Professor Anthony Metcalfe BSc(Hons), PhD, FRSB

Dr Anthony Metcalfe

School of Chemical Engineering
Professor of Wound Healing

Contact details

Healthcare Technologies Institute
Institute of Translational Medicine
Heritage Building (Old Queen Elizabeth Hospital)
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston, Birmingham. B15 2TH

Tony Metcalfe is a Professor of Wound Healing within the School of Chemical Engineering and the Healthcare Technologies Institute (HTI), and has published over 60 research papers in scientific journals and numerous abstracts, reviews and book chapters in different research and therapeutic areas including tissue repair, regenerative medicine and scar free healing, dermatology, ophthalmology, inflammation and oncology. He has received major grants from the MRC, Wellcome Trust, Wolfson Foundation, Freemason’s Grand Charity.

Tony is an enthusiastic communicator on the theme of tissue repair, translational medicine and scar free healing and gives frequent talks to various groups at both the local and national level. Tony has contributed to local and national media, including newspaper, TV and radio interviews on stories relating to wound repair, burns and scar reduction technologies.

Tony Metcalfe is part of the Healthcare Technologies Institute (HTI), an interdisciplinary network of over 70 academics working together to advance new technologies and treatments that encourage better tissue healing and rehabilitation tools.  The HTI brings together leading experts from a variety of disciplines across the University of Birmingham, including chemical engineering, biomedical science, computer science, applied mathematics, chemistry and physics. Researchers across campus are working collaboratively to speed up the translation of new discoveries into health applications.


Senior Fellow in Medical Technology:

  • Fellow of The Royal Society of Biology, Oct 2017
  • Senior Research Scientist, University of Manchester, 2000
  • PhD in Molecular Genetics, University of Lancaster,1994
  • BSc(Hons) Biochemistry, University of Lancaster, 1990


Anthony Metcalfe qualified with a BSc(Hons) in Biochemistry and has a PhD in Molecular Genetics. His research has characterised wound healing and scar reduction, programmed cell death mechanisms in mammary gland biology & pre-implantation development, as well as engineering bispecific antibodies as a therapy for cancer. Tony has worked in academia, industry and the not-for-profit sectors as Professor and Director of Research at the Universities of Manchester, Brighton, St Mary’s Hospital, Manchester, Renovo Ltd, F-star Biotechnology Ltd and The Blond McIndoe Research Foundation and at The Medical Devices Testing and Evaluation Centre at The University of Birmingham. He has developed techniques for creating novel skin substitutes, delivery mechanisms for skin cells and stem cells, has investigated bi-specific antibodies for cancer therapies entering Phase I trials and developed scar reduction technologies from proof of concept lab based studies through to multicentre Phase III clinical trials.

Tony has published widely and is a member of the editorial board of The Frontiers in Surgery: Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery and the Editorial Board of Materials in Medicine: Journal of Materials Science.

Tony has been a scientific and commercial advisory panel member for the Technology Strategy Board – Regenerative Medicine / Tools and Technologies, a scientific and clinical advisory panel member to DEBRA and DEBRA International.

Tony has acted as an advisory reviewer to the Scar Free Foundation and input into their Research Strategy and has acted as Scientific Advisor to the GSK Fibrosis Discovery.


MSc Trauma Science - Burns and Critical Care


Tony has 25 years of experience in academic, not-for-profit and small to medium Biotech sectors in a range of cross disciplinary therapeutic areas (Scarring, Fibrosis, Healing and Breast, Gastric and Skin Cancer), biological pathways, molecular targets and target organs. He has interdisciplinary experience in innovative discovery, translational medicine and commercialisation expertise with a patient focussed outlook.

Specific research interests include:

Scarring and Scar-free healing: The development of scar reducing technologies is a major interest leading to the alleviation of scarring due to burns, trauma and other wound injuries. Scarring also leads to hyperpigmentation, pain, itch and redness as well as the loss of adnexal structures such as hair follicles, nerves, blood vessels, sweat glands etc. The restoration of such structures is necessary for the correct functioning of skin during and after a wound has healed and this is an area of ongoing interest.

Burns and wound healing research including the delivery of sprayed keratinocytes for accelerated re-epithelialisation of burn wounds. Additionally the use of fat cells for wound healing and tissue contour restoration.

Biomaterials for wound healing – using natural materials such as alginates, gelatin etc for wound healing, scar reduction and skin regeneration.

Wound repair and regeneration – using in vitro cell models and molecules implicated in regeneration and repair processes.

Programmed Cell Death – research has investigated apoptosis and anoikis mechanisms during mammary gland development and preimplantion embryogenesis as well as during wound healing and mammalian regeneration.

