Sean Davidson
I am a Senior Research Associate at the Hatter Cardiovascular Institute, University College London. When I completed my PhD in Australia 12 years ago, I had no idea I would end up on the other side of the world, working in one of the most exciting countries in the world for scientific research, and in one of the most stimulating fields of research - that of cardiovascular biology. More specifically I am interested in the mechanism of ischaemia and reperfusion injury and methods to prevent it. Currently, my preferred approach is to use confocal /multiphoton imaging techniques to determine what is happening within the intact heart. The first time I tried this I was greatly surprised to realise that my preferred cardiomyocytes were in fact greatly outnumbered by other cell types including those of the vasculature! Indeed, one thing that continually surprises me working in this in field – and I believe it is similar in other areas - is the self-imposed division between the "cardio-" and the "-vascular" researchers. In 1987 the Society's name was changed to incorporate the term "Cardiovascular" to reflect the interests of the members and I believe much scientific progress could be made by further integrating these somewhat divergent groups. The oversubscription of the recent BAS/BSCR meeting in Manchester which included a section on systems biology suggests I am certainly not alone in thinking like this. I believe it is important that students and early researchers develop a broad understanding of the functioning of the heart at various levels: from the cellular to the organ, from the lab to the clinic, and the BSCR plays a vital role as a communication hub at the centre of these activities. For senior researchers, it can be extremely difficult to find the time to read "outside one's area", and here the BSCR can provide an invaluable service in facilitating discussion and collaboration via meetings.