CSL Fellowship funding supports vital research for Alzheimer’s disease and leukaemia

 

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Image courtesy of CSL

Two Australian scientists have been awarded $2.5 million in support of ground-breaking research into Alzheimer’s disease and leukaemia.

Brisbane scientists, Professor Geoff Faulkner and Associate Professor Steven Lane, were the first recipients of the CSL Centenary Fellowship and will each receive $1.25 million, over a five-year period to continue their research.

Professor Faulkner from the University of Queensland believes long-term memory may be stored in our brain’s DNA, and he wants to test this theory on the brains of Alzheimer’s patients.  His research aims to give us a better understanding of Alzheimer’s and hopefully bring us closer to finding a cure.

Associate Professor Lane from the AIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, will use his fellowship to conduct research into leukaemia treatments to reduce relapse rates in older patients.

For leukaemia patients over 60, the prognosis is bleak with only 10 percent surviving beyond 12 months, compared to an 85 percent success rate in children.  Associate Professor Lane wants to change this by identifying new drug pathways and explore the repurposing of existing drugs to target resistant leukaemia types.

SL established the $25 million Fellowship program this year to mark their centenary with the intent to cultivate excellence in Australian medical research by fostering mid-career scientists to pursue world-class research at an Australian Institution. Two individual, five-year fellowships are awarded each calendar year.

“Australian research punches above its weight on the world stage with an excellent track record in new discoveries to potentially address the world’s unmet medical needs,” said CSL CEO & Managing Director Paul Perreault.

“At CSL, we are driven by our promise to save lives and protect the health of people around the world. We’re extremely proud to support research that holds the potential to save and change many lives. Our Centenary Fellowships honour CSL’s long legacy of contributing to innovative medicines, particularly for patients suffering serious diseases.”

CSL Chief Scientific Officer Andrew Cuthbertson says Professor Faulkner and Associate Professor Lane are the embodiment of what the Fellowships recognise.

“Growing skills and expertise through well-funded, long-term support is essential in order to help the Australian research community continue to thrive,” Mr Cuthbertson says.

The CSL Centenary Fellowships are competitively-selected grants offered to mid-career (3-8 years post-doctoral) medical researchers. Applications for the CSL Centenary Fellowships open annually on 1 June.  For further information about the program visit   http://www.csl.com.au/centenary/fellowships.htm

GRDC launches secondary school resources

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The Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC), which has been a proud supporter of the National Youth Science Forum over several years, has recently released a range of curriculum-linked resources which explore the latest science, technology, engineering, mathematics, nutrition, research and innovation in the Australian grains industry.

The resources present the professional nature of grain production and reference the types of technology that grain growers use on-farm. They also embed relevant Australian grains science and technology into a range of food and fibre teaching units, enabling teachers to teach mainstream subjects (such as science, geography, agriculture, home economics and nutrition) using grains as the teaching context. Each set of enquiry based resources includes activities, practicals, investigations and discussions.

The resources have been developed with input from reference teachers, researchers and growers and have been trialled at schools throughout Australia – with feedback hugely positive.

The resources include:

Agricultural Studies

  • The cost of frost – investigating weather (Year 9-10)
  • Smart grains – technology on farms (Year 9-10)

Geography

  • The importance of soil for growing great grain (Year 9-10)

Home Economics and Nutrition

  • Good grains for good gut health – the benefits of fibre (Year 9-10)
  • Grains, gluten and carbohydrates – focusing on grains as part of a healthy diet (Year 9-10)

Science

  • Science behind dough quality (Year 10-11)
  • Science of stems, stomata and sustainability (Year 11)
  • Science of crossing and crops – plant breeding (Year 10-11)
  • Science of living soils – focus on nematodes (Year 10)

The full suite of resources are available to download from the GRDC website www.grdc.com.au

Or contact Sarah McDonnell for further information sarah.mcdonnell@agcommunicators.com.au

 

What’s happening at The University of Melbourne? News and updates from Parkville

COURSE INFORMATION DAYS IN DECEMBER – ON CAMPUS & ONLINE

After you’ve got your ATAR, come to Course Information Day on Wednesday 14 December 2016 at the Parkville campus to find out what you can study at The University of Melbourne in 2017.

