Centre’s strength in stem cell research showcased to Japan Ambassador

The Centre for Stem Cell Systems hosted the Hon. Richard Court AC’s as part of his tour of the Melbourne Biomedical Precinct in October, showcasing the University of Melbourne as a leader in stem cell and regenerative medicine research and teaching.

Mr Richard Court is the Ambassador for the Australian Embassy in Tokyo, which represents the Australian Government and promotes Australia's interests in Japan.

The Centre for Stem Cell Systems, led by Professor Christine Wells, is a networking initiative that represents the visibility and translational impact of Melbourne’s stem cell research. The Centre aims to develop excellence and impact in stem cell biology, tissue engineering and stem cell medicine. It has a strong network with over 30 research groups within the University of Melbourne and surrounding medical research institutes.

During the tour, Mr Richard Court visited the stem cell laboratories and met with researchers from the University and the Florey Institute who are using stem cells to investigate the cause and treatment of disease. A/Professor Clare Parish and Dr Lachlan Thompson are making significant progress in investigating treatment options for brain injury associated with Parkinson’s Disease and stroke. A/Prof Bradley Turner’s lab is focused on understanding the molecular basis of motor neurodegenerative disorders such as Motor Neuron Disease.

Japan has identified research on stem cells from reprogrammed skin cells called induced pluripotent stem cells, a priority development area and aims to achieve the world’s most advanced regenerative medicine.

The Centre for Stem Cell Systems has existing collaborative links with Japanese academic institutions and medical research funding bodies, including RIKEN Research Institute, the Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences at Kyoto University and the Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development. Through relationships fostered by Professor Wells, the Centre also collaborates with the Japanese peak industry body for regenerative medicine, the Forum for Innovative Regenerative Medicine.

International collaborations are vital to the growth of Australia’s capacity in stem cell and regenerative medicine and the Centre will continue to grow and develop these links with Japan.

The tour was coordinated by Brendan Flynn, Deputy Executive Chair of the Melbourne Biomedical Precinct Office and included discussions with Professor Trevor Kilpatrick from the Florey Institute, Professor Tony Burgess from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute and Professor Gary Hime, Head of the Anatomy and Neuroscience Department at the University of Melbourne.

More Information

The Centre for Stem Cell Systems

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