New guidance for applicants to MRC Regenerative Medicine Research Committee (RMRC)

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A revised RMRC scheme has been launched from the 4th February RMRC Call

The revised scheme is focused in the early translational space, funding preliminary work or feasibility studies to establish the viability of an approach, thereby bridging a perceived funding gap in taking discovery science into preclinical research and ultimately through to human application.

The scheme will be flexible and responsive, offering potential support for a variety of opportunities to de-risk critical steps towards human application. Applicants will need to identify the key evidence needed to unlock progress, using smaller and shorter focussed proposals to bring projects to a state of maturity necessary to leverage larger scale translational investment.

The expectation is to fund about 10 awards each year, of 1-2 years duration, within a scheme budget of £2m pa.

For further details please see

Support for mature regenerative medicine proposals where more substantive funding is required to deliver a project with a clear pathway to product or clinical development will now be available through the sister programme to the RMRC, The Biomedical Catalyst: Developmental Pathway Funding Scheme (DPFS)

The 3rd BIRAX Regenerative Medicine Conference, April 2016

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The 3rd BIRAX Regenerative Medicine Conference will be hosted by the University of Oxford on 11-12 April 2016.

This two-day Regenerative Medicine Conference will examine the latest developments in regenerative medicine, and allow researchers from both countries to network, create links and discuss opportunities for further collaboration.

There are no registration fees for the 3rd BIRAX Conference and meals are provided. We have a limited amount of single rooms available for conference participants. Rooms will be
allocated depending on demand and availability. Travel to and from the conference is excluded

Participants are invited to submit papers for presentation. There will be a Student and Young Researchers symposium for early career researchers.
A limited number of travel grants are available for PhD Students and Post doctoral researchers from Israel.

For further details and registration please visit the BIRAX website through the following link;

The Inaugural UK Regenerative Medicine Conference, 20 & 21 September 2016

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Hold the date

20 & 21 September 2016

The Inaugural UK
Regenerative Medicine Conference

Venue:  RIBA  66 Portland Place, London W1B 1AD

The Cell Therapy Catapult and UK Regenerative Medicine Platform (UKRMP) are pleased to announce the Inaugural UK Regenerative Medicine Conference to be held on 20 & 21 September 2016 at the Royal Institute of British Architects in central London.

Building on the success of the 2012 Strategy for Regenerative Medicine and significant investment in the field from the UK government, the conference will draw together leading players in the field and highlight outstanding research and advances in regenerative medicine from both the UK and internationally.

Further information and registration details will be announced shortly.



Raman Microscopy in Regenerative Medicine Workshop

By | Engineered cell environment

To promote and facilitate the use of Raman Microscopy in Regenerative Medicine the UKRMP Niche Hub has organised a one-day workshop for Tuesday 23 February 2016 at the Scottish Centre for Regenerative Medicine, based at the Little France Campus of Edinburgh University.

The workshop will introduce Raman to the scientific community and exemplify how this technique is currently being applied to stem cell research in the UK. The aim of the event is to explore how to further the translation of Raman into Regenerative Medicine, by discussing hurdles and opportunities. Our speakers are:

Dr Mads Bergholt (Imperial College London)

Dr Colin Campbell (University of Edinburgh).

Prof Karen Faulds (University of Strathclyde)

Prof Duncan Graham (University of Strathclyde)

Dr Sarah McAughtrie (University of Edinburgh)

Prof Ioan Notingher (University of Nottingham)

This is a great opportunity if you want to learn more about Raman and how you could use it for your research project. For event details and free registration please visit our Eventbrite page:

2015 UKRMP Annual Report now available

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The 2015 Report details the key components and developments in the £25M UKRMP since its establishment in 2013 by BBSRC, EPSRC and the MRC.

Within the Report the Directors from each of the five interdisciplinary and complementary research Hubs provide details on their activities and advances made thus far.  The PIs from the five Disease focused awards outline the progress in their research projects.  Other strategic developments of the UKRMP in relation to the UK’s regen med environment are also presented.

The report can viewed and downloaded from the following link: UKRMP Annual Report 2015

Near-Term Translation of Regenerative Medicine Technologies for the Treatment of Civilian Blast Injuries – Call for Expressions of Interest

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Following on from the successful partnership of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and Find A Better Way (FABW) in 2013 and 2014 (which has resulted directly in FABW approving grants for six major research projects), this Call for Expressions of Interest aims to stimulate the academic community to propose approaches to accelerate the development of regenerative medicine technologies for the treatment of blast injuries, primarily in countries in which the civilian population is affected by landmines and other unexploded remnants of war.

This Call seeks to identify and support research  with near-term translation potential: therefore, research which is unlikely to result in technologies that are deployable within five years are excluded unless they are exceptionally innovative.

FABW is prepared to commit around £5 million funding to support one or two major research project(s) arising from this Call.

