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New ARC Future Fellow Mirella Dottori uses stem cells to explore the nervous system

20 January 2014
Mirella in her lab at the Centre for Neural Engineering

The human nervous system is one of the most complex structures in the human body. In order to understand how it functions, and doesn’t fully function in certain conditions, it is fundamental to decipher how the nervous system develops to generate various types of cells that form this elaborate network. Human stem cells provide a valuable way to enable researchers like Mirella to study these processes.

Mirella and her team, who are based at The University of Melbourne’s Centre for Neural Engineering, are interested in using human pluripotent stem cells to study how the early progenitor cell types that form the nervous system are generated and how cells derived from them form the complex pattern of functional synapses. Through this approach the researchers will be able to establish a cellular model of human neurogenesis in a laboratory dish that can be utilized to study developmental disease processes particularly for conditions such as Friedreich Ataxia, Autism Spectrum Disorders, and sensory neuropathies.

Since 2008, Australian Research Council provides Future Fellowships to outstanding Australian and international mid-career researchers. We congratulate Mirella on the honor of being a 2014 Future Fellow!

Mirella Dottori is an Associate Investigator in the Stem Cells Australia initiative.