The increasing need of livers for transplantation combined with the ongoing shortage has focused attention to cell based therapies to support and regenerate liver function. Pluripotent stem cells provide an alternate, unlimited source of somatic cells for clinical application.
Our work focuses on deriving hepatic progenitors and hepatocytes from embryonic stem (ES) cells. These can be generated under GMP conditions and using a serum free, defined procedure, differentiated to hepatic progenitor cells, and to functional hepatocytes. Recently this protocol has been translated onto laminins, making the whole process GMP translatable. Furthermore, differentiation on laminins 521 and 111 produces more mature, functional hepatcoytes.
Dr Cameron is currently involved in a UK wide project on regenerative medicine (UKRMP) developing stem cell derived hepatocytes for liver repair.
Kate works in the lab of Dr David Hay who is performing pioneering work within liver cell physiology and differentiation of drug-inducible hepatocytes from human ES and iPS cells. Dave´s team are developing reliable methods for growing liver cells and are an important part of the global efforts to set new golden standards for cultivation of hepatocytes. Please see some of the recently published papers from Kate and Dave here.
Dr Cameron carried out her PhD at the University of Edinburgh, studying the effects of calcium phosphate based substrates on mesenchymal stem cell differentiation and new bone formation. Since completing her PhD she continues to work in Edinburgh at the Scottish Centre for Regenerative Medicine.