In 2008 and 2010, I co-led the multidisciplinary teams which successfully performed the World’s first stem-cell based, tissue-engineered organ implants (bronchus and trachea) in an adult and a child respectively, opening up new vistas for organ replacement in years to come.
I am a passionate supporter of Research in Surgery, at UCL Partners and nationally through the Royal College of Surgeons of England, and always try to embed bright young surgeons in these research teams, thus supporting the next generation of surgical pioneers.
My translational research efforts have recently been recognised by the award of NIHR Senior Investigator status and in 2011, by becoming the first ENT surgeon to be elected to the Academy of Medical Sciences.
Since 1995, I have attempted to harness the best of biomedical science to support restoration of function to people whose throats have been damaged by accident and disease, including cancer. Working with scientists, fellow surgeons and patients (I am Medical Director, National Association of Laryngectomee Clubs), I have assembled specific teams to address a variety of throat disorders. These include the understanding of laryngeal immunity to help people with inflammatory (laryngitis) and malignant (throat cancer) conditions; repairing paralysed laryngeal nerves; and investigating viral (papillomatosis) and bacterial infections of the throat.
With the ultimate goal of achieving complete replacement of the functions of the larynx for persons in whom it is destroyed by trauma or cancer, the work of these teams, underpinned by the unparalleled infrastructure and know-how of UCL, is now being brought together into parallel themes of stem-cell/tissue-engineered airway replacements, biomaterials and soft robotics.