  • Talk to our friendly staff about your study options in 2017.
  • Course information sessions will give you all the details about our undergraduate course and pathways to graduate study at Melbourne. You can also find out more about scholarships and our special entry schemes like Access Melbourne.
  • Tour our beautiful Parkville campus, located right on the fringe of Melbourne’s CBD, and take a look at our residential colleges.

Located in a rural area or interstate, or just can’t make it to the Parkville campus? Not a problem!

The Online Course Information Day on Thursday 15 December 2016 gives you the chance to learn more about your options, even if you can’t come and meet us in person. Log in and chat with our friendly staff, and get personalised advice about the undergraduate courses, pathways to graduate study, scholarships and special entry schemes that are relevant to you.

To learn more and register, visit the Change of Preference website: www.cop.unimelb.edu.au.

THE EMPTY BOWL – EMPTY CALORIES NO MORE

A biofortified rice high in iron and zinc is set to combat hidden hunger in developing countries.
Billions of people depend on rice as a staple food, but a shortage of key nutrients in the grain puts them at risk of malnutrition. Researchers at the University of Melbourne are now on the cusp of making a real difference.

Find out more about this amazing research here!

STORIES FROM OUR STUDENTS – IN THE FIELD: MADAGASCAR

Many researchers are bursting with field stories; tales of arduous travel to far-off places, of courageous food choices, of staring at the stars listening to the sound of the jungle. And, of course, of juggling kilo upon kilo of rocks in their backpacks.

For Catherine Wheller, a final-year PhD student in the School of Earth Sciences at the University of Melbourne, these field stories include ancient rocks, perilous roads and a newborn Malagasy girl named ‘Wheller’.

Learn more about Catherine’s research adventures in Africa here.

EUREKA! SUCCESS IN MATHS & STATS

The Eureka Prize is one of the most prestigious science awards in Australia. Every year, the best scientists and research are nominated for pushing boundaries and making breakthroughs across science and medicine.

Associate Professor James McCaw, from the School of Mathematics and Statistics, was part of a University of Melbourne team that won a Eureka Prize for their work on malaria.

Read more here!

VIDEO – EXPLORE THE BACHELOR OF SCIENCE

If you’re an enthusiastic science student keen to study a degree featuring more than forty different major areas of study across the health sciences, physical sciences, environmental sciences, engineering and IT, then take a moment to check out the new Bachelor of Science video here!

Don’t forget that among the many exciting opportunities offered through the Bachelor of Science program, students can now undertake a Science and Technology Internship Subject which will provide real experience working in a science or technology related workplace.

The internship will help students to identify and articulate their knowledge and skills and apply them to relevant contexts and work-settings, produce original work in an appropriate format which demonstrates analytical, research and problem-solving skills, understand the value of industry and professional networks and their importance to lifelong learning and career progression and develop greater confidence in their ability to contribute to a science-related workplace, awareness of the strengths they offer to a future employer as well as areas to further develop beyond their degree.

 

Event: The Science of Life + Death: Life in Perth – By the Australian Academy of Science

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On the Thursday 10 November 2016 (6:00pm start) the Australian Academy of Science will be running an event in Perth as part of their series, “The Science of Life + Death”.

The evening’s discussion will cover some of the key research in the field of epigenetics and the social and ethical considerations around this.

“The instructions for life are written in our DNA, but what if you could help the next generation to be stronger, taller, smarter, slimmer, free of birth defects and generally healthier later in life – would you use that power? Should you?”

“LIFE in Perth aims to discuss this rapid evolution of genes, the origins of life and if altering developing cells is really the right thing to do.”

