Dr Ryan McNally - KHPeople

What is your role within King’s Health Partners? 

Dr Ryan McNally - KHPeopleI am a Post-doctoral Research Associate and Pharmacist in the Department of Vascular Risk and Surgery at King’s College London. This department is based within the School of Cardiovascular and Metabolic Medicine & Sciences at the British Heart Foundation Centre of Research Excellence. Having recently obtained a fellowship from the King’s Health Partners Centre for Translational Medicine, I will continue my research into personalised medicine for hypertension.

What do you enjoy most about your role? 

I enjoy having the opportunity to research treatments for the world’s biggest killer and the prospect of tailoring medication to individuals to initiate the best treatment at an earlier stage. I really appreciate my department and the team in which I work – the team are very helpful, and all have a different professional background to me which helps diversify and strengthen the research. I particularly like being able to act as an ambassador for pharmacists conducting research and is something I feel very passionate about.

What inspired you to get into this work?

When I was a child, my father unfortunately suffered from two heart attacks which left him with heart failure. This experience sparked my interest in the complexities of the cardiovascular system and the amazing work that the British Heart Foundation has been doing to combat cardiovascular disease. Hypertension is the single biggest risk factor for cardiovascular disease and is known as the ‘silent killer’. 

Because it usually shows no symptoms, we often forget its impact on the human body such as heart failure or kidney disease. It is an area where many lives could be saved. The passing of my father in 2023 at a young age has inspired me even further to continue the work that I am conducting.

What are the benefits of working in partnership?

I believe collaboration is key in becoming a successful clinical academic in order to generate new ideas and improve the quality of research. Working in a partnership allows me to collaborate with people from a wide range of disciplines and truly bring the multidisciplinary aspect to the work that I am doing with input from many experienced professionals. 

Thanks to the partnership at KHP, I have built several collaborations with colleagues from the Centre for Adherence Research and Education which have provided the skills and expertise needed to conduct high quality research, which ultimately benefits patients.  

What would be your career top tips? 

When faced with adversity both in work and personal life, it is important to maintain composure and show resilience to overcome the challenges. In research, not everything will go to plan but how you choose to react to that adversity can make all the difference to the outcome.

I also think having an experienced mentor is vital for progressing through the academic ladder and building a strong network of collaborations. Finally, doing a job that you enjoy and performing it within an effective team is invaluable.

Find out more about the KHP Centre for Translational Medicine.