Stem Cells Australia (SCA) is a national alliance of more than 120 experts from Australian universities and research institutes seeking to develop innovative ways to harness the potential of stem cells. 

University of Melbourne's Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor James McCluskey said Professor Little will bring a wealth of experience to the role, with a strong vision to advance Australian science in this important area of medical research.

"As an internationally-recognised leader in stem cell science across more than 25 years for her work in developmental biology, Professor Little is an excellent choice to help build on the achievements of Australian scientists in this area and facilitate research to enable the next phase of stem cell medicine."

Professor Little has sought to understand kidney development and disease. Her team's breakthrough research growing mini-kidneys in a dish from stem cells won the 2016 Eureka Prize for Scientific Research. The discovery could lead to new treatments for kidney disease, a better way to test new drugs or even bioengineer kidneys for transplant. These are very long term projects that will take many years of additional work. 

Read the full media release on the University of Melbourne website.