For further details please see:


First patient treated with stem cell therapy for wet AMD

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The first patient has been treated with a new stem-cell-derived treatment for ‘wet’ age-related macular degeneration (AMD) as part of a pioneering clinical trial in London.

Using technology developed with MRC funding, the trial will test if it is safe and effective to transplant a type of eye cell called retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells, grown from stem cells in the lab, to restore sight in people with severe visual loss from wet AMD. The cells are used to replace diseased ones at the back of the eye using a specially engineered patch. The patch is inserted behind the retina in a surgical operation which lasts one to two hours.

A woman was successfully treated last month and to date there have been no complications. The research team hope to assess the extent to which she has recovered her vision by early December.

Professor Pete Coffey of the University College London Institute of Ophthalmology, who is co-leading the research, said: “We are tremendously pleased to have reached this stage in the research for a new therapeutic approach.  Although we recognise this clinical trial focuses on a small group of AMD patients who have experienced sudden severe visual loss, we hope that many patients may benefit in the future.”

The trial will recruit another nine patients over 18 months, each of whom will be followed for a year to assess the safety and stability of the cells and whether there is an effect in restoring vision.

Retinal surgeon and project co-lead Professor Lyndon Da Cruz from Moorfields Eye Hospital, who is performing the operations, added: “There is real potential that people with wet age-related macular degeneration will benefit in the future from transplantation of these cells.”

The MRC funded Professor Coffey in 2004 to carry out the basic research and preclinical development behind the cell transplants for retinal repair. With further MRC funding, Professor Coffey and his team have developed imaging techniques to allow them to look at the survival and function of the cells after transplant. The MRC also funded Professor Harry Moore at the University of Sheffield to establish a bank of human embryonic stem cell lines, one of which has been used to develop this technique.

The MRC, EPSRC and BBSRC have recently made a £1.5m award as part of the UK Regenerative Medicine Platform to further support the Coffey team in developing this technology for use in the clinic.

The clinical trial is part of the London Project to Cure Blindness, a partnership between Moorfields Eye Hospital, the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and Pfizer Inc.

Dr Rob Buckle, the MRC’s Director of Science Programmes, said: “This London Project to Cure Blindness/Pfizer trial is an exciting development in regenerative medicine and a great example of how funding discovery science in stem cell biology has led to a clinical trial with commercial partnership. This development would neither have been possible without the MRC’s long-standing support for the groundwork behind this technology, nor the hard work and investment from the London Project to Cure Blindness and Pfizer and others to bring the therapy to patients.”


Gateway to Research reference G1000730.

Photo image courtesy of Danny Hope on Wikimedia Commons under CC BY 2.0


European H2020 partnering workshop: Regenerative medicine and cell therapies

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European H2020 partnering workshop: Regenerative medicine and cell therapies
BIS conference Centre, 1 Victoria Street, London
Tuesday 13 October 2015, 0930 – 1630

The UK Science and Innovation Network, in association with the Cell Therapy Catapult, UK Regenerative Medicine Platform, KTN and Innovate UK are organising a workshop in London to develop consortia for the following Horizon 2020 calls:

Horizon 2020 Work Programme 2016 – 2017
SC1-PM-09–2016: New therapies for chronic diseases
SC1-PM-11–2016-2017: Clinical research on regenerative medicine

The workshop is open to researchers, SMEs, and representatives from Industry, seeking UK and other European partners to form consortia.

Participants will have the opportunity to develop new and successful partnerships through pitching, networking and round-table sessions.

Register here:

UKSIN KTN logo Cell Therapy Catapult logo


Innovate UK logo Print

Any questions, please contact

BIRAX Travel Grants (Fellowships) for regenerative medicine researchers

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The British Council in Israel and the Science and Innovation Network are pleased to inform you of opportunities for funding available to scientists in Britain and Israel in the field of Regenerative Medicine.

The scheme is designed to further research experience, establish or strengthen research links and develop scientific collaborations. Note that all opportunities are to support visits from the UK to Israel, or vice versa.


BIRAX Travel Grants (Fellowships) for regenerative medicine researchers

Timeframe: 1-6 month travel grant

Budget: £2,100 per month, plus £550 one time travel grant

Available to: Early career researchers

Submission deadline: Monday 28 September. 16.00 UK time

More Information:



The 3rd BIRAX Conference will take place on 11 – 12 April 2016 at the University of Oxford.
The Conference will bring together leading scientists from both the UK and Israel in the field of Regenerative Medicine to share latest developments in the field and to develop collaborations and will follow the launch of the 3rd Call for Proposals.
We will be inviting individuals to submit papers to present and offering travel grants for early career researchers. For more information and to receive updates email:

Liver regrown from stem cells

By | Engineered cell environment

Scientists have repaired a damaged liver in a mouse by transplanting stem cells grown in the laboratory.

