British Cardiovascular Society Success for IICD

Many congratulations to Blanca Tardajos Ayllon, Louise Aubiniere-Robb, Ryan Snodgrass, Jen Middleton and Alex Rothman from the Department of Infection, Immunity & Cardiovascular Disease (IICD) who were awarded prizes at the recent British Cardiovascular Society Annual Conference.  

Louise Aubiniere-Robb, a previous MRes student won best clinical abstract in the acute coronary syndrome (ACS) & Interventional category for her work on absolute coronary blood flow and fractional flow reserve (FFR) in patients with ischaemic heart disease (IHD).

Dr Paul Morris (Louise’s supervisor) said “Louise performed the largest study of actual coronary blood flow in humans ever conducted. Using a tool called virtuQ, developed in the department for Infection, Immunity and Cardiovascular disease at the University of Sheffield, she discovered that the current gold standard test for diagnosing coronary disease and guiding its treatment was only semi-quantitative, compared with the new tool. Her work suggests that we may be able to improve how we select patients for interventional treatments like stenting and surgery. I am really pleased that her work has been recognised at the BCS conference and has attracted this prestigious award. Well done Louise”.

Blanca Tardajos Ayllon (3rd year PhD Student) won the prestigious Young Investigator Award.

Blanca’s research focuses on atherosclerosis, a leading cause of death. The development of atherosclerosis in the vasculature is linked to the presence of disturbed blood flow patterns, but many of the mechanisms underlying endothelial responses to flow still need to be elucidated. Blanca has demonstrated that the transcription factor c-Rel, a member of the NF-κB family, is enriched at atheroprone sites exposed to disturbed flow. Her work using cultured human cells and mouse models has shown that c-Rel promotes endothelial dysfunction at disease-prone areas and is a driver of atherosclerosis, potentially providing a new therapeutic target for the treatment and prevention of this disease.

“I was very proud and honoured to be shortlisted for such a competitive award, but to win was amazing. Getting feedback on my work from clinical and basic scientists was extremely useful. Although this year’s meeting was slightly different, as we were presenting live at the auditorium but with a remote audience, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I am looking forward to next year’s in-person meeting!”

Blanca Tardajos Ayllon (3rd year PhD Student)
(Left: Prof Pier Lambiase- YIA chair and judge. Right: Dr Sanjay Sinha-YIA Judge).

The British Society for Cardiovascular Research / British Atherosclerosis Society annual conference was held as part of the British Cardiovascular Annual Society meeting and Ryan Snodgrass (final year PhD student) won the prize for the Rapid-Fire Poster Presentations Session. 

Ryan said “It was a pleasure to attend the BAS/BSCR conference and present my PhD project so far. The session was particularly intense, but meticulously planned out by the event coordinators which lead to some very useful discussions. Overall, I had a great time at the conference, and I hope I get the chance to attend the next meeting in person”.

Ryan Snodgrass (final year PhD student)

Jen Middleton and Alex Rothman won the Best Quality Improvement Project prize on the Emerging Leaders Programme.

Jen Middleton and Alex Rothman have been awarded best ‘quality improvement project’ poster as part of the Emerging Leaders Program at this years’ British Cardiovascular Society  conference. Their work includes the implantation of  remote monitoring technology to monitor and manage patients with Pulmonary Hypertension remotely, this has been particularly beneficial during the COVID-19 pandemic. The winning poster reviews how they have set up the first PH remote monitoring MDT (including members of the clinical and research team) to review data obtained to improve patient management and QoL. 

The full poster can be viewed here.