Regener8 Annual Conference 2014

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  • Date: 17  Sep 2014 09:00 – 18:00
  • Venue: The University of Leeds

A one day meeting focused solely on the translation and commercialisation of regenerative medicine. The event is aimed at academics, clinicians and industry representatives who are involved in the field of regenerative medicine and related areas.

Dr Rob Buckle, Head of Regenerative Medicine at the MRC and Director of the UK Regenerative Medicine Platform is a keynote speaker at the conference.

For more information and to buy tickets visit the Regener8 website.

Regenerative Medicine part of the MRC and the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) India, UK-India Joint Centre Partnerships call

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The MRC and the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Government of India invite proposals to the UK-India Joint Centre Partnerships call.  This initiative seeks to build upon substantial pre-existing collaborations between high quality research teams based in the UK and India.

In total, the MRC will invest up to £3.5million for this initiative, which will be matched by DBT.  We anticipate funding up to three partnerships for a period of 3 years.


In order to encourage the strengthening of UK – India research partnerships, the MRC and the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Government of India are holding a call for “Centre Partnership grants”. These grants will made be available to centres or consortia of existing partners who are already in receipt of both MRC and DBT funding with the aim of:

  • Enhancing existing partnerships between the UK and India to further develop collaborative research.
  • Strengthening the strategic relationship between the UK and India.
  • Supporting the mobility and exchange of MRC- and DBT-funded researchers to enhance established links between researchers in both countries.


Scientific remit

MRC and DBT would particularly like to encourage applications in the following areas:

Cancer biology

This includes understanding the basic biological mechanisms relevant to the aetiology of cancer or mechanisms involved in cancer metastases. It also includes development of novel therapeutics, including chemical biology approaches for drug discovery.

Translational regenerative medicine in neuroscience

Applications in this area will focus on regenerative medicine research approaches to neurosciences/neurological disorders which have the specific aim of turning fundamental discoveries into improvements in human health. This would be by targeting pre-clinical and clinical development to human proof-of-concept studies.  In short applications in the area will be aimed at translating promising research into the clinic.

Antimicrobial resistance especially resistance to antibiotics

We are facing a rise in the number of bacteria becoming resistant to existing antibiotics without an increase in new antibiotics or new treatments. It is clear that an interdisciplinary approach is needed to tackle these challenges and make a step change in addressing this growing global problem. Collaboration between the UK and India will facilitate sharing information, tools, compound libraries, datasets and screens to acquire new insights into the emergence and spread of antibiotic resistant bacteria, the evolution of resistance and to drive the discovery of new diagnostic, preventative and therapeutic strategies for bacterial infections particularly antibiotic resistant strains.

It is anticipated that one partnership will be funded in each area.

For further details including the application process are available on the MRC website through the following link here

UKRMP Hubs:Joint Annual Science and Industry Meeting, 3 & 4 July 2014

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This year the inaugural UKRMP Hubs:Joint Annual Science and Industry Meeting will be held on the 3rd and 4th of July in Newcastle University as part of the Tissue & Cell Engineering Society Annual Conference (TCES).

The meeting brings together the Hubs, leaders from other national regenerative medicine initiatives and industrial members to present current work and discuss future opportunities.

The final programme is now available and can be found here.

Registration and further details can be found through the TCES link.

MRC response to EU Commission’s response to One of Us campaign

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The MRC has welcomed the EU Commission’s statement on the provisions of the current framework for funding stem cell research in Horizon 2020 in response to the ‘One of Us’ Citizens’ Initiative.  The initiative sought a ban on all financing of activities that presuppose the destruction of human embryos, including stem cell research. Such a ban would have had a negative impact on research involving human embryos for regenerative medicine, reproductive health and genetic disease.

Stem cell research has the potential to lead to the development of treatments and therapies for patients suffering from diseases and illnesses including incurable neurodegenerative conditions such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s and motor neurone diseases, as well as chronic conditions such as type 1 diabetes, cardiovascular conditions, liver damage, spinal cord damage, stroke and blindness, with a number of clinical trials underway. Many of these conditions will increase in prevalence with an ageing population and will become one of the most significant health and economic burdens facing Europe.

A number of clinical trials of human embryonic stem cell therapies are currently underway in Europe and the US, to see if stem cells can repair damaged tissue in several conditions – including spinal cord injury, and age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the most common form of blindness.  However stem cell research and specifically human embryonic stem cell research is a relatively new field; human embryonic stem cells were first isolated in 1998.  Comparatively, other therapies currently in use, for example monoclonal antibodies, have taken up to 25 years to develop into large-scale therapeutics. It is therefore imperative that all avenues of stem cell research are kept open and proportionately regulated until scientists are able to find the optimal techniques and materials to develop therapies.

Dr Robin Buckle, MRC Head of Regenerative Medicine said,

“The MRC welcomes the response from the European Commission  and its continuing support for funding for stem cell research, which will help scientists to translate the burgeoning knowledge in regenerative medicine into new treatment strategies.  During its last Framework Programme the Commission established a number of collaborative stem cell programmes which have global recognition, and it was essential that the Commission endorsed its existing support in this area as any new restrictions could potentially have been highly damaging to European science and competitiveness.”



