Big Ideas in Pluripotency and Reprogramming

SRB Public Symposium 2016 4.1

Invited Speakers

Nathan Palpant University of Queensland 
Using genomics to elucidate developmental cell lineage decisions

Mark Nottle University of Adelaide 
Embryonic stem cells. A tale of mice and humans as well as pigs

Christine Wells University of Queensland 
Exploring the many Stem Cell identities in the Stemformatics atlas

Caroline Gargett Hudson Institute of Medical Research 
Uterine stem cell isolation and functions

Patrick Western Hudson Institute of Medical Research 
Drugs, germline epigenetics and offspring health: should we be concerned?



If you wish you attend the Big Ideas in Pluripotency and Reprogramming Public Symposium, you can sign up in the add-on page when registering for the ESA-SRB-ANZBMS conference.

If you are not attending the ESA-SRB-ANZBMS conference but still wish to attend the Symposium, please contact Jennifa Vo from ASN Events to register.


Invited Speaker Biographies

Nathan Palpant

University of Queensland

Palpant Nathan Faculty photo 2 V2Dr Palpant is Group Leader at the University of Queensland’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience. His lab studies the mechanistic basis of lineage decisions during cardiovascular development using approaches that include human pluripotent stem cell directed differentiation, genome engineering, and genomics analysis of chromatin dynamics. He was recipient of the International Society for Heart Research Young Investigator Award in 2015 and has published in journals including Nature, Cell, and Development.





Mark Nottle

University of Adelaide

nottle V2A/Prof Nottle heads the Reproductive Biotechnology Group at the Robinson Institute at The University of Adelaide. He is internationally recognised for pioneering the development of livestock reproductive biotechnologies  for agricultural and biomedical applications.  This  research has resulted in a number of world firsts including being the first group to produce cloned pigs from a frozen cell line as well as a  major breakthrough in embryo freezing which was published in Nature. His Group also made major advances in in vitro oocyte maturation and embryo culture Current research is focussed on embryonic stem cells and their therapeutic applications. He has published over 100 refereed publications, attracted over 20 million in research funding, is an inventor on nine patents and is regularly invited to speak at national and international conferences. In recognition of these and other achievements he was made a Fellow of the Society for Reproductive Biology in 2015.


Christine Wells

University of Queensland

christinewells V2Professor Christine Wells is the Chair of Stem Cell Systems and Founding Director of the University of Melbourne Centre for Stem Cell Systems. She is an ARC Future Fellow and is an international leader in genome biology and its application to the differentiation and activation of mammalian cells. Christine leads the development and direction of community-focused collaboration platforms to enable adoption of ‘omic data by clinicians and stem cell biologists. Her laboratory develops bioinformatics methods for the integration, analysis and visualization of genomic datasets, and she applies these to projects that enable gene discovery and characterization in both stem cell biology and innate immunity. 

Christine graduated from a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of QLD in 2004. She has published 84 peer reviewed journal articles, 4 pieces of statistical software code, and designed, implemented and directs two online data sharing/visualisation platforms. Her research has been collectively cited > 11,000 times, and her publications can be viewed at


Caroline Gargett

Hudson Institute of Medical Research

Caroline Gargett V2Associate Professor Caroline Gargett is a NHMRC Senior Research Fellow, Deputy Director of the Ritchie Centre, Hudson Institute, where she heads the Women’s Health Theme. She discovered adult stem cells in endometrium and examines their role in endometriosis and infertility. She is also developing a tissue engineering approach for treating pelvic organ prolapse using autologous endometrial mesenchymal stem cells in collaboration with CSIRO scientists. She was awarded the Society for Gynecological Investigation President’s Achievement Award (2013), the Society for Reproductive Biology RCRH award for Research Excellence (2011) and was an Endometriosis Foundation of America Honouree (2011). She is an Associate Editor for Reproductive Sciences and Biology of Reproduction (since 2014) and Human Reproduction (2005-2008), serves on the Editorial Board of Reproductive Sciences (since 2009), Fertility and Sterility (2011-2014), immediate past President of the Australasian Society for Stem Cell Research and a Board Member of the National Stem Cell Foundation of Australia.


Patrick Western

Hudson Institute of Medical Research 

western V2Dr Patrick Western’s research is focused on understanding the epigenetic processes underlying establishment of the germ cell lineage and the impact of transmitted epigenetic information on the next generation.

Dr Western completed his doctoral studies on temperature dependent sex determination in the American alligator. He then moved to Professor Azim Surani’s laboratory at the Wellcome Trust Gurdon Institute, Cambridge University, where he studied the reacquisition of pluripotency in differentiated somatic cells and identified novel genes associated with pluripotency in embryonic stem cells and germ cells. Dr Western then joined the ARC Centre of Excellence in Biotechnology and Development where he pursued an interest in germ cell development with a focus on differentiation of male germ cells and the molecular and epigenetic regulation of germ cell pluripotency. In 2011, Dr Western established the Germ Cell Development and Epigenetics Group within the Centre for Genetic Diseases at the Hudson Institute of Medical Research (formerly Monash Institute of Medical Research). The Germ Cell Development and Epigenetics group is focused on epigenetic mechanisms regulating epigenetic reprogramming in the fetal germline, fetal germ line development and establishment of epigenetic information required for development in offspring.


2015 Public Symposium

Towards Equality in Health

Click here to see the 2015 Making Babies in the 21st Century presentations.