Staff at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) have been shortlisted for the coveted Sun Military Awards – better known as The Millies
Work carried out at the lab by Diagnostics Fellow Dr Roman Lukaszewski and his team has been nominated in the Innovation category of the awards, for breakthrough work on treatment for sepsis.
A new test, which can identify patients most likely to develop sepsis, was developed following ten years of work by Dstl and its partners, including the US Department of Defense. The test could one day be used on the frontline to save the lives of troops, and in hospitals in the UK and beyond.
The test diagnoses the condition before people become ill by identifying a ‘signature’ for sepsis.
Dr Lukaszewski said:
It’s a real honour for the team to be shortlisted for a Millie. We have been working on this project for more than a decade and it’s fantastic to be able to have a result which could one day save so many lives.
Infection is a huge issue for soldiers injured on operational tour. This breakthrough could identify troops who are likely to develop sepsis and start treatment early. The work is unique as only Dstl has found biomarkers indicating patients who will go on to develop sepsis. It’s a new way of looking at how to tackle cases.
It’s a condition which affects people across the world – it’s estimated that more people die of sepsis than breast cancer, bowel cancer and prostate cancer combined each year, and projects like this are vital to help us move forward with solutions.
Dstl has also been nominated for its role in the procurement of the Carbonite-2 demonstrator satellite, which is able to capture colour and full HD still imagery and full-motion video from space.
Sean Murphy, a Principal Scientist in Dstl’s Space Programme, said:
It’s a tremendous feeling to be invited to the awards ceremony and great to be given an opportunity to highlight our work at events like this and a privilege to represent Dstl and the whole of the space programme team.
The Millies are awarded each year for those who have made a significant contribution to the support of our troops. A special ceremony in central London will bring together shortlisted nominees for the awards night, along with celebrities and military chiefs.
Gary Aitkenhead, Chief Executive of Dstl, said:
Both of these projects are fantastic examples of the huge impact of Dstl’s work and I’m delighted they have been nominated in the innovation category for the Millies. The Sepsis breakthrough has potential benefits – not only to our troops but for the population as a whole. It requires investment and foresight for long-term studies like this but it’s been so worthwhile.
The event will be broadcast on Forces TV on December 13, when the winners will be announced.