To do this the team – P.I. Dr. Kieran McGourty, Dr. Lynnette Marcar (MAGE protein’s roll in the tumour niche) and Ph.D. student Sigita Malijauskaite (Intestinal Niche Mimic) – investigate the natural tissue environment and then try to emulate that in vitro.
Kieran’s group aims to fuse biomedical engineering, cell-material interaction and cell signalling responses to grow tissue outside the body using stem cells. The natural tissue environment provides the template for constructing niche materials with comparable properties to allow stem cells to behave as they would normally, giving rise to all the various cells of the origin tissue. We are particularly focused on the intestinal, muscular, epidermal and cancer stem cells niches.