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Betty Raman

MBBS DPhil FRACP


  • British Heart Foundation CRE Intermediate Transition Clinical Research Fellow
  • Emanoel Lee Junior Research Fellow, St Cross College

I am a senior clinical research fellow with a special interest in advanced cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) imaging approaches (oxygen-sensitive imaging, parametric mapping, spectroscopy, late gadolinium imaging). My research is aimed at dissecting the pathophysiological mechanisms that underlie cardiovascular diseases with the help of CMR,  and at discovering novel imaging biomarkers to guide clinical treatment. I moved from Australia to Oxford in 2015, having completed my specialist clinical training in Cardiology (Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians) to undertake my DPhil in Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM), an inherited cardiac disease which is the number one cause of sudden death in young adults and athletes. During my DPhil, we discovered a novel oxygen-sensitive magnetic resonance approach, which has shown tremendous potential in both risk prediction for HCM patients and ischaemia detection. This work has been widely recognised for its novelty and was awarded a number of prestigious national and international prizes. For my post-doctoral work, I was awarded a British Heart Foundation CRE Intermediate Clinical Transition Fellowship to develop and identify novel imaging biomarkers that will help predict the risk of progressive disease in HCM-causing gene mutation carriers. Insights arising from this work have the potential to facilitate targeted therapeutic development, personalised medicine and may help inform patients of their future risk of developing symptoms and adverse outcomes. 

 

This year, I have also been researching the effects of coronavirus disease, COVID-19, on multiple organ systems. COVID-19 is a devastating viral pandemic which has seized the world, claiming the lives of thousands of people. Although primarily a respiratory infection, evidence suggests that COVID-19 may affect other organs such as the heart, liver, kidneys, and brain. In an attempt to better understand the systemic effects of COVID-19, I am working with a team of expert scientists researching its effects on multiple organs using advanced MRI techniques. We will also assess the impact of COVID-19 on quality of life and mental health of affected individuals. These findings will help us realise the long-term burden of this disease and the need for ongoing medical surveillance.