Dr Gina Kusuma

Dr Kusuma is a stem cell biologist with a background in biomaterials and extracellular vesicles biology. She was awarded her PhD from The University of Melbourne in 2015 where she identified the stem cells niche in the human placenta. In her postdoctoral training, she has pursued interdisciplinary projects such as the development of biomaterials to improve adult stem cells expansion and the role of microRNA signalling in stem cells fate.

In 2017, she was recruited as a Research Fellow by A/Prof Rebecca Lim to join Amnion Cell Biology laboratory. Her current research focuses on the clinical scale production of extracellular vesicles and bioengineering paracrine signalling from stem cells for maximum therapeutic effects. Biologics such as stem cells-derived extracellular vesicles contain bioactive products which are easier and cheaper to manufacture, store and transport; thereby offering the benefits of stem cells without the costs and risks of cell-based therapies.

Selected publications

  • Théry C, Witwer KW, …, Kusuma GD, … Zocco D, Zuba-Surma EK. (2018) Minimal information for studies of extracellular vesicles 2018 (MISEV2018): a position statement of the International Society of Extracellular Vesicles and update of the MISEV2014 guidelines. Journal of Extracellular Vesicles, 7(1):1535750.

  • Kusuma GD, Barabadi M, Tan JL, Morton DAV, Frith JE, Lim R (2018) To Protect and to Preserve: Novel Preservation Strategies for Extracellular Vesicles. Front Pharmacol. 2018 Oct 29;9:1199. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2018.01199.

  • Frith JE, Kusuma GD, Carthew J, Li F, Cloonan N, Gomez GA, Cooper-White JJ (2018) Mechanically-sensitive miRNAs bias human mesenchymal stem cell fate via mTOR signalling. Nature Communications. 9, 1, 12 p., 257.

  • Kusuma GD, Yang M, Brennecke S, O’Connor AJ, Kalionis B, Heath DE (2018) Transferable Matrixes Produced from Decellularized Extracellular Matrix Promote Proliferation and Osteogenic Differentiation of Mesenchymal Stem Cells and Facilitate Scale-Up. ACS Biomaterials Science and Engineering. 4, 5, p. 1760-1769 10 p.

  • Kusuma GD, Carthew J, Lim R, Frith JE (2017) Effect of the microenvironment on mesenchymal stem cell paracrine signaling: Opportunities to engineer the therapeutic effect. Stem Cells and Development. 26, 9, p. 617-631 15 p.

  • Kusuma GD, Brennecke SP, O’Connor AJ, Kalionis B, Heath DE (2017) Decellularized extracellular matrices produced from immortal cell lines derived from different parts of the placenta support primary mesenchymal stem cell expansion. PLoS ONE. 12(2): e0171488.

  • Kusuma GD, Abumaree MH, Perkins AV, Brenneck SP, Kalionis B (2017) Reduced aldehyde dehydrogenase expression in preeclamptic decidual mesenchymal stem/stromal cells is restored by aldehyde dehydrogenase agonists. Scientific Reports. 7, 42397

  • Kusuma GD, Abumaree MH, Pertile MD, Perkins AV, Brennecke SP, Kalionis B (2016) Mesenchymal Stem/Stromal Cells Derived from a Reproductive Tissue Niche Under Oxidative Stress Have High Aldehyde Dehydrogenase Activity. Stem Cell Reviews. 12, 3, p. 285-297 13 p.