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Congratulations are in order for Judy Sayers, DPhil student in the Riley Group, who has been awarded the University College senior G A Paul Scholarship for research excellence.

Two senior scholarships are offered each year by University College in memory of G A Paul, Fellow of the College from 1945-62. The awards of £200 are awarded to students entering their final year of PhD study in any subject, who are in good academic standing, in recognition of general research excellence. The scholarship also carries some High Table dining rights at the College.

This year, DPhil student Judy Sayers from the Riley Group, who is supervised by Professor Paul Riley and Dr Xin Sun has received this sought after scholarship in recognition of her research. Judy works on heart regeneration, with particular focus on the cardiac conduction system. The “rhythm” of the heart, and consequently the synchrony of cardiac contractile function, is established and maintained by this system. However, patients who survive a heart attack not only suffer from chronically failing hearts, but are also at risk of ventricular arrhythmia, in which the synchrony of cardiac contraction goes awry. Judy is investigating how cardiac injury affects the global architecture and cellular composition of the cardiac conduction system, and whether the conduction system is capable of endogenous regeneration or repair. 

On receipt of her award, Judy said: “I am really delighted to receive the Univ scholarship, and I am very much looking forward to engaging further with the fellowship of the College as I enter my final year of PhD research!”

Earlier in the academic year, Judy won first prize at the DPAG Second Year Poster Day "A Year of Progress" and third place in the DPAG Image Competition for her striking image of the cardiac conduction system and coronary arteries, which is now displayed in the Sherrington building.

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