Cells For Sight



Cells for sight

Head of Programme

Professor Julie T Daniels PhD

Professor of Regenerative Medicine & Cellular Therapy

  • Founder and Director of the Cells for Sight Stem Cell Therapy Research Unit
  • Leader in translational research on the use of stem cells for repair of the human ocular surface 

E-mail: j.daniels@ucl.ac.uk
Link to Julie's IRIS profile

RegMedNet Award for Cultivating Excellence - Interview

Clinical Team

Quality Assurance Manager 

Amanda Vernon PhD

In order to deliver high quality cell therapy products to patients, we must ensure we work to the standards of Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP), and comply with regulatory guidance. Therefore the role of Quality Assurance Manager within the Cell for Sight Transplantation and Research Programme is to monitor, approve and evaluate all GMP processes performed within the manufacturing facility, including  stringent assessment of quality and safety of the manufactured cell therapy product.   

E-mail: a.vernon@ucl.ac.uk

Production Manager

Radhika Shah

The production manager is responsible for cell therapy production in the clinical cleanroom suite designed to deliver multiple cell therapies to patients. They are required to manage the complex demands of service provision, regulatory compliance and translation of research into clinical protocols including clinical trials.

E-mail: radhika.shah@ucl.ac.uk
Link to Radhika's IRIS profile


Research Assistant

Afrah Albadri

The research assistant within the Cell for Sight Transplantation and Research Programme is responsible for GMP compliant limbal stem cell graft production in the cleanroom to treat blinding disorders caused by limbal stem cell deficiency. A long term aim of this project is to optimise the use of oral mucosal tissue derived from the mouth to treat patients suffering from bilateral eye disease.

E-mail: a.albadri@ucl.ac.uk

Research team

Post Doctoral reasearch associates

Louise Morgan PhD

  • Proof of concept for Real Architecture for 3D Tissues in the Cornea

The purpose of this proof of concept project it to evaluate the safety and efficacy of Real Architecture for 3D Tissues (RAFT) in the cornea

E-mail: louise.morgan@ucl.ac.uk
Link to Louise's IRIS profile

Marc Dziasko PhD

  • Investigating the corneal stem cell niche 

This project aims to understand the interactions between the epithelial progenitors and their surrounding microenvironment. The main research interest being the development of an in vitro model of the niche using human limbal epithelial stem cells and melanocytes.

Email marc.dziasko.11@ucl.ac.uk 

PhD Students

Ana Rita Pinho

  • Development of therapeutic applications for corneal stromal stem cells

This project aims to use tissue engineering approaches to develop methods for delivery of CSSC to patients. Specifically, we will compare our novel collagen-based GMP compliant ‘RAFT’ technology and a rapidly degradable fibrin-based hydrogel. This work is in collaboration with Prof Jim Funderburgh from University of Pittsburgh.

E-mail ana.pinho.14@ucl.ac.uk

Carla Sanchez Martinez

  • In vitro modelling of the aniridic cornea

This project focuses on understanding the biology behind aniridia related keratopathy, a condition affecting the ocular surface in patients with aniridia. Aniridia is a progressive eye disorder caused by a haploinsufficiency of the PAX6 transcription factor, for which there is no effective treatment. By culturing human corneal aniridic cells and making in vitro models of the aniridic cornea, the final goal is to assess the impact of PAX6 on corneal cells and their interactions during homeostasis and disease.

E-mail carla.martinez.14@ucl.ac.uk

Ashkon Seyed-Safi

  • The role of soluble niche factors in limbal stem cell activation

One component of the stem cell niche is the array of soluble factors that regulate stem cell fate. This project aims to develop an ex vivo porcine cornea wounding model to investigate the limbal response to epithelial damage and the role that Wnt signalling and associated signalling pathways might play in the activation and recruitment of limbal stem cells to the regenerative response. This work will contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of the limbal stem cell niche and the regulatory networks that might be targeted to enhance limbal stem cell therapy. 

E-mail ashkon.seyed-safi.16@ucl.ac.uk




Clinical team

Isabel Uwagboe Research Assistant

Michael Neale PhD

Anthony Lodge PhD

Research team

Alvena Kureshi PhD

Isobel Massie PhD

Hannah Levis PhD

Sarah Dale PhD 

Anna O'Callaghan PhD

Stefan Schrader PhD

Genevieve Secker PhD

Maria Notara PhD

Valerie Saw PhD

Lois Evans Research assistant

Nuria Genicio Research assistant

Anna Peters Research assistant

Johannes Menzel-Severing MSc

Dev Mukhey MSc

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