On 10th to 12th October 2019, Dr Fatima Abukunna, a postdoctoral researcher in the FRAME Alternatives Laboratory, attended the 11th International Meeting of the Portuguese Society for Stem Cells and Cell Therapies (SPCE-TC) in Lisbon to showcase her liver research.
Fatima is currently completing a nine-month postdoc position at the Alternatives Laboratory, focusing on research that will help progress quality, in vitro liver models. Human liver models have the potential to provide more valid data than current animal models in drug development and disease research.
Fatima came to Nottingham from Northern Sudan to carry out her PhD in the FRAME Alternatives Laboratory under the supervision of Dr Andrew Bennett. During her PhD, she isolated Hepatic Progenitor Cells (HPCs) from human liver tissue and successfully cultured them to differentiate into hepatocyte-like mature liver cells. There is further information on Fatima’s work here.
The SPCE-TC International Meeting invited high quality researchers in academia, health care institutions and industry to join together to discuss the new trends and challenges in the emerging field of stem cell biology and cell-based therapy.
At the conference, Fatima displayed a poster titled: ‘Effects of physiological hypoxia and acellular liver scaffolds on differentiation of hepatic progenitor cells from human liver.’
The poster showcased how the Laboratory successfully cultured and differentiated HPCs on decellularized liver matrix in hypoxic conditions representative of the lower oxygen levels found in the human liver.
Commenting on the conference, Fatima said: “I thoroughly enjoyed attending the event and sharing my research with scientists in the stem cell field. The potential impact of my research on in vitro liver model development generated lots of interesting discussion. The conference was a great opportunity for me to network, exchange ideas and listen to some exciting talks from industry experts.”
Fatima’s travel was funded by the European Cooperation in Science and Technology (ECOST).
For more information about the research taking place in the FRAME Alternatives Laboratory, visit our projects page here.