Commercialisation of novel technologies for scar reduction, wound healing and oncology: Having taken technologies from bench concept through to multi-centre Phase III clinical trials, Tony has experience in IP protection, Regulatory, Pre-Clinical and Clinical studies of drugs and devices for scarring and oncology.

Other activities

Named Inventor on Patents:
2011: WO Patent 2011033304: Improvement of Tendon Repair.
2011: WO Patent 2011033305: Mannose-6-Phosphate for use in promoting peripheral nerve function after injury. 
2011: WO Patent 2011033306: Inhibition of Tendon Adhesions.
2009: WO Patent 2009074797: Methods for inhibiting scarring.

  • Scientific and Commercial Advisory panel member for the Technology Strategy Board – Regenerative Medicine / Tools and Technologies.
  • Scientific and Clinical Advisory panel member to DEBRA and DEBRA International.
  • Advisory reviewer to the Scar Free Foundation and input into their Research Strategy
  • Scientific Advisor to GSK Fibrosis Discovery Performance Unit, Stevenage.
  • Observer Adviser to an EU Interreg 2 Seas Project : Design of Enabling Regenerative Materials: DERMA.
  • Fellow of The Royal Society of Biology.
  • Member of the Editorial Board of The Frontiers in Surgery: Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery and the Editorial Board of Materials in Medicine: Journal of Materials Science.
  • Grant reviewer for MRC, Wellcome Trust, BBSRC, DEBRA, DEBRA International, British Skin Foundation, The Dunhill Medical Trust, The Rosetrees Trust, Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity, University Hospitals Birmingham Charity.
  • Peer reviewer for Burns, Tissue Engineering, Journal of Anatomy, Journal of Cell Science, Journal of Cell Biology Development, Frontiers in Surgery, Wound Repair & Regeneration, Materials in Medicine: Journal of Materials Science.
  • Committed to the promotion of equal opportunities in science. For over ten years have reviewed grant applications, supported and attended the Annual L’Oreal UNESCO Women in Science Awards.
  • Foster collegiate and collaborative endeavour with fellow academics, clinicians and industry colleagues.
  • Delivered Educational course lectures at European Burns Association on burns wound healing and scarring in Hannover, Birmingham, Cardiff and Manchester.
  • Delivered Educational lectures at British Burns Association on burns, wound healing and tissue engineering in Manchester, Bristol, Cardiff, East Grinstead.
  • Founder member of The Brighton Centre for Regenerative Medicine and member of Steering Committee.
  • Past co-chairman of :
    • EMBO Meeting on Tissue Repair and Regeneration.
    • British Society for Cell Biology Meeting on the Cell and Molecular Biology of Apoptosis.
  • Elected to join a consortium of academics and clinicians to form a European network of The European Burns Association and as a member of the Scientific Integration Group of the British Burns Association.
  • Invited to Innovate UK advisory panels on “Regenerative Medicine, Tools & Technologies” and “Enabling Tissue Sample Analysis for Stratified Medicine”.
  • Trustee of The Melanoma Fund.
  • October 2017 - August 2018: Senior Research Fellow, MD-TEC, University of Birmingham.
  • January 2017 – present: Cicatrices Research Consulting Ltd: Company Director and Chief Consultant
  • April 2013 – December 2016: Professor of Burns & Wound Healing Research, Brighton Centre for Regenerative Medicine, Pharmacy & Biomolecular Sciences, University of Brighton, UK and Director of Research, Blond McIndoe Research Foundation, The Queen Victoria Hospital, East Grinstead.
  • December 2011 – March 2013: Director of Target Assessment & Biology, F-star Biotechnology Ltd, Cambridge, UK.
  • November 2009 - October 2011: Head of Scientific Opportunities, Renovo Ltd, Manchester, UK.
  • October 2007 - November 2009: Head of Research, Renovo Ltd, Manchester, UK.
  • April 2007 - October 2007: Biomolecular Discovery and Research Manager, Renovo Ltd, Manchester, UK
  • Feb 2002 - March 2007: Senior Research Scientist & Team Leader, UK Centre for Tissue Engineering. (BBSRC, MRC, EPSRC). Universities of Liverpool & Manchester.
  • Feb 1999 - Jan 2002: Postdoctoral Research Fellow characterising apoptosis in pre-implantation human embryos (MRC). St Mary’s Hospital, Manchester.
  • Nov 1994 - Jan 1999: Postdoctoral Research Associate – studying the role of apoptosis in the developing mammary gland and in Breast Cancer (Wellcome Trust, MRC) Manchester University.


