In 2008 the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) realised the need to support capacity in the rapidly growing sector of regenerative medicine and so funded the Loughborough-Nottingham-Keele Centre for Doctoral Training (DTC) in 2010. Now, jointly funded by the EPSRC and Medical Research Council (MRC), the programme has been rebranded the Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT).
The CDT’s aim is to provide training to new professionals in the core scientific and translational skills needed to drive the regenerative medicine industry and with an intake of approximately 10 PhD studentships per year, it attracts a diverse cohort of chemical engineers, computer network engineers, physicists and chemists. It is this interdisciplinarity that underpins the centres vision to tackle the field of regenerative medicine, from different perspectives.
Regenerative medicine is a relatively new field, covering a wide range of therapies and technologies designed to re-establish function in damaged or diseased tissues, such as bone, nerves and skin. With our aging population the delivery of next generation healthcare is a government priority; addressing debilitating conditions such as heart and neurological diseases and arthritis.
The CDT has received a total government investment of over £500m and a further £450m from University and industry collaborations, which includes a recent £3.5million joint award by the EPSRC and the Medical Research Council (MRC). This funding has established a successful research community in the Midlands area and as such received significant interest across the private and public sector.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne MP, said, “Our £500 million investment in Centres for Doctoral training will inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers, ensuring Britain leads the world in high-tech research and manufacturing.”
Keele University’s Institute for Science and Technology in Medicine (ISTM) is part of this research community and provides the clinical and translational arm to the CDT programmes; increasing focus on the clinical need and application of new technologies, positively impacting on the way regenerative therapies are delivered.
To date, the CDT has delivered six PhD cohorts trained in the core scientific and translational skills needed to deliver world-class research and serves as a flagship of research activity for the ISTM and Keele University.