The Dunhill Medical Trust awarded Anneka a research training fellowship of £182,000 to investigate the safety and effectiveness of directly acting oral anticoagulants (DOACs).

Warfarin had been the mainstay of treatment for stroke prevention in patients with atrial fibrillation until the first DOACs were introduced, in 2009.

The DOACs presented some advantages and they were used more and more as they showed to be as effective as warfarin in clinical trials.

However, older people who are actually the highest users of these drugs were under-represented in the trials so it is unclear whether the results of the trials translate to this group of patients.

Use of blood thinners in the real world

Anneka's project could have a big impact as it focuses on the use of DOACS in the "real-world" as opposed to a strict clinical trial situation. The results of her research will be available for clinicians to help them decide whether to prescribe warfarin or one of the new DOACs to their older patients.

Anneka has been practising as a clinical pharmacist in the NHS. She now pursues a clinical academic career incorporating research into her role.