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One Year Research Fellowships - 2014-2015

Mr James Berry Dr Dermot Mallon Miss Bynvant Sandhu
Dr John Broomfield Mr Gulraj Matharu Miss Annabel Sharkey
Mr Philip Dobson Dr Lizzie Maughan Miss Anna Slovick
Mr Nicholas Eastley Ms Anita Mohan Mr Peter Vaughan-Shaw
Mr Jason Fleming Mr Aadil Mumith Mr Christopher Wearn
Miss Rachael Harrison Ms Suzanne Murphy Mr Hugh Wright
Ms Jasmine Ho Ms Sumit Nandi Mr Rasheed Zakaria
Miss Laura Jackson Ms Henrietta Poon  
Ms Zita Jessop Mr Stuart Roberts  

Mr James Berry

 James Berry

Salford Royal Hospital

Honorary Research Fellow

The role of intestinal serosa and biologic meshes in inflammatory responses and healing in the injured abdomen

‘Serosal responses to injury and reconstruction'

Although rare, consequences of severe peritoneal inflammation and intestinal failure can be devastating and lifelong: fistulas, adhesions, pain, bowel obstruction and infertility. Those most affected have had multiple abdominal surgeries; such as trauma from military wounding’s, inflammatory bowel disease and abdominal sepsis. 

Whilst this is not going to initially benefit this patient population in the short term. Better understanding of these biochemical processes will help us develop better directed techniques, therapies and materials to target and prevent the consequences of these abnormal healing processes in the long term.

Dr John Broomfield

 John Broomfield

Botnar Research Centre,
Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics

ART Research Fellowship

A Randomised Controlled Trial Of Surgical Treatment For Hip Labral Tears

'Can Keyhole Surgery Help Prevent Arthritis?'

The labrum is a key structure in normal hip function. It is commonly injured and if it doesn’t function normally can cause arthritis. A new keyhole technique can remove the damage or repair it but we don’t know which is best.

A trial to directly compare the two types of surgery will tell us the answer in terms of patients' outcomes following surgery. By using a special high definition scan to look at the joint we may be able to determine whether successful treatment of these injuries can prevent the development of arthritis.

Mr Philip Dobson

 Philip Dobson 

Mitochondrial Research Group Medical School, Newcastle University

Shears Research Fellowship

The role of mitochondria in osteoporosis and fracture healing

'Osteoporosis and delayed fracture healing'

Osteoporosis affects millions of people worldwide and leads to an increased risk of fractures, many of which can be a terminal event in life. The cause of osteoporosis is not fully understood and treatments for it to date are not fully effective. When fractures occur in older people, whether or not they have osteoporosis, they tend to take longer to heal than in younger adults and children.

Understanding mechanisms of osteoporosis and why older people take longer to recover after injury is the first step in finding more effective treatments and better methods of prevention.

Mr Nicholas Eastley

 Nicholas Eastley 

Leicester Royal Infirmary

Freemasons Research Fellowship

Telomere characteristics and genetic profile of high-grade Soft Tissue Sarcomas

‘Genetics of Soft Tissue Sarcomas (STSs)'

STSs are rare cancers that occur at any age and commonly affect muscle, fat and nerves. About 3800 new cases are diagnosed annually in the UK. After treatment (usually surgery and radiotherapy) 50% of aggressive STSs return (recur) which is a difficult problem to treat.

We hope to develop new ways to identify those patients at highest risk of STS recurrence before they undergo surgery, and new tests to pick up recurrence earlier than x-rays or scans. This may allow doctors to use aggressive treatments earlier to improve chances of successful treatment and survival rates.

Mr Jason Fleming

 Jason Fleming

University of Southampton, Academic Cancer Sciences

Honorary Research Fellow

Tensin regulation of tumour cell movement: a link between metabolism and motility

'Tumour metabolism: a regulator of motility?' 

