International recognition for stem cell scientist

L-R: Professor Helen Abud and Dr Thierry Jarde with meeting organiser and their collaborator, Professor Hans Clevers.
L-R: Professor Helen Abud and Dr Thierry Jarde with meeting organiser and their collaborator, Professor Hans Clevers.

Dr Thierry Jarde, a Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute (BDI) research fellow from the Abud lab, has recently returned from a successful overseas trip presenting his research on organoids at two major conferences.

Dr Jarde was awarded an European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO)/European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) fellowship to attend and present his work at 'Organoids: Modelling Organ Development and Disease in 3D Culture' at the EMBO conference in Heidelberg, Germany. Organoids are three-dimensional structures developed from stem cells which mirror the cellular organisation of the tissue of origin.

Only eight scientists won fellowships, from nearly 220 submissions.

The conference, attended this year by 450 people, is highly regarded among researchers in the burgeoning field.

“This is the place to go if you want to know all the latest developments in terms of organoid technology,” Dr Jarde said.

“For me it was a fantastic opportunity,” he said.

“This is a very exciting conference, especially if you want to network with other researchers. Most of the time you get all the technological tips from other post-docs – the people who are actually doing the experiments.”

Dr Jarde delivered a talk about his investigations (a collaborative effort involving Associate Professor Helen Abud, Professor Jose Polo and Dr Christian Nefzger) into the effect of ageing on intestinal stem cells and the molecular, functional and metabolic changes that occur.

“We’ve been able to develop new strategies based on these changes to rejuvenate old stem cells into young stem cells,” Dr Jarde said.

“I think people were very interested in these strategies,” he said.

Collaborator and supervisor, Associate Professor Helen Abud, also went to the conference, which was organised in part by Professor Hans Clevers, who pioneered the field in 2007.

“Everything organoid-related is relatively new,” Dr Jarde said.

“In terms of science, it’s truly amazing what you can do now with organoids,” he said.

Dr Jarde is, for example, collaborating on research at Cabrini Health using organoids replicating colon and breast tumours to test chemotherapeutics.

Dr Jarde went to a second conference on his trip, receiving an award for his presentation on a different project at the Cambridge International Stem Cell Symposium. This project defined a key niche signal that supports intestinal stem cell proliferation and organoid growth.

About the Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute

Committed to making the discoveries that will relieve the future burden of disease, the newly established Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute at Monash University brings together more than 120 internationally-renowned research teams. Our researchers are supported by world-class technology and infrastructure, and partner with industry, clinicians and researchers internationally to enhance lives through discovery.