Sheila is Professor of Tissue Engineering at Sheffield University with expertise in tissue engineering of soft tissues (skin, oral mucosa, urethra, oesophagus and cornea) and biomaterials development with a strong focus on translating research to the clinic. She has published over 420 peer-reviewed articles with over 8000 citations and has an h-index of 46.  

Since 1992 she has worked with clinicians in Sheffield, delivering autologous keratinocytes to burns patients and developed and commercialised improved  delivery of skin cells to patients with MySkin™ and Cryoskin™ (autologous and allogeneic cell therapy for wound healing), available for NHS patients via Regenerys Ltd ( For the last 8 years she has collaborated with Prof Christopher Chapple a clinical innovator in the world of urology to produce tissue engineered buccal mucosa for patients with scarring of the urethra.  She undertook a first in man study of 5 patients and has since reported on a 3 year and then a 9 year follow up for these patients. Theirs was the first group in the world to use tissue engineered buccal mucosa in the urethra.  More recently she has engaged in the challenge of how to produce better quality materials for patients suffering from weakened pelvic floors which manifest in the conditions of stress urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse. She now has developed and patented a material which will be more fit for purpose than the  inflexible polypropylene mesh currently used for this purpose.

She also works with international groups in India and Pakistan. She has  research projects with LV Prasad Eye Institute India funded by the Wellcome Trust (Under an Affordable Healthcare for India Programme) and MRC /DBT.  The first project is the development of a better biomaterial to assist in the regeneration of the cornea and this is now in clinical trial in man in India. A second Wellcome funded award is to  develop bedside detection systems for infection in the eye and an MRC DBT award entitled UK-India Centre for Advanced Technology for Minimising Indiscriminate Use of Antibiotics”. 

She also interacts with a Centre for Biomaterials in COMSATS University Pakistan and this has led to the development of biomaterials to stimulate angiogenesis in chronic non-healing wounds supported by a patent in this area.

In 2014 she received the UK Society of Biomaterials President’s medal for her contributions to Biomaterials in both the UK and overseas