Ambassador update: Prof Carolyn Carr

March's ambassador update

Professor Carolyn Carr

Associate Professor of Biomedical Science

Department of Physiology, Anatomy & Genetics, University of Oxford

I am part of the Cardiac Metabolism Research Group which links the groups of three PIs who have shared interest in the metabolism of the heart and the use of magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy (MRI/S) to characterise cardiac function and metabolism. I started life as a chemist using spectroscopy to study small molecules. In 2003, moved to substantially larger samples as I joined the CMRG to use MRS to measure high energy phosphates in the diabetic heart. However shortly after joining, I transferred to a project to use MRI to explore the benefit of stem cell therapy for the heart. My research showed that both endogenous cardiac progenitor cells and induced pluripotent stem cells significantly improve function of the heart after myocardial infarction. However, with both cell types, cell retention was low and the improvement in function was not large. My current research investigates metabolic changes in stem cells as they differentiate and their use to study metabolic disorders such as diabetes. I also support the work of other research groups in the department by measuring cardiac function in their models. Since 2020, I have been the Honorary Secretary of the BSCR.

I had a career break to stay at home with my children and returned to science with a Daphne Jackson Fellowship which offers two year part-time research for returners to SET ( This is an excellent scheme that I recommend to anyone on a career break and looking to return to science.