Tania Pawade – 2 Year Fellowship in Cardiac Rhythm Management

Start date: 1st January 2020

End date: 25th March 2020

Location: Melbourne, Australia

Travel reports

I am profoundly grateful to the Scottish Cardiac Society and the Emily Taylor travel fund. Their support has helped me travel to Melbourne Australia in January of this year, to undertake a prestigious post-CCT fellowship in cardiac rhythm management.

The fellowship is proving to be a fantastic experience and a unique opportunity to simply focus on learning in a supportive environment without the other distractions of a clinical job. I am currently based at Monash Medical centre and being exposed to high volume, high quality training in both electrophysiology and device implantation. In addition to building basic competencies, I am also learning techniques such as His-Bundle pacing, subcutaneous device implantation in addition to pioneering techniques in the context of clinical trials.

I also assist with general electrophysiology and inherited cardiac disease clinics in which I am regularly exposed to a variety of rare channelopathies. Relocating, particularly internationally, is extremely costly but thanks to the Scottish Cardiac Society, some of the financial burden has been relieved. For this, I am immensely grateful and look forward to being able to make a significant contribution to Scottish Cardiology in the future

Anna Barton – British Society for Heart Failure Annual General Meeting

Start date: 28th November 2019

End date: 29th November 2019

Location: London

Travel reports

In November 2019, I was delighted to receive the opportunity to attend the British Society for Heart Failure Annual General Meeting, kindly supported by the Emily Taylor Travel Grant from the Scottish Cardiac Society. The society’s flagship event, held in the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre, brings together health care professionals with an interest in heart failure from across the United Kingdom and further afield to learn about new developments in managing this complex syndrome.

This was the first occasion I was able to attend this prestigious meeting. I found the event extremely well organised with an interesting and varied programme. I was particularly struck at the high attendance with the main auditorium full with standing room only for the majority of the sessions.

The presenters covered a wide range of topics, from presenting the heart failure audit data to covering the fascinating topic of advanced heart failure, transplantation, and mechanical circulatory support (MCS). This session was of particular interest to me having completed a fellowship post with the Scottish National Advanced Heart Failure Service from 2018-2019. I enjoyed hearing presenters from different transplant centres talk about their services and hear their transplant/MCS success stories, which are always incredibly fulfilling to hear in a field where unfortunately many patients do not survive.

The enthusiasm of the delegates was obvious throughout, and it was particularly enjoyable to engage with likeminded colleagues during the refreshment breaks. I also relished the opportunity to catch up with former colleagues and hear about their projects and career plans.

The multidisciplinary nature of the meeting was clear and brought with it a very refreshing perspective. The value of specialist nurses and pharmacists is clear in heart failure in order to ensure we provide holistic and balanced evidence-based care to all our patients, and it was great to see the society promote this so well.

Overall, I am sure my attendance at the BSH will allow me to provide better care to patients I see everyday who suffer from heart failure. I was able to further establish links with members of the heart failure community not only in Scotland but the rest of the UK, and would thoroughly look forward to attending this excellent meeting again.

I am extremely grateful to the Scottish Cardiac Society for their support in allowing me to attend this meeting. With a limited study budget, it would have been much more difficult to attend without the kind support of the society.

Christopher Gingles – Adult Congenital Heart Disease

Start date: 4th November 2019

End date: 5th November 2019

Location: Bristol, UK

Travel reports

I am extremely grateful to the Scottish Cardiac Society for supporting my attendance of the Adult Congenital Heart Disease course from the 4th to the 5th November 2019 at the Engineers’ House in Bristol.

The course was delivered by national experts in the field, Dr Stephanie Curtis & Dr Navroz Masani, and coved a wide spectrum of congenital lesions. Learning was facilitated using echo anatomic correlation from lectures, case workshops and morphology sessions. Echocardiographic findings before and after repair were demonstrated with frequent interactive discussion of cases, culminating in a quiz to test your knowledge at the end of the course.

This an excellent course from which I have learned a great deal and has helped develop my sub-specially knowledge in congenital echo and will used in my clinical practice. I also used the opportunity to interact with national experts, doctors and physiologists from around the country with common fields of interest. I would be happy to recommend this course to anyone as an excellent opportunity to learn from a wide spectrum of interesting cases from the simple to the most complicated in the congenital spectrum.

I am extremely grateful to the Scottish Cardiac Society and the Emily Taylor Travel Fund to give me the opportunity to attend this course and its ongoing financial support for doctors in training who have limited resources to put towards training.

