Study level


Master of Philosophy



Topic status

We're looking for students to study this topic.


Dr Daniel Broszczak
Senior Lecturer
Division / Faculty
Faculty of Health
Associate Professor Leila Cuttle
Principal Research Fellow
Division / Faculty
Faculty of Health
Associate Professor Tony Parker
Associate Professor
Division / Faculty
Faculty of Health
Dr Tuo Zang
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Division / Faculty
Faculty of Health


It can be difficult for clinical teams to determine the severity of burn injuries when the patient first presents to the hospital. This is because burn wounds continue to deepen/progress over time, in a process known as burn wound conversion. Some wounds may deepen over days or weeks and require aggressive surgical treatment e.g. grafting, and some wounds don’t progress, stay superficial in depth, and they can be managed conservatively with the application of different bandages or dressings. We have previously found that certain proteins present in early burn wound fluid may help predict burn depth and the time taken to heal. We would like to identify which proteins and metabolites are related to wounds that heal faster and with a better outcome, compared to those which heal slowly, with scarring and require surgery. In this project, these proteins and metabolites will be validated using different techniques and to help develop an assay which can be used in the clinic.


  1. Use mass spectrometry techniques to process burn patient samples
  2. Analyse the mass spec data using bioinformatic approaches and software to identify and quantify proteins and metabolites
  3. Validate identified molecules using western blotting or ELISA assays
  4. Relate the proteins and metabolites to patient clinical data already collected, to determine which molecules correspond to faster or better wound healing outcomes

Approaches/skills and techniques

Mass spectrometry, bioinformatics, western blotting, ELISA


If interesting targets are identified, these can be potentially developed into diagnostic tools for the clinic. The researchers regularly interact with the burn unit at Queensland Children’s Hospital and the adult burns unit at Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital.


Contact; 07 30697208