Professor Ivan Wall

Professor of Regenerative Medicine, Cell and Gene Therapy Bioprocessing

Professor Ivan Wall
Professor Ivan Wall

School of Life & Health Sciences
Aston University
Birmingham, B4 7ET

Phone: +44 (0) 121 204 4202

Profile    I joined Aston School of Life & Health Sciences in January 2018, having previously been Reader in Cell & Gene Therapy Bioprocessing at UCL.

I graduated with a PhD in cell and molecular biology from Cardiff University School of Dentistry in 2006. My thesis, under supervision of Prof Phil Stephens and Prof David Thomas, focussed on dysfunctional behaviour of skin fibroblasts in chronic wounds that fail to heal. This underpinned my longstanding interest in why some tissues fail to heal and how stem cells and regenerative medicine might be applied to restore failing tissues and organs.

I moved to UCL at the end of 2005, undertaking post-doctoral research first at Eastman Dental Institute (2005-2007) to continue studies into regenerative medicine and then at the Institute of Ophthalmology (2007-2009), where I studied the molecular basis of angiogenesis and neurogenesis with Prof Christiana Ruhrberg.

I joined UCL’s Department of Biochemical Engineering in 2009 and established a successful multi-disciplinary research group working in the area of regenerative medicine, cell & gene therapy. Our research interfaces cell biology with bioprocessing, biomaterials and novel devices.
My work spans fundamental research through to applied and translation studies with industry and clinical collaborators. I have been awarded funding from EPSRC, BBSRC, MRC, Wellcome and Innovate UK.

I am a strong supporter of initiatives to promote the UK biosciences sector and the successful translation of life science discoveries to society. To this end I recently won a HEFCE Catalyst grant at UCL, where the team will develop new education programmes to deliver and grow the skilled workforce needed to sustain the sector.

I have won over £2M in grant funding as principal investigator, published more than 60 peer-reviewed papers and am a visiting professor at Dankook University in South Korea.

  • BSc in Anatomical Sciences, Cardiff University, 2000
  • MPhil in Cell Biology, University of Wales College of Medicine, 2002
  • PhD in Cell & Molecular Biology, Cardiff University, 2006
2018 – date: Professor in Regenerative Medicine, Cell & Gene Therapy Bioprocessing, Aston School of Life & Health Sciences, Aston University

2017: Reader in Cell & Gene Therapy Bioprocessing, Department of Biochemical Engineering, UCL
2014-2017: Senior Lecturer, Department of Biochemical Engineering, UCL
2009-2014: Lecturer, Department of Biochemical Engineering, UCL
2007-2009: Post-Doctoral Research Associate, UCL Institute of Ophthalmology
2005-2007: Post-Doctoral Research Associate, UCL Eastman Dental Institute

Stem cell biology and bioprocessing.

Specific areas of research include:

  • Gene-modified cells (biology and biomanufacturing of existing and novel cell types to create regenerative therapies)
  • T-cells (bioprocessing of T-cells to advance towards safe and potent products with consistent quality)
  • Extracellular vesicles (biology and biomanufacturing)
  • Applications of biomaterials as substrates for cell therapy manufacture and tissue engineering
  • Applications of new device technologies for manipulation, culture and characterisation of cell therapy products

 I have been awarded funding from BBSRC, EPSRC, Innovate UK, MRC, Rosetree’s Foundation and Wellcome including:

  • Innovate UK. £445k (total grant £2.5M). Stem cell-derived exosomes for regenerative medicine. 2016-2019.
  • Wellcome. £1.16M. Characterisation of cell types obtained from mixed cell cultures of the human olfactory mucosa, for the application of central nerve repair. 2016-2020.
Currently recruiting PhD students in the following areas:
  • Gene-modification of cells for neurologic injury
  • Exosomes/extracellular vesicles for treatment of disease
  • Process development for cellular immunotherapies
  • Fellow, Royal Society of Biology
  • Associate Fellow, Institution of Chemical Engineers
  • Senior Fellow, Higher Education Academy