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Research

Funding routes

We are keen to support high quality research into stem cells and regenerative medicine that:

  • improves our understanding of fundamental stem cell biology and regenerative processes
  • applies the emerging technologies to improve human health.

Research boards

Our four research boards fund science that enhances our knowledge of the biology of health and disease and new approaches to treatment, including fundamental or investigative research, for example hypothesis-led research seeking to:

  • understand developmental processes relevant to regeneration
  • understand the mechanisms of self-renewal or reprogramming, or understand the factors that drive differentiation of stem or progenitor cells down a particular lineage
  • characterise stem cell populations and their niche
  • explore the use of stem cells to probe mechanisms of disease
  • develop tools and technologies, for example for disease modelling or bioengineering
  • undertake early pre-clinical investigations into potential regenerative therapies, including tissue repair strategies or mechanisms to enhance endogenous repair

The choice of which board to submit to will depend upon the nature of the work and the disease being investigated. Basic stem/progenitor cell research of a more generic nature should be directed to the Molecular and Cellular Medicine Board. Regenerative medicine research that moves beyond underpinning biological mechanisms and focuses on particular organs or tissues and associated dysfunction or disease, other than haematology, are more likely to align with one of the other Research boards:

Biomedical Catalyst: Developmental Pathway Funding Scheme

The Biomedical Catalyst: Developmental Pathway Funding Scheme (DPFS) is a key part of our Translational Research Strategy and supports the translation of fundamental discoveries toward benefits to human health. It funds the pre-clinical development and early clinical testing of novel therapeutics, devices and diagnostics, including “repurposing” of existing therapies.

 DPFS takes the lead on proposals relevant to regenerative medicine that are developing areas such as:

  • mature regenerative medicine approaches where more substantive funding is required to deliver a project with a clear pathway to product or clinical development, for example treatment using cell or small molecule drug-based approaches that stimulate regeneration
  • organ or tissue transplantation strategies
  • interventions targeting cancer stem cells
  • gene therapies
  • drug screening programmes using stem-cell derived assays to identify interventions that do not stimulate repair/regeneration processes
  • use of cells to deliver drugs, antibodies, etc.

    Biomedical Catalyst: Regenerative Medicine Research Committee​​

    The RMRC scheme is being discontinued following the final call deadline which was in November 2018. The UK regenerative medicine research field has matured significantly over recent years and, as described above, the research boards and DPFS panel are well equipped to consider regenerative medicine research projects from basic discovery science to translational work.​

    Science contacts

    If you have a query about scientific aspects of your research proposal or about funding mechanisms, please contact one of the following scientific contacts:

    Board queries: Dr Megan Dowie – megan.dowie@mrc.ukri.org

    MCMB lead for stem cells and regenerative medicine

    Translational queries: Dr Penny Morton – penny.morton@mrc.ukri.org

    Programme Manager for regenerative medicine, gene and cell therapies

    UKRMP: Dr Dania Grantdania.grant@mrc.ukri.org
    Science Manager for the UK Regenerative Medicine Platform

    Training

    Regenerative medicine research projects are eligible for all our training investments. More information about training grants is available, specifically with respect to fellowships and studentships.