art research in aortic disease.

We encourage early career researchers to take part and there will be prizes for the best oral and poster presentation from ECRs.




September 16, 2023 RiazAnnouncementsNews0

Congratulations to Bojin Marinov who won the best poster prize for his first year work looking at collagen fibril degradation in bicuspid aortic valve patients at BioMedEng 2023 conference which was held in Swansea, 14 – 15 September 2023. Bojin is a PhD student in the Department of Materials, Design and Manufacturing Engineering working under the supervision of Dr Riaz Akhtar (Engineering) and Dr Jill Madine (Biochemistry) at the University of Liverpool.


May 4, 2023 RiazNews0

University of Liverpool researchers partnered with the Aortic Dissection Charitable Trust and Everton in the Community to host an event at Goodison Park to inspire underrepresented students aged 14-16 to explore careers in biomedical research.

My Aorta My Future aimed to promote diversity in biomedical sciences by encouraging students from low-income households and BAME communities in Liverpool to consider pursuing a career in medical research. The event offered a series of interactive workshops, practical activities, and networking opportunities to provide valuable insights into the world of biomedical research and its potential career paths.

Read more:

February 28, 2023 RiazNews0

Dr. Riaz Akhtar, Reader in Biomedical Engineering, reflects on positive impact of Wellcome ISSF Research Support Fund grant in recognition of challenges presented by the pandemic.

I am a Reader in Biomedical Engineering. My research focusses on cardiovascular biomechanics. I am fortunate to be able to work with leading experts through the Liverpool Centre of Cardiovascular Science where we have a strong, collaborative relationship with the clinicians and surgeons working at the hospitals in the Liverpool City Region.

During the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, there was a huge change in my personal circumstances which impacted on my ability to do the creative aspects of my job which require prolonged periods of deep work such as paper and grant writing. I was, however, successful in being awarded pilot funding for a project exploring the relationship between Covid-19 infection and vascular ageing. This is an important project for understanding the long-term consequences of Covid-19 and to determine why some individuals are more adversely affected following infection. What is particularly exciting for me is that the project feeds into a global study, CARTESIAN (Covid-19 Effects on ARTErial StIffness and Vascular AgeiNg) which is exploring this relationship across multiple countries and research centres across the world (52 centres in 25 Countries). I had been successful in obtaining ethical approval for this study but lacked the capacity to progress the research until receiving the Wellcome Trust ISSF award.

Read the full article:,1382334,en.html 

September 27, 2022 RiazNews0

As we continue our ‘My First Paper’ Campaign, showcasing researchers and their research this week we talk to Martin Hossack from ISMIB, a trainee vascular surgeon undertaking a PhD investigating the biomechanics and biochemistry of abdominal aortic aneurysms. Martin is also a member of Liverpool Aortic Biomechanics and Biochemistry research group.

Your name and your area of research

Martin Hossack. I am a trainee vascular surgeon undertaking a PhD investigating the biomechanics and biochemistry of abdominal aortic aneurysms. I am a member of LABB, Liverpool Aortic Biomechanics and Biochemistry, an interdisciplinary research group focused on understanding, diagnosing and treating aortic diseases through novel approaches.

What was the title of your first paper and who was it submitted to?

My first paper from my PhD is a review article entitled “Micromechanical and Ultrastructural Properties of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms”, published in Artery Research.


How would you explain what this paper was about to your grandparents?

I would say that the important first step in any proposed research is a thorough and critical appraisal of the existing literature to make sure you are adding to and not repeating what has already been found. In my case, I found that abdominal aortic aneurysms are a critical condition of uncertain pathogenesis characterised by microscopic changes in the wall. It is important to characterise what affect these changes have on the strength of the wall, as this can affect how likely the aneurysm is to burst. If we can improve how we assess the risk of an aneurysm bursting, then maybe we can identify high risk patients for surgery, and reduce unnecessary operations on low risk patients.

What was the most significant thing for you about that paper?

I found that there is scope to improve and personalise the management of patients with abdominal aortic aneurysms, and that a thorough characterisation of the micromechanical properties of aneurysm tissue has not been undertaken previously.

What advice would you give to others about submitting their first paper?

As most research starts with a thorough review of the existing literature, it makes sense to formalise this process into a literature review paper. These are typically longer articles with a large number of references, making reference-manager software essential. By making your article open access, you can maximise its exposure. For those whose research is not externally funded, the library are able to cover the Article Processing Charge for various article types in fully open access journals on a first-come-first-serve basis.

Aorta: Structure to Rupture 2022 is less than 20 days away now. Below you can find the final programme and travel information.

Final Programme:

Registration will be open from 9 am. The meeting will commence at 930 am. The final programme can be accessed via the link below:
Aorta Structure to Rupture 2022 – Programme_final

Abstract Booklet:

Aorta Structure to Rupture 2022 – Abstract Booklet


Travel Instructions:

The meeting will be held in the Harrison Hughes Building (School of Engineering) with the talks taking place in the Mason Bibby Common Room on the 1st Floor.

If you are travelling by train, you can download a map with the walking route from Liverpool Lime St to Harrison Hughes building:

Map of the campus can be accessed via: 

If you are driving to Liverpool, please be aware that there are limited visitor car park spaces on campus. Locations of the visitor car parks are marked on the campus map above. Below is a summary of nearby public car park spaces in case you are not able to park on campus:

Online Registration

Online registration is required. If you have not yet registered, you can do so via the following link: 

We are looking forward to welcoming you all to Liverpool on 24th June 2022.

February 21, 2021 RiazAnnouncementsNews0

The LABB Group would like to thank Dr Hannah Davies for all her contributions to the LABB Group. Hannah was involved in our research since the inception of the LABB Group. Hannah has taken on a new role at University of Liverpool as the Human Material and Quality Assurance Officer. We wish her well in her new role.

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