• 20780 Citations
  • 74 h-Index
1982 …2020

Research output per year

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Personal profile

Biography

Allan Struthers graduated MB (Hons) from Glasgow University UK in 1977. After junior hospital posts in Glasgow, he was Senior Registrar at the Royal Postgraduate Medical School and Hammersmith Hospital in London in 1982 – 1985.

He was then appointed Wellcome Senior Lecturer/Consultant Physician in Dundee and is currently Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine and runs the Heart Failure service at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee. He is also an Honorary Professor at St Andrews University Medical School. He was Chairman of the SIGN Guidelines in Heart Failure twice (2007 and 2016) and Chairman of NHS-QIS Standards (2010) for Heart Failure. In addition, he is also Chairman of Tenovus NSAC, Senior Regional Advisor for SACDA and a Council member of Chest, Heart and Stroke (Scotland).

He is currently Co-Head of the Division of Molecular and Clinical Medicine at the University of Dundee. Professor Struthers runs a large clinical research programme and has supervised 50 MD/PhDs.

He helped pioneer the use of plasma BNP to identify heart failure patients and the use of aldosterone blockers to reduce their mortality. 

Another research interest is in allopurinol and he has recently shown it to have antianginal oxygen sparing effects and to regress LV hypertrophy. He is currently funded (as PI) by the BHF, MRC, CSO, Diabetes (UK) and Chest, Heart & Stroke.  

In total he has held 38 different British Heart Foundation (BHF) grants. He has published 508 papers which are cited around 600 times every year. His research “h” factor is high at 60. He is a Fellow of the European Society of Cardiology (FESC), the Royal Society of Edinburgh (FRSE) and the Academy of Medical Sciences (FMed Sci). 

He teaches Cardiovascular Medicine and Therapeutics at both the University of Dundee and the University of St Andrews Medical School.

He has given 207 invited lectures, half abroad.

 

Research

Professor Struthers has repeatedly spotted new therapeutic opportunities and conducted the initial “proof of concept” studies which, led to confirmation in larger trials. For example, he was the first to ever show that aldosterone blockade had beneficial cardiac effects in man on top of ACE inhibitors (Am J Card 1995, 76: 1259): those effects were to reduce both ventricular arrhythmias and cardiac sympathetic activity. The discovery helped lead to the RALES trial where spironolactone reduced mortality in heart failure (HF) by 30%. He also discovered other mechanisms contributing to aldosterone’s ability to increase cardiac deaths, i.e. it decreases endothelial nitric oxide, it decreases cardiac autonomic function and it increases plasma collagen markers (which are a good surrogate for myocardial fibrosis).

A second area where he made important original discoveries is B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP). He wrote one of the two original studies published together in the Lancet (1993) which led to the use of plasma BNP levels to identify heart failure (HF). A later paper by him, also in the Lancet, confirmed this. BNP is now an integral part of all HF guidelines. Professor Struthers has now moved on to make original observations about BNP in a completely new (non HF) area. He has recently discovered that if an apparently healthy individual has a high BNP level, this often signifies that they have silent coronary artery disease (Heart 2006, 92: 487 and 916). This is a major finding as BNP screening could now be used to help identify those many apparently healthy middle aged individuals whose first ever manifestation of their previously silent coronary disease is sudden cardiac death.

A whole other area pioneered by him is allopurinol. He developed the novel idea that allopurinol could be “oxygen in a pill” because it inhibits an oxidase enzyme which normally “wastes” oxygen in ischaemic tissue. A recent Lancet paper (2010, 375: 2161 – 7) showing this could lead eventually to the use of allopurinol as an oxygen sparing agent in all ischaemic diseases. He had already unravelled the exact mechanism whereby allopurinol improves endothelial function by profoundly reducing vascular oxidative stress and not at all by decreasing uric acid. This was a much debated issue before his elegant paper in Circulation settled the issue.

