Regenerative medicine

Regenerative medicine is a multidisciplinary approach to repairing or replacing, damaged or diseased human cells, tissues and organs. It holds the promise of transforming much of patient care in the 21st century.

The UK is a leading global research player and is well positioned to translate this knowledge to clinical and economic impact as reported in the BIS/DH report 'Taking stock of Regenerative Medicine in the UK' (2011). The Research Councils/TSB produced a Strategy for UK Regenerative Medicine in 2012 the main outcome of which was the establishment of a UK Regenerative Medicine Platform (UKRMP) by Medical Research Council(MRC), Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council(BBSRC) and EPSRC to foster engagement and connectivity between our research communities and drive innovation.

There is a need for skills to enable successful delivery and application in regenerative medicine including: new imaging and diagnostics technologies; tissue engineering and biomaterials; nanotechnology; modelling (to test new therapies and for drug delivery); chemical biology; manufacturing, monitoring and selection technologies. An appropriate understanding of the underpinning developmental and stem cell biology is essential.

Proposals should address a coherent and integrative selection of challenge areas. Proposals in this area should be complementary to the priorities of the UKRMP and links to the multidisciplinary training programmes of the other research councils involved are encouraged. The programme board of the UKRMP should be seen as a key stakeholder of the CDTs funded in this area.

Proposals should offer multidisciplinary, translation-focused industrially and clinically relevant doctoral training that builds upon research excellence and will develop skilled people for the healthcare and life sciences sector.

Training should cover appropriate exposure to end user/ patient involvement, safety, regulatory and ethical approval processes, as well as topics such as risk management, life cycle analysis and systems-based approaches. Proposals should promote industrial and clinical connectivity. Joint supervision from the most appropriate disciplines is required.

Graduates should have the skills to innovate responsibly, with an appreciation of innovation and translation pathways (for example of clinical trials, health economics and socio-technological contexts).

Proposals should link appropriately to relevant training programmes funded through routes other than the Centre for Doctoral Training(CDT).

This is a joint priority area for EPSRC and MRC, and co-funding may be available if appropriate.