Third year medical student Brennan Carne is the first recipient of the Peter Hurst Summer Studentship Scholarship. Brennan is undertaking a summer research project in the Department of Anatomy with Associate Professor George Dias. The Scholarship will provide him with financial support while he undertakes his research over the summer.
When Senior Lecturer Dr Peter Hurst retired in 2016 after thirty-eight years in the Department, he was keen to give something back to the Department where he had spent many happy years.
He was keen to support core anatomy research and saw the gifting of a Scholarship as the opportunity to also give to students who might not otherwise have the support to undertake research.
He was impressed with Brennan's project application.
“The project has a good structure, scientific method, and an objective quantitative analysis. It's a good project which will likely add valuable data to the limited published literature currently available in this field.“
“I commend Brennan for taking the opportunity to undertake this research project. It will give him good experience for research opportunities he may have in the future as he furthers his medical career.”
Brennan's project investigates the relationship of the chorda tympani nerve (CTN) to the lingual nerve. There is little published information regarding the joining of the CTN with the lingual nerve in the infratemporal region. The connection has been found to occur 1-2cm below the skulls base, but has also been reported as far down as 2.49cm below the skull base. The position of the connection is clinically important for mandibular fracture as anaesthesia and surgery can result in damage to the CTN, resulting in a loss of taste sensation for the patient.
“The current lack of detailed knowledge of these anatomical features, and the clinical importance of these features in both trauma and surgery are what drives my motivation for this project” he says.
Brennan will have access to cadavers donated to the Department through the Body Bequest Programme. He will undertake detailed dissection of the infratemporal fossa region, and will look for a difference between males and females, as well as between left and right sides.
Brennan was delighted to be awarded the Scholarship, and is looking forward to the challenges ahead.