ISCF Statement of Support for European Stem Cell Research, 2014

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The International Stem Cell Funders Forum Statement – Europe 2014


The International Stem Cell Funders Forum strongly endorses the “Joint Statement Supporting Funding for Stem Cell and Reproductive Health Research in Europe 2014” ( and the supporting evidence provided therein.

This calls on the European Parliament and European Commission to oppose the ‘One of Us’ Citizens’ Initiative that is seeking a ban on all financing of activities that presuppose the destruction of human embryos, including stem cell research.  Such a ban would have a negative impact on research involving human embryos for regenerative medicine, reproductive health and genetic disease.

The Forum supports stem cell research using human embryonic stem cells, as well as other induced and adult stem cells, within strong ethical and regulatory governance frameworks such as that which exists in Europe. The Forum recognises….

Read the full statement on the ISCF website.

EPSRC Healthcare Technologies Grand Challenges

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EPRSC’s Healthcare Technologies Theme invites the UK’s research and user communities to help developing a number of Grand Challenges to inform the future strategy and direction of the Theme.

The views of researchers from all disciplines and career stages, as well as clinicians, industry and other relevant stakeholder groups are invited.

Web surveys to collect feedback on our initial list of ten Grand Challenges have been launched on the EPSRC website.  The surveys will be open until 9th June 2014 and more information can be found  at the following link:  EPSRC Healthcare Technologies Grand Challenges.


It is hoped that these Grand Challenges will:

  • Bring the UK’s leading researchers together to develop the next disruptive or transformative healthcare technologies and systems;
  • Lead to world leading discoveries in engineering, physical, computational and mathematical sciences;
  • Enable the UK’s national capability to be used to best advantage;
  • Provide a focus for interdisciplinary and international collaboration.


The initial ten Grand Challenges on which input is being gathered are:

  • Data analytics and digital infrastructure for healthcare;
  • Enabling technologies for regenerative medicine;
  • Engineering healthy behaviours;
  • Functional enhancement for safe and independent living;
  • Infection prevention and control;
  • Patient specific treatment;
  • Prediction and early diagnosis;
  • Smart surgeries and therapies;
  • Systems to support and improve healthcare provision;
  • Understanding and interventions in neurological function.

Statement on stem cell research

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Stem cell research is one of the most promising fields of biomedical research today. In order to ensure that Europe maintains its global edge in this field, the current provisions that allow for the funding of all types of stem cell research, including human embryonic stem cell research, need to be maintained.

Given the potential of stem cell research, a coalition of leading funders of biomedical research, including the Medical Research Council, plus learned societies and patient groups, has issued a joint statement calling on the European Parliament to continue funding human embryonic stem research.

Read the full statement, background information and view a list of all signatories on the Wellcome Trust website.

New Immunomodulation Research Hub and Disease/Systems focused awards complete £25M investment programme

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A £2.3m investment by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and the Medical Research Council (MRC) will set up a new multidisciplinary research ‘Hub’ to address important immune challenges in translational regenerative medicine as part of the UK Regenerative Medicine Platform (UKRMP).

The new Hub will focus on harnessing immunomodulatory approaches and will complement the other four Hubs established through the UKRMP last year. Together, these five strategic investments will provide the foundation for a world-leading and integrated programme of activity able to tackle some of the critical challenges in developing new regenerative treatments from discoveries made in the laboratory.

This Hub represents the final piece in the UKRMP jigsaw and will identify and begin to establish broadly applicable approaches to control the body’s immune system to minimize problems of transplant rejection during the development and clinical testing of regenerative strategies.

The Hub will link a number of leading groups to undertake research that will increase our understanding of how the innate and adaptive immune systems impact upon cell‑based therapies, so as to develop approaches for modulating these responses.

The Hub will investigate a range of potential applications, covering aspects of:

  • induced central tolerance, reducing the immunogenicity of stem or progenitor cells.
  • enhanced cell-based therapy efficacy.
  • harnessing immune evasion.

The Hub will be led by King’s College London and draws together leading stem cell and transplant scientists from across the UK, with partners from Imperial College London, Oxford, Birmingham and Newcastle.

Professor Fiona Watt, a stem cell biologist from the Centre for Stem Cells & Regenerative Medicine King’s College London, and who will be the Director of this Hub, said:

“There have been exciting advances in the stem cell and transplant fields over the last several years.  Understanding how the immune system can be harnessed is critical to the advancement of regenerative medicine therapies.  This Hub draws together the unique combination of expertise that will allow us to begin to address the issue of ensuring that cell-based therapies survive in the patient after transplantation, which represents a significant barrier in bringing regenerative medicine to the clinic.  The Hub and its research focus will also provide significant linkage to the interests and capabilities of the other UKRMP Hubs and enhance the potential impact of the programme overall.”


