Belfast HSC Trust



Dr Mark Spence - BHSCT

Dr Mark Spence – BHSCT

Dr Mark Spence is a Consultant Interventional Cardiologist and co-founder of the Structural Heart Disease Programme at Belfast Health and Social Care Trust. He is a TAVI Proctor and an Honorary Senior Lecturer at Queen’s University Belfast.

He received his medical degree with distinction from the Queen’s University, Belfast and completed an interventional sub-speciality training fellowship in adult congenital heart disease at St Guys and St Thomas and Royal Brompton Hospitals.



Mark Harbinson, MMedSci, MD, MB BCh BAO, FRCP

Dr Mark Harbinson - BHSCT

Dr Mark Harbinson – BHSCT

Dr Mark Harbinson is currently Senior Lecturer, School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Science, Queen’s University Belfast and Consultant Cardiologist, Belfast Health and Social Care Trust. He graduated from Queen’s University with Honours and trained in cardiology in Northern Ireland. Following a period of full time research he graduated MD 1997. He was elected Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of London in 2005. Subsequently he obtained European accreditation in Nuclear Cardiology (ECNC) and a Masters Degree (MMedSci) in Medical Education. At the end of his training he had a period as Visiting Fellow in Cardiac Imaging at the Royal Brompton Hospital/Imperial College London, gaining expertise in nuclear cardiology and cardiovascular MRI. His research interests include (i) many aspects of cardiac imaging including nuclear cardiology, echocardiography and vascular ultrasound, cardiac CT imaging and cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging (ii) heart failure (iii) blood biomarkers of cardiac dysfunction and their relationship to pathophysiology. He has supervised several MD/PhD students to completion and sits on local and national grant awarding bodies.


Prof Donna Fitzsimons - BHSCT PI

Prof Donna Fitzsimons – BHSCT PI

Donna Fitzsimons RGN, BSc, PhD, NFESC

Donna is a Professor of Nursing in Ulster University and Senior Manager, Belfast Trust. She is a graduate of the Ulster University, where she completed her nurse training in 1987 and her PhD in 1995. She is an experienced cardiac nurse and researcher and holds several research grants and has supervised 7 PhD students to successful completion. Within her post in Belfast Trust she seeks to stimulate and promote nursing research at all levels within the hospital and externally.

Donna is immediate past Chair of the European Council on Cardiac Nursing and Allied Professionals; she now sits on the Board of the European Society of Cardiology and is a founding member of the Global Leadership Forum for Cardiovascular Nursing. She has an Editorial Board position on the European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing and British Journal of Cardiac Nursing. At a regional level she is Co-Clinical Lead for the Cardiovascular Clinical Research Network, Scientific Advisory Group Member of Northern Ireland Chest Heart and Stroke Association and Associate Post Graduate Tutor UU.

Donna has secured approximately £1,000,000 in research income, published 48 research papers and is regularly invited to present in international congresses. She has contributed to the development of several ESC Clinical Guidelines and is a strong advocate of evidence based practice and patient involvement. Her research interests include, cardiac nursing, preventive cardiology, palliative care in chronic illness and research ethics.