School of Medicine

Matthew Maple, MSc Stem Cell Technology and Regenerative Medicine

Matthew chose to pursue the MSc in Stem Cell Technology and Regenerative Medicine due to the excellence of the course and its alignment with his career goals. He was particularly drawn to the practical skills and hands-on experience offered by the programme, the campus location and facilities on offer.

“The programme is one of the best in its field, offering comprehensive knowledge and practical skills that I wanted for my career. The facilities here are incredible.”

What are the best things about the course?

“The best aspect of the course, without a doubt, is the research project. All the modules are excellent, but what truly stood out for me was the opportunity to gain practical skills, get in the lab and do some of the techniques. While I've always been interested in the theoretical aspects of stem cells, having the chance to perform experiments and hands-on techniques was a whole another level. I really enjoyed the hands-on aspect of it.

Initially, when I began exploring the stem cell course, I was more focused on the regenerative medicine aspect. However, as I progressed through the modules, I started to realise the other side of stem cells, which is being able to model diseases. So, the master's project that I ended up choosing was making a model for inflammatory bowel disease. That project grabbed my attention because inflammatory bowel disease affects many people, so being a part of something moving in a forward direction sounded like an exciting opportunity for me.”


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How has the support on offer been?

“The staff, including my project supervisor and the lab group, were all fantastic and I absolutely loved working with them. It's one of the best things about this course. If I had questions or needed help, they were always there, and they didn't just wait for me to ask – they often anticipated what I might need, and they'd be straight on it.

While I was going through some personal stuff during my master's, nothing to do with the actual course, it was difficult to get the motivation to continue with the projects at some point. My project supervisor, William Dalleywater, his teaching style and the way he let me shadow him and learn various techniques really got me back on track. It was like rediscovering my passion again because of the work they were showing me in the lab. So, I'll always be appreciative of that., his teaching style and the way he let me shadow him and learn various techniques really got me back on track. It was like rediscovering my passion again because of the work they were showing me in the lab. So, I'll always be appreciative of that. I really enjoyed Nick Hannan's approach to teaching the Pluripotent Stem Cells module. He laid such a good foundation for understanding the rest of the course that I don't think I would have been able to get the other concepts if he hadn't really explained all those foundational concepts.”

“Stem cells and regenerative medicine are definitely the future of medicine. I would encourage anyone who's interested in that side of biology, or just simply want to expand their understanding in the field, then this is definitely the place to study.”

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

“The practical skills I gained during my master's, especially in my research project, made a

huge difference. Finishing the dissertation and achieving those practical skills was the best part of it and the most rewarding for me. I was based mainly in the Biodiscovery Institute and the labs there were just amazing. The building itself is relatively new, built in the last three years, and it's a significant upgrade from the labs I had experience with before. I spent a lot of time in the Cell Culture labs, and I have to say, the equipment was amazing, and it was so much fun working with them.”

What does ‘success’ look like for you?

“Success, to me, is about making a meaningful contribution towards improving the world. It's reaching a point where I've played a role in advancing medicine. On a daily level, success means taking steps in the right direction to achieve that larger goal. Even if an experiment doesn't go as planned and ends up being a "failure", there's still value in it because it teaches me something new. So, every setback is a chance for growth if you approach it the right way.

As for my future path after completing my PhD, I'm not entirely certain yet. What I do know is that I have a strong passion for research. Whether that leads me into the industry or keeps me in academia depends on the experiences I gather over the next four years of my PhD journey. I'm open to different possibilities, but one thing I'm sure about is that I want my career to revolve around research.”

What does the future hold?

“I'm set to begin my PhD at the end of September, and one of my options is Nottingham through the BBSRC programme. I'm aiming for a stem cell project directly related to the modules I've studied and the theoretical knowledge I've accumulated.

I hope to secure one of my choices for my PhD based on the exceptional facilities at the university, the dynamic with the supervisors and the enjoyment of the project. All that I've learned in terms of theory and practical skills will come together as I interpret the mechanisms of my project and apply the techniques I've learned.”

Have you taken part in any extracurricular opportunities?

"I did take on the role of a Course Rep, gaining insights into shaping the course's future through diverse academic perspectives. One of the modules that we did was the business plan, which was incredibly difficult but important, exploring the business aspects of biology and technology, including patenting. We favoured group projects, highlighting essential social skills and collaboration with diverse teammates – an important skill in this environment."


School of Medicine

University of Nottingham
Medical School
Nottingham, NG7 2UH

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