“As a global leader in regenerative medicine as well as basic, applied, and clinical research and medical technology, Scotland’s strengths can be attributed not only to its scientific expertise and heritage, but also the willingness of public, private, and academic communities to innovate life sciences together,” said Rhona Allison, senior director, Life Sciences, Scottish Enterprise, which, along with Scottish Development International, supports the growth of Scotland’s businesses and economy, as well as new investment into Scotland.
For example, a team of scientists led by the University of Edinburgh’s Sir Ian Wilmut and Professor Siddharthan Chandran are studying potential cell-replacement therapies for motor neuron disease (MND), an incredibly debilitating and deadly condition with no cure or effective treatment. In partnership with King’s College London and Columbia University in New York, scientists at the MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine are growing nerve cells that can cause MND in order to study the biology of the disease and screen potential drugs.
Finally, as an example of Scotland’s broad-based approach to regenerative medicine, Scotlands’ National Blood Transfusion Service is heading up a $4.5 million project to generate GMP-grade red blood cells from human embryonic stem cells, with the hopes these manufactured blood cells will meet the growing need for healthy blood for transfusions.
Clearly, a new century of discovery and progress is under way in Scotland, building on a scientific tradition—centuries in the making—where collaboration and innovation are both valued and thriving.