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Report from the CRY Centre for Cardiac Pathology (CRY CCP) By Pam Fernandes, Professor Mary Sheppard’s Medical Secretary at the CRY CCP. To the families and friends of CRY we are happy to announce that our laboratory is now well established with Struan Bourke and Fiona Maleady Crowe as full-time staff. Our laboratory is fully equipped and functioning with staff now trained in processing, cutting and staining the heart tissues for reporting. The National SADS Database has been transferred from the Royal Brompton Hospital Trust to St George’s University of London. There have been a lot of extensive alterations made to the database to enhance statistical analysis and/or research. Zoha Hamza is our newly appointed Database Manager; she works part-time retrospectively entering the CRY cases. We are now fully computerised to produce reports for coroners and families. We had 68 cases from January to April 2014 with a turnaround time of 26 days.

Professor Mary Sheppard, Consultant Cardiac Pathologist

Pam Fernandes, Administrator Struan Bourke, Senior Laboratory Technician Fiona Maleady Crowe, Laboratory Technician Zoha Hamza, Database Manager



We are establishing the unit as a national training centre for cardiac pathologists and have had two overseas visitors in training:

• Professor Sheppard was invited by the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia (RCPA) as visiting professor to their annual meeting held in Melbourne from February 21st – 24th, and then visited the Forensic Pathology Department in Perth from February 25th – 28th. This is a great honour as she gave 4 keynote lectures on sudden cardiac death and it reflects her high standing with her international peers.

• Dr Murali Narayanasamy, a forensic pathologist from Malaysia, joined the team from February to March as an attachment from Queen Mary’s University. • Dr Jan Robertus, a pathologist from Rotterdam, joined the team in March for 6 months to train exclusively in cardiac pathology. He has helped us enormously in establishing the database and our functioning laboratory. Students Poppy Putnam joined the team for a week’s work experience on April 7th.

• University College Cork, Ireland, invited Professor Sheppard to act as an assessor for the Professor Denis O’Sullivan Clinical Fellowship on March 7th. • Professor Sheppard has been appointed: o Database Manager for the UK Cardiac Pathology Network (UKCPN) o Pathology Representative on the council of the Association for Inherited Cardiac Conditions (AICC) in the UK o President Elect of the European Association of Cardiovascular Pathology (AECVP) 2014 – 2016

* a structurally normal heart, again the most common finding, indicates a channelopathy (disease of the heart’s electrical impulses, impossible to detect post-mortem) was the cause of sudden death


Professor Sheppard’s teaching course emphasises the pathological investigation of sudden death and the taking of genetic material at autopsy in order to establish any genetic causes of sudden cardiac death, enabling the screening of any living family members at risk. We

Issue 63 | January to April 2014

CRY Update Magazine Issue 63  

The CRY Update is the charity’s newsletter, published three times a year, reporting on CRY news and events, cardiac screenings, breaking dev...

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