Life-changing discovery is within reach

We know that genetic changes in rare types of cells in the body can cause many diseases. If we can identify those cells and understand how they work, we may be able to find new ways to intervene in that process.

Cellular genomics (also known as single-cell sequencing) allows researchers to reveal more about disease than ever before.

A few years ago, a team led by A/Prof Joseph Powell pioneered the use of cellular genomics to understand the genetic control of disease and cell development. Now, with help from generous donors, we’re using similar methods to spearhead the revolutionary Genetics of Disease project. 

This time, we’re examining the role that individual cell development plays in the onset of some of the most common and debilitating diseases in our community, starting with heart disease.

We believe it's possible to develop new personalised life-saving treatments. 


But we can’t stop there. With so many challenging diseases in the community, our team needs your support.

One of our pioneering scientists is A/Prof Joseph Powell, Head of Garvan-Weizmann Centre for Cellular Genomics.

His Genetics of Disease project is revealing the extraordinary potential for Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (iPSCs) to provide new treatment options for heart disease, Alzheimer’s and glaucoma.
Cell image

Please support our life-changing research

A deep dive into the heart of a cell 

There are 128 known genes associated with an increased risk of heart disease. Using induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), which are stem cells derived from blood, we’ve managed to create around 250,000 individual heart cells in the lab, and have tracked them at different stages of development. Using cellular genomics, this lets us see – for the first time ever – when and where a disease is triggered. See below for a diagram of the process.

Using this world-first resource, we believe it may be possible to develop new personalised life-saving treatments for heart patients. But we can’t stop there. With so many challenging diseases in the community, our team needs your support to expand our research into diseases like glaucoma, Alzheimer’s and kidney disease.

Our research is just the beginning of a new frontier in the treatment of diseases that affect over one million Australians.

Sequencing process