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Young Investigator Award 2020

29 June 2020


Congratulations to Dr Rob Knight, Research Associate in the School of Medicine on being successful in achieving the Young Investigator Award 2020. The research area relating to this award is stem cell biology.

Rob’s work on developing a therapeutic for the improvement of skin wound healing has resulted in the generation of new intellectual property, numerous international presentations and recognition both nationally and internationally.

The focus of his work was in isolating, characterising and functionally examining small extracellular vesicles (SEVs) isolated form Oral Progenitor Cells to determine their function during normal soft tissue wound healing.  Oral Progenitor Cells are isolated from tissue within the mouth, a tissue that is known to heal rapidly with little/no scar formation and therefore it was hypothesised that SEVs isolated from these progenitor cells may facilitate the reparative process.  To this end, during his PhD Rob demonstrated that SEVs from Oral Progenitor Cells are capable of stimulating wound healing responses and that they also possess anti-scarring capabilities.

Since completing his PhD Rob has secured a Welcome Trust ISSF consolidator grant to undertake related work in the Wales Research and Diagnostic PET Imaging Centre, to develop long-term radiotracers for SEVs and cells.  He has recently accepted a Postdoctoral position at University of California, Los Angeles where he will utilise the skills he developed whilst in Cardiff, to lead on a project aimed at developing a SEV therapeutic for the treatment of corneal scarring.

The Award will be presented following this year's CITER Annual Scientific Meeting taking place on line between 14th - 15th September 2020. As part of the Programme Rob will deliver a thirty minute presentation on his extensive research that has led to his well-deserved award.

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