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Hatem Sadik, Joel Ward, Gerlin Naidoo and Oliver McCallion from the Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences have each been awarded a prestigious Surgical Research Fellowship by the Royal College of Surgeons of England.

Congratulations text on white surface with confetti

The One-Year Surgical Research Fellowship provides funding to support trainee members of RCS England who are looking to begin their first significant research project in any aspect of surgery or surgical care. 

Applying for an RCS Fellowship is highly competitive and the four researchers were rigorously assessed through a peer review process to ensure that their research, supervision and facilities are of a high standard and that the proposed work will be valid, beneficial and original.

We congratulate Hatem, Joel, Gerlin and Oliver on their success!

Hatem Sadik 

Controlled Oxygenated Rewarming in Liver Transplantation

A lack of available donor livers means that many people die waiting for a life-saving liver transplant. Traditionally, livers are stored in an ice box between retrieval from the donor and implantation into the receiving patient. However, normothermic machine perfusion (NMP) is now being used in some cases to preserve livers more safely. This involves circulating body-temperature blood and nutrients through the liver. During NMP we test the function of the liver and can decide whether livers that are considered riskier to transplant can be transplanted safely. This technique is also being used for livers that have been transported in ice, however there is a concern that rapid rewarming may cause injury. Hatem will investigate whether the quality of livers that are transported in ice and then tested using NMP, can be improved by gradually rewarming them whilst delivering oxygen between ice storage and NMP. 

Joel Ward

Listening effectively in multi-talker environments 

One in five adults suffer from hearing loss - a disabling condition that limits our ability to communicate. Standard hearing aids often fail to help people follow conversations, especially in noisy settings. Joel's research examines how the brain of a healthy person can focus on one voice in a busy room using the voice’s tonal quality, or “pitch”. He will study how our brain processes change across our life and with hearing loss. Understanding these processes will help improve hearing aid technologies. It will also guide new tests and treatments for hearing loss.

Gerlin Naidoo

Surgeon-led Bedside Ultrasound for Children

Frequently, children present with surgical conditions which are time-sensitive and easily diagnosable by ultrasound. Common examples include intussusception, appendicitis and hernias, among many others. We could reduce delays to treatment by providing surgeons with skills in ‘bedside ultrasound’, which would be especially beneficial in resource-limited settings. This is the first project to investigate the ability to train paediatric surgeons in the use of ‘bedside ultrasound’ to rapidly diagnose and treat children with surgical conditions in low-income settings

This research has the potential to benefit children by increasing the speed of clinical decision-making, thereby reducing the harm associated with delayed care, and improving the overall quality of care. This could also reduce costs by avoiding unnecessary investigations or admissions.

The work is supported by the 23-year Tanzania-Oxford Partnership and supervised by Professor Kokila Lakhoo and Professor Ashok Handa within the Oxford University Global Surgery Group. The team aim to provide a scalable, and context-appropriate technology-based solution to help address some of the challenges faced in paediatric surgical care provision in low-to-middle-income countries. 

Oliver McCallion 

Evaluating the impact of regulatory T cell therapy in living donor kidney transplant recipients by single cell RNA sequencing

Last year, over 100,000 people received an organ transplant. Transplantation can cure people of fatal diseases, but the medications required to prevent rejection increase patient risk of infection, cancer, and heart disease. The Translational Research Immunology Group (TRIG) is investigating a new treatment—using a patient’s own white blood cells—to reduce the amount of immunosuppression needed following transplantation in a clinical trial. Oliver aims to use cutting edge technologies from patient samples to understand how our immune therapy impacts cells within the transplant and to define factors that predict who will benefit most from this approach.


Read more about the One-Year Surgical Research Fellowship on the Royal College of Surgeons England's website.