Early Career Research awarded DECRA
Senior research officer, Dr Lincon Stamp, was awarded an Australian Research Council ‘Discovery Early Career Researcher Award’ (DECRA) for his work in understanding interactions between gut epithelial stem cells and neurons.
Dr Stamp is an Early Career Researcher in the Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience at The University of Melbourne, in the Young Lab. The Young Lab has a focus on the development of the enteric (or intestinal) nervous system.
The enteric nervous system is a main division of the autonomic nervous system and plays an essential role in the control of gut motility. During development, these enteric neurons arise from the base of the brain and migrate into and along the developing gut. Missing or low functioning nerves can cause significant gut diseases; the most common treatment is surgery.
Lincon and his team are focused on the mechanisms controlling the development of the enteric nervous system and the potential of cell therapy for treating diseases of the enteric nervous system
This project, funded by the ARC, aims to investigate the interaction between gut neurons and the epithelial stem cell compartment, as well as the relationship between age-related loss of enteric neurons and changes in gut epithelial stem cells.
It will include novel co-culturing of organoids and enteric neurospheres, which will identify mechanisms by which nerves influence the epithelia. The outcome of the project will be a better understanding of the biology of the body’s most highly proliferative, long-lived stem cells, the intestinal epithelial stem cells.
Dr Stamp’s work could have significant long term impact on the quality of life in an ageing population. The grant is worth $365,058 over 3 years.
The Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) provides more focused support for researchers and creates more opportunities for early-career researchers in both teaching and research, and research-only positions.
Dr Stamp is member of the Centre for Stem Cells Systems community.