Ben C Richards


Ben Richards



MSc Molecular Pathology and Toxicology, 2014
MChem Chemistry, 2011

Research Area

Hydrophobic Interaction Chromatography
Mass spectrometry

Award Sir Sydney King Cancer Research Prize, 2014
Research Aim Combining Novel Risk Stratification Index (R2I2) with Proteomic Biomarkers to Improve Prediction of Ventricular Arrhythmias and Sudden Death


Sudden cardiac death (SCD), defined as death from a cardiac cause within an hour of onset of symptoms, is believed to account for around half of all cardiac deaths. Occurring most commonly as a result of ventricular arrhythmia, SCD can strike at any age and regardless of physical fitness or history of cardiac disease. While death can be averted by prompt defibrillation (whether by standard external defibrillator or Implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD)), identification of those at risk of SCD and arrhythmias in general is a significant challenge. In addition, previous research has suggested that among those implanted with ICDs, only around 30% have required them, further suggesting the requirement for new, more specific markers of risk.

The aim of my research is to discover protein biomarkers present in blood plasma for SCD. This will be achieved through the development and use of novel proteomic method, along with the cutting edge mass spectrometry equipment present at the Van Geest Biomarker Facility. My aim is that by observing differential protein expression in control (healthy) and SCD patient plasma samples, along with comparisons to current SCD risk stratification methods will allow for the discovery of highly specific biomarkers for SCD and life-threatening arrhythmias. This may potentially allow for the development of simple blood tests to determine risk of SCD and improved selection of patients in need of ICD implantation.

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