Dr Holly Wilkinson

Dr Holly Wilkinson

Lecturer in Wound Healing

Faculty and Department

  • Faculty of Health Sciences
  • Hull York Medical School

Qualifications

  • BSc (University of Manchester)
  • MSc (University of Manchester)
  • PhD / DPhil (University of Hull)
  • PGCert (University of Hull)

Summary

I undertook my BSc (hons) in Zoology and MRes in Biological Sciences at The University of Manchester. During my MRes, I developed an avid interest in research. This led to me becoming a KTP associate at The University of Manchester, developing wound models to test the efficacy of commercial antimicrobial products.

Shortly following my KTP, I accepted a Medical Research Council funded PhD studentship in the area of wound healing at The University of Hull where I received no corrections. I then continued my research at post-doctoral level in the Hull York Medical School, and accepted a Lectureship in 2020.

Throughout my career I have received numerous awards for my outstanding work and achievements, and I have published a number of high impact publications in the field of skin and wound biology and microbiology. My research aims to determine the cellular and molecular correlates of pathological wound repair in the elderly and diabetic.

My current projects with Diabetes UK and the British Skin Foundation are focused on understanding why senescent ("zombie") cells cause poor wound healing, and developing treatments to eliminate these cells to restore normal skin repair. My work with the National Biofilms Innovation Centre is to develop selective antimicrobial therapies for skin and wound infections. I am also involved in a number of research projects with industry partners as I strongly believe that academic/commercial collaboration is key to driving impactful research that will lead to patient benefit.

Undergraduate - BSc Biomedical Sciences

Professional and Research Skills for Biomedical Scientists

Independent Research Project

Postgraduate - MSc Biomedical Sciences

Research Methods in Biomedical Sciences

Independent Research Project

Postgraduate - MSc Pharmacology and Drug Development

Foundations in Pharmacology

Practical Research Skills in Pharmacology

Independent Research Project - Module Lead

Postgraduate - MSc in Physician Associate Studies

Foundations in Pharmacology

Recent outputs

View more outputs

Journal Article

Epithelial arginase-1 is a key mediator of age-associated delayed healing in vaginal injury

Wilkinson, H. N., Reubinoff, B., Shveiky, D., Hardman, M. J., & Menachem-Zidon, O. B. (2022). Epithelial arginase-1 is a key mediator of age-associated delayed healing in vaginal injury. Frontiers in endocrinology, 13, Article 927224. https://doi.org/10.3389/fendo.2022.927224

Skin Aging in Long-Lived Naked Mole-Rats Is Accompanied by Increased Expression of Longevity-Associated and Tumor Suppressor Genes

Fatima, I., Chen, G., Botchkareva, N. V., Sharov, A. A., Thornton, D., Wilkinson, H. N., …Botchkarev, V. A. (in press). Skin Aging in Long-Lived Naked Mole-Rats Is Accompanied by Increased Expression of Longevity-Associated and Tumor Suppressor Genes. Journal of Investigative Dermatology, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jid.2022.04.028

Combined Metallomics/Transcriptomics Profiling Reveals a Major Role for Metals in Wound Repair

Wilkinson, H. N., Guinn, B. A., & Hardman, M. J. (2021). Combined Metallomics/Transcriptomics Profiling Reveals a Major Role for Metals in Wound Repair. Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology, 9, Article 788596. https://doi.org/10.3389/fcell.2021.788596

Human ex vivo wound model and whole-mount staining approach to accurately evaluate skin repair

Wilkinson, H. N., Kidd, A. S., Roberts, E. R., & Hardman, M. J. (2021). Human ex vivo wound model and whole-mount staining approach to accurately evaluate skin repair. Journal of visualized experiments : JoVE, 168, Article e62326. https://doi.org/10.3791/62326

Cellular benefits of single-use negative pressure wound therapy demonstrated in a novel ex vivo human skin wound model

Wilkinson, H. N., Longhorne, F. L., Roberts, E. R., Brownhill, V. R., & Hardman, M. J. (in press). Cellular benefits of single-use negative pressure wound therapy demonstrated in a novel ex vivo human skin wound model. Wound Repair and Regeneration, https://doi.org/10.1111/wrr.12888

Research interests

I have a number of major areas of interest, all with the aim of tackling chronic non-healing wounds. These include:

Determining the mechanistic drivers of senescence in poor wound healing.

Understanding the role of endogenous metals in diabetes, ageing and skin repair.

Developing novel methods and treatment modalities to tackle wound biofilm infection.

