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Robea Ballo PhD

Dr Robea Ballo is a senior scientist in the Molecular and Cell Biology laboratory of the Department of Human Biology. She has established a tissue culture facility for the generation of induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. She is currently training a number of postgraduate students in the art of iPS cell technology for the generation of disease models in cell culture.

Specialist areas:

  • Molecular Genetics

  • Derivation of mouse embryonic feeder layers

  • Derivation, maintenance and differentiation of iPS cells

  • Culture and differentiation of mouse embryonic stem cells and mesenchymal stem cells

  • Student supervision and training in laboratory techniques


Liz van der Merwe PhD

Liz van der Merwe is a senior lecturer in the Department of Human Biology.

The broad area of her current research interest is in regenerative medicine where the focus is on understanding mechanisms that underlie the regeneration of damaged tissues by the stimulation of endogenous stem cells / potential progenitors to proliferate and differentiate to the appropriate cell types.

In collaboration with Prof Sue Kidson, her research includes in vitro studies where the potential regeneration of the murine corneal endothelium and the mechanisms that underlie this process are investigated.

Other research interests:

  • The aqueous outflow vessels of the murine anterior ocular segment: micro architecture and mechanisms that underlie its development and patterning.

  • Pancreatic islet neogenesis in the regenerating pancreas, and the role of the neuro vascular network in this process.