IVF pioneer, Alan Trounson, returns to the Institute

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IVF pioneer, Alan Trounson, returns to the Institute

9 Feb, 2015

IVF pioneer Professor Alan Trounson has returned to the Hudson Institute as a world-renowned scientist, 24 years after he founded the Institute (then called Monash Institute of Reproduction & Development) with Professor David de Kretser.

Professor Trounson, a world-leading stem cell scientist best known for the successful development of human IVF with Professor Carl Wood in 1977, made major contributions to reproductive field. This included increasing our understanding of genes regulating early development to improved methods of conception, identification of genetic mutations in embryos as a new diagnostic technique known as pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, the use of a fertility drug to induce multiple ova and the freezing of embryos for future use. These procedures have enabled more than 5 million women worldwide to conceive successfully through IVF and related technologies.

In 1991 Professor Trounson merged his research Centre with the research of David de Kretser’s male reproductive physiology group to form the Monash Institute of Reproduction and Development. Now called the Hudson Institute, the organisation has become one of Melbourne’s top medical research Institutes and grown to more than 400 leading scientists and students with a broadened focus on diseases across the whole lifespan.

In his new role as Distinguished Scientist of the Hudson Institute, Professor Trounson will mentor the development of an active research program in the area of translational cell therapy research. He intends to participate in the development of the Cell Therapy and Regenerative Medicine, as this translational platform becomes established in the new, Federally-funded, $84 million Translational Research Facility currently being constructed on the site.

He returns to the Institute from the $3 billion California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) where he spent the last 6.5 years driving stem cell research and translation studies. He joined CIRM after serving as Professor of Stem Cell Sciences, Founding Director of the Monash Immunology and Stem Cell Laboratories at Monash University and was the Founder of the Australian Stem Cell Centre.

Professor Trounson is an Emeritus Professor and Doctor of Laws at Monash University and, Fellow of the Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering. He serves on several Australian and Californian company boards and his present research interests are in immune-cell therapies for cancer and infection.

Along with his colleagues, Professor Trounson also confirmed the discovery of human embryonic stem cells in 2000 and showed that fully functional nerve and other types of progenitor cells could be derived from these cells, which led to a dramatic increase in interest in the potential of pluripotent stem cells to treat a range of previously incurable diseases.