Stem cell scientists gather in the city of landmark discoveries
The International Society for Stem Cell Research 2018 Annual Meeting brings the field’s scientists to a country and city with a rich stem cell research heritage.
Bone marrow transplants to treat blood cancers and other blood disorders were the first stem cell treatments. In the 1960s, Don Metcalf at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in Melbourne discovered colony stimulating factors, the molecules that stimulate stem cells to multiply and mature, which revolutionised bone marrow transplants and the treatment of blood diseases.
Opera singer Jose Carreras, one of the millions of people who have had this stem cell treatment for leukaemia, credits his survival to Don Metcalf.
Around this time, wool was one of Australia’s top exports, but Australian merino sheep were having fewer lambs than their overseas counterparts. Sheep fertility and animal reproduction research received a massive funding boost in the 1960s and 1970s. [continue reading…]