Project Team

  • Prof Manuel Salmeron-Sanchez

    HEALIKICK Coordinator and Chair of Biomedical Engineering


    Manuel is an ERC investigator, a UK EPSRC Programme Grant holder on advanced functional materials and has been awarded two ERC Proof of Concept Grants (2015 & 2018). He also leads a translational grant funded by the charity Find a Better Way to move towards and carry out first-human trial of an umbilical cord-MSC therapy for bone repair to help landmine survivors. His work is recognised globally for the engineering of synergistic growth factor cellular microenvironments. He is the Chair of Biomedical Engineering at UGLA and co-Director of the Centre for the Cellular Microenvironment, leading a large multidisciplinary group with >20 PhD students/postdocs. He was visiting Professor in Georgia Tech (Atlanta, USA) and Full Professor in Valencia, Spain, before moving to Glasgow in 2013. He has filed three patents and has authored over 150 papers (h-index 40, > 6000 cites) in major international journals including PNAS, Science Advances, Advanced Materials, ACS Nano and Biomaterials and a review in Nature Reviews Materials focussed on growth factor and physical approaches to cell engineering.

    Prof Matthew Dalby

    Professor of Cell Engineering


    Obtaining a PhD in Biomedical Materials from Queen Mary, University of London on osteoblast response to the topography and composition of hydroxyapatite containing composite materials, Matt moved to Glasgow to join Cell Engineering as a PDRA on EU grant Nanomed. Here he researched how cells interacted with nanoscale features producing early literature on cellular ability to respond to nanotopography. During this time he became focussed on dissecting how cells processed nanoscale information through mechanotransductive processes. Together, these interests in bone, nanotopography and mechanotransduction led me to apply for a BBSRC David Phillips Fellowship in 2003. During this fellowship he focussed on how mesenchymal stem cells were directed to differentiate and to self-renew by nanotopography and this led to a lectureship in Cell Engineering  in 2008. Now, as Professor of Cell Engineering, he am still fascinated by the nanoscale and mechanotransductive processes, but his interests have broadened to include metabolomics-based research and a growing interest in how growth factors can be controlled at the nanoscale to direct stem cell fate.

    Dr Cristina Gonzalez Garcia

    Lecturer in Biomedical Engineering


    Cristina is Lecturer at the University of Glasgow since September 2016, with decisive work on the role of proteins in cell-material interactions, protein conformation and distribution at the material interface by Atomic Force Microscopy. She has published more than 20 papers in international peer-reviewed journals with landmark papers published in Science Advances and Biomaterials (h-index 14). She completed a degree as Chemical Engineer in 2008 at the Universitat Politècnica de València (Spain) and was thereafter awarded a national four-year fellowship. Her PhD work received a best thesis of the year award at the Universitat Politècnica de València in 2012, and the Julia Polak European Doctorate Award by the European Society for Biomaterials in 2015. In 2012, she was awarded a postdoctoral International Outgoing Marie Curie Fellowship to explore microfluidics-based technologies for the control of protein delivery during processes of tissue regeneration and evaluate osseointegration, tissue regeneration and vascularization with several pre-clinical animal models, at the Georgia Institute of Technology in the USA (Prof Andres Garcia) and at the University of Glasgow in the UK. She has currently got a EPSRC New Investigator Award grant to develop new bioactive macro/micro hydrogels for growth factor delivery to promote tissue regeneration.

    Dr Begoña Castro

    Chief Scientific Officer


    Begoña is a Founding Partner of Histocell SL in 2004, with extensive experience in the development of prototypes associated with tissue engineering. Dr Castro is currently the CSO of Histocell, responsible for the conduct of R&D projects in development, opening new lines of research, organizing the research staff of the company, managing patent generation and leading Histocell relationship with the pharmaceutical industry, collaborating in various projects in the field of regenerative medicine (cell therapy and tissue engineering biomaterials).

    Dr Diana Martínez

    Senior researcher


    Since 2010, Diana has worked in the R&D Department of Histocell, S.L., as a researcher. She has wide experience on Cell Biology/Therapy, mainly in mesenchymal stem cells and has worked in several lines of regenerative medicine for bone and lung regeneration; conducting in vitro and in vivo efficacy and safety studies; translation of research products of R&D to GMP production area. She is in charge of managing HEALIKICK technical and scientific issues in Histocell.

    Dr Eva González

    R&D Manager


    For the last 15 years Eva has worked on the management of National and European collaborative projects of FPVI, FPVII and Horizon 2020 programs, leading the administrative, IPR, exploitation and dissemination tasks. Administrative and Relationship contact for HEALIKICK project.

    Dr Itxaso Gartzia

    Cell Therapy Production Manager


    Since 2008, Itxaso has worked as a researcher in the R&D Department of Histocell. Responsible of the Clean Room Production Area since 2016, she is on charge of manufacturing cell therapy medicinal products in sterile conditions. She coordinates, monitors and, if necessary, performs all operations involved in the production and manufacturing of cell therapy, in compliance with GMP requirements.

    Jone Herrero

    Quality Assurance Manager


    Since 2010 Jone has been the Deputy Qualified Person, responsible for overseeing the GMP manufacture of products, management quality system QMS and general laboratory processes, ensuring coordination between all departments involved in the GMP manufacturing process. During the last 10 years, she has been in charge of the manufacturing and control of medicinal products for advanced therapies based on Mesenchymal Stem Cells and Chondrocytes included in 9 clinical trials. Furthermore, she has extensive experience in cell cultures and aseptic processes.

