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Skip to 0 minutes and 10 secondsI'm Dr Sam Boateng, and I'm a lecturer at the University of Reading in the department of biological sciences. Well, my lab is particularly interested in understanding how mechanical stress affects the heart. So when someone has high blood pressure over a long period of time, that puts additional load on the heart. It has to work harder. And over a period of time, that can lead to heart failure. And that is one of the major causes of death, because blood pressure tends to increase as we age. So you tend to find that as people get older, their blood pressure goes up, and they're more likely to go into heart failure.

Skip to 0 minutes and 44 secondsSo I'm particularly passionate about what I do, not just because it's a major cause of death in the UK and other countries, but I have a personal interest because a number of my family have had cardiovascular disease. So my dad has had a stroke. Mum has heart failure. My grandmother died of heart failure. So I have a large number of family members who have suffered from cardiovascular disease, and so I know what the personal impact can be. So if a person wants to become a research scientist, then they've got to be really passionate about a particular area of research.

Skip to 1 minute and 17 secondsThey've got to be really hardworking and ambitious and really willing to not be too disappointed when things go wrong, because science can be very frustrating. Lots of things go wrong. Experiments don't necessarily go as you expect. But when they do go very well, then it's very exciting because you have an opportunity to make a difference. And certainly in the area that I work in, cardiovascular disease is a major cause of death in this country. So all of us really want to make a difference. Not just - it doesn't just pay the wages, but we really are passionate about it. And I think a lot of us, and certainly I would do it as a hobby if I could. Yeah.

Skip to 2 minutes and 1 secondSo I feel privileged really to be able to do this type of research. And as a career, it's great. Yeah.

Meet the expert: Dr Sam Boateng (optional)

In this behind the scenes feature, Dr Sam Boateng discusses what motivated him to study biological sciences and research heart failure.

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This video is from the free online course:

Heart Health: a Beginner's Guide to Cardiovascular Disease

University of Reading