Summer Student Eamon Faulkner
Supervised by Dr Leonid Nikitenko at Hull University, Eamon Faulkner is developing fully humanised and animal free models to study the role of blood vessel cells in chronic diseases.
Endothelial cells line blood and lymphatic vessels and play important roles within the human body. The faulty function of endothelial cells often contributes to the development of life-threatening conditions and chronic disorders such as cancer, migraine, lymphoedema and cardiovascular disease.
Eamon has helped to develop a fully humanised, animal free method for studying human endothelial cells and their roles in chronic disease, in vitro. He has replaced animal derived products, such as foetal calf serum, with human serum. The development of such fully humanised animal free models to study the role of endothelial cells could contribute to the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of chronic diseases, improving the health and wellbeing of millions of people worldwide and potentially saving countless animals.
The funding from Animal Free Research UK is helping me to kick-start my career by gaining experience in a research environment and refining my laboratory skill set through working with professional researchers, conducting experiments and publishing findings. This opportunity, paired with helping move the field away from the unnecessary use of animals and their derived products in research, is extremely valuable to me. I am excited to find out the opportunities that this will provide me in the future.