Stem cells offer a unique and powerful tool for use in regenerative medicine. However, major challenges still exist in understanding the biology and function of these cells to enable safe and effective translation of their use into the clinical setting. In the last decade within the IGM the expansion of stem cell research has led to the creation of a well established “Stem Cell Biology and Cellular Therapies” group.
Our fields of interest and expertise extend from human and non-human embryonic stem cells to adult stem cells, the basic biology of stem cells to their clinical applications. With stem cell therapy related clinical trials underway, we have considerable expertise in both the regulatory aspects of cellular therapies and the good manufacturing practice production of cells for transplantation.
The main strengths of our grouping are the internal, national and international collaborations we have, all aimed at translating stem cell biology to therapeutic applications. Scientists, clinical scientists and clinicians work together within our group, highlighting the importance we give to the translational research.
There are laboratory facilities in the Institute dedicated to stem cell research, including well equipped molecular biology laboratories, tissue culture suites, good manufacturing practice laboratories and stem cell specific bio-imaging and flow cytometry equipment.
Dr Lyle Armstrong - Epigenetic control of stem cell differentiation and development of germ cells
Professor Che Connon - Tissue engineering and cell based therapy - use of materials to guide cell growth, differentiation and tissue repair
Francisco C Figueiredo - Corneal stem cell research and transplantation. Treatment of corneal stem cell deficiency (clinical trials)
Professor Majlinda Lako - Understanding self-renewal of pluripotent stem cells and directing their differentiation to haematopoietic and retinal lineages
Professor Hanns Lochmuller - Neuromuscular research
Dr. Annette Meeson – Stem cells in regenerative medicine and disease
Mr. Andrew Owens – The identification of native cardiac stem cells and their role in development and disease
Professor Ioakim Spyridopoulos - Finding how ageing of stem cells and the immune system affect cardiovascular disease
Mr David Steel – Retinal genetics and stem cell biology
Mr Patrick Yu-Wai-Man – Optic nerve disorders and mitochondrial genetics