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Vitamin C requirement and mechanisms of action in severe infection

60 months
Approved budget:
Associate Professor Anitra Carr
Dr Jonathan Williman
Health issue:
Infectious disease
Proposal type:
Sir Charles Hercus Fellowship
Lay summary
Severe sepsis and septic shock cause multi-organ failure and refractory hypotension, and are the leading causes of mortality in critically ill patients. Preliminary data indicates that patients with severe infection have very low vitamin C status and that administration of vitamin C dramatically improves clinical outcome measures. I have a biomedical research background in oxidative stress and inflammation, with extensive expertise in the biochemical functions of vitamin C. I plan to assess the vitamin C status of patients with severe infection and run a clinical intervention study to assess the effects of vitamin C on sepsis-related hypotension and hyperglycaemia, and leukocyte dysfunction. I will measure a suite of biomarkers to investigate the biochemical mechanisms of action. Overall, my research will contribute to improving health outcomes for the critically ill and will allow me to develop a new clinical focus and establish a track record for health research leadership.