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James Sheppard

Ph.D. BSc(Hons), PGCert

Senior Research Fellow


I am a research fellow with interests in blood pressure management and cardiovascular disease prevention in Primary Care. High blood pressure (hypertension) is the most common modifiable risk factor for stroke and heart disease but many patients remain undiagnosed and undertreated. I moved to the department in August 2013 to take up an MRC Strategic Skills Post-doctoral Fellowship. As part of this fellowship, I am carrying out work to improve the diagnosis and management of hypertension in primary care in the PRedicting Out-of-OFfice Blood Pressure in the clinic (PROOF-BP) project. I am also involved in related projects examining the use of self-monitoring and self-screening in Primary Care.

My research is mainly quantitative, but I also have experience in systematic reviewing and health economics. In addition to the management of blood pressure, I have interests in cardiovascular disease prevention, particularly in older patients who are often overlooked in clinical trials and guidelines and also the underutilisation of statins in patients at high risk of stroke and heart attack. I am also interested in the use of novel methodologies in research design, including simulated patient studies and the use of ‘Big data’ in clinical trials and epidemiology.

I come from a basic science background; I completed a PhD in Cardiorespiratory Physiology in 2010, but have since worked in academic Primary Care, previously at the University of Birmingham. I am a member of the NIHR Stroke Research Network Primary Care Clinical Studies Group and the British Hypertension Society.