Is neural stem cell therapy safe and feasible in a neonate?

Research area

 |  cerebral palsy, newborn health


 |  animal surgery, neonatal sheep monitoring, behavioural testing, brain immunohistochemistry, cell culture techniques


 |  PhD/Doctorate, Honours

Project description

Neural stem cells (NSCs) offer great promise as a neuroprotective therapy against a range of neurological conditions, like cerebral palsy. NSCs are currently being investigated in clinical trials for adult neurological conditions and these studies have shown that for NSCs to be effective they need to be injected directly to the brain and immune suppression must also be administered. These procedures carry increased risk and the detrimental effect these procedures may have on the neonate are currently unknown.

This project is aimed to test the long-term safety and feasibility of transplanting high doses of NSCs into the neonatal brain and co-administering immunosuppression. These experiments will be performed in lambs and we will perform neurodevelopmental follow-up until 3 months of age to determine the safety of these procedures.

As part of this project, you will learn large animal surgery, neonatal sheep monitoring, behavioural testing, brain immunohistochemistry and cell culture techniques.