UCL News


Dr Chris Mason appointed to UK National Stem Cell Network Steering Committee

18 December 2006

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Dr Chris Mason, Head of the Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Bioprocessing Unit in the UCL Advanced Centre for Biochemical Engineering, has been appointed to the first Steering Committee of the UK National Stem Cell Network (UKNSCN).

The UKNSCN, which will be formally launched in early 2007, will aim to coordinate existing stem cell research activities in the UK. Through sharing of expertise and technology it will become the focal point for communication about stem cell research to the public and industry. The Network will be the national voice of stem cell science to policymakers, as well the main initial point of contact for overseas researchers. It will also work to promote the uptake and use of stem cells by scientific, business and medical communities.

Under the chairmanship of Lord Naren Patel of Dunkeld, Professor and Consultant at the University of Dundee, the eight-person Steering Committee's role will be to direct the early operation of the Network, which has been set up following the recommendations of the 2005 UK Stem Cell Initiative Report by Sir John Pattison.

Members were appointed on the basis of nominations from members of the UK research community, together with important considerations of specific scientific expertise in certain types of stem cell, and UK geographic representation.

Lord Patel said: "When it launches next year, the UK National Stem Cell Network will coordinate the UK scientific effort in stem cell science. I am pleased to welcome the experienced and respected scientists who have been appointed to the Steering Committee by their peers in the UK stem cell community. Their expertise and skills will be crucial to the success of the network in its early years."

On his appointment, Dr Mason commented: "My goals within the Steering Committee will include ensuring that the Network creates and maintains the necessary bridges between basic research and translation, whether it be in the university or company sector. It seems important in an area so demanding of research linkage for translation, that the UK has a joined up policy that can bring together all the relevant stakeholders in order to create a successful and sustainable UK stem cell and regenerative medicine industry."

Image: Dr Chris Mason