Dr Holly Wilkinson

BSc, MRes, PhD

Lecturer in Wound Healing

Role at Hull York Medical School

I am a Lecturer in Wound Healing within the Centre for Atherothrombosis and Metabolic Disease. A large part of my role is undertaking research to determine the cellular and molecular correlates of pathological wound repair in the elderly and diabetic.

My current projects with Diabetes UK and the British Skin Foundation are focused on understanding why senescent ("zombie") cells cause poor wound healing, and developing treatments to eliminate these cells to restore normal skin repair. My work with the National Biofilms Innovation Centre is to develop selective antimicrobial therapies for skin and wound infections. I am also involved in a number of research projects with industry partners as I strongly believe that academic/commercial collaboration is key to driving impactful research that will lead to patient benefit.


I undertook my BSc and MRes at the University of Manchester, which gave me an avid interest in research. I then became a KTP associate, developing wound models to investigate the efficacy of commercial antimicrobial products. Following my KTP, I accepted an MRC iCASE PhD in the area of wound healing where I received no corrections. As a Lecturer, I continue to invest my time in wound healing research, whilst also undertaking teaching and knowledge exchange activities.


I have a number of major areas of interest, all with the aim of tackling chronic non-healing wounds. These include:

  • Determining the mechanistic drivers of senescence in poor wound healing.
  • Understanding the role of endogenous metals in diabetes, ageing and skin repair.
  • Developing novel methods and treatment modalities to tackle wound biofilm infection.

To address the above aims, my research group uses a range of in vitro, ex vivo and in vivo wound models and cutting-edge methodologies (e.g. RNA-Seq, ptychographic imaging, metagenomics) alongside standard histological and biochemical assays. I have received a number of prizes for my outstanding achievements, and continue to publish impactful research in the area of wound healing.


Undergraduate - BSc Biomedical Sciences

Professional and Research Skills for Biomedical Scientists

Independent Research Project

Postgraduate - MSc Biomedical Sciences

Research Methods in Biomedical Sciences

Independent Research Project

Postgraduate - MSc Pharmacology and Drug Development

Practical Research Skills in Pharmacology

Independent Research Project


Click here to view Dr Wilkinson's publications on Worktribe.

Postgraduate research supervision

Dr Wilkinson welcomes applications from students who want to undertake an MSc by Research or PhD within the Hull York Medical School. The overarching goal of my group is to understand why chronic wounds in the elderly and diabetic fail to heal so we can develop new and effective therapies. Our major areas of interest include cellular senescence, diabetes, metals, the microbiome and wound infection.

Please get in touch to discuss potential projects/opportunities: h.n.wilkinson@hull.ac.uk

Current PhD Students:

Paisleigh Smythe - British Skin Foundation Studentship (2022-2025)
Alexander Johns - Diabetes UK Studentship (2021-2024)
Nina Dias Coelho Rocha - University of Hull Scholarship (2021-2024)
Quentin Rodriguez-Barucg - University of Hull Scholarship (2020-2023)
Amber Stafford - University of Hull Scholarship (2018-Present)
Daniel Hardy - University of Hull Scholarship (2017-Present)

Current MSc by Research Students:

Alice Fearn (2021-2022)