    Prof Stuart Reid

    Royal Society Industry Fellow and Head of Biomedical Engineering


    Stuart is a Royal Society Industry Fellow and Head of Biomedical Engineering at UoS, leading a multidisciplinary team working across astrophysics and stem cell research.  He has spent the last 18 years developing technology for gravitational wave detectors, and is co-inventor of ‘nanokicking’, to control the behaviour of adult stem cells. Reid’s lab pioneered the first high-energy ECR ion beam deposition process for manufacturing optical coatings, holding the world-record in low IR absorption sputtered amorphous silicon. Reid was awarded the RSE Presidents Medal (2016), RS Wolfson Research Award (2017), is the elected co-chair of Optics for both the LIGO Scientific Collaboration and the Einstein Telescope project, and has an h-Index >100.

    Dr Peter Childs

    Chancellor’s Fellow


    Peter is a Chancellor’s Fellow and previously a Royal Society of Edinburgh Enterprise Fellow having worked on the Nanaokick project since his PhD. His research interests include the control of cell function/fate through applied mechanical stimulation and clinical/commercial translation of cell engineering technologies.

    Dr Amaia Cipitria

    Ikerbasque Research Associate and Head of Bioengineering in Regeneration and Cancer Group


    Amaia got her Ph.D. in Materials Science and Metallurgy at the University of Cambridge, UK, in 2008. She worked as a postdoctoral researcher at Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia, and at the Charité University Hospital Berlin, Germany. As senior scientist at the Charité, she investigated the effect of biomaterial physical properties on cell response and in vivo bone regeneration, using advanced materials characterization techniques. In 2017, she received an Emmy Noether Independent Junior Research Group Leader grant by the German Research Foundation, and moved to the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces as leader of the independent research group “Extracellular Matrix in Disease and Regeneration”. In 2021, she returned to Spain as an Ikerbasque Research Associate at Biodonostia Health Research Institute to start the new research group „Bioengineering in Regeneration and Cancer“. Her current research aims to understand how biophysical and biochemical properties of native extracellular matrix and synthetic biomaterials guide cell response in tissue regeneration, cancer dormancy and bone metastasis

    Dr Froilán Granero-Moltó

    Director Experimental Orthopaedics Laboratory


    Froilán’s laboratory has interest in the development of cellular, biological and tissue engineering therapies for the treatment of musculoskeletal diseases. In addition, they are interested in the development of animal models of disease to validate these strategies.

    UNAV profile


    Gloria Abizanda



    Gloria is an experienced veterinarian with more than 10 years in the field of cardiovascular and musculoskeletal field developing models of disease in large animals (sheep, pig) and rodents.

    Juan Antonio Romero-Torrecilla

    PhD student


    Juan Antonio works in the optimization of polymeric scaffolds for the delivery of biological and cellular therapies for the regeneration of osteochondral tissues.

    Purificación Ripalda-Cemborain



    Purificación has more than 20 years of experience in histology and immunohistology, especially in the field of musculoskeletal tissues.

    Prof Andrés J. García

    Executive Director & Regents’ Professor

    Healikick Advisory Board member

    Andrés J. García is the Executive Director of the Petit Institute for Bioengineering and Bioscience and Regents’ Professor at Woodruff School in the Georgia Institute of Technology. Dr. García’s research program integrates innovative engineering, materials science, and cell biology concepts and technologies to create cell-instructive biomaterials for regenerative medicine and generate new knowledge in mechanobiology. This cross-disciplinary effort has resulted in new biomaterial platforms that elicit targeted cellular responses and tissue repair in various biomedical applications, innovative technologies to study and exploit cell adhesive interactions, and new mechanistic insights into the interplay of mechanics and cell biology. In addition, his research has generated intellectual property and licensing agreements with start-up and multi-national companies. He is a co-founder of 3 start-up companies (CellectCell, CorAmi Therapeutics, iTolerance).

    Georgia Institute of Technology

    Prof Andrew Hart

    Consultant Hand Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon and Honorary Professor

    Healikick Advisory Board member

    Canniesburn Plastic Surgery Unit, Glasgow Rosalie Infirmary; Scottish National Brachial Plexus Service; CMVLS, The University of Glasgow

    A Glasgow graduate, Professor Hart trained in Canniesburn, Manchester, London, and Leeds (British Society for Surgery of the Hand accredited interface training). He received an MD (Honours) for peripheral nerve and tissue engineering research, which was further advanced during a PhD from Umeå University, Sweden. As trainees association president he was invited onto BAPRAS Council, and remains in the strategy group.

    After working in Auckland he is now a Consultant Plastic and Hand Surgeon at the renowned Canniesburn Plastic Surgery Unit in Glasgow, and in the Scottish Brachial Plexus Service.  Maintaining scientific activity he is Deputy Editor of JPRAS, Europe’s leading reconstructive and aesthetic surgical journal, and an Honorary Senior Research Associate in Umeå and Glasgow Universities. Publications include medical and medicolegal book chapters, invited reviews, and numerous peer-review articles, national and international presentations.

    Ms Julie Kerby

    Managing Director Industrialisation

    Healikick Advisory Board member

    Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult

    Julie has more than 20 years’ experience across large pharma, biotech and academic laboratories, including 7 years at Pfizer Ltd as Biology Lead for a cell replacement therapy for Age Related Macular Degeneration which achieved First-in-Human in 2015.

    Dr. Jing Lim

    Chief Technology Officer, Osteopore International Pte Ltd

    Healikick Advisory Board member


    Dr Stewart White

    Company Director, White Bioconsulting Limited

    Healikick Project Champion

    Dr José María Lamo de Espinosa

    Orthopedic Surgeon, Clínica Universidad de Navarra

    Healikick Project Champion


    Priv.-Doz. Dr. med. Serafeim Tsitsilonis, MSc, PhD

    Senior Managing Orthopaedic Trauma Consultant, Center for Musculoskeletal Surgery, Charité – University Medicine Berlin

    Healikick Project Champion