Novalia Sidik – Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics (TCT)

Start date: 25th September 2019

End date: 29th September 2019

Location: San Francisco

Travel reports

Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics (TCT) is the largest international conference for interventional cardiology, with didactic sessions, case reviews, meet the experts and late breaking clinical trial sessions spread over five days. It serves as a platform for the latest evidence-based data on cardiovascular intervention to be shared with thousands of clinicians and scientists, and for practical education through the application of current and emerging technologies.

As an abstract presenter, I was provided with the opportunity to improve my presentation skills and disseminate my research. Engaging with the audience and answering their questions allowed me to learn through critical appraisal and feedback. The themed sessions also meant that I was able to benefit from presentations of similar focus and formulate further research questions.

Attending the numerous sessions at the conference has expanded my knowledge, not only in my area of interest, but also the broader field of interventional cardiology, which has proven useful in providing context for my own work. This is further emphasised by interactions with peers and senior academics working in the same area. Their insights and expert opinions have been invaluable.

Hands-on training sessions of various themes were also available. I had the opportunity to attend a session on large-bore access which was highly educational. The session concentrated on the use of ultrasound to guide puncture, different access points, and closure devices.

TCT 2019 has been a great experience. I have developed experience and skills by presenting my research before a group of experts in the field, and gained knowledge on the most up-to-date clinical practice and cardiovascular research that is taking place around the world.

Damien Collison – Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics 2019

Start date: 25th September 2019

End date: 29th September 2019

Location: San Francisco, USA

Travel reports

I am grateful to the Scottish Cardiac Society for an award from the Emily Taylor Travel Fund which facilitated my attendance at the international cardiology conference ‘Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics 2019’ held recently in San Francisco, USA, from 25th – 29th September. At a moderated oral poster session I presented the findings of a clinical research project performed the Golden Jubilee National Hospital in Glasgow entitled “A Comparison of Clinical and Coronary Physiology Characteristics in Patients With and Without Type 4a Myocardial Infarction Following High-Speed Rotational Atherectomy-Assisted Percutaneous Coronary Intervention”.

As the authors of an oral presentation, my colleagues and I were also fortunate to have the written abstract simultaneously published in a special supplement of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC).

The presentation prompted some stimulating discussion from attendees at the session and facilitated the development of new contacts with similarly occupied researchers from around the world. This will hopefully lead to some future collaborations with our group in Glasgow.

I was able to attend numerous seminars highlighting exciting new research directions and debating current controversies in the field of invasive coronary physiology assessment.

The opportunity to discuss the minutiae of my subspecialty research interest in person with some of the world-renowned experts on faculty at these scientific sessions was invaluable to my continued learning and development as a clinical researcher.

Without the Society’s support, the cost of attending a scientific conference in the USA would have been prohibitive so I greatly appreciate both the educational experience and the opportunity to showcase our research to an international audience that this award provided.

Amy Ferry – RCN International Research Conference

Start date: 3rd September 2019

End date: 5th September 2019

Location: Sheffield, UK

Travel reports

Prize money from the Scottish Cardiac Society enabled me to attend The Royal College of Nursing International Research Conference 2019. I submitted two abstracts one of which was accepted as a poster presentation and one as an oral presentation. This three day conference provided an excellent platform for me to present my research on the use of qualitative research methods within the setting of a clinical trial.

Having the opportunity to speak at international conferences is undoubtedly excellent and necessary research training if a research career is to be pursued. The high cost associated with conference attendance means this can only be made possible through travel bursaries.

This conference provided me the opportunity to network with peers and colleagues from across the world. I was also able to showcase the support provided to nurses by both the University of Edinburgh Centre of Cardiovascular Science and the Scottish Cardiac Society by my attendance there. As well as leading discussions about my research topic I was also able to take part in fringe events regarding the career pathways for clinical academic nurses.

Without the support of the Emily Taylor Grant I would not have been able to attend this meeting. I am very grateful for the continuing support that the Scottish Cardiac Society offers to nurse researchers. 

Alice Mezincescu – ESC Congress 2019

Start date: 31st August 2019

End date: 4th September 2019

Location: Paris, France

Travel reports

I am very grateful to the Scottish Cardiac Society for awarding me the Emily Taylor travel grant.

This has allowed me to attend ESC Congress 2019 in Paris France.

The European Society of Cardiology Congress is one of the most prestigious meetings in Cardiology where experts from all around the world gather to share their latest research.

