Feature Week 23: Foundations
Dr Fiona Wood and Bernadette Black are the featured ambassadors for Week 23 of the National Year of Reading. As well as being keen NYR supporters, they have both established Foundations that endeavour to assist members of our community.
Born in Yorkshire, England, Fiona completed her medical degree in London before migrating to Western Australia with her Australian born husband who also happens to be a surgeon.
Fiona became Western Australia's first female plastic and reconstructive surgeon specialising in acute burn care and scar reconstruction. Professor Wood is the Director of the Burns Service of Western Australia and Consultant at the Royal Perth Hospital and Princess Margaret Hospital in Perth. She is also a Winthrop Professor at the University of Western Australia School of Surgery.
Her research has focused on techniques of skin repair, especially a spray-on skin technology to treat burn victims. Traditional treatment requires a lengthy period to grow skin cells to treat major burns. Fiona's technique significantly shortens this period and reduces scarring.
Fiona is the co-founder of Avita Medical, a company that undertakes research and provides leading edge treatment for burns. Royalties from use of this treatment are directed towards the McComb Foundation.
In 2003, Fiona became a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for her work with the Bali bombing victims, and was honoured as Australian of the Year in 2005.
The McComb Foundation was established in 1999 by Fiona and scientist Marie Stoner, named after Mr Harold McComb, an eminent plastic and reconstructive surgeon. In May 2012, the Foundation transitioned to become the Fiona Wood Foundation, dedicated to research and education in burns, trauma and scarless healing. Aiming to pursue research and development of innovative tissue engineering technologies, the vision of the Foundation is to improve the patient quality of life and a return to pre-injury condition. In Fiona's words,"The quality of the scar must be worth the pain of survival."
More information about the Fiona Wood Foundation can be found on their website:
Fiona's thoughts on reading
For me reading is exploring other times places and imaginations and linking with your own. For all my kids it was an integral part of the day and of course bed with a book was routine. Reading, exploring and contributing to the medical and science literature is a key part of my professional life. So reading for work or relaxation is integral. Literacy opens up the world before us, an essential part of life.
Fiona's reading habits
- When do you read? Always at night, on planes and whenever I can.
- Are you a constant reader or are there times when you don't read at all? Reading is part of what I do, at work scientific papers, and of course for relaxation.
- Do you have a favourite genre? Again loads sci-fi, spy, historical, biographies anything interesting!!
- What's the book you've read most often? I don't often read things twice, but did find time to re-read 'Ender's game' by Orson Scott Card.
Which book is by your bedside right now?
'Explorers of the Nile' by Tim Jeal, depicting Victorian exploration of the source of the Nile and 'Pure' by Andrew Miller, a historical novel about a cemetery pre-French revolution, and a cricket game in Kandahar.
- What was the last book you received as a gift? 'A long ride back' by Steven Crenfeldt.
- What was the last/first e-book you downloaded?
'The flying man' by Roopa Farooki - my first just to see how I go.
- How do you get hold of books? Bookshops, online and often in airports.
- Print books, ereader or both? Just trying my first ebook.
- Do you have lots of books on the go at once, or just one? Usually one with a backup and plenty in the pile ready!
- Do your ever cheat and read the end of the book first? No!
- Do you skim the boring bits or read every word? Occasionally I skim.
- Do you have a favourite book from your childhood? 'Elidor' by Alan Garner.
- Estimate the number of books you own. Well over 1000+++.
Fiona's favourite reads
- This is hard, one would have to be 'Gray's anatomy' - literally the anatomy book not TV show! Kafka's 'The metamorphosis' and Richard Dawkins 'The selfish gene'.
Want to know more?
- Select the following link to read about Bernadette Black, our other featured ambassador for week 23:
- If you want to see the other National Year of Reading ambassadors, go to our ambassadors page.
- Other featured ambassadors can be found on the ambassador feature week listing.