Ask a Question View Website

  • Professor Stem Cell Sciences, University of Melbourne; Program Leader, Stem Cells Australia

Research interests

Professor Martin Pera is the Program Leader of Stem Cells Australia. He has over 25 years experience in human pluripotent stem cell research and has authored over 100 peer reviewed publications. Pera was among a small number of researchers who pioneered the isolation and characterisation of pluripotent stem cells from human germ cell tumours of the testis, work that provided an important framework for the development of human embryonic stem cells.

His laboratory at Monash University was the second in the world to isolate embryonic stem cells from the human blastocyst, and the first to describe their differentiation into somatic cells in vitro. He has made major contributions to the understanding of human embryonic stem cell biology and has helped many trainees and collaborators to establish themselves in this area of research. He has provided extensive advice to state, national and international regulatory authorities on the scientific background to human embryonic stem cell research, and is a member of the Steering Group of the International Stem Cell Initiative. Most recently, Professor Martin Pera was Head of the Eli and Edythe Broad Centre for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at the University of Southern California.

Development of new culture systems for human embryonic stem cells and study of growth factors involved in stem cell maintenance, cell cycle traverse and survival. Characterisation and control of early differentiation of human embryonic stem cells. Isolation, propagation and characterization of neural progenitor cells and endodermal progenitor cells from human embryonic stem cells. Isolation of early precursors of nephrogenic mesenchyme from early human ES cells. Development of high throughput methodology for screening of factors active on human pluripotent stem cells. Development of methodology for control of genetic stability of human hESC cells.


  1. Tam PPL, Pera M. 2013. Stem cell science and regenerative medicine. Bioessays. 35:147-148
  2. Hasegawa K, Miyabayashi T, Lutzko C, Pera M, Kahn M, Yasuda S-Y, Teo J-L, Nguyen C, McMillan M, Hsieh C-L, Suemori H, Nakatsuji N, Yamamoto M. 2012. Wnt Signaling Orchestration with a Small Molecule DYRK Inhibitor Provides Long-Term Xeno-Free Human Pluripotent Cell Expansion. Stem Cells Translational Medicine. 1:18-28.
  3. Hasegawa K, Pomeroy JE, Pera M. 2010. Current Technology for the Derivation of Pluripotent Stem Cell Lines from Human Embryos. Cell Stem Cell. 6:521-531.
  4. Pera M, Tam PPL. 2010. Extrinsic regulation of pluripotent stem cells. Nature. 465:713-720.
  5. Lin S, Bertram J, Lasett A, Kolle G, Grimmond S, Zhou Q, Doust E, Little M, Aronow B, Ricardo S, Pera M. 2010. Subfractionation of Differentiating Human Embryonic Stem Cell Populations Allows the Isolation of a Mesodermal Population Enriched for Intermediate Mesoderm and Putative Renal Progenitors. Stem Cells and Development. 19:1637-1648.
  6. Chung T, Brena R, Kolle G, Grimmond S, Berman B, Laird P, Pera M, Wolvetang E. 2010. Vitamin C Promotes Widespread Yet Specific DNA Demethylation of the Epigenome in Human Embryonic Stem Cells. Stem Cells. 28:1848-1855.


Go to top