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Cambridge Stem Cell Institute


Professor Cédric Ghevaert

In vitro production of platelets for transfusion


Laboratory: Cambridge Stem Cell Institute, Jeffrey Cheah Biomedical Centre

Departmental Affiliation: Haematology



Cédric Ghevaert graduated from the medical school of the University Libre de Bruxelles in 1997 and subsequently became a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, London (2000). He specialised in Haematology and became a fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists in 2005. He obtained his PhD in 2008 studying novel antibodies for the treatment of bleeding in neonates in Cambridge. He obtained a personal Intermediate Clinical Fellowship from the British Heart Foundation whilst working in Prof Steve Watson's group at the university of Birmingham in 2009.

He took up the post of Senior Lecturer in Transfusion Medicine at the University of Cambridge in 2010, a post funded by the NHS Blood and Transplant and in 2020 was promoted to Reader in Transfusion Medicine. In addition to his academic post, Professor Ghevaert also works as a Consultant Haematologist for the NHSBT.



Wellcome Trust, MRC, NHS Blood and Transplant, EU, UK Regenerative Medicine Platform.


Megakaryocytes were produced from human pluripotent stem cells through over expression of 3 key transcription  factors TAL1, GATA1 and FLI1. These cells are capable of producing platelets that contain the granules (in red=P-selectin; green=alpha-tubulin; blue=nuclei) necessary to perform their clotting function after transfusion.



The main focus of the Ghevaert group’s research is the production of blood cells for human use, namely red cells and platelets. They have developed a particular expertise in the production of these cell types from human pluripotent stem cells using methodologies that are compatible with the production of clinical grade products within the constraints of affordable manufacturing processes. To this end they are combining cellular programming through knowledge and manipulation of transcription factor networks and the creation of 3D biocompatible niches and bioreactors. 

As a consultant haematologist for the NHS Blood and Transplant (a partner organisation of the University of Cambridge), Cedric has expertise recognised world-wide in carrying out first-in-man studies of blood cell survival and recovery in human volunteers. He is the clinical lead for 3 such trials due to take place in the next 5 years on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus. 


Ghevaert group 2020

Ghevaert Group photo


Plain English

We are currently entirely reliant on blood donors for the red cells and platelets transfusion we administer to patients who are very anaemic or at high risk of bleeding. Producing these blood cells in the laboratory would take the pressure of the supply chain and would make finding compatible blood for patients with rare blood groups easier. We are developing novel methods to produce red cells and platelets from human stem cells by using key "identity switches" and programming the stem cells to become blood cells. This method generates highly pure cell harvest with large quantities of blood cells to the point that we are now setting up clinical trials to assess these cells in human volunteers. 

Watch the group's thoughts on blood transfusions of the future:
Watch an interview with the Ghevaert Group:  
Watch an introduction to the Horizon 2020 SilkFusion project:

Key Publications






The Ghevaert Group

Ghevaert Group members:

Alexi Crosby
Holly Foster
Nina Herbert

Gemma King
Krishnaa Mahbubani
Samantha Mason
Rebecca McDonald

Ahmad Moukachar
Amanda Niven
Amie Waller

Thomas Vallance
Winnie Lau