Clinical Research Training Fellowship

Dr Alistair Escott
The University of Auckland
Towards the treatment of toxic thoracic lymph in critical illness
$250,000
36 months

Lay summary

I am a medical doctor in my fifth postgraduate year, completing my second year as a trainee in General Surgery through the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons. My career intention is to practice as an academic general surgeon in New Zealand.  I see the opportunity to pursue doctoral research as a logical and necessary part of my academic training for my career.

Multiple organ failure is the commonest cause of death in critically ill patients. Previous laboratory based studies have demonstrated that mesenteric lymph in critical illness is toxic to cells and organs. My PhD aims to characterize human thoracic duct lymph in order to translate these findings into specific lymph targeted therapies. Human lymph will be sampled from post-operative and critically ill patients to assess its composition and toxicity. Lipid soluble nanoparticles will be developed as a delivery mechanism to reduce lymph toxicity and assessed in animal models.

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