Dr Lisa Mohamet, a stem cell researcher in the School of Dentistry at The University of Manchester, has been awarded a prestigious Enterprise Fellowship Grant from The Royal Society of Edinburgh and the BBSRC. The Royal Society of Edinburgh is a Fellowship of the world’s most eminent scientists and is the oldest scientific academy in continuous existence.
The one year grant will enable Lisa to develop a business plan to support the commercialisation of her research, and establish a spin-out company over the next twelve months with the help of UMIP, the University’s agent for intellectual property commercialisation. The grant will also provide business training through an industrial mentor, Go Business. Lisa will travel to the Royal Society’s base in Edinburgh once a month to train with her cohort learning about business skills including tax planning, marketing, the role of the CEO and sales.
Lisa’s research on human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) identifies a novel, scalable process that directs differentiation of hPSCs to almost pure populations of neural cells. The use of such cells by large pharmaceutical companies offers the long term potential to improve predictions of early toxicity screening and may reduce costs and inefficiencies associated with late stage failure of clinical trials.
Lisa comments: “To have the recognition and support of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and BBSRC is a great boost to my research into hPSCs. The Enterprise Fellowship will provide me with the means and support to commercialise this research and other pipeline technologies.
This will provide a cost-effective method for the production of stem cell derived-neurons and cardiomyocytes for example, for use in high-throughput drug screening and cellular therapy applications.”
Professor Grahame Bulfield, Convener of the BBSRC / Royal Society of Edinburgh Selection Panel commented: “The competition to receive an Enterprise Fellowship award is fierce and only the very best reach the high standards set for the programme, so it is of considerable credit to Dr Lisa Mohamet that her application was successful.
Stem cell research is clearly a fast moving and exciting area of science and Dr Mohamet has a strong academic background in her research area, but what convinced the panel to make the award is that we see clear potential for the commercialisation of the technology and the ability of Lisa to take it forward. This award of £60,000 over one year should give Lisa every opportunity to advance the commercialisation of her research and also be given training and mentorship in entrepreneurial and business skills. We wish her well.”