Cellular Reprogramming Group

Group Leader Email Number Webpage
Dr Raymond Wong wongcb@unimelb.edu.au +613 99298054 View page

Research Overview

Blindness is one of the most feared disabilities and many common causes of blindness are currently untreatable. The extreme difficulty in obtaining eye tissue from living people currently represents a major barrier to studying and treating blinding diseases. The cellular reprogramming group use induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) technology to model eye diseases affecting the optic nerves. We focus on generating patient-specific iPSCs and developing methods to differentiate pluripotent stem cells into retinal ganglion cells (RGCs). Generation of disease-specific iPSCs and RGCs will allow us to study the precise mechanism underlying the pathology of eye diseases, as well as allowing us to screen drugs to improve treatment options and development of gene therapy and cell replacement therapy.


Dr Shahnaz Khan, visiting scientist;

Mr Maciej Daniszewski, PhD student;

Ms Katie Gills, PhD student


A/Prof Alice Pebay, CERA; Dr Alex Hewitt, CERA; A/Prof Ian Trounce, CERA; Dr Hélène Jousset, WEHI; Prof David Mackey, Lions Eye Institute; Dr Bryony Nayagam, Uni. Melb; A/Prof Robyn Jamieson, Uni. Sydney; Dr Karina Needham, Uni. Melb.; Dr George Wang, Swinburne Uni. Of Tech. ; Dr Max Lim, St Vincent’s Institute; Dr Paul Lockhart, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute; Prof Jamie Craig, Flinders Uni.; Dr Shiwani Sharma, Flinders Uni. ; Dr Tony Cook, Uni. Tas.; A/Prof Nuri Guven, Uni. Tas.; Dr Camden Lo, Monash Uni.; Dr Elaine Sanij, Peter Mac. Cancer Centre


MAWA fellowship, Medical Advances Without Animals; University of Melbourne Therapeutic technologies research seed funding, ‘Modelling retinoblastoma using human induced pluripotent stem cells’; NHMRC project grant, ‘Modelling Leber’s Hereditary Optic Neuropathy using human induced pluripotent stem cells’; ORIA grant, ‘Automated differentiation of patient derived stem cells into eye cells’

Research Publications

1.Hung, S., Van Bergen, N., Jackson, S., Liang, H., Mackey, D., Hernandez, D., Lim, S.Y., Hewitt, A., Trounce, I., Pébay, A., Wong, R. (2016) Study of mitochondrial respiratory defects on reprogramming to human induced pluripotent stem cells. Aging, accepted 2016.04.04

2.Phelan, D., Anderson, D., Howden, S., Wong, R., Hickey, P., Pope, K., Wilson, G., Pébay, A., Davis, A., Petrou, S., Elefanty, A., Stanley, E., James, P., Macciocca, I., Bahlo, M., Cheung, M., Amor, D., Elliott, D., Lockhart, P. (2016) ALPK3 deficient cardiomyocytes generated from patient derived iPSCs and mutant hESCs display abnormal calcium handling and establish that ALPK3 deficiency underlies familial cardiomyopathy. European Heart Journal, accepted 2016.03.13

3.McCaughey, T., Liang, H., Chen, C., Fenwick, E., Rees, G., Wong, R., Vickers, J., Summers, M., MacGregor, C., Craig, J., Munsie, M., Pebay, A., Hewitt, A. (2016) An interactive multimedia approach to improving informed consent for induced pluripotent stem cell research. Cell Stem Cell, 18(3):307-8 6.Hung, S., Pébay, A., Wong, R. (2015) Generation of integration-free human induced pluripotent stem cells using hair-derived keratinocytes. Journal of Visualized Experiments, 2015 Aug 20; (102).

4.Gill, K., Hewitt, A., Davidson, K., Pébay, A., Wong, R. (2014) Methods of retinal ganglion cell differentiation from pluripotent stem cells. Translational Vision Science & Technology, 3 (4).

5.Piao, Y., Hung, S., Lim, S., Wong, R.#, Ko, M#. (2014) Efficient generation of integration-free human induced pluripotent stem cells from keratinocytes by simple transfection of episomal vectors. Stem Cell Translational Medicine, 3(7): 787-91. # = equal last author.

Research Projects

This Research Group doesn't currently have any projects

Faculty Research Themes


School Research Themes

Neuroscience & Psychiatry

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact Dr Raymond Wong

Department / Centre


Unit / Centre

Cellular Reprogramming Group