A first in UNSW, the Molecular Biology & Stem Cells Group is a joint initiative of the Faculties of Medicine and Science and the School of Psychiatry.
The research focus of the Molecular Biology & Stem Cells Group is on neural stem cells derived from both the embryonic and non-embryonic sources for developing future cell therapies for various neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, spinal cord injury and other neuronal diseases.
The Molecular Biology & Stem Cells Group has state-of-the-art facilities to study the cell and developmental biology of stem cells. We have the expertise to culture, propagate, differentiate, engineer and transplant in animal models the neural stem cells from various sources like human embryonic stem cells, skin-derived neuroprogenitors and human mesenchymal stem cells from bone marrow. In addition, the Molecular Biology & Stem Cells Group has expertise in the derivation of new human embryonic stem cell lines including their clonal propagation. We also endeavour to develop disease-specific stem cell lines by therapeutic cloning and by induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell technology for studying the disease processes in vitro and in drug discovery.
The Molecular Biology & Stem Cells Group also provides an effective platform to foster collaborative research and facilitates access to relevant technologies and expertise. It encompasses an inter-disciplinary approach drawing together researchers with diverse backgrounds with a shared interest in all aspects of neural stem cells research in both a “normal” healthy state and a state of dysfunction manifesting as neurological disorder.
The Molecular Biology & Stem Cells Group is also the founder of a neural stem cell interest group (NSCIG) that provides an opportunity for UNSW and affiliated institutes to interact regularly and to be at the forefront of stem cells research in general and neural stem cells research in particular.