Zita has always been fascinated by the regenerative potential of stem cells and their application to engineering tissues for surgical reconstruction. Zita’s PhD with ReconRegen, funded by the Medical Research Council and RCS Research Fellowship, involved characterising a novel stem/progenitor population from human nasoseptal cartilage and developed a novel nanocellulose biomaterial for use as a bioink. Zita completed postdoctoral training at Harvard University during her RCS Fulbright Scholarship, and is now a Senior Lecturer at Swansea University. Zita has experience of setting up and running clinical trials, UKRI and commercial grant capture (>£1.2M) and enjoys mentoring and supervising PhD, MSc, junior trainees and medical students. Zita has a strong track record in producing original tissue engineering research (H-index 16, i10-index 18, >60 publications), has presented on the topic at the House of Lords, co-edited a reference textbook “3D Bioprinting for Reconstructive Surgery” and was awarded the RCS Hunterian Professorship in 2021 for her contribution to the field.
POSITIONS HELD: WCAT Clinical Lecturer, MRC Clinical Research Training Fellow, RCS Research Fellow
QUALIFIED AT: Cambridge University, Pembroke College
Selected Awards / Grants / Achievements
2021 Hunterian Professorship, Royal College of Surgeons
2019 Burnand Prize for Best Basic Science Presentation, Society of Academic and Research Surgery
2018 RCS Fulbright Scholarship, Harvard University
2017 RCS Cutler’s Surgical Prize for Innovation
2016 BAPRAS Pump Priming Fund for Consumables
2016 RCS Ethicon Travelling Fellowship
2016 BEST Senior Trainee Award, SBUHB
2015 Outstanding Contribution to Research Award, Swansea University Medical School
2015 Medical Research Council Clinical Research Training Fellowship
2015 Girls’ Day School Trust Emerging Talent in Technology Award
2014 Norman Capener Travelling Fellowship, Royal College of Surgeons
2014 Royal College of Surgeons Research Fellowship (Modi)
Isolation and characterisation of nasoseptal cartilage stem/progenitor cells and their role in the chondrogenic niche.
Jessop ZM, Al-Sabah A, Simoes IN, Burnell SEA, Pieper IL, Thornton CA, Whitaker IS. Stem Cell Research and Therapy 2020. 11:1-13
Morphological and biomechanical characterization of immature and mature nasoseptal cartilage.
Jessop ZM, Zhang Y, Simoes I, Al-Sabah A, Badiei N, Gazze SA, Francis L, Whitaker IS. Scientific Reports 2019;9(1):12464.
Printability of pulp derived crystal, fibril and blend nanocellulose-alginate bioinks for extrusion 3D bioprinting.
Jessop ZM, Al-Sabah A, Gao N, Kyle S, Thomas B, Badiei N, Hawkins K, Whitaker IS. Biofabrication 2019;11(4):045006 (IF 6.8)
Characterization of pulp derived nanocellulose hydrogels using AVAP® technology.
Jessop ZM, Kyle S, Al-Sabah A, Hawkins K, Lewis A, Maffeis T, Charbonneau C, Gazze A, Francis LW, Iakovlev M, Nelson K, Eichhorn SJ, Whitaker IS. Carbohydr Polym. 2018;198:270-280
3D Bioprinting for Reconstructive Surgery.
Thomas D, Jessop ZM, Whitaker IS. 1st Edition Book. London: Elsevier, 2017.
‘Printability’ of Candidate Biomaterials for Extrusion Based 3D Printing: State-of-the-Art. Kyle S, Jessop ZM, Al-Sabah A, Hawkins K, Whitaker IS. Advanced Healthcare Materials 2017;6(16).
Structural and Mechanical Characterization of Crosslinked and Sterilised Nanocellulose-Based Hydrogels for Cartilage Tissue Engineering.
Al-Sabah A, Burnell SEA, Simoes IN, Jessop ZM, Badiei N, Blain E, Whitaker IS. Carbohydrate Polymers. 2019;212:242-251
Tissue specific stem/progenitor cells for cartilage tissue engineering: A systematic review of the literature.
Jessop ZM, Manivannan S, Levy O, Narayan R, Ingber D, Whitaker IS. Applied Physics Reviews 2019;6:031301
Transforming Healthcare through Regenerative Medicine.
Jessop ZM, Al-Sabah A, Francis W, Whitaker IS. BMC Medicine 2016;14(1):115
Regenerative Medicine in combination with 3D Printing: A paradigm shift in reconstructive surgery.
Jessop ZM, Javed M, Otto IA, Morgan SR, Breugem CC, Archer CW, Khan IM, Kon M, Whitaker IS. Stem cell research & therapy, 2016;7:19