The Stem Cell Network and the Medical Research Council Announce 2024 Awardees for the UK-Canada Exchange Program in Regenerative Medicine

January 30, 2024 (Ottawa, Canada/Swindon, UK) – Canada’s Stem Cell Network (SCN) and the UK Medical Research Council (MRC) are pleased to announce the recipients of the 2024 UK-Canada Exchange Program. In total, 10 projects were successful with five Canadian researchers travelling abroad.

First developed in 2022, the purpose of the MRC-SCN UK-Canada Exchange Program is to provide new skills to researchers, including MSc/PhD students, postdoctoral fellows, research associates, technicians, and newly independent investigators, and to build linkages between UK- and Canada-based scientists in regenerative medicine.

The Stem Cell Network and MRC would like to congratulate the 2024 Awardees:

Canadian Awardees traveling to the UK

Betty (Ying) Li from Carleton University will be hosted at Nottingham Trent University
Brad Currier from McMaster University will be hosted at University of Nottingham
Harry Chun Man Cheng from University of British Columbia will be hosted at The Francis Crick Institute
Samantha Flood from Western University will be hosted at the University of Liverpool
Spencer Short of Ottawa Hospital Research Institute will be hosted at the University of Edinburgh

UK Awardees traveling to Canada

Alicja Kuziola from King’s College London will be hosted at the University of Victoria
Elena Ureña Horno from the University of Liverpool will be hosted at Western University
Hannah Crossland from the University of Nottingham will be hosted at McMaster University
Maria Heim from the University of Edinburgh will be hosted at the University of Ottawa
Victor Diez Guardia at King’s College London will be hosted at York University

“On behalf of the Stem Cell Network, I would like to extend my congratulations to the recipients of the 2024 MRC-SCN UK-Canada Exchange Program. Through this joint initiative with the MRC, we are thrilled to empower researchers to share techniques, skills, and insights, and ultimately propel forward the next generation of talent in regenerative medicine. International collaborations such as these can pave the way for ground-breaking advancements that transcend borders, and I look forward to hearing about the experiences of the awardees and the innovative research taking place in Canadian and UK labs alike.”

– Cate Murray, President and CEO, Stem Cell Network

“In collaboration with our partners from Stem Cell Network Canada, we are delighted to jointly fund this exciting initiative aimed at fostering new and growing partnerships among researchers in the field of regenerative medicine. As the second group of researchers begins their exchange, it is evident that this program offers a valuable experience, especially for researchers at an early career stage. We anticipate that these innovative collaborations will leave a lasting impact on the field of regenerative medicine in both Canada and the UK.”

– Charlotte Durkin, Head of Molecular and Cellular Medicine, Medical Research Council, UKRI


About the Stem Cell Network: The Stem Cell Network (SCN) is a Canadian not-for-profit that supports stem cell and regenerative medicine research; training the next generation of highly qualified personnel; and knowledge mobilization and transfer of stem cell and regenerative medicine research. From the lab to the clinic, SCN’s goal is to power life-saving therapies and technologies through regenerative medicine research for the benefit of all. Created in 2001, with support from the Government of Canada, the Network has grown from a few dozen labs to more than 270 world-class research groups, supporting over 250 research projects and 30 clinical trials. Since its inception, over 25 biotech companies have been catalyzed or enhanced and more than 6,400 highly qualified personnel have been trained. In 2021, the Government of Canada demonstrated its continuing trust and support in SCN with an investment of $45 million for the 2022–2025 period.

About the MRC
Promoting stem cell research, regenerative medicine and advanced therapies is a priority for MRC and the UK government, and MRC is committed to supporting research in this area, towards improving human health. In addition, the MRC has a leading national role in training future research leaders across a range of biomedical, clinical and health disciplines, and we are a signatory to the concordat to support the career development of researchers. The development and movement of talented people and their ideas is critical to the success of the UK research and innovation system, and MRC supports international partnerships to tackle important and challenging research goals.

Media Contact:
Samantha Rae Ayoub
Vice President, Communications and Knowledge Mobilization
Stem Cell Network