Mr Nathan Kuk
Centre for Inflammatory Diseases
Human Amniotic Epithelial Cells, a novel therapy for Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) encompasses a group of idiopathic, chronic and relapsing inflammatory conditions that affect the gastrointestinal tract, notably Crohn's disease and Ulcerative Colitis. It is most frequently diagnosed between the ages 15-40 and as such has life changing effects due to its chronic disabling symptoms. As IBD is incurable, immunomodulation remains the mainstay therapy with treatments aimed at maintaining disease remission and preventing flare ups. However immunomodulation has associated side effects and some patients are refractory to conventional therapy. Because of this, stem cells have been presented as an alternative therapeutic option.
Haematopoetic and Mesenchymal Stem Cells have been studied both in animal models and humans (as part of a Phase 2 and 3 trial) with variable results. However, human amniotic epithelial cells (hAECs) have never been transplanted in an IBD model. Possessing anti-inflammatory and anti-fibrotic properties, hAECs have enormous potential and as such will be explored in this talk.
Nathan is an MBBS/PhD student currently in his final year of his PhD. Under the supervision of Professor William Sievert and Drs Gregory Moore and Alex Hodge, Nathan has developed a keen interest in gastroenterology, with his experiments involving human amniotic epithelial cell therapy in models of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, acute colitis and chronic colitis. He will be returning to his final year of medicine in 2018 and endeavours to specialise in gastroenterology.
A light lunch is served prior to the seminar at 11:45am in the seminar room foyer, level 2, TRF Building.
Further information, including the link to add the seminar series to your google calendar, is available from CID Weekly Seminar Series website [http://www.med.monash.edu.au/scs/medicine/cid/seminar-series.html]