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Alexander Jones

Alexander Jones

Alexander Jones

BM, BSc, FRCP, PhD


Senior Clinical Researcher in Paediatric Cardiovascular Medicine

  • British Heart Foundation Intermediate Clinical Research Fellow
  • Consultant Paediatric Cardiologist

After completing my Biomedical Sciences BSc and BM in Medicine at University of Southampton, I trained in Paediatrics before being awarded my PhD at the MRC Environmental Epidemiology Unit on “Prenatal Development and Later Neuroendocrine Control of Cardiovascular Function” in 2006. This work showed that significant, lasting abnormalities of endocrine and cardiovascular function result from restricted prenatal development and are particularly evident during stress. The identified abnormalities were likely to impact on long-term risk of cardiovascular disease. I was awarded a Young Investigator award at the International Congress on Developmental Origins of Health and Disease for this work and collaborated with research groups in Finland, Netherlands, Belgium, and India on follow-up studies. Subsequently, I was awarded an NIHR BRC training fellowship at Great Ormond Street Hospital / University College London Institute of Childhood Health for dual-track academic/clinical training in Paediatric Cardiology. During this, I undertook the first comprehensive studies of cardiovascular function during mental stress using real-time cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging and the first large-scale application of whole-body T2*-IDEAL adiposity assessment, yielding new insights into the effects of obesity on cardiovascular physiology at rest and during stress. I led the childhood obesity / cardiovascular risk work package (one of four disease themes) in a large, multi-centre EU FP7 project that developed models of paediatric disease (Model-Driven European Paediatric Digital Repository; MD-Paedigree; http://www.md-paedigree.eu/).

My work to date supports a new way of thinking about chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease that are not simply the result of “bad genes” or “bad lifestyle”, but rather a complex interaction of genotype and developmentally-programmed phenotype that is adaptive in some environments or lifestyles and maladaptive in others. I currently hold a British Heart Foundation Intermediate Clinical Research Fellowship and lead a research group in the Department of Paediatrics focused on understanding the primordial origins of cardiometabolic disease, using advanced methods such as cardiac MRI and spectroscopy, and the development of effective early-life prevention.