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Current topics in stem cell biology and regenerative medicine: a regional perspective from the United KingdomThis special issue of Emerging Topics in Life Sciences entitled ‘Current Topics in Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine’ brings together expertise from a collaborative organisation known as the Mercia Stem Cell Alliance (MSCA). The alliance was established initially by Professors Sue Kimber (University of Manchester) and Jon Frampton (University of Birmingham) just over 10 years ago and now has multiple regional centres of excellence across the Midlands and North West of the UK, including Aston University, University of Chester, Keele University, Manchester Metropolitan University, Lancaster University, University of Leicester, University of Liverpool, Liverpool John Moore's University, Loughborough University, University of Nottingham, University of Oxford, University of Sheffield, University of York. Many of these centres have contributed reviews to this issue. The MSCA also partners with industrial and clinical organisations, including the NHS, and is active in bringing stem cells and regenerative medicines to a meaningful translational endpoint (see: http://www.msca.manchester.ac.uk/).