Lastly, he had the original idea behind another paper of major therapeutic importance. In conjunction with Professor McMurdo, he showed that ACE inhibitors improve mobility in elderly, disabled, immobile patients, which should greatly improve the quality of life of many elderly patients. In fact, this paper won the Bruce P Squires award as one of the best in the year. If confirmed, ACE inhibitors could become the equivalent of “exercise in a pill” to the many elderly with limited mobility.

Teaching

He teaches Cardiovascular Medicine and Therapeutics at both the University of Dundee and the University of St Andrews Medical School.

Education/Academic qualification

Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, University of Glasgow

Award Date: 1 Jan 1977

Bachelor of Science, University of Glasgow

Award Date: 1 Jan 1973

Keywords

  • RM Therapeutics. Pharmacology
  • Cardiovascular

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Projects

Research Output

Open Access
File
  • 10 Downloads (Pure)

    Dapagliflozin Versus Placebo on Left Ventricular Remodeling in Patients With Diabetes and Heart Failure: The REFORM Trial

    Singh, J. S. S., Mordi, I. R., Vickneson, K., Fathi, A., Donnan, P. T., Mohan, M., Choy, A. M. J., Gandy, S., George, J., Khan, F., Pearson, E. R., Houston, J. G., Struthers, A. D. & Lang, C. C., 1 Jun 2020, In : Diabetes Care. 43, 6, p. 1356-1359 4 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
    File
  • 55 Downloads (Pure)

    Effect of allopurinol on phosphocreatine recovery and muscle function in older people with impaired physical function: a randomised controlled trial

    Witham, M. D., Clarke, C. L., Hutcheon, A., Gingles, C., Gandy, S., Priba, L., Nicholas, R. S., Cavin, I., Sumukadas, D., Struthers, A. D. & George, J., 21 Apr 2020, In : Age and Ageing. 8 p., afaa061.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
    File
  • 8 Downloads (Pure)

    Reply

    Gingles, C. R., Symon, R., Gandy, S. J., Struthers, A. D., Houston, G., MacDonald, T. M., Lang, C. C., Donnan, P. T. & George, J., 1 Jan 2020, In : Journal of Hypertension. 38, 1, p. 177-178 2 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalLetter

    Reply: Cardiovascular Benefits of Switching from Tobacco to Electronic Cigarettes

    George, J., Hussain, M., Struthers, A., Donnan, P., Lang, C. & Khan, F., 7 Apr 2020, In : Journal of the American College of Cardiology. 75, 13, p. 1613-1614 2 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalLetter

    Prizes

    Fellow of the Academy of Medical Science (FMedSci)

    Struthers, Allan (Recipient), 2011

    Prize: National/international honour

    Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (FRSE)

    Struthers, Allan (Recipient), 2010

    Prize: National/international honour

    SKB Prize

    Struthers, Allan (Recipient), 1992

    Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

    Activities

    • 2 Participation in conference

    British Geriatrics Society Spring Meeting

    Allan D. Struthers (Participant)

    2 Apr 2009

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

    19th Annual Conference of the European Health Psychology Society. Enhancing Individual, Family & Community Health

    Allan D. Struthers (Participant)

    2 Sep 2005

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

    Press / Media

    High Dose Allopurinol Reduces Left Ventricular Mass In Patients With Ischemic heart Disease

    Sushma Rekhraj, Stephen J. Gandy, Benjamin Szwejkowski, Adnan Nadir, Awsan Noman, J. Graeme Houston, Chim C. Lang, Jacob George & Allan D. Struthers

    5/03/13

    1 item of Media coverage

    Press/Media: Research

    Blood tests pick up early 'silent' heart disease

    Adnan Nadir, Sushma Rekhraj, Li Wei, Tiong Lim, John Davidson, Thomas M MacDonald, Chim C. Lang, Eleanor Dow & Allan D. Struthers

    24/09/12

    1 item of Media coverage

    Press/Media: Research