Dr Su Metcalfe

Su Metcalfe

University position

Senior Research Associate

Dr Su Metcalfe is pleased to consider applications from prospective PhD students.


Department of Clinical Neurosciences



Home page

http://www.lifnano.com (personal home page)

Research Themes

Clinical and Veterinary Neuroscience

Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


The application of nanotechnology to healthcare - nano-medicine - is now recognised worldwide as a new era in clinical medicine. By loading biocompatible, biodegradable nano-particles with growth factor, and targeting to sites of tissue damage, a synthetic biologically instructive niche can be created to repair tissues in situ, and/or to support cell survival in regenerative cell therapy. MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS: The nano-therapeutic approach is being used to target 'LIF' to treat MS. LIF is a stem cell growth factor involved in myelin repair and neuroprotection, in addition to being tolerogenic for myelin. These three core properties of LIF provide a potentially curative therapy for early stage MS, whilst providing a valuable adjunct to current DMT used to treat MS. 2013: founded LIF-NanoRx Ltd to deliver LIFNano to patients - see LIFNano.com.. AWARDS: 2014 Global GMSI Prize. 2017 Business Woman of the Year, Judge Business School. 2017 Global Award for NanoMedicine.

nano-therapeutic device for delivery of LIF to CD4+ T lymphocytes
nano-therapeutic device for delivery of LIF to CD4+ T lymphocytes
Click image to view full-size

Research Focus



neurodegenerative diseases

multiple sclerosis

leukaemia inhibitory factor

autoimmune diseases

Clinical conditions


Multiple sclerosis

Parkinson's Disease



Cell culture

flow cytometry (6 colour)



Ronan Daly

David Fairen-Jimenez

Oren Scherman

United Kingdom

Raul delaFlor Web: http://pharmidex.co.uk/

Gavin Giovannoni Web: http://www.qmul.ac.uk/blizard...


Tarek Fahmy Web: http://www.fahmylab.org/

Wenwei Hu Web: https://www.cinj.org/WenweiH...

Associated News Items

Key publications

Flor Rdl, Robertson J, Shevchenko RV, Alavijeh M, Bickerton S, Fahmy T and Metcalfe SM (2021), “Multiple Sclerosis: LIFNano-CD4 for Trojan Horse Delivery of the Neuro-Protective Biologic “LIF” Into the Brain: Preclinical Proof of Concept” Front. Med. Technol. 3:640569. doi: 10.3389/fmedt.2021.640569 doi: 10.3389/fmedt.2021.640569

Metcalfe SM (in press), “" KILLING THE CURE? Is LIF-Trap to treat pancreatic cancer a dangerous case of mistaken identity?" ” Medicine in Drug Discovery https://authors.elsevier.com/sd/article/S2590-0986(21)00033-6

Germain M, Caputo F, Metcalfe S, Tosi G et al (2020), “Delivering the power of nanomedicine to patients today” Journal of Controlled Release Journal of Controlled Release 326 (2020) 164–171

Metcalfe SM (2020), “LIF and the lung’s stem cell niche: is failure to use LIF to protect against COVID-19 a grave omission in managing the pandemic?” Future Virology 10.2217/fvl-2020-0340 C

Metcalfe SM (2020), “MESENCHYMAL STEM CELLS AND MANAGEMENT OF COVID-19 PNEUMONIA” Medicine in Drug Discovery 5 (2020) 100019 PDF

Metcalfe SM (2020), “COVID-19 Lock-Down: de-risking EXIT by protecting the Lung with leukaemia inhibitory factor (LIF)” Medicine in Drug Discovery Medicine in Drug Discovery 6 (2020) 100043 PDF


Su M Metcalfe (2018), “LIF and multiple sclerosis: One protein with two healing properties” Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders https://doi.org/10.1016/j.msard.2018.01.018

Metcalfe SM, Bickerton S, Fahmy TM (2017), “Neurodegenerative Disease: A Perspective on Cell-Based Therapy In The New Era of Cell-Free Nano-Therapy” Current Pharmaceutical Design 2017;23(5):776-783

