Federal MP and local Mayor tour translational research facility

Anna Burke, Stefanie Perri & Viv

From left: Platform Facilities Manager, Vivien Vasic; Member for Chisholm, Anna Burke, and City of Monash Mayor, Stefanie Perri.

Federal Member for Chisholm and former speaker, Anna Burke, and City of Monash Mayor, Cr Stefanie Perri, toured the Monash Health Translation Precinct’s new $84 million Translational Research Facility yesterday (Monday, February 15).

Led by deputy heads of The Ritchie Centre at Hudson Institute and Monash University, Professor Graham Jenkin and Professor Euan Wallace, Ms Burke and Cr Perri inspected the new clinical trials unit, technology platforms, and women’s and baby health hub, before hearing about MHTP stem cell research projects.

“MHTP is perfectly poised to undertake translational research because of the integration and connectivity of clinicians, researchers, PhD students and patients,” said Ms Burke.

Ms Burke said she was delighted to hear about MHTP research into cell therapy that may possibly treat five or six different health conditions.

“As an Academic Health Science Centre, Monash Partners is well positioned to bring our researchers and clinicians together to facilitate true collaboration and research translation,” said Professor Wallace.

Dr Rebecca Lim, Dr Courtney McDonald and Dr Shayanti Mukherjee, from The Ritchie Centre, and Head of the Cardiovascular Disease Program in the new Monash Biomedicine Institute, Professor Chris Sobey, each presented their research, highlighting the translational impact of their work.

Dr Lim explained how her amnion cell biology team at the Ritchie Centre is isolating amnion epithelial cells from placentas for use in regenerative medicine, to develop cell therapies for a multitude of diseases such as bronchopulmonary dysplasia, lung and liver fibrosis.

Dr Courtney McDonald works in the Neurodevelopment and Neuroprotection Research Group at the Ritchie Centre, developing ways of using umbilical cord blood stem cells to reduce inflammation and repair brain damage.

Developing a new cell-based treatment for Pelvic Organ Prolapse using a combination of stem cell therapy and nanotechnology is the focus of Dr Shayanti Mukherjee’s work.

Professor Chris Sobey’s research investigates the inflammatory mechanisms occurring in the brain after stroke to find new ways to treat stroke patients.