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Regenerative Medicine harnesses the intrinsic developmental programmes by which the tissues and organs of the body are laid down, as well as the natural repair and regenerative capacity of the body, to provide solutions to the problems of degenerative diseases.
These solutions may concern direct tissue replacement, indirect mechanisms to ameliorate disease or enhance intrinsic tissue repair, or the development of pharmaceutical therapies. As such, it is of increasing interest to Life Sciences industries that seek to provide products and processes to the healthcare sector, and to healthcare providers such as the NHS.
This course is intended to supply the growing need for a suitably trained workforce, and will cover key theoretical and practical aspects of the growth and maintenance of stem cell lines, the directed differentiation of these cells into defined tissues, and the maintenance of these under conditions suitable for cell therapies and drug testing/screening programs.
Essential elements of good practice will be included, such as quality assurance and the regulatory framework that surrounds the derivation, storage and use of human cells.
The University of Edinburgh is an internationally recognised centre of excellence in Regenerative Medicine, and hosts the MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine (CRM), which brings together world-leading basic stem cell research and established clinical excellence to deliver a "bench-to-bedside" approach in addressing the challenges posed by degenerative diseases.
With its broad scope and integrated approach, the CRM is uniquely placed to deliver the appropriate training required by the next generation of skilled professionals in this key area of Life Sciences.
Graduates will acquire the knowledge of how stem cells can be isolated, and how they can be transformed into more differentiated tissues and how these can be used in the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries for patient therapy, new drug development and toxicological studies.
They will acquire an understanding of the regulations covering the production and use of stem cells in particular, and the acquisition, storage, processing and administration of cells for therapy.
Finally, graduates will acquire an understanding of the processes of quality assurance, Good Clinical Practice and Good Manufacturing Practice that are required within the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries.
The course lasts 12 months and involves two semesters of taught courses in which in addition to lectures, students will be expected to read, evaluate and present current scientific papers relevant to the field.
Provided that students have fulfilled the necessary academic requirements they will spend 12 weeks in an industrial placement which will include elements of in course assessment and the completion of a dissertation based on the project. Students successfully completing all taught aspects of the course and the industrial placement will be awarded an MSc in Regenerative Medicine.
Students not obtaining the necessary requirements for the industrial placement will undertake a library based research project and can obtain a Diploma in Regenerative Medicine.