Previously Funded Project, Griffith University

$5.7M funding injection from MAIC

Working WithGriffith University
Lead ResearcherProf James St John
PCSRF funding period2019 - 2022
Total Funds Committed$5,700,000

The Motor Accident Insurance Commission of Queensland (MAIC) extended the support of the Spinal Injury Project at Griffith University thanks to the encouraging research outcomes. This shows how philanthropy, universities and government can effectively work together to generate positive impact for the community.

This new funding enabled the research team to fast-track the development of the olfactory nerve bridge technology. This involved in-depth laboratory testing of the cell purification process, nerve bridge production, and the transplantation into animal models. All these aspects required the large team to work together seamlessly to ensure that analyses could be generated as quickly as possible.

The success of the MAIC funded project led to the team committing to a Phase I/IIA clinical trial to test the olfactory nerve bridge therapy in humans. To get to the clinical trial required considerable effort to generate the required evidence of safety and efficacy and the majority of the MAIC funded project was dedicated to these aspects.

Read more here on the announcement. 


Reshamwala R, Shah M, Belt L, Ekberg JAK, St John JA. 2020. Reliable cell purification and determination of cell purity: crucial aspects of olfactory ensheathing cell transplantation for spinal cord repair. Neural Regeneration Research, 15(11):2016-2026. doi: 10.4103/1673-5374.282218.

Gilmour A, Reshamwala R, Wright AA, Ekberg JAK, St John JA. 2020. Optimizing olfactory ensheathing cell transplantation for spinal cord injury repair. Invited review. J. Neurotrauma, 37(5):817-829. doi: 10.1089/neu.2019.6939.
Reshamwala R, Shah M, St John JA, Ekberg JAK. 2020. The link between OEC survival and SCI repair: a commentary on common limitations of contemporary research. Neural Regeneration Research, 15(10):1848-1849. doi: 10.4103/1673-5374.280310.

Reshamwala R, Shah M, St John JA, Ekberg JAK. 2019. Survival and integration of transplanted olfactory ensheathing cells are crucial for spinal cord injury repair: insights from the last 10 years of animal model studies. Cell Transplantation 28(1_suppl):132S-159S. doi: 10.1177/0963689719883823.

Murtaza M, Chacko A, Delbaz A, Reshamwala R, Rayfield A, McMonagle B, St John JA, Ekberg JAK. 2019. Why are olfactory ensheathing cell tumors so rare? Cancer Cell International 19:260. doi: 10.1186/s12935-019-0989-5.

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