The host for the evening’s epigenetics discussion will be science broadcaster Bernie Hobbs. Guest Speakers to include:

  • Dr Hayley Dickinson, Embriology and Placental Biology, Hudson Institute for Medical Research
  • Professor Ryan Lister, Lister Lab, University of Western Australia
  • Dr Brenda McGivern, Law School, University of Western Australia

Tickets for the event can be purchased here – $20 for general admission or $15 student concession.

 

Defence science: a world of opportunities

The Defence Science and Technology Group (DST) provides the Australian Government with scientific advice and innovative technology solutions to meet Australia’s Defence and national security needs. It is part of the Department of Defence.

As the country’s second largest publicly-funded research organisation after the CSIRO, DST employs 2,100 scientists, engineers and researchers, all of whom have in-depth knowledge and experience in many science and technology disciplines.nysf-sessiona-partnertalks2-46-dstg

Whether it is improving personal protection armour and ration packs for the army, designing missile decoys to protect navy ships, putting wings on bombs to increase the Air Force’s missile range or building the world’s largest over-the-horizon radar network to keep a watch on our borders, DST scientists continually come up with clever science solutions that work.

It was a defence scientist who invented the black box flight recorder in the 1950s. Among other innovations, today’s DST scientists are developing equipment to protect Australian soldiers from improvised explosive devices and extending the life of fighter aircraft beyond their use-by-date.

The Director of Science Outreach and Inclusion at DST, Rebecca Halliday, says a skilled and motivated workforce is an essential prerequisite for the organisation to continue delivering outstanding scientific support to Defence.

 

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DST is committed to attracting talented people such as those who attend the NYSF. We believe we can offer them a unique opportunity to pursue a rich and rewarding career in science while contributing to Australia’s national security.

”There are many different career pathways available within DST including cadetships and scholarships for students, a summer vacation placement program, an industry experience placement program, and a graduate program.”

Industry Experience Placement student Stephen Pidgeon says that it’s a great opportunity to work within DST, as it is such a unique experience that you will not find anywhere else.

“It’s allowing me to develop and implement the skills I have learnt during my university studies and will assist in my final year before graduation,” he said.

There is an amazing breadth and depth of scientific research undertaken by defence scientists in Australia today, with great career opportunities on offer.

For more information  please refer to: www.dst.defence.gov.au/careers/career-options, or email your enquiries to: DSTGroupSTEMCoordinator@dsto.defence.gov.au.

Science meets Business 2016

The second annual Science meets Business will take place on 24 October  in Melbourne, with a range of outstanding speakers representing politics, industry and research.

The Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, Greg Hunt, Shadow Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, Senator Kim Carr, Vice-President and Lab Director for IBM Research, Dr Joanna Batstone, and CEO of ANSTO, Dr Adi Paterson are just a few of the speakers who will join us for this forward-looking and engaging day of information, brainstorming and networking. Click on the link above to learn more.

News from UNSW

UNSW Women In Engineering Camp 

Are you a young woman currently in Year 10 or 11 and want a career where you can be at the forefront of positive change for society? Do you enjoy using lateral thinking, creativity and design? Or do you love problem-solving, working in teams or have an aptitude for mathematics and science?

UNSW Women in Engineering Camp

UNSW Women in Engineering Camp

Join us for a five-day camp and find out about the exciting careers available to professional engineers. The next camp will run Monday 9 to Friday 13 January 2017.

Applications for the 2017 camp open on 1 July 2016 and close on 25 September 2016.

For more information, visit UNSW Women in Engineering Camp event website.

Taste of Electrical Engineering 

Do you love solving problems?

UNSW Engineering is offering a three-day workshop for Year 10 and 11 students with an aptitude for mathematics, a passion for science and a love of problem solving.

UNSW Electrical Workshop

UNSW Electrical Workshop

The workshops will include:

Engineering design challenges and an introduction to the basics of electrical engineering disciplines; such as signal processing, electronics design, computer programming, and power, control and telecommunications systems.

