Professor Louise Purton
Co-Head, Stem Cell Regulation Unit
Professor, Dept of Medicine SVH, The University of Melbourne
Research Interests: The research in my lab primarily focuses on processes involved in blood cell production (haematopoiesis). All blood cells are formed from haematopoietic stem cells (HSCs), which are capable of either self-renewing (to make more HSCs) or differentiating into mature blood cell types- each HSC makes hundreds of thousands of blood cells. Research in my laboratory is focused on understanding how HSCs are regulated, and determining the roles of the bone marrow microenvironment (where blood cells are made) in regulating haemopoietic diseases, including leukaemia.
Dr Jonathon Oakhilll
ARC Future Fellow
Protein Chemistry and Metabolism Unit
Research Interests: My research aims to define mechanisms mediating energy-sensing by the master metabolic regulator AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), a key regulator of cellular and systemic energy homeostasis. The metabolic dimensions of diseases including type 2 diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease and cancer, have encouraged efforts to develop direct activating drugs for AMPK. My research has provided significant breakthroughs in understanding the complex regulatory mechanisms that enable AMPK to perform its critical roles.
Read more about Jon here.
Associate Professor Helen Thomas, Associate Director SVI
Head, Immunology and Diabetes Unit
NHMRC Senior Research Fellow
Research interests: My research is focused on preventing pancreatic beta cell destruction to preserve beta cell mass in diabetes. My lab has identified pathways of beta cell death in type 1 and 2 diabetes. We aim to understand how different effector mechanisms participate in diabetes development, and how they can be prevented. In type 1 diabetes, we study the interaction between the immune system and beta cells. We are studying the stress, inflammatory and cell death pathways activated by high glucose concentrations in beta cells in type 2 diabetes, and we are testing the role of these pathways in vivo. Our work is being applied to humans through the transplantation of human islets from organ donors to reverse diabetes in severe cases.
Learn more about Helen here.
Associate Professor Natalie Sims, Associate Director SVI
Head, Bone Cell Biology and Disease Unit
NHMRC Senior Research Fellow
Research goal: to identify new pathways for treatment of bone disease by studying intercellular communication within the bone microenvironment, particularly the communication between osteoblasts (bone forming cells) and osteoclasts (bone resorbing cells).
Read more about Natalie here.
Dr Andrew Deans, Head Genome Stability Unit SVI
Victorian Cancer Agency (VCA) Mid Career Fellow
Research interests: Familial breast/ovarian cancer; Fanconi Anaemia; Bloom’s Syndrome; DNA damage signalling and repair; regulation of ubiquitination; roles of DNA damage response proteins during chemotherapy.
Read more about Andrew here.
Professor Michael Parker, Deputy Director SVI
Head, Structural Biology Unit and Australian Cancer Research Foundation (ACRF) Rational Drug Discovery Centre
Research interests: Alzheimer's disease, cancer, bacterial and viral infections.
Read more about Michael here.