Stem Cells Australia

Find out more about stem cells, their applications in research and emerging technologies, and their impact on society.

Stem Cells Australia

The University of Melbourne is the administering organisation of Stem Cells Australia, a national research initiative that seeks to harness the potential of stem cells for new diagnostic, therapeutic and biotechnological applications. Stem Cells Australia’s research portfolio spans the use of stem cells in Regenerative Medicine, Disease Modelling and in Designer Cells – where researchers aim to design and construct completely novel types of cells, built to deliver a specific function.

Stem Cells Australia was established in 2011 and has received $24 million from the Australian Research Council under the Special Research Initiative in Stem Cell Science scheme. In 2018, Stem Cells Australia also received $3 million to advance stem cell research towards new treatments from the Australian Government Department of Health through the Accelerated Research Program of the Medical Research Future Funding.

The initiative links over 300 experts in bioengineering, nanotechnology, stem cell biology, advanced molecular analysis and clinical research across Australian universities and research institutes across 14 leading Australian universities and medical research institutions.

Stem Cells Australia’s administration and management team are co-located with the Centre for Stem Cell Systems with the Centre providing essential logistics and administrative support especially around enhancing Victorian research and engagement activities within the national initiative.

Since 2017, Professor Melissa Little and Professor Christine Wells have led Stem Cells Australia as Program Leader and Deputy Program Leader, respectively. Christine is also the Director of the Centre for Stem Cell Systems. Within the initiative, Professor Wells also leads Stem Cells Australia’s Designer Cells research theme, drawing on her strength in computational biology and synthetic cell systems.

Underpinning Stem Cells Australia’s research activities is the Engagement, Ethics and Policy Program led by the Centre for Stem Cell System’s Deputy Director, Associate Professor Megan Munsie. Stem Cells Australia is committed to lead public outreach and policy advocacy in stem cell science, setting the standards to support the development of the next generation stem cell-based medicines.

Stem Cells Australia was instigated by The University of Melbourne, University of Queensland, Monash University, University of NSW, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute for Medical Research, Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute, The Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation. The Murdoch Children’s Research Institute joined the in 2016. The University of Sydney, Western Sydney University, University of Wollongong, University of Tasmania and University of Western Australia joined the initiative in 2018. The University of Melbourne remains the administering organisation.

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