Dr Craig Smith and a team of scientists at the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health’s Addiction Neuroscience Laboratory are investigating one of the receptors in the brain they think are responsible for those seriously rewarding feelings. Not only does this have the potential to help with obesity but it is closely linked with addictions to opioids such as heroin and could lead to a new group of targeted drugs.
‘On average eight people per 100,000 a year develop Myelodysplasia—a disorder affecting the development of blood cells that can lead to leukaemia.1’
‘In Australia, 15 per cent of the population are aged 65+, estimated to grow to 21 per cent (8.4 million) by 20501.’
'Still, we rise… as black women do
Culturally bonded, spiritually empowered, strength and resilience valuable tools,
with integrity and generational humbleness, we are the drivers, backbone, visionaries,
feelers, healers, leaders, prophetic with degrees in silence-ness.’
Excerpt from poem As Black Women Do: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women’s resilience by Vanessa Lee.
Published in Us Women, Our Ways, Our World
“Chronic diseases account for 70 per cent of the life expectancy gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.1”
By 2036, the total cost of dementia is predicted to increase by 81 per cent to $25.8 billion in Australia1
‘More than 90 per cent of children six to seven years of age with reading difficulties have low working memory.'1
‘18 per cent of all Indigenous Australian adults have chronic kidney disease—two times as likely as non-Indigenous Australians.’
‘One in every ten mothers experience repeated episodes of major depression over their life course—on average, experiencing depression one in every six days of their lives.'
‘There has been a 73 per cent reduction in children hospitalised from severe chicken pox infection since the introduction of the (varicella) vaccine to the National Immunisation Program in Australia in 2005.'1
‘Over 2,000 stem cell transplants are performed in Australia each year. For many patients, infections after transplant result in suffering and poor quality of life even if their original disease is cure1’
It is estimated 384,000 Australians are blind or have low vision1
A brief summary of a federal government grant announcement, with the health minister pledging over $40 million for medical research into dementia. Forty-five projects will receive funding to prevent, diagnose, treat and manage dementia, including its most common form, Alzheimer’s disease.
Associate Professor Sarah-Jane Dawson, her husband Professor Mark Dawson and a team of clinicians are working together to develop a liquid biopsy—a simple blood test—as an alternative to invasive bone marrow or lymph node tissue biopsies to monitor blood cancers.
19 separate influenza strains have emerged in humans during the past century, including seven in the past five years alone1
Professor Morgan is Lead of the Neuroscience of Speech research group at Murdoch Childrens Research Institute (MCRI) and Head of Speech Pathology at the University of Melbourne. She is also one of the guideline developers for MCRI’s first Clinical practice guideline for the management of communication and swallowing disorders following paediatric traumatic brain injury for children 0 to 18 years of age (communication and swallowing guideline).
The NHMRC National Institute of Dementia Research commences its Public Lecture Tour 2017 during Brain Awareness Week with stops around the country throughout March and April 2017.
‘I always wanted to become a nurse, so I used to practice on dolls and teddy bears, and sometimes younger siblings, who drew the line at some procedures-like operations’
‘I have just felt really privileged for most of my life, I love my work, I love what I do, and I really enjoy the people I work with, and it comes from spending part of my career in medical research. It just gives you a lot of flexibility and opportunities that you don’t get with standard clinical hospital jobs or general practice.’
Dr Wyatt, from the Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute at the University of Wollongong, is investigating how the body functions at the molecular level. Her current Project Grant explores the relationship between proteins that become toxic when they are damaged (referred to as ‘misfolded’ by researchers), and chemicals such as hypochlorite that are produced by the body during inflammation.
‘It is important to me to be a role model, an example of a strong resilient Aboriginal woman who can achieve anything she sets her mind to.’
Professor McLaughlin, now working with the ARC Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale BioPhotonics, developed this world-first tiny imaging tool to fit inside a surgical needle probe used in brain biopsies.
Mark is a microbiologist, whose love of science and fascination with how the world works led to a life-long passion in medical research.
Suicide is the most common cause of death in Australians aged 15-44 years old—accounting for 35% of deaths in 15-24 year olds and 28.6% of deaths in 25-44 year olds (ABS, 2016)
Associate Professor Julian Elliott is taking research beyond the clinic with ‘citizen science’ and subsequently scoops this year’s Commonwealth Health Minister’s Award for Excellence in Health and Medical Research.
Associate Professor Helen Cooper’s research aims is to understand the molecular mechanisms controlling the birth of new neurons in the adult brain. In the long-term, it is hoped that these insights will help to design therapeutic approaches to treat neurodegenative diseases.
Professor Pillow and her team discovered that the preterm diaphragm is weaker than the diaphragm of babies born after a normal and complete gestation. This may be due to increased breakdown of the muscle protein and increased susceptibility to damage from oxygen free radicals.
Diets around the world have significantly shifted for the worse since the 20th century and this has had a highly negative impact on the health of the global population. At the same time, the burden of mental disorders, particularly depression, has increased significantly. Associate Professor Felice Jacka and her team have established new approaches to the prevention and treatment of mental disorders by looking at what we eat.
Professor Stephen Tong and the team of investigators are revolutionising the treatment of ectopic pregnancy, meaning most women presenting with the condition could be treated medically, rather than surgically. Not only will this make treating ectopic pregnancies safer, easier and more effective, but it may save many lives across the developing world where surgery is not possible.
Professor Peter Gibson and his team set out to determine whether gluten causes problems in people who do not suffer from coeliac disease. The team found that short-chain carbohydrates called FODMAPs, not gluten, might be triggering symptoms such as bloating and stomach pain. The results have put some scientifically valid findings in this controversial area.
Dr Joseph Powell and his team are investigating how differences in your DNA sequence impact on how disease starts and develops in the body. This NHMRC-funded research is important because it could lead to new approaches to prevent or to treat disease.
Professor Graham and his team embarked on their research to understand how the heart develops after birth and why heart muscle cells lose their ability to divide and make new cells. Their research markedly shifted the goal posts and showed that heart muscle cells actually retain an ability to divide until adolescence. This discovery holds great promise for new approaches to managing a range of heart conditions.
Associate Professor Leah Cosgrove and her team have developed a simple blood test to diagnose colorectal cancer. A reliable, non-invasive blood test could augment the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program, either as an adjunct primary screen for those unable to do the stool test, or in triaging positive subjects to colonoscopy. This could help drive a significant reduction in colorectal cancer deaths in Australia.
Led by UNSW’s School of Women’s and Children’s Health Associate Professor Robert Gilchrist, an international team of researchers have improved an existing treatment known as in-vitro maturation (IVM).
Lead researcher Dr Phoebe Phillips, from UNSW’s Lowy Cancer Research Centre, said it was distressing for her colleagues when they had to inform patients that the best chemotherapy drug available could only extend their life for four months.