STEM CELL UNIT
The Stem Cell Unit was formed in early 2011 to enable the Institute to investigate the potential of stem cells as a therapy for lung diseases. Research is currently focused on asthma, cystic fibrosis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Although the Unit is new, it has already successfully established several fields of investigation. It has been particularly adept at forming collaborative partnerships with leading scientists overseas and also locally. In 2011 the Unit won the inaugural LIWA Glenn Brown Memorial Grant for investigation into cystic fibrosis and bronchiectasis and this has provided a basis to commence a project examining a novel therapy for treatment. The project has two phases, the first in collaboration with Dr Robert Tarran, Chapel Hill, NC, USA, which is testing whether amnion cells correct CF defects. The second phase involves working with Prof Carlos Luna, in Buenos Aires, Argentina to treat pig models of lung injury with stem cells.
The Unit is also involved in projects examining Anti-inflammatory pathways in COPD and is working collaboratively with local researchers Prof Peter Henry and Dr Graeme Zosky to investigate the role of Mesenchymal Stromal Cells in asthma.
Stem Cell Research Unit lead by Yuben Moodley (right)