Advisory Board

Dr. Nico Forraz

The Daily Mail article British scientists grow human liver in a laboratory said

British scientists have grown the world’s first artificial liver from stem cells created from blood taken from babies’ umbilical cords in a breakthrough that will one day provide entire organs for transplant.
Already used to treat leukaemia, more than 11,000 British parents have so far chosen to freeze their children’s cord blood in a dozen such banks around the UK.
Coresearcher Dr Nico Forraz said: “Our dream is that every metropolitan city would have such a bank.
“If you could type the blood, all you would have to do is dial it up on your computer and fly it from Bristol to Newcastle or even Newcastle to Kuala Lumpur.”

Illustration courtesy Daily Mail

Nico Forraz, B.Sc. (Hons), Ph.D. is Clinical Sciences Business Manager and Senior Research Associate at the Centre for Cord Blood, School of Clinical and Laboratory Sciences, Faculty of Medical Sciences, North East England Stem Cell Institute, Newcastle University.
Nico earned a Diploma in Chemistry and Biochemistry in 1996 at the University of Lyon, France. He further graduated from Kingston University in London, UK with a BSc in Biomedical Sciences with First Class Honors in 1998.
He completed his PhD in 2003 at Kingston University and St George’s Hospital Medical School, University of London, UK. Under the mentorship of Professor Colin McGuckin, he investigated the Multi-Tissue Differentiation Potential of Umbilical Cord Blood Stem Cell Populations with applications to Haematology, Oncology, Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine. From 2003 to 2004, Nico carried out a postdoctoral research project at St George’s Hospital Medical School, London, UK, Department of Basic Medical Sciences, on the intrinsic genetic regulation of Umbilical Cord Blood Stem Cell and Malignant Cell development by the HOX transcription factor family.
In 2004–2005, Nico worked as a Senior Researcher in the Stem Cell Therapy Programme directed by Professor McGuckin at Kingston University. In 2004–2005, he was funded by the British Department of Trade and Industry to promote research links and business activities in the field of Regenerative Medicine, Tissue Bio-Engineering, Space Medicine and Oncology with Research Institutions in Texas, USA.
He has worked in the field of Stem Cell research since 1999 and was recently appointed as a Senior Research Associate in Professor McGuckin’s Regenerative Medicine research group; the world’s first to characterize a harvesting and culture strategy to produce Embryonic Stem Cells from Umbilical Cord Blood to develop innovative clinical applications from Umbilical Cord Blood for Tissue Engineering, Cellular Therapies and Regenerative Medicine.
Nico is also the Clinical Sciences Business Manager for Professor McGuckin’s research group coordinating collaborations between with several Biotechnology Corporations internationally for product research and development and quality control. He received the Creative Pioneer Programme award in 2006, for his joint work with Professor McGuckin, by the British National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA) providing Business Development support and training for commercialization.
He and Professor McGuckin are cofounders and directors of ConoStem Ltd., a biotechnology company developing 3-dimensional human tissue constructs from cord blood stem cells to advance drug discovery and clinical applications. ConoStem won the North East Universities Science and Technology Blueprint Business Plan Award 2006.
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