Stem cell biology, regenerative medicine and transplantation immunology.
Dr Boyd’s laboratory focuses on the applications of stem cell biology to immunological disease, transplantation and regenerative medicine.
Stem cell research has the potential to revolutionise the clinical armamentarium for debilitating diseases caused by ageing, organ failure and cancer. Dr. Boyd’s research utilises one particular type of stem cells called induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). iPSCs are adult cells (e.g. skin or blood cells) that are ‘reprogrammed’ back to a stem cell state via the introduction of transcription factors responsible for the maintenance of stem cell characteristics.
As iPSCs can in principle produce all tissues in the body, they have the ability to impact treatment of diseases by providing a new source of tissue for transplantation. We have an interest in Type 1 diabetes mellitus (hereafter diabetes) and the utility of iPSC-derived tissue to restore normal insulin production. In addition, we are using iPSCs derived from diabetic patients to dissect and understand the development and immunological pathogenesis of diabetes and, in so doing, to identify potential therapeutic targets.
Other research in the lab includes the examination of immune barriers to utilising pluripotent stem cell derived tissues in transplantation, disease modelling of other immune disorders using patient derived induced pluripotent stem cells, bioengineering skin in regenerative medicine and the creation of artificial blood vessels for use in cardiovascular disease.
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