Japan-Australia collaboration to accelerate stem cell research

15 February 2013
SCA & iCeMS Symposium delegates

Leading Australian and Japanese experts in bioengineering, nanotechnology, stem cell biology and clinical research met at a two day summit to share ideas and forge plans on how to address some of the big questions in stem cell science.

Hosted by Stem Cells Australia at the University of Melbourne, researchers from across Australia joined visiting scientists from Kyoto University to explore new collaborative opportunities.

Professor Martin Pera, who leads the Stem Cells Australia initiative and is the Chair of Stem Cell Science at the University of Melbourne, said “Stem cell research is a field with great opportunity but also enormous challenges. These challenges will only be met by an international effort that promotes free exchange of information, collaboration, and effective use of research resources”.

The Japanese delegation was led by Professor Norio Nakatsuji, Founding Director of the Institute for Integrated Cell Material Sciences (iCeMS), Kyoto University’s premier interdisciplinary research initiative
with a focus on stem cell science and technology.

Professor Nakatsuji commented, “By facilitating scientific exchange between leading scientists in Stem Cells Australia and iCeMS, we will be able to accelerate the progress of both teams towards applications of stem cells in research and medicine”.

Key areas that were identified for future projects include neural and cardiac disease modeling, sharing media and culturing techniques and further strengthening bioinformatics platforms. 

Australian delegates included Prof Peter Gray, Director of University of Queensland's Australian Institute for Bioengineering & Nanotechnology and Prof Nadia Rosenthal, Director of Monash University's Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute, together with SCA colleagues from CSIRO, Florey Neuroscience Institutes, Centre for Eye Research Australia and University of Melbourne.

The summit was supported by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade through the Australia-Japan Foundation.

For program details to and see photos from the meeting visit the iCeMS website.