Chelsea Graham

Chelsea Graham

Higher Degree by Research Candidate

School of Animal and Veterinary Science

Faculty of Sciences


My PhD research is an interdisciplinary project between the University of Adelaide’s School of Medicine and School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences (SAVS). The basis of my research is to utilise dental pulp stem cell (DPSC) techniques employed in human neuro-regenerative research and apply them to the endangered Tasmanian devil.

Wild populations of the Tasmanian devil are currently endangered as a result of an aggressive and transmissible cancer of Schwann cell origin known as; Devil Facial Tumour (DFT). Schwann cells are the primary glial cell of the peripheral nervous system, these cells provide insulation and support to the nerves of the peripheral nervous system.

In order to better understand this Schwann cell derived tumour a population of healthy Schwann cells is required for comparative studies with DFT cells. In human research DPSCs have demonstrated an affinity for Schwann cell differentiation, my research explores this affinity in Tasmanian devil DPSCs (tdDPSCs). Producing tdDPSC-derived Schwann cells will enable further investigation into DFT biology, there is also the potential for diagnostic assay development as well as identifying possible therapeutic targets.

Nature Foundation SA Grant, 2012

Sir Mark Mitchell Research Foundation Grant, 2016

Hans-Jürgen and Marianne Ohff Research Grant, 2019

Guest Lecturer – Animal Biotechnology III

School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences, The University of Adelaide, Roseworthy Campus

 

Practical Demonstrator – Veterinary Anatomy & Physiology III

School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences, The University of Adelaide, Roseworthy Campus


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