Regenerative medicine is an interdisciplinary field that seeks to develop the science and tools that can help repair or replace damaged or diseased human cells or tissues to restore normal function, and holds the promise of revolutionising treatment in the 21st century. It may involve the transplantation of stem cells, progenitor cells or tissue, stimulation of the body's own repair processes, or the use of cells as delivery-vehicles for therapeutic agents such as genes and cytokines.
All regenerative medicine strategies depend upon harnessing, stimulating or guiding endogenous developmental or repair processes. Accordingly, stem cell research plays a central role in regenerative medicine, which also spans the disciplines of tissue engineering, developmental cell biology, cellular therapeutics, gene therapy, biomaterials (scaffolds and matrices), chemical biology and nanotechnology. Promoting stem cell research, regenerative medicine and advanced therapeutics more broadly is a priority for us and for the UK government.
Regenerative medicine projects will be suitable for a number of different funding mechanisms, depending on their stage along the pathway from basic biomedical research to translational impact.
Advanced therapeutics (including cell/gene therapy, regenerative medicine and innovative medicines) is one of three MRC-wide opportunity areas that apply to all boards and panels to help prioritise applications for funding.