Professor Paolo De Coppi is a Consultant Paediatric Surgeon at the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, and Reader and Head of the Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine at the UCL Institute of Child Health both located in London, UK. Concomitantly: from 2013 he has been an Honorary Professor at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium; from 2009 he has been an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, North Carolina; and from 2005 he has been an Honorary Assistant Professor in paediatric surgery, University of Padua, Italy.
He has a special interest in congenital malformations and their treatment using minimally invasive techniques. He has focused his research interests on stem cells and tissue engineering by trying to find new modalities for the treatment of complex congenital anomalies. While working with Anthony Atala, M.D., at the Boston Children’s Hospital (Massachusetts), he identified the possibility of using stem cells from amniotic fluid for therapeutic applications. This finding generated an international patent and garnered the cover story of Nature Biotechnology January 2007. This finding has opened the door to discovery for novel approaches to correct congenital malformations. More recently, his team has demonstrated that these cells are able to differentiate into various tissues and to replace functional activity in animal model of diseases. He is now focused on developing reliable methods for stem cell isolation, expansion and differentiation at a clinical level (GMP-grade). Finally, in 2010 he was part of the team that performed the first successful transplantation of a tissue-engineered trachea on a child at the Great Ormond Street Hospital.
He has published more than 150 peer-reviewed articles in journals such as The Lancet, Nature Biotechnology, PNAS, Blood and FASEB Journal; supervised more than 30 research fellow and Ph.D. students; and has been awarded various national and international grants. Since 2009, he has been on the editorial boards of Paediatric Surgery International, Stem Cell Development, and Fetal and Maternal Medicine Review. As of 2011 he has been senior editor for the Stem Cell Translational Medicine, a lead journal in the field of translational stem cells.