Institute for Regeneration and Repair

Pioneering research talent recognised with fellowships 

24 Apr 2023

Headshots of the three fellows
Chancellor's Fellows Drs Sofia Ferreira Gonzalez, Konrad Rawlik and Aida Rodrigo Albors

Three outstanding early career researchers awarded one of the University of Edinburgh’s most prestigious fellowships are joining the Institute for Regeneration and Repair.  

Drs Aida Rodrigo Albors, Sofia Ferreira Gonzalez and Konrad Rawlik join 31 academics across the University who have been announced as the latest Chancellor’s Fellows.

Established in 2014 Chancellor’s Fellowships are five-year tenure track positions that invest in researchers delivering cutting-edge interdisciplinary research and innovation. They are designed to help the most promising academics advance from the early stages of their career to more senior roles, and to empower their ground-breaking research. 

They are for academics with a vision for future leadership in research and innovation, which may straddle leading a major area of research, forging new industry partnerships, or implementing research-led teaching innovations. 

I am delighted to welcome three new Chancellor’s Fellows to the Institute -their exciting plans will greatly enrich our research and collaborations. I look forward to seeing their work flourish and the impact this will bring.

Professor Stuart Forbes, IRR Director

The new fellows will be supported to achieve their research and leadership ambitions through mentoring, peer support and training opportunities. A new round of applications for the next 30 Chancellor’s Fellows will open in Summer 2023. 

The funding uplift from the Scottish Funding Council following the University’s strong REF2021 results will partly fund both sets of fellows. 

The University was committed to ensuring principles of equality, diversity and inclusion informed the appointment process. Nearly 60 per cent of the new cohort are female and 20 per cent are from ethnic minority groups.

Konrad Rawlik – Centre for Inflammation Research

During my fellowship I will be identifying drug targets of relevance to specific individuals and stages of disease. Based on genotype information I aim to not only identify sub-groups of individuals, but also link these sub-groups to specific targetable molecular pathways over the course of disease. To this end I will move away from current genetic approaches, which treat disease as homogenous across individuals and time, and will develop computational and statistical methods to detect mechanistically-coherent subgroups in complex populations.

Sofia Ferreira Gonzalez – Centre for Inflammation Research

We are living longer than at any time in human history, but we are not living better: with age we are at risk of developing a plethora of conditions for which cures remain elusive. As a chancellor’s fellow, I aim to revolutionize the current perception of ageing -as an inevitable process- and provide new tools to increase regeneration and promote healthy ageing for the next generation. My research program combines regenerative medicine and anti-ageing strategies, exploring the role of senescence and the primary cilia in the epithelium, using novel animal models such as the accelerated regeneration model spiny mouse.

Aida Rodrigo Albors – Centre for Regenerative Medicine

My research focuses on spinal cord regeneration. As a Chancellor’s Fellow, I will bring together my expertise working with the highly regenerative axolotl and mouse models of spinal cord injury to uncover cellular and molecular mechanisms both supporting and limiting spinal cord regeneration. In the longer term, these insights can pave the way for new strategies to regenerate the injured spinal cord in humans.