Stem cell therapy to treat Hirschsprung's disease

Research Opportunity
PhD students, Honours students, Master of Biomedical Science
Number of Honour Places Available
Number of Master Places Available
Primary Supervisor Email Number Webpage
Dr Lincon Stamp
Co-supervisor Email Number Webpage
Dr Marlene Hao
A/Prof Sebastian King

Summary Our group is interested in the development of the enteric nervous system and stem cell therapies for enteric neuropathies. The enteric nervous system is responsible for the co-ordinated control of gut function. Enteric neurons and glia are located in a network of interconnecting ganglia within the wall of the gastrointestinal tract. Correct development of this nervous system is crucial for proper control of digestive function. Please refer to our website for more information on our research and publications:

Project Details

Hirschsprung's Disease arises from the failure of neural crest cells to migrate to the anal end of the colon, resulting in a lack of enteric neurons in the unpopulated region. As the enteric nervous system is crucial for gastrointestinal function, there is no propulsive activity in the aganglionic region and there is a build-up of gut contents, which can prove fatal if left untreated. Hirschsprung patients currently undergo "pull-through" surgery to remove the aganglionic region of bowel. Whilst this is life-saving, most patients suffer chronic, long-term complications, including constipation, faecal soiling, and associated psychosocial problems.


Stem cell therapy, where missing enteric neurons are replaced, is an exciting area of research. In this project, we are using a rat model of Hirschsprung Disease to investigate the clinical application of cell therapy for Hirschsprung patients.

Research Opportunities

PhD students, Honours students, Master of Biomedical Science
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.

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