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Students shine at Stem Cells Australia's 2013 Retreat

08 November 2013
Christine Mummery, Justin Cooper-White and Nadia Rosenthal at the 2013 SCA Retreat

This week over 100 researchers gathered in northern NSW to discuss stem cell science. In a crowded three-day program, the student presentations shone - despite the less than ideal weather.

We greatly appreciated our international members of the Scientific Advisory Committee traveling such a long way to join us - Professors Christine Mummery, Andras Nagy, Peter Zandstra and Michael Rudnicki - and thank them and our Australian member Professor Patrick Tam - for making the time in their busy schedules and for their extremely informative and thought provoking presentations.

The following is a summary of the program for our 2013 Retreat.

Sunday 1 November

Welcome: Martin Pera                                        

Plenary 1: Patrick Tam (SAC) The Heterogeneity of Mouse Epiblast Stem Cells

Session 1: Neural Regeneration & Repair [Chair: Trevor Kilpatrick]

Dhanisha Jhaveri Evidence for phenotypic and functional heterogeneity amongst quiescent neural precursor cells in the adult hippocampus

Toby Merson Adult neural precursor cells from the subventricular zone contribute significantly to oligodendrocyte regeneration and remyelination

Student presentations

Harleen Basrai NPC, OPC and Inflammatory Cell Responses to Traumatic Brain Injury in Suppressor of Cytokine Signalling 2 (SOCS2) overexpressing mice

Lulu Xing Significant contribution of subventricular zone-derived adult neural precursor cells to myelin repair in a multiple sclerosis-like disease

Gency Gunasingh Developing defined culture conditions for the enzyme-free sub-culturing of neural progenitor cells from human embryonic stem cells

Stephanie Bellmaine Modulation of stem cell fate through chemical inhibition of DYRK kinases 

Monday 2 November

Session 2:  Pluripotency & Reprogramming – Student presentations [Chair: Andrew Laslett]

Xiaoli Chen Use of a Thermoresponsive Polymer for Propagation of hESC in a Chemically-defined 3D system

Laura Corfield Pulling down Oct4 transcription factor complexes from pluripotent genes during reprogramming

Jaber Firas Influence of gender on the generation of mouse induced pluripotent stem cells

Josh Kie Characterisation of cell surface markers associated with human pluripotent stem cells

Elizabeth Mason Gene expression variability as a unifying element of the pluripotency network

Harish Padmanabhan Microbioreactor based high throughput screening of cellular microenvironments to control the fate of stem cells

Nicholas Tan System A amino acid transporters in pluripotent ES cells and the embryo

Kevin Lau Novel inducers of Primitive Streak Intermediate formation

Barbara Maier Direct reprogramming of embryonic fibroblasts to renal progenitors

Session 3: Pluripotency & Reprogramming [Chair: Martin Pera]

Michael Monteiro Thermoresponsive NanoBridges for Expansion and Release of Human Embryonic Stem Cells          

Alexander Harvey              Metabolic transformation in pluripotent stem cells

Robin Hobbs Molecular mechanisms regulating germline stem cell self-renewal and potency

Plenary 2: Andras Nagy (SCA) "Reprogramming reveals multiple states of pluripotency"

Session 4: Haematopoiesis [Chair: Ed Stanley]

Andrew Elefanty Strategies to generate hematopoietic stem cells from human pluripotent stem cells             

Samir Taoudi Haematopoiesis during embryogenesis

Jose Polo Reprogramming

Student “meet the experts” forum – our International SAC members

Panel Discussion 1: Clinical Translation [Chair: Trevor Kilpatrick]

Panel members: Chris Juttner, James Chong and Megan Munsie

Plenary 3: Christine Mummery (SCA) Cardiac and vascular cells from human pluripotent stem cells

Session 5: Cardiac Regeneration & Repair [Chair: Nadia Rosenthal]

James Godwin Limb and heart regeneration in the salamander       

James Chong Pluripotent Stem Cells for Cardiac Repair and Regeneration

Richard Harvey Rejuvenation of Self-Renewal and potency in cardiac mesenchymal stem and stromal cell

Tuesday 5 November

Fiona Cameron - Meet the ARC

Plenary 4: Peter Zandstra (SAC) Engineering stem cell niche parameters for therapy and drug development

Session 6: Enabling Technologies [Chair: Christine Wells]

Christine Wells Stemformatics meta-analysis robustly identifies and QC’s mesenchymal stromal cells

Justin Cooper-White Microbioreactors for single cell selection and expansion

Robert Nordon Quantifying single cell dynamics

Session 7: Student Presentations [Chair Ernst Wolvetang]

James Cornwell Interrogation of single-cell tracking data in order to quantify cCFU-F growth dynamics in vitro

Ryan Debuque Investigating the macrophage dependence in adult salamander limb regeneration

Alejandro Hildalgo-Gonzalez A separable upstream promoter of the human SLC8A1 (NCX1) gene efficiently marks a contractile cardiomyocyte population in human pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyogenic cultures

Alexei Ilinykh Characterisation of macrophage-derived IGF1 signalling in the mammalian heart

Amy Nicks Cardiomyocyte regeneration: investigation of the expression of c-kit

Plenary 5: Michael Rudniki (SCA) Molecular regulation of muscle stem cell function

Session 8: Student Presentations

Liyuan Wang Live Cell Imaging of Angiogenic Responses of HUVECs to Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Gradient

Freya Bruveris The role of SOX17 in human blood cell development

Jessica Schwaber Developing an Expanded Stochastic Model to Resolve the Lineage Decision Process