The focus of our stem cell lab are diseases that affect central nervous system white matter, including trauma (e.g. spinal cord injury), neurodevelopmental conditions (e.g. autism), and neurodegenerative diseases, such as multiple sclerosis. We have discovered a number of regenerative strategies that may help to promote regeneration in the context of injury. Supported by the National Institute of Health Research and Myelopathy.org, a charity that promotes a common form of spinal cord injury, the clinical arm of our laboratory translates our findings into clinical trials.
The need for better (human) models for our research led us to develop a novel technology that has rendered “reprogramming” of human stem cells “deterministic”. Cellular reprogramming is similar to rebooting a computer with a new program. Because the transcriptional network of a cell determines its identity, this results in a complete change of cell type. By optimising the way reprogramming cassettes are expressed in human stem cells, we have made this process so efficient that has become “deterministic”. Efficient (within days rather than months) production of nearly pure cultures of distinct human cell types, has generated unprecedented opportunities of studying disease using human cells. In the lab we create human cell co-culture models that will accelerate the development of novel treatment approaches.
Opti-OX, our stem cell reprogramming platform
Bit Bio Ltd., a Cambridge spin out will make our technology commercially available, generate a broad range of human cells, develop “human on chip” models, and facilitate cell based therapies.
Further validation of our technology in collaboration with the Sanger Centre? click here
How did our research end up having impact for “Cultured Meat”? Find out at BBC THE NAKED SCIENTIST.