Hi! I’m a full-time research, NHMRC Career Development Fellow working on paediatric burns and trauma research. I work in the Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation (IHBI) at the Centre for Children’s Health Research which is next to the Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital in South Brisbane. My research strives to improve outcomes for children with burn injuries and my work is focused in several different areas:

  1. to publicly promote awareness of first aid treatment and its benefits to the healing burn wound
  2. to determine what conditions are required for burn injuries to occur – which is important for preventing burn injuries and developing effective legislation and product safety
  3. to investigate what pathological processes occur in the skin after burns and how these could be altered in order to improve wound healing
  4. to examine the relationship between pain, stress and the wound healing response
  5. to compare currently available wound healing treatments to develop best practice and to develop new therapies which are more effective.

At IHBI, I work with the Tissue Repair and Translational Physiology Program to examine the cellular mechanisms and processes behind burn tissue pathology. Previously I have also been involved in other research projects including: fetal scarless tissue repair and development of laboratory tools and models to examine burn injury and scar formation. During my PhD, I determined the optimal first aid treatment for burn injuries. This published work was used to develop guidelines for the treatment of burns internationally and for a “Cool Burns for 20 minutes” first aid public education campaign. This treatment has been shown recently to lead to decreased requirement for skin grafting operations, decreased admission to intensive care and shorter hospital length of stay for burn patients. It is really satisfying to know that research I conducted during my PhD has lead to improvement in the lives of people who have suffered from a burn injury.

My Research Team

I lead the Burns and Trauma research laboratory at the Centre for Children's Health Research, in South Brisbane, Australia. We conduct biological laboratory research at the interface of clinical care to improve outcomes for children with burn injuries. We work closely with the burn clinicians at the Lady Cilento Children's Hospital (which is the building next door) to provide the evidence-base for multiple areas of paediatric burn wound healing, including: dressings; surgical/wound management; acute treatments; and pain-reducing protocols.

Meet the Team

Current members of the Burns and Trauma Research Laboratory are listed below

Leila Cuttle

Team Leader

Leila is head of the Centre for Children's Burns and Trauma Laboratory and has led scientific research within the Queensland children's hospital burn unit for the past 16 years. She is an expert in burn first aid and acute treatments and developing and testing novel therapies.

Christine Andrews

PhD student

Christine is a registered veterinarian who is conducting a PhD examining the pathology of burn injury. Her research is determining the temperature and duration conditions required to sustain deep/severe burn injuries. This information is vital for prevention strategies, to create legislation for household and commercial services and products so they are safer and to provide legal evidence for non-accidental inflicted injuries.

Margit Kempf

Research Assistant

Margit is a research assistant with over 17 years of experience in children's health research. She has worked on many different projects, employing an extensive skill set and has established the tissue culture facility within the lab.

Join our team!

If you are interested in conducting research with us, please contact me ( with a copy of your cv and a short description of your previous experience/background.