Developing an olfactory cell therapy for spinal cord injury

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February 2020 - Funding Boost for Spinal Injury Project

 Deputy Premier, The Honourable Jackie Trad announced on the 26th of February at Griffith University that the Queensland State Government and the Motor Accident Insurance Commission has awarded continued funding of $5.7M to advance our work researching a therapy for spinal cord injury with the aim to progress to clinical trials.

This funding is an extension of the $5M awarded in 2017.

Our world-leading therapy transplants cells from the nose to repair injured spinal cords. The research team is headed by Associate Professors James St John and Jenny Ekberg and builds upon the pioneering research led by 2017 Australian of the Year, Emeritus Professor Alan Mackay-Sim.


February 2020 - New review about OECs for Spinal Cord Injury published

Members of the Spinal Injury Project and Clem Jones Centre for Neurobiology and Stem Cell Research have just had a new review article published about optimising Olfactory Ensheathing Cells for spinal cord injury repair. You can view the pre-print here . There are a number of different studies in the world that use different types of cells for transplantation in SCI repair. One of the most promising are OECs due to the ease of retrieval from the nose and their ability to help regenerate the olfactory (sense of smell) nerve. However outcomes from studies around the world have been variable. Improvement in methods are needed to enhance  cell survival, integration and migration. This review article discusses some of the ways in which our lab is addressing these problems.


October 2019 - New publication from the lab

The lab has just had a new review articled published by lead author Dr Mariyam Murtaza. Have a look here for the publication. It is entitled: "Why are olfactory ensheathing cell tumors so rare?" and contemplates a fascinating aspect to OECs - the cells we are using in our cell transplantation therapy for spinal cord injury. You can also see all of the lab's previous publications here.


September 2019 - 3 Minute Thesis Success!

Congratulations to HDR Candidate Lynn Nazareth who was Runner Up (2nd place) and won People's Choice Award at the Griffith University Final of the 3 Minute Thesis Competition. Lynn has written about our experience in our blog here. Congratulations Lynn!


September 2019 - SIPweek 16th-22nd of September

16th-22nd of September is SIP week, where members of the public, including members of the Spinal Injury Project are going to be raising money for Spinal Cord Injury research by SIPping all of their drinks through a straw for a week. Some people with spinal cord injuries can ONLY drink all of their drinks through a straw. To partake go to or to donate to our group's effort go to: 


August 2019 - Griffith University - 3 Minute Thesis

An 80,000 word PhD thesis would take 9 hours to present. Their time limit... 3 minutes. The finals of the Griffith University - Health facutly 3 Minute Thesis (3MT) were held on the 20th of August. Congratulations to two members of the lab: Dr Souptik Basu and Ms Lynn Nazareth who competed and presented wonderful presentations. Lynn went on to WIN the round and progress to the Griffith University Finals which are being held on Wednesday the 11th of September at the GU South Bank campus. Well done Lynn!


July 2019 - SIP's first Blog Post

Have a read of our first in an exciting series of blog posts by members of SIP.


March 2019 - Spinal Injury Project Website Launched

It is finally here! After much toiling, the official website for the Spinal Injury Project has launched. Keep coming back to see new media and news and updates from the Spinal Injury Project. Bookmark: