Professor Justin Cooper-White
Professor Justin Cooper-White

For the second year running a University of Queensland researcher has been recognised by Life Sciences Queensland for their work into regenerative medicine.

Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology’s Professor Justin Cooper-White received the 2015 Aon Risk Solutions Regenerative Medicine Award for his research at the interface of engineering and biology.

“I’m proud to receive this award from my peers, and will continue advocating for the development of regenerative medicine to improve clinical outcomes for patients,” Professor Cooper-White said.

“There are researchers across Queensland and Australia working tremendously hard to realise the potential of regenerative medicine to restore damage made to tissues and organs in the human body.”

Professor Cooper-White’s work is centred on understanding the cues from the body that stem cells use to regulate their behaviour and define what type of cells they become.

“A stem cell can technically become many tissue cell types, but the secret is understanding how we can coax it towards a specific tissue cell type that can actively participate in the functional regeneration of that tissue,” he said.

“We are trying to answer whether we can treat existing conditions and newly developed injuries by using stem cells and biomaterials to heal a range of common ailments that result in substantial loss of productivity and quality of life.

“Examples include intervertebral disc and joint degeneration, and further, how we can repair heart tissue post a heart attack.”

The Regenerative Medicine Award recognises the work of Life Sciences Queensland members in the area of regenerative medicine who have significantly advanced the field.

In 2014, AIBN’s Professor Ernst Wolvetang won the same award for his pioneering work into stem cell research and its potential applications for regenerative medicine.

Professor Cooper-White holds a joint appointment with the UQ Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology and is a CSIRO Office of the Chief Executive Science Leader.

Media: Darius Koreis, d.koreis@uq.edu.au, +61 7 3346 3962, +61 427 148 187; Professor Justin Cooper-White, j.cooperwhite@uq.edu.au, +61 7 3346 3858.

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