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Research Fellowships

Our one-year Research Fellowship is an award to members of The Royal College of Surgeons of England to undertake  clinical research into selected projects in order to extend the frontiers of surgery and develop new operative techniques

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Miss Kate Harvey

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The Pre Bra Feasibility Study (2017-18)

Breast cancer affects over 55,000 women each year in the UK and up to 40% require mastectomy (removal of the breast). Loss of a breast can profoundly affect a woman's quality of life and breast reconstruction is offered to minimise this. Pre-pectoral breast reconstruction is a brand-new operation, but assessment is needed to demonstrate it is safe before it becomes routine. Research in this area is challenging and often not done to a high standard. This study aims to determine if surgeons can join forces to evaluate the technique effectively, allowing patients to benefit sooner.

Miss Li Yenn Yong

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Tissue engineering of small blood cells (2018-19)

Free tissue transfer is used to replace tissues lost through disease, cancer and trauma.  This often involves complex reconstruction with tissue being donated from one part to another, usually resulting in significant donor site morbidity.  Therefore, patients too fragile for major surgery are often denied this treatment option.

The ability to 3D print blood vessels using stem cells opens a new dimension of treatment with tissue and organs being produced in the laboratory and being made to order ‘off the shelf’.  This project aims to produce tissues using this technology and investigate its compatibility with the body.

Impact statement to follow

Mr Lewis Dingle

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Markers of healing in complex wounds (2018-19)

2 million wounds are managed by the NHS every year.  Most wounds heal successfully, however significant numbers do not, such as leg ulcers, causing significant pain and distress.  Treatments can take weeks or even months, with episodes of infection and frequent trips to hospital.  We do not understand why wounds fail to heal.  By studying proteins produced by complex wounds, they hope to identify markers to predict wound healing and develop new treatments.

Impact statement to follow

Mr Justin Wormald

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Infection after hand and wrist injury (2019-20)

Hand and wrist injuries account for 1-in-5 emergency hospital visits, with 350 injuries per day in the UK. The hand and wrist are important in daily life and for earning a living. Many injuries need surgery, with a risk of infection afterwards. We don?t know the extent of post-operative infection for these injuries, including the effect on recovery and function. Anti-bacterial stitches used to repair injuries might reduce infection. I want to better understand infection after hand and trauma surgery and whether we can test these anti-bacterial stitches to prevent it.

Mrs Cynthia De Courcey

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Biocompatibility of Novel 3D-bioprinted Cartilage (2020-21)

Facial disfigurement affects 1 in 111 people. Reconstructive methods involving autologous (using patient’s own tissue) or synthetic options, have well-known limitations. Tissue engineering with 3D-printing has potential to create precise, patient-specific, cartilage implants using biomaterials as ink carriers loaded with patients own cells. The research group addresses key challenges with a novel biomaterial with impressive mechanical and biological properties, and are pioneers in using tissue-specific cartilage stem cells. The study aims to advance this technology through establishing the safety and immunological profile of the biomaterial and identify key micro-properties pertinent to successful implant integration.

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