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20 January 2023

Dr Louise Hesketh wins Cardiac Safety Early Career Seminar Award

A postdoctoral researcher in the School of Cardiovascular and Metabolic Medicine & Sciences has been presented with the Cardiac Safety Early Career Seminar Award

Dr Louise Hesketh
Dr Louise Hesketh, postdoctoral researcher

We are delighted to report that Dr Louise Hesketh, a postdoctoral researcher working in Dr Mike Curtis’ lab at St Thomas’ Hospital, has received the Cardiac Safety Early Career Seminar Award from the American Health and Environmental Science Institute (HESI).

She received the award for two publications published in the British Journal of Pharmacology and Scientific Reports. The HESI committee believed the papers advanced experimental approaches in Cardiac Safety Pharmacology. This is the discipline that guides the study of the risk of side effects during drug development prior to first studies in humans.

The award focuses on a novel experimental approach to use a heart attack animal model to determine the translational therapeutic index (TTI), which is a measure of the difference between minimum beneficial dose and threshold dose for producing adverse effects. The work examined three drugs, OCT2013, lidocaine and a drug similar to lidocaine (mexiletine).

The TTI for OCT2013 was found to be far superior to that of lidocaine and mexiletine. This is good news for OCT2013, a new drug for prevention of sudden cardiac death, currently being developed by the KCL team and their collaborators. The awarding of the prize shows that the work done on OCT2013 in animal models is of particularly high quality. This may make it easier for the team to advance OCT2013 to the next stage of its development as a medicine.

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Postdoctoral Research Associate