Dr Betty Raman receives Young Investigator Award at the European Society of Cardiology Congress and World Congress of Cardiology
St Cross Junior Research Fellow Dr Betty Raman has received the Young Investigator Award at the European Society of Cardiology Congress and World Congress 2019.
Dr Raman was awarded for her significant scientific contribution to the field of cardiovascular medicine, in researching a common inherited heart condition called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, also known as HCM.
HCM is the leading cause of sudden death in young adults and athletes. It results from an unexplained thickening of the heart muscle which causes it to stop suddenly, also known as a cardiac arrest. The heart's muscle is made up of a network of blood vessels which supplies both oxygen and nutrients, necessary to keep it alive and beating.
For years it has been suggested that the tiny blood vessels in the heart are diseased and narrowed in HCM, resulting in insufficient levels of oxygen. This, in turn, is thought to increase the risk of sudden death in young people, though this has been difficult to prove. Dr Raman has discovered a way to detect the oxygen signal in the heart muscle non-invasively, using magnetic resonance technology.
Using this method, she found that the level of oxygen in the heart is indeed low and closely linked to the risk of sudden death. This is an important step for patients suffering from HCM as sudden death is entirely preventable and identifying those at risk can save lives.