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Paul Fairchild

Co-Director of the Oxford Stem Cell Institute , RCUK Academic Fellow
Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine
Addressing the immunological barriers to stem cell therapies.

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Department Sir William Dunn School of Pathology
Paul Fairchild

Dr Paul Fairchild

The derivation of human embryonic stem (ES) cells in 1998 marked a turning point in biomedical science by offering the opportunity to derive potentially limitless numbers of somatic cell types to replace diseased or worn out tissues.  Such an approach has far-reaching implications for the treatment of conditions as diverse as diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, myocardial infarction and macular degeneration.  Nevertheless, the promise of regenerative medicine may only be realised by addressing the immunological barriers that will provoke rejection of the transplanted tissues.  My laboratory is, therefore, working at the interface between stem cell biology and immunology in order to apply the principles of transplantation tolerance within this newly-emerging field.

Research Details

  • Derivation and characterisation of dendritic cell subsets differentiated from ES cells under culture conditions free of animal products.
  • Modulation of dendritic cell immunogenicity through treatment with pharmacological agents

  • Induction of immunological tolerance to tissues derived from ES cells

  • Harnessing acquired immune privilege for the purpose of regenerative medicine

Biography

After obtaining a first class degree and an award for top graduate in the Biological Sciences, Paul Fairchild began his research career in Oxford, where he studied for a DPhil within the Nuffield Department of Surgery, focussing on the immune response to organ allografts. After spending five years as a Post Doctoral Fellow in the Department of Pathology, University of Cambridge, he returned to Oxford where he is currently a lecturer and RCUK Academic Fellow within the Sir William Dunn School of Pathology. Here he has applied his immunological training to the emerging field of cell replacement therapy and regenerative medicine to investigate the immune response to tissues differentiated from embryonic stem cells, the rejection of which threatens to undermine the success of regenerative medicine in the future. He has developed strategies which may one day promote the indefinite survival of stem cell-derived grafts and is currently collaborating with Geron Corporation to bring such technology to the clinic.