Jill Belch

+44 (0)1382 383092
Professor of Vascular Medicine

Bio

Biography

Professor Belch graduated as a Doctor from the University of Glasgow (MBChB), becoming a Lecturer within the University Department of Medicine, where she completed her Research MD degree (Honours, winner of Belahouston Gold Medal) in 1987. She was appointed Senior Lecturer with Honorary Consultant status at the University Department of Medicine in Ninewells Hospital, Dundee, also in 1987, and became Professor of Vascular Medicine in 1995. She was Director of the Tayside Clinical Trails Centre before becoming the Director of the Tayside Medical Science Centre (TASC) and the Tayside R&D Director. She is a founder Fellow of the Academy of Medical Science, and a Fellow of the Royal Society, Edinburgh.

Clinical Unit Activity - Ninewells Hospital

Professor and Honorary Consultant in Vascular Medicine. I set up the vascular medicine service in Ninewells which is currently run by 2 vascular medicine consultants, cross covering with 2 Stroke Physicians, providing a 1:4 on call service. This has included the development of outpatient facilities for medical assessment for patients with vasospastic, inflammatory and occlusive vascular disease, the development of laboratory tests for the accurate assessment of medical vascular problems, e.g. Raynaud's Phenomenon, (including Connective Tissue Disorders and Hand Arm Vibration disease), thrombophilia, erythromelalgia, the screening of peripheral vascular patients for risk factors and application of appropriate management. Patients are referred by both GPs and consultants locally and from throughout the UK. We are a tertiary referral centre for Systemic Sclerosis. I have also been responsible for the introduction of effective treatments for vascular disease. I provide formal medical advice to the vascular surgery team with whom I have both clinical and research links. I provide adjunctive medical management for the vascular surgery patient, e.g. prostaglandin therapy and have developed the provision of a new service of thrombolysis for acute arterial occlusion. I am also involved in regular audit programmes, e.g. restenosis rate following angioplasty.

Research

I have been involved for some time in research projects investigating vascular and rheumatic diseases and the therapeutic effects of various anti-rheumatic and anti-thrombotic agents. The focus has been on the mechanistic link between inflammation and vascular behaviour. The initial studies into laboratory biomarkers has been followed by medium and large sized clinical trials to validate the hypotheses, or otherwise, generated in the laboratory studies. Circa £1.5m/annum has been gained in grant funding since appointment in 1987.

After my appointment in the Dundee University Department of Medicine (now Division of Medicine & Therapeutics), the priority was to establish the Vascular Disease Research Unit. Funds for equipment were obtained from granting bodies and scientific research staff appointed. In the 20 years in Dundee the staff have, on average, numbers n=25, a mix of basic scientists, clinical academics and technical staff. All staff have been encouraged to contribute ideas and projects and, where suitable, some individuals offered the opportunity for further degrees (see list above). The laboratory staff currently consists of 1 reader, 1 senior scientific officer, 2 postdoctoral fellows, 2 PhD students and 4 technicians. Clinical links are provided by 2 Clinical Lecturers, 3 research fellows (2 undertaking their MD), a Clinical Trial Manager, and 6 research nurses. All staff but 2 are grant funded.

Assay systems have been established to measure inflammatory and vascular biomarkers, coagulation, haemorrheology and fibrinolysis. Areas of special interest have been developed, e.g. the inflammatory element of vascular disease with measures of WBC and free radical activity & the study of vascular endothelium. These techniques, combined with the ability to measure blood flow in both the macro- and microcirculation, have led to my publications in the field of vascular and inflammatory medicine. Roles in Multicentre Clinical Trials appear below, completed projects and single centre Trials appear in the publications list, projects currently underway are presented in the next Section.

A recent activity has been the establishment of the Institute of Cardiovascular Research via the TICR public fund raising appeal. This has raised circa £6.5m for the University, achieved strategic placement for Cardiovascular as one of the College’s research themes, and allowed 3 senior academic posts to be created in this field, and the purchase of a state of the art MRI scanner.

Teaching

Teaching involves both undergraduate and postgraduate students, and covers areas including Peripheral Arterial Disease, Connective Tissue Disease and Governance of Clinical Trials.

