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human lymphatic vessels in a plexus in 2D cell culture

Our Research

Insights from developmental biology, specifically interrogating the cellular and molecular processes that underpin normal organ development, have the potential to transform regenerative medicine. Developmental studies will identify tractable cell types for reactivation in the adult setting, restoring embryonic potential in ordinarily dormant cells as the paradigm underpinning the subsequent design of therapeutics to target endogenous repair and regenerative mechanisms. 

Research at the Institute of Developmental & Regenerative Medicine falls under three main themes: cardiovascular science, neuroscience and immunology. We seek to exploit common principles, that bridge across each theme, but also to exploit differences; combining our efforts to develop new treatments for diseases which have their origins in each of these major biological systems.

Cardiovascular Science

Research will examine the genetic basis and environmental modulation of the mechanisms that control normal cardiac development in the embryo to both inform on congenital heart disease and mark the potential of multipotent cardiovascular progenitor cells in the adult heart capable of initiating repair following ischaemic injury and acute myocardial infarction. Combining restoration of lost cell types after a heart attack with conditioning of the local injury environment, via immunomodulation and anti-fibrosis strategies, will provide a holistic approach to regenerating the injured heart and preventing the onset of heart failure.

Cardiology Research


Molecular and functional studies will investigate how cell fates of individual components of the central nervous system are determined and how functional specialisations are attained by intrinsic genetic factors and external signals mediated by distinct inputs. This knowledge will be exploited in inherited and acquired neurological and neuromuscular diseases or acute and chronic neurodegenerative disorders where neuronal stem cells could be used either to replace lost or degenerated cells or to enhance the endogenous recovery processes.

Neurology Research


Research will focus on the genetic basis of the molecular mechanisms that dictate the development and functional competence of the immune system to respond adequately to antigenic challenges and regenerative processes. Human primary immunodeficiencies will be investigated for the functional consequences of specific genetic mutations and their potential for correction by stem cell therapy. In parallel, inflammation, in response to tissue injury, will be studied to advance insight into immunomodulatory therapies prior to, and in parallel with, a cell-based repair of the cardiovascular, neurological or immunological systems.

Immunology Research