November 2012 Stem Cells Australia Retreat

10 December 2012
Ed Stanley, Freya Bruveris and Andrew Elefanty at the 2012 SCA Retreat

Our recent Retreat, the second for 2012, provided an excellent forum for researchers, students and invited guests to meet and discuss progress in their research.

The program highlighted achievements made in each of our four key research fields, and also included several dedicated “state-of-the-art” panel discussions.

A separate session  was dedicated to student presentations where 13 enthusiastic honors and PhD students gave excellent short (3 minutes) summaries of their work.

A key feature of this meeting was the opportunity for many of our Scientific Advisory Board members - including Andras Nagy, Patrick Tam and Shin-Ichi Nishikawa - to learn more about our research directly from our scientists.

The Stem Cells Australia Retreat will be held annually.

The following is a summary of the 2012 program:


Welcome by Martin Pera: Program Leader

Session 1: Pluripotency & Reprogramming (Conveners: Martin Pera & Peter Gray)

Shelley Hough (UoM) Gene expression during reprogramming to induced pluripotency

Trent Munro (UQ) Antibody Technology

Ernst Wolvetang (UQ) Modelling Down Syndrome with iPSC

Student Presentation Session: (Chair Samir Taoudi)

Alejandro Hidalgo (UQ) Human Pluripotent Stem Cells Derived Cardiomyocytes Toxicity Screening In Microarray Perfused Environments

Deevina Arasaratnam (Monash) Cardiomyocytes derived from human embryonic stem cells have a distinctive micro-RNA signature

Elizabeth Mason (UQ) Expression and expressivity in cellular models of differentiation

Harleen Basrai (UoM) Enhancing the survival of newly born neurons in the adult brain

Jack Lambshead (CSIRO) Characterisation of human pluripotent stem cells adapted to distinct culture surfaces

James Cornwell (VCCRI) Cardiac Stem Cell Growth Dynamics

Jane Kotey (Monash) Stem Cell Tourism to China

Kathy Potts (WEHI) Investigating early haematopoietic specification in the mouse embryonic yolk sac

LuLu Xing (UoM) Spatiotemporal mapping of oligodendrogenesis by neural precursor cells following cuprizone-induced demyelination

Nicholas Tan (UoM) System a amino acid transporters in ES cells and the embryo may underlie regulatory roles in ES cell differentiation

Siavash Foroughi (UoM) The study of pluripotent stem cell derived hematopoietic development

Stephanie Bellmaine (UoM) The role of dual-specificity tyrosine phosphorylation-regulated kinases (DYRKs) in the proliferation and differentiation of human embryonic stem cells

Panel Discussion 1: Reprogramming (Chair: Andras Nagy)

Panel: Martin Pera (UoM, FNI, WEHI), Ernst Wolvetang (UQ), Andrew Laslett (CSIRO) 

Session 2: Neural Regeneration & Repair (Convener: Trevor Kilpatrick)

Dhanisha Jhaveri (UQ) Regulation of discrete neural precursor cell populations in the adult hippocampus: Potential for the treatment of cognitive and mood disorders

Mark Denham (UoM) Generation of Neural Crest Progenitors from Human Pluripotent Stem Cells

Toby Merson (FNI) Assessing the contribution of neural precursor cells to remyelination of the demyelinated central nervous system

Panel Discussion 2: Early CNS Development (Chair: Patrick Tam)

Panel: Mirella Dottori (UoM), James Bourne (Monash)


Scientific Advisory Committee & SLG Joint Meeting

Platform session: Morphogenesis & Tissue Engineering (Chair: Melissa Little)

Session 3: Cardiac Regeneration & Repair (Conveners: Nadia Rosenthal & Richard Harvey)

Dave Elliott (Monash) Cell surface markers of emerging cardiac lineages

Naisana Asli (VCCRI) Working the Networks of Cardiac Stem Cell Regulation

Milena Furtado (Monash) - Cardiac specific transcriptional network in fibroblasts

Siiri Iisma (VCCRI) Does preserved post-natal cardiomyocyte proliferative competence augment the myocardial response to injury

Session 4: Haematopoiesis (David Haylock & Andrew Elefanty)

Marion Brunck (UQ) A neurotrophic, candidemic mouse model to study ex vivo-manufactured neutrophil transfusions

Freya Bruveris (Monash) Characterisation of haematopoietic populations emerging from human embryonic stem cells

Jarny Choi (WEHI) Gene Expression Data Explorer: desktop application for analyzing RNA-seq data

Cissy Yu (Monash) APELIN promotes hematopoiesis from human embryonic stem cells

Panel Discussion 3: Development of Blood Cells (Chair: Shin-Ichi Nishikawa)

Panel: Ed Stanley (Monash & MCRI) & Sebastian Carrota (WEHI)

Closing Remarks: Martin Pera