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Meet our Directors

Mr Steven Nemes OAM is a commercial lawyer and a founding Director of the Foundation. He is a partner in the Sydney based firm Harris Freidman Lawyers and has extensive skills in negotiation.

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Professor Geoffrey Symonds is a scientist with extensive experience in preparing products for clinical trials.  He runs the Australian division of the Californian based company Calimmune.

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Dr John Gallo is a specialist physician with a life time of experience in treating patients with haematological disorders, both in the public and private arena.  He is based at the Sydney Adventist Hospital.  He also works for Relationships Australia.

 John global photo

 

Professor Bernie Tuch is a  practising endocrinologist and a diabetes researcher in cell therapies.  He is a founding Director of the Foundation, and separately of the NSW Stem Cell Network.  He is also a non-executive Director of Living Cell Technologies Ltd, a company implementing cell therapies for diabetes and Parkinson’s Disease.

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The Foundation

  • supports researchers developing a therapy that will allow the growing number of insulin-dependent Australians to cease having to administer insulin every day of their lives;
  • helps educate the wider community about the development of therapies to overcome the need for insulin for many young people with diabetes

The Foundation has supported:

A. At the Diabetes Transplant Unit, Prince of Wales Hospital/University of New South Wales whose Director was Professor Bernie Tuch; 2002-9.

1. Seed funds for research projects:

  • Development of human embryonic stem cell lines;
  • Isolation of insulin-producing cells (islets) from the pancreas of donor humans;
  • Placing human insulin-producing cells inside microcapsules to overcome the need for insulin injections in diabetic recipients;
  • Isolation and transplantation of the human fetal pancreas as a therapy for diabetes.

2. Purchase of equipment – encapsulation machine

3. Development of teaching course on how to grow human embryonic stem cells

4. Salary of Post-Doctoral Fellow – Dr Marie Best

5. Travel funds to support the further training of researchers (Drs Jayne Foster & Wei Wu) and visiting Research Fellows (Dr Anand Hardikar from India and A/Professor Rennian Wang from Canada)

6. Scholarship for PhD students – Vijay Vaithilingam & Mathi Appavoo

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                                                       Dr Vijay Vaithilingam and wife Priya at his PhD graduation, University of New South Wales, 2011

B. At University of Western Australia 2009-11.

A research project to understand the molecular pathways involved in the differentiation of pancreatic progenitors, derived from human embryonic stem cells, into mature insulin-producing cells. Chief Investigator – Professor Grant Morahan.

 

C. At Commonwealth Scientific Industrial Research Organization 2010-4.

1. A research project to show that encapsulated pancreatic progenitors derived from human embryonic stem cells will normalize the sugar levels of diabetic recipients. Chief Investigator – Professor Bernie Tuch.

2. Scholarship for PhD student, at Monash University – Luke Carroll.

3. Purchase of equipment

 

D. At The University of Sydney 2015-.

1. The Bioengineered Diabetes Therapy Project investigating the possibility that 3D printed scaffolds will enhance the ability of encapsulated insulin-producing cells to normalize sugar levels of diabetic recipients. This research project is being conducted in collaboration with ARC Future Fellow, Associate Professor Tim Dargaville, of Queensland University of Technology.  Investigators – Professor Bernie Tuch and Dr Auvro Mridha.

2. Scholarship for PhD student, Luke Carroll, who relocated to The University of Sydney.

 

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