Professor Jeroen Eyckmans has received a $2 million grant from the Hevolution Foundation to address the urgent clinical challenge of repairing non-healing skin wounds in the elderly.

By James Cooney

Most medical and surgical treatments for wound care—such as the removal of dead tissue, cleaning and sterilization, closure with stitches or staples, and dressing—serve merely to facilitate living tissue’s own regeneration capacity. Tissue regeneration, a complex and intricate process that is still only partially understood, tends to serve us well in our youth but declines as we approach old age, and this decline can slow or fully impede the healing of wounds.

“When wounds don’t heal in a timely fashion,” says Jeroen Eyckmans, “it can be very painful.”

With an eye toward developing more advanced treatments, many scientists are attempting to better understand the wound healing process and what precisely underlies its decline in old age. Among them is Eyckmans, a research assistant professor of biomedical engineering at Boston University (BU) and faculty affiliate of the Biological Design Center. With the support of a new $2 million grant from the Hevolution Foundation, which supports research and entrepreneurship in healthspan science, Eyckmans’ team will study impaired wound healing through a synthetic biology framework.

Researchers across many domains have focused on the activity of cells during the healing process. Eyckmans and his BU colleague Daniel Roh, an assistant professor of surgery at the Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine, are together taking a different approach.

For the full story, visit the Kilachand Center news page.