Alan Mackay-Sim Seminar
Professor Emeritus Alan Mackay-Sim from Griffith University was named 2017 Australian of the Year in recognition of his ground-breaking work in stem-cell research and spinal cord injury repair.
Alan’s research career has focused on how the sensory neurons in the nose are replaced and regenerated from stem cells. He led the Brisbane team in a world-first clinical trial in which a patient’s own olfactory cells were transplanted into their injured spinal cord in the first stages of a therapy to treat human paraplegia.
Alan established the National Centre for Adult Stem Cell Research in 2006. He developed an adult stem cell bank from over 300 people with different neurological conditions including schizophrenia, Parkinson’s disease, mitochondrial mutation disorders, Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia, ataxia telangiectasia and motor neuron disease. These stem cells are used to identify the biological bases of neurological diseases using genomics, proteomics and cell function assays, and this work is leading to new drug therapies.
In association with the Neurotrauma Research Program, Alan presented a Seminar entitled “From stem cells to clinical trials” on 25th October in the McCusker Auditorium, Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research.