Justin Wormald wins research grant from the National Institute for Health Research

Date 27 July 2021

Dr Justin Wormald, Clinical Teaching Associate at St John’s, has won an NIHR Doctoral Research Fellowship to fund the entirety of his DPhil.

Justin_Wormald.jpgThe NIHR are the research body for the Department of Health and Social Care, and the remit of the grant is that the research should deliver benefit for NHS patients within 5 years. The 'fellowship' aspect of the grant is to develop early-career researchers, who the NIHR panel deem to be future leaders in clinical research. These grants are extremely competitive; usually there are only 10-15 awarded across the UK in each round. 

Dr Wormald applied for just under £325,000 which will fully fund his research programme: understanding and preventing surgical site infections in hand trauma surgery. He will be analysing 'big data' from hospitals and GP practices to determine the risk of infection after hand trauma surgery. He will then conduct a feasibility randomised clinical trial of antimicrobial-coated stitches versus standard stitches in surgical repair of hand and wrist trauma surgery. These stitches may reduce the risk of infection, which can be severely debilitating when it occurs in the hand.

Dr Wormald is running this trial at three hospitals, including Oxford University Hospitals. If the trial is successful at three centres, a much larger version will then be conducted across the UK, which will determine the effectiveness of antimicrobial stitches in hand trauma. The grant covers the direct costs of this research, but also provides him with funds to undertake in-depth training in clinical research methods at world leading centres of excellence. 

Please join us in congratulating Dr Wormald on his impressive achievement!