Research in our labs focusses on regenerative medicine. We investigate how materials, compounds and stem cells can be used to promote tissue regeneration in bone and skin after disease and injury. Use the buttons below to find out more about work that we're doing at the moment.
Regenerative Medicine is an area of scientific research that aims to develop drugs and technologies that replace or improve organs or tissues. Often disease or injury leads to permanent damage to the body. In many cases this can lead to the need for transplanted tissue, which may be in short supply or simply not available. By developing new materials, stem cells and new drugs, we hope to replace tissue, or to stimulate tissues to regenerate.
In our labs we are currently
Wnt growth factors are some of the most ancient known signalling proteins. They're found throughout the animal kingdom - from sponges to man - and play fundamental roles in animal development and disease. The molecular pathways that Wnt proteins activate also regulate stem cell division, and can sometimes promote tissue regeneration in animals such as amphibians. We're investigating whether we can promote tissue regeneration in mammals, particularly in the skin and bone, by chemically modulating Wnt signalling. To achieve this, we’re trying to selectively deliver proteins and other molecules that change Wnt signalling specifically to stem cells, particularly in the bone.
During development and wound healing, tissues rapidly change in size, shape, composition, and in their mechanical characteristics. Cells within these tissues - which are of course responsible for making these tissues in the first place! - are exposed to a variety of forces, including tension, compression and shear, as well as the static mechanical properties of the stuff they grow on (other cells and 'extracellular matrix'). It's now widely appreciated that cells can feel and respond to these forces by moving, growing and differentiating.
We are interested in finding out how the mechanical characteristics of the growth environment direct cells how to behave, for example in the earliest stages of differentiation in the developing embryo, in cancer progression, and in processes involved in wound healing and tissue regeneration. We hope that our results might give us a better understanding of how to promote improved regeneration and healing following injury