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Katarzyna Bera


Honorary Senior Postdoc

  • Graduate Entry Medical and Clinical Tutor, and Non-stipendiary Lecturer at St Anne’s College

I have several research interests which span from understanding transplant organ injury after brain death, improving perioperative care in vascular surgery patients and surgical trial methodology.

During my DPhil, funded by the Wellcome Trust OXION Initiative, I have been interested in understanding how autoantibodies generated in patients with e.g. ovarian tumours can cause neurological symptoms lead to neuronal injury and neurological symptoms. My interest in general and transplant surgery made me then look in the opposite direction across the blood brain barrier: how can a catastrophic brain injury impact on organs outside of the central nervous system, and does the aftermath of this initial cerebral injury carry any significance after organ procurement? 

Donation after brain death remains an important source of organs. If we can begin to understand whether and how a devastating brain injury can impact a transplanted kidney’s function, fate and survival, we might be able to identify novel pathological pathways and treatment opportunities to improve the long-term outcomes of the transplanted organs. At the same time, we can use those lessons to understand how organs are impacted by vascular surgery which includes temporary interrupting blood flow. 

I also work with Professor Regent Lee on the European VASCUL-AID project aiming to use data-driven approaches to understand the pathology and progression of aortic aneurysmal disease and peripheral arterial disease. I also collaborate with Dr Akshay Shah on studying platelet function in vascular surgical patients. I have (co-) supervised student projects and systematic reviews in the area of perioperative (vascular surgery) patient care, donor management research, methodology and also ‘wet lab’ projects. 

In addition to my research in the Transplant Centre, I am a vascular surgery registrar working at OUH. Outside of clinical work, I am involved in teaching medical students at Oxford medical school and at St Anne’s College. In my (limited) spare time, I can be found down by the river sculling or running through Oxfordshire’s countryside.