Two PhD candidates’ research is being enriched by fellowships from the Australian Nanotechnology Network. Vipul Agarwal and Dominic Ho, both supervised by Dr Swaminatha Iyer in the Bionano Research Group in the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry, have been funded by the network to travel and extend their collaborations.
Vipul spent two months in the research and development laboratory at Pharmaxis P/L in Sydney, using human cells to test scarring agents. He is developing a new scaffold system for burns healing, to promote healing and reduce scarring. His co-supervisor is Winthrop Professor Fiona Wood.
Dominic will travel to the US to spend a few months in the laboratory of Professor Giles Plant at Stanford University. Professor Plant was formerly at UWA, running the Spinal Cord Repair Laboratory. He is continuing the same work at Stanford and is one of Dominic’s co-supervisors. The others are Winthrop Professor Alan Harvey (Anatomy, Physiology and Human Biology) and Dr Stuart Hodgetts who is now director of the Spinal Cord Repair Lab.
“I am trying to create nano-materials that will help control the direction of growth of cells,” Dominic said. “I will be able to tap into Stanford’s huge range of stem cells to help me.”
The aim of scientists in the area of spinal cord repair research is to regrow the nervous system so victims of spinal injury can walk again.
Published in UWA News, 12 November 2012