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Dr Ben Mead

Dr Ben Mead

Lecturer

Email
meadb@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone
+44(0)29 2087 0502
Campuses
3.04, Optometry and Vision Sciences, Maindy Road, Cathays, Cardiff, CF24 4HQ
Users
Available for postgraduate supervision

Overview

In my laboratory we develop new therapies to better treat traumatic and degenerative eye diseases, including glaucoma. Our research focuses on the use of stem cells and their secreted compounds to prevent cellular loss in the retina and preserve vision. Of particular interest to me are exosomes, small extracellular vesicles that are secreted from cells and appear to possess remarkable therapeutic potential. Our work also seeks to better model eye disease, either with more robust animal models or through the utilization of human retinal culture systems.

We collaborate closely with the National Eye Institute, NIH, USA. I am happy to communicate with individuals seeking to learn more about my work along with any potential collaborators or prospective students.

Biography

I did my undergraduate degree in Biomedical Neuroscience at the University of Birmingham (2008-2011) followed by a Masters in Biomedical Research (2011-2012) and a PhD in Traumatic and Degenerative Eye Disease (2012-2015), which was via the Alternative Format (PhD-by-publication).

Following my PhD I moved overseas and took up a Visiting Fellowship as well as later, a Marie Curie EU Fellowship in the US at the National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health (2015-2019). I then returned to the University of Birmingham for a short duration before taking up a lectureship at Cardiff University, School of Optometry.

Professional memberships

Fellow of the HEA

Academic positions

Lecturer (September 1st 2020 – PRESENT) - Full time lecturer/assistant professor at School of Optometry and Vision Sciences, Cardiff University.

Marie Curie Fellow (June 1st 2017 – May 31st 2020) - Full time lab work in the Laboratory of Retinal Cell and Molecular Biology, National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health, USA.

Professor/Lead Instructor – BIOL325 Human Neuroscience (2018 – 2019) - Led the Human Neuroscience course at the National Institutes of Health, USA.

Post-doc/Visiting Fellow 2016 – 2017 - Full time lab work in the Laboratory of Retinal Cell and Molecular Biology, National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health, USA.

PhD thesis 2012 - 2015 - Three-year full-time lab work at the University of Birmingham, UK

MRes thesis 2011 - 2012 - One-year full time lab work at the University of Birmingham, UK

Lab Technician 2011/2012 - Over 200 hours of contracted work for Neuregenix Ltd. Neuregenix is a CRO that tests novel neuroactive compounds for industry.

Summer project 2011/2012 - Over 20 weeks of full-time work in a lab over the summer of 2011 and 2012, funded by the Nuffield Foundation and the Society of Endocrinology.

Speaking engagements

Published Peer-Reviewed Abstracts

  • Tomarev S, Ahmed Z, Mead B (2018) Mesenchymal stem cell-derived exosomes promote retinal ganglion cell survival. International Society for Eye Research, Belfast, September 2018
  • Mead B, Amaral J, Tomarev S. (2017) Exosome-derived from bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells promote retinal ganglion cell survival in two models of glaucoma. Society for Neuroscience. Washington DC, November 2017
  • Mead B, Amaral J, Tomarev S. (2017) Exosome-derived from bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells promote retinal ganglion cell survival in two models of glaucoma. International Society for Eye Research. Atlanta, September 2017
  • Mead B, Logan A, Berry M, Leadbeater W, Scheven BA. (2013) Dental pulp stem cells promote regeneration and survival of retinal ganglion cells after optic nerve crush. BSODR, Bath, UK, September 2013.
  • Mead B, Logan A, Berry M, Leadbeater W, Scheven BA. (2013) Dental pulp stem cells promote regeneration and survival of retinal ganglion cells after optic nerve crush. SfN, San Diego, November 2013.
  • Logan A., Hill LJ, Blanch RJ, Foale S, Mead B, Mohamed S, Berry M, Scott RAH, Leadbeater W, (2013) The anti-fibrotic and fibrolytic glycoprotein, Decorin, reduces trabecular meshwork scarring, ocular hypertension and retinal ganglion cell death in a rat model of glaucoma. SfN, San Diego, November 2013.
  • Hill LJ, Mead B, Blanch RJ, Mohamed S, Berry M, Leadbeater W, Logan A. (2012) Intracameral Decorin attenuated chronically raised IOP in a novel rodent model of POAG. ARVO, Florida, May 2012 (Won Outstanding Poster Award).
  • Mead B, Logan A, Berry M, Leadbeater W, Scheven BA. (2012) Dental pulp stem cells promote regeneration of retinal ganglion cells following injury. Research Showcase Event, University of Birmingham, UK, May 2012.

