Professor Dana Dawson

Professor Dana Dawson

Chair in Cardiovascular Medicine

Professor Dana Dawson
Professor Dana Dawson

Contact Details

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The University of Aberdeen Polwarth Building School of Medicine and Dentistry University of Aberdeen Foresterhill Aberdeen AB25 2ZD


Professor Dawson qualified in medicine at University of Medicine “Grigore T. Popa” in Romania. After completing her MRCP with the Royal College of Physicians in London she read for a D. Phil in Cardiovascular Medicine at Merton College, University of Oxford.  She trained in Cardiovascular Medicine in Edinburgh, Oxford and London in the UK and at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, in the USA.  In 2010 she moved to the University of Aberdeen and Aberden Royal Infirmary where she currently is Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine and Consultant Cardiologist.

She is a member of the British Cardiovascular Society and the American Heart Association. She is also a Fellow of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC), a nucleus member of the Myocardial Function Working Group of the of the ESC and a Committee member of the Takotsubo Syndrome Study Group affiliated to the Heart Failure Association of the ESC.

She made a significant contribution in advancing knowledge in acute stress induced (Takotsubo) cardiomyopathy, which is one of the main areas of research interest within the group. The current Takotsubo research randomises acutely diagnosed patients to physical exercise versus cognitive behavioural therapy. The Scottish Takotsubo Registry is accruing all incident and prevalent cases dating back to 2010 and a genetic analysis of the probands will be conducted in the future.

There is keen interest in other topics however, such as diet and exercise based interventions to improve cardio-metabolic health in patients with type 2 diabetes or to better guide cardio-metabolic health in normal populations.

Other large size, mechanistic trials explore the possible cardiac substrate in patients with COPD who show clinical improvement whilst on betablocker therapy.  There is a developing interest in cardio-oncology and in therapies for acute coronary syndromes.

The Cardiology research group is keenly working together with MR physicists towards the unique development of fast field cycling magnetic resonance for cardiovascular disease (with Professor David Lurie's group).

Professor Dana Dawson leads the Cardiology and Cardiovascular Research Unit and together with her NHS Consultant Colleagues who have distinct Principal Investigator roles, they bring specific expertise to the group, creating a broad scope of activities.

This expertise includes advanced cardiovascular imaging (Cardiac Magnetic Resonance, cardiac PET, advanced Echocardiography, cardiac CT, nuclear medicine), cardiac physiology testing (both bike and treadmill cardiopulmonary testing with/without invasive measurements, heart rate variability), expertise in skeletal/cardiac muscle biopsies, expertise in setting up and running clinical trials of intervention or investigational medicinal products, a forthcoming dedicated research session in the cardiac catheterization laboratory when the third lab is opening (2021) as well as expertise and dedicated molecular cardiology laboratory. The Unit has its own Clinical Cardiology Research Facility, co-located within the Cardiology Department at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary and own molecular cardiology laboratory located within the Institute of Medical Sciences for translational studies.

The Cardiology and Cardiovascular Research Unit also has strong collaborative links with molecular nutritionists, diabetes/endocrinology and oncology clinical colleagues, sport physiologists, MR and PET physicists, synthetic molecular chemists and cardio-thoracic surgeons.

The Team members and close collaborators are:

Dr. Alice Mezincescu – Clinical Lecturer (former BHF Clinical Research Fellow)

Dr. Hassan Abbas – BHF Clinical Research Fellow

Dr. James Ross - Lecturer in Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance Physics

Dr. David Gamble - BHF Clinical Research Fellow

Dr. Maheshi Gunasekara - Clinical Research Fellow

Dr. Chaitanya Pradeep Joshi - Clinical Research Fellow - Dental, Elphinstone Scholar

Ms Amelia Rudd, MSc (AHP, clinical) - Cardiovascular Physiologist and Personal Trainer

Miss Lesley Cheyne - Cardiovascular Technician

Ms Janaki Srivanastan – Senior Research Sonographer

Dr. Trevor Ahearn – Principal CMR Physicist

Dr. Lionel Broche – Lecturer in Fast Field Cycling MR Physics

Dr. Gareth Davies - Fast Field Cycling MR Physics Reseach Fellow

Dr. Caroline Scally – former BHF Clinical Research Fellow

Miss Nadine Godsman – former BHF non-clinical PhD student

 Nursing staff:

RN Valerie Harries

RN Paula Henderson

RN Maureen Harrison

RN Kathleen Dunnet

Research Radiographers:

Ms Beverly McLennan (MRI)

Ms Nicola Crouch (MRI)

Mr Mike Hendry (MRI)

Ms Laura Reid (MRI)

Mrs Denise Forrest (CT)

Ms Louise Lamley (CT)

