Dr Marlies Ostermann is a consultant in critical care and nephrology at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust and an Honorary Reader at King’s College London. She is also the Research and Delivery lead for Critical Care at Guy’s and St Thomas’ and has been appointed as a clinical co-lead for our NIHR BRC’s transplantation theme. In recognition of her role in the advancement of intensive care Marlies has recently been appointed as one of three new Directors of Research within the Intensive Care Society.
She is very active in research and collaborates with colleagues nationally and internationally and has a specialist interest in acute kidney injury (kidney failure) and critical care nephrology. Marlies is also committed to teaching and education, and strongly believes that science is for everybody.
Throughout the pandemic as well as delivering clinical care to the most critically ill patients across our hospitals, Marlies has also played a key role in Urgent Public Health priority research at Guy’s and St Thomas’ working as a co-investigator to deliver the RECOVERY Trial alongside Dr Helen Winslow, an Infectious Diseases consultant who is the Principal Investigator for the trial at the Trust. She has been actively involved in patient recruitment to the RECOVERY trial across the Aspirin, Colchicine, Convalescent Plasma and Monoclonal Antibodies arms of the trial.
She has also been the lead for the Covid-19 and Acute Kidney Injury Study. The study in collaboration with Harvard University, is looking at getting more information about the causes and outcomes of kidney failure in patients with COVID-19. Research findings, published in Nature Nephrology following the first wave, indicated that more than 50% of ICU COVID-19 patients experienced acute kidney injury. The team is hoping to find out how best to protect patients with COVID-19 from short- and long-term kidney failure.
Speaking about her career in medicine and clinical research Marlies said:
“Research is vital for determining the most effective treatments for our patients to maximise their chances of survival and improve their quality of recovery. Clinical medicine has advanced a lot thanks to fantastic research and education but there are still a lot of unanswered questions. Research can find answers to things that are unknown, fill gaps in knowledge and change the way that healthcare professionals work. Combining clinical medicine with science means that I experience every day what we know and don’t know and what matters most to patients and their families.
Turning a clinical question into a research project and finding an answer which then helps patients is fascinating and very rewarding. This is particularly relevant when dealing with a new illness like COVID-19. Research is also very multi-professional and brings teams and specialties together so that people can learn from each other. Ultimately, it is a vital part of daily clinical practice to improve patient care.”
“With COVID-19 I feel very privileged to have been able to contribute to our collective knowledge of the disease. I am also extremely grateful to all my colleagues at Guy’s and St Thomas’ and further afield who have supported our work and shared their knowledge. My most sincere thanks go to all the patients and their loved ones who have made our clinical research work possible.”