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Doctoral College Week: Doctoral Inaugural Lecture

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Film Theatre, Ground Floor, Attenborough Seminar Block

University of Leicester

University Road

Leicester

LE1 7RH

United Kingdom

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We welcome the public audience to join us for our new series of the Doctoral Inaugural Lectures!

About this Event

These Inaugural Lectures are where the very best of our research degree graduates get the chance to return and share their work and their passion for research with the University and the public.

Lecture will run from 17:00-18:00 followed with a reception.

Free entry but booking essential!

See you there :)

Any dietary requirements please email km423@le.ac.uk.

Our February speakers are

Dr Caroline Cupit, College of Life Sciences

Do I really need to take a statin?: a behind-the-scenes look at influences on GPs’ advice about cardiovascular disease prevention

Statins are one of a suite of medications which may be recommended to reduce a patient’s risk of cardiovascular disease. Under current clinical guidelines, approximately 12 million people in England are eligible to be prescribed them. However, widely publicised debate about their effectiveness, the prevalence of side-effects, and the influence of the pharmaceutical industry has contributed to considerable uncertainty among patients over whether they really are a ‘good idea’ for them personally. Both personal experience and anecdotes of side-effects among friend/family networks may add to this uncertainty. Experiences of taking other preventative medications (to treat risk conditions such as Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus, high blood pressure, or atrial fibrillation) may similarly raise questions about whether the projected future benefits of taking these medications are really worth the present inconvenience involved.

In this talk, I draw on a sociological study of cardiovascular disease prevention to examine why patients often feel pressured into taking preventative medications and find it difficult to achieve meaningful conversations with healthcare professionals about what would work best for them, in their own individual situations. I discuss how performance management and incentive systems influence the behaviour of, and advice provided by, healthcare professionals. Although intended to improve care, they may also have detrimental consequences when played out in frontline encounters with patients.

Caroline Cupit uses ethnographic and other qualitative social science methods (e.g. observation, interviews, policy analysis) to study healthcare settings and support improvement. Her doctoral work particularly highlighted aspects of care which may be overlooked within the contemporary organisation of healthcare services, but which are important to patients — for example: continuity; good communication practices; and reducing medication use. She is interested in showing how the institutional dimensions of healthcare such as financial contracts, policies and guidelines impact the ‘real world’ of frontline care. She is keen to promote systems and styles of care which are sensitive to the individual needs and preferences of patients, whilst also practicable and a good use of limited healthcare resources.

Caroline received an Improvement Science award from The Health Foundation to undertake her doctoral research and continues to present her work in academic, policy and practice-orientated fora. She now works as a Research Associate within the SAPPHIRE (Social science APPlied to Healthcare Improvement REsearch) group at the University of Leicester.

Dr Jatinder Minhas, College of Life Sciences

Carbon Dioxide and Brain Blood Flow

A change in arterial carbon dioxide (PaCO2) exerts a potent effect on the cerebral vasculature (brain blood vessels). Consequently, PaCO2 is a key confounder in cerebral haemodynamic studies that must be measured. Through measurement of PaCO2 across its physiological range, relationships with all key systemic and cerebral haemodynamic variables have been deduced. In healthy humans, this knowledge has provided opportunities to compare and contrast sensitivities and directions of relationships between variables and PaCO2 change. This knowledge has permitted careful translation of PaCO2 manipulation (for example via hyperventilation) in acute stroke patients. Furthermore, this work has prompted consideration of the natural history of PaCO2 change post-acute stroke, unearthing previously unreported variation in the acute stroke period. Despite successful translation of a cerebral autoregulation (CA – control of brain blood flow) targeted intervention in an acute stroke population, several questions remain. Does the presence of hypocapnia (low carbon dioxide levels) in acute stroke represent pathology or a protective mechanism? Can hypocapnia be accentuated to improve CA and overall outcome? This talk will provide an update on our current understanding of PaCO2 and CA, in addition to providing a viewpoint on potential PaCO2 based interventions.

Jatinder is a National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Clinical Lecturer in Older People and Complex Health Needs at the University of Leicester. Prior to securing this lectureship, Jatinder completed a highly successful Dunhill Medical Trust Fellowship gaining local (University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust), national (Royal College of Physicians) and international (European Stroke Organisation) prizes for his doctoral work. Jatinder’s doctoral project titled ‘Is it feasible to manipulate carbon dioxide levels to improve impaired cerebral autoregulation in acute haemorrhagic stroke?’ provided training in the delivery of cerebral haemodynamic studies and acute stroke trials. This firm foundation has led to Jatinder developing independent collaborations with the University of British Columbia, University of Manchester, and Northwestern Medicine, Chicago and Hospital Sao Rafael, Salvador, Brazil. In addition to his research commitments, Jatinder works as a Specialist Registrar in Geriatric, Stroke and General Medicine at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.

&

Dr Joe Emmings, College of Science and Engineering

From Geology to Machine Reading: New Perspectives on a UK Black Shale Giant

Black shale, a type of sedimentary rock, plays a key role in many geological resource systems, including hydrocarbons (oil and gas) and mineral deposits. The Bowland Shale, deposited 330 million years ago during the Carboniferous Period, is a highly metalliferous, organic-rich black shale. It is important primarily because it is a potential unconventional hydrocarbon resource in the UK, and because it could help us to understand mineralisation processes, such as lead-zinc deposits in Ireland.

This lecture will summarise new geological perspectives on the Bowland Shale generated by research at the University of Leicester and the British Geological Survey. The Bowland Shale was deposited in a relatively shallow, epicontinental seaway and a low-oxygen seabed environment. There are no direct modern analogues for this setting. Therefore we will first explore geological observations in order to develop an understanding of sedimentary and geochemical reduction and oxidation (‘redox’) processes through the Bowland Shale. For the first time, we identify ‘redox oscillation’ conditions, defining a sub-class of black shales. This is key to understanding the Bowland Shale as a resource.

We will explore the role of biology, including a rare candidate record of chemosynthetic microbial mats. This type of mat utilises compressed geochemical redox gradients at seabed, and is important in terms of sulphur and carbon cycling. Finally, we will consider the Bowland Shale in a holistic and global perspective, including results from the high-throughput computing GeoDeepDive library and machine reading system, in order to develop a new record of black shales through geological time.

In 2014, Joe secured a NERC-funded PhD studentship hosted by the University of Leicester and British Geological Survey, under the supervision of Prof. Sarah Davies and Prof. Gawen Jenkin. Following completion of his PhD in 2018, Joe is now a post-doctoral research associate in geochemistry and decarbonisation at the British Geological Survey, in the Centre for Environmental Geochemistry. His research continues to apply a broad suite of organic and inorganic geochemical techniques in order to understand the first-order controls on the distribution of resources associated with marine anoxia and black shales. He is also interested in the role of the subsurface in decarbonisation, and the application of big data techniques in the geosciences.

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Date and Time

Location

Film Theatre, Ground Floor, Attenborough Seminar Block

University of Leicester

University Road

Leicester

LE1 7RH

United Kingdom

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