Critical care research involves the study of the aetiology, pathology and treatment of diseases with immediate threat to life. Apart from trauma, the other principal area of concern is infection, particularly infections that lead to lung specific pneumonia or systemic sepsis. Severe COVID often manifests as pneumonia, involving ICU admission, but the pathogen involved is more commonly a bacteria, which can be antibiotic resistant, or polymicbrobial. Overall, mortality can be up to 40% and sepsis often complicates other trauma or surgery. Current gold standard treatment for sepsis includes hydration support, immediate broad spectrum antibiotics and individual organ support when required. Ventilation is of particular importance in providing oxygen to the body, but can lead to complications such as inflammation or ventilator associated pneumonia. Specific therapies remain elusive for this family of diseases, though pharmacologicals, gene and cell therapy and other approaches are showing promise. 

The REMEDI Critical Care Research programme 

Here at REMEDI, at the Critical Care Research Group we are working on a range of novel ideas and technologies to improve diagnosis and patient outcome. Current projects include: (a) Stem cell and stem cell derived products for human therapy, which are currently in clinical trial for pneumonia and COVID. We also explore strategies to enhance the efficacy of these products. (b) Exploration of alternative gas mixes during patient ventilation, particularly carbon dioxide which has been proven to be a potent anti-inflammatory. (c) Nebuliser delivery of a wide range of pharmacological or more advanced therapeutics, and modelling of such delivery to the airspace. (d) Gene therapy, including both viral and lipid vector delivery directly to lung tissue. (e) Biobanking and analysis of sepsis and COVID patient samples for stratification and prediction of drug effectiveness in individual patients. (f) Environmental monitoring of fugitive or environmental aerosols with possible relevance to human health.

Relevant Research Groups