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28 Mar 2014

£3.5 million boost for Regenerative Medicine research programmes

The Loughborough University-led Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Regenerative Medicine has been awarded £3.5 million from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the Medical Research Council to further its research programmes in this globally important and fast-growing field of the healthcare industry.

Regenerative Medicine has the potential to revolutionise the sector and transform patients’ lives. It covers a wide range of therapies designed to enable damaged, diseased or defective skin, bone and other tissue, and even perhaps organs, to work normally again.

The CDT in Regenerative Medicine brings together the complementary research skills at Loughborough and the two partner institutions involved in the Centre – Keele University and the University of Nottingham.

The funding will enable the Centre to increase the number of students engaged in world-class research programmes that have been developed to address the major challenges in regenerative medicine.

Chris Hewitt, Professor of Biological Engineering at Loughborough University, is Director of the CDT in Regenerative Medicine.

He comments: “Regenerative Medicine has huge potential, especially for tackling chronic, debilitating conditions like heart disease and arthritis that will become increasingly prevalent due to our ageing population.

“The Centre aims to increase the numbers of graduates who have the knowledge and skills to become leaders in this emerging global industry and are able to translate cutting-edge ideas into safe, affordable, cost-effective treatments that combine life-changing impact for patients with maximum commercial value.

“No one university alone can provide the breadth of internationally-leading research across all areas of regenerative medicine, however, and that’s why our partnership approach, which draws on the strengths of three of the UK’s leading universities in this area, is key to the success of the Centre.”

Announcing the funding for the CDTs, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, The Rt Hon George Osborne MP, said today: “A forward looking, modern industrial strategy is part of our long term economic plan to deliver security, jobs and growth to all parts of the UK. Our £500 million investment in Centres for Doctoral training will inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers, ensuring Britain leads the world in high-tech research and manufacturing.”

Notes for editors

Article reference number: PR 14/60

Centres for Doctoral Training (CDTs)

CDTs are one of the three main ways by which EPSRC provides support for Doctoral Training. The other routes are the Doctoral Training Grant and Industrial Case Studentships. It is anticipated that much of the need for doctoral students in many areas will continue to be met by the DTG and ICASE, which together make up more than 50 per cent of EPSRC’s current spend on studentships.

CDT students are funded for four years and the programme includes technical and transferrable skills training as well as a research element. The centres bring together diverse areas of expertise to train engineers and scientists with the skills, knowledge and confidence to tackle today’s evolving issues, and future challenges. They also provide a supportive and exciting environment for students, create new working cultures, build relationships between teams in universities and forge lasting links with industry.

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)

The EPSRC is the UK’s main agency for funding research in engineering and the physical sciences. EPSRC invests around £800 million a year in research and postgraduate training, to help the nation handle the next generation of technological change. The areas covered range from information technology to structural engineering, and mathematics to materials science. This research forms the basis for future economic development in the UK and improvements for everyone’s health, lifestyle and culture. EPSRC works alongside other Research Councils with responsibility for other areas of research. The Research Councils work collectively on issues of common concern via Research Councils UK.

The Medical Research Council

The Medical Research Council has been at the forefront of scientific discovery to improve human health. Founded in 1913 to tackle tuberculosis, the MRC now invests taxpayers’ money in some of the best medical research in the world across every area of health. Twenty-nine MRC-funded researchers have won Nobel prizes in a wide range of disciplines, and MRC scientists have been behind such diverse discoveries as vitamins, the structure of DNA and the link between smoking and cancer, as well as achievements such as pioneering the use of randomised controlled trials, the invention of MRI scanning, and the development of a group of antibodies used in the making of some of the most successful drugs ever developed. Today, MRC-funded scientists tackle some of the greatest health problems facing humanity in the 21st century, from the rising tide of chronic diseases associated with ageing to the threats posed by rapidly mutating micro-organisms.

Loughborough University

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It was awarded the coveted Sunday Times University of the Year title in 2008-09 and has been named Sports University of the Year 2013-14 by The Times and Sunday Times. Loughborough is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in the Times Higher Education’s ‘table of tables’ and has been voted England's Best Student Experience for six years running in the Times Higher Education league. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, Loughborough has been awarded seven Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

In 2015 the University will open an additional academic campus in London’s new innovation quarter. Loughborough University in London, based on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, will offer postgraduate and executive-level education, as well as research and enterprise opportunities.

Contact for all media enquiries

Hannah Baldwin
Head of PR
Loughborough University
T: 01509 222239
E: H.E.Baldwin@lboro.ac.uk