Role Models: Academic Cardiology

Prof Dana Dawson
"Stumbling blocks can all be overcome with perseverance in large doses. Never give up if you really want to achieve a goal."

I qualified in medicine in University of Medicine “Grigore T. Popa” in Iasi, Romania. I completed my MRCP with the Royal College of Physicians and then read for a D. Phil in Cardiovascular Medicine at Merton College, University of Oxford. I trained in Cardiovascular Medicine in Edinburgh, Oxford and London in the UK and at the University of Virginia in the USA. I am a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of London and Edinburgh and a Fellow of the European Society of Cardiology. I joined the University of Aberdeen in 2010. Here I established a clinical and preclinical research group as well as being an active member of the NHS Acute Cardiology service at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary. In addition to the research I describe below my clinical cardiology role brings expertise to the Advanced Cardiac Imaging service and I actively participate in the on call rota of the acute NHS Cardiology service.

My research focuses on several pivotal clinical questions, such as acute stress induced (takotsubo) cardiomyopathy, insulin-resistance modulation in health and diabetes, the influence of exercise training programmes in cardiomyopathies and unmasking heart failure hidden under the umbrella of other diseases as well as the novel domain of cardio-oncology. Overall I aim to find mechanistic pathways of disease in order to understand how to best target therapies.

My greatest achievement so far has been bridging the gap between the NHS clinical cardiology service and the University, which is perhaps the key to success for a clinical researcher and undoubtedly the biggest strength in Aberdeen. Notably, however, this would have not been possible without the help of all my NHS Consultant colleagues who are instrumental in all our research achievements. One could have not wished for a better, more collegiate work environment.

Outside of work, I have two children aged 17 and 11 who keep me busy. I am very involved in sporting and outdoors activities in the beautiful and scenic North of Scotland.

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