04 December 2012

European Young Investigator of the Year

HYMS postgraduate student Dr Priyad Ariyaratnam has won the prestigious European Young Investigator of the Year award in cardiothoracics for the preliminary results of his MD.

Priyad, who is a cardiothoracic registrar and research fellow at Castle Hill Hospital, is currently doing his MD with HYMS looking at the mechanisms of pulmonary hypertension using isolated human pulmonary arteries from lung cancer patients.

"I wanted to do this project as pulmonary hypertension carries a high morbidity and mortality rate following cardiac surgery and in children born with congenital heart defects," he said. "There has been a lot of work on animal models but we are still a long way from knowing how to manage this problem. Our research is looking directly at human models of the disease." 

He was given his award at the European Association of Cardiothoracic Surgeons (EACTS) in Barcelona. The prize has not been won by an investigator from England since 2005.
EACTS is the official society for all of Europe's cardiac and thoracic surgical institutions. The association’s official journal is the European Journal of Cardiothoracic Surgery (EJCTS) which is amongst the leading medical journals in the field. Each year the association holds an annual scientific meeting where leaders in the field from America, Asia and Europe come to talk about the latest advances in Cardiac and Thoracic Surgery.

Some 2,000 abstracts from across the world are submitted at the annual meeting and 100 are selected for presentation. Of these, investigators under the age of 35 are selected for the Young Investigator Award. They have to submit a manuscript of their work to the award panel two months prior to the presentation. 

They then have to present their work in 15 minutes via powerpoint and answer detailed questions by the panel and the audience at the meeting. The award is judged on the quality of the manuscript and presentation. 

A Southampton graduate, Priyad obtained first class honors in his intercalated BSc there in 2006 and graduated from the medical school in 2007. He undertook his Academic Foundation Programme training in Southampton in Surgery. He then came to Yorkshire to do Core Surgical training before going to Belfast for six months where he completed his LAT ST3 in Cardiothoracics. He came to Hull in March 2012 to start as a research fellow in CTS and registered for his MD in July.

His supervisors are Professor Alyn Morice (Professor of Academic Medicine) and Mr Mahmoud Loubani (Consultant Cardiothoracic surgeon). 

He is also working as a cardiothoracic registrar and his MD is being sponsored by Mr Levant Guvendik and Mr Steven Griffin who are both senior cardiac surgeons at Castle Hill Hospital.

For more information about EACTS, log on to: http://www.eacts.org/association/awards-prizes/young-investigator-awards.aspx