Heather Waddell

Thesis title: Circadian Biology of the Systemic Inflammatory Response During Critical Illness


Heather is a current MRC DTP Precision Medicine PhD Student at the Centre for Inflammation Research, at the University of Edinburgh. Her research focuses on the Circadian Biology of the Systemic Inflammatory Response during Critical Illness (Acute Pancreatitis).

In 2018, she graduated with Merit in Psychological Sciences, with three Clinical Specialisms. After completing this degree, she then completed a year-long position as an Honorary Research Assistant at the Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences, within the University of Glasgow. She then worked as a Qualitative Researcher for the Institute of Health and Wellbeing, as part of the Athena Swan Staff Consultation Group, investigating stress and the workplace. After this position, she then worked as Research Assistant in the School of Medicine, Dentistry and Nursing at the University of Glasgow, for a duration of four months.


2014-2017 : BSc (Hons) in Acupuncture | Wrexham Glyndwr University

2017-2018: MSc Psychological Sciences | University of Glasgow

Research summary

The main purpose of this project is to:

  1. Explore the effect of critical illness from acute pancreatitis on circadian biology.
  2. To Investigate how circadian biology regulates acute pancreatitis criticial illness outcomes. 

Current research interests

Chronobiology, Circadian Rhythm, Systemic Inflammation, Acute Pancreatitis, Omics Data

Past research interests

MSc Dissertation: Has Technological Advances led to Sleep Disruption by Increased Exposure to Blue Light In University Students: A Quantitative Study.

Affiliated research centres

Project activity

MRC DTP grant in Precision Medicine by the University of Edinburgh, University of Glasgow and Medical Research Council (2019). 

Conference details

18th of November 2019: Care Conference (Carbon Reduced Conference) Chronobiology. 

28-30th June 2021: Centre for Biological Timing Summer Showcase.

3rd of March 2021: Bionow Precision Medicine Conference. 

24-25th of March 2021: Royal Society (UK) Interdisciplinary Workshop: "Time to start talking time seriously: circadian rhythms in infection and immunity" : postponed. 

1. Software Carpentry Workshop (29-30th January 2020).

2. Research Integrity Workshop (27th February 2020).

3. IP for Research Workshop (24th Match 2020). 

4. Bioclock Tutorials (8th of May, 22nd of May, 5th of June and 19th of June 2020).

5. SysMIC: Online Training in Mathematics, Statistics and Computing (27th of April to October 2020). 

6. Quality Assurance and Quality Control in Metabolomics, Univerisity of Birmingham (13th of January 2021).


Additional Modules: 

1. Practical Systems Biology (2019-2020) [SEM 1].

2.  Introductory Applied Machine Learning (2019 - 2020) [SEM 1] - Class only.

3. Functional Genomic Technologies (2019-2020) [SEM 2]. 

1. Socio-demographic patterns of public, private and active travel in Latin America: Cross sectional findings from the ELANS study (2019). 

2. Contribution of type 2 diabetes to all-cause mortality, cardiovascular disease incidence and cancer incidence in White Europeans and South Asians: findings from the UK Biobank population-based cohort study (2019). 

3. Prevalence and patterns of active commuting according to socio-demographic factors in the Chilean population (2019). 

4. Association between adiposity levels and cognitive impairment in the Chilean older adult population (2019). 

5. Associations of fat and carbohydrate intake with cardiovascular disease and mortality: prospective cohort study of UK Biobank participants (2020).

6. Association between Different Modes of Travelling and Adiposity in Chilean Population: Findings from the Chilean National Health Survey 2016-2017 (2020). 

7. Association between Walking Pace and Diabetes: Findings from the Chilean National Health Survey 2016-2017 (2020).