Adult Stem Cell Therapy Blog

Wellcome Funds New Stem Cell Research Centre in UK

Thursday, July 27, 2006 - Stem Cell Guru

News from the University of Cambridge in the UK where The Wellcome Trust is providing £10m to establish an international centre of excellence in stem cell research.

The Wellcome Trust Centre for Stem Cell Research will be led by world-renowned stem cell researchers Austin Smith and Fiona Watt, and is due to open at the University in December 2006.

Prof Fiona Watt has been appointed Deputy Director. She has been Head of the Keratinocyte Laboratory at the Cancer Research UK London Research Centre since 1987. Prof Watt is also Deputy Director of the new Cancer Research UK Cambridge Research Institute. Stem cell biology is an important part of fundamental cancer research, and Prof Watt's joint appointment between the two Institutes will strengthen the scientific links between them. Her team has been awarded a £3m grant to explore how adult stem cells can be used to develop better skin grafts.

Prof Watt's team will investigate how an adult's epidermis (the outer covering of the skin) can be made to produce new hair follicles and glands to lubricate the skin. Her research may also be applicable to stimulating regeneration and production of other specialist cell types, including muscle and brain cells. This would enable the development of therapies using adult stem cell alternatives for numerous diseases and conditions.

Scientists believe that as we learn more about the properties of stem cells it may become feasible in some tissues to activate resident stem cells for repair and rejuvenation.


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