Winthrop Prof Fiona Wood (AM)

Research Biography

Fiona Wood FRCS, FRACS, AM, Professor School of Surgery, UWA

Fiona Wood has been a plastic and reconstructive surgeon and researcher for almost 30 years and is Director of the Burns Service of Western Australia (BSWA). She is a Consultant Plastic Surgeon at Fiona Stanley Hospital (previously at Royal Perth Hospital) and Perth Children’s Hospital ( previously Princess Margaret Hospital for Children), Winthrop Professor in the School of Surgery at The University of Western Australia, and co-founder of the Fiona Wood Foundation (formerly The McComb Foundation).

Professor Fiona Wood’s dedication to improving outcomes for burns patients and expanding the knowledge of wound healing began in 1991 when she became trained as West Australia’s first female plastic surgeon. Professor Wood’s ability to lead a team and direct innovation for future clinical care was recognised as she quickly became a leader in her field becoming Director of the Burns Service of Western Australia at an early point in her career. In this position Professor Wood has led the Burns Service of Western Australia to be recognised internationally as a leader in burns care.

Professor Wood’s greatest contribution and enduring legacy is her work pioneering the innovative ‘spray-on skin’ technique (Recell), which greatly reduces permanent scarring in burns victims. Professor Wood and Marie Stoner assigned their intellectual property to the not for profit foundation in the 1997 such that the commercialisation of the device has supported the sustainability of research foundation.

In October 2002, Fiona was propelled into the media spotlight when the largest proportion of survivors from the 2002 Bali bombings arrived at Royal Perth Hospital. She was privilege to lead the team in the burns disaster response in WA based on the prior planning of the National Burns Disaster response approved by the Australian Health Ministers Advisory Council.

Fiona was named a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in 2003. In 2005 she won the Western Australia Citizen of the Year award for her contribution to Medicine in the field of burns research. She was honoured to share the Australian Academy of Engineering and Technologies Clunies Ross award recognising people who have shared their vision and knowledge to apply technology for the benefit of  Australians with Marie Stoner in the same year. That same year her contribution to burns care was recognised through Australia’s highest accolade when she was named Australian of the Year for 2005 by Australian Prime Minister John Howard at a ceremony in Canberra to mark Australia Day.

She is an Australian Living Treasure.

Professor Wood was voted the most-trusted Australian in a Reader’s Digest poll for six successive years from 2005 to 2010.

Fiona is married to fellow surgeon Tony Kierath and is mother to four boys and two girls.

Research topic areas include: Burns General Reconstruction, Paediatric Technology and Preoperative Investigations /Imaging.

Areas of research and scholarly interests

  • Cell based therapies and tissue engineering of skin including 3D printing
  • Scarring, Fibrosis and Keloid, basic science into clinical practice
  • Population health data linkage understanding the lifelong systemic impact of burn injury
  • Multidisciplinary outcome measures as drivers of research and improvement in clinical practice
  • Exercise prescription along the health continuum
  • Digital innovation and AI to drive improved outcomes post injury
  • Metabolomics to understand the natural history and potential therapeutic targets in burn injury including i-knife technology
  • Optimizing surgical performance
  • Disaster Response

Publications

For more information, see her Orcid Profile, Researchgate Author page or SCOPUS Author page.

Current clinical research projects

Project Name Contact Status
Development of LOX inhibitor for scarring/keloidNutan (PhD)Development grant
Cellular cross-talk in fibrosisZhenjun (PhD)CP NHMRC grant
Impact of matrix stiffness on fibrosisJulian/Omar (EPFL)CP NHMRC grant
Interaction of burn and immune systemBlair (PhD)Near Miss funds
Impact of burn injury on platelet functionBlair/Emily (PhD)Near Miss funds
Immune cell drivers of fibrosisTylah Miles (PhD)CP NHMRC
Burn/Immune system and cancerLucy Barrett (Postdoc)IBM/Chevron
Impact of burn injury on the brainAmira (Hons) + LucyChevron
Impact of burn injury on thermoregulationAmira (Hons) + LucyChevron
Biomarkers of burn injury damage and healingBlair/MFLC NHMRC grant
3D bioprinting in situMF/InventiaInventia/unfunded*
Matrix turnover in vivo in scar and fibrosisPT/MF + Harvey grpunfunded*
Role of vitamin D in keloid scarringShiya (Hons)unfunded*
Understanding fibroblast cell phenotypesAndrew (postdoc)Development grant
Genetics of poor scar outcomeAndrew (Phil M)unfunded
Clinical trial for C-section with NPKylie SH (Postdoc)Convatec**

Website Links

Research affiliation with Fiona Wood Foundation & the Health Dept WA

Hospital affiliation with:

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Further Information