Postgraduate researcher Lekha Koria rewarded for medical technology research

Lekha Koria was rewarded for academic excellence in her research into ankle osteoarthritis, winning the MERCIA award from the Engineers Trust.

The award is given to postgraduate students working in the field of medical engineering who can demonstrate how engineering techniques could advance medical treatment. The Engineers Trust is the charitable trust of the Worshipful Company of Engineers.

Lekha, who is a student on the Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine research programme, conducts research that provides the foundations for understanding how osteoarthritis can affect ankle joints. Findings from her PhD could aid the future development of medical devices designed to treat the condition.

The ankle joint is highly understudied compared to joints that are part of the hip or knee. Lekha’s findings have aided the first step in understanding how osteoarthritis progresses in the ankle compared to other joints, and how this can affect strength of the bones in the ankle.

Through her research, which involves using techniques such as Computed Tomography (CT) and modelling, Lekha hopes to shed light on this relatively unknown data for future technological developments. This data is critical to the development of novel ankle replacement devices and in predicting a patient’s risk of fracture.

Lekha said: “I was honoured to have been nominated to apply for the award by my Institute. I won the award for my lay paper, ‘Improving orthopaedic surgical outcomes using finite element modelling,’ and this was celebrated online at the virtual awards ceremony due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Despite not being able to meet in person, I had a wonderful time chatting with the other award winners and learning more about the work of some truly passionate and dedicated engineers.

Lekha Koria, Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering

Despite not being able to meet in person, I had a wonderful time chatting with the other award winners and learning more about the work of some truly passionate and dedicated engineers.

“I was attracted to the multidisciplinary nature of the project where I can work with so many talented scientists, engineers and clinicians. The ankle group has strong links to the clinic, so I was eager to obtain clinically-relevant findings from my work.”

Further information
Lekha and her supervisors, Drs Claire Brockett, Marlène Mengoni, and Elena Jones, are based in the Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering.

For more information about the Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine research programme, visit the CDT website.

Learn more about Lekha’s research and her experiences as a postgraduate researcher at the University of Leeds.