Publications

Primary and secondary vasospastic disorders (Raynaud’s phenomenon) and vasculitis
6/2016
Research Output: Contribution To Book Anthology > Chapter (peer-reviewed)

Raynaud’s phenomenon : Connective Tissue Disorders: Systemic Sclerosis
3/2018
Research Output: Contribution To Book Anthology > Chapter (peer-reviewed)

Urgent need to clarify the definition of chronic critical limb ischemia - a position paper from the European Society for Vascular Medicine
11/2018, VASA
Research Output: Contribution To Journal > Article

Use of Vascular Assessments and Novel Biomarkers to Predict Cardiovascular Events in Type 2 Diabetes : The SUMMIT VIP Study
7/2018, Diabetes Care
Research Output: Contribution To Journal > Article

Effects of aspirin on risks of vascular events and cancer according to bodyweight and dose : analysis of individual patient data from randomised trials
7/2018, Lancet
Research Output: Contribution To Journal > Article

Cognitive function, disease burden and the structural connectome in systemic lupus erythematosus
3/2018, Lupus
Research Output: Contribution To Journal > Article

Prevalence and Distribution of Atherosclerosis in a Low- to Intermediate-Risk Population : Assessment with Whole-Body MR Angiography
2/2018, Radiology
Research Output: Contribution To Journal > Article

New prospects for PCSK9 inhibition
3/2018, European Heart Journal
Research Output: Contribution To Journal > Comment/debate

Epicardial Adipose Tissue Is Related to Arterial Stiffness and Inflammation in Patients with Cardiovascular Disease and Type 2 Diabetes
2/2018, BMC Cardiovascular Disorders
Research Output: Contribution To Journal > Article

Systemic arteriosclerosis is associated with left ventricular remodeling but not atherosclerosis : a TASCFORCE study
8/2017, Journal of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance
Research Output: Contribution To Journal > Article

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Press

Order of the British Empire

Jill Belch

31/12/15

1 media contribution

Press/Media: Other



ME Test Results - Proof of Virus connection

Jill Belch

22/09/10

1 item of media coverage

Press/Media: Research



Study shows ME/CFS 'virus link' found in children

Jill Belch

7/09/10

1 media contribution

Press/Media: Research



Get randomised

Jill Belch

25/11/08

1 media contribution

Press/Media: Research



Aspirin for the prevention of heart attacks

Jill Belch

27/10/08

1 item of media coverage

Press/Media: Research



Aspirin: Should it be used for primary prevention in diabetics?

Jill Belch

17/10/08

1 item of media coverage

Press/Media: Research



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Activities

Peripheral Vascular Disease and Venous Thrombo-Embolism

Jill Belch (Invited speaker)
4 Mar 20198 Mar 2019

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

Activity Type: Talk

Tailoring patient modifiable risk

Jill Belch (Invited speaker)
29 Nov 2018

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

Activity Type: Talk

Vascular Clinic

Jill Belch (Invited speaker)
22 Nov 201823 Nov 2018

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

Activity Type: Talk

XXVIII World Congress of the International Union of Angiology 14th Chinese Capital Vascular Symposium (CCVS)

Jill Belch (Participant)
18 Oct 2018

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

Activity Type: Attendance

XXVIII World Congress of the International Union of Angiology 14th Chinese Capital Vascular Symposium (CCVS)

Jill Belch (Invited speaker)
17 Oct 2018

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

Activity Type: Talk

Case study: Multivascular pathology: ACS with PAD, ACS with stroke

Jill Belch (Invited speaker)
29 Sep 2018

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

Activity Type: Talk

High-risk patient groups - CV risk is not always clear-cut

Jill Belch (Chair)
29 Sep 2018

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

Activity Type: Talk

Presentation: Clinical significance: What does this mean for you and your patients?

Jill Belch (Invited speaker)
29 Sep 2018

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

Activity Type: Talk

Case Study: A patient with multiple morbidities; PAD and diabetes

Jill Belch (Invited speaker)
28 Sep 2018

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

Activity Type: Talk

The changing landscape of Peripheral Artery Disease management

Jill Belch (Chair)
26 Jun 2018

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

Activity Type: Talk

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