'Stem Cell Research - Now and in the Future' Public Forum: Our Speakers

12 June 2018
'Stem Cell Research - Now and in the Future' Public Forum was a free event in Melbourne, held on 18 June 2018, where leading Australian researchers discussed how stem cells could change the future of medicine.

Come along to learn more about stem cell research and have your questions answered. Doors open from 4:00pm - come early and explore the Australasian Society for Stem Cell Research Stem Cell Stories photography exhibition and meet the young research ambassadors - they will be wearing red lab coats.

Before you attend the event, read more about the researchers who will be speaking at the event:

Professor Susie Nilsson - CSIRO and the Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute at Monash University
Susie works with hemopoietic or blood stem cells to understand their role in diseases affecting the blood. She is aiming to understand how to direct blood stem cells into specific blood and immune cells, as well as how to improve blood stem cell collection for transplanation. Susie hopes to treat diseases of the blood and immune system.

Associate Professor Pritinder Kaur - Curtin University
Pritinder is a stem cell biologist with a research interest in skin and their role in wound repair, ageing and cancer. Printinder uses human epithelial stem cells to model and understand how the epithelial layers of the skin are developed. Her research primarily focuses on understanding how skin stem cells interact with the micro-environment, important in understanding diseases and aging. 

Dr Michael O'Connor - Western Sydney University

Michael’s research uses stem cells to learn more about the causes of, and potential new treatments for, cataract, macular degeneration and other eye disease that occur through ageing. Most recently Michael’s group has grown thousands of light-focusing human lenses in the lab, and used these to investigate causes of human cataracts. 

Associate Professor James Chong - The Westmead Institute and University of Sydney

James is a practising clinical cardiologist at Westmead hospital in Sydney and leads the cardiac regeneration laboratory at the University of Sydney. During his PhD, James and his supervisor identified a new population of heart stem cells. James is now researching how to regrow cardiac cells in the heart to repair damaged tissue after a heart attack.  

Professor Melissa Little - Murdoch Children's Research Institute and University of Melbourne

Melissa heads a team of researchers who use human stem cells to recreate kidney tissue in the laboratory. Her research is currently trying to better understand inherited kidney disease, and improve diagnosis and treatments. In the long term, Melissa hopes her research will lead to growing a full functioning kidney in the lab. Melissa is the President of the Australasian Society for Stem Cell Research and Program Leader of Stem Cells Australia - a special research initiative.

Associate Professor Megan Munsie (Moderator) - University of Melbourne

Megan combines her scientific expertise, gained through working in academia and industry, with a deep understanding of the issues associated with stem cell research and its clinical translations. Megan has contributed to developing policies at a domestic and international level, co-authored numerous educational resources for the public, health and educational professionals, and published extensively on ethical, legal and social implications of stem cell research. 

This event is proudly supported by the National Stem Cell Foundation of Australia and is being held in conjunction with the 2018 International Society for Stem Cell Research Annual Meeting.