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April 1, 2022

Royal visits world-leading facial reconstruction facility at Swansea University

Swansea UniversityfHRH The Countess of Wessex, patron to The Scar Free Foundation, visited the world-leading facial reconstruction research program based at Swansea University and met patients who could benefit from these ground-breaking studies.

This £2.5 million ReconRegen program, funded by The Scar Free Foundation and Health and Care Research Wales, is currently investigating pioneering 3D bioprinting of nose and ear cartilage using human cells, as well as the world’s largest study of how facial scarring impacts mental health.

The Countess of Wessex, accompanied by lead Ambassador for the Foundation Simon Weston, toured Swansea’s bespoke research lab, received a demonstration of the 3D printer and met patients who could benefit from this life-changing research. This included fellow Ambassadors: Jaco Nel, who survived sepsis with life changing consequences; Elizabeth Soffe, who survived severe burns at just six months old; and Tina Morgan, who survived skin cancer.

The research is being led by Professor Iain Whitaker, Chair of Plastic Surgery at Swansea University Medical School, Professor Whitaker comments, “It was fantastic to be able to showcase the ground-breaking research happening here in Swansea and it was an honour to chat to The Countess about the work we are doing and how it could change the lives of some of the patients and ambassadors.”

Michael Bowdery, Head of Programs at Health and Care Research Wales, states, “Visits like this highlight how important this work is, not only in Wales but on a national and global stage. This project is unique in not only addressing the physical impacts of scaring but also the psychological challenges which are just as important.

Working with The Scar Free Foundation this investment will provide the resources to fast-track this innovative research, aiming to change the lives of hundreds of people in the future.”

Find out more about Swansea University’s research into Health Innovation. 

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Content added on 1st April 2022. 

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