Skip to navigation

Care, innovation, education and research

news item News Tuesday, April 16, 2019 Tuesday, April 16, 2019 12:10 PM - Tuesday, April 16, 2019 12:10 PM

Shriners Hospitals for Children — Cincinnati researchers take top awards at international burn conference

Researchers at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Cincinnati were awarded first and second place overall for two research projects aimed at improving burn treatment outcomes. The awards were presented at the 2019 American Burn Association (ABA) Annual Meeting, held April 2-5 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The ABA annual conference highlights the latest developments in burn-related research, education, care, rehabilitation and prevention. There were 530 research abstracts from around the globe submitted for consideration, from which 292 were chosen for poster presentations at the conference. Cincinnati Shriners Hospital researchers won three Best in Category awards, two of which went on to take first and second place overall.

The first-place overall winning project, Combinatorial Use of CEAs with Dermal Substitutes Containing Dermal Papilla-like Structures, presented by Megan Malara, tested a new dermal graft material intended to improve outcomes for patients with large burns and insufficient non-burned skin for grafting. Cultured epithelial autograft (CEA) is a skin substitute used to speed wound closure in patients with very large burns, but it is thin and heals with more scarring than normal skin grafts. Preliminary findings show that the new dermal substitute, when combined with CEA, results in healed wounds that appear more like normal skin. Researchers on this project include Malara, Britani Blackstone, Molly Baumann, Danielle DeBruler, Kevin Bailey, Dorothy Supp and Heather Powell.

The second-place overall winning project, Pirfenidone Inhibits Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition (EMT) Genes in Keloid Keratinocytes, presented by Latha Satish, focused on a potential treatment to reduce keloid scarring. Keloids are abnormal scars that can grow indefinitely and have a negative impact on quality of life. Results indicated that a drug called Pirfenidone may make keloid scar cells behave more like normal skin cells. This early step could lead to discoveries to treat or even prevent keloid scars. Researchers on this project include Satish, Alexander Evdokiou, Jennifer Hahn and Dorothy Supp.

“I am proud to see the work of our scientific staff recognized at this prestigious meeting,” said Dorothy M. Supp, Ph.D., interim director of research for the Cincinnati Shriners Hospital. “These presentations exemplify the high quality of research performed by members of the Cincinnati Shriners Hospital scientific staff on a daily basis. These projects in particular offer the promise of improved treatments for patients with large burns or disfiguring scars.”

Staff members with winning poster