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DEBRA Clinical Fellow (Heagerty Bardhan 1)

Project lead Prof Adrian Heagerty and Dr Ajoy Bardhan
Organisation University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham, UK
Project budget GBP 125,263.24
Start date / Duration 01. Sep 2019 / 48 months
Funder(s) / Co-Funder(s) DEBRA UK
Research area Symptom prevention & relief

Project details

Short lay summary

Professor Adrian Heagerty, Adult EB Lead at Solihull Hospital, together with Professor Iain Chapple, Professor of Periodontology and Restorative Dentistry at University of Birmingham will be supervisors for Dr Ajoy Bardhan as he undertakes his MD thesis exploring multiple aspects of wound healing in EB. Combining clinical work and basic science research will provide him with hands-on experience to undertake future patient-focused and academic work in EB. Dr Bardhan will be involved in a range of projects with the Institute of Inflammation and Ageing and Institute of Clinical Sciences. The University of Birmingham has recently established a Centre for Scar Research, exploring new therapeutics to reduce scarring, with the Institute of Bioengineering developing new delivery models. The School for Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences are also keen to explore interventions to improve quality of life in EB. Projects across these centres will provide Dr Bardhan with a comprehensive background in current EB research.

He will also be supervised by Professors Logan, Metcalfe and Grover within the Institute of Bioengineering at the University of Birmingham with supervision from Dr Lisa Hill, who will support Dr Bardhan in analysing scarring, wound healing and cancer using a model in the laboratory, and Drs Melissa Grant, Sarah Kuehne and Josefine Hirschfield in exploring microbial-immune interplay in EB wounds.

DEBRA is already funding a project with Professor Chapple (Characterisation of the skin microbiome and investigation of neutrophil function in Epidermolysis Bullosa patients and Dr Bardhan will actively complete molecular analysis of tissue samples as part of this project, to further characterise the inflammatory responses.

Dr Bardhan will also be employed through the Institute of Clinical Science as a Clinical Lecturer/Honorary Consultant Dermatologist in the Department of Dermatology at Solihull Hospital, undertaking in general dermatology and EB clinics funded by the NHS.

Strategic relevance

The development of a new Academic Dermatology post in the University of Birmingham will set the stage for developing novel research programmes with anticipated translational benefits and enhancement of clinical support for patients with EB at this centre, in particular taking advantage of cutting edge facilities in inflammation research and the reduction and prevention of scarring, ensuring a clear and continuing focus on EB into the future.

"Whilst a huge amount of research continues into gene therapy, the EB community has clearly identified wound healing as an area of focus where advances in basic science research could be more readily and rapidly translated into improvements in quality of life for patients, via reduction of inflammation, scarring and fibrosis. We are fortunate in Birmingham to now have a number of facilities dedicated to exploration and amelioration of these very processes, and the establishment of links between world-class researchers, the EB clinic and wider EB community is starting to bear fruit and will hopefully bring real benefits for our patients in the near future." Dr Ajoy Bardhan

More on DEBRA UK's website


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