Martin Pera is Professor of Stem Cell Sciences at the University of Melbourne and the Florey Neuroscience and Mental Health Institute. He served as Program Leader for Stem Cells Australia, the Australian Research Council Special Research Initiative in Stem Cell Sciences, and has recently accepted a new post at the Jackson Laboratory in the USA.
His research interests include the cell biology of human pluripotent stem cells, early human development, and germ cell tumours. Pera was among a small number of researchers who pioneered the isolation and characterisation of pluripotent stem cells from human germ cell tumours of the testis, work that provided an important framework for the development of human embryonic stem cells. His laboratory at Monash University was the second in the world to isolate embryonic stem cells from the human blastocyst, and the first to describe their differentiation into somatic cells in vitro. He has provided extensive advice to state, national and international regulatory authorities on the scientific background to human embryonic stem cell research.