It is the first time researchers have restored function to a severely damaged liver in a living animal using stem cells.

Their findings pave the way for cell-based therapies that could one day replace the need for liver transplants.

Researchers from the Medical Research Council (MRC) Centre for Regenerative Medicine at the University of Edinburgh transplanted liver stem cells* into mice with liver failure. They found that over several months major areas of the liver were regrown from these cells, improving the structure and function of their livers.

The liver has a great capacity to repair itself, however in conditions such as cirrhosis and acute liver failure, it becomes damaged beyond repair.

Within the liver, hepatocytes are the essential cells that make many proteins and break down toxins, and while they have been used for transplantation their use has been limited as they don’t grow well under laboratory conditions. Liver stem cells overcome this as they can be grown under laboratory conditions and have the flexibility to change into hepatocytes or other important types of liver cells.

This is the first time that researchers have proven that liver stem cells can regrow the liver to such an extent. If they can show the same effect with human cells then they may be useful as a treatment for liver failure.  Transplanting such cells into patients with liver failure could one-day offer an alternative to liver transplants.

In the long term, scientists hope to find a way of stimulating the patient’s own stem cells to repair the damaged liver using medicines.

The research was funded by the Medical Research Council, the UK Regenerative Medicine Platform and the Wellcome Trust. It is published in the journal Nature Cell Biology.

Professor Stuart Forbes, of the MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine at the University of Edinburgh, said: “Revealing the therapeutic potential of these liver stem cells brings us a step closer to developing stem cell based treatments for patients with liver disease. It will be some time before we can turn this into reality as we will first need to test our approach using human cells. This is much needed as liver disease is a very common cause of death and disability for patients in the UK and the rest of the world’’

Dr Rob Buckle, Director of Science Programmes at the MRC, said: “This research has the potential to revolutionise patient care by finding ways of co-opting the body’s own resources to repair or replace damaged or diseased tissue. Work like this, building upon a precise understanding of the underlying human biology and supported by the UK Regenerative Medicine Platform, will give doctors powerful new tools to treat a range of diseases that have no cure, like liver failure, blindness, Parkinson’s disease and arthritis.”


For more information please contact the MRC press office on 0207 395 2276 (out of hours: 07818 427 297) or email


The paper, ‘Hepatic progenitor cells of biliary origin with liver repopulation capacity’ is published in Nature Cell Biology (DOI:  10.1038/nbt.3275)


*Hepatic Progenitor Cells act as stem cells in the liver that have the potential to develop into normal liver cells.


A short FAQ with Prof Stuart Forbes for liver disease patients can be found here:


The Medical Research Council is at the forefront of scientific discovery to improve human health. Founded in 1913 to tackle tuberculosis, the MRC now invests taxpayers’ money in some of the best medical research in the world across every area of health. Thirty-one MRC-funded researchers have won Nobel prizes in a wide range of disciplines, and MRC scientists have been behind such diverse discoveries as vitamins, the structure of DNA and the link between smoking and cancer, as well as achievements such as pioneering the use of randomised controlled trials, the invention of MRI scanning, and the development of a group of antibodies used in the making of some of the most successful drugs ever developed. Today, MRC-funded scientists tackle some of the greatest health problems facing humanity in the 21st century, from the rising tide of chronic diseases associated with ageing to the threats posed by rapidly mutating micro-organisms.


The Wellcome Trust is a global charitable foundation dedicated to improving health. We provide more than £700 million a year to support bright minds in science, the humanities and the social sciences, as well as education, public engagement and the application of research to medicine. Our £18 billion investment portfolio gives us the independence to support such transformative work as the sequencing and understanding of the human genome, research that established front-line drugs for malaria, and Wellcome Collection, our free venue for the incurably curious that explores medicine, life and art.


The UK Regenerative Medicince Platform (UKRMP) is a £25M investment by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the Medical Research Council (MRC). The UKRMP will address the technical and scientific challenges associated with translating promising scientific discoveries in this area towards clinical impact, and seeks to provide a world-leading programme to promote the development of regenerative therapies. Central to the Platform are five interdisciplinary and complementary research Hubs with the necessary critical mass to address key translational challenges and provide new tools, protocols and resources with broad applicability that can be utilized by other UK research groups in academia and industry. In addition, five Disease/Systems focused research programmes have been funded, which that link to or exploit aspects of the science being progressed through the Hubs.

The MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine (CRM) is a world leading research centre based at the University of Edinburgh. Scientists and clinicians at CRM study stem cells, disease and tissue repair to advance human health. The Centre is based at the Scottish Centre for Regenerative Medicine (SCRM) building, on a site shared by the Royal Infirmary Hospital and the University’s Clinical Research facilities. With new state-of-the-art facilities and a 230+ team of scientists and clinicians, CRM is positioned uniquely to translate scientific knowledge to industry and the clinic.