Dr Anai Gonzalez Cordero is a Group Leader of the Stem Cell Medicine team and also the manager for the Stem Cell & Organoid Facility. She gained her degree in Developmental Biology in 2008 from University College London (UCL).
In 2012, she was awarded a PhD in retinal regeneration from the prestigious Wellcome Trust-sponsored PhD Programme in Developmental and Stem Cell Biology. Her thesis entitled “Retinal repair using embryonic stem cell-derived photoreceptor precursors”, established proof of concept for stem cell therapy as a treatment for blindness due to retinal degeneration. Anai continued to work in the laboratory of Prof. Robin Ali, at the Institute of Ophthamology (UCL) during her post-doctoral years, developing stem cell therapy for the treatment of blindness that focused on improving photoreceptor derivation from human pluripotent stem cells for cell therapy and disease modelling purposes.
In 2015, she was awarded a UCL Sensory Therapies Fellowship to develop stem cells models to study retinal and auditory cell development in Usher syndrome at the Institute of Ophthalmology and the Ear Institute. During her career Anai has received a number of awards for her research, including the ERA-NET NEURON Excellent Paper in Neuroscience (Gonzalez-Cordero et al., 2013) and the Ruskell Medal by the Worshipful Company of Spectacle Markers (UK). She was also invited to present her work in the House of Commons in the UK.
In March 2019, Anai joined CMRI to establish and run the Stem Cell & Organoid Facility and to develop her independent research program to continue her work on in vitro models of retinal and auditory organoids (mini-organs in the dish) derived from stem cells. The Stem Cell Facility will provide a number of human stem cell derived cells, tissues and organoids to all groups and researchers at CMRI and affiliated Institutes. This will expand considerably the scope of Stem Cell Research at the Institute.