The importance of cancer cell metabolism to clinical practice is evident through the widespread use of positron emission tomography (PET) for tumour detection. However rather than simply being a marker for disease, we have shown that this altered metabolism can affect the way a tumour interacts with its environment, to promote cell adhesion and motility. Local invasion and regional metastases are key signs of poor prognosis for head and neck cancer patients and it is therefore vital we understand the biology behind this process in order to identify new treatment targets.

Miss Rachael Harrison


 Rachael Harrison

Department of Materials and Department of Bioengineering, Imperial College London

Blond Research Fellowship

The Engineering of Gliding and Adhesive Surfaces; focusing on the Human Hand

'Engineering gliding surfaces'

Injury to gliding surfaces in the body is extremely common and results in scar tissue bridges forming between previously moving surfaces. A cut to the hand, breaking a bone, or an abdominal operation can result in the disruption of their natural gliding surface leading to a potentially painful and debilitating condition.

For many of these patients surgery is the only option to treat their condition. We are producing an implant that will prevent scar bridge formation and support the tissues natural healing ability. We will are designing this to initially test in a tendon repair.

Ms Jasmine Ho


 Jasmine Ho

Ear Institute, University College London

Rosetrees & Noble Fellowship

Angiogenesis into tissue-engineered decellularised scaffolds

‘Optimising vessel growth into artificial organs'

Loss or failure of organs is one of the most challenging problems in healthcare today. Research into effectively regenerating organs such as the trachea using tissue-engineering techniques becomes ever more crucial. One of the major obstacles for growing artificial organs is the provision of adequate blood supply to vital cells during the initial period of growth.

The aim of this research is to increase the understanding of how we can improve the growth of blood vessels during this time. The outcome from this research will provide vital knowledge to long-term survivorship of artificial organs.

Miss Laura Jackson

 Laura Jackson 

Academic Renal Unit, School of Clinical Sciences,
University of Bristol

RCS & BAPS Research Fellowship

Do aquaporins predict and protect against renal damage in PUJ obstruction?

‘Detecting and preventing kidney damage in babies'

1 in 200 babies have a swollen kidney on antenatal scans. A common cause is blockage of the tube draining urine from the kidney. Some children need surgery to fix this blockage or their kidney may be damaged. Others, however, grow out of the condition and don’t require surgery, and we believe this occurs because water channels lining the growing kidney protect it by releasing pressure. Developing a urine test to measure these water channels may help us decide earlier which children need urgent surgery and which will grow out of this problem.

Ms Zita Jessop


Zita Jessop

European Centre of Nano Health, Swansea University and Reconstructive Surgery & Regenerative Medicine Research Unit, Welsh Centre for Burns & Plastic Surgery.

MODI Research Fellowship

Design, biofabrication and characterisation of a new class of durable and resilient auricular implants.

‘Ear cartilage reconstruction'

Abnormal ear appearance has a profound affect on quality of life and psycho-social development. Small ears (microtia) or absent ears (anotia) affects >1:5000 births in Europe, with acquired ear deformities through trauma (including burns), disease or previous surgery affecting a further >1:500 of the population.

Ear reconstruction is a challenging operation due to the complex 3D anatomy and requires surgery on the ribs to harvest cartilage. This project will use stem cells to biofabricate 3D printed cartilage implants with the potential of generating durable and resilient ear reconstruction for the lifetime of the patient.

Dr Dermot Mallon

Dermot Mallon

Department of Surgery, University of Cambridge

RCS & Rosetrees Research Fellowship

Computational analysis of HLA alloantibody binding and HLA immunogenicity

‘Physiochemical basis of HLA immunogenicity'

The early results of kidney transplantation are excellent, but many kidney transplants fail later because of chronic antibody-mediated rejection. The risk of antibody-mediated rejection can be offset by ensuring donor kidneys are allocated to recipients with a good tissue-match but current methods for determining tissue compatibility are inadequate.

