Laura is an independent Senior Research Fellow with an interest in the recycling, reusing and repurposing of surplus human tissue donations to make regenerative therapies.
Laura graduated from an undergraduate MEng degree in Biomaterial Science and Tissue Engineering from the University of Sheffield, in 2008, before the joining the inaugural year of the Doctoral Training Centre for Regenerative Medicine, where she completed her PhD in the School of Pharmacy, University of Nottingham, in July 2013. She worked in Academic Ophthalmology, Division of Clinical Neuroscience as a research fellow from 2013 - 2017, investigating regenerative medicine uses for stem cells derived from the cornea and novel preservation methods for human donor corneas. In 2014, she was awarded the Early Stage Investigator Award by the Tissue and Cell Engineering Society (TCES).
In 2017, Laura was promoted to Senior Research Fellow and was awarded an Anne McLaren Fellowship by the University of Nottingham, to allow her to start her own independent research group. In May 2020, Laura was awarded a permanent contract with the School of Medicine as a Senior Research Fellow.
- Stem Cells
- Cell Therapies
- Mesenchymal Stem Cells
- Regenerative Medicine
- Biological Tissue Derived Materials
- Cell-Scaffold Interactions
- Tissue Engineering
- In Vitro Models
- Cornea and the Eye
- Human/Biological Tissue Processing
- Transplant Tissue Preservation
October 2019 - September 2024 BBSRC iCASE Studentship: Supercritical sterilisation for biological tissue transplant products
PhD Student - Nisha Hasan. This project works in collaboration with Dr Lisa White to develop on supercritical sterilisation method for a dry-preserved biological tissue product..
October 2018 - August 2022 EPSRC/MRC CDT Regenerative Medicine Studentship: Development of a topical corneal-mesenchymal stem cell therapy for the ocular surface
PhD Student - Lydia Beeken. This project aims to characterise fully corneal mesenchymal stem cells, comparing them to bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells and assessing their therapeutic response to inflammatory environments. The project will also investigate the use of novel materials to create a contact lens-like delivery system for a mesenchymal stem cell therapy.
Jan 2018 - July 2022 Medical Technologies IKC, Industrial Partnership Proof-of-Concept: Development and pre-clinical feasibility testing of dry-preserved corneas: A regenerative sight-saving therapy for corneal transplantation
This project builds upon prior proof-of-concept work developing a method for preserving transplant corneas by a novel drying process. In the project we will work with industrial partners, NuVision Biotherapies, to develop industrial manufacturing routes for the dry-preserved corneas, alongside testing them in preclinical models and engaging with clinical ophthalmologists to assess market need.
SIDNEY, L.E., HEATHMAN, T.R.J., BRITCHFORD, E.R., ABED, A., RAHMAN, C.V. and BUTTERY, L.D.K., 2015. Investigation of localized delivery of diclofenac sodium from poly(D,L-lactic acid-co-glycolic acid)/poly(ethylene glycol) scaffolds using an in vitro osteoblast inflammation model Tissue Engineering - Part A. 21(1-2), 362-373 ALTAAN, S.L., GUPTA, A., SIDNEY, L.E., ELALFY, M.S., AGARWAL, A. and DUA, H.S., 2015. Endothelial cell loss following tissue harvesting by pneumodissection for endothelial keratoplasty: An ex vivo study British Journal of Ophthalmology. 99(5), 710-713 STEWART, E.A., WEI, R., BRANCH, M.J., SIDNEY, L.E. and AMOAKU, W.M., 2015. Expression of Toll-like receptors in human retinal and choroidal vascular endothelial cells Experimental Eye Research. 138, 114-123
SIDNEY, L.E., BRANCH, M.J., DUA, H.S. and HOPKINSON, A., 2015. Effect of culture medium on propagation and phenotype of corneal stroma-derived stem cells Cytotherapy. 17(12), 1706-1722
Sept 2017 - Sept 2019 Royal Society Research Grant: Development of dried corneal extracellular matrix hydrogels for delivery of corneal-stroma derived stem cells to the injured ocular surface
A project focusing on the development of a regenerative delivery system for corneal stroma-derived stem cells (CSSC) via a rehydratable, dried, corneal extracellular matrix hydrogel.
June 2017 - 2020 Anne McLaren Fellowship: Development of a novel stem cell-based biological wound dressing for the treatment of ocular surface inflammation
This research draws on my multidisciplinary expertise in biomaterials engineering, stem cell science and animal models to develop, and perform a preclinical study on, a novel corneal stroma-derived stem cell (CSSC)-based biological wound dressing.
September 2016 - May 2017 University of Nottingham Hermes Fellowship: Development of a novel packaging system for a transplantable biological matrix for ocular surface regeneration
March 2016 - April 2017 EPSRC Impact Acceleration Account: An 'off the shelf' transplantable biological matrix for ocular surface regeneration
November 2015 - August 2016 MRC Confidence-in Concept Award: Biocompatibility of an innovative human cornea derived decellularised matrix for corneal reconstruction and restoring sight
January 2015 - June 2016 DST - UKIERI Award: An innovative tissue-engineered corneal regenerative therapy derived from a thermoresponsive bio-functionalized polymer and multipotent corneal stromal stem cells