Professor Clare Parish

 - Partner Investigator

Research focus: Directed differentiation of pluripotent stem cells and their appplications in cell-replacement therapy in Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease and stroke

Professor Clare Parish is a Senior Research Officer at the Florey Neuroscience Institutes and jointly leads the Stem Cell team with Associate Professor Lachlan Thompson. The focus of the group is on the development of cell therapies for brain repair, notably for Parkinson’s Disease. The team has a strong emphasis also on understanding developmental biology, exploiting this knowledge to generate selective cell populations for the purpose of transplantation and, encouraging graft integration into the host brain.

The team works with both neural and embryonic stem cells (mouse and human) in their cell therapy approaches. In a novel approach, the research team also collaborates closely with materials engineers at Monash University. This research focuses on bioengineering 3-dimensional scaffold materials that can be implanted into the brain to physically and chemically support transplanted cells.

Professor Parish completed her PhD in 2002. She subsequently received 2 fellowships (NHMRC CJ Martin and Human Frontier Science Program Long-term training fellowship) to embark on a 4 year postdoctorate in molecular and stem cell neurobiology at the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden. Associate Professor Parish returned to Australia in 2007 to establish an independent research career. Professor Parish currently holds an NHMRC career development award (CDA) fellowship and has received a number of CIA grants including two NHMRC project grants and a Californian-Victorian stem cell grant. 

She has 22 peer-reviewed publications (with an average impact factor of 6.6, >400 citations and a H-index of 12). She has also written two review articles, three book chapters and been invited to numerous national and international meeting to present her work. 

Specific areas of technical expertise include: in vivo procedures in rodents (disease modeling, cell implantation, behavioural analysis), embryonic tissue dissection, cell culture (primary cultures, neural and embryonic stem cells – mouse and human), immunohistochemistry, biochemistry (immunoblotting and HPLC).