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William Watson


Visiting Scientist

The heart is very dependent on energy to perform its function as a pump and consumes more energy than any other organ in the body.  We know that in the clinical syndrome of heart failure (where the heart does not pump enough blood around the body), there is a deficit in energy supply which seems to be progressive with the condition and is particularly worse when the heart is asked to perform exercise.  We are learning more about how and why this occurs and it seems that a switch in the 'fuel' that the heart uses to produce this energy plays a major role.

Our group uses magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) sequences to see the amount of energy inside living peoples' hearts and the sorts of fuel the heart is using.  My research looks into how using different approaches to alter the fuel the heart uses can improve the amount of energy available to it, paving the way for new treatments.

My background is in clinical cardiology, having undertaken training in general cardiology, internal medicine and cardiac imaging and most recently worked in the heart transplantation service at Papworth Hospital.  I have also been trained in intensive care medicine and  I work in a general adult intensive care unit.

In addition to this. I have a strong background in medical education, research and quality improvement.  I have supervised clinical medicine and pathology, I hold a Postgraduate Certificate in Medical Education, an associate fellowship of the Higher Education Academy and I have written a textbook of anatomy.  I have previously undertaken research into remote ischaemic preconditioning and cardiac resynchronisation therapy and have published in these fields as part of an academic foundation programme.  Finally, I am active in medical quality improvement and as well as undertaking my own projects I work part time on a consultancy basis for a medical management consultancy.

Outside work, I ran a doctors' mess for two years, saving it from closure, doubling the footfall through it and organising a refurbishment.  When I wasn't busy doing this, I exercised my interest in comedy and theatre and have been part of several charity pantomimes, being producer on one.

Recent publications

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