Theme lead: Professor Jane Sowden
Deputy Theme lead: Professor Paolo De Coppi
Core strategy: Invest in translational platforms including stem cell bioengineering and an induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) core platform to build capacity in regenerative medicine and to initiate first-in-child UK trials.
Worldwide 7.9 million children a year are born with serious birth defects and many more develop progressive tissue damage in childhood that does not heal. This new theme for the 2017–2022 NIHR Great Ormond Street Hospital BRC aims to pioneer advanced technologies, such as regenerative medicine and the development of new surgical devices, to provide treatment options for children with serious malformations and tissue damage.
Our research in regenerative medicine aims to help the hundreds of children seen every year at Great Ormond Street Hospital who need an organ transplant. By engineering organs and tissues using a patient's own stem cells there is a lower risk of tissue rejection. We previously developed an artificial trachea using stem cell technology and now aim to use this expertise to engineer other organs such as the gut and bladder, and to correct defects in the retina.
We are also continuing to develop less invasive methods to correct facial and skull abnormalities and use cutting edge computer modelling to develop personalized devices such as heart valves for patients with rare heart conditions.
As well as pioneering new methods to treat birth defects we are also exploring how to prevent them occurring, for example by offering supplements during pregnancy.
Our latest opportunities are listed on the NIHR GOSH BRC opportunities page.