Professor Caroline Gargett, NHMRC Senior Research Fellow

Professor Gargett (PhD 1997) is world-renowned for her discovery of stem/progenitor cells in human endometrium, the highly regenerative lining of the uterus, publishing the first paper in 2004. She established the Endometrial Stem Cell Biology Group at the same time when she was awarded the top scoring NHMRC New Investigator grant to investigate their biology. Her current research characterises these endometrial stem/progenitor cells and examines their role in endometriosis, endometrial-related infertility, and endometrial cancer. She leads a transdisciplinary project in collaboration with CSIRO Manufacturing, Flinders University Biomedical Engineering, Monash Engineering and urogynaecologists to investigate the use of endometrial mesenchymal stem/stromal cells for a tissue engineering application in pelvic floor prolapse surgery. Her research findings are promising for the development of potential therapeutics.

With a strong record of research excellence and discovery, Professor Gargett has secured NHMRC funding since 2004, including 6 CIA grants, an RD Wright CDA (2007-11) and Senior Research Fellowship (2013-17). She has also secured SIEF funding for a prestigious John Stocker Postdoctoral Fellowship (for Dr Shayanti Mukherjee), and funding from the Australian Stem Cell Centre, Cancer Council Victoria, Therapeutic Innovations Australia, RANZCOG, Monash IVF Research Foundation and other philanthropic sources.

She is recipient of numerous national and international awards including the Society for Gynecological Investigation President’s Achievement Award (2013), the Endometriosis Foundation of America (2011), European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology Established Scientist Award (2005), and the Society for Reproductive Biology’s RCRH Award for research excellence (2011). Professor Gargett’s research featured in the NHMRC’s 10 of the Best Research Projects in 2008. She has received widespread publicity in Australia and internationally and is frequently invited to give presentations at international conferences.

Professor Gargett is a Board Member of the National Stem Cell Foundation of Australia. She holds editorial board positions on Scientific Reports, Biology of Reproduction, Reproductive Sciences and Fertility and Sterility (2011-14). She is an Associate Editor for Reproductive Sciences and Human Reproduction (2005-8). She was President of the Australasian Society for Stem Cell Research (2013-2014) where she led the successful bid to host the International Society for Stem Cell Research Annual meeting in Melbourne in 2018. She has served as Secretary for the Society for Reproductive Biology (2005-7).

Selected publications

  • Gargett CE, Schwab KE, Deane JA (2016) Endometrial Stem/progenitor cells: the first 10 years. Human Reproduction Update 22:137-163 (IF11.194; 19 citations)

  • Deane JA, Ong YR, Cain JE, Jayasekara WS, Watkins DN, Carlone D, Breault D, Gargett CE (2016) The mouse endometrium contains epithelial, endothelial and leukocyte populations expressing the stem cell marker telomerase reverse transcriptase. Molecular Human Reproduction 22:272-284.

  • Gurung S, Werkmeister JA, Gargett CE (2015) Inhibition of Transforming Growth Factor-β Receptor signaling promotes culture expansion of undifferentiated human Endometrial Mesenchymal Stem/stromal Cells. Scientific Reports 5:15042

  • Gargett CE, Schwab KE, Puttemans P, Brosens JJ, Benagiano G, Brosens I (2014) Potential role of endometrial stem/progenitor cells in the pathogenesis of early-onset endometriosis. Molecular Human Reproduction 20:591-598 (40 citations)

  • Ulrich D, Edwards SL, Su C, Tan KS, White JF, Ramshaw JAM, Lo C, Rosamilia A, Werkmeister JA. Gargett CE (2014) Human endometrial mesenchymal stem cells modulate the tissue response and mechanical behavior of polyamide mesh implants for pelvic organ prolapse repair. Tissue Engineering Part A 20:785-798 Featured on the Front Cover and in Cell Therapy News 14.39 Oct 7, 2013 (>25 citations)

  • Nguyen HTP, Sprung C, Gargett CE (2012) Differential expression of Wnt signaling molecules between pre- and post-menopausal endometrial epithelial cells suggests a population of putative epithelial stem/progenitor cells reside in the basalis layer. Endocrinology 153:2870-83 (17 citations)

  • Masuda H, Anwar S, Bühring HJ, Rao J, Gargett CE (2012) A novel marker of human endometrial mesenchymal stem-like cells. Cell Transplantation 21: 2201-2214 (>60 citations)

  • Hubbard S, Friel A, Kumar B, Zhang L, Rueda B, Gargett CE. (2009) Evidence for cancer stem cells in human endometrial cancer. Cancer Research 69:8241-8248 (>60 citations)

  • Gargett CE, Schwab KE, Zillwood RM, Nguyen HPT, Wu D (2009) Isolation and culture of epithelial progenitors and mesenchymal stem cells from human endometrium. Biology of Reproduction 80: 1136-45. Featured in Faculty 1000 (Bentov Y et al 2009) (> 200 citations)

  • Schwab KE, Gargett CE (2007) Co-expression of two perivascular cell markers isolates mesenchymal stem-like cells from human endometrium. Human Reproduction 22: 2903-2911 Subject of Press Release, Featured in Nature Reports Stem Cells Research Highlights (>250 citations)

  • Chan RWS, Schwab KE and Gargett CE (2004) Clonogenicity of human endometrial epithelial and stromal cells. Biology of Reproduction 70:1738-1750 (> 280 citiatons)