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Report from the CRY

Centre for Cardiac Pathology


By Jemma Wells, Dr. Mary Sheppard’s Medical Secretary at the CRY CCP.

The year got off to a strong start with an increase in referrals each month, highlighting our success as a national referral centre. There were 40 referrals over the 3 month period compared to 30 for the same period in 2009. Despite the number of referrals increasing we aim to maintain our target average turnaround of 14 days as CRY has now added a designated research technician to the unit in addition to the current team to help with the work load. We welcomed Saharnaz Vakhshouri in January 2010 to this post at the CRY Centre for Cardiac Pathology. Saharnaz will deal with the increasing number of referrals, processing cases, and assisting in the various research projects that Dr Sheppard and her team are working on. In March 2010 the parents of Sarah Bennett visited Dr Sheppard at the Royal Brompton Hospital to talk about their daughter’s death. They also gave a donation of £5,000 from Mrs Bennett’s employer to the CRY Centre of Cardiac Pathology towards the research into detecting congenital heart defects in young people. Dr Keiko Ogo, a cardiologist from Japan, was recently awarded a travel grant of £3,500 from the Sasakawa Foundation. The foundation aim to develop good relationships between the UK and Japan by supporting activities in various fields, including medicine. In addition to undergraduate students, Dr Sheppard has also been host to Dr Ogo who has carried out a number of projects looking in to sudden cardiac death in pregnancy. Dr Ogo has presented her work at these meetings as well as presenting at the Royal Brompton Hospital Grand Round meeting.

As well as clinical work, Dr Sheppard gives regular lectures at Imperial College London and is regularly invited to lecture at Christchurch Canterbury University. Dr Sheppard is also a guest speaker at meetings and conferences nationally and internationally and will be attending conferences in Ireland, Prague and Brazil later on this year. She was invited to speak for the ‘Meet the experts’ session at the Pathology Society of Great Britain and Ireland, Winter 2010 Meeting, London held 6 – 8 January 2010. Dr Sheppard takes on undergraduate students from the university to work on various projects on young sudden cardiac death. Current students Kush Patel, Roxanni Georgiou and Dinnish Baskaran, as part of the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Programme, are working on projects about ARVC, sudden death in restraint and mitral valve prolapse respectively. Hudaifa Alani is currently working on a BSc project on sudden death in association with alcohol. So far this year, students have presented work at the Pathological Society for Great Britain and Ireland Winter Meeting in January and the United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology (USCAP) Annual Meeting in March as well as at a Symposium held in honour of Prof Philip Poole-Wilson at the National Heart and Lung Institute. Abstracts have been presented at various medical meetings on sudden death in young people covering a variety of topics, including ‘Setting up of a Pathology Laboratory to Investigate Sudden Cardiac Death’ and ‘Cardiopulmonary Causes of Maternal Deaths from 1994 to 2009 in the United Kingdom’. Dr Sheppard was involved in producing 5 research papers during January to April which were published in a variety of peer-reviewed journals and 2 articles were also published; Left ventricular hypertrophy in Sport and UK Cardiac Pathology Network.

Dr Mary Sheppard – Consultant Cardiac Pathologist

Dr Sofia de Noronha – Research Assistant to Dr Sheppard

She wrote chapters for 2 books and contributed to international guidelines; AECVP and SCVP 2009 Recommendations for Training in cardiovascular Pathology and Guidelines for Endomyocardial Biopsies. She is currently writing Practical Cardiovascular Pathology (Second Edition) which is to be published in 2010.

Jemma Wells – PA to Dr Sheppard

Saharnaz Vakhshouri – Laboratory Technician

Dr Sheppard at work in the CRY CCP laboratory

10 • CRY update • Issue 51

CRY Update Magazine - Issue 51  

CRY’s quarterly update magazine with news and information about the charity and our supporters. Registered Charity 1050845.

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