Scar Free Birmingham March 2018 67

First Look at Centre for Conflict Wound Research

With lead funding from HM Treasury and J P Moulton Charitable Foundation, we will later this year open The Scar Free Foundation Centre for Conflict Wound Research. The Centre, based at the University of Birmingham, will bring together uniformed and civilian scientists and clinicians to investigate how the body heals and protects itself following the types of trauma common to conflicts (chemical, burn, and blast injury) and to spearhead the development of new treatments, from the point of injury through to rehabilitation. Ahead of opening, our Office and Finance Manager Amanda made her first visit to Birmingham to meet the team who will be leading the research, and to see the new labs in which the Centre will be housed.

"My visit started in the impressive new labs, where I was shown around by Professors Ann Logan, Richard Williams and Liam Grover. They are leading the development and first-in-man trial of a new anti-scarring dressing - one of the Centre's first big research projects. I got a chance to handle the prototypes of the transparent gel dressing, and was shown a new liquid version of it, which they hope eventually to use to treat scarring on the eyes.

Next, I headed over to the burns ward at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. It is one of the largest in the UK, and patients treated there will be recruited from it to the clinical trials the Centre for Conflict Wound Research runs. The hospital is also home to The Scar Free Foundation Centre for Burns Research. I toured the Centre's labs with Professors Naiem Moiemen and Janet Lord, who direct its research and have also been closely involved with the set-up of our Centre for Conflict Wound Research. I learnt from Dr Paul Harrison and Sister Amy Bamford about SIFTI-2, a major cohort study which is investigating what happens in the body following a serious burn injury.

I really enjoyed my visit and I feel proud to be involved in such a worthwhile project. I can't wait to return to Birmingham once the Centre for Conflict Wound Research is properly up and running."

Photography by James Allan