A big congratulations to one of our Scholarship recipients, Dr Kei Woldendorp, who has submitted the thesis for his MPhil and is currently awaiting allocation of examiners and marking. Below is an interview with Kei about his research, so you will be able to discover more about the work he did during his MPhil.
Cardiothoracic surgical registrar at RPAH, a Master of Philosophy candidate at University of Sydney and the recipient of a Baird Institute Scholarship
What is your research topic?
Neurological injury after transcatheter aortic valve Implantation (TAVI). My research looks at aortic valve intervention post-operative stroke and neurological outcome. I am looking at both open surgical and minimally invasive techniques in my research.
What is the aim of your research?
To investigate the incidence, causes, and potential treatments of stroke and other neurological injury after transcatheter aortic valve replacement. The goal of this research is first and foremost to improve guidelines for patient selection as these procedures and techniques continue to evolve in the future, as well as understanding how these patients progress after their procedure. Stroke remains a devastating although fortunately rare outcome for aortic valve intervention. By understanding the risk factors that underly stroke, we hope to improve patient selection into different pathways and streams of management for aortic valve surgery or intervention and in the rare instances where stroke does occur we hope to understand how patients may progress and how treatment may help in their post-operative recovery, to reduce their burden or their quality of life.
What is the potential impact of your research?
As transcatheter aortic valve replacements (TAVI) expand to include lower risk and younger patients it is imperative to understand neurological injury associated with this procedure. An understanding of the causes may allow clinicians to develop new strategies to prevent or treat complications more effectively. An overview of this phenomenon may also allow clinical indications to be defined for TAVI to balance benefits and risk compared to alternative treatments such as surgical aortic valve replacement.
A total of 11 publications have been created through the research into this topic. Seven have been published and four are currently under review for consideration of publication in peer reviewed journals. and will be submitted towards the end of the year for the award of the degree of Master of Philosophy at The University of Sydney.
How has your scholarship from The Baird Institute helped you?
I have been fortunate enough to have been supported by a scholarship from The Baird Institute throughout my research and it has really assisted me in gaining access to quite high powered statistical software and hardware to analyse the data that we have collected. It has also allowed me to present my research at conferences both locally and internationally enabling me to share my ideas with my peers. By disseminating these ideas we hope to garner more interest and start more research in this area to help improve patient outcomes and patient safety in the future. I thank all those generous supporters of The Baird Institute for giving me this great opportunity to attain an MPhil and do life-saving research.