CSCRM in RegMedNet's spotlight
RegMedNet, an online network uniting the regenerative medicine community, is featuring our Centre in their 'spotlight' this month. Simply sign up online (for free) to view exclusive video content - including an interview with Professsor Watt in which she discusses her experiences in the field, current research and hopes for the Centre's achievements. Access the RegMedNet website here...
Wellcome funding for Cell Therapy PhD programme
The Wellcome Trust has awarded funding to a four year PhD programme entitled 'Cell therapies and regenerative medicine' taking place in the Centre for Stem Cells & Regenerative Medicine. The programme will fund five PhD students for three years and will train a new generation of researchers in regenerative medicine. PhD supervisors will be drawn from across the different divisions and campuses of King's College London.
Professor Fiona Watt (Director of the Centre for Stem Cells & Regenerative Medicine) will be the director of the new programme and the deputy director will be Professor Graham Lord (Director of NIHR Comprehensive Biomedical Research Centre, Guy's and St Thomas' Hospital and King's College London).
The programme is generously supported by King's and builds on the remarkable success of the King's Bioscience Institute (KBI) MRes/PhD Programme in Biomedical and Translational Science funded by the Guy's and St Thomas' Charity.
Professor Watt encourages international young scientists in London
Professor Watt was delighted to deliver the keynote opening lecture at the 2015 London International Youth Science Forum. The two week residential event held at Imperial College London attracts over 400 of the world's leading young scientists aged 17 - 21 years old from more than 60 participating countries.
The event included lectures and demonstrations from leading scientists, visits to industrial sites, research centres, scientific institutions and organisations, including world class laboratories and universities.
You can watch the LIYSF opening day video here
Winning design chosen as PLOS Computational Biology anniversary image
A design created by CSCRM Research Associate, Kif Liakath-Ali, was voted the winner of a PLOS Computational Biology competition - celebrating their 10 year anniversary. Kif's image
featured on both the anniversary cover and a limited edition t-shirt.
LabTube features HipSci Cell Phenotyping Programme
LabTube caught up with Dr Davide Danovi (Director - HipSci Cell Phenotyping) at 'Stem Cells in Drug Discovery 2015' in Cambridge. Dr Danovi discussed the HipSci cell phenotyping strategy and the benefits this provides for disease modelling and drug discovery - you can watch the video here
BBC News - "Medical Milestones of 2014"
Professor Watt was interviewed by BBC News for their feature on "medical milestones of 2014", which was broadcast in January.
You can watch it on the BBC website
Professor Watt links with industry 'down under'
When Professor Watt visited Australia to deliver a keynote speech for the Sydney Cancer Conference, she was also invited by UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) Australia to give a seminar about one of the UK's '8 Great Technologies' - Regenerative Medicine, and opportunities for Australian companies working in this area.
You can watch a video of the seminar here
Award-winning musician seeks inspiration in Professor Watt's lab
Natasha Khan - aka Bat for Lashes - who has several music awards and countless other nominations under her belt, paid a visit to Professor Watt's lab recently to get inspiration for the Wellcome Trust-initiated science outreach project Body of Songs
You can find out about Natasha's inspirations and listen to the finished track here
- and see the pictures from her visit on our blog
Having eczema may reduce your risk of skin cancer
Eczema caused by defects in the skin could reduce the risk of developing skin cancer, according to new research published in eLife by a team from our Centre. The immune response triggered by eczema could help prevent tumour formation by shedding potentially cancerous cells from the skin.
Professor Fiona Watt said: ‘We are excited by our findings as they establish a clear link between cancer susceptibility and an allergic skin condition in our experimental model. They also support the view that modifying the body’s immune system is an important strategy in treating cancer.'
Media coverage included articles in the Daily Mail and the Telegraph.
You can also read more about the story on the King's College London website
.***Update: Professor Fiona Watt and Dr Esther Hoste were interviewed, about their findings, for the eLife podcast - listen to it here***
New discovery reveals how hair growth controls fat production
Research from Giacomo Donati and other colleagues from Professor Watt's lab has revealed a hitherto unknown crosstalk between hair follicles and fat in skin. Hair follicle growth and formation of the fat layer are synchronised during skin development and in adult life. The combination of a high density of hairs and dermal fat protects the body from environmental insults, for example insulating from cold. Although factors secreted by fat cells have long been known to regulate the hair growth cycle, the study from Donati et al. now demonstrates that activation of epidermal Wnt/β-catenin signaling stimulates fat cell differentiation in vivo and in vitro. This effect can be mediated by secreted factors, including insulin-like growth factor 2 and bone morphogenetic proteins 2 and 6. The new discovery could be relevant to cancer, scar tissue formation and other pathological conditions in which this cellular crosstalk is altered. The
research was covered in the Telegraph
and the full research paper can be found on the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences website
New research 'Hub' for regenerative medicine
Professor Fiona Watt will be the Director of a new 'Hub' to address important challenges in translation regenerative medicine. The Hub forms part of a £2.3 million investment by the BBSRC, EPSRC and MRC to draw together leading stem cell and transplant scientists from across the UK.
You can read more here
PhD student presents research at House of Commons
Kif Liakath-Ali, from the Centre for Stem Cells & Regenerative Medicine, was invited to the House of Commons to present his research to a range of politicians and a panel of expert judges on 17th March. The SET for Britain poster competition gives early career scientists the chance to meet MPs and to present and share their work. Kif's PhD research focuses on novel genes involved in mammalian skin function in collaboration with the Sanger Institute Mouse Genetics Project.
You can read more here
Royal Society lecture - watch the video
Wattlab paper featured on the cover of 'Nature'
Professor Fiona Watt's lab has had a paper published in Nature - and is also featured on the cover. The paper is about fibroblasts - a type of cell found in the connective tissue of the body's organs, where they produce proteins such as collagen that provide structural support. It is widely believed that all fibroblasts are the same cell type. However, our publication indicates that in skin there are at least two distinct types of fibroblasts: those in the upper layer of connective tissue, which are required for the formation of hair follicles and those in the lower layer, which are responsible for making most of the skin's collagen fibres and for the initial wave of repair of damaged skin.
You can read more here
Or for the full research paper, visit the Nature website
King's College London award for Professor Watt
Professor Fiona Watt's contribution to the promotion of stem cell and regenerative medicine research was recognised at KCL's annual "King's Awards" ceremony on 20th November 2013. Fiona was presented with an award for "Most Outstanding Contribution to Public Engagement" by KCL Principal, Professor Sir Rick Trainor.
BBC Radio 4 - "Inside Science"
Professor Fiona Watt took part in Radio 4's "Inside Science" programme on 12th September 2013. She spoke to presenter Adam Rutherford about recent research on induced pluripotent stem cells.
Hay Festival of Literature
To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the discovery of the structure of DNA, King’s sponsored an annual ‘King’s College London Rosalind Franklin Lecture’ at the Hay Festival of Literature, as part of its public engagement programme.
The inaugural lecture, chaired by Brenda Maddox, the biographer of Rosalind Franklin, was delivered by Professor Fiona Watt - and you can listen to the event here