Dr Nick Evans

Dr Nick Evans

3 year full-time Research Training Fellowship; a PhD project entitled Multimodal Imaging of Inflammation at the Neuromuscular Interface in Cerebrovascular Disease

Dr Evans has now successfully completed his project and been awarded his PhD.  He has been appointed to the position of Clinical Lecturer in Geriatric and Stroke Medicine in the Clinical Neurology Unit at the University of Cambridge.

I am a Clinical Research Fellow in Stroke Medicine with a research interest in atherosclerosis and vascular inflammation. I hold an honorary clinical post providing clinical care within the Stroke and Geriatric Departments at Addenbrooke’s Hospital and am also involved in the recruitment of participants into a range of stroke trials. Outside of the research I am a keen medical educationalist and enjoy delivering undergraduate and postgraduate education, including getting individuals from a range of backgrounds involved in research. Participant and patient education is a key complement to this and I enjoy presenting our research and encouraging broader public engagement in medical science.

This research is supervised by Drs Elizabeth Warburton and James Rudd and is performed in collaboration between the Departments of Clinical Neurosciences, Medicine (Cardiovascular Medicine), and Radiology at the University of Cambridge. It has been a pleasure to work with The Dunhill Medical Trust through their support through a Research Training Fellowship.

Carotid artery stenosis is a major cause of stroke. The narrowing of these arteries is caused by atheroma; fatty deposits that cause ‘furring up’ of the arteries. Inflammation within atheroma is known to be associated with atheroma rupture and formation of blood clots that may break off and trigger strokes (thromboemboli). What is not known is how this affects recovery in the longer term.

My research uses Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) to assess different patterns of inflammation within the carotid arteries of participants who have had a stroke due to carotid artery stenosis. This is then compared to the severity and recovery from stroke assessed using clinical and radiological techniques. The research considers not only the physical effects of a stroke but also the effects upon cognition and psychological well-being. Understanding how inflammation affects these outcomes will have important implications for risk stratification, prognostication, and patient-centred rehabilitation.