The newest lab to be established at Children’s Medical Research Institute is really at the cutting edge of modern medicine, using stem cells to provide regenerative medicine for future generations of children.
The Stem Cell Medicine Group has been started by Dr Anai Gonzalez Cordero, who joined CMRI from London, earlier in the year.
Dr Gonzalez Cordero studied Developmental Biologist at University College in London and was awarded a PhD in retinal regeneration. Her thesis, which established that you could use stem cells as a treatment for blindness, was published in the prestigious Nature Biotechnology.
When she was asked to move to Australia and start up a new lab at CMRI, Dr Gonzalez Cordero jumped at the opportunity.
“CMRI offered me a wonderful opportunity to set up a whole new field of research at the Institute,’’ she said. “It’s a challenging task to establish a whole new group and facility at the same time, but one that I embrace with enthusiasm.
“CMRI has excellent research facilities. There are few other centres in the world that have this concentrated level of research expertise including gene therapy and ocular disease infrastructure. It provides an ideal environment in which to translate laboratory-based stem cell research, especially of the eye, into clinical studies. CMRI has an environment that allows for collaborations between numerous areas of expertise.’’
Dr Gonzalez Cordero said her vision for the next five years is very clear.
“There are currently many incurable childhood diseases, and stem cell approaches offer significant promise towards therapies in these conditions. My expertise with differentiation of pluripotent stem cells protocols was crucial to allow for an easy transition from the retina to the ear. Therefore, I envisage that in collaboration with other group leaders at CMRI we will be able differentiate stem cells into a variety of other organ systems for disease modelling purposes. ‘’
She said she would like to see stem cell medicine used more widely for regenerative purposes.
“In the long term, I hope to be able to develop impactful translational research to address significant unmet clinical needs.’’