Alves DR, Booth SP, Scavone P, Schellenberger P, Salvage J, Dedi C, Thet NT, Jenkins ATA, Waters R, Ng KW, Overall ADJ, Metcalfe AD, Nzakizwanayo J, Jones BV. (2018). Development of a High-Throughput ex-Vivo Burn Wound Model Using Porcine Skin, and Its Application to Evaluate New Approaches to Control Wound Infection. Front Cell Infect Microbiol; 8:196. doi: 10.3389/fcimb.2018.00196.

Martin YH, Jubin K, Smalley S, Wong JPF, Brown RA, Metcalfe AD. (2017). A novel system for expansion and delivery of human keratinocytes for the treatment of severe cutaneous injuries using microcarriers and compressed collagen. J Tissue Eng Regen Med. 2017 Nov; 11(11):3124-3133. doi: 10.1002/term.2220. Epub 2017 Jan 4.

Martin YH, Jubin K, Smalley S, Wong JP, Brown RA, Metcalfe AD (2017). A novel system for expansion and delivery of human keratinocytes for the treatment of severe cutaneous injuries using microcarriers and compressed collagen. J Tissue Eng Regen Med. 2017 Jan 4. doi: 10.1002/term.2220. [Epub ahead of print].

Roxburgh J, Metcalfe AD, Martin YH (2016). The effect of medium selection on adipose-derived stem cell expansion and differentiation: implications for application in regenerative medicine. Cytotechnology, 68(4): 957–967.

Martin, YH, Metcalfe AD (2016). “Epithelial stem cells and their use in regenerative applications for severe cutaneous injuries” in "Recent Advances in Biomedical Engineering" Volume 2, 39-62. Edited by S. Naqvi, Bentham Publications. 

Martin YH, Lali, FV, Metcalfe AD (2016). “Modelling Healing in Wounds” in Wound healing biomaterials Vol 1: therapies and regeneration, 6; 151-173. Edited by M Agren, Elsevier Publications.

Lali, FV, Martin YH, Metcalfe AD (2016). “Advances in Biopharmaceutical Agents and Growth Factors for Wound Healing and Scarring” in Skin Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine, 17, 337-355. Edited by M Albanna and A Holmes. Elsevier publications.

Nzakizwanayo J, Hanin A, Alves DR, McCutcheon B, Dedi C, Salvage J, Knox K, Stewart B, Metcalfe AD, Clark J, Gilmore BF, Gahan CG, Jenkins AT, Jones BV. (2015). Bacteriophage Can Prevent Encrustation and Blockage of Urinary Catheters by Proteus mirabilis. Antimicrob Agents Chemother;60(3):1530-6.

Appelt, J, Martin YH, Phillips, G, Metcalfe AD (2015) Advanced scaffolds for soft tissue replacement. Plastic, Maxillofacial and Aesthetic Surgery News: 2(6) 15-19.

Gilleard, O, Potter, L, Metcalfe, AD, Segaren, N, Breitenfeldt, N, Diaz-Siso, JR, Pomahac, B, Dheansa, B (2015). New developments for the delivery of plastic surgical research in the UK.  The Annals and Bulletin of The Royal College of Surgeons 97 (2), 13-19.

Metcalfe AD, Wong JK, McGrouther DA, Ferguson MWJ et al., (2014). Reduction of Tendon Adhesions Following Administration of Adaprev, a Hypertonic Solution of Mannose-6-Phosphate: Mechanism of Action Studies.  PLOS ONE 9(11):e112672.

Lehnihan, C, Rogers C, Metcalfe AD, Martin Y (2014). The effect of isolation and culture methods on epithelial stem cell populations and their progeny – towards an improved cell expansion protocol for clinical application. Cytotherapy 11:1-10.

Kieran I, Taylor C, Bush J, Rance M, So K, Boanas A, Metcalfe AD, Hobson R, Goldspink N, Hutchison J, Ferguson MW (2014). Effects of interleukin-10 on cutaneous wounds and scars in humans of African continental ancestral origin. Wound Repair Regen;22(3):326-33.

Lali, FV, Metcalfe AD (2014). The role of angiogenesis in wound healing, scarring and tissue regeneration. Plastic, Maxillofacial and Aesthetic Surgery News 2(1):15-18.

Martin, Y, Lali F, Mbundi, L, Metcalfe AD (2014). Improved wound healing for burns and other complicated wounds. NAPC Review 2: 24-29.

Pinney, J, Metcalfe AD (2014).  Sir Archibald McIndoe and the Guinea Pig Club. Plastic, Maxillofacial and Aesthetic Surgery News 1(2) 19-24.

