We have recently launched our latest essay competition and it would be great to hear a little about what inspired you to apply and the subject of your essay as a previous winner.

I became fascinated in burns surgery as a student at Nottingham’s burns unit because the nature of these injuries is such that they could befall any of us and cause lasting physical and psychological scars.

The Restore Essay Prize offered a chance for recognition, funding and the opportunity to work with bright minds. I wrote about the molecular basis for pathological scarring – I learned a lot about TGF-Beta and work on fetal scarless healing in particular. The essay was very much about the laboratory side of medicine and in the end I appreciated that we still have a long way to go to understand why scarring occurs. It was a great learning experience and an immense honour to present my work to HRH The Duke of Kent at Restore’s anniversary event and meet the others working on Restore’s projects. All hugely inspiring!

I also understand from Mr. Jonathon Pleat that you have been working on a project looking at the public understanding of keloid scars, would you be able to provide us with a brief update on this project?

Jon Pleat and I created a survey of the perception of keloids and how this differs between countries. This is my first, large project and it’s exciting because Jon is a great guide and this spans several countries. The Restore Prize provided funding to start collecting data in Ghana. Since then we have expanded the team, to gather data in Canada, China and now Australia.

Having recently moved to Australia, what are your plans whilst you are there and for your future career?

I am fortunate to be doing my F2 year down under. It’s easy to find a work/life balance here and I’m planning to gain experience in emergency medicine/surgery, continue the keloid survey and complete my 500th skydive! In future, I’d like apply for surgical training and continue to work with Restore.

By Lauren Jackson, Restore Student Fellow