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Imaging in Preventive Cardiology Research: improving how we identify and prevent heart disease in young people

Radcliffe Department of Medicine

About the Project

The Preventive Cardiology Research Group aims to improve how we identify and prevent heart disease in young people.

The group works in three areas:

- Novel markers of early disease - Using imaging and laboratory studies to identify early cardiac and vascular changes in young people at risk of cardiovascular disease. In particular, those predisposed to hypertension, such as families with a history of preeclampsia or preterm birth.

- Young adult cardiovascular prevention trials - Running trials to understand how novel approaches to lifestyle and clinical management may be able to modify these early risk cardiovascular phenotypes to prevent the development of later disease.

- Artificial intelligence - Pioneering the application of artificial intelligence to large research imaging datasets to improve the clinical tools already available to identify those at risk, such as stress echocardiography, and to identify next generation imaging and management approaches.

This project will provide training in imaging, cardiovascular disease development and human physiology using a range of techniques appropriate to the project. These methods include echocardiography, vascular ultrasound, cardiovascular magnetic resonance, measures of macro- and microvascular structure and function (endothelial function, microscopy, laser Doppler flowmetry, venous occlusion plethysmography) and cardiopulmonary exercise testing. Where appropriate training in image processing and analysis is available, including computational modelling and application of machine learning. The student would learn about regulatory issues surrounding clinical studies and randomised trials such as ethics, hospital R&D and GCP and attend relevant courses. The type of projects available in the research group are appropriate to both clinical trainees and physiology graduates with an interest in clinical research. As there are close links with laboratory studies on clinical samples there are also opportunities for interested, and appropriately experienced, individuals to combine clinical As well as the specific training detailed above, students will have access to high-quality training in scientific and generic skills, as well as access to a wide-range of seminars and training opportunities through the many research institutes and centres based in Oxford.

The Department has a successful mentoring scheme, open to graduate students, which provides an additional possible channel for personal and professional development outside the regular supervisory framework. We hold an Athena SWAN Silver Award in recognition of our efforts to build a happy and rewarding environment where all staff and students are supported to achieve their full potential.
data collection with laboratory research.

Funding Notes

Funding for this project is available to scientists through the RDM Scholars Programme, which offers funding to outstanding candidates from any country. Successful candidates will have all tuition and college fees paid and will receive a stipend of £18,000 per annum.

For October 2021 entry, the application deadline is 8th January 2021 at 12 noon midday, UK time.

Please visit our website for more information on how to apply.


Williamson W, Lewandowski AJ, Forkert ND, Griffanti L, Okell TW, Betts J, Boardman H, Siepmann T, McKean D, Huckstep O, Francis JM, Neubauer S, Phellan R, Jenkinson M, Doherty A, Dawes H, Frangou E, Malamateniou C, Foster C, Leeson P. Association of cardiovascular risk factors with MRI indices of cerebrovascular structure and function and white matter hyperintensities in young adults. JAMA 2018;320(7):665-673

Huckstep OJ, Williamson W, Telles F, Burchert H, Bertagnolli M, Herdman C, Arnold L, Smillie R, Mohamed A, Boardman H, McCormick K, Neubauer S, Leeson P, Lewandowski AJ. Physiological stress elicits impaired left ventricular function in preterm-born adults. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2018;71(12):1347-1356

Siepmann T, Boardman H, Bilderbeck A, Griffanti L, Kenworthy Y, Zwager C, McKean D, Francis J, Neubauer S, Yu GZ, Lewandowski A, Sverrisdottir YB, Leeson P. Long term cerebral white and grey matter changes after preeclampsia. Neurology 2017; 88(13):1256-1264

Lewandowski AJ, Augustine D, Lamata P, Davis EF, Lazdam M, Francis J, McCormick K, Wilkinson A, Singhal A, Lucas A, Smith NP, Neubauer S, Leeson P. Preterm heart in adult life: cardiovascular magnetic resonance reveals distinct differences in left ventricular mass, geometry and function. Circulation 2013;127(2):197-206

Lewandowski A, Bradlow W, Augustine D, Davis EF, Francis J, Singhal A, Lucas A, Neubauer S, McCormick K, Leeson P. Right ventricular systolic dysfunction in young adults born preterm. Circulation 2013;128(7):713-20

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