Research project

Wound healing of irradiated skin

Description

The laboratory of Julie Fradette is seeking a motivated student to pursue graduate studies (preferably PhD) at Université Laval in Quebec city.

The topic is highly original and the project will use a unique model of living human biological dressing reconstructed using tissue engineering methods, from adipose derived stem/stromal cells.

Candidates with prior experience in cell culture, animal work and protein analyses are especially invited to postulate.

Description: Background. Radiotherapy for cancer treatment can lead to incapacitating hard-to-heal skin wounds. Our team developed a murine model recapitulating skin lesions following local irradiation in order to assess the therapeutic outcome of various treatments. We can recreate a range of lesions representative of moderate to severe radiodermatitis, and assess both acute and late stages of its development. We also engineered biological dressings from human adipose-derived stem/stromal cells (ASCs) that secrete high levels of prohealing factors. We hypothesize that the properties of new ASC-based dressings will enhance wound repair mechanisms in irradiated skin, prompting healing of these complex wounds.
Our goals are to: engineer optimized biological dressings based on ASCs using a xenogen-free culture system (Aim 1); evaluate their efficacy in vivo as a function of the severity of the initial radiation insult and treatment plan (Aim 2); determine pivotal dressing-activated repair mechanisms contributing to healing in irradiated skin (Aim 3).

Approaches. Aim 1: Biological dressings will be produced using our self-assembly tissue engineering method using undifferentiated ASCs. The benefits of these living dressings rely on their natural human matrix content as well as the growth factors they secrete. We will optimize their production using a xenogen-free culture system to favor both their mechanical properties and secretory profiles. Aim 2: The efficacy of the optimized dressings will be evaluated in preclinical studies. Local irradiation will be performed on the mouse back skin with doses (45 and 80 Grays) resulting in radiodermatitis of increasing severity and associated impaired healing of surgical wounds. Treatments will consist of weekly dressing application onto the wound surface to stimulate endogenous repair in comparison to untreated and control groups. Two treatment plans will be compared, pre- and post-surgical challenge. The healing kinetics and quality of the healed tissues will be determined by assessing the attenuation of radiation-induced features such as fibrosis, reduced angiogenesis, and inflammation. Aim 3: The main mechanisms of repair induced by the dressings such as neoangiogenesis will be examined, first using cell signaling arrays. We hypothesize that the dressings will act, in part, by promoting proangiogenic effects mediated by the stimulation of the LRP1 axis.
Impact. The functional optimization and testing of this new bioactive dressing has the potential to provide a novel treatment modality to improve healing of incapacitating skin wounds. Our work will provide an evidence-based evaluation of the efficacy of the dressings to stimulate healing of skin at various stages of radiation-induced toxicity. The high translational potential of this project could result in faster recovery and return to a higher quality of life for these patients recovering from cancer.

Research Field

- Tissue engineering
- Stem cells
- 3D models
- Wound healing
- Skin
- Adipose tissue
- Signaling
- Animal models
- Fibrosis
- Regenerative medicine

Research Supervisor

Julie Fradette

Research Environment

Centre de recherche en organogénèse expérimentale de l'Université Laval / LOEX

www.loex.qc.ca
Division of Regenerative Medicine, CHU de Québec Research Centre-Université Laval, Site Hopital enfant-Jésus,
1401, 18e Rue
Québec, Qc, G1J 1Z4

Web Site


Financial Aid Available by Program of Study

Doctorate in Cellular and Molecular Biology

Program description

Financial Aid Available*

Financial Aid Related to Research Project

$22000 per year for 4 years.

Project supported by CIHR

Program-Specific Financial Aid

Graduate Studies Awards

Milestone Amount
Program progress award (S-1 to S-8)
8 x $525
Program progress award (S-9 to S-11) 3 x $200
Successful completion of Ph.D exam
$800
Submission of dissertation deposit before the end of the 12th semester
$2,000
Language training
$250
Total $7,850

Université Laval: Student Financial Aid

Funding source Amount
Leadership and Comittment Scholarship (Canadians & permanent residents)
$30,000
Citizens of the World Scholarship (International students) $30,000
Mobility Grant for Out-of-Province Internships or Research Visits (in French)
$1,000 to $2,000
Graduate Scholarships from Granting Agencies   
$20,000 to $70,000$
Online Directory of Graduate Scholarships (in French)
$500 to $50,000

Supplemental Tuition Fee Exemption Scholarship Program: Entitles international students to pay Canadian student tuition fees, for overall savings of around $40,000. If you are benefiting of this scholarship program, the doctoral admission scholarship will go toward paying your supplemental tuition fees. You will not receive the $2,000 scholarship amount directly; rather it will be applied over your first two semesters to the supplemental portion of your tuition fees.

