The liver plays a vital role in human health, including the detoxification of foreign substances. We use stem cells to grow liver cells in the laboratory. The stem cells we use are called human embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells. The attraction of using these cell populations is their indefinite growth in in the lab and their ability to form all the cells found in the human body. We have developed reliable methods for growing the liver cells and they behave very similar to the ones found in the human body. We believe our liver cells have an important part to play improving human drug development and modelling human disease in a petridish. Moreover, in the future stem cell derived liver cells may provide an alternative to treat human liver failure and disease.
Our aims are:
- To develop scalable and defined human hepatocytes from pluripotent stem cells;
- Use of cell based models to probe different aspects of liver biology which include;
- drug induced liver injury (DILI);
- hepatitis C virus infection and replication.
- Use of synthetic and natural materials to stabilise hepatocyte phenotype;
- Use of synthetic and natural materials for tissue engineering.
New and noted
We work collaboratively with a number of groups in Edinburgh:
- Stuart Forbes, Ian Wilmut, Bruno Peault, Anura Rambukkana, Jim Ross, Mark Bradley, Anthony Callanan, Mandy Drake, Colin Campbell, Carsten Hansen
We collaborate with other researchers in the UK and overseas:
- Fiona Watt, Anil Dhawan, and Giovanna Lombardi, King’s College London
- Jan Hengstler and Patricio Godoy, University of Dortmund
- Lijian Hui, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences
- Ron Hay and Roland Wolf, University of Dundee
- Cliona O’Farrelly, Trinity College Dublin
- Philip Newsome, University of Birmingham
- Jo Mountford, University of Glasgow
- Will Shu, Strathclyde University
- Stephen Strom, Karolinska Institute
- Ludovic Vallier, Cambridge University
Our industry partners include: