Progress and potential of reNEW research showcased at the Annual Scientific Meeting

The third reNEW Annual Scientific Meeting took place 27 – 31 May in Melbourne, enabling valuable knowledge exchange and fostering collaboration between our researchers across all three reNEW nodes.

The meeting began on Monday 27 May at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI) with a showcase of reNEW Melbourne research. MCRI Director Professor Kathryn North AC opened the event and welcomed researchers to the Institute. The showcase then heard from reNEW CEO Professor Melissa Little AC and reNEW Melbourne node director Professor Enzo Porrello, on how reNEW Melbourne research is progressing towards transforming lives with stem cell medicine. Associate Professor and Paediatric Nephrologist Cathy Quinlan, Associate Professor Louise Whiteley, and Professor and Scientific Advisory Committee member Insoo Hyun outlined the importance and value of two-way communication with patients, families, and the community, about the future of stem cell-based medicines. The showcase concluded with a tour through the reNEW Melbourne research labs.

The Annual Scientific Meeting continued offsite, attended by over 100 reNEW researchers, operational staff, and members of the Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC), who advise the reNEW CEO on progress toward achieving our research goals.

The scientific program comprised presentations by our scientists, with updates on their progress towards driving advances in our understanding of targeted diseases and their potential therapies.

SAC members and guest speakers Novo Nordisk Foundation Cellerator CEO Dr Thomas Carlsen, Gladstone Institutes President Professor Deepak Srivastava, and Children’s Medical Research Institute Deputy Director Professor Patrick Tam, added to the program with presentations on their groundbreaking research. All attendees participated in fruitful panel discussions to share opportunities and challenges to moving research towards translation.

“I am incredibly proud and excited at the fantastic progress that is being made. The fundamental science is generating data that is, in many instances, paradigm-shifting”, said reNEW CEO Melissa Little.

The annual scientific meeting was a great occasion to build bridges between the reNEW nodes. Researchers had many opportunities to network and discuss their science, and potential collaborations, both around the scientific program and during social activities.

“The intersections between the knowledge, skills, and facilities at each node is driving opportunities not possible without reNEW. I am very hopeful that the meeting itself will consolidate partnerships as well as building new ones,” CEO Melissa Little added.

Reprogrammed neurons may fool you!

Associate Professor Agnete Kirkeby, from reNEW Copenhagen, has published the paper Forced LMX1A expression induces dorsal neural fates and disrupts patterning of human embryonic stem cells into ventral midbrain dopaminergic neurons, in Stem Cell Reports.