Cardiologist awarded honorary degree by Aston University

21st Aug 2023

A leading cardiologist at Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust has been awarded an honorary doctorate by Aston University.

Professor Derek Connolly, who specialises in the detection, treatment and prevention of coronary heart disease, received the honour at a ceremony at the campus, which recognised his significant contribution to the development of the diagnosis and treatment of heart disease.

As well as being a consultant cardiologist, he is also director for research and development at the Trust and is the primary investigator in several large clinical trials in cardiovascular medicine. He has been responsible for developing one of the UK’s largest cardiac CT programmes.  

Professor Connolly said: “I am deeply honoured in receiving this wonderful award from our friends at Aston University. Although this is the first individual award I’ve had since joining the Trust from Cambridge 23 years ago, I’d like to share it with all the wonderful staff I have worked with, saving lives over those many years.

“Nearly 20 years ago, I was at the first meeting to plan the new Midland Metropolitan University Hospital. In fact, Metropolitan, part of the name was my idea. Clearly, with our friends in Aston and the University of Birmingham, we are now a major teaching hospital for medical students and this year marks the first tranche of Aston medical graduates.

“It is truly a great time to be in our Trust and it’s wonderful that are developing such a close relationship with Aston University.”

Professor Anthony Hilton, pro-vice-chancellor and executive dean of the College of Health and Life Sciences at Aston University, said: “I am delighted Aston University has bestowed this honour on Derek.

“He has been working at the forefront of developments in diagnosis and treatment of heart disease with a strong international research portfolio and a continuing interest in and commitment to educating the next generation of general and specialist practitioners.   

“Derek been instrumental in developing links with the College, particularly within research but he has also undertaken to contribute projects for students and as a career guide.

“He is an asset to the University and an inspiration to our students.”

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