We will use advanced computational molecular modelling techniques, assisted by laboratory analysis of antibody-antigen interactions, to assess donor-recipient compatibility. We aim to develop a novel approach to predicting tissue compatibility that will allow improved donor organ allocation and maximise the benefits of kidney transplantation.

Mr Gulraj Matharu


Gulraj Maltharu

Oxford Orthopaedic and Engineering Centre (OOEC)
Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Sciences (NDORMS)

ART Research Fellowship

Optimal follow-up of patients with metal-on-metal hip replacements

‘How to follow-up metal hip patients'

Over one-million patients worldwide have metal hip replacements for arthritis. Abnormal reactions to metal can develop which may be painful and can require further operations. Most patients are seen regularly and have many blood tests and hip scans as it is not clear how best to look after them and who needs further surgery.

These tests may be unnecessary which cause patient anxieties and concerns. This research will find which patients need follow-up and what tests are most suitable. This will reduce patient concerns and by seeing a smaller patient group should decrease costs.


Dr Elizabeth Maughan

 Elizabeth Maughan 

Institute of Child Health, Great Ormond Street Hospital

Lord Leonard and Lady Estelle Wolfson Research Fellowship

A natural-synthetic hybrid scaffold for paediatric tracheal replacement surgery

‘Hybrid Scaffolds for Paediatric Tracheal Regeneration'

No satisfactory treatment exists for rare but devastating airway-narrowing diseases of childhood and survival to adulthood remains poor. The only current cure is windpipe transplantation, but appropriately-sized donors are scarce and anti-rejection drugs are themselves potentially harmful.

Tissue engineering has been successful in adults, where custom-made scaffolds direct cells to regenerate a new windpipe. but cell ingrowth remains a problem. I will create hybrid scaffolds combining the benefits of natural and synthetic materials, and demonstrate their safety and efficacy in rabbits (which have windpipes of similar dimensions to babies), clearing the way for paediatric clinical.

Ms Anita Mohan

 Anita Mohan 

Department of Surgery, University of Cambridge

Blond Research Fellowship

Abdominal-based perforator flap breast reconstruction: Evaluation of anatomical studies and contemporary imaging techniques to optimise outcomes

‘Optimising patient outcomes in breast reconstruction'

Breast cancer affects 50,000 women per year, with a lifetime risk of 1 in 8. One of the best forms of reconstruction following cancer removal involves transferring skin and fat from the abdomen (as a free flap) and transplanting this to the chest wall to recreate a natural breast. Reasons for complications are predominantly related to flap blood supply, which is still poorly understood.

This project will introduce novel methods to study the dynamics and relationship of blood vessels and their impact on flap survival in order to optimise outcomes in breast reconstruction.

Mr Aadil Mumith


Aadil Mumith

Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital

Enid Linder Research Fellowship

Enhanced osteointegration using a selective laser sintered porous titanium alloy combined with solution deposited hydroxyapatite coatings

‘3D printed implants improve bone integration'

Children with bone cancer undergo major operations to remove significant amounts of bone as part of their treatment. Up to 75% of these patients survive and grow to adulthood. Implants which grow with the child are used to replace these missing sections of bone. Unfortunately 30% of these implants become loose or break needing reoperation.

By developing the ideal 3D printed implant and impregnating them with bone stimulating proteins and stem cells allows more bone to grow into the implant. This prevents the implant from loosening, breaking and reducing rate of high risk re-operations.

Ms Suzanne Murphy


Suzanne Murphy

Cancer Research UK, Cambridge Institute, University of Cambridge

H&S Research Fellowship

Circulating tumour (ctDNA) in melanoma - a non-invasive biomarker of disease.

‘A blood test for monitoring melanoma'

Melanoma is the most aggressive form of skin cancer, results in 2,203 deaths/year in the UK and the incidence has increased faster than any other cancer.

Melanoma is difficult to treat since it's resistant to conventional chemotherapy and radiotherapy. There is no blood test that can be used to monitor patients.

