Early- and Mid-career stem cell researchers awarded ARC grants

Congratulations to Early- and Mid-career stem cell researchers who received significant Australian Research Council (ARC) grants.

Dr Marlene Hao, Associate Professor Enzo Porrello, Dr Sara Howden, Dr Louise Cheng and Dr Alexander Combes were awarded over $2.5 million towards their research using stem cells. Read more about their projects below.

Congratulations to our researchers, and all ARC grant recipients. Read more about the Australian Research Council grants.

Dr Marlene Hao, The University of Melbourne

Marlene was awarded a Discovery Early Career Research Award.

Project: Genes underlying enteric neuron subtype differentiation.

This project aims to use new RNA-sequencing technology to identify genes important for differentiation of several major enteric neuron subtypes. The outcomes will include the generation of neuron subtype specific progenitors from naïve stem cells, which will have long term significant health benefits, as gastrointestinal dysfunction is a large health and economic burden in Australia.

Associate Professor Enzo Porrello, The University of Melbourne and Murdoch Childrens Research Institute

Enzo and colleagues were awarded a Discovery Project.

Project: Molecular control of postnatal heart development.

This project aims to build new knowledge that is expected to improve our ability to generate mature heart muscle cells for stem cell applications, tissue repair and regeneration.

Dr Sara Howden, The University of Melbourne and Murdoch Childrens Research Institute

Sara and colleague Prof Melissa Little were awarded a Discovery Project.

Project: Studying early human kidney development using stem cells.

This project aims to improve our understanding of cell types, lineage relationships, cell-cell interactions and morphogenetic processes in human kidney development. It will improve our knowledge of human kidney development in a human model.

Dr Louise Cheng, The University of Melbourne

Louise and colleagues were awarded a Discovery Project.

Project: How neurons maintain their fate.

This project aims to investigate how neurons maintain their identity, without reverting back to less specialised cells. Benefits will be provided in the form of job creation, and new knowledge in fundamental aspects of life, including brain development and cell fate maintenance.

Dr Alexander Combes, The University of Melbourne and Murdoch Childrens Research Institute

Alex and colleagues were awarded a Discovery Project.

Project: The cellular basis of branching morphogenesis during kidney development.

This project aims to study the process of branching morphogenesis which drives the development of the kidney. In studying this process, the project should provide critical insights into how cells act, individually and collectively, to build tissues.