Current Position (2019/20):
- Post PhD: MBBS Year 5 - Life Cycle
Tissue-engineering and regenerative medicine approaches to stabilise, protect and repair the damaged CNS
Dr James Phillips, Eastman Dental Hospital
The Sackler Fund
During his PhD, Richard aims to build-on the work he conducted as part of his undergraduate research, by investigating ways in which tissue-engineered therapies and regenerative medicine might one day be used to repair the damaged central nervous system. Specifically, he hopes to develop clinically competitive therapies able to promote repair in the damaged spinal cord following traumatic injury.
For the first part of his project, he has developed a novel mechanical testing protocol able to robustly characterise the complex viscoelastic behaviours of spinal cord tissue. In doing so, he is now hoping to develop mechanically appropriate tissue-engineered constructs aimed at promoting repair and recovery of function. In particular, he hopes to combine the unique properties of Olfactory Ensheathing Cells (OECs) with supportive biomaterial scaffolds to optimise recovery after injury.
In addition to his PhD research, Richard also has a keen interest in quality improvement. Last year he designed and led a quality improvement project from scratch, and this formed part of the project portfolio which went on to win 1st prize at the National NHS Quality Improvement Championships. He has also recently developed an interactive ECG teaching resource for medical students (link); this was awarded the prestigious Royal Society of Medicine Sidney Linton Prize. Outside of his research, Richard is an avid guitarist and enjoys playing badminton twice weekly. He also has a sustained interest in promoting fairer access to selective courses such as medicine, and in the future aspires to become a research-active neurosurgeon.
Awards & Prizes:
- Royal Society of Medicine Sidney Linton Prize 2016. Awarded for his teaching package on ECG changes associated with electrolyte disturbances.