Dr Matthew Carson
It is hoped that this project will allow for a better understanding of cardiac cachexia (CC), both in Northern Ireland and more generally. CC is a wasting syndrome, causing significant fat and muscle loss in heart failure patients – as well as greatly increasing mortality rates.
To date, there is no published prevalence rate for the syndrome in Northern Ireland, whilst our knowledge of the impact of CC on the daily lives of patients and carers is also lacking. Our initial findings show that approximately 15% of advanced heart failure patients suffer from CC, and that this has wide ranging effects on their physical and psychosocial health. Further outcomes from this project will hopefully raise awareness of CC and lead to improvements in patient care.
Details of any grant/funding connected with the research
Initial project was funded by Northern Ireland Chest Heart & Stroke (NICHS)
What is your ideal Research outcome?
An ideal research outcome would be the development of an educational programme, that would fully inform patients of their condition and give them and their carers advice in managing it.
Principal Investigator: Professor Donna Fitzsimons
Why did you choose your current post and why at Queen’s?
I have always been drawn to research that has a direct benefit for patient health, given the potential for improving people’s quality of life. Queen’s is currently the only University in the UK that is actively research cardiac cachexia, making it the obvious choice. However, I have always enjoyed working at QUB, as I feel like a person and not just a face (a rare feat in a large organisation).
How have you been supported at Queen’s?
Speaking at a range of presentation days and outreach events. I have also been supported through numerous training opportunities.
In what ways have you developed at Queen’s?
Queen’s has given me the opportunity to conduct my own research in an unrestricted fashion – helping me gain confidence and experience.
Can you describe the postdoctoral community in the School and at Queen’s?
The postdoc community at the school is diverse, including researchers from a range of different backgrounds. Each individual has their own interests, making both conversation and collaboration rewarding.
Where do you hope your current post will lead?
I hope to be successful in applying for further funding to expand upon my current work. Subsequently, I would like to apply for a fellowship – with a view to developing a long term academic career.