Researcher in the lab

Emerging treatments for muscle, kidney and heart diseases were among the stem cell projects showcased at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Stem Cell Medicine (reNEW) in Melbourne.

reNEW is an international consortium that aims to harness human stem cells to improve drug development, develop regenerative therapies and advance gene editing to correct genetic errors that lead to disease.

Their annual scientific meetings provide a platform for updates on research progress and opportunities for fostering collaborations.

This year’s meeting was held in Melbourne with Murdoch Children's Research Institute (MCRI) hosting international researchers and stakeholders at the opening event on May 27. It showcased MCRI’s world leading stem cell medicine research, led by Professor Enzo Porrello, Director of the Melbourne node of reNEW.

reNEWs scientific meeting Enzo Porrello

Image: MCRI Professor Enzo Porrello during his stem cell medicine presentation.

Project highlights included:

Many of the reNEW Melbourne research projects are underpinned by PREPARE, an interdisciplinary research team that bridges the gap between research, clinical practice, regulatory and commercial sectors and the general public.

MCRI Director Professor Kathryn North AC opened the event, welcoming researchers from across reNEW Leiden, based at the Leiden University Medical Center and reNEW Copenhagen, based at the University of Copenhagen.

reNEWs scientific meeting Kathryn North

Image: MCRI Director Professor Kathryn North AC addresses the audience.

Guests included Novo Nordisk Foundation Cellerator CEO Dr Thomas Carlsen, Novo Nordisk Foundation Scientific Manager Dr Isabella Samuelson, as well as San Francisco’s Gladstone Institutes President Professor Deepak Srivastava and NSW’s Children’s Medical Research Institute Deputy Director Professor Patrick Tam.

The event was also attended by reNEW’s Scientific Advisory Committee, eminent scientists and clinicians from across the world with expertise in all aspects of stem cell medicine, including commercial development, clinical translation, ethics and policy.

reNEW CEO and MCRI Chief Scientist Professor Melissa Little AC said, “The showcase was an incredible opportunity to gather our international researchers and experts in one room and highlight the breadth and success of stem cell research being conducted at reNEW Melbourne, based at MCRI.

Melissa Little reNEW CEO

Image: Professor Melissa Little.

“The event also demonstrated the strength of our collaborations with The Royal Children's Hospital, which ensures that our research remains centred around the clinical needs of the children and adults who may one day benefit from stem cell based therapies.”

The audience also heard about reNEW’s 'Hope Springs Eternal' project, which aims to start conversations about the future of stem cell-based therapies with the broader community.

The Annual Scientific Meeting continued offsite, to deep dive into reNEW's research projects and mission to deliver innovative stem cell-driven therapies to transform the lives of people suffering from incurable diseases.

child in hospital

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