CeMi news, events

Anglo-Thai Society Educational Award

“Sawasdee khrap”, I’m Wich, I’m currently a member of staff of the department of Orthopedics, Faculty of medicine, Prince of Songkla University (PSU), Thailand, and I’m studying for a PhD at the Centre for Cellular Microenvironment (CEMI), Institute for Molecular, Cell and Systems Biology (ICMSB), University of Glasgow. 

Recently, I attended the Anglo-Thai Society Educational Award ceremony at the Oriental Club, London on 16thNovember 2018. The Educational Awards 2018 aims to acknowledge the achievement and excellence of Thai students carrying out research at British universities. This year, I was very lucky in achieving this award. I am honored to be selected for a winner in medical science and would like to thank the Anglo-Thai Society and Thai Business development for generously providing this award. 

I would like to thank the Thai Government and Faculty of Medicine, Prince of Songkla University, Thailand for giving me the opportunity to study at the University of Glasgow. I am sincerely grateful to Professor Matthew Dalby and Dr. Monica Tsimbouri for their great supervision and support. I respectfully thank to Asst Prof. Kanyika Chamniprasas and PSU orthopedic staff for their support during my training to become an orthopedic. I also would like to thank and recognize the support of all my colleagues in the CeMi (Carol-Anne, Ewan, Tom, Virginia, Peter C, Paul C, Shaun), IBME(PSU), Dr. Somyot Chirasatitsin, my family and many people who had ever helped me. 

The ceremony was gorgeous. We enjoyed the yummy international cocktail food, Thai beer, champagne, etc. I was so impressed to see my supervisor (Dr. Monica) in a new look (not lab coat and pipettes). 

We are collaborating with Prof. Stuart Reid, University of Strathclyde, and are developing a bioreactor to drive stem cells for bone tissue engineering using the nanoscale vibration (Nanokicking Bioreactor). My PhD thesis focuses on developing collagen hydrogel-sponge composite seeded with human stem cells which can be delivered to clinics in a handleable manner, suitable for surgery as well as allow nanovibrational stimulation to grow bone cells. I am also investigating biological mechanisms of nanovibration related to free radical signaling for further understanding of the stimulation effects.

Working in the CeMi, has vibrated my mind (underneath the tone between B and C note at 6thoctave; we are stimulating our cells with 1000 Hz). This allowed me to immerse myself into the mechano-biology among the jazzy improvisation of scientists. This harmony sparkled and triggered my cellular pathways ideas. Thank you so much for allowing me to live in this home (really home!).






Glasgow Orthopaedic Research Initiative – miniGLORI 2018

Further to the GLORI meeting organised back in February 2018 Dr Penelope M Tsimbouri has organised a smaller and vibrant “miniGLORI” involving people working on bone marrow related projects and more. Please RSVP with Dr Tsimbouri if you plan to attend. Hold the date for miniGLORI 2018!
When: Friday 23rd of November, 1:30-4:30pm.
Venue: room 526 James Watt South Building, University of Glasgow.

GLORI was founded in 2009 by MD Mr Dominic Meek and Prof Matt Dalby to encourage collaboration towards clinical translation of research, with a focus on next-generation orthopaedic care. It combines expertise from orthopaedic surgeons, biologists, engineers and chemists from Glasgow and Strathclyde Universities.

Agenda for miniGLORI2018 here in printable pdf format

Session 1
13:30 Prof Matt Dalby/Prof Manuel Salmeron-Sanchez/Mr Dominic Meek: “Introduction”
13:35 Virginia Llopis-Hernandez: social media @theglasgowcemi
13:40 Ian Kennedy: “Nanoscale vibrations to modulate osteogenesis”
13:55 Sara Trujillo Muñoz: “Fibronectin hydrogels for the vascularisation of bone”
14:10 Tom Hodgkinson: “Identification and in vitro screening of osteogenic metabolites through supplement-free nanovibration-driven mesenchymal stem cell differentiation”
14:25 Oana Dobre: “Hybrid Laminin-based hydrogels for efficient presentation of growth factors”

14:40 -15:10 Break

Session 2
15:10 Hannah Donnelly: “Synergistic integrin-growth factor microenvironments to bioengineer the bone marrow niche”
15:25 William Marshall: “Fracture non-union in dogs and cats: engineering a solution”
15:40 Katie Douglas: “Investigating dormancy and awakening of pancreatic cancer using tunable 3D hydrogels”
15:55 Jake Cason: “Investigating cancer cell dormancy and recurrence in the bone marrow niche”
16:10 Discussion
16:30 End of meeting

events, Uncategorized

Shortlisted! THE Awards 2018, Research Project of the Year: STEM category

We have been shortlisted for the Times Higher Education Awards 2018 with our FABW funded project for bone repair technologies. We are in the Research Project of the Year: STEM category. The award ceremony is scheduled for the 29th of November in London.

More details about the shortlisting and the project in this blog post in our funder’s website.

Follow the story in Twitter too!


