Skin/Wound Healing

Immunohistochemistry staining of wounded skin for Keratin 6 (K6); image courtesy of Davis Ansell and Ralf Paus.

Skin/Wound Healing

Manchester has a strong history of academic wound healing research, with robust clinical links.  This spans basic research into the mechanisms of stem cell based repair and the role of hormones in wound healing, to how the hair follicle acts a reservoir of growth factors and stem cells, which promote wound healing.  Our research spans acute wounds, burns and chronic wounds. Currently our wound healing group has active clinical trials, researching how to improve the outcome of patients with burns.


Dr Kimberly Mace

Healing Foundation Fellow
Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health
Dr Mace’s University Profile

Regulation of Adult Stem Cells in Response to Injury

Dr Mace’s lab is interested in the regulation of transcription in response to injury and the underlying molecular mechanisms that promote wound repair and regeneration, as well as limiting it. Their current studies are focused on skin repair and regeneration, in particular, the role of adult stem cells in this process, using the mouse as a model system. Adult stem cells reside in a variety of niches, including the bone marrow. Bone marrow-derived cells (BMDCs) contain a subpopulation of multipotent stem cells that can migrate to peripheral tissues and, once there, differentiate and contribute to the maintenance of that tissue. BMDCs appear to play an extensive role in repair and regeneration. For example, in skin, a small number of BMDCs routinely migrate to the dermis and contribute to many resident cell populations. This process is dramatically ‘ramped up’ in response to injury, and then returns to normal as wound healing resolves and homeostasis is achieved.

The balance of different BMDC types present in the injured tissue can profoundly affect the repair and regeneration process. Currently Dr Mace’s focus is on the identification of which BMDCs are recruited to the wound at different times, experimental manipulation of these populations in vitro and in vivo, and the analysis of BMDC differentiation at the site of injury.

Professor Ralf Paus

Professor of Cutaneous Medicine
Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health
Professor Paus’s University Profile

Role of the Hair Follicle in Wound Healing

Professor Paus researches the biology and pathology of the hair follicle as a microcosmic miniorgan, in which many of the fundamental problems of biology can be studied exemplarily. Currently, he is most intrigued by the astounding neuroendocrine properties of the human hair follicle, their impact on mitochondrial function, hair follicle immune status and the use of adult stem cells populations associated with human skin appendages for regenerative medicine purposes.

Dr Sarah Herrick

Senior Lecturer in Tissue Injury and Repair
Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health
Dr Herrick’s University Profile

Fibrosis and Scarring

Tissue injury and repair in most organs involves a change in cellular composition and the remodelling of extracellular matrix components. The overall goal of Dr Herrick’s studies is to understand the fundamental cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in normal turnover of extracellular matrix molecules during tissue repair, the way these processes are altered leading to excessive healing (scarring/fibrosis) and to identify ways of regulating these processes therapeutically. Her work focusses on damage to the airway and surgical adhesions.

Damage to the airways through exposure to allergens, infection, tobacco smoke, and pollution can lead to serious chronic conditions, such as asthma, causing significant patient morbidity and mortality. While the lung displays a certain capacity for repair, often it is overwhelmed by repeated injury resulting in ‘airway wall remodelling’. Her research aims to understand the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in airway wall remodelling by analysing clinical specimens, manipulating experimental in vivo models and developing human airway three-dimensional co-culture systems.

An extremely common problem of surgery in the abdomen is peritoneal adhesion formation where organs, which should normally be separate, become joined by fibrous bands of tissue. Peritoneal adhesions can cause major complications such as intestinal obstruction, chronic pelvic pain and infertility in women. Her previous histological and ultrastructural studies have shown that adhesions were well vascularised and surprisingly well innervated. Current studies are aimed at understanding the role of the initial wound matrix, deposited as a fibrin-rich clot between injured surfaces and the fibrinolytic proteases involved in its breakdown. She has shown that a defect in fibrin removal results in an accumulation of collagen which leads to subsequent fibrosis and adhesion formation. Another area of interest is identifying a peritoneal ‘stem’ cell and how this may be involved in repair and adhesion formation in the abdomen.


