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The Future Investigators of Regenerative Medicine (FIRM) is an international society that brings together early-career researchers passionate about regenerative medicine and tissue engineering. Our keynotes and delegates have diverse, multidisciplinary backgrounds from molecular biology to mechanical engineering. The unique atmosphere at FIRM allows young scientists to expand their regenerative medicine network, facilitate collaborations and hone their career development skills.  

FIRM was established in 2013 by PhD students of the EPSRC Doctoral Training Centre (DTC) in Regenerative Medicine based between Loughborough, Keele and Nottingham University. Over the years, our community has grown to exceed 250 researchers from more than 60 world-class institutions based in over 20 different countries. FIRM has been a hugely successful project, and we hope you will join us on our journey to strengthen the links within regenerative medicine.

“FIRM is a friendly, interactive conference with a unique atmosphere. I couldn’t recommend it enough for PhD students in regenerative medicine.”

Current Committee


Chris Simpson

Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland


Chris graduated with a Masters of Pharmacy from Queen’s University Belfast in 2017. After completing registration with the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland, he is currently completing his PhD with the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI).

Current Work

Chris works with the Tissue Engineering Research Group at RCSI where he investigates regenerative solutions for preventing osteoporotic vertebral fragility fractures. He aims to develop responsive, minimally-invasive scaffold materials, that can deliver therapeutics to delicate and spatially complex osteoporotic environments leading to restoration of functional bone.

Future Work

Chris is interested in continuing to work in drug delivery with particular focus on repurposing already licenced medication for tissue regeneration purposes.


Domhnall Kelly

Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland


Domhnall is a Biochemistry graduate with an MSc in Regenerative Medicine and is completing his PhD in the field of Tissue Engineering at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI).


Current Work

Domhnall is a PhD researcher within the Tissue Engineering Research Group (TERG) at RCSI. His research focuses on the controlled delivery of scaffold-based therapeutics for the treatment of osteoarthritis and cartilage regeneration. He aims to develop a “gene-activated” platform capable of the controlled delivery of therapeutic siRNA using non-viral nanoparticle delivery vectors combined with a collagen-based scaffold which will function to reduce inflammatory responses during the regeneration of osteoarthritic cartilage.

Future Interests

Domhnall hopes to continue researching the development of advanced drug delivery systems, with a particular interest on genetic therapies and their clinical translation. 


Lydia Beeken

University of Nottingham


Lydia is a Biomedical Science graduate with an MRes in Translational Medicine, and is currently completing her PhD at the University of Nottingham.


Current work

She currently researches for her PhD in Academic Ophthalmology, where she investigates regenerative medicine strategies for ocular surface injuries. Her research involves exploring the therapeutic potential of corneal derived mesenchymal stem cells, and the development of a functionalised contact lens to behave as a scaffold for topical application of cells to the cornea.


Future interests

Lydia hopes to continue work within the field of cellular therapies, with an interest in clinical translation.


Catherine Beltran

University of Loughborough


Cathy is a Mechanical Engineering graduate with an MSc (Dist.) in Manufacturing Processes and Management. She is currently completing her PhD at Loughborough University.


Current Work

She is currently conducting research in the Centre for Biological Engineering at
Loughborough University in collaboration with Advance Bioprocess and Hitachi Chemical.
Her research aims to reduce cost and increase quality in the manufacturing aspect of regenerative medicine by improving efficiency and controllability of its processes. To do so, she is exploring the use of mechanistic models that help to predict and then achieve desired outcomes.

Future Interests

Cathy is interested in the industry side of regenerative medicine, particularly in process efficiency that allows the translation of scientific research to customer needs.

Previous Committees


  • Katya Pchelintseva - Imperial College London

  • Niamh - University of Liverpool

  • Catherine Beltran - Loughborough University

  • Domhnall Kelly - Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland

  • Lydia Beeken - University of Nottingham


  • Michael Glinka - University of Southampton

  • James Kusena -  Loughborough University

  • Rabea Loczenski - University of Nottingham

  • Gastón Agustín Primo - Queen Mary University of London


  • Richard Harrison - University of Nottingham

  • Helen Jesson -  Loughborough University 

  • Inés Moreno - University of Southampton


  • Thomas Heathman - Loughborough University

  • Alex Lomas - Keele University

  • Hareklea Markides -  Keele University

  • David Smith - Loughborough University


  • Phoebe McCrorie - University of Nottingham

  • Daniel Green - University of Liverpool

  • Christopher Hill - University of Liverpool

  • Preeti Holland - Loughborough University

  • Juan Aviles Milan - Southampton University



  • Gianluca Cidonio - University of Southampton

  • Lia Blokpoel Ferreras - University of Nottingham

  • Zuzana Kočí - Charles University in Prague

  • Susanne Renz - University of Southampton

  • Stephen Ruck -  Loughborough University

  • Laura Ruiz-Harrison - University of Nottingham


  • Alex Lomas - Keele University

  • Hareklea Markides -  Keele University

  • Jim Rose - University of Nottingham

  • David Smith - Loughborough University

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