News archive 2007
Director of Stem Cell Research appointed10 Dec 2007, PR 200/07
Leading stem cell scientist Dr Alan Colman, has been appointed as the new Director of Stem Cell Research at King's College London. Internationally renowned for his contribution to stem cell and developmental biology, Dr Colman will be joining the Health Schools on 1 May 2008.
Dr Colman has extensive experience in the field of stem cell research. He was part of the team who created “Dolly the Sheep” – the world's first mammal cloned from an adult cell – at the Roslin Institute in Edinburgh.
He is currently the Executive Director of the Singapore Stem Cell Consortium which supports the use of stem cells to cure major degenerative diseases. He also leads a research team at the A*STAR Institute of Medical Biology at the Singapore. He will continue to hold these appointments in Singapore and maintain a presence there, whilst establishing his new research programmes at King's.
Dr Colman comments on his new role: ‘I am delighted to be joining King's College London at an exciting time in its scientific evolution. In addition to expanding my own stem cell research effort which I have initiated in Singapore, I hope to act as a catalyst to forge new links within King's between the many strong areas of stem cell-related research and the impressive experimental medicine capabilities.'
Professor Robert Lechler, Vice-Principal (Health), King's College London, says of Dr Colman's appointment: ‘I am very pleased to welcome Dr Colman, a world-renowned stem cell expert, to King's. He brings with him a great wealth of knowledge and experience and will be a huge asset to the College.'
It is anticipated that Dr Colman will build upon the excellent reputation of stem cell research which already exists at King's and which has been recognised by the Medical Research Council (MRC) as one of its Centres of Excellence in Stem Cell Biology. King's was awarded one of the first HFEA licences for use of human ES cells.
Dr Colman will help develop a world class stem cell centre in the UK, which will focus in particular on the potential application of human embryonic, foetal and adult stem cells to provide cells which are suitable for the treatment of common diseases such as Type 1 diabetes, heart failure and Parkinson's Disease. Facilities for clinical use of such cells, including one for human embryonic stem cells, are at present under development at King's. Much of the essential infrastructure for successful research in regenerative medicine will therefore soon be in place.
Dr Colman, who has been pursuing his research in Singapore since 2002, has also been involved in fostering linkages between the UK and Singapore and has actively supported the UK-Singapore Partners in Science Initiative launched in 2004 by HRH Prince Andrew, The Duke of York.
Notes to editors
Dr Alan Colman
Dr Colman is currently the Executive Director of the Singapore Stem Cell Consortium and Principal Investigator in the Regenerative Medicine Programme at the Institute of Molecular Biology at A*STAR, the Singapore Agency for Science, Technology and Research.
He was formerly the Chief Executive Officer of ES Cell International (ESI), biotech company headquartered in Singapore. Under his scientific leadership, ESI pursued programmes to convert the embryonic stem cells into insulin-producing and heart muscle cells to provide cell therapy treatments for diabetes and congestive heart failure, respectively. ESI has also generated six clinical-grade hES cell lines, details of which are being published in the November issue of the journal, Cell Stem Cell.
Prior to joining ESI, Dr Colman worked for 14 years as the Research Director of PPL Therapeutics PLS (PPL) in Edinburgh, UK. He was responsible for guiding and implementing the company's strategic research programme in transgenic technology and played a major role in the company's financing rounds, including floating on the London Stock Exchange.
Dr Colman had an accomplished career as an academic prior to joining PPL. This included research and teaching appointments at Oxford University and the University of Warwick, and the appointment of Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Birmingham. Dr Colman's most recognised contribution is working in conjunction with the Roslin Institute in Edinburgh, UK, to clone “Dolly the Sheep”.
King's College London
King's College London is one of the top 25 universities in the world (Times Higher 2007) and the fourth oldest in England. A research-led university based in the heart of London, King's has 19,300 students from more than 130 countries, and 5,000 employees. King's has an outstanding reputation for providing world-class teaching and cutting-edge research. The College is in the top group of UK universities for research earnings and has an annual income of approximately £400 million. An investment of £500 million has been made in the redevelopment of its estate.
King's has a particularly distinguished reputation in the humanities, law, social sciences, the health sciences, natural sciences and engineering, and has played a major role in many of the advances that have shaped modern life, such as the discovery of the structure of DNA. It is the largest centre for the education of healthcare professionals in Europe and is home to five Medical Research Council Centres – more than any other university.
Melanie Gardner, Public Relations Department, King's College London, Tel: 020 7848 3073 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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