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Powell Receives Award from the Shriners Hospitals for Children

Heather Powell, Assistant Professor of BME and Materials Science and Engineering, has been awarded a five-year grant of $1.3M, for the project entitled “Compression garments: understanding mechanical regulation of scar development.”  The award is funded through the Shriners Hospitals for Children Research Foundation. Her work will be conducted in collaboration with her co-investigators Chandan K. Sen, PhD, and Dorothy Supp, PhD (University of Cincinnati).

According to the research abstract, “pressure garments are a mainstay of current burn therapy, but their mechanism of action is poorly understood and controversy remains regarding their efficacy. In addition, the optimal levels of pressure and daily duration of application are not known, nor are the molecular mechanisms responsible for scar reduction. The proposed studies will address this important knowledge gap to discover the mechanisms responsible for improved scar elasticity and thereby optimize delivery of pressure therapy. Our studies will test the central hypothesis that compressive forces control scar development in a magnitude and time dependent manner, and uncovering the molecular pathways through which these forces are translated will guide development of novel strategies to improve scar prevention and promote patient compliance.”