We are investigating the properties of mesenchymal stem cells that will help develop more effective and safer stem cell based therapeutic options in the future—with the potential to impact on a wide variety of clinical diseases and conditions.
Most stem cells intended for regenerative therapy are isolated either from the patient's bone marrow or from adipose tissue. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) can differentiate into the supportive connective tissues, such as myelosupportive stroma, adipose tissue, smooth muscle, cardiac muscle, bone, cartilage, ligament, cementum and dentin. They have been the main type of stem cells studied in the treatment of diseases affecting these tissue, especially because of the ease at which they can be harvested.
The Mesenchymal Stem Cell Laboratory is investigating the origin and biological properties of different postnatal MSC populations, and how these self-replicating multi-potential stromal cells can differentiate into a variety of different cell types. Our focus is to identify critical genes and epigenetic factors (factors not attributable to the DNA genetic code) that regulate MSC self-renewal, proliferation and differentiation.
In addition, our research efforts are looking to identify the factors central to MSC mediated regulation of haematopiesis, angiogenesis and immune cell modulation. Importantly, many of these molecular processes are considered underlying causes of chronic diseases and tumour cell development. Together with Professor Andrew Zannettino and Mesoblast Ltd, our basic research activities with MSCs have progressed into Phase II/III human clinical trials for orthopaedic, cardiovascular, cancer and immune based medical conditions.
Lead researcher: Professor Stan Gronthos
We offer exciting opportunities for researchers at the honours, masters and PhD levels. Our research degrees are open to students from a broad range of backgrounds, and range from basic sciences to clinical research. If you are interested in human health, consider furthering your research career with us.