The Univeristy of Melbourne The Royal Melbourne Hopspital

A joint venture between The University of Melbourne and The Royal Melbourne Hospital


01 Sep 2021

Organoids Are Us 2021

This article first appeared on the Australian Living Organoids Alliance website.

Written by Professor Elizabeth Vincan, Organoids Are Us Covener and Laboratory Head at the Doherty Institute. 

Organoids Are Us 2021 (OrU 2021) was a one-day symposium, co-hosted by the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute (WEHI) and the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity (Doherty Institute), featuring research involving organoids, a technology that has transformed science and medicine over the last ten years.

The focus this year was organoids modelling authentic infection. However, as always for these symposia, there were also talks on stem cells, cancer, high through-put platforms and recent advances.

The first keynote was delivered by Professor Kanta Subbarao, Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research on Influenza at the Doherty Institute, featuring iPS-derived organoids to model SARS-CoV-2 infection of diverse tissues. The second keynote, the Tony Burgess Oration, was delivered by Professor Hans Clevers from Utrecht, who pioneered tissue stem cell-derived organoids. Hans was introduced by Professir Doug Hilton, Director of WEHI, who paid tribute to Professor Tony Burgess, the former director of the Ludwig, Melbourne Branch and a true visionary. Tony conceived the idea for a Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre and established the Australian Living Organoid Alliance (ALOA).

This is the third OrU symposium. The topic infection-organoids is an emerging area and featured in OrU 2018 (at the Doherty Institute) with rapid fire short talk presentations from early career researchers; and in OrU 2019 (at WEHI) with one of the keynotes. Now, as anticipated, it is a huge field and the main theme of OrU 2021.

On behalf of co-organisers Dr Maree Faux (Murdoch Children's Research Institute) and Dr Sabine Kelly (WEHI), a huge thank you our sponsors (STEMCELL Technologies, University of Melbourne ARC Centre for Personised Therapeutic Technologies, Corning and Sapphire Bioscience), WEHI's audiovisual and IT team, the WEHI and Doherty Institute communications teams, time keepers Dr Bang Tran (Doherty Institute) and Mr Ronnie Low (WEHI); speakers, chairpersons and attendees; co-conveners Professor Joe Torresi (Doherty Institute) and Profesosr Marc Pellegrini (WEHI); and others on the organising committee (Dr Hoanh Tran and Dr Katherine Davidson, WEHI; and Ms Jean Moselen, Doherty Institute).

Stay posted for Organoids Are Us 2022!

You can watch the various talks via the links on this PDF.