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Immune Development

The Immune Development group uses human pluripotent stem cells to understand human development and to create models to study human disease. Led by Professor Ed Stanley, the group has a special interest in diseases of the blood, endocrine and immune systems. These three areas are relevant to diseases such as leukaemia (cancer of the blood) and type 1 diabetes, an autoimmune disease in which the body destroys it’s own insulin producing beta cells.This area of research is important because our ability to treat diseases such as leukaemia or diabetes is still hindered by our lack of knowledge about how these diseases develop.

The group is one of three stem cell laboratories at the Murdoch Children's along with the Blood Development group, led by Professor Andrew Elefanty and the Cardiac Cell Development Group led by Dr David Elliott. These teams are globally recognised for their expertise in genetically manipulating pluripotent stem cells.

Work conducted in the Stem Cell Technology Laboratory aims to better understand diseases such as type 1 diabetes, a disease commonly occurring during childhood, and for which current treatments are inadequate. This increased understanding will aid the development of new treatments and contribute to the ultimate goal of developing a cure for this lifelong condition. 

Group Leaders: 
Group Members: 
Tanya Labonne
Research Assistant
Ali Motazedian
PhD Student
Gemma Tan
Master Student
Tim Kao
PhD Student
  • Genetic manipulation of pluripotent stem cell
  • Analysis of stem cell derived beta cells
  • Making blood cells in the laboratory
  • Induced pluripotent stem cell models of human disease
  • Stem cell models of human development
  • Professor Andrew Elefanty
  • Dr David Elliott
  • Dr Elizabeth Ng
  • Professor John Bateman
  • Professor Martin Pera (University of Melbourne)