For the last three years I have been reading for a PhD and running a small study looking at the importance of intramyocellular lipids in a population of type 2 diabetes patients and in fit athletes. Thanks to the Scottish Cardiac Society Emily Taylor grant I was able to attend this conference and present my research here. I’ve also had the opportunity to meet with other researchers from around the world and network.

During the congress I had the opportunity attend many clinical lectures and hands-on sessions which allowed me to be up to date with the latest clinical trials in Cardiology, improve my overall knowledge and skills. I am confident that this will translate into better patient care and I want to thank the Scottish Cardiac society once more for making this visit possible.

Stephen Rankin – Midlands Echocardiography Foundation Course

Start date: 24th July 2019

End date: 27th July 2019

Location: Stoke on Trent

Travel reports

I am extremely grateful to the Scottish Cardiac Society for supporting me to attend The Midlands Echocardiography Foundation course. This 3-day course is an excellent introduction to the skill of echocardiography and has greatly helped me prepare for my upcoming fellowship post in cardiology.

Echocardiography is an essential skill to have as a cardiologist. This course offers an in-depth experience covering all aspects of echocardiography with practical sessions to gain experience in echo. Without this course, I would not be able to have dedicated such an intense amount of time to echocardiography which would have made it harder to understand the basic principles of echocardiography. Now having attended this course I am comfortable in using echo and I am able to obtain images of the 4 cardiac windows and make assessments such as LV function which will be crucial in my next post as cardiology clinical fellow.

The skills I have learned over these 3 days will serve me for the rest of my career and I am extremely grateful to the Scottish Cardiac Society and the Emily Taylor Travel Fund to give me the opportunity to attend this course.

Evangelos Tzolos – 1 year Fellowship – California

Start date: 1st July 2019

End date: 1st July 2020

Location: Los Angeles, California

Travel reports

I would like to express my gratitude to the Scottish Cardiac Society and the Emily Taylor travel fund. Their support has helped me travel to Los Angeles, California in July 2019, to undertake prestigious 1-year fellowship under the supervision of Professor Dan Berman in the S.Mark Taper Foundation Imaging Centre, Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre, Los Angeles, California.

This fellowship provided a unique and exciting opportunity to work with leading academic cardiologists and imaging specialists in a centre with unparalleled provision of state of-the-art imaging technology and expertise. It equipped me with a range of novel clinical and research skills not currently available in the UK, which I will be able to apply back to Edinburgh on my return in 2020 as a Clinical Research Fellow.

In particular, my research focused on a program of studies using a hybrid PET/CT and PET/MR imaging systems to image the coronary arteries and aortic valve. This enabled me to help develop and explore such novel imaging techniques to gain a greater understanding of the pathological processes within the coronary vessels and aortic valve which lead to heart attacks and aortic stenosis respectively. This program of work built upon our existing experience in Edinburgh of using the positron-emitting tracer 18F- sodium fluoride in hybrid PET/CT systems to identify progressive calcification within the aortic valve, and identify vulnerable atherosclerotic plaques within the coronary arteries. As part of an ongoing collaboration with leading cardiologists and imaging specialists at Cedars Sinai Medical Centre, I helped to develop imaging techniques to optimize PET/MR and PET/CT-based imaging of the coronary arteries and aortic valve using 18-F sodium fluoride.

The imaging fellowship also provided me with excellent clinical experience. I had the opportunity to train under the supervision of Professor Dan Berman, and gain experience in reporting cardiovascular magnetic resonance, computed tomography and nuclear imaging techniques, all of which are immediately transferable to my future clinical work back in Edinburgh.

In summary, my time at Cedars Sinai helped me expand my research and clinical expertise in cutting edge cardiovascular imaging. I gained experience in PET/CT and PET/MRI and forged collaborative links with one of the world’s leading centres in cardiovascular research.

I am very grateful for Emily Taylor travel fund, which made this fellowship financially feasible and therefore allowed me to undertake this fantastic opportunity.

Christopher Gingles – European Society of Hypertension

Start date: 21st June 2019

End date: 24th June 2019

Location: Milan, Italy

Travel reports

I am very grateful to the Scottish Cardiac Society for supporting my travel via an Emily Taylor grant to attend and present my research at the European Society of Hypertension Annual Scientific meeting in Milan 2019. I gave an oral presentation and discussed the results of our clinical trial that investigated the use of allopurinol versus placebo to subjects with hypertensive heart disease. This was a unique opportunity at an international meeting to both further the knowledge in hypertension and promote Scottish research to a global audience. I laud the SCS for supporting trainees to attend meeting and courses, which we may otherwise not be able to go to.