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2013 Research Awards

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CHSS Fellowship Award 2013: Can bacterial load define chest infections in bronchiectasis?

  • Dr Manjit Sidhu (Supervisor: Dr Adam Hill); Department of Respiratory Medicine, Royal Infirmary, Edinburgh
  • £119,085 over two years

An obstructive lung disease, bronchiectasis is a common long-term condition caused by permanent damage to the airways. Patients suffer with recurrent cough, sputum production and frequent infections. Antibiotics can help but it is difficult for doctors to be sure when is the right time to prescribe. This fellowship will explore whether monitoring the amount of bacteria in the sputum can help doctors and nurses decide when an antibiotic is needed, as in dealing with urine infections. Overall, it will help design future treatment studies for patients and help address current concerns over antibiotic prescribing.

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Optimisation of pre-hospital resuscitation in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest using a novel method of resuscitation analysis to facilitate training and performance evaluation

  • Dr Richard Lyon, Drs Clarke and Clegg; Emergency Department, Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh
  • £88,007 over three years

Surviving an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA), brought on by a heart attack, depends on high quality resuscitation before the patient reaches hospital. Such treatment is highly complex and requires specific non-technical skills, but the best ways to train and deploy ambulance crews are still the subject of debate. With a view to improving the quality of pre-hospital resuscitation, the researchers aim to use a designated specialist cardiac arrest team, innovative video technology, targeted simulation training and mechanical cardiopulmonary resuscitation. A greater understanding of the relevant skills, techniques and technology would improve the quality of care for people suffering a cardiac arrest, potentially saving many Scottish lives.

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Is childhood wheezy bronchitis an early determinant of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease? A longitudinal study

  • Dr Graham Douglas, Professor Devereux, Drs Turner, Tagiyeva and Fielding; Chest Clinic, Aberdeen Royal Infirmary
  • £89,942 over two years

In what promises to be the longest-running research of its kind in the world, this Aberdeen-based team is examining evidence of whether children who have episodes of wheezing illness during viral infections are more likely to develop Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) later in life. Because this incurable lung condition affects about a million people in the UK – and causes around 30,000 deaths every year – any links that might be identified between COPD and childhood wheezing are likely to help in preparing preventative strategies.

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Metabolic Imaging in Carotid Atherosclerosis (MICA Study)

  • Dr Scott Semple, Mr Vesey, Dr Mirsadraee, Miss Richards, Miss McBride, Mr Chalmers, Dr Dweck and Mr Gray; University of Edinburgh
  • £50,722 over two years

Many heart attacks and strokes are caused by the common condition of atherosclerosis – hardening of the arteries. New ways of imaging this disease, using PET and MRI scanning, are being developed to scan patients who have hardening of the neck arteries and are about to have the tissue removed. The research team will compare the scan results with what can be seen under the microscope. The evidence will not only allow them to assess the value of these scans but also provide insights into the causes of the disease and pave the way for the development of new treatments

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An investigation of the role of thrombin generation as a marker of increased risk of thromboembolic stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation

  • Dr Catherine Bagot, Dr Tait, Mrs. Leishman and Dr McMahon; Glasgow Royal Infirmary
  • £31,560 over two years

Medication to thin the blood can lessen the risk of stroke being brought on by atrial fibrillation (AF), an abnormal heart rhythm. However, this can increase the risk of bleeding. Thrombin generation, a laboratory test which can gauge the ability of a patient’s blood to clot, will be used by the researchers to assess which patients with AF are most at risk of stroke. This in turn will help determine who would gain most from receiving an anticoagulant medicine, so reducing risks associated with bleeding and improving patient safety.

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Assessing the predictive value of quantitative high throughput NMR metabolomic analysis for CVD events in a major diabetes trial: ADVANCE

  • Dr Paul Welsh, Dr Preiss, Professors Woodward, Chalmers and Sattar; Cardiovascular Research Centre, University of Glasgow
  • £77,630 over two years

Cutting-edge technology is being harnessed to give a more detailed analysis of the chemical make-up of blood samples than has yet been possible. The research team has developed the ability to measure the levels of more than 100 different components in blood, covering a broad range of fats and sugars. The researchers will test the new technology’s ability to predict heart attacks, thereby improving drug prescription and prevention. This new technology is being applied in a major international trial of diabetes patients, although this will be of particular interest in Scotland where rising diabetes rates threaten to reverse current declining heart attack trends.

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