Metcalfe SM ,Strom TB, Williams A, Fahmy TM (2015), “Multiple Sclerosis and the LIF/IL-6 axis: Use of Nano-Technology to harness the Tolerogenic and Reparative properties of LIF” Nanobiomedicine DOI: 10.5772/60622 PDF

Sonja Rittchen, Amanda Boyd, Alasdair Burns, Jason Park, Tarek M. Fahmy, Su Metcalfe*, Anna Williams (2015), “Myelin repair in vivo is increased by targeting oligodendrocyte precursor cells with nanoparticles encapsulating leukaemia inhibitory factor (LIF).” Biomaterials 56 : 78-85 PDF

Jing-Wei Zhao, Sean Dyson, C.Kriegel, P Tyers, X He, Tarek M. Fahmy, Su M. Metcalfe* and Roger A. Barker (2014), “Modelling of a nanotherapeutic "stroma" to deliver LIF, or XAV939, for use in human fetal dopaminergic grafts in Parkinson's disease” Disease Models and Mechanisms Dis Model Mech. 2014 Oct;7(10):1193-203. doi: 10.1242/dmm.015859. Epub 2014 Aug 1. PDF

Kevin Cheng, Fahad R. Ali, , Peter Kirwan, Su Metcalfe, Frederick J. Livesey, Roger A. Barker and Anna Philpott (2014), “The phosphorylation status of Ascl1 is a key determinant of neuronal differentiation and maturation in vivo and in vitro.” Development doi:10.1242/dev.106377

Metcalfe SM (2014), “Stem Cell Therapy versus T lymphocytes: Friend or Foe?” Stem Cells STEM CELLS 2015;33:622–625 PDF

Metcalfe SM, Fahmy TM (2012), “Targeted nanotherapy for induction of therapeutic immune responses.” Trends Mol Med 18(2):72-80 PDF Details

Metcalfe SM (2011), “Multiple sclerosis: One protein, two healing properties.” Nature 477(7364):287-8 Details

Park J, Gao W, Whiston R, Strom TB, Metcalfe S, Fahmy TM (2011), “Modulation of CD4+ T lymphocyte lineage outcomes with targeted, nanoparticle-mediated cytokine delivery.” Mol Pharm 8(1):143-52 PDF Details

Thompson HL, Whiston RA, Rakhimov Y, Taccioli C, Liu C-G, Croce C and Metcalfe SM (2010), “ A LIF/Nanog Axis is Revealed in T lymphocytes that lack MARCH-7, a RINGv E3 Ligase that Regulates the LIF-Receptor.” Cell Cycle 9:20, 4213-4221 PDF

Gao W, Thompson L, Zhou Q, Putheti P, Fahmy TM, Strom TB and Metcalfe SM (2009), “Treg versus Th17 lymphocyte lineages are cross-regulated by LIF versus IL-6. ” Cell Cycle 8:9, 1444-145 PDF

Muthukumarana P, Chae WJ, Maher S, Rosengard BR, Bothwell ALM, Metcalfe SM. (2007), “Regulatory Transplantation Tolerance and “Stemness”: Evidence That Foxp3 May Play a Regulatory Role in SOCS-3 Gene Transcription” Transplantation 84: S6–S11 PDF

Metcalfe S, Weeds A, Okorokov AL, Milner J, Cockman M, Pope B (1999), “Wild-type p53 protein shows calcium-dependent binding to F-actin.” Oncogene 18(14):2351-5 Details

Chen ZK, Cobbold SP, Waldmann H, Metcalfe S (1996), “Amplification of natural regulatory immune mechanisms for transplantation tolerance.” Transplantation 62(9):1200-6 Details

Galat A, Metcalfe SM (1995), “Peptidylproline cis/trans isomerases.” Prog Biophys Mol Biol 63(1):67-118 Details

Milner SM (1977), “Activation of mouse spleen cells by a single short pulse of mitogen.” Nature 268(5619):441-2 Details

Milner SM (1967), “Effects of the food additive butylated hydroxytoluene on monolayer cultures of primate cells.” Nature 216(5115):557-60 Details



