UCL Division of Surgery and Interventional Science

Prof Gavin Jell

Prof Gavin Jell

Professor of Nanotechnology & Regenerative Medicine

Department of Surgical Biotechnology

Div of Surgery & Interventional Sci

Joined UCL
1st Sep 2009

Research summary

My research is focused on understanding how materials interact within biological environments, in order to create "better" biomaterials; materials that have reduced failure rates and have increased functionality (e.g. promote regeneration). Current areas of research include:

1. Nanomedicine. Understanding how nanoparticle physicochemical properties change biological interactions in different biological environments. 

2. Bone tissue engineering. Over 20 high impact publication including Nature Materials.

3. Bioactive glass. Understanding how ions released from bioactive glasses affect bone formation and remodelling, to creating new bioactive glasses with therapeutic ion release

4. Materials for Diabetic and Chronic wound healing.

5. The role of hypoxia and HIF in tissue regeneration and cell survival. 

6. Understanding why biomaterials fail

I’ve published ~50 papers on these topics in leading international journals (e.g. Nature Materials) with an average citation/article of 40. My success has been recognised globally with international research collaborations (I was appointed Associate Prof. Biomaterials at Nagoya Institute of Technology (NIT) in 2015),  invited talks/keynote at international conferences (Hosted/Chaired BSNM 2018). My views on medical research have been solicited and reported in national newspapers/broadcasters (e.g. Daily MailCrowd science).

Teaching summary

  • Programme lead for the MSc in Nanotechnology & Regenerative Medicine (~250 graduates). 

  • Course founder and Director for the BSc/MSci in Medical Innovation & Enterprise

  • Course Director for the iBSc in Surgical Science

  • Education Lead (Division of Surgery)

  • Module Lead 1) Applied Tissue engineering (PG), 2) Tissue Engineering & Regenerative Medicine, 3) MSc Research Projects, 4) Medical Innovation & enterprise.

  • Lecture topics include; Nanotechnology, nanotoxicity, stem cells, bioceramics, bone tissue engineering, tissue scaffold design, tissue engineering, biomaterial failure, cell culture, cell-material interactions, angiogenesis, hypoxia, medical innovations, critical analysis of research and growing whole organs.

  • Module Development: Created modules in Applied Biomaterials, Transplantation Science, Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine, Medical Innovation and Enterprise (level I,II & II), Materials in Science

  • Course Development: As Divisional Graduate tutor I oversaw the creation and development of 8 new courses (4 MSc’s, 3 BSc’s, 1 intercalated BSc) and relaunched the iBSc in Surgical Science.  I helped create an innovate cross Medical Faculty MSc/MRes programme (Human Tissue Repair) and enabled the integration of Division of Surgery teaching with Faculty UG courses.

  • Divisional Post Graduate Teaching Assistant (PGTA) Coordinator


Queen Mary College, University of London
Doctorate, Doctor of Philosophy | 2004
University of Wales, Bangor
Other higher degree, Master of Science | 1998


An interdisciplinary scientist interested in the material – biological interactions. He completed a PhD (at UCL as part of the Queen Mary IRC in Biomedical Materials) looking at the causes of aseptic loosening of  orthopaedic implants. Using this knowledge on cell-material interactions Gavin was recruited by Prof. Larry Hench at Imperial College London investigating the use of bioactive glass for regenerative medicine. It was during this time that Gavin developed an interest in regenerative medicine and the multidisciplinary characterisation of tissue engineered constructs.

Gavin joined Prof. Molly Stevens group (Imperial College London) in 2005 to continue research on tissue engineering, publishing on a variety of topics including stem cells, tissue engineering (including the creation of  HIF stabilising materials) and nanoparticle material-biological interactions. He returned to UCL in 2009 to lead a new MSc in Nanotechnology and Regenerative Medicine and was appointed as an Lecturer at UCL in 2013 and Associate Professor in 2016.