Professor Alicia El Haj is a leading figure in Regenerative Medicine and has been involved in bringing together interdisciplinary groups within biomedicine, physical sciences and engineering interested in aspects of cell and tissue engineering. She was a founder Director of Keele University's Research Institute of Science & Technology in Medicine (ISTM) which has rated highly; 5A, 5* and 5A through the past 3 RAE assessments. In September 2018 Alicia El Haj moved to the University of Birmingham but remains as a Visiting Professor at Keele University.

Prof El Haj is the Research Director of an EPSRC DTC in Regenerative Medicine, one of the co-directors of the new EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing Centre in Regenerative Medicine and a collaborator in the new Arthritis Research UK Tissue Engineering Centre. She has published over a 100 publications with an emphasis on engineering solutions for controlling stem cell behaviour and new orthopaedic repair strategies using novel enabling technology approaches with funding from EPSRC, BBSRC, Welcome  Trust, AR UK and EU Framework.

Prof El Haj is a Chair elect of the European council for TERMIS, a member of the UK National Stem Cell Advisory Board, the IFMBE Working Group for Cellular Engineering, and the IPEM Academic Advisory board. She is on the editorial board of JTERM and Tissue Engineering and is currently serving as a member of the Medical Research Council’s Developmental Pathway Funding Scheme (DPFS) Panel. Prof El Haj served on the General Engineering UK REF 2014 Panel. 

Recent research career

May 2016 - onwards

Theme Lead for Regenerative Medicine

October 2012 - May 2016

Director - Institute of Science & Technology in Medicine, Keele University

November 2009 - September 2012 Theme Leader, Bioengineering & Therapeutics
August 2004 - November 2009 Director - Institute of Science & Technology in Medicine, Keele University
March 2002 - 2004 Research Dean for the Faculty of Health, Keele University
October 1999 - 2004 Head of Centre, Centre for Science and Technology in Medicine, Keele University
July 1999 - present Chair in Cell Engineering, Institute for Science and Technology in Medicine, Keele University
April 1997 - 1999 Senior Lecturer, Dept of Biomedical Engineering and Medical Physics, Keele University

Research and scholarship

Research interests

  • Stem cell therapy for orthopaedic applications;

  • Bioreactors and in vitro conditioning for tissue growth;

  • Magnetic nanoparticle technologies for use in  Regenerative Medicine.

    Stem cells (green and blue) with nanoparticles (magenta) viewed through a microscope. The nanoparticles are used to control cell behaviour


1997- 2013, Courses/Keele University   

  • Bioreactor & Growth Environments for Tissue Engineering Training Course

I have established an MSc course in Biomedical engineering and an MSc course in Cell and Tissue engineering in 1999 which has now taken its fourteenth year of intake.

  • Msc Course in Cell & Tissue Engineering
  • Msc Course in Biomedical Engineering

1990-1997, Courses/Birmingham University 

1st Year         Cell Biology and Molecular Biology:Cell Division and Differentiation

2nd Year        Development 5 week option Molecular and Cell Biology; co-option leader: 

* Animal Gene Regulation/Drosophila genetics

* Evolutionary Developmental Biology

3rd Year        Cell Biology of Development - Option Leader

                     Biology of Animal Growth - Option Leader

                     Current Issues in Biomedical Sciences - Option leader

All 3 years involve lectures and practicals.  Tutorials were held for all 3 years. Where option leader is noted - this involved design and development of a new course


Research group

Professor Alicia J. El Haj's research group

Postdoctoral researchers and Fellows
  • Katie Bardsley
  • Hareklea Markides
  • Michael Rotherham
  • Yvonne Reinwald
  • Evangelia Vezouviou
  • Timothy Hopkins
Current students
  • Nicola Foster
  • Graziana Monaco
  • Eatelaf Muhammad
  • Rachel Gater
  • Jessica Bratt
  • Tom Bateman-Price
Visiting researchers
  • Ana Gonçalves 
  • Kaveh Roshanbinfar
  • Visiting professor- Sue Kimber

Publicity and links

Growing bones using stem cell research. YouTube excerpt from USA' CNBC International "The Edge" programme focussing on Prof Alicia El Haj's team.

Human Bones grown from fat Article in UK The Telegraph by Richard Gray on growing human bones from stem cells.

School address:
School of Pharmacy and Bioengineering
Hornbeam Building
Keele University

Research centre address:
School of Pharmacy and Bioengineering
Guy Hilton Research Centre
Thornburrow Drive
Tel: +44 (0) 1782 674988

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