The Univeristy of Melbourne The Royal Melbourne Hopspital

A joint venture between The University of Melbourne and The Royal Melbourne Hospital


Research Projects

Project: Topical wound healing formulations in the context of diabetic complications

Karagiannis group

This project is based in the Alfred Medical Research Precinct, Alfred Centre, Prahran

Cutaneous wound healing is a physiological response to a stimulus which results in injury to the skin, such as from cuts, abrasions and burns. It is essential to maintain skin integrity, as compromised skin leaves the body susceptible to external elements such as pathogenic microorganisms. This multicellular process of repair involves the replacement and restoration of lost or damaged tissue with less functional connective tissue. This results in the formation of a scar which continues to remodel and develop for various amounts of time, depending on the severity of the initial injury. The cutaneous wound healing process involves three overlapping phases: acute inflammation, proliferation and remodelling. The process involves different cell types, including cells of the immune system, keratinocytes, fibroblasts and endothelial cells, as well as many different molecular factors and cytokines. Immediately following skin injury, damage signals, both mechanical and chemicals, are sent out from damaged cells and blood vessels to other cells in the area. Damaged cells activate stress pathways, and also leak molecular signals such as damage-associated molecular patterns which indicate stress to other cells. Chromic ulcers which display delayed wound healing are a common complication of diabetes.

The aim of this BSc Honours project is investigate the effects of various dietary antioxidants and chromatin modifying compunds in various cell lines including human keratinocytes, endothelial cells and fibroblasts in models simulating diabetes. Further, we will utlize EpiDerm full thickness 3D models of human skin containing keratinocytes, fibroblasts and intact basement membrane for ex-vivo evaluations of topical formulations in response to high glucose induced stress.

Contact project supervisor for further
information and application enquiries

Project Supervisor

Dr Tom Karagiannis

Project Co-supervisor

Dr Andrew Hung

Project availability

Karagiannis group

2 vacancies

Cross Cutting Disciplines

The Karagiannis group aims to understand the role of dietary antioxidants and chromatin modifying compounds on the genome and epigenome in health and disease. They develop predictive models of wound severity and potential for repair in the context of diabetic foot ulcers. This research direction also involves the development of new potential therapeutics.