High standard at Young Investigator Award

By Pat Kelly - 25th Oct 2022 | 105 views

Young Investor Award

The 73rd ICS Annual Scientific Meeting and AGM heard presentations from four cardiology specialists vying for the prestigious Brian Maurer Young Investigator Award for 2022, a segment of the conference that is always notable for the quality of presentations and topics of relevance to patient care.

The session was chaired by Outgoing ICS President Prof Vincent Maher and the judging panel comprised Dr John Harold, past-President of the American Society of Cardiology and Honorary Fellow of the ICS; Dr Rebecca Hahn, Director of Interventional Echocardiography at Columbia University Medical Centre in the US; Dr DiptiItchhaporia, President of the American College of Cardiology; and Prof John Green-wood, President of the British Cardiac Society.

The attendees were addressed by co-chair Dr John Harold, who described Dr Brian Maurer as “and extraordinary cardiologist in the history of Irish cardiology”.

He described how Dr Maurer was instrumental in building national and inter-national links in cardiology for the betterment of patient care. “Brian was a pioneer advocate for consultants and we are here today to celebrate his legacy and his profound interest in science and research, and these presentations are a tribute to him,” said Dr Harold.

This year’s competition heard presentations from finalists Dr Richard Tanner, Dr Cian Scannell, Dr Diarmaid Hughes, and Dr Kevin Millar. Prof Maher commented that each of the finalists should be proud of their achievement, as they were selected from a plethora of candidates who all displayed a high level of clinical excellence with their work.

At the President’s dinner later that evening, it was announced that the winner of the award was Dr Hughes for his presentation on ‘The impact of metabolic surgery on left ventricular structure and function: Differential impact in pre-served vs reduced left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF)’. Dr Hughes is in the second year of an imaging Fellowship in the Cleveland Clinic in the US.

“We saw an improvement in LV structure and function, including a novel finding of improvement in global longitudinal strain post-metabolic surgery,” Dr Hughes concluded in his presentation. “This was consistent across LVEF, age, sex and race, and we saw the largest improvement in patients with reduced EF. So if we see a patient who is overweight, obviously we want to say, ‘take up a sport,’ but if that’s not working, surgery may be an option.”

Speaking with the Medical Independent (MI) following his award, Dr Hughes commented on the honour. “I’m extremely happy with this achievement. We put in a lot of work and a lot of hours on these projects, so it’s a fantastic reward at the end to come here and present to your peers and show they what you have been doing.” 

Dr Hughes continued: “I have been coming to these [ICS] meetings for years as a junior registrar, seeing people coming back under Fellowships and presenting their research,” he said. “Now it has come full circle as I am coming back and doing that, so it’s a really nice moment.” Dr Hughes also remarked on the quality of the competition for the award. “The standard was very high, as always with this competition,” he told MI. “A lot of projects are submitted for the finals of the Brian Maurer award, so I was just happy to be even among that group. There was an extremely high standard of work put forward, so I am very proud to have won it. 

“So many people helped with this project, but I would like to pay tribute to my main supervisor Dr Bo Xu in the Cleveland Clinic, who was a big help. I’d also like to pay tribute to a number of co-authors, as well as Dr Brian Griffin for his help with the project and Dr Nicholas Chan, a resident over there who helped with some of the data collection – these projects are not all about one person, and I got a lot of valuable help.” 

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The Medical Independent 28th November 2022

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