Dr Harley Stevenson-Cocks

Dr Harley Stevenson-Cocks

Profile

  • BSc (Hons) Human Physiology (2012-2015)
  • PhD Computational Cardiology (2015-2019)
  • Research Fellow in Cardiovascular Science (2019-present)

Research interests

Computational modelling of cardiac physiology

My research interests are in the use of computational models of cardiac electrophysiology and calcium handling to explore how pro-arrhythmic activity arises from remodelling associated with disease states (such as heart failure), whether exercise ameliorates or alters such activity, and the use of experimental techniques (such as optical mapping and diffusion tensor magnetic resonance imaging) to complement and validate such models. 

Cardiac arrhythmias and heart failure

Over 500,000 people in the UK alone are living with heart failure, and up to 50% of these patients are likely to die suddenly from sudden cardiac death, mostly as a result of lethal arrhythmias such as ventricular fibrillation (VF). In VF, the heart’s normal rhythm is disturbed and there is continuous re-excitement of the same areas of tissue, resulting in a loss of synchronised contraction of cardiac muscle, which compromises the circulation of the blood, leading to death. Heart failure, when cardiac muscle is unable to sufficiently pump blood to meet the body’s demands, increases the risk of developing such lethal arrhythmias.

The multi-scale nature of cardiac arrhythmias means that the underlying mechanisms are difficult to dissect using traditional experimental techniques, however computational models of cardiac electrophysiology provide useful tools to explore the processes that result in arrhythmias. In the Leeds Computational Physiology Lab (alongside Dr Al Benson and Dr Michael Colman), we develop biophysically-detailed computational models of the heart (at the sub-cellular, cellular, tissue and organ levels) to examine the roles of structural (anatomical) and functional (electrophysiological) changes seen in heart failure on the development of cardiac arrhythmias.

Pedagogical research

Since the start of my PhD, I have been heavily involved in teaching and demonstrating within the School of Biomedical Sciences, as well as public engagement activities and open/visit days. I am passionate about high-quality student-focused teaching and maximising the student learning experience, and remain interested in conducting pedagogical research. Click here for an example of such research. 

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://biologicalsciences.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>

Qualifications

  • BSc (Hons) Human Physiology
  • PhD Computational Cardiology

Professional memberships

  • Associate Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy

Research groups and institutes

  • Cardiovascular