Lou McGrath in Glasgow

Lou McGrath visits regenerative medicine project in Glasgow

Find A Better Way CEO Lou McGrath OBE visited the new FABW-funded regenerative medicine project at the University of Glasgow this week.

As funding for the project was just announced in September, this was Lou’s first chance to meet the team, led by Professor Manuel Salmeron-Sanchez, and tour the lab and medical school where the research will take place.

The project uses 3D printing to create bone regrowth scaffolds, and then uses simple coatings that present ‘growth factors’ very efficiently to encourage the regrowth in exactly the right locations. It is hoped that the technology being developed will eventually lead to ‘off the shelf’ bone tissue for blast injury victims.

Lou admitted to being daunted by the prospect of talking about regenerative medicine with Manuel and his team. ‘My expectation was it would be overly technical,’ he explained. ‘But everyone did a wonderful job explaining the background to the research and how this will translate into a near term way to rebuilding bone and tissue for blast victims. It was all expressed very logically.’

Lou had brought part of his collection of deactivated landmines for the Glasgow team to see. He wanted the Glasgow team to understand how much their work could potentially improve the lives of landmine survivors around the world.

A lot of them had an understanding of the issue,’ he said.  ‘But when they actually saw the landmines and heard what I had to say I think it made it really hit home what an important humanitarian issue this is.’

‘Anti personal mines are designed to maim and not to kill. This is why there are so many amputees, and why the need for regenerative medicine is so acute. I am delighted that Find A Better Way is able to support this project.’

Professor Salmeron-Sanchez was equally enthusiastic about Lou’s visit. ‘We have a much better understanding of the origin of Find A Better Way and the devastating effect of landmines. Lou is a very inspiring person who really made us feel very fortunate and excited to contribute with our research towards helping those affected by landmines all over the world. ‘

The University of Glasgow team project was selected for funding following a competition judged by an independent panel of experts. This was organised on Find A Better Way’s behalf by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). Find A Better Way wishes to express its gratitude to the EPSRC staff undertook this work on a totally voluntary basis.