Meet the team

Meet the team final

Professor Ivan Wall

Ivan is an inter-disciplinary scientist who has undertaken research at the interface of cell biology, bioprocessing, biomaterials and novel devices. He obtained a PhD in cell and molecular biology, has spent most of his academic career working with industry and clinical collaborators and has completed an MBA and Level 7 Apprenticeship.

Ivan has been awarded funding from UK research councils, charity and industry. He has been part of, as PI or co-I, successful grant applications totalling over £40M in grant funding as principal investigator, published 70 peer-reviewed papers and was a visiting professor at Dankook University in South Korea. His diverse research interests have influenced his interests in innovation for skills and training, including the creation of unique digital training platforms for medicines manufacturers.


Ivan Wall

Professor Phil Newsome

Phil is a clinician who is the Director of Midlands & Wales Advanced Therapy Treatment Centre and Deputy Director NIHR Birmingham Biomedical Research Centre. He has received a range of funding including large project/programme grants (EUFP7, MRC, Innovate UK, NIHR and MRC/Wellcome Clinical Training Fellowships). Phil has established three cutting edge clinical trials which he is the Chief Investigator on: One of these, REALISTIC, is the largest clinical trial of haematopoietic stem cell therapy in patients with liver cirrhosis in Europe/US was published in Lancet Gastroenterology & Hepatology.

He co-ordinates the MERLIN (EU FP7) consortium which includes a clinical trial of mesenchymal stromal cells in patients with primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) and also the POLARISE basket trial in patients with PSC, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease and lupus nephritis. This research portfolio has led to high impact publications throughout including both original articles (PNAS, Gastroenterology, Journal of Hepatology, Hepatology, Nature, Gut, American Journal of Transplantation, Annals of Internal Medicine, Lancet) and review articles (FASEB, Nature Reviews, Gastroenterology, Journal of Hepatology). 


Phil Newsome

Dr Patricia Esteban

Patricia is a chemical engineer with extensive expertise across advanced therapies and with research focus on tissue engineering. PPE has worked on a collaborative project with Unilever, funded by the NC3Rs and InnovateUK in a ‘Non-Animal Technology’ (NAT) feasibility study.

She studied a novel strategy to mimic skin vascularisation using porous hollow fibres. This work obtained national recognition at the very prestigious ‘SET for Britain Competition 2016’, where it was awarded the Gold Medal for Engineering. Currently, as Lecturer/Group Leader in the College of Health and Life Sciences at Aston University, her research continues to investigate the application of engineering principles for in vitro modelling and scaling-up of cell-based therapies.

Research in her laboratory is currently funded by the Academy of Medical Sciences, EPSRC and Aston University College of Health and Life Sciences. She has authored 11 publications to date and supervises 3 PhD students.


Patricia Esteban

Dr Stuart Curbishley

Stuart was awarded his PhD by the University of Birmingham in 2005 after which his group developed a programme of immune based therapies for liver disease and liver cancer. Backed by a successful National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Biomedical Research Centre (BRC), he has undertaken a variety of first-in-man early phase clinical trials. As a senior scientist within the BRC, Stuart led the development of cell therapy based around dendritic cell vaccination for primary liver cancer.  Following this success, the University invested in the building and licensing of an ATMP manufacturing facility which Stuart now directs. 

The Advanced Therapies Facility manages the development of new ATMPs, both within the University of Birmingham and with UK and international partner organisations and is part of the UK government funded Advanced Therapies Treatment Centre programme. 

This initiative is tasked with developing streamlined manufacturing, logistics, and clinical pathways to improve access to ATMPs for patients within the National Health Service. Birmingham, in partnership with other Midlands institutions and NHS Wales is one of three specialist Advanced Therapy Treatment Centres in the UK. 

Stuart continues to grow the portfolio of ATMPs manufactured at the ATF, extending to T cell products, stromal cells, chondrocytes, and dendritic cells and brings his expertise in closing manufacturing processes and developing sustainable, scaleable solutions to the projects his team work on.