Understanding interactions between gut epithelial stem cells and enteric neurons

Research Opportunity
PhD, Masters by Research, Honours, Master of Biomedical Science, Post Doctor Research
Anatomy and Neuroscience
Medical Building
Primary Supervisor Email Number Webpage
Dr Lincon Stamp lstamp@unimelb.edu.au Personal web page
Co-supervisor Email Number Webpage
Dr Marlene Hao hao.m@unimelb.edu.au Personal web page

Summary This project aims to investigate the interaction between gut neurons and the epithelial stem cell compartment, as well as the relationship between age-related loss of enteric neurons and changes in gut epithelial stem cells. The role of epithelial stem cell-nerve communication, and the signalling pathways mediating it, are currently poorly understood.

Project Details

This study, which includes novel co-culturing of organoids and enteric neurospheres, will identify signalling pathways and cellular mechanisms by which nerves influence the epithelia during homeostasis and ageing.

The outcome of the project will be a better understanding of the biology of the body’s most highly proliferative, long-lived stem cells; intestinal epithelial stem cells.


Dr Lincon Stamp, ARC DECRA Fellow

Dr Marlene Hao, ARC DECRA Fellow

Ms Annette Bergner, Senior Research Assistant

Yvette Wilson, Research Assistant


Professor Christine Wells, University of Melbourne

A/Prof. Helen Abud, Monash University


2015-2017 (extended until 31.12.18) NHMRC Project Grant. Cell therapies for enteric neuropathies - the essential next step

2018 CASS Foundation Med/Sci Grant. A gut feeling about therapies for glioma treatment

Research Publications

Hao MM, Foong JP, Bornstein JC, Li ZL, Vanden Berghe P, Boesmans W. Enteric nervous system assembly: Functional integration within the developing gut. Dev Biol. 2016; 417:168-81

Workman MJ, Mahe MM, Trisno S, Poling HM, Watson CL, Sundaram N, Chang CF, Schiesser J, Aubert P, Stanley EG, Elefanty AG, Miyaoka Y, Mandegar MA, Conklin BR, Neunlist M, Brugmann SA, Helmrath MA, Wells JM. Engineered human pluripotent-stem-cell-derived intestinal tissues with a functional enteric nervous system. Nature Medicine. 2017; 23:49-59

Faculty Research Themes


School Research Themes

Biomedical Neuroscience, Stem Cells

Research Opportunities

PhD, Masters by Research, Honours, Master of Biomedical Science, Post Doctor Research
Students who are interested in joining this project will need to consider their elegibility as well as other requirements before contacting the supervisor of this research

Graduate Research application

Honours application

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact a supervisor.


Anatomy and Neuroscience

Research Group / Unit / Centre

Stamp & Hao laboratory: Development of the enteric nervous system

Research Node

Medical Building

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