Born: 1958, Yorkshire, UK
Professor Fiona Wood graduated from St Thomas’s Hospital Medical School in London in 1981 and migrated to Perth in 1987 with her husband and two children. She completed her training in plastic surgery between having four more children. She is the director of the Royal Perth Hospital burns unit and the Western Australia Burns Service, a clinical professor with the School of Paediatrics and Child Health at the University of Western Australia and director of the McComb Research Foundation.
In October 2002, Dr Wood led the team at Royal Perth Hospital working to save 28 patients suffering from between 2 and 92 per cent body burns as a result of the Bali bombings. In March 2007, following the crash landing of Garuda Indonesia Flight 200, she assisted in the emergency medical response for burn victims.
Dr Wood has become well-known for her patented invention of spray-on skin for burns victims, a treatment which is being continually developed. Where previous techniques of skin culturing required 21 days to produce enough cells to cover major burns, Dr Wood has reduced the period to five days. Her research had found that scarring is reduced if replacement skin can be provided within 10 days.
With scientist Marie Stoner, Dr Wood established Clinical Cell Culture (C3) to commercialise the procedure in 1993. The service is being used by surgeons in Australia and elsewhere and royalties from it licensing will be ploughed back into the McComb Foundation which researches tissue-guided regeneration.
1993: Co-founded Clinical Cell Culture
1999: Co-founded the McComb Foundation
2003: Member of the Order of Australia
2003: Australian Medical Association Contribution to Medicine Award 2004: National Living Treasure
2005: Australian of the Year
2005-2009: Reader’s Digest poll most-trusted Australian
More by and about Fiona Wood
Science Network WA, Dr Fiona Wood, Ambassador for Science Profile
From Moulds to Colds, 100 Years of Australian Biotechnology Innovation, Spray on Skin
ABC TV George Negus Tonight, Interview with Fiona Wood, April 2003