The Cord Blood Research Group encompasses both the Bone Marrow Donor Institute (BDMI) Cord Blood Bank and the Cord Blood Stem Cell Research Laboratory.
The BMDI Cord Blood Bank is part of the AusCord network of public cord blood banks and operates as a partnership between the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, The Royal Childrens Hospital and the Fight Cancer Foundation. The role of the bank is to recruit cord blood donors and collect, process and store cord blood so that it is available for any suitably-matched patient around the world who may require a bone marrow transplant for treatment of malignant and non-malignant disease. The bank operates three collection centres (The Royal Womens Hospital / Frances Perry House, Box Hill Hospital and the Angliss Hospital) where mothers can altruistically donate their baby’s cord blood to help others. The Cord Blood Bank has nearly 12,000 cord blood units stored and has released more than 500 units for unrelated bone marrow transplants. The bank is licensed by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) and accredited by the Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy (FACT).
Research undertaken in the Cord Blood Stem Cell Research Laboratory is aimed at understanding cord blood stem cell biology, improving cord blood transplant outcome and exploring the use of cord blood for cellular therapies. Collaboration with the Heart Research Group is investigating the use of cord blood cells for cardiac repair, while collaboration with the Developmental Disability and Rehabilitation Research Group is investigating a role for cord blood in treatment of cerebral palsy.
The research program of the Cord Blood Bank team includes:
- Collection, processing, storage, release and follow-up of cord blood for unrelated bone marrow transplantation
- Correlation of cord blood telomere length with transplant outcome
- Establishment of telomere length measurement as a core technology
- Characterisation of the different types of stem cells in cord blood
- Investigating the use of cord blood cells for cardiac repair
- Exploring a role for cord blood in the treatment of cerebral palsy.
- Feasibility of trialling cord blood stem cell treatments for cerebral palsy in Australia. 2014
- Hypermethylation and down-regulation of DLEU2 in paediatric acute myeloid leukaemia independent of embedded tumour suppressor miR-15a/16-1. 2014
- Evaluation of microRNA expression in patient bone marrow aspirate slides. 2012
- Stimulation of Activin A/Nodal signaling is insufficient to induce definitive endoderm formation of cord blood-derived unrestricted somatic stem cells 2011