Big Ideas 2015

Rob Kapsa

PROF. Robert Kapsa 


"I work on the development of solutions for diseased and damaged nerve and muscle tissue".


Tendrils of human thought from within a seaweed Brain?

Seaweed materials are common ingredients in many foods and cosmetic products used every day by millions of people around the world. For centuries medicinal applications for seaweeds have been proposed for human illnesses including tuberculosis, arthritis, colds and influenza. Whilst these applications for seaweed are largely unsubstantiated in scientific communications, more recent applications for seaweed and seaweed products have emerged in tissue engineering and regeneration. Professor Robert Kapsa has been using seaweed products such as alginate to create small “brain” structures from the blood of a person with a neurological disease to study the function of their own brain. In this way, seaweed is providing a helping tendril into our understanding of human brain structure, function and disease.

Professor Robert Kapsa is a molecular and cell biologist who has worked extensively on the development of autologous cell-based regenerative solutions for diseased and damaged nerve and muscle tissue. Evolving from these challenging interests, Prof. Kapsa has developed concurrent activities in Gene Therapy, Adult Stem Cell Biology and Biomaterials Development & Application, largely focused on repair of muscle in the mdx model of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and other models of muscle deficiency, as well as on repair and regeneration of nerve tissues. 

Last reviewed: 7 September, 2015