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At the frontier of medicine: understanding health and disease at the single cell level

12 December 2019
Meet Australian researchers who use stem cells to advance our understanding of how the body develops and what happens during disease.

Associate Professor Joseph Powell is the Head of the Garvan-Weizmann Centre for Cellular Genomics and Head of the Single Cell and Computational Genomics Laboratory at Garvan Institute for Medical Research. 

The lab uses stem cells to model complex diseases – diseases that have a large number of genetic factors – and ask key questions about genetic variation seen in large populations and how each variation might affect the disease progress and severity.

To do this, the lab uses single cell sequencing, which analyses the genetic information in one cell, but in a very large number of cells at the same time. This sequencing platforms allows many different cell types or diseases to be investigated at the same time, which will help fast track our understanding of the genetic underlying disease. 

Read more about the lab's research in Tomorrow’s medicine starts today. 

Joseph hopes that his work will mitigate and reduce diseases and reduce the burden of diseases on the community. 

Listen to Joseph and Research Fellow Dr Drew Neavin, as they share an insight into their research and how the convergence of stem cell biology and single cell sequencing is allowing researchers to ask more complex questions about the development of disease. 


Australian stem cell researchers are making important discoveries in the lab, that will move research outcomes towards clinical applications. Watch their videos.