Fund Raising for Stem Cell Research

Posted - May 2008 in HSPRF News

Currently our fundraising focus is on stem cell research

stem cell research is the most promising path to a cure for HSP yet

We need $100,000 for a pilot study, the first phase of this research.Members and supporters will get a letter about this in early May from our Fundraising Coordinator, Tim Xiros, whose profile is now featured in the ‘Member Profiles’ section on the Home Page.

If you can’t wait until you get the letter – that’s fine – click on DONATE on the Home Page right now and get the ball rolling!

here’s some more info on the stem cell research project ….. 

Who will undertake the research?

The research would be conducted by the National Centre for Adult Stem Cell Research (NCASCR) at the Griffith University based Eskitis Institute for Cell and Molecular Therapies located in Brisbane, in association with the Kolling Institute of Medical Research of the University of Sydney. The co-leaders are Prof Alan Mackay-Sim (Director of NCASCR) and Prof Carolyn Sue (Professor of Neurogenetics at University of Sydney) with whom the Foundation has been collaborating to develop the project.

What does adult stem cell research involve?

Adult stem cell technology now allows researchers to grow and maintain nerve cell lines in the laboratory. This means no animals such as fruit flies, mice or monkeys are involved in the research.  The proposed research Pilot Study, which takes 12 months, involves stem cells from HSP patients and non-patients (or controls) grown in individual cell lines. Research focuses on defining the cellular differences between HSP patients and the controls. The findings lead to potential drug target selection.

What happens after the Pilot Study?

Given the achievement of Pilot Study outcomes, NCASCR would take the next step with submissions to the NHMRC (National Health and Medical research Council of the Australian Government) and /or the ARC (Australian Research Council) for funding major research. This next stage involves drug target selection and screening of compounds (synthetic and naturally occurring) against the targets.  There is good reason based on history to expect that success in the Pilot Study will lead to funding from the NHMRC and/or the ARC for the major research.