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5 minutes with... Antonio Cannata

Dr Antonio Cannata is a Clinical Research Fellow in the School of Cardiovascular and Metabolic Medicine and Sciences. We sat down with Antonio to ask him about his career so far, his current projects and what he enjoys doing outside of academia.

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Briefly, tell us about your background and career up to this point?

I grew up in a small town in the south of Italy. I finished my Medical School in Rome in 2011. After one year of internship in Cardiology, I decided to study basic cardiovascular pathophysiology and spent two years as Research Fellow at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital – Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA, USA. After that I competed the Italian Cardiology training and decided to move to the UK for a PhD in cardiovascular epidemiology. And here we are…

What do you think people in the School would find most surprising about you?

I am an old-fashioned nerd who loves to play Dungeons&Dragons. I believe that role play game boost one’s fantasy and ability to overcome the issues, helps bringing the best of each one as well as build good team players who can relate each other in many difficult occasions of the daily life.

What advice would you give to your 18-year-old self?

Follow your dream and never hesitate. Be eclectic, read a lot and never stop being amazed by the world.

Do you have any current projects that you’d like to tell us about?

Currently we are running several projects. The biggest one aims to investigate the changes in quality of care both in primary and secondary care for patients with Heart Failure during the pandemic. Using national datasets, we aim to characterise the changes occurred and how we can prevent collateral damage in future catastrophic events.

Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?

I love living in London with my family. Our plan is to settle down in London and continue my academic work. I would like to become a clinical trialist and a clinical researcher who spends time with patients to understand them and translate their needs into clinical practice to make them live longer and feel better.

What do you do with your time outside academia?

I love spending time with my two children and my amazing wife. I also love to cook, and I try to make my own pasta quite regularly. If you wish you are all invited for a family Sunday meal at ours.

Who inspires you most and why?

In the “Seven Against Thebes” one of the anti-heroes besieging the city is Amphiaraus. Conversely to other characters, his shield has nothing depicted on it to prove its strength. His motto is “ou gar dokein aristoi, all einai qelei”, which means be the best rather than pretending to be. This motto drives me to give the best of me every day.


Favourite scientist: Rita Levi Montalcini. Besides being a passionate scientist and a great mentor, she realised the importance of making mistakes and to learn from them to push the humanity forward. Her work: tribute to imperfection is a must read.

Netflix recommendation: Stranger Things of course. D&D hits again!

Coffee order: Always espresso. But in the absence of a good one a flat white is a good alternative.

One thing you could not go a day without: Coffeeeeeee!

In this story

Antonio Cannata

Antonio Cannata

Clinical Research Fellow

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