June 2013| ISSUE 6
Introducing LKCMedicine’s Wound Healing Expert

By Sufian Suderman

Professor David Becker

LKCMedicine has added another name to its illustrious international research faculty with the appointment of wound healing expert Professor David Becker. Prior to joining LKCMedicine, Professor Becker who specialises in cell biology, led a team of wound healing researchers in University College London.

Professor Becker’s research focuses on gap-junction communication, which studies the communication of cells in embryonic development and disease. Through this research, Professor Becker found out that a gap junction protein known as connexion 43 (Cx43) hinders cells from migrating in wound healing.

This discovery led to the development of a bioactive gel called Nexagon which will block the production of Cx43. In addition, Professor Becker along with his peers, formed CoDa Therapeutics, a company that focuses on the development and commercialisation of wound care therapeutics.

The gel which is currently undergoing clinical trials, has garnered positive results. For instance, a patient managed to save his eye after burning his cornea in a workplace accident with the help of the gel. The results were deemed remarkable considering that the patient was scheduled to have his eye removed as he was not responding to conventional treatments.

At LKCMedicine, Professor Becker wants to be more involved in translational research. “I would like to work with surgeons here and explore further human chronic wounds to understand why they are not healing. Also, I would like to further study models  of pressure ulcers which are a major problem in the elderly who are receiving long term care in homes and geriatric wards,” he says.

Further down the road, Professor Becker intends to develop ways to help  prevent the spread of cell death signals in ulcers and understand the diabetic wound healing process in greater detail.