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European award for Hull York Medical School student

Posted on 25 October 2013

A postgraduate student with the Hull York Medical School (HYMS) has won a major European award for the second consecutive year for his research into cardiothoracic surgery.

Dr Priyadharshanan Ariyaratnam was presented with the EACTS (European Association for Cardiothoracic Surgery) Young Investigator Award for Thoracic Disease at the 27th EACTS Annual Meeting in Vienna.

Last year Dr Ariyaratnam was the first person from the UK to win a Young Investigator Award since 2005 and is the only person to win the award two years in a row.

Dr Ariyaratnam, a Cardiothoracic Surgical Registrar and Research Fellow at Castle Hill Hospital, Cottingham, is studying towards a Medical Doctorate with HYMS, looking at the mechanisms of pulmonary hypertension. He said: “It came as quite a pleasant surprise to win the award again. The credit must also go to my supervisors Professor Alyn Morice, who is head of the Centre for Cardiovascular and Metabolic Research at HYMS, and Mahmoud Loubani, who is the Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgeon at Castle Hill Hospital heading research there.

“The research involves taking tissue from patients with lung cancer to study the effect certain compounds have on the lung's blood vessels. This is important as the lung's blood vessels are connected to the heart so problems with the lungs, such as pulmonary hypertension, can affect the heart and cause severe health problems. This can be the case particularly after heart surgery when the heart and lungs are ‘switched off and on’. In addition, we are studying the optimisation of lungs used for transplantation, which is important given the lack of good quality lungs for transplantation.

“The study’s importance spans both understanding the mechanisms governing pulmonary hypertension which carries a high morbidity and mortality, in addition to contributing to the exciting field of lung optimisation of donor lungs in an “ex-vivo” environment before lung transplantation. Castle Hill and HYMS are making quite a name for themselves.”

EACTS is the leading European Association devoted to the practice of cardio-thoracic surgery. Each year the Association holds an annual scientific meeting bringing together leaders in the fields of Acquired Cardiac Disease, Thoracic Disease, Congenital Heart Disease, and Vascular Disease from America, Asia and Europe to discuss the latest advances in cardiac, thoracic and vascular surgery.

Its annual awards include the Young Investigators Awards presented to authors of the best manuscripts on topics of clinical or experimental research in the fields of thoracic surgery, cardiac surgery and congenital heart disease, who are under 35 years old. The awards are judged on a presentation at the Annual Meeting as well as the full paper. Winners receive a prize of €3,000.

Notes to editors:

Contact details

Caron Lett
Press Officer

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