LSI DTCs 2007-Doctoral Training Centre for Regenerative Medicine

Lead Research Organisation: Loughborough University
Department Name: Wolfson Sch of Mech, Elec & Manufac Eng


SummaryContinued improvement in the nation's health depends upon the efficient development of affordable replacement human tissue and related therapies; an acute shortage of willing organ donors and the shortcomings of conventional therapies leads to the preventable death of many patients each year. The next healthcare revolution will apply regenerative medicines, creating biological therapies or substitutes for the replacement or restoration of tissue function lost through failure or disease. However, whilst science has revealed the potential, and early products have shown the power of such therapies, there is now a need for the long term supply of people properly trained with the necessary skills to face the engineering and life science challenges before the predicted benefits in human healthcare can be realised. Because the products arising from this technology differ significantly from those made by mainstream pharmaceutical companies, training programmes currently available are poorly equipped to meet the demand for increasing numbers of appropriately trained personnel. We estimate that the number of engineers with the necessary skills to interact `on the same level' with cutting edge bioscientists and clinicians is very small, perhaps no more than 100 nationally; in such a small community 50 newly trained PhD's will have a very large impact. Here we propose a new UK based DTC in Regenerative Medicine integrated across three Universities with highly complementary expertise where students will be trained in the core skills needed to work at the life science/engineering interface and then engaged in strategic research programmes designed to address the major challenges in the field. This will ensure that the necessary people and enabling technologies are developed for the UK to lead in this rapidly growing worldwide marketplace.


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