Australian scientists join international stem cell powerhouse

Tuesday, 02 May, 2006

Scientists from Monash University and the Australian Stem Cell Centre have announced they will work with a Californian university to create an international collaboration in stem cell research.

The collaboration, with the University of California (UCSD) will bring together more than 300 leading scientists in regenerative medicine and stem cell science and will strengthen major collaborations between Victoria and California.

Under the initiative, the institutions will organise scientist exchanges, host joint workshops, develop joint grant applications share equipment and materials, and establish joint clinical trials and commercial developments.

Proposed areas of collaboration include work on basic human embryonic stem cell biology, neurological disorders, treating blood disease and transplant tolerance, cardiac regenerative medicine, and the treatment of diabetes - through pancreatic regeneration - and lung disease.

Faculty of Medicine Nursing and Health Sciences Dean Professor Edward Byrne said the collaboration would provide a critical mass of stem cell researchers with a size and reputation to rival similar groups around the world.

"This is a fantastic development that will underpin some really great research in the years ahead," he said.

"Research achievements in embryonic stem cell science at Monash and the Australian Stem Cell Centre will combine well with the research excellence in adult neural and cardiovascular medicine at UCSD. Already Professor Alan Trounson from Monash and Dr Larry Goldstein from UCSD are working together on a major grant application to develop tools for human embryonic stem cell research."

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