Highly-coveted 2022 Research Grants Announced

Thursday 21 April 2022

Using a snake-venom based product to control bleeding in burns patients, and development of robotic technology for minimally invasive surgery, are just two of the fascinating and innovative research grants which received funding at the 2022 RBWH Foundation Research Awards.

Some of the brightest medical minds from Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital (RBWH) have been honoured and recognised, thanks to incredible generosity of supporters who share the RBWH Foundation vision of advancing patient care and life-saving research.

“Being an RBWH Foundation donor means being part of something that is incredibly special and powerful,” said RBWH Foundation CEO Simone Garske.

“Yes, we have some of the country’s most brilliant minds working at RBWH, but without our valued community’s generosity and commitment, there would be no research.”

Thanks to the Extraordinary Power of Giving, 22 research grants were announced, totalling almost $1-million, across two categories: the 2022 Anglo American Burns, Skin and Wound Care Grants and the annual RBWH Foundation Project Grants.

Dr Jason Brown, Director of the RBWH Professor Stuart Pegg Adult Burns Centre, paid tribute to Anglo American plc for a significant philanthropic gift which funded ten groundbreaking research projects.

“If you look at the World Health Organisation data, burns is still globally one of the largest takers of ‘quality-of-life’ years so there are opportunities to improve those outcomes,” said Dr Brown.

“There has been a huge increase in survival and patient outcomes over the last three or four decades but there is still a lot of work to be done globally.”

The successful candidates for the 2022 Anglo American Burns, Skin and Wound Care Grants were:

• Anita Plaza: Physiotherapy
  Enablers and barriers to participation in physical activity programs while hospitalised after burn injury.
• Andrea McKittrick: Occupational Therapy
  Development of a person-centred outcome measure for hand burn injuries.
• Dr Carl Lisec: Prof. Stuart Pegg Adult Burns Unit
  A pilot study assessing the feasibility of NexoBrid versus the current standard of care of isolated upper limb burns.
• Amber Jones: Occupational Therapy
  Evaluation and enhancement of the RBWH Multidisciplinary Burns Telehealth Service.
• Assoc. Professor Anthony Holley: Intensive Care Services
  The Development of an Australasian Burns Critical Care Registry.
• Dr Merrilyn Banks: Nutrition & Dietetics
  Feasibility of using wearable sensors in patients with burn injury, to measure energy expenditure, and other observations, that can directly influence clinical care.
• Assoc. Professor Jayesh Dhanani: Intensive Care Medicine
  Innovation on burns pain management: Nebulised dexmedetomidine to reduce or eliminate the need for IV pain management: Pilot Phase III trial.
• Dr Peter Gilles and Dr Andrew Dalley
  Queensland Skin Culture Centre equipment upgrade enabling techniques using patient’s own cells to grow skin and improve recovery time.
• Dr Amanda W. Kijas and Dr Abbas Shafiee
  Pre-clinical evaluation of the efficacy of a venom-based haemostatic agent.
• Dr Lynne Heyes
  Psychological support: Burns survivor peer support program.

Since 1985, RBWH Foundation has supported clinician-led research within the hospital. Today, RBWH is a thriving research institute with close to 500 clinicians who each year combine direct patient care, with research, to answer medical questions that are important to them and their patients.

“We want to be a world-class hospital and a world-class research hospital,” said Professor Mike O’Sullivan, Director of RBWH Research and Implementation.

“The fact that we can aspire to that, thanks to our donors and RBWH Foundation, really reflects the extraordinary power of giving.”

The successful candidates for the highly competitive 2022 RBWH Foundation Project Grants were:

• Dr Clare Burns – Speech Pathology
  Telehealth delivery of an immersive virtual reality therapy tool for communication rehabilitation: A feasibility study.
• Dr Anthony Hodge – Surgery & Perioperative: Anaesthetist
  Pharmacokinetic profile and breastmilk excretion of sugammadex in pregnant women.
• Professor Paul Colditz – Women’s & Newborns – Neonatology
  Brain-specific blood biomarkers of injury in the growth restricted newborn.
• Dr Scott Farrell – Critical Care
  Development of small nerve fibre pathology in chronic whiplash-associated disorder.
• Dr Christoph Meinert – Surgery and Perioperative: Vascular Biofabrication
  Soft Robotic Catheters for Minimally Invasive Surgery.
• Professor Leonie Callaway – Womens & Newborns
  Aspirin for the treatment of cardiac dysfunction in preeclampsia.
• Dr Julie Adsett – Internal Medicine: Physiotherapy
  Better get moving: Using implementation science to improve hospital mobility.
• Amanda Corley – Surgery & Perioperative
  Does longer peripheral intravenous catheter Length optimise Antibiotic Delivery. A randomised controlled trial to reduce interruptions to intravenous antibiotic delivery.
• Dr Zhen Liu – Surgery & Perioperative
  Saliva tumoral correlation to monitor response to treatment in oropharyngeal cancer patients.
• Dr Melissa Lai – Women & Newborns: Neonatology
  Towards Custom Fitting CPAP devices for premature Infants – COMFIT.
• Cory Williams – Surgery & Perioperative
  The co-design and evaluation of an e-health App to Improve the perioperative patient journey and facilitate integrated care: A pilot randomised control trial.
• Maree Raymer – Physiotherapy
  Matching multidisciplinary care to patients needs in the state-wide Neurosurgical      and Orthopaedic Physiotherapy Screening Clinics and Multidisciplinary Service.

RBWH Foundation looks forward to updating our philanthropic community as the research progresses.