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Kisha N Sivanathan

I graduated with a Bachelor of Science (Biomedical Science) degree from the University of Adelaide in 2009, majoring in microbiology, biochemistry and immunology. My interest in the area of immunology as well as in stem research then led me to pursue an Honours degree in 2010 and I graduated with a first class honours. I was also one of the six recipients of the Petrucco Honours Scholarship awarded by the Robinson Institute, University of Adelaide.

Supervised by Dr. Ravi Krishnan, I investigated the effect of proinflammatory cytokine modified mesenchymal stem cells to suppress T cell immune responses. The findings from this project were promising and I was very keen to further explore this area. In 2011, under the supervision of Associate Professor Toby Coates, I was involved in a project where we administered mesenchymal stem cells in a sheep kidney transplant model. I was also given the opportunity to present at conferences and won a young investigator award at the Transplantation Society of Australia and New Zealand (TSANZ) in 2011. As stem cells hold promising avenues as cell therapy agents in a clinical transplant setting, I was enthusiastic to expand my knowledge and contribute to research in this area. The opportunity for me to pursue a PhD arose when I was one on the top 20 recipients awarded with the International Adelaide Graduate Research Scholarship by the University of Adelaide in 2012.

Supervised by leading researchers Associate Professor Toby Coates, Professor Stan Gronthos and Associate Professor Benjamin Thierry, I am investigating ex vivo strategies that enhance mesenchymal stem cells immunosuppression in a transplant setting. I love my PhD project and experience and hope that in the near future, the administration of modified mesenchymal stem cells will be translated into a clinical setting to prevent and treat transplantation rejection.

Research Interests: