Engineering innovative clinical solutions to improve productivity and quality of life as we age.

The UQ Centre in Stem Cell Ageing and Regenerative Engineering (UQ-StemCARE) aims to understand how the decline in stem cell function affects the ageing process. UQ-StemCARE's goal is to engineer clinically translatable solutions for increasing health span and healthy ageing.

In a world in which people are living longer and longer, the goals of UQ-StemCARE are:

  • to investigate the ageing process at a molecular, cellular and organismal level,
  • to further our understanding of the basic processes of ageing and
  • to engineer innovative clinical solutions for maintaining health during ageing thereby supporting ‘healthy ageing’.

Our life expectancy has continuously increased over the past decades and with more than a quarter of Australians estimated to reach over 65 years of age by 2050, ageing research is becoming increasingly relevant to our society.

UQ-StemCARE will bring together researchers from across Australia to develop highly innovative and multidisciplinary research programs, and train a new generation of early career researchers to tackle the challenges of demographic change and an ageing society.

The cost of health care for the aged is foreseen to be one of the biggest risks to future economic growth and productivity of Australia. The key to avoiding this is enabling the aged to remain active, productive and participatory within society. The goal to achieve this represents one of Australia’s greatest challenges in the next 50 years. The impending substantial socio-economic impacts of ageing demands that we understand the fundamental mechanisms of ageing and develop innovative clinically translatable solutions to foster healthy ageing, allowing the ageing population to have an active, productive, healthy life, less susceptible to disease and disability.

To develop novel solutions to extending health span as our population ages, it is essential to understand the biology of ageing and the fundamental mechanisms underlying the reduced capacity to maintain functional tissue as we age.

UQ-StemCARE will unravel the key cellular and molecular mechanisms that govern stem cell ageing and engineer clinical and commercial translatable solutions for increasing health span and active ageing.

Our research findings have the capacity to transform our understanding of the ageing process in humans, an outcome of direct societal importance that will inform the development of technologies to improve productivity and quality of life.

We will collaborate with clinical partners to bridge basic and clinical research and transfer our research findings into clinical practice for the benefit of our society.

The UQ-StemCARE centre aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the fundamental molecular mechanisms and principles underlying loss in stem cell function as we age.

StemCARE Research Projects

Our Centre has the following scientific aims:

  1. Discover the intrinsic (stem cell autonomous) and extrinsic (non-stem cell autonomous) regulators of stem cell ageing within in vivo perivascular, muscle, skeletal and neural stem cell niches.
  2. Develop robust in vitro and in vivo models to interrogate the functional interactions between the intrinsic and extrinsic processes that result in ageing of stem cells and their niches in these tissues.
  3. Demonstrate that manipulating novel key regulators (whether cellular, matrix or systemically-derived) can maintain stem cell and tissue function with age.
  4. Translate the scientific results into clinical solutions with commercial potential.

UQ-StemCARE integrated research programs

StemCARE Directors


StemCARE Team



StemCARE associated CIs


StemCARE Scientific Advisory Board 

Thomas A Rando
Director, The Glenn Centre for the Biology of Ageing, Stanford University School of Medicine, USA Deputy Director, Stanford Centre on Longevity

Gerald de Haan
Scientific Director, European Research Institute for the Biology of Ageing, The University of Groningen, The Netherlands Group Leader, Laboratory of Ageing Biology and Stem Cells

Hartmut Geiger
Director Institut of Molecular Medicine and Stem Cell Aging, University Ulm, Germany Director Comprehensive Mouse and Cancer Core, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, USA

Peter Zandstra
Professor, Biomedical Research Centre, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada Executive Director, CFREF: Medicine by Design, Toronto, Canada Associate Director R&D, Ontario Institute for Regenerative Medicine (OIRM), Toronto, Canada

Donations to UQ-StemCARE can be made through the main AIBN Donation fund. 

To ensure your donation goes direct to stemcare: please select "Other" under Choose a giving destination. and enter "UQ-StemCARE" 

Donate Now


Professor Ernst Wolvetang
T: +61 7 3346 3894
F: +61 7 3346 3973

Professor Justin Cooper-White
T: +61 7 3346 3858
F: +61 7 3346 3973


Mailing/Delivery Address

Australian Institute for Bioengineering
and Nanotechnology (AIBN)
Corner College and Cooper Rds (Bldg 75)
The University of Queensland
Brisbane Qld 4072