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Murray Edwards College
University of Cambridge
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    Dr Gareth Matthews

    Murray Edwards College
    University of Cambridge
    CB3 0DF

    Fellow in Medicine



    Murray-Edwards is a friendly college set in beautiful gardens with an ethos of equality. The college admits high quality students from all walks of life and cares about their learning.

    Degrees and honours

    • MA (Cantab),
    • MB,
    • BChir,
    • PhD,
    • and MSB.

    Awards and prizes

    • Finalist of the CSAR translational research competition 2013.
    • Stanley-Elmore Scholarship, Gonville and Caius College.
    • Whitby and Graystone Scholar, Downing College.
    • Oon Khye Ch’hia Tsio Award for Preventative Medicine, Downing College.

    Research interests

    • His research focuses on cardiac arrhythmias, which are irregularities in the heartbeat caused by problems with the electrical activity that excites the heart.
    • Arrhythmias prevent the heart from pumping blood around the body leading to approximately 70,000 sudden deaths in the UK per year. Most of these occur following a heart attack, however a minority unfortunately occur in young, often athletic people due to inherited genetic mutations.
    • Currently there is no method of accurately identifying patients at risk of dying which leads to difficulties in targeting who should be treated.
    • His work has focused on developing new ways to identify these patients using physiological tests. He has developed a new theory known as “Wavelength Restitution” which examines how the electrical activity in the heart adapts to changes in heart rate. It aims to predict when patients might be at risk of unstable changes known as electrical alternans.
    • His long-term goal is to develop this theory and hopefully move it to medical practice.


    Dr Matthews came to Cambridge from Harrogate in North Yorkshire to read medicine at Downing College. He then studied at Gonville and Caius College for a PhD under the guidance of Professor Huang, funded by the Wellcome Trust Translational Medicine and Therapeutics Programme. He has been supervising physiology at Murray Edwards since 2009. He is an Academic Foundation Programme doctor, currently practicing at West Suffolk Hospital and Addenbrooke’s. This allows him to practice both as a clinician and a researcher.

    Publications (selected)

    • Matthews GD, Guzadhur L, Sabir IN, Grace AA, Huang CL. Action potential wavelength restitution predicts alternans and arrhythmia in murine Scn5a(+/-) hearts. J Physiol. 2013 Sep 1;591(Pt 17):4167-88. doi: 10.1113/jphysiol.2013.254938. Epub 2013 Jul 8. PubMed PMID: 23836691; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3779110.
    • Matthews GD, Guzadhur L, Grace A, Huang CL. Nonlinearity between action potential alternans and restitution, which both predict ventricular arrhythmic properties in Scn5a+/- and wild-type murine hearts. J Appl Physiol. 2012 Jun;112(11):1847-63. doi: 10.1152/japplphysiol.00039.2012. Epub 2012 Mar 29. PubMed PMID: 22461438; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3379158.  
    • Matthews GD, Martin CA, Grace AA, Zhang Y, Huang CL. Regional variations in action potential alternans in isolated murine Scn5a (+/-) hearts during dynamic pacing. Acta Physiol (Oxf). 2010 Oct;200(2):129-46. doi: 10.1111/j.1748-1716.2010.02138.x. PubMed PMID: 20384594.
    • Sabir IN, Matthews GD, Huang CL. Antithrombotic therapy in atrial fibrillation: aspirin is rarely the right choice. Postgrad Med J. 2013 Jun;89(1052):346-51. doi: 10.1136/postgradmedj-2012-131386. Epub 2013 Feb 12. PubMed PMID: 23404744; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3664370.
    • Peltan A, Briggs L, Matthews G, Sweeney ST, Smith DF. Identification of Drosophila gene products required for phagocytosis of Leishmania donovani. PLoS One. 2012;7(12):e51831. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0051831. Epub 2012 Dec 13. PubMed PMID: 23272175; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3521716.
    • Huang CL, Lei L, Matthews GD, Zhang Y, Lei M. Pathophysiological Mechanisms of Sino-Atrial Dysfunction and Ventricular Conduction Disease Associated with SCN5A  Deficiency: Insights from Mouse Models. Front Physiol. 2012;3:234. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2012.00234. Epub 2012 Jul 6. PubMed PMID: 22783200; PubMed Central  PMCID: PMC3390692.
    • Martin CA, Matthews GD, Huang CL. Sudden cardiac death and inherited channelopathy: the basic electrophysiology of the myocyte and myocardium in ion channel disease. Heart. 2012 Apr;98(7):536-43. doi: 10.1136/heartjnl-2011-300953. Review. PubMed PMID: 22422742; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3308472.  
    • Matthews GD, Huang CL, Sun L, Zaidi M. Translational musculoskeletal science:  is sarcopenia the next clinical target after osteoporosis? Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2011 Nov;1237:95-105. doi: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.2011.06236.x. Review. PubMed PMID: 22082371.  
    • Martin CA, Huang CL, Matthews GD. Recent developments in the management of patients at risk for sudden cardiac death. Postgrad Med. 2011 Mar;123(2):84-94. doi: 10.3810/pgm.2011.03.2266. Review. PubMed PMID: 21474896.