Professor Iain Gibson

Professor Iain Gibson
Professor Iain Gibson
Professor Iain Gibson

BSc (Hons), PhD

Personal Chair

Email Address
Telephone Number
+44 (0)1224 437476
Office Address

Room 3.18, Institute of Medical Sciences, School of Medicine, Medical Sciences and Nutrition,  Foresterhill, Aberdeen, AB25 2ZD United Kingdom

School of Medicine, Medical Sciences and Nutrition


Iain Gibson graduated with a first class honours degree in Chemistry from the University of Aberdeen in 1991, then completed a PhD in Materials Chemistry, also at Aberdeen, between 1992 and 1995. He moved to Queen Mary, University of London in 1996 to a post-doctoral position at the Interdisciplinary Research Centre (IRC) in Biomedical Materials with Prof. Bill Bonfield. During this time he developed a number of new calcium phosphate materials for use as bone-replacement implants. He was involved in the formation of a university spin-off biomaterial company, ApaTech Ltd, which was eventually acquired by Baxter International in 2010. In 2002, he returned to Aberdeen, to the Department of Biomedical Sciences, to work on a SHEFC-funded project related to biomaterials with Prof. Colin McCaig. In August 2004 he was awarded a prestigious 5 year EPSRC Advanced Research Fellowship which was completed at the end of 2009. He was promoted to Reader in 2009 and to a Personal Chair in 2011. He is a co-founder of SIRAKOSS Ltd., a spin out company from the University of Aberdeen in 2011 that is developing innovative bone graft materials. In November 2014 SIRAKOSS raised £3.1M in Series A financing.   

Memberships and Affiliations

Internal Memberships

Equality and Diversity (Athena Swan) Committee - IMS (2016-present)

Go Abroad Tutor - Medical Sciences, International Exchange Programme (2007-present)

Industrial Liaison Committee – IMS, and then School of Medicine, Medical Sciences and Nutrition (2018-present)

Co-Programme Lead - Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Medicine (AMM) Programme (2015-2018)

Academic Line Manager (2016-2018)

Postgraduate Research Coordinator, School of Medical Sciences. CLSM Graduate School (2011-2017)


External Memberships

EPSRC Peer Review College (2005-present)

Editorial Board - Journal of Tissue Engineering (2019 Impact factor of 5.352)


Research Overview

My research is based on guiding cell behaviour during tissue repair and wound healing, using physical and/or chemical guidance cues. The main thread of this research is the development of biomedical materials with controlled chemistry and/or topography that can guide cells to produce an appropriate response.

Current research in this area, in collaboration with colleagues from the Department of Chemistry, is aimed at identifying new compositions of implant materials that can guide cell behaviour and also at trying to understand how the chemistry of an implant can guide cell behaviour during bone healing/repair. 

Guiding cell behaviour using biomaterials

My research has been supported by the EPSRC, BBSRC, Technology Strategy Board (now Innovate UK), European Commission (FP6 and FP7), The Royal Society, Scottish Enterprise, The British Council, and the University of Aberdeen. Additionally, a number of PhD students in my lab have been supported by funding from the Royal Thai Government, ApaTech Ltd., the University of Aberdeen, and recently a Royal Commission of 1851 Industrial Fellowship.

Research Areas

Biomedical Sciences

Research Specialisms

  • Materials Science
  • Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine
  • Cell Biology
  • Biomaterials

Our research specialisms are based on the Higher Education Classification of Subjects (HECoS) which is HESA open data, published under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International licence.

Current Research

  • Cell-material interactions for bone repair applications
  • Biomimetic calcium phosphates
  • Developing synthetic materials that can guide cell behaviour

Funding and Grants

EPSRC Advanced Research Fellowship and Associated Research Grant (approx. £332,000) - 2005-2009

Co-applicant (with Profs R.M. Aspden, C.T. Imrie and S. Ralston and Drs J.M.S. Skakle and R.P.K. Wells) of BBSRC research grant, (approx. £397,000) - 2005-2009

Co-applicant (with Prof C.D. McCaig) of Sixth EU Framework Programme (FP6) Grant (NANOBIOCOM), with a total value of €2 million (approx. £210,000) - 2005-2008

Co-applicant (with Dr I.A. Kinloch, University of Cambridge) of EPSRC PhD Studentship (approx. £50,000) - 2005-2008

PI - EPSRC CASE PhD studentship, with ApaTech Ltd (£77,000) – 2005-2008

PI (with Dr J. Skakle and Prof. R.M. Aspden) Knowledge Transfer Grant (KTG), University of Aberdeen (£20,364) – 2007

Co-applicant (with Prof. R.M. Aspden, Prof. C.D. McCaig, Dr. J. Skakle, Dr. M.H. Helfrich and Prof. M. Zhao), Royal Society, Wolfson Laboratory Refurbishment Grant (£193,971) – 2007-2008

PI (with Dr J. Skakle and Prof. R.M. Aspden) Scottish Enterprise Proof of Concept 8 (approx. £210,000) - 2007-2009

PI - British Council PMI 2 Connect Research Co-operation Award, (approx. £36,000) -  2008-2010

PI (with Dr J. Skakle and Prof. R.M. Aspden) Scottish Enterprise Proof of Concept 8 extension (approx. £165,000) - 2009-2010 

PI (with Prof. C. de Bari and Prof. C.D. McCaig) Technology Strategy Board - REGENBONE (approx. £560,000) - 2009-2012

PI - Seventh EU Framework Programme (FP7) Grant (SETNanoMetro), with a total value of €4.5 million (approx. £250,000) - 2013-2017


Teaching Responsibilities

Lecture courses taught on and coordinate

EG505K - Biomaterails for Medical Devices and Implants (Course coordinator)


Lecture courses taught on

BT5015 - Introduction to Commercialisation and Bio-Business

BT5508 - Advanced Bio-Business and the Commercialisation of Bioscience Research

BT5509 - Biologic Drug Discovery [Biomimetics]

BM4004/BM4010 - Stem Cells and Regeneration [Biomaterials and Regeneration] 

BT4506 - Advanced Bio-Business

BT3502 - Bio-Business

BT1502 - Introduction to Bio-Business

SX3002 - Sixth Century Course – Science and Society [Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)]

CM4537 - Advanced Chemistry [Biomaterials]

CM3036/PX3016 - Solid State Chemistry [Crystal Structures]

CM2012 - Introduction to Materials [Medical Materials]


Project courses - project supervision

MB5903 - MSc IMS Research Project

BM4501 - Biomedical Sciences Hounours Project

CM5505 - MChem Research Project

CM4028 - Honours Chemistry Research Project

CM4535 - MChem Research Project


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