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Friday 13 October 2017 3:50pm

Martina Paumann-Page
Dr Martina Paumann-Page

The Centre for Free Radical Research has been awarded two Canterbury Medical Research Foundation (CMRF) Major Project grants in the 2017 funding round.

Dr Martina Paumann-Page will use her CMRF grant to develop two specific assays to measure protein levels, enzymatic activity and cellular location of peroxidasin, a heme peroxidase involved in cross-linking collagen IV (maybe insert link to blurb #2).

No such tests are available to date and the assays will provide sensitive and robust methods to detect peroxidasin in various biological samples and therefore improve our understanding of the reactions of Peroxidasin and its implications in health and disease.

Dr Patrice Rosengrave, Dr Anitra Carr and Professor Marie Crowe have received funding to investigate the effect of vitamin C administration on long-term physical and mental health outcomes of survivors of sepsis.

Survivors of critical illness such as sepsis have substantial morbidity after hospital discharge including reside organ dysfunction which results in impaired physical and cognitive function, with an overall reduction in quality of life.

This study will comprise of of a long-term follow up of the surviving patients whom have been enrolled in a randomised controlled trial assessing the short term effects of intravenous vitamin C to ICU patients at Christchurch Public Hospital with severe sepsis.

Project outline: Assay development for a protein implicated in metastatic melanoma.

Peroxidasin is a protein found in most tissues in the human body. Its physiological function was discovered onlyrecently and so far its contribution to health and disease is poorly understood.

There is evidence that peroxidasin plays an adverse role in certain pathologies. Peroxidasin was shown to be upregulated in numerous types of tumors. Moreover it was identified to be vastly elevated in metastasizing melanoma skin cancer cells. Peroxidasin also appears to be involved in tissue fibrosis.

However, the underlying molecular mechanisms are largely unknown. To date there are no assays available to detect peroxidasin protein and activity. To study the involvement of peroxidasin in melanoma we will develop specific methods to measure peroxidasin in various biological samples, therefore providing important tools to improve our understanding of the reactions of peroxidasin and its implications in health and disease.

Project outline: The effect of vitamin C administration on long-term physical and mental health outcomes of survivors of sepsis

Sepsis is a life-threatening condition that is widely defined as a systemic inflammatory response to severe infection resulting in multi-organ failure, and is leading cause of mortality in critically ill patients. Many survivors of sepsis have substantial long-term physical, cognitive, and psychological impairments, also known as Post Intensive Care Syndrome. Our data indicates that patients with sepsis have very low vitamin C levels.

Previous studies in cancer patients have highlighted the role that vitamin C plays in improving patients' quality of life. Therefore, we hypothesise that vitamin C administration to survivors of sepsis after discharge from hospital will aid in their recovery by improving physical functioning and performance, as well as their mental health.

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