As a globally engaged university, LJMU has many partnerships across international communities, leading to the University recently doubling the amount of research rated as world-leading. The Research Institute for Sport and Exercise Sciences (RISES) has been a key part of this, through its high profile REF2014 score and international leadership in research. As the School marks 40 years since introducing the first UK sport science degree, its academics have been taking their work across the world, in order to improve communities through sport, science and medical interventions.
An international echocardiographic education
Working in partnership with the Global Health Alliance, who lead international health education training, sport scientists delivered echocardiography (ultrasound heart scan) workshops to medics and health professionals in India. The academics also met with key figures from the Government, healthcare and education and Directors of leading hospitals and health care organisations.
Dr David Oxborough who is a Clinical Echocardiographer and Reader at LJMU, worked alongside academics from the University of Leeds and GE Medical Healthcare, who provided equipment and clinical support. He explained this international need:
"There is currently a lack of continual professional development in India often leading to non-standardised practice. Cardiovascular disease in India is increasing and it is clear that these types of workshops will provide the existing workforce with the skills to better diagnose and influence patient management.
"Echocardiography is also used as a monitoring tool for exercise prescription and therefore sports science plays an important part in education for a ‘healthy lifestyle’ and how diagnostic imaging can play a role in managing cardiovascular health."
Global development of cardiac screening
Through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the University of Canberra, staff from the RISES delivered vascular and cardiac imaging workshops at Canberra’s Research Institute for Sport and Exercise (UCRISE).
RISES is renowned for its work in the global development of athlete screening processes including cardiac scanning. These workshops went from the basic physics of ultrasound through to practical and scientific applications alongside practical scanning skills. Because of the location of the University of Canberra and its close links to the Australian Institute of Sport this type of workshop could develop high profile and high impact research projects that could influence the health management of athletes in Australia.
This took place in partnership with the University of Western Australia and the University of the Sunshine Coast with technical support from GE Australia LTd and Tersaon Ltd.
Professor Chris Askew from the School of Health & Sport Sciences University of the Sunshine Coast commented:
"LJMU are world leaders in cardiovascular ultrasound, and it was a great opportunity for my PhD students to learn the intricacies of vascular assessment from the experts. The course takes a step-by-step approach to obtaining high quality vascular ultrasound images and the assessment of vascular function."
Professor Keith George, LJMU Associate Dean and Professor of Exercise and Cardiovascular Physiology said:
"Working with the University of Canberra, we can further collaborative activity and develop the reach and significance of our world-leading work in cardiac and vascular imaging."
RISES covers a range of research areas from childhood obesity, performance analysis and injury prevention, through to learning via imitation in autism.