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Glen Kirkham

Glen Kirkham

Senior Lecturer

School of Science & Technology

Staff Group(s)


Dr Kirkham is a Lecturer in Biochemistry within the Biosciences team, School of Science and Technology. His main contributions to teaching at NTU are in the fields of Biochemistry and Cell Biology within both Undergraduate and Postgraduate courses. Dr Kirkham is module leader for Antibody and DNA Technology, Experimental Design (MBiol) and Science Communication (MBiol).

Dr Kirkham’s research interests focus on the modelling and study of cellular microenvironments and in particular those associated with the adult and embryonic stem cell niche.

Career overview

  • Lecturer in Molecular Biosciences. Nottingham Trent University June 2016 – Present
  • Senior Research Fellow. University of Nottingham. Aug 2015 – Feb 2016
  • Postdoctoral Research Associate. University of Nottingham. Aug 2007 – Aug 2015.
    • 2014 – 2015 Project Title: “Rapid manufacture of living micro-tissues with holographic optical tweezers; Cell 'LEGO' for regenerative medicine”
    • 2010 – 2014 Project Title: “Materials that Impose Architecture within Stem Cell Populations” – funded by the ERC
    • 2007 – 2010 Project Title: “Growth, form and function: the mathematics of 3D tissue morphogenesis and regenerative medicine” – funded by the BBSRC and EPSRC
  • Ph.D. in Orthopaedic Tissue Engineering. University of Keele, Institute of Science and Technology in Medicine (ISTM). Oct 2003 – Aug 2007.
  • B.Sc. (Dual Honours), Biology and Biochemistry. University of Keele. Sep 2000 – July 2003.

Research areas

Medical research strategies such as tissue engineering and regenerative medicine aim to generate functional tissue analogues for therapeutic use. The approaches utilised vary but will usually involve the use of an appropriate cell source and a supportive scaffold. In an effort to adequately recapitulate native biological structure the complexity of these constructs is becoming ever more sophisticated. The majority focus on the bulk macroscopic structure but can be limited in their ability to effectively reproduce cellular microenvironments. Dr Kirkham’s research focuses on the design and construction of sophisticated micro-environmental models in order to address this constraint.

Dr Kirkham’s work utilises multidisciplinary approaches combining biology, physics and engineering principles to create in vitro model systems to investigate cellular microstructure. His work focuses on the microenvironments associated with adult and embryonic stem cells, as well as bone tissue, in order to better understand the underpinning mechanisms that regulate cellular activities.

Opportunities arise to carry out postgraduate research towards an MPhil / PhD in the areas identified above. Further information may be obtained on the NTU Research Degrees website

Thematic areas for prospective PhD projects:

  • Stem cell biology
  • Tissue engineering application using stem cells
  • Tissue engineering applications involving bone tissue
  • Micro-environmental modelling
  • Extracellular matrix interactions with stem cells

External activity

Science Outreach Activities

  • Outreach Champion for the Bioscicnes team at NTU
  • Invited public lecture at the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition – July 2014
  • Feature on the BBC TV series Operation Ouch – June 2014
  • Interactive stall at RPS New Medicines Exhibition (Stall Organiser) – May 2014
  • Interactive stall at the NLCS Science Café (Stall Organiser) – Feb 2014
  • Interactive stall (Biology Builders) at Royal Society Summer Exhibition (Stall Organiser) - July 2013

Sponsors and collaborators

  • Dr Lee Buttery – University of Nottingham
  • Dr Lisa White – University of Nottingham
  • Dr Graham Gibson – University of Glasgow
  • Prof Miles Padgett – University of Glasgow
  • Dr Martin Ehrbar – University of Zurich


Alom N, Peto H, Kirkham GR, White LJ, Shakesheff K. “Osteoinductive Activity of Decellularized Bone Matrix Hydrogel for Bone Regeneration”. Journal of Biomedical Materials Research Part B

Kirkham GR, Britchford E, Upton T, Ware J, Gibson GM, Devaud Y, Ehrbar M, Padgett M, Allen S, Buttery LDK, Shakesheff K. “Precision Assembly of Complex Cellular Microenvironments using Holographic Optical Tweezers”. Scientific Reports, 5 (2015)

Sidney LE, Kirkham GR, Buttery LD. “Comparison of Osteogenic Differentiation of Embryonic Stem Cells and Primary Osteoblasts Revealed by Responses to IL-1β, TNF-α, and IFN-γ”. Stem Cells and Development, 23(6),605-17 (2013)

Sidney LE, Kirkham GR, Buttery LD. “Tissue Engineering in Hostile Environments: The effects of inflammation on embryonic stem cell-derived osteogenic cells”. Journal of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine, 6:251-251 (2012)

Sawkins MJ, Shakesheff KM, Bonassar LJ, Kirkham GR. “3D Cell and Scaffold Patterning Strategies in Tissue Engineering”. Recent Patents on Biomedical Engineering, 6, 3-21 (2013)

Kirkham GR, Lovrics A, Byrne HM , King JR, Shakesheff KM, Sottile V, Buttery LDK. “Early Gene Regulation of Osteogenesis in Embryonic Stem Cells” Integrative Biology, 1470–1477 (2012)

Fozard JA, Kirkham GR, Buttery LDK, King JR, Jensen OE, Byrne HM. “Techniques for Analysing Pattern Formation in Populations of Stem cells and their Progeny”. BMC Bioinformatics, 12:396 (2011)

Kirkham GR, Elliot KJ, Keramane A, Salter DM, Dobson JP, El Haj AJ, Cartmell SH.

“Electrophysiological Responses of Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells in Response to Magnetic Force”

IEEE Transactions in Nanobioscience. 9:1 pp71-74 (2010)

Cartmell SH, Keramane A, Kirkham GR, Verschueren S, Magnay JL, El Haj AJ, Dobson J.

“Use of Magnetic Particles to Apply Mechanical Forces for Bone Tissue Engineering Purposes”

Journal of Physics. 17: pp77-80 (2005)

See all of Glen Kirkham's publications...

Press expertise

Stem Cells, Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine, Cell Microenvironments