School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences


Dr Owen Gareth Davies

Photo of Dr Owen Gareth Davies

EPSRC E-TERM Landscape Fellow

Owen graduated with an MRes in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine from the University of Manchester. He subsequently completed a PhD at the University of Birmingham that sought to compare the efficacy of stem cells isolated from adipose, bone marrow and dental pulp for the regeneration of dental tissue. A short research associate position at the Centre for Biological Engineering at Loughborough University enabled him to apply his background in tissue engineering for the bioengineering of skeletal muscle. The engineered muscle was subsequently used as a test bed to study how inflammatory dysregulation can lead to pathological and uncontrolled bone formation in soft tissues – a condition associated with traumatic injuries and termed heterotopic ossification (HO). During this period he established a strong relationship with the clinic, particularly military medicine. He is currently undertaking an EPSRC E-TERM fellowship in collaboration with the University of Birmingham (working as a visiting fellow in Professor Liam Grover’s lab), the defence science and technology branch of the ministry of defence (Dstl) and the Walter Reed National Military Medical Centre in Washington DC. Working closely with clinicians, his overall ambition is to understand and exploit the pathological processes governing HO to promote bone formation and develop therapies for fracture repair and the treatment of osteodegenerative diseases.

Owen’s background is in the use of stem cells for tissue engineering (bone, dental, muscle). His most recent research saw him apply this understanding of stem cell biology and bone development to elucidate the complex biological mechanisms underlying ectopic bone formation. Working in close collaboration with clinicians his primary aim is to understand and exploit this process for the rapid generation of bone.

Current research:

  • Defining the cellular and molecular events underlying ectopic bone formation (HO). This work was funded jointly funded by Dstl and the EPSRC.
  • Exploiting proteins that contribute to the rapid formation of heterotopic bone for the regeneration of bone defects, such as fractures. This work is funded by an EPSRC E-TERM fellowship and is being performed in collaboration with the University of Birmingham, Dstl, and Walter Reed National Military Medical Centre in Washington DC.
  • Defining the immunomodulatory roles of stem cells for assisted wound healing. This work is being performed with as part of the EPSRC E-TERM research fellowship in collaboration with a group of fellows based between Loughborough, Nottingham, MIT, Kings College London, York, Sheffield, and Keele.
  • Visiting fellow at the School of Chemical Engineering, University of Birmingham
  • Postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE) awarded by the University of Nottingham (2008)
  • Member of the Bone Research Society (BRS), American Society for Bone and Mineral Research (ASBMR), and Tissue and Cell Engineering Society (TCES)
  • Davies OG, Lewis MP, Grover LM, Liu Y. (2015) Identifying the cellular and molecular mechanisms leading to heterotopic ossification. Calcified Tissue International, 97: 432-44.
  • Davies OG, Lewis MP, Grover LM, Liu Y. (2015) Modulation of ectopic ossification in tissue engineered skeletal muscle by an inflammatory environment. Frontiers in Endocrinology: Bone Research.
  • Davies OG, Smith AJ, Cooper PR, Shelton RM, Scheven BA. (2015) Isolation of adipose and bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells using CD29 and CD90 modifies their capacity for osteogenic and adipogenic differentiation. Journal of Tissue Engineering, 6: 2041731415592356.
  • Davies OG, Smith AJ, Cooper PR, Shelton RM, Scheven BA. (2014) The effects of cryopreservation on cells isolated from adipose, bone marrow and dental pulp. Cryobiology, 69:342-7.
  • Davies OG, Smith AJ, Cooper PR, Shelton RM, Scheven BA. (2014) A comparison of the in vitro mineralisation and dentinogenic potential of mesenchymal stem cells derived from adipose tissue, bone marrow and dental pulp. Journal of Bone and Mineral Metabolism, 33: 371-82.

Book Chapters:

  • Davies OG,Scheven BA,Zavan B.(2016)Cryopreservation of dental tissue and subsequent isolation of mesenchymal stem cells. Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine. Springer, Humana Press.