As part of the University of Melbourne Dean of Medicine, Dentistry & Health Sciences Lecture Series, Professor Martin Pera will be providing a lecture entitled Human Pluripotent Stem Cells: A Progress Report in the Auditorium of the Melbourne Brain Centre, Cnr Royal Parade and Genetics Lane, Parkville.
Human pluripotent stem cells are derived either directly from embryos, or from adult tissue through the remarkable process of cellular reprogramming. They have two unique features: the capacity for indefinite proliferation in vitro, and the ability to give rise to all the tissues of the body. Thus, for the first time, pluripotent stem cells provide a renewable source of healthy human cells of any type.
In the laboratory, pluripotent stem cell technology is revolutionizing the way we study human biology and disease. In the clinic, trials of human embryonic stem cell-derived therapeutics are underway or nearing approval for a diverse range of conditions, including spinal cord injury, macular degeneration, and Type 1 diabetes. Despite the progress to date, there are many gaps in our understanding of the biology of pluripotent cells, and many obstacles to their successful application in therapy.
In this lecture we will trace the pathway from the development of human pluripotent stem cells through to their emerging role in regenerative medicine.