Dr Wael Kafienah is Associate Professor in Regenerative Medicine at the School of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, University of Bristol, UK. He is the Theme Lead of ‘Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Therapies’ in the School. He graduated with a First Class Honours in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Ulster, Northern Ireland, and awarded the prestigious Versus Arthritis UK studentship to study PhD in cartilage metabolism at the University of Sheffield, UK. He worked as postdoctoral scientist at the University of Sheffield and Bristol with Prof. Anthony Hollander and was awarded a Novartis Foundation Fellowship at Prof. Arnold Caplan lab in Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, USA. Upon returning to the UK he established a programme of work focusing on using stem cells and tissue engineering for the treatment of osteoarthritis and traumatic injury of the joint.
Dr Kafienah has been involved in translational research for over 20 years. He authored several impactful research articles on the use of nasal chondrocytes in tissue engineering, gene therapy to protect cartilage implants, repair of torn meniscus and scale-up of engineered cartilage using OA patient stem cells. More recently, he has been developing technologies to improve cartilage engineering outcomes using pluripotent stem cells and cellular reprogramming. His work has been funded by grants from the Medical Research Council, UK, Innovate UK, the European Union and several international and UK charities. Dr Kafienah is the author of several patents that led to co-founding of start-up companies including Azellon Therapeutics Ltd and Chondrogenix Ltd.
Dr Kafienah is Fellow member of ICRS since 2013 and an active participant in the society committees and conferences. He was the Co-Chair of the Scientific Programme Committee for the 17th World Congress ICRS, Sitges-Barcelona 2023.