Katie Allan, a post-doctoral fellow in the School of Nursing, took first place in the Faculty of Health Sciences Postdoctoral Association’s travel award competition this year. These awards provide aid to trainees for expenses incurred for travel to/from a scientific conference/training that is relevant to their scientific field.
Dr. Allan specializes in research on heart arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death. Her current study involves atrial fibrillation. “Atrial fibrillation is a common heart arrhythmia or irregular heartbeat, affecting approximately 350,000 Canadians,” she says. “It causes the heart to beat quickly, making patients feel sensations such as a racing heart, short of breath, fatigue and dizziness. These symptoms can decrease their quality of life and ability to perform daily tasks. To restore their heart to a normal rhythm, patients can choose a treatment called catheter ablation. This is where a surgeon uses a catheter to burn small areas in the heart where they think the arrhythmias come from. But this procedure has both benefits and drawbacks. So how do patients choose the treatment option that is right for them? The goal of our study is to design a computer application that can help patients make quality decisions about treatment options for atrial fibrillation and to ultimately improve their quality of life.”
“The Postdoctoral Travel Award Competition is a terrific opportunity for our fellows,” say Drs. Michael McGillion and Sandra Carroll, her supervisors. “With these funds, Dr. Allan will be able to disseminate this important work at the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress, Canada’s premier cardiovascular scientific forum. We are very proud --- congratulations Katie!”