The Exquisite Machine: The New Science of the Heart – with Professor Sian Harding

The Excuisite Heart

Fireside Chat exclusively for Members and their guests

Why you should be proud of your heart!


Professor Sian Harding - Emeritus Professor at Imperial College London. Previous Head of the Cardiovascular Division and Director of the British Heart Foundation Cardiovascular Regenerative Medicine Centre.

Sian Harding has been researching the causes of heart failure for 40 years, and has become more and more impressed at the astounding construction of the heart and its deep resilience. In fact, it is the very perfection of the heart that resists all our attempts to repair it, and is the challenge for the new technologies like gene therapy, tissue engineering or building a mechanical heart.

Professor Harding talked about her successes and failures, and about the new threats to the heart as well as the new hopes for cardiac regeneration.


The Exquisite Machine


Sian Harding showed us in The Exquisite Machine how new scientific developments are opening up the mysteries of the heart. And this explosion of new science - ultrafast imaging, gene editing, stem cells, artificial intelligence, and advanced microscopy - has crucial, real-world consequences for health and well-being. She explores the relation between the emotions and heart function, and how that the heart not only responds to our emotions but creates them as well. The condition known as broken heart syndrome, is a real disorder that can follow bereavement or stress.

The Exquisite Machine describes the evolutionary forces that have shaped the heart’s response to damage, the astonishing rejuvenating power of stem cells, how we can avoid heart disease, and why it can be so hard to repair a damaged heart. It tells the stories of patients who have had the devastating experiences of a heart attack, chaotic heart rhythms, or stress-induced acute heart failure. And it describes how cutting-edge technologies are enabling experiments and clinical trials that will lead us to new solutions to the worldwide scourge of heart disease.

Professor Harding is former President of the European Section of the International Society for Heart Research and Board member of the British Society of Gene and Cell Therapy. She was Special Advisor to the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee on Regenerative Medicine.

Sian has been given a Lifetime Achievement award from the European Society of Cardiology HFA and received the Imperial College Medal in 2022. Her book on the heart “The Exquisite Machine” was published last Autumn.

Exclusively for Members of Friends and their guests, Fireside Chats are part of the annual Membership benefits. These live streamed events are held on the occasional Friday afternoon @ 4pm, featuring more of a short presentation or talk, an informal chat and Q&A with the audience.


This is a past event.

Event Schedule

  • 27 January 2023 4:00 pm   -   5:00 pm
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