Kieran I, Knock A, Bush J, So K, Metcalfe AD, Hobson R, Mason T, O'Kane S, Ferguson MW. (2013). Interleukin-10 reduces scar formation in both animal and human cutaneous wounds: Results of two preclinical and phase II randomized control studies. Wound Repair Regen; 21(3):428-36.

Buckley G, Wong J, Metcalfe AD, Ferguson MW. (2012) Denervation affects regenerative responses in MRL/MpJ and repair in C57BL/6 ear wounds. J Anat 220(1):3-12. Invited Front Cover Image.

Ngeow WC, Atkins S, Morgan CR, Metcalfe AD, Boissonade FM, Loescher AR, Robinson PP (2011).  A comparison between the effects of three potential scar-reducing agents applied at a site of sciatic nerve repair. Neuroscience 181; 271–277.

Ngeow WC, Atkins S, Morgan CR, Metcalfe AD, Boissonade FM, Loescher AR, Robinson PP (2011). The effect of Mannose-6-Phosphate on recovery after sciatic nerve repair. Brain Res;1394:40-8 

Ngeow WC, Atkins S, Morgan CR, Metcalfe AD, Boissonade FM, Loescher AR, Robinson PP (2011). Histomorphometric changes in repaired mouse sciatic nerves are unaffected by the application of a scar reducing agent. J Anat 219(5):638-45.

So K, McGrouther DA, Bush JA, Durani P, Taylor L, Skotny G,  Mason T, Metcalfe AD, O'Kane S, Ferguson MWJ (2011). Avotermin for Scar Improvement following Scar Revision Surgery: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Within-Patient, Placebo-Controlled, Phase II Clinical Trial. Plast Recon Surg 128(1); 163-172.

Buckley G, Metcalfe AD, Ferguson MW (2011). Peripheral nerve regeneration in the MRL/MpJ ear wound model. J Anat. 218(2):163-72. Invited Front Cover Image.

Metcalfe, AD, and Ferguson, MWJ. (2011). Regeneration of Mammalian Skin.  In Encyclopaedia of Life Sciences. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. [doi: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0001109.pub2]

Metcalfe AD, Occleston NL, Boanas A, Burgoyne NJ, Nield K, O'Kane S, Ferguson MW. (2011). The discovery and development of new therapeutic treatments for the improvement of scarring.  Chapter 4, In “Advanced Wound Repair Therapies”, Ed D.Farrer, Woodhead Publishing Limited, Cambridge.

Occleston NL, Metcalfe AD, Boanas A, Burgoyne NJ, Nield K, O'Kane S, Ferguson MW. (2010). Therapeutic improvement of scarring: mechanisms of scarless and scar-forming healing and approaches to the discovery of new treatments. Dermatol Res Pract. pii: 405262.

Metcalfe AD, French N, Burgoyne N, Laverty H, Sattar A, Boanas A, Ferguson WM, O'Kane S, Occleston N  (2009). Comparison of Scarring in Mice, Rats, Pigs and Man Shows Comparability of Gene Expression Profiles. Wound Repair and Regeneration 17(2):A18

Metcalfe AD and Ferguson MW (2008). Skin stem and progenitor cells: using regeneration as a tissue-engineering strategy. Cell Mol Life Sci 65(1):24-32.

Kimber SJ, Sneddon SF, Bloor DJ, El-Bareg AM, Hawkhead JA, Metcalfe AD, Houghton FD, Leese HJ, Rutherford A, Lieberman BA, Brison DR (2008). Expression of genes involved in early cell fate decisions in human embryos and their regulation by growth factors. Reproduction; 135(5):635-47.

Metcalfe AD, Willis HS, Shawcross SG, McGrouther DA, Ferguson MWJ (2007). Regeneration Strategies in Skin Tissue Engineering. Intl J Low Ext Wounds 6 (3) 182-183.

Metcalfe AD, Bennett J, Ferguson MWJ (2007). Regeneration and Repair Within the MRL/MpJ Mouse. Intl J Low Ext Wounds 6 (3) 184.

Metcalfe AD, Ferguson MW. (2007) Bioengineering skin using mechanisms of regeneration and repair. Biomaterials 28(34):5100-13. 

Metcalfe AD and Ferguson MW (2007). Tissue Engineering of replacement skin: the crossroads of biomaterials, wound healing, embryonic development, stem cells and regeneration. Journal of The Royal Society Interface 4(14):413-37. Cited as the 4th most read Interface article (with 41,300 full text reads).

Metcalfe AD, Willis H, Beare A, Ferguson MW (2006). Characterizing regeneration in the vertebrate ear. J Anat. 209(4):439-46.

