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Cambridge Cardiovascular



Myocardial metabolism and Energetics

The heart has a prodigious energy requirement and turns over several kilograms of ATP a day, produced from glucose, fat and other substrates.  Where the heart is weakened in heart failure, irrespective of the cause, these processes are impaired and the heart is starved of energy.

My research looks at how this happens and how we can alter or reverse the process by manipulating cardiac metabolism.  Recent work has focused on increasing lipid oxidation.

I use magnetic resonance to understand this process in humans.  Spectroscopy tuned to phosphorous-31 can evaluate ATP production while carbon-13 or deuterium can tell us about glucose.  Matching our data on energy consumption to other novel MRI techniques can help us show how the condition progresses and using these techniques to evaluate novel therapies for heart failure.


Key publications: 

Retained Metabolic Flexibility of the Failing Human Heart.  Watson WD, Green PG, Lewis AJM, Arvidsson P, De Maria GL, Arheden H, Heiberg E, Clarke WT, Rodgers CT, Valkovic L, Neubauer S, Herring N, Rider OJ (2022).  Circulation, in review

Energetic Basis for Exercise-Induced Pulmonary Congestion in Heart Failure With Preserved Ejection Fraction.  Burrage MK, Hundertmark M, Valkovic L, Watson WD, Rayner J, Sabharwal N, Ferreira VM, Neubauer S, Rider OJ, Lewis AJM (2021).  Circulation, 133, 1664-1678. 

Myocardial Energy Response to Glyceryl Trinitrate: Physiology Revisited. Watson WD, Green PG, Valkovic L, Herring N, Neubauer S, Rider OJ (2021).  Frontiers in Physiology, 12, 2309. 

Rapid, B1-insensitive, dual-band quasi-adiabatic saturation transfer with optimal control for complete quantification of myocardial ATP flux.  Miller JJ, Valkovic L, Kerr M, Timm KN, Watson WD, Lau JYC, Tyler A, Rogers C, Bottomley PA, Heather LC, Tyler DJ (2020).  Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, Magnetic Resonance in Medicine 85(6), 2978-2991. 

Nicotinic acid receptor agonists impair myocardial contractility by energy starvation.  Watson WD, Timm KN, Lewis AJ, Miller JJJ, Emmanuel Y, Clarke K, Neubauer S, Tyler DJ, Rider OJ (2020).  Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, 34(11), 14878-14891. 

Heritability of Haemodynamics in the Ascending Aorta.  McGurk KA, Owen B, Watson WD, Nethonoda RM, Cordell HJ, Farrall M, Rider OJ, Watkins H, Revell A, Keavney BD.  Scientific Reports, 10, 14356 (2020) 

 Myocardial Energetics in Obesity: Enhanced ATP Delivery Through Creatine Kinase With Blunted Stress Response.  Rayner JJ, Peterzan MA, Watson WD, Clarke WT, Neubauer S, Rodgers CT, Rider OJ.  Circulation. 2020 Apr 7;141(14):1152-1163 

Serial Cardiac Magnetic Resonance of an Evolving Subacute Pericardial Haematoma. Watson WD, Ferreira VM, Sayeed R, Rider OJ (2019).  Circulation: Cardiovascular Imaging.  12(12):e009753 

Localised rest and stress human cardiac creatine kinase reaction kinestics at 3 tesla.  Clarke WT, Peterzan MA, Rayner JJ, Sayeed RA, Petrou M, Krasopoulos G, Lake HA, Raman B, Watson WD, Cox P, Hundertmark MJ, Apps AP, Lygate CA, Neubauer S, Rider OJ, Rogers CT.  (2019)  NMR in biomedicine.  E4085. 

Clinical Lecturer in Cardiology at Royal Papworth Hospital
Honorary specialist registrar in intensive care and cardiology
Staff governor Cambridge University Hospitals
Will Watson