Monday, 6 February 2012

An internationally renowned respiratory specialist will lead a new Centre for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine to be established at The University of Western Australia.

Professor Geoff Laurent - who is currently Director of the Centre for Respiratory Research and Head of Department of Internal Medicine at University College London - will be ‘returning home' when he joins the University later this year.  He was born and educated in Perth and attended UWA where he obtained a science degree with first class honours and a PhD.

Professor Laurent currently directs a team of scientists and physicians conducting research into basic aspects of lung inflammation and mechanisms of tissue repair.  New therapeutic approaches developed by his team are now being tested in patients suffering with chronic lung diseases.

He has published more than 200 articles in international journals of biomedical research.  He was recently awarded the European Respiratory Societies Presidential Award for his contribution to lung science and is currently its Director of Science.  He has also edited several books including a four-volume Encyclopaedia of Respiratory Medicine and is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and President of the British Association for Lung Research.

UWA Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Johnson said the University was extremely pleased to have been able to attract a researcher of Professor Laurent's standing to lead a new collaborative approach in this very promising area of medical research.

Professor Johnson said UWA had significant internationally-recognised stem cell expertise and the new centre would help the University take a leading global position in relation to stem cell research.

Professor Laurent said he was delighted to return to UWA to lead this exciting new venture.

"Stem cell research and related technologies are already allowing us to replace or regenerate human tissues, he said. "By building on our current talents and recruiting leading researchers to Perth we will pioneer new technologies that may ultimately lead to improved patient care."

Media references

Professor Paul Johnson (UWA Vice-Chancellor)  (+61 8)  6488 2809
Professor Geoff Laurent   (+44) 20 7679 6975
Michael Sinclair-Jones (UWA Public Affairs)  (+61 8)  6488 3229  /  (+61 4) 00 700 783


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