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  • Principal Scientist - Reproductive Biology - South Australian Research Institute (SAEDI)
  • Principal Research Fellow, Centre for Reproduction & Development, Monash Institute of Medical Research, Melbourne, Victoria

Research interests

Embryonic stem cells (ESCs) can potentially generate specific cell types for regenerative medicine. A major problem limiting the clinical use of ESCs is the potential for tissues derived from these cells to be rejected by receiving patients. The most attractive solution to this problem comprises transplanting tissues derived from ESCs genetically matched to each patient. Somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT), where an adult somatic cell is returned to a embryonic state (a process called reprogramming) following transplantation to an enucleated oocyte, can be used to provide such cells, however, ethical and practical limitations associated with both oocyte donation and human SCNT raise serious concerns about the suitability of this method. An alternative approach to reprogramming cells involves forced expression of a few key stem cell genes in somatic cells, also known as induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). Our key research interests are to investigate efficient reprogramming of somatic cells from a number of mammalian species and generation of functional cells for pre-clinical and clinical applications.

Paul Verma and his team are investigating the potential of embryonic stem cells (ESC) to help understand and treat diseases. ESC also have potential applications in livestock development and species conservation. Recently it has been shown that introduction of a few embryonic genes, can ‘reprogram’ adult cells into embryonic stem cell equivalents, know as induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs).

Our lab was the first to develop iPSCs in Australia from mice, humans and patients with disease. We are also exploring application of this exciting approach to benefit the livestock industry and for species conservation.


  1. Liu J, Ashton MP, Sumer H, O’Bryan MK, Brodnicki TC, Verma PJ. (2011) Generation of Stable Pluripotent Stem Cells from Non-Obese Diabetic (NOD) Mouse Tail-Tip Fibroblasts. Diabetes; 60(5):1393-8. Epub 2011 Apr 4
  2. Tat PA, Sumer H, Jones K, Upton K. and Verma, PJ. (2010). The efficient generation of induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells from adult mouse adipose tissue derived and neural stem cells. Cell Transplantation 19(5):525-36.
  3. Liu J, Sumer H, Leung J, Upton K, Dottori M, Pébay A and Verma PJ. (2010) Late passage human fibroblasts induced to pluripotency are capable of directed neuronal differentiation. Cell Transplantation; 20(2):193-203. Epub 2010 Aug 17.
  4. Liu J*, Verma PJ*, Evans-Galea M, Delatycki M, Michalska A, Leung J, Crombie D, Joe Sarsero J, Williamson R, Dottori M, Pébay A. Generation and Function of Induced-Pluripotent Stem Cell Lines from Friedreich Ataxia Patients. Stem Cell Reviews and Reports; 7(3):703-13.
  5. Sumer H, Liu J, Malaver-Ortega LF, Lim ML, Khodadi K. and Verma PJ. (2011) Nanog is a key factor for induction of pluripotency in bovine adult fibroblasts. Journal of Animal Science; 89(9):2708-16. Epub 2011 Apr 8.
  6. Liu J, Balehosur D, Murray B, Kelly JM, Sumer H and Verma PJ. (2011) Generation and characterization of reprogrammed sheep induced pluripotent stem cells. Theriogenology (Accepted July 7, 2011)
  7. Verma R, Holland MK, Temple-Smith P, Verma PJ. (2011) Inducing pluripotency in somatic cells from the snow leopard (Panthera uncia), an endangered felid. Theriogenology (Accepted September 22, 2011)


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