Name:Dr Athanasios Saratzis
Institution: University of Leicester
Connection to the Academy: Starter Grants for Clinical Lecturers awardee and mentee
Dr Athanasios Saratzis, Academic Clinical Lecturer in Vascular Surgery at Leicester University and the NIHR Leicester Biomedical Research Centre, is a Starter Grants for Clinical Lecturers award holder. Academy Starter Grants support Clinical Lecturers looking to develop and strengthen their research careers, giving them the opportunity to gather data to strengthen bids for longer-term fellowships and funding.
“My research focuses on ways to prevent kidney problems in patients with Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms. This type of aneurysm is a dangerous swelling of the aorta, the main blood vessel in someone’s abdomen, which can be fatal if it bursts.
“Our work has shown that aneurysm treatment through keyhole surgery causes a quarter of patients to develop a significant drop in their kidney function. Starter Grant funding from AMS allowed us to perform a pilot randomised controlled trial to assess a new strategy in preventing this kidney damage. Our results were very positive and we are currently setting up a larger trial to confirm the effectiveness of our new intervention.
“It would have been impossible for me to complete a randomised controlled trial independently as a junior academic. The Academy provides access to funding for early career academics that is almost impossible to find elsewhere. That translates to being able to make the important step to independent research more easily.
“The mentorship provided by the Academy has been life and career changing for me. Crucially it has helped me find a senior academic surgeons who understand my research challenges. Having a mentor outside my immediate work environment has allowed me to deal with these challenges more efficiently and plan my career a lot better.”