Atelerix Ltd Co-Founder
Obtained his PhD in Biophysics from the Open University Oxford Research Unit in 2000, during which time (under the supervision of Professor Keith Meek) he investigated corneal wound healing and transparency. He subsequently obtained a JSPS post-doctoral fellowship to work with Professor Shigeru Kinoshita in Kyoto, Japan for two years studying corneal stem cell transplantation. Upon his return to the UK he was awarded a Royal Society Fellowship to investigate the use of biomaterials in stem cell therapies. He obtained his first permanent position in 2007 at University of Reading, School of Pharmacy and since 2014 he has held the position of Professor of Tissue Engineering at Newcastle University. Professor Connon’s research team seeks to engineer functional replacement and temporary ‘bridge’ tissues using a modular approach while also developing model systems to study physiological and pathophysiological corneal tissue formation. He is currently working with smart (cell responsive) biomaterials, characterizing the mechanical and geometric environment of the corneal stem cell niche and 3D printing the corneal stroma. Professor Connon has received continuous UK government research funding since 2007 and has published over 70 papers in international journals and has edited several books in corneal regenerative medicine, stem cell bioprocessing and hydrogels in tissue engineering.
Professor Connon has embraced academic entrepreneurial activities and has successfully founded Atelerix. Ltd a company that supplies hydrogels for the storage and shipment of cells at controlled room temperature for clinical and scientific purposes. And is in the process of spinning out a further two companies from Newcastle University (3D Bio-Tissues Ltd and CellulaREvolution Ltd). 3D Bio-Tissues aims to bring the first 3D printed transplantable cornea tissue to clinic within 7 years. CellulaREvolution supplies technologies to assit in the manufacture of adherent cells for biotechnology needs