01:21am Monday 06 July 2020

Translating regenerative medicine

Graham Lieschke

Professor Graham Lieschke, a leading clinical and research haematologist, will relocate from the Royal Melbourne Hospital where he has been directly working with patients, to treat illnesses including leukaemia and lymphoma.

He is internationally recognised for his research into blood disorders and cancer using zebrafish and mice, and together with his team of researchers, Professor Lieschke will utilise the expansive facilities at ARMI to further an understanding of the mechanisms leading to cancer, inflammation and blood diseases.

At ARMI, Prof Lieschke’s team will focus on the physiology and biology of white blood cells. White blood cells are important for determining the balance between scarring and healing. Through their studies, the team seeks to understand mechanisms leading to cancer, inflammation and blood diseases.

“We were one of the first groups in the world to take advantage of the genetic flexibility and imaging capacity of zebrafish for white blood cell research,” Dr Lieschke said.

ARMI houses the largest zebrafish aquarium in the Southern hemisphere (comprising more than 6,000 tanks). Zebra fish have a very similar muscle development program to humans — yet they are better than humans at repairing damaged muscle tissue. The main point of difference between the zebrafish repair system and that of humans is that zebrafish can not only repair damaged tissue; they can also regenerate new muscle fibres, such as skin, fins, the heart and in the larval stage, the brain.

The Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute is a multidisciplinary, collaborative-driven team of international experts dedicated to finding the causes and potential treatments for a host of debilitating and fatal diseases.

“ARMI’s facilities and regenerative medicine focus provide an ideal platform for my team”, Professor Lieschke said.

Director, Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute (ARMI) Professor Nadia Rosenthal said Professor Lieschke’s appointment is the first time a clinician/researcher has joined ARMI.

“He will enhance ARMI’s capacity to translate research findings into treatments for a host of degenerative illnesses”, she said.

ARMI is one of the world’s largest regenerative medicine and stem cell research hubs established with support from Monash University and the Government of Victoria and located on the University’s Clayton campus. The Institute builds on the University’s existing strengths in biomedical research.

For more information contact Samantha Blair, Media and Communications + 61 3 9903 4841 or 0439 013 951.

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