• Question: Do you have any AMAZING outcome stories in your career that you would like to share?

    Asked by helena to Emma, James, Jayne, Kara, Sharon on 25 Mar 2011 in Categories: .
    • Photo: Sharon Sneddon

      Sharon Sneddon answered on 21 Mar 2011:

      Hi Helena,
      The most amazing thing I have done was a few years ago, I got a donated egg from a patient that was having IVF treatment, the egg was “arrested” so it was stuck at the wrong stage of development and was not growing as it should. We were unable to use this egg for IVF treatment as it would not have developed into a healthy embryo so the patient said we could use it for stem cell research.
      I gave the cell 3 different chemicals and it started to divide. It would still not have been able to be used for her treatment as it would never have developed into a normal baby due to the chemicals we used, but I was able to get it to divide into 100 cells after about 5 days.

      I then cut the inner cells out and put them in a dish and I left it in the incubator for 5 days. These were really long days as I was not allowed to peek to see what was happening! After this, I did look and was so excited as the cells had started to grow! This was my first ever stem cell line, and it was the first in this country to be grown in this method. The cells then got sent on a plane to Edinburgh where they kept on looking after them until we had lots of cells. We gave the stemcell line a name of RCMAN-1 which stands for Roslin – Manchester1and it was Manchesters first ever stem cell line. We have gone on to do lots of experiments with it, including growing cartilage cells and any scientist in the world can ask us for the cells and they too can use them!
      It was really exciting for me as a scientist as I never thought I\d get to do anything like this!

    • Photo: Jayne Charnock

      Jayne Charnock answered on 21 Mar 2011:

      oooh, i wish i did! Im still very early on in my research career so im hoping the best is still yet to come. But i was part of the reserach group at St Mary’s Maternity Hospital in Manchester that recently set up the first ‘Placenta Clinic’ in the country, to try and diagnose problems during pregnancy by scanning to look for defects in the placenta itself. That was a big achievement for the group and we all shared in the celebrations!

    • Photo: Emma King

      Emma King answered on 21 Mar 2011:

      Hi helena – not really so far, I don’t work in the lab and I am also just finishing my PhD, so I haven’t really had much time to make any breakthroughs just yet. I’m hoping in the future though that my work might make a difference to the field.

    • Photo: Kara Cerveny

      Kara Cerveny answered on 22 Mar 2011:

      Thanks for your question, Helena. To me the most amazing stories of my career are the moments when I see a result for the first time, that no one else has seen. My research is not as directly related to using stem cells for therapies as other scientists in this group, but it is important for a deeper understanding of how cells know if they should proliferate or differentiate, which is a process important during development as well as during the early stages of cancer.
      I’m also really proud of the students I’ve trained and the advances they have made — some as scientists and others as physicians/medics.
      Finally, I think it is just really AMAZING how wonderfully beautiful and interesting all of biology is, and to think that my work has played even just a small part in elucidating that beauty, I’m glad. That said, perhaps some of the most exciting times in my scientific career were when I received fellowships and grants to support my work; it is an endorsement of my progress as a scientist as well as big responsibility to work hard to continue to figure things out.

    • Photo: James Chan

      James Chan answered on 25 Mar 2011:

      Hi Helena,
      we’re really excited about what we found out last years, which was a way of making broken bones heal quicker in mice. This is exciting because we might be able to help thousands of people who’d need amputations or cannot walk again because their bones won’t heal. We’re hoping to try this out in humans next so that’s pretty amazing for us! We can only cross our fingers and hope it continues to be AMAZING in the hope that it will really work in people!!