Alan Trounson

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Alan O. Trounson is an Australian biologist and former President of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) California's $3 billion stem cell agency.[1] He was previously Professor of Stem Cell Sciences and the Director of the Monash Immunology and Stem Cell Laboratories at Monash University, and retains the title of Emeritus Professor.

Trounson introduced two world-first procedures which greatly improved the success rate of in-vitro fertilisation (IVF). They were the use of a fertility drug to induce multiple ova and the freezing of embryos for future use. These procedures enabled more than 300,000 women worldwide to conceive successfully.

Trounson made headlines in 1980 with the first IVF birth in Australia and afterwards set up the Monash team of Wood, Trounson, Leeton, Talbot and Kovacs.[2] In 2000, he again made international headlines when he led the team which discovered that nerve stem cells could be derived from embryonic stem cells. This announcement led to a dramatic increase in interest in the potential of stem cells to cure a range of currently incurable diseases.[3]

Trounson was the founder and executive vice-chairman of the National Biotechnology Centre of Excellence, Australian Stem Cell Centre, as well as Global Scientific Strategy Advisor.[4][5]

He serves on the Science Advisory Board of the Genetics Policy Institute and was a founder of the Australian Stem Cell Centre.[6]

Career summary[edit]

  • 1971: graduated from the University of New South Wales with an MSc in Wool and Pastoral Sciences.
  • 1974: awarded a PhD in animal embryology by Sydney University.
  • 1974–1976: awarded the Dalgety Research Fellow at the ARC Institute of Animal Physiology and Biochemistry at Cambridge University.
  • 1977: appointed Senior Research Fellow at Monash University.
  • 1984: appointed Reader in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
  • 1985: appointed Director of the Centre for Early Human Development.
  • 1991: awarded a Personal Chair in Obstetrics and Gynaecology/Paediatrics at Monash University.
  • 1991: awarded the Wellcome (Australia) Medal.
  • 1994: received the Patrick Steptoe Memorial Medal received from the British Fertility Society.[7]
  • 1995: received the Benjamin Henry Sheares Medal awarded by the Obstetrical and Gynaecological Society, Singapore.
  • 2003: awarded a Personal Chair as Professor of Stem Cell Sciences, Monash University.
  • 2003: awarded a Doctor Honoris Causa by the Faculties of Medical Sciences and Physical Education and Physiotherapy, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels, Belgium.[8]
  • 2003: named Australian Humanist of the Year.[9]
  • 2007: appointed President of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine.[10]
  • 2008: inducted as an Honorary Member in the Monash University Golden Key Society

Areas of research[edit]

  • Cloning
  • Stem cells
  • Biotechnology
  • Cloning for agricultural industry
  • Gene storage
  • IVF


It was reported in the Melbourne newspaper "The Age" that Trounson apologised for misleading the Australian Federal Parliament by attributing the recovery of a crippled rat to embryonic stem cells, when in fact the cells were germ cells from a fetal rat. [11] [12]


  • In Vitro Fertilization and Embryo Transfer By Alan O. Trounson, Carl Wood,Published 1984, ISBN 0-443-02675-0
  • In Vitro Fertilization and Embryo Transfer, by Alan Trounson and Carl Wood, 1985, ISBN 0-443-02675-0
  • Atlas of Fine Structure of Human Sperm Penetration, Eggs, and Embryos Cultured in Vitro, by A. Henry Sathananthan (Author), Alan O. Trounson (Author), Carl Wood (Author), November 1985, ISBN 0-275-91308-2, ISBN 0-03-000113-7
  • Clinical in Vitro Fertilization edited by Carl Wood, Alan Trounson, 1988, ISBN 3-540-19534-3
  • Clinical in Vitro Fertilization,by Carl Wood (Author), Alan Trounson (Editor),1989,ISBN 0-387-19534-3
  • Implantation in Mammals (Serono Symposia Publications from Raven Press, Vol 91), by L. Gianaroli (Author), A. Campana (Author), Alan O. Trounson (Editor), 1994, ISBN 0-88167-905-4
  • Handbook of in vitro fertilisation, by Alan O. Trounson and David K. Gardner (Editor), 2nd ed 1999, ISBN 0-8493-4002-0
  • Biology and Pathology of the Oocyte: Its Role in Fertility and Reproductive Medicine, by Alan O. Trounson (Editor), Roger G. Gosden (Editor),Publisher: Cambridge University Press (25 August 2003), ISBN 0-521-79958-9
  • Nuclear Transfer Protocols: Cell Reprogramming and Transgenesis,Medical / Nursing, By Paul J. Verma, Alan O. Trounson, 2006, ISBN 1-58829-280-0


  • Stem Cell research must be carefully directed and properly conducted by Alan Trounson – posted Wednesday, 15 May 2002[13]
  • Cloning and Stem Cells, contributing Editorial Board:Alan O. Trounson,- Published Quarterly, March 2007, ISSN 1536-2302[4]


External links[edit]