GREAT BRITAIN – Professor Moves to France due to Lack of Funds for Adult Stem Cell Research

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Colin McGuckin, professor of regenerative medicine at the University of Newcastle and adult stem cell expert has said that government funding goes mostly to embryonic stem cells despite the fact that his work gives immediate practical results.

He has also complained that the university is not able to provide him with adequate structures to carry out his research, adding, “There aren’t many people in the city that know that there is research on adult stem cells.”

The professor, who is a Catholic, is a pioneer in umbilical cord stem cells research, with a study that creates tissue for skin and liver injuries.

After a series of public requests for greater funding, McGunkin decided to move to the University of Lyon (France) to open a research center for umbilical cord and adult stem cells bringing with him 10 researchers, including colleague Nico Forraz.

Speaking to Times Higher Education, the professor said that France offers a better environment for his research. “My job is to work with sick people and help them, this is impossible in England. France supports adult stem cells, since they can be used immediately by patients. A large quantity of funds goes to embryonic stem cells, but no patient has even been cured with them. Funds should go to my research, which does not get any money.”

According to an ethical group for stem cell research, his departure from Newcastle will create a vacuum for research in the city. Another scientist from the University of Bristol, Anthony Hollander, shares his colleague’s opinion on a lack of funds for adult stem cell research.

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