Tissue regeneration and repair

Regenerative medicine is an interdisciplinary approach that seeks to regenerate and repair diseased and damaged cells to restore normal function.

Our research is aimed at developing new treatments for major diseases including cancer, liver failure, and degenerative diseases such as multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's.

The University of Edinburgh is a hub for academic expertise, investment and commercial development in regenerative medicine. Our researchers have access to state-of-the-art facilities including an in-house GMP stem cell therapy facility, high content imaging and the Beacon Optofluidic system, can rely on expert technical and analytical support, and have access to patients for early-phase clinical trials.

Our world-class stem cell research underpins discovery, invention and innovative therapies to improve human health.

Key Areas of Expertise

GMP cell therapy

Vital to the translation of research into clinical applications, our state-of-the-art 1000sq m good manufacturing practice (GMP) cellular therapy facility comprises seven high-quality clean rooms including support areas and dedicated GMP quality control laboratories for stem cell characterisation and safety testing.

Opera Phenix Plus

An automated spinning disk confocal system for high-content imaging – the only one of its kind in Scotland. With proven automated water immersion lenses, Opera achieves higher throughput and richer content, making it the ideal high-content screening system for discriminating phenotypes and studying complex disease models.

Liver disease

Understanding the biology underlying liver disease helps us develop cell therapies and drugs to control the repair of damaged tissue. With a track-record of developing cell therapies, our preclinical and high throughput models of disease help us assess the regenerative capacity of cell therapies and drugs that promote endogenous repair.

Neurodegenerative disease

MS and Parkinson’s Disease are characterised by damage and loss of specific brain cells. Our researchers are developing an understanding of the repair mechanisms that could potentially be targeted to help treat these diseases. This work is supported by established animal and laboratory models of disease. We are also optimising protocols to generate dopaminergic cells from clinical-grade human embryonic stem cells to treat Parkinson’s Disease.

Adult and infant leukaemia

Our researchers are building a detailed understanding of the processes involved in production of blood stem cells, blood and thymus cells and the molecular basis of blood cancers. This will help improve laboratory blood cell production and identify drug targets for treatment of adult and infant leukaemia.

Brain cancer

In brain tumours the molecular apparatus that controls the ability of the cancer cells to divide is similar to that used by neural stem cells. Drugs that control the molecular “switches” which affect the balance between stem cell self-renewal and differentiation could be used to specifically block the growth of brain tumour stem cells.