Dr Ardeshir Bayat

Clinician Scientist
University Hospital South Manchester
Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health
Dr Bayat’s University Profile
Dr Bayat’s Researchgate Profile

Cutaneous Regeneration and Fibrosis

_SK03989Dr Bayat is a clinician scientist and reader (Associate Professor) in the Institute of Inflammation and Repair. His main interest is in skin biology, tissue regeneration and fibrosis.  His research focuses include skin scarring, skin regeneration and fibrosis, breast and palmar fascia fibrosis, as well as cutaneous infection. The objective of his research is to elucidate fundamental mechanisms in wound healing and infection, as well as tissue regeneration and fibrosis. This will provide knowledge of new therapeutic targets and biomarkers which can be used to develop novel therapies, particularly in detection, prevention and treatment of abnormal wound healing, wound infection and fibrotic disorders.  His career aim has been to make a major impact on human skin health through translation into better outcomes for patients suffering with abnormal wound healing and tissue fibrosis, by developing research programmes which combine high quality basic science and translational clinical research.

He has numerous ongoing academic and industrial collaborations in the field of tissue repair, fibrosis and wound healing, worldwide. He is an active member of the American and European Wound Healing and Tissue Repair Societies and on the organizing committee, as well as publications committee of the American Wound Healing Society. He was recently elected onto the board of directors of the American Wound Healing Foundation.

He has been invited to present at numerous national and international scientific/clinical conferences (in excess of 475 personal and supervised presentations given with 21 Wound Healing Society Young Investigator Award nominations to date for his team). He has an H index of 43 and has published extensively in peer-reviewed journals, which include original scientific papers, reviews and invited articles in press and/or under review (400 publications including original papers, reviews, published abstracts and book chapters). He is a grant reviewer and is on the editorial board of several journals in the field of tissue repair.

His research thrives upon the multidisciplinary and interactive research environment that exists between the bedside (the clinic/hospital), the bench (laboratory) and industry with a focus on advancing human wound healing. His laboratory maintains the capacity to carry out molecular, cellular, histological and genetic research. In addition, to human tissue biopsies from patients and volunteers undergoing ethically approved studies, his research staff have access to organotypic and organ culture models of human skin, as Dr Bayat possesses a tissue bank license and has access to donated human tissue for the purpose of research from a variety of sources. His research thrives upon the multidisciplinary and interactive research environment that exists between the bedside (the clinic/hospital), the bench (laboratory) and industry.

Dr Mamta Shah

MAHSC Honorary Clinical Professor
Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health
Dr Shah’s University Profile

Burn Healing

Professor Shah is a practising Clinician at the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital and University Hospital of South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust; she is the clinical lead for the Regional Paediatric Burns Service.  She maintains a group within the School of Biological Sciences researching the molecular and cellular mechanisms of burn wound healing and post-burn scarring, including: dyspigmentation, post-burn inflammatory response, microbial influence on burn wound healing and scarring. She is currently involved in pre-clinical trials of SMART dressings and in clinical trials on improving burn healing and post-burn scarring in children.


Dr Adam Reid

Senior Clinical Lecturer Honorary Consultant in Plastic Reconstructive Surgery
Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health
University Hospital of Southern Manchester
Dr Reid’s University Profile

Nerve Injury and Complex Limb Reconstruction

Adam Reid is a Senior Clinical Lecturer in Plastic & Re-constructive Surgery with academic and clinical interests in trauma, nerve injury and complex limb reconstruction. Dr Reid leads a research team in the Blond McIndoe Laboratories at the University of Manchester and works clinically at the University Hospital of South Manchester. In collaboration with Professor Julie Gough he is poised to conduct a NIHR supported, first in man study, on a novel polymer nerve conduit, for peripheral nerve regeneration at the University Hospital of South Manchester. Additionally, he is developing novel applications for adipose-derived stem cells, in peripheral nerve regeneration. This work is supported by funding from the National Institute for Health Research, the Healing Foundation and the Academy of Medical Sciences.

Dr Jason Wong

Honorary Senior Clinical Lecturer in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
Subject Lead for Acute Tissue Injury and Trauma Speciality; MAHSC Inflammation and Repair Domain
Clinical Lead for Plastic Surgery Major Trauma and Complex Wounds UHSM
Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health
University Hospital of South Manchester
Dr Wong’s University Profile

Vascular Tissue Engineering, Composite Tissue Allotransplantation, Tendon Repair and Major Trauma

Dr Wong’s research interest are in vascular tissue engineering and funded by the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh. He is currently involved in active EPSRC and MRC grants, focusing on Vascularised Composite Tissue Allotransplantation. He also maintains a specialist interest in tendon biology, iatrogenic tendon injury, tendon regeneration, revascularisation, and tissue engraftment.

His surgical interests lie in injuries to the musculoskeletal system, which includes hand injuries, sports injuries and major limb trauma.