Latest News

Latest news and information from the LABB Group

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.

We would like to introduce Professor Francesco Torella who has joined the LABB team and is now actively involved in our research efforts.

Francesco was appointed Consultant vascular/endovascular surgeon in 2003. He works at the Liverpool University Hospitals and at the Liverpool Heart & Chest Hospital. He studied in Italy, Belgium and the United Kingdom and qualified in Medicine in 1992. He became a Fellow of the Royal College of surgeons of England in 1997 and subsequently trained in general/vascular surgery in Merseyside and Manchester. He was awarded his Doctor of Medicine postgraduate degree in Manchester with the thesis “Development and Evaluation of a Blood Transfusion Trigger by Near Infrared Spectroscopy”. He is a founding member of the Liverpool Cardiovascular Service, in which cardiac and vascular surgeons combine their skills to deliver treatment to patients with complex aortic disease. He has a research interest in aortic disease, as it can be seen from his numerous publications (; He is an advisor to the Medicine and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) on aortic endoprostheses. He has been an invited speaker at national and international meetings and learned societies on topics related to aortic disease, most recently the Vascular Society of Great Britain & Ireland, Royal College of Anaesthetists, Multidisciplinary European Endovascular Meeting, Perspectives in Vascular Surgery, Critical Issues in Aortic Endografting.

Congratulations to Phakakorn Panpho who passed her PhD viva today. Her PhD title was “Biomechanics and biochemistry of the aorta in chronic aortic dissection” and her examiners were Prof. Aung Oo (External examiner, Cardiovascular Surgery Clinical Lead for Aortovascular Surgery at The Barts Heart Centre) and Dr Jude Curran (Internal Examiner).


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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