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Prof Robert Graham, Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute

  • 25 May 2018
  • Hyatt Regency Hotel Sydney

Traditionally, Science and Religion had been firmly on the opposite sides of the fence on the topic of stem cell research. The main bone of contention concerned ethical issues as research studies had involved the destruction of human embryonic stem cells, prompting the existential question, “When does Life begin?”

In recent times both sides have started to move closer together with scientists continuing to unearth new research developments that does not entail the use of these particular stem cells.

Professor Robert Graham, Executive Director for the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute was invited to be the guest speaker of the Business Network 25 May lunch as last year’s recipient of the Sydney Archdiocesan Adult Stem Cell Grant. His focus was on spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD), a heart disease that occurs commonly among women and is characterised by the tearing of the coronary artery which can cause death. While progress has been made to determine the underlying causes, diagnosis and treatment protocols, further studies are required to find the answers – answers that require continued research in stem cells.

The Sydney Archdiocesan Adult Stem Cell Grant was created in the wake of the promising discovery that stem cells have the potential to become the basis for a body’s internal repair system with successful applicants expected to comply with the ethical standards set out by an independent panel.

People like Professor Graham who are the forefront of exciting new medical discoveries are proof that it is possible to have a happy marriage between Science and Religion with the human race being the ultimate winners of each ‘victory’. When science is used to preserve life and done in a way that does not violate or degrade, we use our talents to glorify God who makes all things possible.