Leading Women in STEM

Professor Sheila MacNeil, Professor of Tissue Engineering in our Department of Materials Science and Engineering features in the Life Sciences Edition of FutureNorth, a pull out distributed with The Times.

Sheila is featured as a leading woman in STEM in a case study focused on her work with HGF, intellectual property specialists. With their support, Sheila has filed patent applications worldwide to protect her technology.

Sheila MacNeil has made a huge difference to people’s lives through her ground-breaking life sciences research work – and she is a perfect example of just how much women can achieve in STEM.

Her research focuses on developing biomaterials and tissue engineering which will benefit patients, alongside fundamental work to develop new understanding and tools in the area of tissue engineering.

Sheila’s group has a long history of working with clinical NHS colleagues using tissue engineered skin to benefit burns patients (from 1992) and more recently patients with chronic ulcers (from 2004) and for patients requiring reconstructive surgery of the urethra (from 2007).

Sheila's current projects include developing tissue engineering approaches for reconstruction for burns contractures and using human fat to improve the clinical outcome post grafting of patients who have suffered severe burns.

Her recent patents involve developing new biomaterial approaches to stimulate healing in chronic ulcers (protected by a joint patent filing with colleagues in Pakistan) and she leads a group of scientists and clinicians developing a tissue engineering approach for repair of the weakened tissues of the female pelvic floor - protected by a patent now licensed for translation to the clinic by a new company Symimetic Ltd.

She has also worked with clinical colleagues in India through two projects funded by the Wellcome Trust which has led to a simplification of the current approach to corneal regeneration and to a new methodology to improve early detection of infection in the cornea - projects funded by the Wellcome Trust and protected by patents filed by HGF.

Read the full article here