Dr Linda Howard is a Lecturer Above the Bar in Cellular Therapies (REMEDI) at NUI Galway.Linda graduated from the University of Warwick in the UK with a degree in Microbiology and Microbial Technology. She completed her Ph.D. with the UK Medical Research Council Toxicology Unit on characterising a novel mammalian proteolytic enzyme.

Based on her interest in proteolytic enzymes she moved to the laboratory of Professor Chen as a Post-doctoral Research Fellow in the Lombardi Cancer Centre at Georgetown University, Washington DC, USA  where she conducted research on tumour cell invasion and metastasis. Following this she undertook a Post-doctoral Research Fellowship with Professor Blobel at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre, New York, NY, USA where she identified a number of novel proteins and worked on analysing the functions of cell surface proteolytic enzymes. 

Following her postdoctoral work Linda worked for 4 years as a Scientist at Osiris Therapeutics in Baltimore Maryland, USA. This company developed and commercialised therapies based on adult stem/stromal cells. Osiris Therapeutics obtained the first approval of anex vivoexpanded cell therapy. Linda moved from the USA to REMEDI at NUI Galway to participate in the development of its Regenerative Medicine research program. In 2007 Linda started the M.Sc. in Regenerative Medicine which she now directs. This course covers the science behind stem cell therapy, gene therapy and tissue engineering as well as the issues associated with their use in the clinic. This course was one of the first of its kind internationally. Over 200 students have graduated from this course and have gone onto related careers all over the world. 

Linda’s research at REMEDI encompasses several themes (i) determining the roles of specific proteins and microRNAs in stem cell function, (ii) using genetic modification and viral vectors to enhance the functions of stem cells, (iii) strategies to label and track stem cells during differentiation or after transplantation in vivo, (iv) comparison of the properties and functions of stem cells from healthy individuals with those from patients suffering from chronic diseases and (v) gene-therapy based strategies to improve tissue repair and regeneration in conditions such as spinal cord injury. 

Please see here for research publications. Furthermore, for details on our current research endeavours please see our research group page here.