Vascular remodeling in patients with Mycobacterium ulcerans infection and its effect on wound healing

Research Opportunity
Honours students, Master of Biomedical Science
Number of Honour Places Available
Number of Master Places Available
Department / Centre
Clinical Pathology
Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre (VCCC)
Primary Supervisor Email Number Webpage
Associate Professor John Hayman Personal web page
Co-supervisor Email Number Webpage
Dr Yi Qiu Sun

Summary Proliferative arteriomyopathy (PAMP) is the response of arteries to prolonged arterial spasm and represents vascularisation of the arterial media occurring as a result of spasm induced smooth muscle ischaemia. Although relatively common, this entity does not appear to have been described and review of the presently available material in 200+ Buruli ulcers and other skin conditions should result in a publication.

Project Details

Buruli ulcer (a.k.a. Bairnsdale ulcer) is a chronic debilitating disease caused by Mycobacterium ulcerans, and is the third most prevalent mycobacterial disease in humans after tuberculosis and leprosy. It is prevalent in Africa, South America, the Western Pacific and interestingly has a growing prevalence in Australia. Although 70% of Buruli ulcer occur in children under 15 years of age, in Australia it affects an elder population. It causes disability through chronic skin ulcers, wounds in subcutaneous tissue and sometimes to bone, requiring extensive surgical excision and complex wound healing regimens that pose a heavy health burden on the patient, the community and the health care system.

We have collected excisional skin specimens from 200+ patients with Buruli ulcer to examine the effect of vascular remodeling in Buruli ulcer wounds. In addition, we have specimens from other skin conditions exhibiting similar vascularisation features for comparison. We aim to apply histopathological and microbacterial techniques commonly used in hospital and commercial laboratories to identify factors that affect wound healing in Buruli ulcer, which may be useful for pathologists to make an accurate diagnosis and for clinicians to tailor the wound healing regimen. The project is well suited to a self-motivated honours student with experience in histopathology or related sciences. Successful engagement with the project and supervisors may lead to a journal publication or conference poster at a national conference as first author.

Faculty Research Themes

Child Health, Infection and Immunology

School Research Themes

Child Health in Medicine, Ageing, Musculoskeletal

Research Opportunities

Honours students, Master of Biomedical Science
Students who are interested in joining this project will need to consider their elegibility as well as other requirements before contacting the supervisor of this research

Graduate Research application

Honours application

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact a supervisor.

Department / Centre

Clinical Pathology

Research Node

Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre (VCCC)

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