Anne McLaren Fellow, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences
Dr Jennifer Ashworth is an Anne McLaren research fellow at the University of Nottingham, working jointly between the Vet School and the School of Medicine. She completed her PhD in medical materials at the University of Cambridge in 2015, creating collagen materials to characterise the link between extracellular matrix and cell invasion, in collaboration with Geistlich Pharma AG, Switzerland. She initially moved to Nottingham as a postdoctoral research fellow in 2016, where she has since applied her materials science background to develop advanced materials for in vitro disease models. Her work developing peptide gel technology for 3D cell culture, providing an animal-free alternative to basement membrane extract, has been recognised by a highly commended award from the International 3Rs Prize 2020.
Jenny's main research interest is developing tissue-mimetic biomaterials for application to disease modelling. Her fellowship will focus on designing tissue-realistic models of fibrotic conditions in humans and animals, by combining biomaterials science with 3D tissue imaging.
My research focus is the design of patient-realistic biomaterial models of fibrotic diseases. To do this, we must be able to understand and mimic the surroundings that our cells experience in the… read more
My research focus is the design of patient-realistic biomaterial models of fibrotic diseases. To do this, we must be able to understand and mimic the surroundings that our cells experience in the body. For example, as breast cancer progresses, cells make their surroundings stiffer, which is one of the danger factors that leads to cancer spread. Using biomaterials science, we can recreate this process in the lab, which can help us understand how to treat diseases like cancer. My group uses 3D imaging of healthy and diseased tissues to understand what makes them different, how this changes between types of tissue and species, and how to recreate this in a 3D biomaterial for application to disease modelling.
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