Curiosity Live weekend at the Glasgow Science Festival

What a thrilling experience this weekend at the Glasgow Science Center. It feels so great and cool to explain our work to people from all backgrounds and ages. Over this weekend we’ve seen many groups of kids and also parents and seniors. I start my pitch and look at their faces to adapt and make it simpler or go into further details. I talk about our work with bone regeneration technologies, new materials and understanding of stem cell biology. It’s amazing how much all people are interested and fascinated by science.

Kids loved anything that can be touched, like our jelly experiments to test different stiffness of gels and our mystery box of hard and soft tissues. Kids and adults alike lit up when looking through the microscopes. We looked at samples of a bone chip and a 3D printed synthetic material mimicking the natural bone scaffold structure. We had stem cells that had been previously prepared in our labs to be differentiated to bone, muscle or fat cells, showing their different morphologies and features of the cells. Most adults that stopped and engaged with any of us stayed for the whole pack of talks and stations that we have prepared. Some kids and adults are not immediately interested or understand what we are talking about, and those challenges become also a very rewarding experience and a great test for our knowledge of the matter at hand.

We’ve had for a few weeks a team at CeMi creating all the materials and activities at our stall. Most of it has been nothing super fancy, although it took quite some time and thinking to prepare, like gelatin gels with a range of stiffness, plastic 3D printed pieces for models, and posters and videos for the stall screens, all incredibly useful to help with talks and conversations. It has been very motivating to see how much people have enjoyed just talking to us. We looked really nice and sharp with our new polo shirts with the CeMi logo!

The Curiosity Live event at the Glasgow Science Centre ran 15th – 17th June as part of the Glasgow Science Festival 2018, with researchers on hand to celebrate and share their exciting research with visitors.

This post was written by Andres Alba-Perez from notes by Cristina Gonzalez-Garcia.


lifETIME CDT bid to full proposal stage & Industry Day June 2018

Update February 2019 – The lifETIME proposal has been successful and is recruiting PhD students. Check the lifETIME CDT website here for full details.


We heard last week that we have progressed to the full proposal stage with lifETIME, our Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) bid that focuses on engineered tissues, in vitro models, for discovery and research. This is really exciting for us and means that we have just under two months to define how to better shape the UK landscape in non-animal technologies.
For this we have been recruiting industry input and we have organised an ‘Industry Day’ next Wednesday 13th of June, with a truly interesting agenda and a very good representation of the industry in the field. The agenda can be seen at https://glasgow.thecemi.org/events/#iday. Email us here if you plan to attend.
More about CDTs and about lifETIME
CDTs are large training initiatives and one of the main funding tools of the EPSRC for doctoral training. A CDT can usually support 50 to 80 studentships over 8-9 years. In our CDT the training will take place across the universities of Glasgow, Birmingham, Aston, and Galway.
lifETIME: Engineered Tissues for Discovery, Industry and Medicine

The UK is a world leader in the development of new medicines. In recent years, however, there has been a drop in the number of drugs that make the transition to clinical and commercial benefit. Many new drugs fail to make it through initial pre-clinical screens into trials. The high attrition rates of drug candidates suggest that present in vitro models (cell cultures) and in vivo models (animals) used to screen drugs are poor predictors of whether a drug really works. Thus, there is a move towards the development of non-animal technologies (NATs) closer to human physiology and more likely to predict efficacy. These include engineered systems comprising human cells placed in environments similar to those that may be encountered in the body, created using a range of advanced structuring methodologies including 3D printing, electrospinning, amongst others. These may be placed in bioreactor systems that may simulate the in vivo environment, by providing compression, vibration, stretch or local flows, which may be modified with microfluidic systems. The response of these “tissues” to candidate molecules can then be assessed in real-time using a range of analyses (microscopy and mass spectrometry).The development of the above technologies is driven by engineers, but few are able to work across disciplinary boundaries. At present, the UK lacks a critical mass of such engineers and so we import talent from abroad. This CDT will train engineers in the skills needed to work with life scientists and clinicians and to develop NATS to screen drug cadidates. This will not only provide the skills needed to provide home-grown talent in this area, but also maintain the UK’s position as a global leader in medicines development that will sustain the UK economy.

Our academic centres are well aligned in terms of research interest. We all focus on fabrication of novel materials for use in the body (biomaterials), lab-on-chip technologies (these are miniature labs where screening can rapidly take place) and tissue engineering (mixing cells with materials to make ‘off the shelf’ tissues). However, each institute focusses on a different technology readiness stage. Glasgow focusses on fundamental materials and their interactions with cells, Birmingham on taking novel materials into real world and Aston on industrial implementation of these technologies. Together with our club of industrial partners and our strong links to clinic, we can offer unprecedented, world-class, training in NAT development with industrial delivery. We will look after the students as year (and cross year) cohorts. We will provide teaching, activities and hands-on training in interdisciplinary science, responsible research and ethics, impact and translation and user engagement. The students will be regularly brought together for this training. This is essential to help the students become the interdisciplinary experts with strong community links that the UK economy is demanding.

The full list of CDT proposals that made it to the final stage can be accessed here.