School of Medicine

Carlos Sainz Zuniga, MSc Stem Cell Technology and Regenerative Medicine (PhD student)

Carlos chose to continue his academic journey at Nottingham due to a strong connection with his master's research and a supportive lab team. He found his time at the university rewarding, with a focus on impactful stem cell research, invaluable connections, and access to cutting-edge lab facilities.

How did you choose your research area?

“The choice of my subject area is rooted in my master's dissertation. It all started when one of my lecturers during my master's program, Professor Nick Hannan, offered significant support and guidance throughout my studies. This connection led to collaboration, and I started working with him on my thesis, with the entire lab becoming like a second family to me. This is why I decided to stay in the field we focus on, which involves human stem cell research, tissue mimicry, and genetic engineering to better understand diseases, particularly respiratory diseases such as fibrosis.”

How does your research impact the world?

“Our research has a significant impact, particularly in reducing the need for animal testing. Securing funding, including support from NC3RS, allowed us to continue our work to minimise and eventually replace animal testing in research. Our focus on stem cell research, especially in respiratory diseases, has the potential to provide a more accurate understanding of human physiology and diseases.

By using stem cell research and genetic engineering, we can correct genetic mutations in patient-derived cells, enabling us to study diseases like lung fibrosis in a way that closely mimics the human condition. This has far-reaching implications for understanding disease development, particularly in the early stages, and has the potential to one day lead to the generation of lung tissue for transplantation.”


Carlos Sainz Zuniga image


What has been the most rewarding part of your postgraduate studies?

“The most rewarding aspect of my postgraduate studies has been the people I've met along the way. This includes not only the friendships I've formed during my master's programme but also the valuable connections I've made with my lecturers and fellow students.”

"I chose to stay at Nottingham because during my master's, I found myself in a fantastic lab where I believed I could grow as a researcher. This was essential for my future plans of pursuing a PhD."

How has the support on offer been?

Professor Nick Hannan has been a source of inspiration for me. He played a pivotal role in my decision to stay at Nottingham. When I completed my master's, I had offers from two other PhD programmes, but I knew that having a supportive supervisor was critical for my academic path. Nick not only provided guidance but also assisted with various aspects such as visas and funding, which was key in my decision to continue my academic journey here. The entire lab has been incredibly supportive and inspiring during my transition from a technician to a student and back.”

What does ‘success’ look like for you?

“Success, for me, is about personal fulfilment and making a meaningful impact. It's not only about receiving awards or publishing papers. Success means knowing that the research I'm involved in has the potential to benefit someone, either by advancing clinical practices or by contributing to our understanding of critical cellular processes. Ultimately, success for me is about finding ways to help and support others.”

What does the future hold?

“After completing my PhD, I aspire to remain in academia. I intend to pursue a postdoctoral position, which would mark the next step in my academic journey. Ultimately, my goal is to establish my own research laboratory and focus on my research interests. The specifics of my future path will depend on the opportunities available at that time, considering the rapidly evolving nature of our field.”


School of Medicine

University of Nottingham
Medical School
Nottingham, NG7 2UH

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