Welcome to the Manchester BIOGEL newsletter! Here, you can find out what we’ve been up to recently and our plans for the coming months.
It’s the run up to Christmas and here at Manchester BIOGEL, we’ve been getting into the festive spirit. Our office is kitted out with tinsel and we’ve been excitedly opening our advent calendars each day. As it is the season of good will, we’re also taking part in Christmas Jumper Day this Friday, 14th December. The money raised will provide much needed support to help Save the Children give every child the best possible start in life. Find out more, including how you can get involved, here.
On Monday, we had our team Christmas meal at The Merlin in Alderley Edge and indulged in plenty of good food and wine. We had lots to celebrate; a company rebrand, four new employees, product developments and new research collaborations.
We’d like to thank each and everyone one of you that has supported us over the last year – we couldn’t have done it without you!
Manchester BIOGEL Community
Great news: the number of Manchester BIOGEL customers is growing! We want to create a community of PeptiGel® users to help make every customer experience as positive as possible. Therefore, on Monday 21st January 2019 we are running our first User Group Meeting, where people can share experiences, build knowledge and gain practical skills.
Professor Julie Gough will be presenting her work in regenerative medicine using PeptiGels® and Dr Alessandro Faroni will discuss how PeptiGels® can be used for peripheral nerve regeneration. Other users will also share how they were able to optimise these hydrogels for their research during our troubleshooting session. We’re keen to get everyone involved so we’re encouraging everyone to bring along a poster to share their research and experiences during the lunch break.
Our Chief Operations Officer, Aline Miller, will share the product development we’re working on, discuss the ways that we can offer technical support and lead a discussion on how you can benefit from funding and collaboration with us. Mi Zhou, our Production and Development Manager, will be running a hands-on session for users to practice pipetting our hydrogels and setting up cell culture experiments – this workshop is particularly beneficial for new PeptiGel® users.
If you like to join us, please register here.
Looking forward to seeing you in January!
New Team Member
In October, we saw our team expand once again as David Jones started as our Key Account Manager. David will be focused on building relationships with current customers, as well as reaching out to new scientists about the potential benefits of PeptiGels® in their work.
After completing his PhD in biochemistry at The University of Sheffield, David started his career working as a postdoctoral research fellow at three overseas institutes, primarily in the field of oncology. During these years, he spent many hours in cell culture labs growing cells and monitoring their behaviours. From there, he moved into operations management before returning to the UK to work with Cancer Research UK and then with AstraZeneca. Prior to working with Manchester BIOGEL he worked in a commercial client-facing field-based role with medical-scientific companies as part of an EU-funded initiative to enhance both research confidence and capability in Central and Eastern Europe. David brings with him considerable experience from both academic and commercial environments, making him an ideal fit for the role.
“What attracted me to the role was the opportunity to use my strong scientific background, my project management capability and my competency in a commercial environment. I see Manchester BIOGEL as place to deploy my skills to enable the business to grow. At the same time the needs of scientists, engaged in both fundamental research projects and commercial operations, are met through the use of the company’s products.”
Interviews with our Founders
As you may know, our PeptiGel® technology began over 15 years ago when two of our founders, Professor Alberto Saiani and Professor Aline Miller, started to investigate the fundamental physics behind the self-assembly of small molecules, including peptides, at The University of Manchester. Alberto’s previous experience of hydrogels led them to probe the gelling properties of these self-assembling peptides and the first PeptiGel® was born!
For over ten years Aline, Alberto and their research groups worked on developing and understanding these materials and providing them to co-workers for cell culture applications in the biomedical field. It was only when demand grew too much for the research group to cope with, that Manchester BIOGEL was founded. We now have a family of five different hydrogels, which can be used in a variety of applications including 3D cell culture, 3D bioprinting, incorporation into medical devices and drug delivery.
To find out more about how our PeptiGels® came about, watch the individual interviews with Aline and Alberto on our YouTube Channel or click on the videos below.