Scientist Mike has heart in research

Heart research scientist Mike Dodd

Heart research scientist Mike Dodd

First published in News Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Crime Reporter, also covering Barton and Wood Farm. Call me on (01865) 425427

SCIENTIST Mike Dodd began a career to fight a life-threatening heart condition after being told he might develop the illness himself.

As a teenager doctors told him he carried the gene which causes hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) and that sparked an interest in the heart and how it works.

The 28-year-old said: “It was scary. This is a condition that can cause sudden cardiac deaths.

“You can be playing sport or doing something and you get a speeding up on your heart and you can literally drop dead.”

The condition means sufferers have an irregular thickness of the heart.

Former Oxford United player Mitchell Cole retired from the sport in 2011 after being diagnosed, but died of a heart attack aged 27 in 2012.

Dr Dodd, who used to live in Cholsey, said he and his brother Chris were told they had inherited the gene when dad Ian was diagnosed with the condition.

He added: “I was 14 when my dad went to the doctors and he realised he had something wrong.

“He had palpitations. His heart would skip beats and he could feel his heart really beating in his chest.

“Me and my brother were then stopped from doing any exercise until we got monitored.”

Being told about the condition got Dr Dodd interested in the heart and he went on to study biochemistry at the University of Bath before doing a Phd in cardio vascular medicine at the University of Oxford and researching the illness.

He said: “I remember at school when I found out about this I wanted to find out more about the heart. That’s when I got really interested.

“I took an interest in it and felt I had a personal connection to it. It sounds cheesy but it was finally a choice to follow my heart.”

He now researches the condition and heart disease in general for the university and is based at Headington’s John Radcliffe Hospital and the physiology department.

Dr Dodd, who now lives in Burdell Avenue, Sandhills, with his wife, undergoes ultrasound tests on his heart every year. So far there are no signs that he will develop the condition.

He said: “At the moment my heart appears normal, so I may develop symptoms later in life and I may not.

“It is a scary thing but I felt reassured by the constant monitoring.”

But Dr Dodd said he has to be careful and that any strenuous exercise could be the “tipping point”.

 

Our top stories:

Party will mark the launch of Oxford Fashion Week

Oxford Mail:

6:00am Saturday 1st November 2014

OXFORD Fashion Week is to launch with an opening party, marking the start of a week of runway shows across the city.

Why dad Keiron was first in the queue to sign up for the run

Oxford Mail:

6:00am Saturday 1st November 2014

KEIRON White was the first to sign up for the Oxford Mail OX5 Run to support the hospital that cared for his son.

Funnyman Fry serves up a bit of self-awareness

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Friday 31st October 2014

NATIONAL treasure Stephen Fry met fans in the Bodleian Library for a “hackathon”.

‘Lonely hearts club scam cost me £631’

Oxford Mail:

8:40am Friday 31st October 2014

A MAN left with a £631 phone bill after a relationship with a woman he met on a dating website is warning others to be wary.

Urban dancers prove they can move to the groove

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Friday 31st October 2014

DANCE group Body Politic took Oxford’s Pegasus Theatre by storm as it rolled into town as part of its UK tour.

Mum of drugs death teenager in plea to MPs for law review

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Friday 31st October 2014

A MOTHER who lost her 15-year-old daughter after she took Ecstasy urged MPs to review drug laws yesterday.

£10m community cash for West Way upgrade

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Friday 31st October 2014

DEVELOPERS behind the planned Botley regeneration have revealed they will fund £10m towards community benefits if the controversial scheme goes ahead.

Height row flats' tree screening plan blasted

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Friday 31st October 2014

UNIVERSITY bosses have put forward plans to screen a student flats development by Port Meadow with trees but ruled out reducing its height.

TB victim sent to prison after coughing over council staff

Oxford Mail:

6:30am Friday 31st October 2014

A HOMELESS man has been jailed for the “disgusting” crime of trying to spread tuberculosis (TB) by coughing over Oxford City Council workers.

One in three children in parts of Oxford is living in poverty, says charity

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Thursday 30th October 2014

ONE in three children is living in poverty in areas of the city, a charity has found.

UPDATE: Road reopens after car overturns in Heyford Road, Middleton Stoney

Oxford Mail: Ambulance stock image

10:12am Thursday 30th October 2014

A woman has been taken to hospital following a crash in Middleton Stoney.

LONDON WELSH: Piri Weepu plays down injury concerns

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Thursday 30th October 2014

LONDON Welsh scrum half Piri Weepu yesterday played down concerns about the ankle injury that has left his right foot in a protective boot.

More than 40 Oxford buildings to get free wi-fi

Oxford Mail: Oxford Ice Rink

9:30am Thursday 30th October 2014

ART galleries, civic buildings and even Oxford Ice Rink will soon have free wi-fi thanks to government investment.

London Welsh scrum on down for a bit of action at Oxford's Radcliffe Camera

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Thursday 30th October 2014

LONDON Welsh rugby players are well known for their big hits on opponents in the Aviva Premiership, but yesterday they were the big hits as they took the Big City Scrum to the streets of Oxford.

Comments

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree