2016: Marios Margaritis
As an undergraduate at the University of Athens Medical School, I developed a keen interest in cardiovascular medicine. While I was student, I actively participated in a research collaboration between the Universities of Oxford and Athens, exploring the pleiotropic antioxidant effects of statins in human cardiovascular tissue. This was a massively rewarding experience, which enforced my resolve to delve into the world of academic medicine.
In addition to my DPhil research, I significantly contributed to a side project examining the role of telomere length measurement in cardiovascular disease. I observed that blood telomere length is a predictor of post-procedural events following revascularisation, independently of age. In addition, there appears to be a tissue-specific variability in telomere length, likely reflecting the underling oxidative stress status of the tissue in question. For my work, I received – for the second time in my career – the Young Investigator Award at the European Society of Cardiology Congress in 2015. The jury panel included Prof Elizabeth Blackburn, Nobel Prize Laureate for her work on telomeres and telomerase – this was definitely both an intimidating and immensely rewarding experience!
Following my DPhil studies, I was awarded an NIHR Academic Clinical Fellowship in Cardiology at the University of Leicester/University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, where I am currently working as an Academic Clinical Fellowship Core Medical Trainee. In my new research project I am working with Dr David Adlam to investigate the pathophysiology of spontaneous coronary artery dissection and coronary artery ectasia – a rare disease characterised by an increase in the diameter of the coronary artery.