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Plastic Surgery and Burns Research Unit (PSBRU)

The Plastic Surgery and Burns Research Unit (PSBRU) was founded by Professor David Sharpe following the fire disaster at the Bradford City football club in 1985.

We can never forget the 56 people we lost on the day and 258 others who were injured. But the least we can do is to continue our efforts towards improving the delivery of healthcare to any patient with similar or related injuries.

Today, the PSBRU is led by Professor Ajay L Mahajan, Consultant Plastic Surgeon, who along with his collaborators and research fellows carries out research activities at the University of Bradford.

Burn injuries and accidents result in patients being literally scarred for life. Research activities at the PSBRU helps looks at various ways in which wound healing and scarring following wound healing can be improved to deliver the best possible outcome for our patients. It is this research that provides the evidence for practising evidence-based medicine. Research lays down a strong foundation for our young doctors who set out to pursue a career in Plastic Surgery and encourages them to embark on innovative projects.

The PSBRU has had 27 research fellows over the years, most of whom are established consultants in the various parts of the UK.

The benefits of the Unit's work thus spread well beyond Bradford. The advances it makes in medical knowledge and clinical technique are available for use by clinicians everywhere, and nearly all of the Unit's Research Fellows have gone on to practise as consultant surgeons, improving lives both in the UK and around the world.

The infrastructure for the work of the PSBRU is provided by the University of Bradford, where it is attached to the Centre for Skin Sciences. This provision covers laboratory accommodation, academic supervision, administration and professional support. The activity of the PSBRU depends directly on donations from the public, who have supported the Unit so generously over the years. The PSBRU is operated as a separate cost centre within the University, which means that every donation yields an immediate gain to the resources of the Unit.

You can support the PSBRU by making a donation and helping us to continue with our laboratory research to improve the future of health care.

Staff and Fellows

The story behind PSBRU #50years #50stories

This film was made to commemmorate the many victims of the fire and includes conversations with the founder of the PSBRU Prof David Sharpe

Supporters of the PSBRU

Bradford City Football Club (BCFC)

BCFC Community Foundation

Bradford District Metropolitan Council

The Lord Mayor's Office

Bradford City ('Bantams') Fans

Bradford City Supporters Trust

Shipley Bantams

City Gent



Bradford Telegraph and Argus

Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Bradford Royal Infirmary

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service

Football stadium Bradford City

Bradford City FC

Lily of the Valley

This Lily of the valley mourns for 'the 56' we lost on the day at Valley parade.

This May flower bows in remembrance of our sufferings following that fateful day of 11th May1985.

This spring flower represents the combined themes of mourning and renewal/healing through the research activities of the PSBRU.

The Claret and Amber represents the Bradford City Football Clubthat sustained an unforgettable loss of fans on the day, recovered from the ashes and has carried on to strongly support the research unit over the years.

Lily of the valley emblem of the PSBRU

Lily of the Valley - Emblem of the Charity


David Sharpe Fellowship

Prof David Sharpe OBE
Founding Director of PSBRU

The journey that this legend has made from a council house to the 'Mill' is so inspiring and one to aspire to for many of us. The man we love so much has changed lives for thousands over the years. Although he has now retired, he continues to play an important part in our lives.

Prof Sharpe very much appreciates the role that research plays in safe clinical practice and the improving health care. He set up the Plastic Surgery and Burns Research Unit (PSBRU) in the wake of the Bradford FC fire disaster. The unit was established with money from public donations and the tremendous efforts of many local groups. Over the years, the public along with the support from local media such as the Telegraph and Argus and our Lord Mayor have kept the research unit afloat. The unit will always retain a special connection to the city, the football club and to those who support our work through donations.

Prof Sharpe has done so much for his patients, the Plastic Surgery and Burns Research unit (PSBRU) and Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery as a whole that his contributions to the field will be remembered forever by the on going contributions to research by the 'David Sharpe Fellow'.

Most recent David Sharpe Fellow (2014): Mr Alan JQ Tay


Bradford City FC Supporters Fellowship

The Bradford city football club stadium fire was one of the worst sporting disasters in this country. The research unit that was established following this disaster continues to strive towards improving lives for patients in future. The people of Bradford and fans of Bradford City FC — a club known as the Bantams — have always had the research unit close to their heart and have generously supported its existence. One of the Research Fellowships was recently named The Bradford City FC Supporter's Fellowship to honour this association between the PSBRU and City fans. 

Current fellow is Dr Lucy Trevor


Research and Clinical Fellow in Plastic Surgery

These Research / Clinical fellows positions particularly aim to promote careers in Plastic Surgery. Research helps build a strong inquisitive mind and lays the foundation to critically analysing any clinical situation. At the same time, it is essential to progress one’s clinical experience in plastic surgery. With this in mind we are offering this dual fellowship that will meet both criteria.

