Grant to improve understanding of UCB stem cell treatment

By Rob Clancy, staff writer

Dr Tayla Penny will receive a grant of more than $96,000 from the Cerebral Palsy Alliance to advance her work on improving understanding of umbilical cord blood (UCB) stem cell treatment for perinatal brain injury.

Every 20 hours, an Australian baby is born with a brain injury that underlies cerebral palsy. It is a permanent, life-long condition with no cure. Around 34,000 Australians have cerebral palsy.

Cerebral palsy is an umbrella term for a group of related but unique symptoms that encompass abnormal motor function or posture. 

Hudson Institute is a leader in researching the use of UCB stem cell treatment for vulnerable newborns.

Tayla Penny researching UCB stem cell treatment

Optimising umbilical cord blood expansion as a potential therapy for perinatal brain injury.

Dr Tayla Penny

Cerebral Palsy Alliance emerging researcher grant 2024

Amount: $96,034

Co-investigators: Dr Courtney McDonald, Professor Suzanne Miller

Stem cells derived from umbilical cord blood (UCB) can help reduce the perinatal brain injuries that often cause cerebral palsy (CP), but how these cells work, and in what situations they are appropriate as a therapeutic option for babies and children with CP, is less well understood.

This project will use in vitro assessments to delineate the mechanism of action of expanded UCB cells, as well as to optimise their neuroprotective capacities.

This research was supported by | Cerebral Palsy Alliance

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