Following skin injury, the wound healing process begins & the body attempts to restore tissue function. One of the key events that takes place during normal wound healing is fibroblast-myofibroblast differentiation, which happens in response to the pro-scarring transforming growth factor- β1 (TGF-β1). After this process, the cells are able to pull the wound closed. However, if myofibroblasts stay in the area for too long, disease-related scarring can occur & may cause significant physiological & psychological pain, affecting a patient’s quality of life. As there are currently no therapies which effectively prevent or stop fibrosis, there is a clinical need to develop new wound healing therapies; ideally ones that encourage ‘scarless healing’, which can be found in the foetal skin & oral mucosa.
EBC-46 & EBC-211 are epoxy-tiglianes found in seeds of the Fontain’s Blushwood Tree, indigenous to Queensland’s tropical rainforest, Australia. EBC-46 is being developed by QBiotics Ltd. as an anti-cancer therapy for skin tumour treatment. However, EBC-46 has also been found to stimulate enhanced skin wound healing responses after tumour loss, including rapid wound closure & reduced scarring. However, not much is known on how these natural products cause their anti-scarring effects & therefore, my research is based around helping to find out how they work.
1. Characterise the effects of EBC-46 & EBC-211 upon dermal fibroblast-myofibroblast differentiation & resultant extracellular matrix (ECM).
2. Determine & validate the effects of EBC-46 & EBC-211 upon dermal fibroblast global gene / protein expression.
3. Investigate the mechanism of action & pathways by which EBC-46 & EBC-211 signal & modulate their anti-scarring effects.
Miss Jordanna Dally