This month our featured abstracts highlights two National Institutes of Health Awards.
The first, the Tufts Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI), is the third round of successful funding for the CTSI, which accelerates the translation of research into clinical use, medical practice, and health impact. Harry P. Selker, MD, MSPH, Tufts CTSI Dean and Principal Investigator, leads the award in collaboration with Karen Freund, MD, MPH, Tufts CTSI Director of the Faculty Career Development (KL2) Program, and David Kent, MD, MSc, CTSI Director of the Research Fellowship (TL1) Program and the Clinical and Translational Science Graduate Program.
The second highlight features Evangelos Papathanasiou, Assistant Professor in Periodontology, who has been awarded a Mentored Clinical Scientist Research Career Development (K08) to investigate wound healing under the guidance of Carroll Ann Trotman, Professor and Chair of Orthodontics, and Tom Van Dyke of the Forsyth Institute.
Abstract: Cleft lip with or without cleft palate is the most common congenital malformation of the head and the third most common birth defect. The impact of cleft lip on quality of life for the child and the family can be severe, affecting the child's appearance, speech, hearing, growth, psychosocial well-being and social integration. Surgical repair of the lip is the only treatment and is usually performed during the first year of life. However, hypertrophic scar (HTS) formation is a frequent postoperative complication that impairs soft tissue form, function or movement and multiple lip revision surgeries are required throughout childhood for optimum esthetics and function. Uncontrolled and prolonged inflammation plays a major role in tissue injury, tissue scarring, and fibrosis. There is a critical need for new therapeutic regimens to help patients prone to scar tissue formation after lip repair and revision surgeries. The objective of this proposal is to evaluate a new approach to promote wound healing and limit scarring based on endogenous specialized pro-resolving lipid mediators (SPMs), termed Resolvins. The overarching hypothesis is that resolvins applied topically will minimize hypertrophic scarring after cleft lip repair surgery by promoting resolution of inflammation. The problem will be approached in two phases: the actions of resolvins in prevention of lip scarring will be determined in an animal model, followed by initial human studies that will generate hypotheses for future human clinical application. The specific aims are: 1a) Characterize the inflammatory/lipid mediator profile of hypertrophic scars after cleft lip defect re- pair in an FDA approved animal model; 1b) Using the rabbit model, we will determine the impact of a well characterized specialized pro-resolving lipid mediator (RvE1) on scar formation and inflammatory/lipid media- tors in wound healing after cleft lip defect repair; 2) Characterize the human inflammatory/lipid mediator profile of cleft lip wound exudate and correlate it with scarring in patients undergoing cleft lip repair surgery.