Cardiovascular Medicine Research Team

Most recent mentored scientific investigations shortlisted for prize awards include:
  1. Janaki Srivanasan – winner of the British Society of Echocardiography Young Investigator Research Prize, October 2016
  2. Caroline Scally – finalist at the Early Career award, Society of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance, Washington, January 2017
  3. Caroline Scally – finalist at the Samuel A Levine Young Investigator Award of the American Heart Association, Anaheim, CA, November 2017
  4. Nadine Godsman – winner of the Young Investigator’s prize of the British Pharmacological Society – Pharmacology, December 2017 – London, England
  5. Caroline Scally - finalist at the Melvin Judkins Young Investigator Award of the American Heart Association, Chicago, IL, November 2018
  6. Alice Mezincescu – finalist at the Early Career Award-Translational Sciences of the Society of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance, Seattle, February 2019



Research Funding and Grants


  1. The next leap in cardiac magnetic resonance imaging: cycling the field: D Dawson (CI), D Lurie, L Broche, J Ross, H Abbas: BHF New Horizons Grant no. NH/19/1/34595, 2020-2023, £277,722
  2. Towards Elucidating the Genetic Predisposition for Acute Stress-Induced (Takostubo) Cardiomyopathy: D Dawson (Chief Investigator), Z Miedzybrodzka, Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland, 2019-2021, £24,950
  3. PhysicaL Exercise and mental wellbeing rehabilitation for Acute StrEss-induced takotsubo cardiomyopathy: The PLEASE trial BHF Project Grant no. PG/18/35/33786; D Dawson (Chief Investigator), D.E. Newby, Marc Petrie, S Leslie, C.C. Lang, G Horgan, S Gray, C Williams, 2019-2022, £298,134
  4. Cardiac Energetics and Breast Cancer Treatment, Tenovus Scotland G18.01, D Dawson (Chief Investigator), R Sharma, 2019-2021, £19,595
  5. Resting Cardiac Energetics in Patients Undergoing Anthracycline Chemotherapy for Breast Cancer, Friends of Anchor, D Dawson (Chief Investigator), R Sharma, 2019-2021, £14,724
  6. Fast Field Cycling-Magnetic Resonance Imaging (FFC-MRI): A New Diagnostic that Reveals Acutely Inflamed Coronary Artery Plaques by Detecting Fat Dysfunction: D Dawson (Chief Investigator), D Lurie, L Broche, Justin Rochford and Hussein El-Shafei, Grampian NHS-Endowments, 2018-2019, £9,350
  7. A randomised, double-blind placebo controlled trial to test if a beneficial effect of beta-blockers on exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is restricted to those patients with occult heart disease: D Dawson (Chief Investigator), G Devereux,  C Lang, B Lipowrth, W MacNee, N Mills, S Fielding, R Chaudhuri, P Short: BHF Project Grant no. PG/17/64/33205, 2017-2020, £299,169
  8. Duration of dual anti-platelet therapy in acute coronary syndrome across Scotland. The DUAL-ACS2 trial: D Newby (Chief Investigator), N Mills, K Fox, D Dawson, J Irving, D McAllister, A Morris, J Norrie, M Petrie, C Berry, M McEntegart: British Heart Foundation Clinical Study no. CS/17/4/32960, 2017-2022, £630,845
  9. Muscle fat compartments and turnover as a determinant of insulin sensitivity: D Dawson (Chief Investigator), M Delibegovic, S Gray, S Philip, P Whitfield, F Thies, G Lobley, British Heart Foundation Project Grant no. PG/15/88/31780, £259,358, 2016-2019




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  • Effect of the 2017 European Guidelines on Reclassification of Severe Aortic Stenosis and Its Influence on Management Decisions for Initially Asymptomatic Aortic Stenosis

    Chan, D. C. S., Singh, A., Greenwood, J. P., Dawson, D. K., Lang, C. C., Berry, C., Pakkal, M., Everett, R. J., Dweck, M. R., Ng, L. L., McCann, G. P.

    Circulation. Cardiovascular imaging, vol. 13, no. 12, e011763

    Contributions to Journals: Articles

  • The Early Dynamic of ECG in Takotsubo Syndrome presenting with ST-elevation: A comparison with age and gender-matched ST-elevation Myocardial Infarction

    Scally, C., Choo, W., Rudd, A., Neil, C., Siddiqi, N., Mezincescu, A., Wilson, H. M., Frenneaux, M., Horgan, G., Broadhurst, P., Dawson, D. K.

    International Journal of Cardiology, vol. 320, pp. 7-11

    Contributions to Journals: Articles

  • Multimodality imaging in takotsubo syndrome: a joint consensus document of the European Association of Cardiovascular Imaging (EACVI) and the Japanese Society of Echocardiography (JSE)

    Citro (Chair), R., Okura Co-Chair, H., Ghadri, J. R., Izumi, C., Meimoun, P., Izumo, M., Dawson, D., Kaji, S., Eitel, I., Kagiyama, N., Kobayashi, Y., Templin, C., Delgado, V., Nakatani, S., Popescu, B. A.