Disease/Systems focused awards

A new £6m investment from the UKRMP in partnership with Arthritis Research UK will support five cutting-edge research consortia at UK research institutions. People suffering from a range of diseases will benefit from these multidisciplinary translational regenerative medicine programmes:

  • Professor Charles Archer, Swansea University – Generating durable and resilient repair of cartilage defects using tissue-specific adult stem cells – a systematic, therapeutic approach;
  • Professor Pete Coffey, University College London – Scalable production of RPE cells from induced pluripotent stem cell under GMP conditions for cellular replacement therapy of the dry form of Age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a significant cause of blindness in the elderly;
  • Professor Andrew McCaskie, University of Cambridge – Stepwise Translational Pathway for Smart Material Cell Therapy (SMART STEP), which will be focussed on osteoarthritis;
  • Professor Salmeron-Sanchez, University of Glasgow – Synergistic microenvironments for non-union bone defects, with the aim of increasing natural bone regeneration and healing capacity;
  • Dr David Hay, The University of Edinburgh – The development of 3-dimensional implantable liver organoids, with the aim of providing alternative renewable solutions to organ transplantation in the treatment of human liver disease.

These awards, funded as a second stage of the UKRMP initiative, are intended to build upon the investments made in establishing the UKRMP Research Hubs (see above). Each of these disease-focused awards will be linked to the Hubs, providing the research teams with access to a broad range of technological support, expertise and advice to advance their goals, which will drive towards new treatments and benefits to patients.

In addition, the awards to Archer at Swansea and McCaskie at Cambridge provide collaborative research components between UK and Dutch partners adding additional expertise to the consortia.  The funding of the Dutch component of work in each case will be met by Reumafonds, the Dutch Arthritis Foundation.


Dr Rob Buckle, Director of the UKRMP and Head of Regenerative Medicine at the MRC, said:

“Today’s investment through the UKRMP will help us to go much further in developing next generation regenerative medicine products and treatments to provide long term benefits and cures for patients.  Additionally, these awards will contribute to the goal of establishing a coordinated and connected research community as we seek to ensure that the UK retains its position as a world leader in the field of regenerative medicine.”




About Arthritis Research UK:

Arthritis Research UK is the leading authority on arthritis in the UK, conducting scientific and medical research into all types of arthritis and musculoskeletal conditions. It is the UK’s fourth largest medical research charity and the only charity solely committed to funding high quality research into the cause, treatment and cure of arthritis. For more information please visit:



The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) invests in world-class bioscience research and training on behalf of the UK public. Our aim is to further scientific knowledge, to promote economic growth, wealth and job creation and to improve quality of life in the UK and beyond.

Funded by Government, and with an annual budget of around £467M (2012-2013), we support research and training in universities and strategically funded institutes. BBSRC research and the people we fund are helping society to meet major challenges, including food security, green energy and healthier, longer lives. Our investments underpin important UK economic sectors, such as farming, food, industrial biotechnology and pharmaceuticals.

For more information about BBSRC, our science and our impact see:

For more information about BBSRC strategically funded institutes see:



The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) is the UK’s main agency for funding research in engineering and the physical sciences. EPSRC invests around £800 million a year in research and postgraduate training, to help the nation handle the next generation of technological change. The areas covered range from information technology to structural engineering, and mathematics to materials science. This research forms the basis for future economic development in the UK and improvements for everyone’s health, lifestyle and culture. EPSRC works alongside other Research Councils with responsibility for other areas of research. The Research Councils work collectively on issues of common concern via Research Councils UK.


About the MRC

The Medical Research Council has been 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. Twenty-nine 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.

2 EPSRC Landscape Fellowships Available

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Wolfson School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering

EPSRC Landscape Fellow in Engineering Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine

Fixed-Term for 24 Months (2 posts available)

Loughborough University in conjunction with Keele University, University of Leeds, University of Nottingham, University of Sheffield and University of York, is making two early career Fellowships available for exceptional candidates from the tissue engineering and regenerative medicine communities with an engineering and physical science background.

Fellowships can be held at any of the Institutions. Fellows will be developed for leadership roles in cross-disciplinary, large scale, translational interface science. Their work will include directed and individual research and they will contribute training to the EPSRC Centres for Doctoral Training held by the collaborators. Candidates are required to submit a translational research proposal (4 pages), a personal development plan (2 pages) and an Institutional letter of support, together with a Loughborough University application form. Candidates with excellent submissions will present their plans to a panel.

As a minimum, satisfactory progression through the penultimate year of PhD Studies is essential. Demonstrated leadership skills and potential would be advantageous.

A webinar will be held at 10.00am on Monday 7 April to provide further details of the Fellowships.

The grade and salary shown apply to Loughborough University only.  This will vary according to the Institution although the salary paid will be on a similar scale.

Interviews will take place in late June 2014.

Please click here for details.

2nd BIRAX Call for Proposals

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Prime Minister David Cameron launched a call for new world-leading research into Alzheimer’s, Type 1 Diabetes, heart disease, and Parkinson’s.

The deadline for submitting applications is 8 May 2014.

Completed applications may be submitted following the conclusion of the Second BIRAX Regenerative Medicine Conference (25-26 March 2014).

Full application forms should be sent by email to –

For further details see: