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Dr Matthew James Branch
1/17
UCL - Institute of Ophthalmology
11-43 Bath Street
London
EC1V 9EL
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7608 7982
Appointment
  • Research Associate
  • Inst Ophthalmology - Genetics
  • Institute of Ophthalmology
  • Faculty of Brain Sciences
Biography
Matt graduated from the University of Liverpool with a BSc (Hons) in genetics in 2005 and subsequently worked for a number of industrial laboratories mostly in quality assurance and control.

In 2008 he gained his masters degree in Molecular Medicine from the University of Sheffield, specializing in the ‘experimental medicine’ pathway; his research project involved structure and function analysis of T5 flap endonucleases.

In 2013, Matt completed his PhD at the University of Nottingham. The project, entitled ‘Mesenchymal Stem Cells and the Ocular Surface’ focused on understanding how an MSC therapy may be applied to treat a corneal injury and what role MSC may play in ocular surface regeneration. It also involved work on amniotic membrane as a biological bandage and scaffold for cell culture and delivery. Subsequently he undertook a 3 year post-doctoral position continuing this work. This translational project lead to him being awarded a Hermes Innovation Fellowship to explore commercialization avenues generated by his research. This lead on to co-founding a spin-out company where he worked on product and process development and regulatiory issues. His role within the company helped him develop an understanding the clinical, regulatory and commercial requirements of translating a biotechnology from a research setting all the way through to the clinic.

Looking for a chance to use his diverse skill set in a new setting in 2015 Matt took a position as post-doctoral researcher at UCL under Prof. Robin Ali to develop GMP conditions for the manufacture of the team's pluripotent stem cell technologies.
Research Summary
Matt's research is focused around the differentiation of retinal cells (photoreceptors) from human pluirpotent stem cells. In particular he is developing a GMP grade culture system for the production of these cells for clinical therapy.
Teaching Summary

Matt has taught many staff and students in the laboratory over the years. He has co-supervised a PhD student project and conceived, planned and supervised 4 BMedSci and 3 MSc research projects to successful completion, 5 as lead supervisor. He has delivered lectures on the MSc in Stem Cell Technologies course at the University of Nottingham since 2012. Whilst working at Nottingham Matt was also the departmental outreach coordinator organizing and supervising departmental work experience placements (>20 students) as well as participating at regional outreach events.

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