At the frontier of medicine: the art of making stem cells into blood cells

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

Professors Andrew Elefanty and Ed Stanley and Dr Elizabeth Ng from the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute are among the world’s leaders in the art of making human stem cells turn into blood cells.
The trio are long-term collaborators and study blood cell development in the embryo. Building on years of research, the Stanley and Elefanty labs reported the successful conversion of human pluripotent stem cells to blood cells that closely resemble the first blood stem cells that are found during early human development.

These cells provide researchers with an important new method for studying the development of blood disorders such as leukaemia. 

Read more about their research in Stem Cells Australia: At the frontier of medicine

The Stanley lab is also interested in understanding how the immune system is formed, and what goes wrong during Type 1 diabetes, a condition where the immune system attacks the insulin producing cells of the pancreas. The lab is investigating how to turn stem cells into insulin producing cells, with the hope to one day transplant these insulin producing cells into patients with Type 1 diabetes. 

Listen to Andrew, Ed and Elizabeth’s stories as they share an insight into their research and their hopes to one day grow personalised, genetically matched blood and immune cells in the laboratory.

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