Timothy O’Brien


I am Established Professor of Medicine at the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences at the University of Galway and Consultant Endocrinologist in University Hospital Galway.

I established the Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) with Prof Frank Barry in 2004 and I am currently co-PI of the SFI-funded Centre for Research and Medical Devices (CÚRAM). My research explores the synergies between gene therapy, stem/stromal cell therapy and biomaterials science with a key interest in the development of therapies for diabetic complications. The objective of my research is to translate research findings in the laboratory to clinical trials.

I have successfully co-ordinated two EU consortia (REDDSTAR and NEPHSTROM) focusing on the use of mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) for the treatment of diabetic complications and has established a network of good manufacturing practice cell manufacturing facilities in the EU. REDDSTAR (Reducing Diabetic Damage through Stromal Cell Administration) resulted in approval for a clinical trial of MSCs in a collagen biomaterial for the treatment of diabetic foot ulcers. NEPHSTROM (Novel Cell Therapy for Diabetic Kidney Disease), includes a phase 2a randomized, double blind placebo controlled trial and is recruiting/treating patients with progressive diabetic kidney disease in Bergamo, Birmingham and Galway. In addition to the trials emanating from REDDSTAR and NEPHSTROM, I was the lead principal investigator on a phase 1b trial of autologous delivery of MSCs in patients with no option critical limb ischaemia co-funded by a Translational Award from SFI and Health Research Board (HRB) of Ireland.
I am co-Director of the Centre for Cell Manufacturing Ireland (CCMI) and I have led on the development of the HRB-funded Clinical Research Facility in Galway. I have established partnerships with multinational and indigenous companies as part of SFI-funded programmes and is the co-founder of spin out company, Orbsen Therapeutics Ltd. This company has patented technology for stem cell isolation and currently has 16 employees in Galway.
I am co-Director of the Joint Stem Cell Research Facility of Hebei Medical University and University of Galway. I am also the Irish Director of the Confucius Institute of Chinese and Regenerative Medicine, which is a partnership between the University of Galway and The Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine. The goal of this programme is to discover molecules from Chinese Medicine products with regenerative capacity.

Timothy O'Brien

Endocrinologist, principal investigator
Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) 0877971321


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Biomedical Science Building, University of Galway, Uppernewcastle,
H91 W2TY,
Ireland 0877971321

Areas of Expertise

  • Cell therapy (Allogeneic)
  • Cell Therapy (Autologous)
  • Clinical
  • Manufacturing sciences