Dyson S, Fahmy TM, Metcalfe SM * and Barker RA (2014), “Evaluation of effects of PLGA nanoparticles carrying leukaemia inhibitory factor for support of rat fetal dopaminergic cells ” J Nanomater Mol Nanotechnol S2:003. doi:10.4172/2324-8777.S2-003


Dong H, Fahmy TM, Metcalfe SM, Morton SL, Dong X, Inverardi L, Adams DB, Gao W, Wang H. (2012), “Immuno-isolation of pancreatic islet allografts using pegylated nanotherapy leads to long-term normoglycemia in full MHC mismatch recipient mice.” PLoS One. 2012;7(12) 7 (12) PDF


Metcalfe SM (2011), “LIF in the regulation of T-cell fate and as a potential therapeutic.” Genes Immun 12(3):157-68 Details


Szigyarto CA, Sibbons P, Williams G, Uhlen M, Metcalfe SM (2010), “The E3 ligase axotrophin/MARCH-7: protein expression profiling of human tissues reveals links to adult stem cells.” J Histochem Cytochem 58(4):301-8 Details


Metcalfe SM (2005), “Axotrophin and leukaemia inhibitory factor (LIF) in transplantation tolerance.” Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci 360(1461):1687-94 Details

Metcalfe SM and De S Muthukumarana PA (2005), “Transplantation tolerance: gene expression profiles comparing allotolerance vs. allorejection. ” Int Immunopharmacol. 5(1):33-9

Metcalfe SM, Calne RY, Cobbold SP (2005), “Introduction: immunoregulation: harnessing T cell biology for therapeutic benefit.” Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci 360(1461):1641-3 Details

Metcalfe SM, Muthukumarana PA, Thompson HL, Haendel MA, Lyons GE (2005), “Leukaemia inhibitory factor (LIF) is functionally linked to axotrophin and both LIF and axotrophin are linked to regulatory immune tolerance.” FEBS Lett 579(3):609-14 Details


Okorokov AL, Rubbi CP, Metcalfe S, Milner J (2002), “The interaction of p53 with the nuclear matrix is mediated by F-actin and modulated by DNA damage.” Oncogene 21(3):356-67 Details

Vamvakopoulos JE, Taylor CJ, Green C, McNeil K, Wallwork J, Goodman R, Metcalf SM (2002), “Interleukin 1 and chronic rejection: possible genetic links in human heart allografts.” Am J Transplant 2(1):76-83 Details


Veldhoen N, Metcalfe S, Milner J (1999), “A novel exon within the mdm2 gene modulates translation initiation in vitro and disrupts the p53-binding domain of mdm2 protein.” Oncogene 18(50):7026-33 Details


Metcalfe SM, Canman CE, Milner J, Morris RE, Goldman S, Kastan MB (1997), “Rapamycin and p53 act on different pathways to induce G1 arrest in mammalian cells.” Oncogene 15(14):1635-42 Details


Cobbold S, Metcalfe S (1994), “Monoclonal antibodies that define canine homologues of human CD antigens: summary of the First International Canine Leukocyte Antigen Workshop (CLAW).” Tissue Antigens 43(3):137-54 Details

Watson CJ, Cobbold SP, Davies HS, Rebello PR, Thiru S, McNair R, Rasmussen A, Waldmann H, Calne RY, Metcalfe SM (1994), “Immunosuppression of canine renal allograft recipients by CD4 and CD8 monoclonal antibodies.” Tissue Antigens 43(3):155-62 Details


Metcalfe S (1984), “Cyclosporine does not prevent cytoplasmic calcium changes associated with lymphocyte activation.” Transplantation 38(2):161-4 Details


Milner J, Milner S (1981), “SV40-53K antigen: a possible role for 53K in normal cells.” Virology 112(2):785-8 Details


Hubbell WL, Metcalfe JC, Metcalfe SM, McConnell HM (1970), “The interaction of small molecules with spin-labelled erythrocyte membranes.” Biochim Biophys Acta 219(2):415-27 Details