Top surgeon joins team

by Nadia Sam-Daliri A surgeon who transplanted the world s first organ grown from a patient s stem cells is joining one of the borough s hospitals. Martin Birchall has become professor of laryngology at the Royal National Throat, Nose and

by Nadia Sam-Daliri

A surgeon who transplanted the world's first organ grown from a patient's stem cells is joining one of the borough's hospitals.

Martin Birchall has become professor of laryngology at the Royal National Throat, Nose and Ear Hospital, part of the Royal Free, in Pond Street, Hampstead.

In June last year, Professor Birchall operated on a 30-year-old mother of two whose windpipe was replaced with laboratory grown tissue from her own cells.

For his integral part in the procedure, the professor won the Great Briton award in the science and technology category of the Daily Telegraph's annual awards.

Mr Birchall said: "I had been working on the issue of airway replacement for 10 years with a colleague in Barcelona. Initially we were looking at conventional transplantation, but later at the possibility of using tissue engineering to build organs instead."

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Patients come from as far afield as the continent and even Australia to be get specialist treatment at the centre.

The unit is the UK's largest ear, nose and throat hospital and a leading centre in Europe.

While commending Professor Birchall, the Daily Telegraph judges said he has 'heralded a new era in medical science'.

The woman operated on got her voice back and continues to do extremely well.

In last year's Healthcare Commission annual check, the Royal Free was the only teaching hospital in London to be rated excellent for services and use of resources.

nadia.sam-daliri@archant.co.uk

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