School of Medicine
  • Print
   
   

Division of Clinical Neuroscience 

Back to Division homepage

Image of Andrew Hopkinson

Andrew Hopkinson

Principal Research Fellow and Research Coordinator, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences

Contact

Biography

Dr Andrew Hopkinson obtained his BSc (Hons) degree in Biomedical Sciences from Nottingham Trent University in 1999. As a result of his successful year in industry at the University of Nottingham during his degree, he was subsequently invited to join the Division of Ophthalmology at the University of Nottingham. Dr Hopkinson attained in PhD in 2005 under the Supervision of Professor Harminder Dua and Dr Paddy Tighe. Following this, he exploited the opportunity to remain in the Division of Ophthalmology to expand his research across several new avenues, raising the Division's research profile. This led to his promotion in 2008 to Senior Research Fellow. Since then he has continued in the development of the department, playing a central role in constructing a translational research team of stem cell biologists, molecular biologists tissue engineers, ocular immunologists and clinical specialists, as well and solidifying local, national and international multidisciplinary collaborations. Since his appointment, he has secured over £800kin research funding (as PI and Co-I) and has published over 20 peer-reviewed papers in high impact journals including Tissue Engineering, Journal of Proteome Research, and Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences.

Teaching Summary

Dr Hopkinson's teaching interests are in general corneal regeneration technologies involving stem cells and control of their differentiation, and biological molecular mechanisms involved in corneal… read more

Research Summary

Dr Hopkinson is molecular biologist with specific expertise in post genomic technologies and tissue engineering focused towards translational research and ocular surface regenerative medicine.… read more

Selected Publications

Dr Hopkinson's teaching interests are in general corneal regeneration technologies involving stem cells and control of their differentiation, and biological molecular mechanisms involved in corneal regeneration and tissue repair. This teaching is informed by the research carried out in Division's research group and builds upon general principles of ophthalmic translational research. His teaching predominantly involves PhD supervision, but the Division usually welcomes one or two BMedSci final project students and MSc dissertation students into the group each year to carry out work towards their final research project. He also frequently accepts A-level and undergraduate work experience students into the group to allow them to acquire first hand experience in a 'real-life' research environment. This opportunity is often instrumental in aiding future potential junior scientists and clinicians in deciding on their carrier path.

Current Research

Dr Hopkinson is molecular biologist with specific expertise in post genomic technologies and tissue engineering focused towards translational research and ocular surface regenerative medicine. Although he plays a central role of in all aspects of divisional research, his main research interests involve developing various applications of Amniotic membrane (AM), such as a biological bandage and tissue engineering substrate.

In particular has a collaboration with Ministry of Defence to develop a novel biological bandage for application in injuries sustained in the battlefield. He is also investigating the potential of AM as a stem cell niche and as tissue engineering substrate for ex vivo expanding limbal stem cells and mesenchymal stem cells. He collaborates with biomaterials specialists (Professor Shakeshef and Dr felicity Rose, Nottingham and Dr Kumary, India) to develop synthetic analogous of AM, which exploit the beneficial properties in a standardised format.

Dr Hopkinson also has interests in corneal epithelial regeneration and stem cell therapies. As well as coordinating the Divisions established limbal stem cell research programme to identify, characterise and ex vivo expand limbal stem cells, he also works with mesenchymal stem cells. These are multipotent cells present in many tissues which can be used to regenerate other tissue of the body, including corneal epithelium. Collaborating with stem cell biologists (Dr Virginie Sottile, UoN, and Dr Rhodri Jones, NuH) work focuses on characterising the molecular mechanisms, which regulate the differentiation ability of these cells to form limbal and corneal epithelium for long-term corneal regeneration.

His broader research interests encapsulate ocular immunology, specifically antimicrobial peptides. The expression of these molecules has been characterised at the ocular surface in health and disease and has discovered the involvement of novel peptides. Through investigating the mechanisms that control their expression, and investigating the potency of these natural analogues of antibiotics, it is hoped that novel treatment modalities can be developed to combat infection and save sight.

Past Research

His research background, and post-graduate studies, involved investigating the biochemical composition and functional properties of amniotic membrane (AM). AM is widely used for ocular surface reconstruction and tissue engineering. However, despite the plethora of reported favourable properties, the biochemical composition and mechanistic actions have yet to be fully elucidated. Therefore, the true benefits of AM remain controversial and highly variable. His work demonstrated that the AM is a highly biologically variable tissue, which is compounded by non-standardised processing procedures for clinical use. This work culminated to major changes in the way AM is processed, screened and stored for clinical use. In addition to his research Dr Hopkinson also reviews manuscripts for publication for journals such as Tissue engineering, British Journal of Ophthalmology, and Tissue and cell.

School of Medicine

University of Nottingham
Medical School
Nottingham, NG7 2UH

Contacts: Please see our 'contact us' page for further details