Innovative research by Perse student published in illustrious medical journal
7 Oct 2020
Neil Sardesai (Upper Sixth) has co-authored an article published in a prestigious medical journal after helping carry out research into mapping variations in nerve anatomy.
Last year, he became involved in a University of Cambridge project that explored the use of ultrasound to map the anatomical variations of the medial cutaneous nerve in the forearm.
Neil created the computer program that allowed the measurements of the nerve to be transformed into a 2D map, with the aim of helping doctors avoid damaging the nerve during future surgical procedures. He also assisted with the original data collection.
The findings have now been published in Regional Anaesthesia & Pain Medicine, the journal of the American Society of Regional Anaesthesia and Pain Medicine.
Neil, who plans to study medicine at university, was thrilled to have played a part in the investigation and to be named as a co-author on the published article.
He said: “It was incredibly fulfilling. I really enjoyed being involved in the research and advancing my knowledge. I also think it’s incredible that we were able to gain a new understanding of the anatomy of the forearm, which has the potential to help many patients in the future.”
If that was not enough, Neil has also had his Rouse Awards exploration into how funding should be prioritised for stroke treatment research, published in the Young Scientists’ Journal.
He explained that he decided to investigate stroke as a number of family members on his father’s side had sadly passed away as a result of the condition. His interest was also piqued after “having my eyes opened” to how medicines could help stroke sufferers regain brain function while on work experience at Addenbrooke’s Hospital’s neurology ward.
Neil focused on ischaemic stroke, which occurs due to a blockage of the blood vessel, as it is the most common form of the condition.
As well as delving into existing research of how a stroke can be treated, Neil also met with a Cambridge professor and a researcher from Cambridge Biomedical Campus to help fill gaps in his knowledge.
He weighed up four different treatment options including monoclonal antibodies (artificial proteins that bind to the affected area), small molecule drugs, growth factors (substances capable of stimulating cell growth) and stem cell therapy.
Neil concluded that all had their merits in terms of research funding, but felt stem cell therapy could provide the most viable way forward, particularly when used in conjunction with a bioscaffold, a structure that stem cells can grow around.
He said: “I’d put so much work into my project and was very happy with the final result. It was a great feeling to have it published because it means that more people have the chance to read my research.”