As part of an iCeMS-JSPS Institutional Program for Young Researchers, Dr Kouichi Hasegawa from from Kyoto University's Institute of Integrated Cell-Material Sciences (iCeMS) and the National Centre for Biological Sciences in Bangalore visited Stem Cells Australia between January and March 2012.
During his sabbatical Kouichi pursued his interest in the control of human pluripotent stem cell renewal and early differentiation, completing a collaborative study with Professor Martin Pera on progenitor cells in human liver and pancreas. Having initiated their collaboration at University of Southern California several years ago, this visit enabled the completion of a series of experiments examining a novel marker that is increased in disease states, such as hepatocellular carcinoma and pancreatic adenocarcinoma. This marker is a potential biomarker and target for new therapies with findings from these experiments have been submitted for publication.
During his visit, Kouichi also collaborated with Mirella Dottori on molecular mechanisms in neural specification and presented a seminar for the Parkville Precinct Stem Cell Working Group in Melbourne entitled “Wnt signals in human pluripotent stem cell self-renewal and differentiation". He also visited the Chair of Stem Cells Australia's Scientific Advisory Committee Patrick Tam at the Children's Medical Research Institute and the laboratories of many Stem Cells Australia members including Christine Wells and Sean Grimmond at University of Queensland, Richard Harvey at Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute and Ed Stanley at Monash University.
We were also fortunate to host a visit from Kouichi’s colleague, Dr Takashi Asada Project Manager at iCeMS, who was in Melbourne to explore collaborative opportunities with Stem Cells Australia.
We look forward to ongoing collaborations with Kouichi and his colleagues at iCeMS and thank him for a wonderful visit.