THE generous donation of £880,000 from the Peterborough-based Burns Unit Appeal Fund (BUAF) continues to benefit direct patient care in the East Anglian region.
The most recent allocations include funding for Anglia Ruskin University PhD student Alice Lapthorn, who is undertaking a project to use cells grown from burns scars and manipulate them with commonly available medications to modulate burns scars.
The St Andrews Centre provides tissue for the research on a regular basis. This work is being carried out under the auspices of the St Andrews Anglia Ruskin (StAAR) Research Unit, a partnership established more than five years ago to forge a close relationship between the St Andrews Centre surgeons and Anglia Ruskin University.
The StAAR research group is being integrated into the new medical school under construction at the Chelmsford campus.
The current scar project is being led by Professor Selim Cellek of ARU and Professor Peter Dziewulski from the St Andrews Centre.
Alice said: “Scarring occurs after almost all burn injuries, however there is currently no treatment to prevent their formation.
“Using the cells isolated from the tissue samples of patients at St Andrews, we will use high-throughput screening to test 1,500 commercially available drugs to see if any can be repurposed to prevent scar formation. By the end of the project we hope to have identified a group of drugs that can be tested further for their anti-scarring properties.”
In addition, funding has been provided for a clinical research coordinator for Burns and Plastics, Karen Cranmer.
The role is continually developing and Karen is currently involved in a number of home-grown burns research projects.
The first, ‘Study of Prescribing Patterns and Effectiveness of Ceftolozane-Tazobactam, is a multi-centre observational chart review designed to collect clinical and resource data on patients who are treated with this antibiotic in a hospital setting. The study will look at clinical outcomes, resource utilisation and outcomes related to practice pattern
Karen is also involved in the research project for the ‘Assessment of Chronic Pain in Burn Injury’.
This study was set up at the St Andrews Centre by Consultant Anaesthetist Dr Patricia Richardson and Anaesthetic Fellow Dr Yvonne Price.
The primary objective of the study is to ask: ‘Which patients are living in the community with a healed burn and still require analgesia for pain?’.
Data is also collected from patients who do not have pain issues, therefore all suitable adults who have a healed burn less than ten years ago are being asked to complete a ten minute paper questionnaire during an Adult Burns Consultant Clinic.
So far, 38 patients have been consented and recruited to this study.
For more information, please go to www.anglia.ac.uk/medical-science/research