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Government makes good on stem-cell commitment

The Australian Research Council has launched an AU$21 million stem-cell research initiative, having committed to support the field at the end of last year through its Special Research Initiatives scheme.

The council announced on 10 November that Stem Cells Australia will be led by Martin Pera, a stem-cell researcher at the University of Melbourne.

Other partners in the project include Monash University, the University of Queensland, the University of New South Wales, Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, Florey Neuroscience Institutes and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation.

Their work will include investigating potential treatments for multiple sclerosis, diabetes, stroke and heart disease.

In addition to conducting research, Stem Cells Australia will aim to educate the public and stimulate debate into the ethical, legal and public policy issues associated with stem-cell science.