Dr David Dorward has been awarded the silver research medal in the Histopathology category of the 2018 RCPath Research Medal Awards
He won the award for his research paper entitled: ‘Novel role for endogenous mitochondrial formylated peptide-driven formyl peptide receptor 1 signalling in acute respiratory distress syndrome’.
Acute respiratory distress syndrome is an often fatal condition in which there are no current drug therapies. Dr Dorward and his colleagues in the Centre for Inflammation Research, University of Edinburgh discovered that, following lung injury, proteins that are made within the mitochondria of human cells are released into both the lung and circulation of ARDS patients. By blocking the receptor that senses these proteins they were able to demonstrate the essential role of these factors in worsening lung injury in preclincal mouse models of lung inflammation. Importantly, by targeting this receptor with drugs to block its function they were able to limit the extent of lung injury. These findings open up potential new avenues in the treatment of this devastating condition.