Beare AH, Metcalfe AD, Ferguson MW (2006) Location of injury influences the mechanisms of both regeneration and repair within the MRL/MpJ mouse. J Anat; 209(4):547-59.

Metcalfe AD and Ferguson MW (2005). Harnessing Wound Healing and Regeneration for Tissue Engineering. Biochem Soc Trans;33(Pt 2):413-7.

Metcalfe AD, Bartlett JP, Beare, AH, Ferguson MW (2005). Characterising Mechanisms of Regeneration for Future Applications in Tissue Engineering.  European Cells and Materials 10 (2):16-17.

Buckley, G, Metcalfe AD, Ferguson MWJ (2005).  Characterisation of The Regenerative Ability of The MRL/MPJ Mouse in Order to Re-Innervate and Promote Scar-Free Healing in Engineered Skin Equivalents. European Cells and Materials 10 (2):38-39.

Metcalfe AD, Hunter HR, Bloor DJ, Lieberman BA, Picton HM, Leese HJ, Kimber SJ and Brison DJ.  (2004). Expression of 11 members of the BCL2 family of apoptosis regulatory molecules during human preimplantation embryo development and fragmentation.  Molecular Rep and Dev, 68(1):35-50.

Brison DR, Metcalfe AD, Bloor DJ, Hunter HR, Brady G, Kimber SJ (2004). Analysis of apoptosis in the preimplantation embryo. A Laboratory Guide to the Mammalian Embryo (Eds Gardner DK, Lane M, Watson AJ). Oxford University Press. eScholarID:3d880.

Metcalfe AD, Bloor DJ, Lieberman BA, Kimber SJ and Brison DR. (2003). Amplification of representative cDNA pools from single human oocytes and pronucleate embryos. Mol Reprod Dev. 65(1):1-8.

Rajnoch C, Ferguson S, Metcalfe AD, Herrick SE, Willis HS and Ferguson MW. (2003). Regeneration of the ear following wounding in different mouse strains is dependent on the severity of wound trauma. Dev Dyn. 226(2):388-97.

Valentijn AJ, Metcalfe AD, Kott J, Streuli CH and Gilmore AP. (2003). Spatial and temporal changes in Bax subcellular localization during anoikis. J Cell Biol.;162(4):599-612.

Bloor DJ, Metcalfe AD, Rutherford A, Brison DR, Kimber SJ. (2002). Expression of cell adhesion molecules during human preimplantation embryo development. Mol Hum Reprod. 8(3):237-45.

Gilmore AP, Metcalfe AD, Romer LH and Streuli CH (2000). Integrin-mediated Survival Signals Regulate the Apoptotic Function of Bax through Its Conformation and Subcellular Localization. J Cell Biol. 149, (2) 431-445.

Metcalfe AD, Gilmore A, Klinowska T, Oliver J, Valentijn, AJ, Brown R, Ross A, Macgregor G, Hickman JA, Streuli CH (1999). Developmental regulation of Bcl-2 family protein expression in the involuting mammary gland. J.Cell Sci.112: 1771-1783.

Freeman TC; Dixon AK; Campbell EA; Tait TM; Richardson PJ; Rice KM; Maslen GL; Metcalfe AD; Streuli CH; Bentley DR. (1998). Expression Mapping of Mouse Genes. MGI Direct Data Submission J:46439

Taylor MF, Woolveridge I, Metcalfe AD, Streuli CH, Hickman JA, Morris ID. (1998). Leydig cell apoptosis in the rat testes after administration of the cytotoxin ethane dimethanesulphonate: role of the Bcl-2 family members. J. Endocrinol. 157(2):317-26.

Metcalfe AD, Streuli CH (1997). Epithelial apoptosis. Bioessays 19(8) 711-720.

Streuli CH, Dive C, Hickman JA, Farelly NJ, Metcalfe AD (1997) Control of apoptosis in breast epitheium. Endocrine-Related Cancer 4:45-53.

Metcalfe AD, Hickman JA, Streuli CH (1996). Programmed cell death and the mammary gland--the involvement of the Bcl-2 family members in the control of epithelial apoptosis. Biochem Soc Trans. 24(3):347S.

Pullan S, Wilson J, Metcalfe AD, Edwards, GM, Goberdhan N, Tilly J, Hickman JA, Dive C & Streuli CH. (1996). Requirement of basement membrane for the suppression of programmed cell death in mammary epithelium. J Cell Sci. 109 (Pt 3):631-42.

Hayashi S, Hirose S, Metcalfe AD, Shirras AD (1993). Control of imaginal cell development by the escargot gene of Drosophila. Development 118(1):105-15.

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