mesenchymal stem cells, bone, dental pulp, periodontal ligament, cementum, gingival fibroblasts
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  • Head, Mesenchymal Stem Cell Group and Regenerative Medicine Program, Department of Haematology, SA Pathology
  • Co-Director, Centre for Stem Cell Research, Robinson Institute, University of Adelaide
  • NHMRC Senior Research Fellow

Research interests

Adult bone marrow contains a non-haematopoietic, stromal stem cell population with the ability to form clonogenic, adherent colonies comprised of fibroblast-like cells (CFU-F: colony forming units-fibroblast). The ex vivo expanded progeny of CFU-F have been shown to develop into different stromal cell lineages (myelosupportive stroma, adipocytes, smooth muscle cells, myoblasts, chondrocytes and osteoblasts) and are thought to arise from a common, self-replicating multi-potential stem cell referred to as mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) or bone marrow stromal stem cells. Professor Gronthos' stem cell isolation technology has recently been used to identify MSC-like cells from adipose tissue and dental tissues that exhibit similar growth properties and gene expression profiles to that described for bone marrow derived MSC. This work has resulted in the generation of several patents encompassing the isolation and expansion technologies and use of different MSC preparations for various tissue engineering based applications. These patents have now been licensed to Angioblast Inc. New York, NY. and Mesoblast Ltd., Melbourne Vic.

Research interests are to identify factors and signalling pathways that mediate MSC self-renewal, niche maintenance, proliferation recruitment/migration and multi-differentiation; and to determine the safety and efficacy of MSC-like populations to regenerate functional tissues when implanted into animal models of tissue damage.


  1. Wada N, Wang B, Lin NH, Laslett AL, Gronthos S, Bartold PM (2011). Induced pluripotent stem cell lines derived from human gingival fibroblasts and periodontal ligament fibroblasts. Journal of Periodontal Research. 46(4):438-47.
  2. Arthur A, Zannettino A, Panagopoulos R, Koblar SA, Sims NA, Stylianou C, Matsuo K, Gronthos S (2011). EphB/ephrin-B interactions mediate human MSC attachment, migration and osteochondral differentiation. Bone. 48(3):533-42.
  3. Menicanin D, Bartold PM, Zannettino AC, Gronthos S (2010). Identification of a Common Gene Expression Signature Associated with Immature Clonal Mesenchymal Cell Populations derived from Bone Marrow and Dental Tissues. Stem Cells and Development. 19(10):1501-10.
  4. Peter J Psaltis, Angelo Carbone, Adam J Nelson, Dennis H Lau, Troy Jantzen, Jim Manavis, Kerry Williams, Silviu Itescu, Prashanthan Sanders, Stan Gronthos, Andrew CW Zannettino, Stephen G Worthley (2010). Reparative Effects of Allogeneic Mesenchymal Precursor Cells Delivered Transendocardially in Experimental Nonischemic Cardiomyopathy. Journal of the American College of Cardiology: Cardiovascular Interventions. 3(9): 974-983.
  5. Arthur A, Shi S, Zannettino AC, Fujii N, Gronthos S*, Koblar SA*. (2009). Implanted Adult Human Dental Pulp Stem Cells Induce Endogenous Axon Guidance. Stem Cells. 27(9):2229-37. *Co-senior authors.
  6. Isenmann S, Arthur A, Zannettino AC, Turner JL, Shi S, Glackin CA, Gronthos S (2009). TWIST family of basic Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factors Mediate Human Mesenchymal Stromal/Stem Cell Growth and Commitment. Stem Cells. 27(10):2457-68.
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