UK, Japan Research Groups Back Joint New Regenerative Medicine Projects

UK, Japan Research Groups Back Joint New Regenerative Medicine Projects
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The United Kingdom’s Medical Research Council (MRC) and the Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED) are collaborating to support eight new regenerative medicine projects seeking to develop therapies for disorders such as Parkinson’s disease (PD).

The landmark £7 million (about $9 million) partnership will fund collaborative projects that focus on early stage development of new regenerative medicine-based treatments, and on the use of stem cells to study human development. In addition to Parkinson’s, prospective therapies would target a range of disorders that include blood diseases and liver disorders.

As a form of advanced therapy that could impact a number of currently incurable degenerative conditions, regenerative medicine is a branch of translational research in tissue engineering and molecular biology. It involves the process of replacing, engineering, or regenerating human or animal cells, tissues, or organs to restore or establish normal function.

“The UK and Japan are world leaders in stem cell and regenerative medicine research,” Fiona Watt, PhD, executive chair at the MRC, and Yoshinao Mishima, PhD, president of AMED, said in a press release.

“Past pioneering work in our countries has had a transformative impact and has revolutionised the potential for innovative approaches to medicine,” they said in a joint statement. “It is timely to bring our world leading groups together in their efforts to tackle the same therapeutic goals.”

For its part, the MRC, part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), is funding the projects through the UKRI’s Fund for International Collaboration. AMED supports the projects’ Japanese components through what’s called The Program for Technological Innovation of Regenerative Medicine, which implements ideas that advance the fields of regenerative medicine and stem cells.

“Regenerative medicine is a strategic priority for the MRC and AMED, and these excellent international partnerships will complement our existing investments in regenerative medicine and stem cell research, and add real value to the field,” the joint statement added.

Projects awarded through the initiative include:

Mary M. Chapman began her professional career at United Press International, running both print and broadcast desks. She then became a Michigan correspondent for what is now Bloomberg BNA, where she mainly covered the automotive industry plus legal, tax and regulatory issues. A member of the Automotive Press Association and one of a relatively small number of women on the car beat, Chapman has discussed the automotive industry multiple times of National Public Radio, and in 2014 was selected as an honorary judge at the prestigious Cobble Beach Concours d’Elegance. She has written for numerous national outlets including Time, People, Al-Jazeera America, Fortune, Daily Beast, MSN.com, Newsweek, The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press. The winner of the Society of Professional Journalists award for outstanding reporting, Chapman has had dozens of articles in The New York Times, including two on the coveted front page. She has completed a manuscript about centenarian car enthusiast Margaret Dunning, titled “Belle of the Concours.”
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Ana holds a PhD in Immunology from the University of Lisbon and worked as a postdoctoral researcher at Instituto de Medicina Molecular (iMM) in Lisbon, Portugal. She graduated with a BSc in Genetics from the University of Newcastle and received a Masters in Biomolecular Archaeology from the University of Manchester, England. After leaving the lab to pursue a career in Science Communication, she served as the Director of Science Communication at iMM.
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Mary M. Chapman began her professional career at United Press International, running both print and broadcast desks. She then became a Michigan correspondent for what is now Bloomberg BNA, where she mainly covered the automotive industry plus legal, tax and regulatory issues. A member of the Automotive Press Association and one of a relatively small number of women on the car beat, Chapman has discussed the automotive industry multiple times of National Public Radio, and in 2014 was selected as an honorary judge at the prestigious Cobble Beach Concours d’Elegance. She has written for numerous national outlets including Time, People, Al-Jazeera America, Fortune, Daily Beast, MSN.com, Newsweek, The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press. The winner of the Society of Professional Journalists award for outstanding reporting, Chapman has had dozens of articles in The New York Times, including two on the coveted front page. She has completed a manuscript about centenarian car enthusiast Margaret Dunning, titled “Belle of the Concours.”
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