UniSA research flying towards healing chronic wounds

Professor Allison Cowin

Professor Allison Cowin, Research Professor, Future Industries Institute, University of South Australia

The same gene which enables flies to fly could hold the answer to healing chronic wounds.


Professor Allison Cowin is developing the world’s first human therapeutic antibody for the cytoskeletal protein Flii, also known as ‘Flightless I,’ which has been found to improve wound healing. This medical advancement is game-changing for the treatment of wounds and is particularly valuable for children with the debilitating rare skin condition epidermolysis bullosa (EB).


“Our initial experiments have found that Flightless I plays an important role in the development of the skin barrier and thickness – so our antibody has the potential to not only help wounds heal but also to prevent the skin from breaking down again,” Prof Cowin says.


The Flii protein was first discovered by geneticists studying fruit flies who found that by removing this particular protein flies could no longer fly – hence the name Flightless … read more