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Max Stewart

MA (Cantab) MBBChir MRCS

MRC Clinical Research Training Fellow

  • DPhil Candidate Musculoskeletal Sciences

I studied medicine at Sidney Sussex College, University of Cambridge, where I was a Howard Agg Scholar. I graduated with a first-class degree in Neuroscience, before going on to complete my studies at Cambridge’s School of Clinical Medicine. I qualified in 2020 and moved to Oxford, where I worked as an Academic Foundation doctor. I began my DPhil at NDORMS in 2022. 

My research is about finding new treatments peripheral nerve injury. Peripheral nerves control the movement of our limbs and convey sensations back to our brains so we can interpret the world around us through touch. Injuries to these nerves are very common, usually through trauma or compression of nerves in narrow anatomical spaces like the wrist. While nerves do have some capacity to regrow after injury, this process isn’t perfect and nerves often fail to regenerate completely. As such many nerve injuries leave people with pain, numbness and muscle weakness. Despite the scale of the problem, we haven’t seen significant improvement in nerve injury treatments for several decades.

My DPhil focuses on exploring new treatments for carpal tunnel syndrome, a common compressive injury of a nerve in the wrist. In the long term, I hope to use treatments developed in the model of carpal tunnel syndrome to improve recovery in many different types of nerve injury. 

I am supervised by Professor Dominic Furniss and Mr Akira Wiberg in NDORMS, Professors James Fitzgerald and Brian Andrews in the Oxford Neural Interfacing Group, Professor Annina Schmid in the Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences and Professor Jonathan Cook in NDORMS’ Surgical Intervention Trials Unit. 

My research is generously supported by the Medical Research Council and the British Society for Surgery of the Hand. I also hold an honorary Research Fellowship from the Royal College of Surgeons of England and am an honorary Clarendon Scholar (St John’s College). 

Recent publications

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