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Helps the skin heal

Professor Srinivas Uppugunduri has been interested in the body’s healing process ever since he started his research career. He is now receiving 50,000 SEK from the VFN program to test a self-developed cream that can reduce inflammation in the skin.

Srinivas Uppugunduri works at the Regional Cancer Center, Southeast, in Region Östergötland, where he is Head of Operations. He has a PhD in clinical chemistry and is an adjunct professor at Linköping University. Through his research, he has discovered substances that have both anti-inflammatory and moisturizing effects.

Why have you chosen this particular area?

– Imagine you get a wound on your finger. The first thing that happens is that your white blood cells make their way to the wound and start tackling it. But how do the white blood cells know exactly where to go?

– I usually say that the immune system is as close to religion as you can get. It’s amazing! The body takes care of minor injuries and often you don’t even notice that you have a problem. But sometimes the system doesn’t work, and then it can instead become a big problem. In those cases, the white blood cells may need help being directed correctly, and I want to help ensure that.

Tell us more about your research?

– Initially, I took cells from the umbilical cord of newborn children. I cultured the cells further and looked at the binding of white blood cells. There I discovered the substances that can both relieve and heal inflammations and at the same time moisturize the skin.

What will you use the VFN funds for?

– I want to test the cream in three different groups; one group that has problems with eczema, one that is treated for sun damage, one that has burn injuries after tattooing, or irritation or inflammation of the skin after radiotherapy.

– The radiotherapy that cancer patients receive can cause inflammation, and I would like to distribute free samples to that patient group so that they can use the cream and return with feedback.

What needs in healthcare does your research meet, and what is the benefit for the patients?

– There are already creams in healthcare, but they contain steroids which means they hit too broadly. Our cream contains completely harmless substances and therefore patients can use them for long periods.

Footnote: VFN stands for Verification for Utilization and is a program at Linköping University for activities that contribute to research results creating benefits. East Sweden Medtech finances four of the VFN projects.