    European Journal of Echocardiography, vol. 18, pp. 199-224

    Contributions to Journals: Articles

  • Cardiac dysfunction in cancer patients: beyond direct cardiomyocyte damage of anticancer drugs. Novel cardio-oncology insights from the joint 2019 meeting of the ESC Working Groups of Myocardial Function and Cellular Biology of the Heart

    Tocchetti, C. G., Ameri, P., de Boer, R. A., D'Alessandra, Y., Russo, M., Sorriento, D., Ciccarelli, M., Kiss, B., Bertrand, L., Dawson, D., Falcao-Pires, I., Giacca, M., Hamdani, N., Linke, W. A., Mayr, M., van der Velden, J., Zacchigna, S., Ghigo, A., Hirsch, E., Lyon, A. R., Görbe, A., Ferdinandy, P., Madonna, R., Heymans, S., Thum, T.

    Cardiovascular Research, vol. 116, no. 11, pp. 1820-1834

    Contributions to Journals: Articles

  • Geometric description for the anatomy of the mitral valve: A review

    Oliveira, D., Srinivasan, J., Espino, D., Buchan, K., Dawson, D., Shepherd, D.

    Journal of Anatomy, vol. 237, no. 2, pp. 209-224

    Contributions to Journals: Articles

  • T1 mapping performance and measurement repeatability: results from the multi-national T1 mapping standardization phantom program (T1MES)

    Captur, G., Bhandari, A., Brühl, R., Ittermann, B., Keenan, K. E., Yang, Y., Eames, R. J., Benedetti, G., Torlasco, C., Ricketts, L., Boubertakh, R., Fatih, N., Greenwood, J. P., Paulis, L. E. M., Lawton, C. B., Bucciarelli-Ducci, C., Lamb, H. J., Steeds, R., Leung, S. W., Berry, C., Valentin, S., Flett, A., de Lange, C., DeCobelli, F., Viallon, M., Croisille, P., Higgins, D. M., Greiser, A., Pang, W., Hamilton-Craig, C., Strugnell, W. E., Dresselaers, T., Barison, A., Dawson, D., Taylor, A. J., Mongeon, F., Plein, S., Messroghli, D., Al-Mallah, M., Grieve, S. M., Lombardi, M., Jang, J., Salerno, M., Chaturvedi, N., Kellman, P., Bluemke, D. A., Nezafat, R., Gatehouse, P., Moon, J. C., T1MES Consortium

    Journal of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance, vol. 22, 31

    Contributions to Journals: Articles

  • Toward standardization of echocardiography for the evaluation of left ventricular function in adult rodents: a position paper of the ESC Working Group on Myocardial Function

    Zacchigna, S., Paldino, A., Falcão-Pires, I., Daskalopoulos, E. P., Dal Ferro, M., Vodret, S., Lesizza, P., Cannatà, A., Miranda-Silva, D., Lourenço, A. P., Pinamonti, B., Sinagra, G., Weinberger, F., Eschenhagen, T., Carrier, L., Kehat, I., Tocchetti, C. G., Russo, M., Ghigo, A., Cimino, J., Hirsch, E., Dawson, D., Ciccarelli, M., Oliveti, M., Linke, W. A., Cuijpers, I., Heymans, S., Hamdani, N., de Boer, M., Duncker, D., Kuster, D., van der Velden, J., Beauloye, C., Bertrand, L., Mayr, M., Giacca, M., Leuschner, F., Backs, J., Thum, T., Working Group on Myocardial Function of the European Society of Cardiology.

    Cardiovascular Research, cvaa110

    Contributions to Journals: Articles

  • Fast field-cycling magnetic resonance detection of intracellular ultra-small iron oxide particles in vitro: Proof-of-concept

    Abbas, H., Broche, L., Ezdoglian, A., Li, D., Yuecel, R., Ross, P. J., Cheyne, L., Wilson, H. M., Lurie, D. J., Dawson, D. K.

    Journal of Magnetic Resonance, vol. 313, 106722

    Contributions to Journals: Articles

  • Takotsubo syndrome in Heart Failure and World Congress on Acute Heart Failure 2019: highlights from the experts

    Keramida, K., Backs, J., Bossone, E., Citro, R., Dawson, D., Omerovic, E., Parodi, G., Schneider, B., Ghadri, J. R., Van Laake, L. W., Lyon, A. R.

    ESC Heart Failure, vol. 7, no. 2, pp. 400-406

    Contributions to Journals: Review articles

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