Invited Oral Paper Presentations

  • Mead B and Tomarev S (2019) Neuroprotection of Retinal Ganglion Cells by BMSC-derived Exosomes. ARVO, Vancouver, May 2019.
  • Mead B (2018) Exosomes and the eye, my career progression. National Institutes of Health, Special Achievement Symposium - Invited Speaker
  • Mead B and Tomarev S (2018) BMSC-derived exosomes promote retinal ganglion cell survival in multiple rodent models of glaucoma. ARVO, Hawaii, May 2018.
  • Mead B and Tomarev S (2017) Mesenchymal stem cell-derived exosomes for the treatment of traumatic and degenerative eye disease. ARVO, Baltimore, May 2017.
  • Mead B, Hill LJ, Ward K, Blanch RJ, Logan A, Berry M, Leadbeater W, Scheven BA. (2015) Dental Pulp, Bone Marrow and Adipose-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cell Therapies for Glaucoma. ARVO, Colorado, May 2015.
  • Mead B, Logan A, Berry M, Leadbeater W, Scheven BA. (2014) Stem cell therapy for ocular disease. ARVO, Florida, May 2014
  • Mead B, Logan A, Berry M, Leadbeater W, Scheven BA. (2013) The neuroprotective and proregenerative properties of dental pulp stem cells as a cellular therapy. Research Showcase Event, University of Birmingham, UK, June 2013 (Won best oral presentation award).
  • Mead B, Logan A, Berry M, Leadbeater W, Scheven BA. (2013) The neuroprotective and proregenerative effects of intravitreal of dental pulp stem cell/mesenchymal stem cell transplantation on retinal ganglion cells after optic nerve injury. BSGCT, University College London, UK, April 2013. (Won the Fairbairn award for the best oral presentation).

Publications

2020

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

Teaching

I have taught human neuroscience at the National Institutes of Health along with neuroscience and pharmacology at the University of Birmingham.

At Cardiff University I currently teach about the neurophysiology of vision.

Research Interests

  • Extracellular vesicle/exosome therapies as a treatment for traumatic and degeneration eye disease
  • Mesenchymal stem cell treatment for glaucoma
  • Molecular mechanisms of glaucoma and the development of more robust animal models
  • Central nervous system axon regeneration and the optic nerve as a model for CNS injury
  • Human embryonic stem cell-derived retina as an animal-free model for eye disease

Major Collaborations

  • Dr Zubair Ahmed, University of Birmingham, UK – Regeneration of the optic nerve
  • Dr Ben Scheven, University of Birmingham, Dental School, UK – Therapeutic application of dental stem cells for neural repair
  • Dr Stanislav Tomarev, National Institutes of Health, USA – Stem cell therapy in glaucoma
  • Dr Anand Swaroop, National Institutes of Health, USA – RNAseq of purified RGC
  • Dr Jennifer Jones, National Institutes of Health, USA – Exosomes and NanoSight
  • Dr Yuzhe Niu, National Institutes of Health, USA – Neural crest cell culture
  • Dr Richard Libby, University of Rochester, NY, USA – DBA/2J glaucoma mouse model
  • Prof Donald Zack, John Hopkins University, USA –Human iPSC/RGC culture
  • Prof Paul Kaufman, New York University, USA – Primate models of glaucoma
  • Prof Steven Bernstein, University of Maryland, USA – Optic nerve head

Supervision

Past projects

  • 2020 – Soukhya Ankala – MSc Student, Cardiff University, UK
  • 2018 - Erin Cullather – Medical Microbiology student (University of New Hampshire, USA, work conducted at NIH) – co-authored paper in submission
  • 2017 - Samuel Bennet – Medical Student (Brown University, USA, work conducted at NIH)
  • 2016 - Funmi Adetunji – Post-Graduate Medical Student (Princeton University, USA, work conducted at NIH)
  • 2013 - 2015 - Adam Thompson – BSc/PhD student (Now successfully defended; University of Birmingham, UK) – co-authored paper published
  • 2013 - Kelly Ward – BSc/Medical student (University of Birmingham, UK) – co-authored paper published
  • 2012 - Samuel L – BSc Student (University of Birmingham, UK)
  • 2012 - Rodney D – BSc Student (University of Birmingham, UK)
  • A variety of students from A-level students to graduates during many work experience visits to the University of Birmingham