24 Apr 2015

Centre of Excellence in Traumatic Brain Injury (CETBIR)

Dr Sarah Hellewell, CETBIR Fellow
Traumatic brain injuries in Australia, indeed around the world, create an enormous burden on individuals, families, communities and the economy.  Fortunately, there is a concerted effort being made by researchers around the world to decipher the derangements that occur at a cellular and molecular level in these injuries and in developing new therapies to improve the outcome from these injuries.  

In Melbourne over the past three years a virtual research centre located within the National Trauma Research Centre, the Centre of Excellence in Traumatic Brain Injury, has sponsored a number of research fellows to extend their research in this field.  One such recipient was Dr Sarah Hellewell whose project was entitled, Validating the Use of Novel and Established Biomarkers of Brain Injury in an Erythropoietin Clinical Trial.

Aware that biomarkers are intrinsic proteins of the nervous system which diffuses into the blood stream as a consequence of damage to the brain, Dr Hellewell’s research focussed on developing biomarkers as a diagnostic measure for the severity of initial brain damage, as a tool for detecting secondary insults and as early predictors of long-term neurological outcome. 

Of particular interest to insurers of compensable injury world-wide, the identification of diagnostic biomarkers of brain injury has the potential to direct treatment and therefore limit progressive brain damage, improve outcomes to patients and reduce overall care costs.

The experience Dr Hellewell gained in her fellowship provided a strong foundation allowing her to take up a post-doctoral fellowship in Canada. 

See more about NTRI.

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