You will be involved in the clinical activities of the plastic surgical department at the Bradford Royal Infirmary on a part time basis where you will be able to gain valuable clinical experience in plastic surgery. The other part time work will be in our Research labs at the Plastic Surgery and Burns Research Unit at the Univeristy of Bradford. You will be registered at the University of Bradford as a MPhil student and you will be awarded your post graduate degree subject to satisfactory progress.

Your appointment will be for a two-year period. At the end of this period, you can choose if you wish to pursue an academic path or a clinical path. If you wish to progress academically, you may be able to convert your MPhil program to a MD / PhD program depending on your satisfactory progress. Alternatively, if you wish to progress down the clinical path, you will be considered for appointment as a Specialist Registrar in Plastic surgery subject to attaining necessary clinical competence and a position being available. You will obviously be in a very strong position to apply for National Training numbers in Plastic Surgery securing your future career as a Plastic Surgeon.

PSBRU Directors

Prof David Sharpe, Founder of the PSBRU (right) and Mr Ajay Mahajan, current Director

If you require this information in an alternative format, please contact our team. You can also read our Website Accessibility Statement.

PSBRU Privacy notice

The PSBRU wishes to send the PSBRU Newsletter to those people who have expressed an interest in the work and activities of the PSBRU.

If you require this information in an alternative format, please contact our team. You can also read our Website Accessibility Statement.

PSBRU Fellow wins best oral presentation prize

Plastic surgeon fellow Jing Tay was awarded the prize for the best oral presentation during the EURAPS conference 2018. His presentation described the research into the influence of vitamin D on dermal papilla cells.

In commenting on this achievement Jing said "Special thanks to the School of Chemistry and Biosciences for facilitating collaborative efforts between Centre for Skin Sciences and our Burns Research Unit to carry out work at the University’s premises. Not forgetting the Bradford community who has shown relentless support to the PSBRU for the past 33 years, without whom any of our work would have been impossible. Lastly, to Su Shergill, the “guardian angel” of our unit, who has worked harder than anyone else to ensure the smooth running of our research unit and all the fundraising events".


Two people by a poster

Jing Tay research fellow (Left) and Ajay Mahajan, PSBRU Director (right)

PSBRU Alumni

Lucy Trevor (current);

Jing Tay (2018);

Debabrata Mondal (2014);

Shola Adekunle (2014);

Chris J Lewis (2013) Leicester;

Ben H. Miranda (2011) Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery Department, Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust;

Nanda Kandamany (2010) Department of Plastic Surgery, Ninewells Hospital, Dundee;

Shahidul Huq (2009) Locum Consultant Plastic Surgeon at Wythenshaw Hospital;

Susan Stevenson (2009) Newcastle;

Jeremy M. Rawlins (2005) Consultant Plastic, Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgeon, Royal Perth Hospital, Australia;

Kamil Assad (2005) Specialist Registrar Plastic Surgery, Hull NHS;

Wee L. Lam (2005) Consultant Plastic and Hand Surgeon, Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Edinburgh;

Richard O. Karoo (2004) Consultant Plastic, Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgeon;

Ben K. Chew (2001) Consultant in Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery, Canniesburn, Glasgow;

David AL Watt (2001) Consultant in Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery, Bradford Teaching Hospitals;

Killaroi Tzafetta (2000) Consultant in Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery, St Andrew's Centre for Plastic Surgery and Burns in Broomfield Hospital, Chelmsford;

Stuart McKirdy (2000) Consultant, Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeon, Lancashire Teaching Hospitals;

Nick Collis (1999) Consultant in Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, NHS Hospitals;

George Spyrou (1998) Consultant in Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeon, Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield;

Jim J. Kirkpatrick (1997) Consultant in Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery, Canniesburn, Glasgow;

Aidan M. Fitzgerald (1996) Consultant in Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic, Surgeon Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS;

Stephen J Southern (1996) Consultant in Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic, Surgeon Pinderfields General Hospital, Wakefield;

Mr Charles Malata (1995) Consultant Aesthetic and Reconstructive Plastic Surgeon, Addenbrooke's University Hospital, Cambridge;

T C. Teo (1993) Consultant plastic and reconstructive surgeon. North Downs Hospital, Caterham;

Ivan T. Foo (1992) Consultant in Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery, Bradford Teaching Hospitals;

David J Coleman (1989) Consultant Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon, Churchill Hospital Oxford.


Contact Us

For general research enquiries and interest in fellowships 

Mr Ajay L Mahajan

Consultant Plastic Surgeon and Director of PSBRB  

 +44 (0) 1274 364609


For Charity donation enquiries please contact

PSBRU Administrative Assistant

+44 (0) 1274 238080


Find us on Twitter @BradfoBurnsUnit

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Ajay Mahajan with fundraising bucket

Mr Ajay Mahajan : Director and Supporter