Stem cell research to tackle blindness and congenital heart disease in kids

The Australian Government will invest $3 million in stem cell research including projects that aim to tackle congenital heart disease and genetic defects that cause blindness in kids.

Page last updated: 01 August 2018

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1 August 2018

The Turnbull Government will invest $3 million in stem cell research including projects that aim to tackle congenital heart disease and genetic defects that cause blindness in kids.

This cutting edge science offers new ways to repair parts of the body through stem cell therapy. It has now advanced to the stage where it can be used to develop and test the effectiveness of new therapies and medicines.

The $3 million investment will enable Stem Cells Australia to advance a number of projects which directly support patients.

Among them is a project that is searching for treatments for genetic causes of blindness, aiming to save the sight of children with this condition.

It is possible to build a model of a human eye from a patient’s stem cells and by using this approach researchers will carry out a unique human-based approach to determine whether this treatment is likely to work.

Another project aims to repair and reconstruct tissues for kids with heart defects.

More than 2000 children are born with major heart defects in Australia each year.

A national heart stem cell network is modelling heart disease, improving heart repair and potentially recreating heart tissue to treat kids with congenital heart disease.

I am committed to helping alleviate the enormous suffering these conditions cause children and their families.

This funding will help maintain the continuity and momentum of Stem Cells Australia’s vital work.

Supporting medical research is a key priority in the Turnbull Government’s long term national health plan.

All Australians benefit from investment in health and medical research, with the Turnbull Government investing $7 billion over six years through the National Health and Medical Research Council, the Medical Research Future Fund and the Biomedical Translation Fund.

Stem Cells Australia is administered by the University of Melbourne. Partners and collaborators include Monash University, University of Queensland, University of New South Wales, Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute, Walter & Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, Florey Neuroscience Institutes and CSIRO.

(ENDS)

Authorised by Greg Hunt MP, Liberal Party of Australia, Somerville, Victoria.

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