Research stay at Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute

By Michael Stylidis, 26.02.2018 14:34

This year from 5th to 28th of January I had an opportunity to visit Australia and took part in collaborative research between Arctic University of Norway and Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute (Melbourne). EPINOR funded this relevant for me scientific activity.

My Ph.D research focused on an understanding of the underlying aetiology of high cardiovascular mortality in Russia and its comparison with Norway. Using state-of-art heart ultrasound techniques like analysis of myocardial strain in population we try to assess possible subclinical heart failure phenotypes in both countries. I found that one of the world leading research institutions Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute in Melbourne works in non-communicable diseases epidemiology and prevention fields with using of modern imaging research technologies. The idea to set up a new collaboration and use heart ultrasound data from populations of Norway, Russia and Australia appeared to be promising regarding research of not only my Ph.D but also for the future projects.

I was lucky to have an opportunity to work with a director of Baker Institute Professor Tom Marwick. During three weeks we have a series of meetings with where we discussed on issues on the analysis of my Ph.D. project. We tried to think how to connect data between countries and perform a multicenter study. As a result, we created a joint protocol of using of heart ultrasound data from Tromsø study and Tas-ELF (Tasmanian Study of Echocardiographic detection of Left ventricular dysfunction). I have presented my recent scientific activities to colleagues from Imaging Research Laboratory in Baker Institute and got valuable feedback. At the end of research stay, we were able to build a roadmap of collaboration between our institutions. My visit to Baker Institute allowed me to interact with specialists in echocardiography successfully and was fruitful.

Melbourne is a large Australian city.  It started from the small community of hunters of indigenous tribes in 19-century and rapidly grown together with the gold rush period. Now it is multicultural place with more than 4.5 million inhabitants and prominent economic, political and cultural centre of southern hemisphere. I was pleasant to be here in January because it is summer period in Australia. During the weekends I went to Great Ocean Road, visited Philipp island with its national parks and attended a lot of galleries and museums.

This research stay was helpful for my scientific and professional growth, and I recommend to all Ph.D students to use the opportunities for research staying provided by EPINOR with the aim of enhancing their research career. 


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