Sheila MacNeil is Professor of Tissue Engineering in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, joining the department in 2000.
She is Director of the Interdisciplinary Programmes Office for the Faculty of Engineering and Director of the Faculty degree of Bioengineering. She has previously been Deputy Director of the Kroto Research Institute and Director of the University Centre for Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering, promoting interdisciplinary research between engineering, physical sciences and life sciences. She was also a founding Director of the University of Sheffield spin-out company, CellTran Limited from 2000 to 2007.
Her research focuses on developing tissue engineering which will 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 and cornea, with a strong focus on translating research for clinical benefit.
Her group have a long history of working with clinical NHS colleagues using tissue engineered skin to benefit burns patients (from 1992) and more recently patients with chronic ulcers (2004) and patients requiring reconstructive surgery of the urethra (from 2007). She has 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 from 2005, currently available through the company Altrika.
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.