Innovating biomaterials design for regenerative medicine and biosensing

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Professor Molly Stevens

Molly Stevens is Professor of Biomedical Materials and Regenerative Medicine and the Research Director for Biomedical Material Sciences in the Department of Materials, Department of Bioengineering and the Institute of Biomedical Engineering at Imperial College London.

She joined Imperial in 2004 after a Postdoctoral training in the laboratory of Professor Robert Langer in the Chemical Engineering Department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Prior to this she graduated from Bath University with a First Class Honours degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences and was then awarded a PhD in biophysical investigations of specific biomolecular interactions and single biomolecule mechanics from the Laboratory of Biophysics and Surface Analysis at the University of Nottingham (2000).

In 2010 she was recognised by The Times as one of the top ten scientists under the age of 40 and also received the Polymer International-IUPAC award for creativity in polymer science, the Rosenhain medal and the Norman Heatley Prize for Interdisciplinary research from the Royal Society of Chemistry. In 2009 she was awarded the Jean Leray Award from the European Society for Biomaterials, in 2007 the prestigious Conference Science Medal from the Royal Pharmaceutical Society and in 2005 the Philip Leverhulme Prize for Engineering. She has also recently been recognised by the TR100, a compilation of the top innovators, under the age of 35, who are transforming technology - and the world with their work. Her previous awards include the Ronald Belcher Memorial Lecture Award from the Royal Society of Chemistry (2000) and both the Janssen Prize and the Upjohn Prize for academic excellence and research. In 2010 Molly was awarded the RSC Norman Heatley Prize and the IOM3 Rosenhain Medal and Prize. In 2012 Molly was awarded the Griffith Prize and medal from IOM3. In 2012 she presented the Royal Society Clifford Patterson Lecture and in 2013 she was elected Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering. She received the Clemson Award for Basic Research in 2016 and the Marshall R. Urist Award in 2018. Since 2018 she is the Director of the UK Regenerative Medicine Platform (UKRMP) "Smart Materials Hub". Molly is also a co-Director of the large EPSRC Interdisciplinary Research Centre i-sense, which develops novel diagnostics for infectious diseases.

She has a large and extremely multidisciplinary research group of students and postdocs/fellows. The group is focused on both high quality fundamental science and translation for human health. Research in regenerative medicine within her group includes the directed differentiation of stem cells, the design of novel bioactive scaffolds and new approaches towards tissue regeneration. She has developed novel approaches to tissue engineering that are likely to prove very powerful in the engineering of large quantities of human mature bone for autologous transplantation as well as other vital organs such as liver and pancreas, which have proven elusive with other approaches. This has led to moves to translate the technology (including the founding of spin-out companies). In the field of nanotechnology the group has current research efforts in exploiting specific biomolecular recognition and self-assembly mechanisms to create new dynamic nano-materials, biosensors and drug delivery systems. Recent efforts by the Stevens group in peptide-functionalised nanoparticles for enzyme biosensing have enabled the most sensitive facile enzyme detection to date and have a host of applications across diseases ranging from cancer to global health applications.

Honours & Awards:

Surfaces and Interfaces Award, Royal Society of Chemistry (2019)
John J. Ryan Distinguished Guest Lecture Medal, Royal College of Surgeons Ireland (2019)
Foreign Member of the National Academy of Engineering (2019)
Rosalind Franklin Medal and Prize, Institute of Physics (2018)
Polymer Technology Netherlands Medema Lecture Award, 2018
Marshall R. Urist Award, Orthopaedics Research Society, 2018
Harrison Medal, Royal Pharmaceutical Society, 2017
Imperial College President’s Award and Medal for Outstanding Research Team, 2016
Clemson Award for Basic Research, Society for Biomaterials, 2016
Research Group of the Year, European Life Science Awards, 2014
Corday-Morgan Prize, Royal Society of Chemistry, 2014
Karen Burt Award, Women’s Engineering Society, 2013
EU-40 Prize, The European Materials Research Society, 2012
Griffith Medal and Prize, Institute of Materials Minerals and Mining, 2012
Clifford Paterson Lecture Award, The Royal Society, 2012
Wain Medal Award Lecture, University of Kent, 2011
Outstanding Young Investigator Award, Controlled Release Society, 2011
Rosenhain Medal and Prize, IOM3, 2010
Norman Heatley Award, Royal Society of Chemistry, 2010
IUPAC - Polymer International Award for Creativity in Polymer Science, IUPAC - Polymer International, 2010
ACES Amgen Life Sciences Award, Science Business Innovation Board, 2009
Jean Leray Award, European Society for Biomaterials, 2009
Tissue and Cell Engineering Society Young Investigator Award, Tissue and Cell Engineering Society, 2007
Science Medal, Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, 2006
Philip Leverhulme Prize, Leverhulme Trust, 2005
TR100 (Top 100 Young Innovators), Technology Review, 2004
Ronald Belcher Memorial Lecture Award, Royal Society of Chemistry, 2000
Upjohn Award, Upjohn Pharmaceuticals, 1996
Janssen Prize, University of Bath, 1995

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