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Stem Cells and Neural Development Laboratory

Our laboratory has a broad interest in repairing the injured brain and places a strong emphasis on understanding neural development, with the idea that repairing the injured brain will require recapitulation of these early events.

There are a number of major research themes running within the laboratory, including:​

  • Improving our understanding of neural development;
  • Molecular mechanisms underlying axonal targeting and synaptogenesis
  • Establishing protocols for directed differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells;
  • The use of stem-cell derived neurons for cell-replacement therapy
  • Strategies to improve graft survival, integration and function
  • Bioengineering scaffolds to support neural transplant

Research within the group primarily focuses on the development of midbrain dopamine neurons and their transplantation into models of Parkinson’s disease, yet also branches into the generation of other neuronal populations for grafting into various disease models including stroke.

Key collaborators:

Dr. Lachlan Thompson

Florey Neuroscience Institute, Melbourne

Dr. David Nisbet

Australian National University, Canberra

Prof. Colin Pouton

Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Melbourne

Dr. Mirella Dottori

The University of Melbourne

Assoc. Prof. Jennifer Rodger

The University of Western Australia, Perth

Dr. Marnie Blewitt

Walter & Eliza Hall Institute, Melbourne

Prof. Ernest Arenas

Karolinska Institute, Sweden

Prof. Andras Simon

Karolinska Institute, Sweden

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Brain health affects all Australians.
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