Centre for Biomolecular Sciences

Image of Lee Buttery

Lee Buttery

Associate Professor in Cell Biology/Tissue Engineering, Faculty of Science


  • workRoom B56 Centre for Biomolecular Sciences
    University Park
    NG7 2RD
  • work0115 8467857
  • fax0115 9515122


I gained a BSc (Hons) degree in Applied Zoology at the University of Leeds in 1987 and MSc (Biomolecular Organization; 1990) and PhD (Medicine/Pathology; 1996) degrees at the University of London. Prior to moving to Nottingham in 2003, I was based largely at the former Royal Postgraduate Medical School, now part of Imperial College London working with Professor Dame Julia Polak. My PhD centred on investigating the distributions and possible functions of nitric oxide/nitric oxide synthases in the physiology and pathology of a variety of tissues and organs and I was fortunate enough to publish some of the first papers on the involvement of these molecules in human diseases, notably in the cardiovascular system. My first postdoctoral position was held jointly between Imperial College and the Royal London Hospital School of Medicine and Dentistry looking at the roles of the nitric oxide and prostaglandin pathways in bone biology and specifically the osteoblast. I returned full time to Imperial College in 1999 to take up a lectureship in cell biology and tissue engineering and was also actively involved in establishing the tissue engineering centre. From 1999 onwards my research has been focused primarily on osteoblast biology and approaches to tissue engineer and repair damaged bones. At this time I also began working with mouse and human embryonic stem cells resulting in the publication of some of the first papers describing the osteogenic differentiation of mouse ES and human cells in vitro and in vivo. In 2003 I moved to the University Nottingham and the School of Pharmacy. I am also affiliated with the Wolfson Centre for Stem Cells, Tissue Engineering and Modelling (STEM), which is also part of the Centre for Biomolecular Sciences.

Teaching Director of Undergraduate Admissions/ Admissions Tutor. (Previously senior tutor and member of Teaching Committee)

Basic cell biology and pharmaceutical microbiology (Essential Skills for Pharmacists; Bacterial and Fungal Infections modules)

Co-ordinator (Nottingham) of EPSRC/MRC CDT in Regenerative Medicine http://www.dtcregen-med.com/


Expertise Summary

Histology, immunocytochemistry, cell and molecular biology, 2D and 3D cell culture (including ES cells), holographic optical tweezers (for cell biology)

Teaching Summary

Basic cell biology (structure and organization of the cell and biological macromolecules)

Pharmaceutical microbiology -bacterial pathogens, pathogenesis of bacterial infections, infection control and management

Stem cell biology - basics of stem cell sources/origins, self-renewal and differentiation

Tissue engineering and regenerative medicine

Research Summary

My research interests focus mainly on stem cells (embryonic, 'adult' and fetal origins) and their applications in tissue engineering, particularly the osteoblast and bone tissue. I am involved in a… read more

Selected Publications

Current Research

My research interests focus mainly on stem cells (embryonic, 'adult' and fetal origins) and their applications in tissue engineering, particularly the osteoblast and bone tissue. I am involved in a number of projects with Kevin Shakesheff and Felicity Rose to investigate the influence of 3-D cell-cell, cell-scaffold/matrix interactions and angiogenesis / vasoreactivity on the induction and control of stem cell differentiation. I am also working with Morgan Alexander, Stephanie Allen, Phil Williams and Ejaz Huq (Rutherford Appleton Laboratories) to investigate the role of surface chemistry and mechanical forces on ES cell differentiation. In collaboration with Miles Padgett & Jon Cooper (both from the University of Glasgow) we are using laser optical tweezers to manipulate and precisely position stem cells to simulate/recreate the stem cell niche and probe the role of cell-cell, cell-cytokine and cell-scaffold interactions in controlling stem cell potency and differentiation. I am also involved in a multi-centre EU project co-ordinated by Paul Genever (University of York) to characterize the osteogenic potential of human marrow, cord blood and embryonic stem cells. Together with John King, Helen Byrne and Oliver Jensen (Mathematics) I am involved in a project to model osteogenic differentiation of embryonic stem cells. I also have interests in other tissues and for example in collaboration with Gary Adams (Nursing) we are on the differentiation of ES cells into insulin producing beta cells. Other projects ongoing include attempting to engineer a thymus organoid (Dave Pritchard) and to develop / apply novel methods of imaging cells using Raman Spectroscopy (Ioan Nottinger- Physics) and ultrasound (John Crowe/Melissa Mather - Electronic and Electrical Engineering).

In my academic career to date I have published 42 papers, 18 reviews and chapters and I have supervised 11 PhD and MD students.

Memberships of Committees and Professional Bodies

  • UK Stem Cell Bank User Liaison Committee
  • Fellow of the Royal Microscopical Society
  • American Society for Bone & Mineral Research

Past Research

Worked for 11 years at the Royal Postgraduate Medical School/Imperial College in cell pathology and in particular investigation of the contribution of nitric oxide and nitric oxide synthases to disease processes including human atherosclerosis, sepsis and more latterly bone damage/turnover.

Centre for Biomolecular Sciences

University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 (0) 115 846 8001
fax: +44 (0) 115 846 8002
email: CBS Enquiries