Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute names new director

Regenerative Medicine

The new director of the Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute (ARMI) at Monash University has been announced as Professor Peter Currie. Professor Currie previously held the role of Deputy Director and he replaces Founding Director, Professor Nadia Rosenthal, who has moved to The Jackson Laboratory in Maine, USA, as Scientific Director.

Last year Professor Currie, together with PhD student Phong Nguyen, from the Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute and Dr Georgina Hollway from the Garvan Institute of Medical Research won the prestigious Eureka Prize for scientific research.

The team of researchers identified a mechanism that triggers stem cell production in zebrafish blood, potentially unlocking ways to trigger stem cell production in blood, making the production of blood cells in the laboratory an achievable end goal. The work detailing how one of the most important stem cells in blood and bone marrow, the haematopoiteic stem cell, is formed was published in Nature in 2014.

Prior to joining ARMI in 2008, Professor Currie was head of the Developmental Biology Program at the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute in Sydney, and prior to that was a group leader at the MRC Human Genetics Unit in Edinburgh in the United Kingdom.

Professor John Carroll, Dean of the Faculty of Biomedical and Psychological Sciences, welcomed the appointment of Professor Currie.

“Peter is one of the world’s leading researchers in the development and regeneration of muscle and it is only fitting that he leads one of the world’s leading regenerative medicine institutes,” Professor Carroll said.

Professor Christina Mitchell, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, described Professor Currie as an outstanding scientist and research leader.

“As Australia's only Regenerative Medicine Institute, ARMI is undertaking pioneering translational work in heart and muscle diseases, neuro-degeneration and blood disorders.  ARMI plays a significant role in many Monash initiatives including the new Victorian Heart Hospital and I am delighted to have someone of Peter’s calibre leading this team of outstanding scientists,” Professor Mitchell said.

Professor Currie said he was looking forward to continuing ARMI’s research into developing effective treatments for a range of currently incurable diseases as well as neurotrauma and ageing.

“I am enormously honored to lead ARMI which has some of the best researchers in the field, as well as access to some of the best research labs and facilities worldwide,” he added.

ARMI is one of the world's largest regenerative medicine and stem cell research hubs.  Open since 2009, ARMI is a $153 million medical research centre based at the Clayton campus of Monash University, in the Monash Science Technology Research and Innovation Precinct, along with the Australian Stem Cell Centre.  Facilities at the Institute include FishCore, the largest zebra fish facility of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere which will continue to be headed by Professor Currie.