|(L-R) Ms Stefanie Perri, Ms Anna Burke and |
Prof Graham Jenkin
Federal Member for Chisholm and former speaker, Anna Burke, and City of Monash Mayor, Cr Stefanie Perri, visited the Monash Health Translation Precinct (MHTP) yesterday for a tour of the new Translational Research Facility (TRF).
Led by Ritchie Centre Deputy Director Professor Graham Jenkin, and co-head and Head of Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Monash University, Professor Euan Wallace, Ms Burke and Cr Perri inspected the new clinical trials unit, technology platforms, and the Ritchie Centre before hearing about MHTP stem cell research projects.
“MHTP is perfectly poised to undertake translational research because of the integration and connectivity of clinicians, researchers, PhD students and patients,” said Ms Burke.
Ms Burke said she was delighted to hear about MHTP research into cell therapy that may possibly treat five or six different health conditions.
“As an Academic Health Science Centre, Monash Partners is well positioned to bring our researchers and clinicians together to facilitate true collaboration and research translation,” said Professor Wallace.
Dr Rebecca Lim, Dr Courtney McDonald, Professor Chris Sobey and Dr Shayanti Mukherjee each presented their research, highlighting the translational impact of their work.
Dr Lim leads the amnion cell biology team at the Ritchie Centre, and has developed a protocol to isolate amnion epithelial cells from placentas for use in regenerative medicine. Dr Lim’s research focuses on developing cell therapies for a multitude of diseases such as bronchopulmonary dysplasia, lung and liver fibrosis, as well as critical limb ischaemia.
NHMRC Cerebral Palsy early career research fellow Dr Courtney McDonald works in the Neurodevelopment and Neuroprotection Research Group at the Ritchie Centre. Her research focuses on understanding how umbilical cord blood stem cells can be used to prevent or treat perinatal brain injury. She is also investigating which stem cell types are found in the umbilical cord blood, how these populations change with disease and how these cells can individually reduce inflammation and contribute to brain repair.
Head of the Cardiovascular Disease Program in the new Monash Biomedicine Institute, Chris Sobey is a Professor in the Department of Pharmacology. Professor Sobey is investigating the inflammatory mechanisms occurring in the brain after stroke in order to identify and develop novel approaches to treat stroke patients.
Dr Shayanti Mukherjee is a research fellow at the Ritchie Centre and recipient of the prestigious Science and Industry Endowment Fund (SIEF) John Stocker Postdoctoral Fellowship. Dr Mukherjee’s work focuses on the alleviation of Pelvic Organ Prolapse (POP), a major hidden burden affecting millions of women during pregnancy, childbirth and ageing. Using a combination of stem cell therapy and nanotechnology, her research will accelerate the clinical translation of POP surgical constructs to improve women’s quality of life.