Australia excels in stem cell research. Established in 2011, the National Stem Cell Foundation of Australia is a philanthropic foundation dedicated to progressing cutting edge stem cell science through supporting promising researchers and projects, and educating the public about responsible stem cell treatments.
The Foundation board is drawn from diverse backgrounds in stem cell science, medicine, and finance. Each year the Foundation supports early-career stem cell researchers by funding their attendance at national and international scientific meetings. The Foundation has also provided funding to a team at the Royal Eye and Ear Hospital working on stem cell treatment for an incurable form of blindness called macular degeneration.
In 2014 the Foundation launched the Metcalf Prize, named in honour of the late Professor Donald Metcalf AO whose research enabled the development of bone-marrow transplants. This stem cell treatment has saved the lives of countless people around the world suffering from blood cancers. The Metcalf Prize is awarded each year to two stem cell researchers (one male and one female) who are working in Australia. It is judged by an independent scientific panel and valued at $50,000 to each researcher. Our 12 Metcalf Prize winners are already showing the difference that this funding makes, with each having made breakthroughs in their respective areas of stem cell research.
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