Emeritus Professor Sheila MacNeil

Scientific Advisory Board Member

Skills & Competencies

Professor Sheila MacNeil is Emeritus Professor of Tissue Engineering at the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Sheffield and has a wealth of tissue engineering and translational expertise. Sheila’s research focuses on developing tissue engineering to benefit patients, alongside fundamental work to develop new understanding and tools in the area of tissue engineering. Her primary research interests are in tissue engineering of soft tissues – skin, oral mucosa, urethra , vagina and cornea, with a strong focus on translating research for clinical benefit. She also brings product translational expertise having developed the product Myskin™ which was clinically evaluated and developed commercially and has been available in the UK for patients with extensive skin loss due to burns injuries and to chronic non-healing ulcers. Additionally, she has developed 3D tissue engineered models used to study a wide range of normal and abnormal conditions spanning wound healing, skin contracture, pigmentation, melanoma invasion, angiogenesis, bacterial infection and skin sensitisation. She is currently involved in translating some of her research to the development of a dressing to stimulate angiogenesis in diabetic ulcers in a UK/Pakistan project.

Sheila has been appointed Member of the Jellagen Scientific Advisory Board in 2021. She is English and lives in Sheffield.

Sheila studied Physiology at Aberdeen University and then undertook a PhD in an MRC Unit for Matabolic Studies in Psychiatry in Sheffield. She has worked in research departments in both the Medical School and Engineering Faculty over a 40 year career. She retired from paid employment in the University of Sheffield in September 2018 and is now Emeritus Professor of Tissue Engineering. She has expertise in tissue engineering of soft tissues (skin, oral mucosa, urethra and cornea) with a focus on translating research to the clinic. She has over 550 peer-reviewed articles and an h-index of 57.  Since 1992 she has worked with clinicians in Sheffield, delivering autologous keratinocytes to burns patients and developed and commercialised improved delivery of skin cells to patients with MySkin™ and Cryoskin™ (autologous and allogeneic cell therapy for wound healing). In the last decade she has focussed on three translational project areas. The first with NHS Urologist Professor Chris Chapple in Sheffield to develop tissue engineered oral mucosa for reconstruction of urethral strictures and to develop alternative materials for support of the weakened tissues of the pelvic floor. The second project is developing cell delivery membranes for corneal defects working with colleagues in India. The third project is developing novel biomaterials to promote angiogenesis in chronic wounds working with Dr Muhammed Yar in Pakistan.

She received the UK Society of Biomaterials President’s medal for her contributions to Biomaterials in both the UK and overseas in September 2014 and the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3) Chapman Medal for Biomedical Materials and Biomaterials Innovation in 2018.