Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we will assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you will not see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Scientist Mike Dodd began a career to fight a life-threatening heart condition after being told he might develop the illness himself.

As a teenager doctors told him he carried the gene which causes hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) and that sparked an interest in the heart and how it works.

 The 28-year-old said: “It was scary. This is a condition that can cause sudden cardiac deaths. “You can be playing sport or doing something and you get a speeding up on your heart and you can literally drop dead.” The condition means sufferers have an irregular thickness of the heart. Former Oxford United player Mitchell Cole retired from the sport in 2011 after being diagnosed, but died of a heart attack aged 27 in 2012. Dr Dodd, who used to live in Cholsey, said he and his brother Chris were told they had inherited the gene when dad Ian was diagnosed with the condition. He added: “I was 14 when my dad went to the doctors and he realised he had something wrong.

“He had palpitations. His heart would skip beats and he could feel his heart really beating in his chest. Me and my brother were then stopped from doing any exercise until we got monitored.” Being told about the condition got Dr Dodd interested in the heart and he went on to study biochemistry at the University of Bath before doing a Phd in cardio vascular medicine at the University of Oxford and researching the illness. He said: “I remember at school when I found out about this I wanted to find out more about the heart. That’s when I got really interested. “I took an interest in it and felt I had a personal connection to it. It sounds cheesy but it was finally a choice to follow my heart.”
 

He now researches the condition and heart disease in general for the university and is based at Headington’s John Radcliffe Hospital and the physiology department. Dr Dodd, who now lives in Burdell Avenue, Sandhills, with his wife, undergoes ultrasound tests on his heart every year. So far there are no signs that he will develop the condition. He said: “At the moment my heart appears normal, so I may develop symptoms later in life and I may not. It is a scary thing but I felt reassured by the constant monitoring.” But Dr Dodd said he has to be careful and that any strenuous exercise could be the “tipping point”.

Source: Oxford Mail

Similar stories

New target to develop immunosuppressants

Publication Research

A new study from the Parekh Group has resolved a long-standing question in our understanding of intracellular Ca2+ signalling, namely how a specific type of Ca2+ channel is uniquely able to signal to the nucleus to regulate gene expression. By unravelling this mechanism, researchers have identified a new approach for developing immunosuppressant drugs.

How the kidney contributes to healthy iron levels and disease

Lakhal-Littleton Group News Publication Research

A new study from the Lakhal-Littleton Group has addressed a long-standing gap in our understanding of systemic iron homeostasis. It provides the first formal demonstration that the hormone hepcidin controls iron reabsorption in the kidney, in a manner that impacts the body’s iron levels, under normal physiological conditions. It also demonstrates for the first time how this mechanism becomes critically important in the development of iron disorders.

New research to radically alter our understanding of synaptic development

Publication Research

A new study from the Molnár group on the role of regulated synaptic vesicular release in specialised synapse formation has made it to the cover of Cerebral Cortex.

Being "in the zone": how waking activity controls sleep need

Publication Research Vyazovskiy Group News

A new study from the Vyazovskiy group suggests that how and where we spend our time while awake impacts how much we need to sleep - it does not only depend on how long we are awake.

New target identified to develop treatment for Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm

Cardiac Theme Publication Research

A new study from the Smart group has shed light on a key regulatory step in the initiation and progression of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm by revealing the protective role of a previously little known small protein.