To address the above aims, my research group uses a range of in vitro, ex vivo and in vivo wound models and cutting-edge methodologies (e.g. RNA-Seq, ptychographic imaging, metagenomics) alongside standard histological and biochemical assays.

Lead investigator

Project

Funder

Grant

Started

Status

Project

Re-Purposing Anti-Ageing Drugs to Heal Diabetic Foot Ulcers

Funder

Diabetes UK

Grant

£88,050.00

Started

30 September 2021

Status

Ongoing

Project

Bacterial Modulation of Cellular Senescence in Impaired Skin Healing

Funder

British Skin Foundation

Grant

£85,000.00

Started

1 April 2022

Status

Ongoing

Project

Using novel endolysins to selectively target antimicrobial resistant S. aureus in chronic wound biofilms

Funder

National Biofilms Innovation Centre

Grant

£105,984.00

Started

1 January 2023

Status

Ongoing

Project

Micreos Contribution to NBIC Studentship

Funder

Micreos Pharma BV

Grant

£20,885.00

Started

1 January 2023

Status

Ongoing

Project

HIKE: Generating a Pre-Clinical Data Package to Support Commercialisation and Clinical Translation of Novel Regenerative Scaffolds for Chronic Wounds

Funder

MRC Medical Research Council

Grant

£67,557.00

Started

30 July 2023

Status

Ongoing

Project

Endolysin technology for selective management of MRSA biofilms on skin and wounds

Funder

National Biofilms Innovation Centre

Grant

£38,150.00

Started

1 September 2021

Status

Complete

Project

Industry Placement to Evaluate Porcine Skin as a Model for Human Biofilm Research

Funder

National Biofilms Innovation Centre

Grant

£14,890.00

Started

1 December 2021

Status

Complete

Co-investigator

Project

Funder

Grant

Started

Status

Project

A cell model for discovering biomarkers and druggable targets for pulmonary fibrosis

Funder

BLF British Lung Foundation

Grant

£79,958.00

Started

1 May 2023

Status

Ongoing

Project

A novel, first-in-its-kind, aptamer-based LYTACs to address the unmet clinical need of diabetic wounds.

Funder

Innovate UK

Grant

£588,893.00

Started

1 December 2022

Status

Ongoing

Postgraduate supervision

Dr Wilkinson welcomes applications from students who want to undertake an MSc by Research or PhD within the Hull York Medical School. The overarching goal of my group is to understand why chronic wounds in the elderly and diabetic fail to heal so we can develop new and effective therapies. Our major areas of interest include cellular senescence, diabetes, metals, the microbiome and wound infection.

Please get in touch to discuss potential projects/opportunities: h.n.wilkinson@hull.ac.uk

Current PhD Students:

George Siskakis - NBIC/Hull Studentship (2023-2027)

Danos Papapostolou - NBIC/BBSRC Studentship (2023-2027)

Xuanyuan Zhang - University of Hull Scholarship (2022-2025)

Paisleigh Smythe - British Skin Foundation Studentship (2022-2025)

Alexander Johns - Diabetes UK Studentship (2021-2024)

Nina Dias Coelho Rocha - University of Hull Scholarship (2021-2024)

Quentin Rodriguez-Barucg - University of Hull Scholarship (2020-2023)

Completed PhD Students:

Amber Stafford - University of Hull Scholarship (2018-2023)

Daniel Hardy - University of Hull Scholarship (2017-2021)

Current MSc by Research Students:

Alice Fearn (2021-2023)

Alice Cannon (2023-2025)

Awards and prizes

Excellence in Research - Inspired in Hull Awards 2022

2022

Best External KE Initiative - Knowledge Exchange Awards 2022

2022

HYMS Research Day 2022 - Talk Prize

2022

Allam Lecture - 1st Place Talk Prize

2021

Staff Excellence Award

2021

Hull Knowledge Exchange Competition - Poster Prize

2020

Allam Lecture - 1st Place Poster

2019

15th International Medical Postgraduate Conference - Talk Prize

2018

Transatlantic Diabetic Lower Extremity & Chronic Wound Symposium - 1st Place Poster Prize

2018

PhD Life Sciences Symposium - Poster Prize

2018

3rd Basel-Manchester Forum on Skin Repair - The Conference Prize

2017

North England Cell Biology Forum - Talk Prize

2017

PhD Life Sciences Symposium - 1st Place Poster

2017

MRC Max Perutz Award - Finalist

2016

Summer Showcase Symposium - Finalist

2016

Outstanding Achievement Award - MRes

2014

Membership/Fellowship of professional body

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

2022

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