Daniel Kelly

Daniel Kelly


Daniel Kelly is the Professor of Tissue Engineering and Director of the Trinity Centre for Bioengineering in Trinity College Dublin. He leads a large multidisciplinary musculoskeletal tissue engineering group based in the Trinity Centre for Bioengineering.

The goal of his lab is to understand how environmental factors regulate the fate of adult stem cells. This research underpins a more translational programme aimed at developing novel tissue engineering and 3D bioprinting strategies to regenerate damaged and diseased musculoskeletal tissues.

In articular cartilage tissue engineering Professor Kelly’s lab is pioneering the use of adult stem cells isolated from synovial joints such as the knee, combined with bioreactors to mechanically stimulate these cells, to tissue engineer functional cartilage grafts. His lab is developing single stage therapies for articular cartilage regeneration that combine biomimetic scaffolds with freshly isolated stromal cells sourced from patients in-clinic.

In bone, joint and limb regeneration Professor Kelly’s lab have demonstrated how complex tissues, such as the bone-cartilage interface, can be regenerated by designing tissue engineering strategies that recapitulate aspects of the normal long bone developmental process. They have been able to scale-up this process to tissue engineer entire new bones. They are currently extending this strategy to tissue engineer whole joints using adult stem cells and 3D bioprinting.

Professor Kelly’s lab is conducting research in stem cell mechanobiology, investigating how extrinsic mechanical cues can regulate stem cell fate. They have identified novel roles for both mechanical signals and oxygen in regulating chondrogenesis and hypertrophy of adult stem cells.

The main clinical targets for Professor Kelly are: Articular cartilage, meniscus, bone and ligament regeneration, Osteoarthritis.

Professor Kelly was the recipient of Science Foundation Ireland’s President of Ireland Young Researcher Award (PIYRA). In 2010 he was awarded a European Research Council (ERC) starter grant to develop novel stem cell based therapies to regenerate damaged articular cartilage. He was recently awarded an ERC consolidator grant.

Professor Kelly has authored or co-authored over 100 peer reviewed journal papers. He has filed a number of patents in the area of medical devices and tissue engineering.

In 2009 Professor Kelly received a Fulbright Award to take a position as a Visiting Research Scholar at the Department of Biomedical Engineering in Columbia University, New York.  A study his lab received the 2012 Perren Award of the European Society of Biomechanics for best scientific paper. He serves as an Editorial Board Member for 2 journals.