Since its creation in 2011, the Stem Cells Australia initiative has increased our understanding of how to control and use stem cells in research. Our members have placed Australia at the forefront of stem cell medicine, and now we are developing new diagnostic, therapeutic and biological applications that will transform healthcare in the years and decades ahead.
Today, Stem Cells Australia members are:
- Using mini-kidney “organoids” to understand genetic diseases
- Growing “beating” heart tissue from stem cells
- Modelling brain circuitry to test drugs and treat chronic pain
- Tracking development in individual heart cells to understand regeneration
- Restoring sight with corneal stem cell transplants
- Analysing big data to make designer cells
- Using the brain’s own immune cells to fight MS
- Growing miniature lenses to develop new cataract treatments
- Reprogramming cells to understand Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases
- Building tools to heal brain injuries
- Improving public understanding of the myths and realities of stem cell therapies
Our researchers are learning about how the heart forms so they can identify drugs to stimulate heart repair and improve function; they are analysing big data to predict how cells behave and create custom immune cells; they are helping patients with damaged corneas see again using grafts made from their own stem cells; and much more.
Many of these achievements rely on large interdisciplinary teams from across Australia.
Our emerging clinical network has been crucial to support translation of new discoveries and fostering the development of an Australian stem cell biotech industry.
Our work rests on three pillars of research and translational growth: Regenerative Medicine, Disease Modelling, and Designer Cells. We are building on our past research and expanding our network, which now involves more than 350 researchers across 14 leading universities and medical research institutes. Our members have wide-ranging expertise that spans developmental biology, bioethics, mathematics, computational science, bioengineering, pharmacology, clinical practice and law.
Another key element of SCA’s mission is training the next generation of Australian research leaders. With the support of a highly engaged committee of early career researchers we have provided unique learning opportunities for over 210 trainees since our inception.
SCA recognises that the fast pace of stem cell research means informing and engaging the Australian community is also vital. We aim to provide accessible information about scientific progress, as well as addressing important ethical and regulatory implications of discoveries in regenerative medicine and stem cell research.
Stem Cells Australia has been supported since 2011 through the Australian Research Council Special Research Initiative Scheme.
We are proud of what we have achieved with support of the Australian Research Council to prepare the field of stem cells for a future in Regenerative Medicine, Disease Modelling and Designer Cells, both in Australia and internationally. As such, Stem Cells Australia will have a lasting impact on the future of medicine.