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Biomedical Research Centre Fellow Bags Prestigious Prize

Final year medical student Mohammed Chowdhury, supported in part by funding from the Biomedical Research Centre, has won first prize for research towards his Master's degree at the European Congress of the International Society of Vascular Surgery.

The prize, presented in Milan on 29-31 October, came against international competition at the meeting which attracted leading vascular and endovascular surgeons from around the world gathering to learn about the latest developments in their field.

Working in a team that included endovascular surgeon Mr. Ferdinand Serracino-Inglott and Dr. Yvonne Alexander, Lecturer in Molecular Medicine at University of Manchester, Mohammed's research focused on finding ways to single out a particular group of individuals with carotid artery disease. The aim of the research was to find methods to identify patients who do not show overt symptoms of the disease but who are nevertheless at risk of suffering transient ischaemic attacks, or "mini-strokes", as they are commonly called.

Mr. Serracino-Inglott said of the work

"A challenge facing vascular specialists is identifying those people who are at risk before the consequences of carotid disease occur. This work is a step in the right direction to the ultimate goal of developing a quick and simple test that can spot those individuals and provide them with early treatment".

Mohammed took a year out from his medical studies to conduct the research but hopes to continue in this vein - no pun intended - when he undertakes a two-year academic foundation course beginning in August 2010.

Dr Mark Black from the same department was also awarded the Circulation Foundation Society of Vascular Technology grant for a 12 month project. The project's aim is to identify those patients most at risk of stroke using advanced ultrasound techniques alongside the molecular methodology Mohammed had success with.