* Amounts shown represent maximum financial aid available. Certain conditions apply. Subject to change without prior notice. For further information, contact sponsoring organizations directly.

Doctorate in Clinical and Biomedical Sciences

Program description

Financial Aid Available*

Financial Aid Related to Research Project

$22000 per year for 4 years.

Project supported by CIHR

Program-Specific Financial Aid

Graduate Studies Awards

Milestone Amount
Program progress award (S-1 to S-8)
8 x $525
Program progress award (S-9 to S-11) 3 x $200
Successful completion of Ph.D exam
$800
Submission of dissertation deposit before the end of the 12th semester
$2,000
Language training
$250
Total $7,850

Université Laval: Student Financial Aid

Funding source Amount
Leadership and Comittment Scholarship (Canadians & permanent residents)
$30,000
Citizens of the World Scholarship (International students) $30,000
Mobility Grant for Out-of-Province Internships or Research Visits (in French)
$1,000 to $2,000
Graduate Scholarships from Granting Agencies   
$20,000 to $70,000$
Online Directory of Graduate Scholarships (in French)
$500 to $50,000

Supplemental Tuition Fee Exemption Scholarship Program: Entitles international students to pay Canadian student tuition fees, for overall savings of around $40,000. If you are benefiting of this scholarship program, the doctoral admission scholarship will go toward paying your supplemental tuition fees. You will not receive the $2,000 scholarship amount directly; rather it will be applied over your first two semesters to the supplemental portion of your tuition fees.

* Amounts shown represent maximum financial aid available. Certain conditions apply. Subject to change without prior notice. For further information, contact sponsoring organizations directly.

Master's Degree in Cellular and Molecular Biology with thesis

Program description

Financial Aid Available*

Financial Aid Related to Research Project

$18000 per year for 2 years.

Project supported by CIHR

Program-Specific Financial Aid

Graduate Studies Awards

Milestone Amount
First submission of thesis by the end of the 5th semester of full-time registration
$2,000
Language training
$250
Total $2,250

Université Laval: Student Financial Aid

Sources de financement Montant
Leadership and Comittment Scholarship (Canadians & permanent residents) $10,000
Citizens of the World Scholarship (International students) $20,000
Mobility Grant for Out-of-Province Internships or Research Visits (in French)
$1,000 to $2,000
Graduate Scholarships from Granting Agencies
$17,500 to $40,000
Online Directory of Graduate Scholarships (in French)
$500 to $50,000

* Amounts shown represent maximum financial aid available. Certain conditions apply. Subject to change without prior notice. For further information, contact sponsoring organizations directly.

Master's Degree in Clinical and Biomedical Sciences with thesis

Program description

Financial Aid Available*

Financial Aid Related to Research Project

$18000 per year for 2 years.

Project supported by CIHR

Program-Specific Financial Aid

Graduate Studies Awards

Milestone Amount
First submission of thesis by the end of the 5th semester of full-time registration
$2,000
Language training
$250
Total $2,250

Université Laval: Student Financial Aid

Sources de financement Montant
Leadership and Comittment Scholarship (Canadians & permanent residents) $10,000
Citizens of the World Scholarship (International students) $20,000
Mobility Grant for Out-of-Province Internships or Research Visits (in French)
$1,000 to $2,000
Graduate Scholarships from Granting Agencies
$17,500 to $40,000
Online Directory of Graduate Scholarships (in French)
$500 to $50,000

* Amounts shown represent maximum financial aid available. Certain conditions apply. Subject to change without prior notice. For further information, contact sponsoring organizations directly.

Desired Profile

- Medecine
- Pharmacy
- Biomedical Science
- Biochemistry
- Biology
- Microbiology

Requirements and Conditions

- Knowledge of French and English is required.
- Prior experience of cell culture methods and work in an animal facility would be strongly advantageous.
- To apply, please send a short letter of presentation, a complete CV and copies of your grades to Pr Julie Fradette.

Required Documentation

- Cover letter
- Curriculum vitæ
- Student transcript

Find Out More

Julie Fradette
Professeure titulaire
Département de chirurgie
julie.fradette@fmed.ulaval.ca