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Stem cell research hopes to repair brain damage of Parkinson's disease
Date:11/11/2011

Australian scientists have developed a new technique using stem cells, in the hope to replace damaged cells in Parkinson's disease. The technique could be developed for application in other degenerative conditions.

Drs Clare Parish and Lachlan Thompson lead the research from the Florey Neuroscience Institutes and the University of Melbourne. They are members of the newly established Stem Cells Australia collaboration being launched at the University of Melbourne today.

Stem Cells Australia is a new $21m Australian Research Council Special Research Initiative bringing together Australia's leading stem cell scientists.

Led by internationally renowned stem cell expert Professor Martin Pera and administered by the University of Melbourne, the Initiative links Australia's leading experts in bioengineering, nanotechnology, stem cell biology, advanced molecular analysis and clinical research to solve some of the our biggest health challenges.

"Stem Cells Australia will not only play a major role in leading Australian research into stem cell science, it will help the Australian community to understand the impact of scientific breakthroughs in this fast-paced and fascinating field," he said.

Opening Stem Cells Australia on behalf of Innovation Minister Senator Kim Carr, ARC Chief Executive Officer Professor Margaret Sheil said the Initiative would make an important contribution to life-changing research.

"It will enable the delivery of stem cell research breakthroughs that will help ease suffering and save lives," Professor Sheil said.

Key areas of research include investigating the use of stem cells to rejuvenate and repair damaged and diseased cells in organs such as the heart, brain and blood that are affected in conditions such as heart disease, Parkinson's disease, stroke and Leukemia.

In regards to Parkinson's disease there is a progressive and permanent loss of a group of dopamine-producing b
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Contact: Rebecca Scott
rebeccas@unimelb.edu.au
61-383-440-181
University of Melbourne
Source:Eurekalert

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