Ernest’s research addresses direct clinical need. His research is patient-oriented, demand-driven and clinically applicable. His interests are cutaneous laser surgery and soft tissue infection. His collaborations wth strategic regional partners including clinical surgery, microbiology, histopathology, and further afield in Milan and Malta have yielded key outputs including publications cited in policy documents, and IP. More importantly, his work has helped make patients better faster, through directly impacting clinical care in a number of areas. After completing basic surgical training and an MSc in Surgery within the Wales and Oxford Deaneries, Dr Azzopardi completed his specialist training in plastic surgery within Wales, followed by entry on the UK specialist register. He furthered his special interest in laser through competitively securing a Training Interface Group fellowship in therapeutic use of laser, under the mentorship of Mr Maxwell Murison followed by a super-specialist fellowship in laser and photonics under the mentorship of Dr M. Tretti in Milan, both world-leading authorities in the field.
After his PhD was conferred, without corrections, from Cardiff University UK, Ernest proceeded to become an accomplished researcher and developing key opinion leadership in his chosen field, publishing in established journals such as the Lancet, JPRAS, and PRS, and others. He has been fortunate in having his work recognised through several awards including the BAAPS travelling fellowship, the Royal College of Surgeons in England 2015 Hunterian Professor & Medal, the Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh 2014 James Syme Medal, the BAPRAS president’s medal (2014), the British Burns Association’s Jackson Award (2012), the ABAOMS Prize (2012), the Unilever poster prize (2011-12) among others. More recently he has been awarded the Gieh il-Qrendi civic award, for services to medical research from Malta (EU). Dr Azzopardi’s funding mix includes charities, regional, UK, EU/ESF, and international research grants. This background informs his clinical practice with a depth of knowledge, and grounds it in current best evidence. His works are cited in Policy by the US dept of Department of Defence and the USA Military among others. He continues to review for the British Journal of Surgery, the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy and the Journal of Plastic Reconstructive Surgery. He is an Editorial Board Member of Scientific Reports (Nature Publishing Group). His research ethos is inclusive and interdisciplinary. Dr Azzopardi firmly believes in the principle of teaching as nurturing the next generation of leaders in the field.