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NHSBT scientists awarded £1.1 million for regenerative medicine research

18 September 2020

NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) has been awarded £1.125 million from the Medical Research Council and Japan Agency for Medical Research to conduct research into regenerative medicine at the Stem Cell Institute in Cambridge.

Principal Investigators Dr Cedric Ghevaert and Dr Simon Mendez-Ferrer have been awarded £500k and £625k respectively to conduct research which aim to increase resilience of the platelet supply and improve outcomes for stem cell transplant patients.

This research will form part of our strategy to have a research programme that is world-leading and continues to bring about changes in patient and donor care.

The projects will focus on how we underpin the early-stage development of novel regenerative medicine-based therapies.  Dr Ghevaert’s work aims to create universal platelets, which can be used to treat alloimmunised patients. Dr Mendez-Ferrer’s research aims to take us a step closer towards a better understanding of the biology of stem cells.

This funding stream allows two of the most advanced laboratories in the field of making platelets in vitro to combine their expertise and know-how to push the project forward towards delivery of novel bespoke blood products to the clinic.
Dr Cedric Ghevaert

Principal Investigator (lead researcher)

Working with Dr Laurenti we aim to shed new light on the process of bone marrow regeneration following human blood stem cell transplantation and this funding will directly support translational research
Dr Mendez-Ferrer

Principal Investigator (lead researcher)

These exciting new areas of joint research also mark an important milestone in UK-Japanese bilateral relations, with the initiative playing a key role in strengthening cooperation between leading UK and Japanese researchers in the field.

These UK-Japan awards build on our previous investment and demonstrate how effectively our Principal Investigators compete for International awards. Currently, for every £1 we invest in R&D we raise around £2 through external grants.
Dr Nick Watkins

Assistant Director, Research and Development

Regenerative medicine is an interdisciplinary research field that seeks to develop the science and tools to help repair or replace damaged or diseased human tissue to restore normal function. As a form of ‘advanced therapy’ regenerative medicine has the potential to address several currently incurable degenerative conditions and is poised to revolutionise medical treatment in the 21st century.

The funding for NHSBT is part of a wider £7 million grant award by the landmark collaborating between MRC and AMED to support collaborative projects that seek to advance regenerative approaches towards clinical use.

The Medical Research Council (MRC) and the Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED) have joined forces to support eight new Regenerative Medicine research partnerships.

Read more about this funding announcement

Visit the Medical Research Council website