National Stem Cell Foundation of Australia

National Stem Cell Foundation of Australia

The National Stem Cell Foundation of Australia supports stem cell science and educates the community about the potential and dangers of stem cell therapies.

Visit the website: stemcellfoundation.net.au

New national stem cell prizes for Tasmanian and Melbourne researchers

Jose Polo, Donald Metcalf and Kaylene Young. Credit: Mark Coulson/NSCFACould we wake up our brain’s stem cells to repair injury and disease – Kaylene Young, Hobart

How adult cells change identity as they’re turned into stem cells – Jose Polo, Melbourne

Kaylene’s full profile and photos

Jose’s full profile and photos

Scientists available at 10am for photo call and interviews in their labs

Dr Kaylene Young of the Menzies Research Institute Tasmania and Dr Jose Polo of Monash University have both received inaugural $50,000 Metcalf Prizes from the National Stem Cell Foundation of Australia in recognition of their leadership in stem cell research.

Kaylene Young believes she can persuade lazy stem cells in our brain to repair brain injuries and even treat diseases such as multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s.

Kaylene and her colleagues have found neural stem cells and related progenitor cells—which feed, protect and assist nerve cells—in the outer part of the brain most prone to damage, known as the cortex.

By understanding the behaviour and function of these cells, they one day hope to use them for treating nervous and brain disorders or damage. [continue reading…]

Closer to repairing the brain with its own stem cells

Kaylene Young. Credit: Mark Coulson/NSCFAHobart researcher Kaylene Young believes she can persuade lazy stem cells in our brain to repair brain injuries and even treat diseases such as multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s.

Dr Kaylene Young of the Menzies Research Institute Tasmania has received an inaugural $50,000 Metcalf Prize from the National Stem Cell Foundation of Australia in recognition of her leadership in stem cell research.

She and her colleagues have found neural stem cells and oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs)—which feed, protect and assist nerve cells—in the outer part of the brain most prone to damage, known as the cortex.

By understanding the behaviour and function of these cells, they one day hope to use them for treating nervous and brain disorders or damage.

“Our ultimate goal is to harness the regenerative capacity of these cells for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, mental health disorders, and traumatic brain injury,” says Kaylene.

To assist in her work, the National Stem Cell Foundation of Australia has awarded Dr Kaylene Young—National Health and Medical Research Council RD Wright Biomedical Research Fellow and Research Group Leader at the University of Tasmania—one of two inaugural Donald Metcalf prizes each worth $50,000. [continue reading…]

New stem cells via identity theft and reprogramming

Jose Polo and Donald Metcalf. Credit: Mark Coulson/NSCFAJose Polo is unravelling the details of how stem cells can be produced from adult cells through a mix of identity theft and reprogramming. It is work that needs to be done before such stem cells can be used safely in medicine.

In recognition of his leadership in stem cell research, Associate Professor Polo of Monash University has received an inaugural $50,000 Metcalf Prize from the National Stem Cell Foundation of Australia.

The award is named for Australia’s pioneering stem cell researcher, Professor Donald Metcalf, AC, of the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, who is an internationally renowned expert on haematopoiesis or blood cell formation.

Jose’s work is unveiling the development of induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells —stem cells generated from skin, liver, blood or any other body cells. It is an important step along a path which could lead to treating degenerative diseases and understanding some cancers.

“When talking about my work, I often use the analogy of a library, where the genes in the cells are the books,” says Jose. “Every cell is a library which contains the same set of books, but they differ in terms of which ones are open and which are closed—in blood vessel cells the books on blood vessels will be open, and in pancreatic cells the books on the pancreas. I want to find the mechanism that opens and closes those books.”

Jose has already made two major strides forward. [continue reading…]

Young talent time in stem cell research; new treatment information handbook; meet an unlikely marathon-running fundraiser

National Stem Cell Foundation of Australia October newsletter

Welcome to my occasional bulletin on stem cell science, news and the ongoing work of the National Stem Cell Foundation of Australia.

October’s a busy month for the Foundation, as the region’s top stem cell researchers converge on Brisbane for the 6th annual meeting of the Australasian Society for Stem Cell Research (ASSCR).

[continue reading…]

50 grants for early-career researchers and students; therapeutic cloning in the news; and scientists meet patients in Melbourne

National Stem Cell Foundation of Australia June newsletter

The first half of 2013 has seen the Foundation’s formal launch and the commencement of our grant programs and outreach activities.

We’re extending our support to the stem cell research community with 50 travel grants for early-career researchers to join Australia’s premier stem cell research meeting in Brisbane later this year. There are plenty of speaking places for junior investigators, awards for posters and presentations, and a special networking event to introduce them to leaders in stem cell research. [continue reading…]

Setting the record straight on stem cell tourism; Foundation sponsors diabetes community forum; and an update on our first researcher

National Stem Cell Foundation of Australia April newsletter

I’ve been both excited and concerned to see stem cell stories in the media this year.

The Foundation has enjoyed the media attention following our launch. But we’ve also been alarmed by the growing number of reports of people travelling overseas for unproven treatments and the explosion of clinics, here in Australia and overseas, offering treatments using stem cells derived from fat cells.

[continue reading…]