UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health


Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health


UCL GOS ICH and Great Ormond Street Hospital recruit new Professor of Stem Cell Biology

GOSH and UCLH prepare to launch first service to provide fetal surgery for spina bifida in UK

8 March 2018


Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity has established a new chair of Stem Cell Biology and are delighted that Rick Livesey, has been appointed to the post by the UCL Great Ormond Street Hospital Institute of Child Health (ICH).

This Chair was established as part of the Charity's £50 million research strategy launched in 2016 to drive pioneering discoveries from lab bench to patient bedside. It will form part of the excellent scientific, clinical and translational research activity at ICH, which is focused on rare and complex diseases in young children. The funding available by the charity, together with the support of GOSH, ICH and UCL, means that Professor Livesey will be uniquely positioned to achieve a step-change in the care and treatment of children with rare conditions.

Professor Rick Livesey will join the Institute's world-class stem cell research programme, providing senior leadership to drive and expand stem cell research to reflect the range of rare and complex diseases that doctors at GOSH see every day. This research could lead to a greater understanding of paediatric diseases and new ways to treat them - from saving a child's sight to growing tailor-made organs for transplant, their potential is limitless.

Professor Rick Livesey joins from the University of Cambridge, where he was a Senior Group Leader at the Wellcome Trust Cancer Research UK Gurdon Institute. His work focuses on the development, evolution and degeneration of the brain and he is also a world-leading expert on induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), where cells from blood, skin and other tissues can be transformed into stem cells, which can then be turned into almost any cell in the body, including nerve cells.

Professor Rosalind Smyth, Director of the UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health said: "Stem Cell Biology is a rapidly evolving field which is leading to important breakthroughs in the understanding of rare diseases and development of treatments. The appointment of Rick Livesey, an academic with the international standing in this field, will enable us to drive the discovery science and translate this into new treatments for children with these conditions."

Dr Rick Livesey said: "My research team and I are excited by the opportunity to contribute to GOSH's mission. These are exciting times for translational research at GOSH, and we are very much looking forward to working together with everyone at GOSH, UCL and the ICH to help advance children's health."

Kiki Syrad, Director of Grants and Impact at Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity said "For many children treated at GOSH, research is their only hope. Thanks to our generous supporters GOSH Charity is the largest dedicated funder of paediatric research in the UK, investing funds to help discover new treatments and cures for children with complex and rare conditions at GOSH and across the UK. We're hugely excited that the work of Professor Livesey and his team could unlock treatments for many childhood diseases"

Professor Livesey will be based in the Zayed Centre for Research into Rare Disease in Children, benefiting greatly from the brand new facilities due to open late this year.

Dr Livesey will take up his post in June 2018.

For media enquiries, please contact:

Ruth Maurice Tel: 0207 239 3125 Email: ruth.maurice@GOSH.org


Notes to Editor


About Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust

Great Ormond Street Hospital is one of the world's leading children's hospitals with the broadest range of dedicated, children's healthcare specialists under one roof in the UK. The hospital's pioneering research and treatment gives hope to children from across the UK with the rarest, most complex and often life-threatening conditions. Our patients and families are central to everything we do - from the moment they come through the door and for as long as they need us.

About Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity

Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity needs to raise money to support the hospital to give children who need help the most, the best chance for life. The charity funds research into pioneering new treatments for children, provides the most up to date medical equipment, funds support services for children and their families and supports the essential rebuilding and refurbishment of the hospital. You can help us to provide world class care for our patients and families. For more information visit www.gosh.org

About the UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health (ICH)
The UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health is part of the Faculty of Population Health Sciences within the School of Life and Medical Sciences at UCL. Together with its clinical partner Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children (GOSH), it forms the largest concentration of children's health research in Europe.
For more information visit www.ucl.ac.uk/ich

About The Zayed Centre for Research into Rare Disease in Children

The Zayed Centre for Research into Rare Disease in Children will be the world's first purpose built centre dedicated to paediatric research into rare diseases and is a partnership between Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH), University College London (UCL) and Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity, facilitated by a generous donation from Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak.

The new centre will bring hundreds of clinicians and researchers together under one roof and will be a dedicated centre of excellence that will allow Great Ormond Street Hospital to further our position as world leaders in developing new therapies for children with rare diseases.

The Zayed Centre for Research will create an outstanding environment for innovative, patient focused research, building on the research facilities already at the hospital. Outpatient services at the centre will enable research to be delivered directly from the lab bench to patient bedsides.