With new targeted therapies the outcome of patients has improved, but most develop resistance. By measuring tumour DNA in the blood we hope to understand what causes resistance.
In the future this new test could predict recurrence and direct the use of new drugs.

Mr Sumit Nandi

 Sumit Nandi 

Royal Liverpool University Hospital

Freemasons Research Fellowship

Treatment of pancreatic cancer with gemcitabine-loaded superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles [SPIONs]

‘Targeted nanoparticle treatment against cancer cells'

Approximately 8,000 people in the UK are newly diagnosed with pancreatic cancer a year. It is difficult to diagnose as symptoms are vague and it is often too late for major curable surgery once recognised. New advances in fighting the disease are desperately required. Nanotechnology, the use of tiny particles, provides a novel solution.

This research project aims to develop and improve a multifunctional nanoparticle delivery vehicle that can specifically target and destroy cancer cells. This targeted approach allows more accurate treatment against the cancer, thus reducing the unwanted side effects of conventional chemotherapy.

Ms Henrietta Poon

 Henrietta Poon 

Defence, Science and Technology Laboratory

Honorary Research Fellow

Pre-injury statins in early resuscitation of complex battlefield injuries

'Pre-treatment with statins in complex trauma'

The majority of soldiers’ injuries are from explosions in recent conflicts. These injuries are a combination of bleeding, tissue trauma, and, specific to blasts, lung damage. The burden of trauma produces a strong inflammatory response which can cause further harm. Therefore it is important to develop strategies to lessen such effects to improve outcome. Statins, commonly used in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases, are also known to have effects in reducing inflammation.

Our study aims to investigate whether pre-treatment with statins can reduce inflammation from such injuries.

Mr Stuart Roberts

 Stuart Roberts 

The Computational, Cognitive and Clinical Neuroimaging Laboratory, Hammersmith Hospital

Freemasons Research Fellowship

Inflammation and neurodegeneration after blast traumatic brain injury (bTBI)

‘Neuroinflammation following military blast traumatic brain injury'

Improvised explosive devices (IEDs) causing blast TBI (bTBI) is the ‘signature injury’ of recent conflicts. Over 400 UK and 2,000 US soldiers have been fatally wounded by blast injuries in Afghanistan since 2001. Amongst survivors it is estimated that 19.5% of 1.64 million US troops have suffered from bTBI .

This is the first study of neuroinflammation in bTBI. Improved understanding of bTBI is an aspect of our duty of care to our service personnel so that they can have the best prevention and treatment strategies in the future.

Miss Bynvant Sandhu

 Bynvant Sandhu 

Chelsea & Westminster Hospital

Newman Foundation Research Fellowship

Reduction of Allograft Thrombosis in Pancreas Transplantation

‘Reducing Thrombosis-related Pancreas Transplant Loss'

Diabetes affects over 3 million people in the UK. Pancreas transplantation transforms the lives of those suffering from aggressive diabetes, enabling them to become insulin-independent. However, clot formation within the pancreas poses a great threat to the organ and may result in patients losing their long-awaited transplant on a background of a national organ shortage.

This research will test our model developed to treat the organ with a unique compound prior to transplantation. The compound attaches to blood vessel walls and prevents clot formation, ultimately improving success rates for patients undergoing pancreas transplantation.

Miss Annabel Sharkey

Annabel Sharkey

The University of Leicester

H&S Research Fellowship

Interrogating Mesothelioma Genomics for Personalised Radical Surgery and Secondary Prevention

‘Using Genomics to Personalise Mesothelioma Surgery'

Mesothelioma is a lethal cancer caused by asbestos exposure which is increasing in incidence in the UK. It not known why some patients undergoing surgical removal of mesothelioma derive long-term benefit, compared to those who have early recurrence. We hypothesize that the cause of this difference lies in the genetics of mesothelioma, so we plan to utilise state-of-the-art methods to investigate the link between mesothelioma genetics and clinical outcome.

