Stem Cell Biology with Rebecca Lim (#1)

We talk about weightlifting, work/life balance, Rebecca's love of dogs, and her journey to a career in regenerative medicine and stem cell therapies.

Stem Cell Biology with Rebecca Lim (#1) cover image

Rebecca Lim is a scientist working on the clinical translation of cells from the human amniotic sac. She is a stem cell biologist by training and has been working on stem cells since 2003. Rebecca began her scientific training in Singapore where she studied biotechnology at a local polytechnic. And through a rather arduous route, found herself working as a researcher at Monash University in Melbourne and more recently, running her own research group at the Hudson Institute of Medical Research. Rebecca does a little bit of undergraduate teaching, but the bulk of her time is spent supporting her research team as they work collectively to push the boundaries of science and technology to answer questions that will allow them to make regenerative medicine accessible to those who need it.

Rebecca is scientific director for the cell therapies platform at the Monash Health Translation Precinct, and leads the amnion cell biology lab at The Ritchie Centre. She is Associate Professor at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Monash University, and a career development fellow with the National Health & Medical Research Council.

In our conversation, we talk about weightlifting, work/life balance, Rebecca’s love of dogs, and her journey to a career in regenerative medicine and stem cell therapies.

Content Warning: References to animal-based research at [35:10], non-graphic and safe for public consumption, but skip to [36:09] if needed.

Watch on YouTube

Listen to the Podcast

Listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartRadio, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music, Breaker, Castbox, Deezer, Goodpods, Overcast, Pocket Casts, RadioPublic, TuneIn, Blubrry, Digital Podcast, Gaana, Podcast Addict, Podchaser, Podhero, PlayerFM, JioSaavn, RSS, and other podcast platforms.

Apple PodcastsSpotifyiHeartRadioStitcher

Show Notes

[04:15] Rebecca’s journey to weightlifting
[05:51] Olympic lifting as an inclusive community
[09:50] How weightlifting has improved Rebecca’s work/life balance and made her a better teacher
[12:45] Rebecca’s journey to stem cell research
[15:42] Stem cell classification criteria
[17:48] Applications of liver stem cells
[18:58] 3D printing of organs
[20:50] How investigations into stem cells lead to regenerative medicine
[25:45] The beginnings of investigating how to more accurately determine who has good stem cells
[27:54] Grading stem cells for quality control
[29:23] The question of what makes stem cells more or less potent
[30:31] What grant writing involves
[32:20] Collaboration for obtaining research data
[33:22] A day in the lab
[35:10] The animal house (discusses animal-based research, no graphic detail)
[36:09] The diseases of focus in Rebecca’s research
[40:04] Bonus Question 1: What hobby or interest do you have that is most unrelated to your field of work?
[41:20] Bonus Question 2: Which childhood book holds the strongest memories for you?
[42:41] Bonus Question 3: What advice you would give someone who wants to do what you do? Or what advice should they ignore?

Topics/Resources/People Mentioned


  • Shadow the sheepdog by Enid Blyton BookDepository GoodReads

Additional Resources

Find out more about Rebecca Lim and their work

Connect with Us

Support STEAM Powered

Review Us

Please leave us a review on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, GoodPods, Podchaser, or your preferred podcatcher.

Become a Patron

Become a patron
Ko-Fi button iconSupport me on Ko-fi

Affiliate Programs

Buy your books from BookDepository. There are over 20 million titles and you get free delivery worldwide to over 150 countries on every order. Want some ideas? Check out the list of every book mentioned in our conversations, or authored by our guests.

Start your own podcast or YouTube channel, or run panels and seminars with Record up to 8 people in a session with up to 1000 audience members. You can record in advance as I do, or you can livestream with the option to send it straight to Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, or Twitch. There's even a green-room for guests and live call in for audience members. Afterwards, get separate video (up to 4K) and audio (up to 48kHz) tracks per recorded participant for editing, none of that “active speaker only” limitation. You know you're in good hands with a service whose client-base includes some heavy-hitters. Check out to see who else is on board. Use promo code STEAM25 to get 25% off the first three months of your subscription.