We believe this research has potential to develop tests to identify suitable patients for surgery, and to develop alternative post-surgical treatments.

Miss Anna Slovick



Guys Hospital, Kings College London

MODI Research Fellowship

Low Dose Intradermal Allergen Immunotherapy in the Treatment of Seasonal Allergic Rhinitis (Hayfever): A Double-Blind Randomised Control Trial

'Testing a novel vaccine for Hayfever'

Five million people in the UK have hayfever which impacts on their quality of life. Medications can help but for many the symptoms remain highly troublesome. In such cases, a vaccine may be used to turn off the allergic response to the allergen (e.g. grass pollen). There is considerable scope for improving current vaccines which are expensive and involve frequent visits to specialist clinics, or daily self dosing with tablets or drops under the tongue for several years.

Our research tests a novel vaccine that has the potential to address many of these limitations.

Mr Peter Vaughan-Shaw

Peter Shaw Vaughan

MRC Human Genetics Unit MRC IGMM, University of Edinburgh Western General Hospital

Research Fellowship supported by Harold Bridges Bequest

Investigation of gene-environment interactions between Vitamin D and colorectal cancer susceptibility genetic variants in large bowel epithelium

‘Can Vitamin D prevent bowel cancer?'

There are over 40,000 new cases of bowel cancer in the UK each year, with significant associated death and disability. We know that patients with certain genes are at a greater risk of bowel cancer while certain vitamins, e.g. Vitamin D, may reduce your risk.

This exciting project investigates the effect of vitamin D on bowel cancer genes. Ultimately, Vitamin D and other drugs may be used to prevent bowel cancer in patients with the highest genetic risk. This research aims to make personalised genetic medicine a reality and reduce the incidence of cancer.

Mr Christopher Wearn

Christopher Wearn

University Hospital Birmingham

Lord Leonard and Lady Estelle Wolfson Research Fellowship

Metabolomics as an approach to the prediction and diagnosis of sepsis following severe thermal injury

‘Reducing mortality from burns sepsis'

Every year 13,000 people in the UK sustain burns. Due to effects on the immune system, patients with severe burns may develop sepsis, an extreme response of the body to infection. This can lead to prolonged hospital admission, organ failure and is a leading cause of death after burns. We are using a novel technique called metabolomics to measure metabolic changes in the blood and urine of patients before they develop sepsis.

This will allow us to develop new tests to diagnose and treat it earlier, improving outcomes and preventing death in patients with burns sepsis.

Mr Hugh Wright


Department of Oncology,
Gray Institute of Radiation Oncology and Biology
University of Oxford

Enid Linder Research Fellowship

Investigating the molecular effects of cooling human burns

‘Molecular fire-fighting to heal burns'

Burns are extremely common, though most are minor. Each year in the UK, 13,000 people are hospitalized, and 300 die from burns. Thousands of people are permanently scarred by burns.

Running cool water on a burn reduces its severity, but the mechanisms of this effect are unknown. We will create burns on living human skin that is usually discarded during breast reconstruction operations. We will study the effects of burning and cooling on the cells in skin. We hope to develop new treatments that can enhance the effects of cooling, preventing deaths and permanent disfigurement.

Mr Rasheed Zakaria

Rasheed Zakaria

Walton Centre For Neurology and Neurosurgery

Honorary Research Fellow

Invasiveness of cerebral metastases and implications for clinical management

‘How invasive are secondary brain tumours?'

In the Western world, cancer affects about a quarter of the population and about 40% of those will die of this disease. The majority of deaths from the commonly occurring cancers arise not as a result of the growth of the primary tumour, but from its spread, often to distant sites in the body.

We do not understand how deeply secondary tumours penetrate normal brain and whether this depends on the original cancer. This would be useful as it would tell us how aggressive the tumour is and help decide what treatments are best for patients.


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