Tours of the school facilities, including the photonics, high voltage and educational laboratories, and a field trip to an industrial organisation providing insight into the importance of complex electrical and electronic systems in everyday life.

When: 26th – 28th September 2016 (3 days)

Where: School of Electrical Engineering & Telecommunications, UNSW.

Cost: $125

To register your interest, visit the UNSW Engineering event website.

 

GSK inspiring the next generation of scientists

With much of the world’s future innovation to come from science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM), it is important that the innovators of tomorrow are supported and mentored.

The funding partners of the National Youth Science Forum (NYSF) play an important role in supporting the organisation and the programs it delivers.

GSK Australia has provided funding support for the NYSF over several years.

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GSK’s David Herd, Director of Healthcare Environment talks to NYSF participants

In 2015, GSK’s David Herd, Director of Healthcare Environment, presented to the NYSF participants as part of the Partners’ Day activities. His presentation made an impact on one of the students, Nikita Bungay from Victoria. Now studying at Monash University’s Science Advanced Global Challenges program, and as part of her studies, Nikita needed to interview someone who inspired her; she decided to reach out to David.

“One of the greatest experiences I had was at the NYSF Partners’ Day, where I heard David talk about what had inspired him, and how his company reaches out to the broader world through their work. His talk motivated me to do something which would also make a difference, and that is why I chose my course, which I am confident will help me to achieve this goal,” Nikita said.

NYSF CEO, Dr Damien Pearce highlights this as an example of the ways that the NYSF’s funding partners go that extra mile in supporting the organisation and its programs. “Organisations such as GSK really understand the kind of support that our young people need, and are willing to provide.”

GSK Australia is proud to regularly host tours for NYSF students during the Melbourne Next Step program. They visit its Boronia manufacturing facility in Victoria and see how life-saving medications are made; in 2016, they will see GSK Australia’s new and innovative blow-fill-seal vaccine technology.

Since 2012, over 150 school students have toured GSK Australia’s facilities.

“These site tours contribute to what makes the NYSF unique for Australian STEM students,” said Dr Pearce, “and our corporate partners are key to our and the program’s success. Having access to view the kinds of innovations made in industry all of the time contribute to inspiring our young people.”

CSL celebrates 100 years

National Youth Science Forums (NYSF) partner CSL, Australia’s largest biotechnology company celebrated 100 years of operation in April 2016.

This iconic Australian company has a proud history of pharmaceutical and health product development in Australia, including the manufacture of vaccines, insulin and anti-venoms.

Six NYSF alumni are featured in this inspiring video released in conjunction with the celebrations – thanks Tayla, Meg, Kushani, Michael, Lachlan, and Charlie for agreeing to be involved. We are proud of all of our alumni, and thank them for representing the organisation on this occasion.

 

NSW Department of Industry supports NSW-based NYSF students

For several years, the NSW Department of Industry, through the Office of the Chief Scientist and Engineer, has supported travel costs for NSW-based NYSF students travelling on international programs.

In 2015, the Department’s grant contributed to the travel costs of 15 NYSF students, who attended the Canada-Wide Science Fair, Research Science Institute at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the National University of Singapore Science Summer Camp, the London International Youth Science Forum, and the Stockholm International Youth Science Seminar.

The students who were fortunate enough to participate in these programs all indicated that there was significant value in attending, and were grateful to the NSW Department of Industry for the support that was provided through its Research and Acceleration Program.

Responses to our annual survey of students indicate that all of the students participating in the International Programs have gone on to study STEM fields at a tertiary level – or intend to after gap-years. They also report that participating in the International Programs offered a very unique opportunity, and one that would not have been available to them had they not attended the NYSF.

Tammy Cai from Sefton attended the Stockholm International Youth Science Seminar in November 2015. “Attending the NYSF in year 12 has opened many doors for me, and has given me many opportunities to engage in my passion for science, and network with like-minded youth around the world. The experiences, memories and friends I have gained at SIYSS are priceless.”

Thomas Ellis, from Medowie attended the London International Youth Science Forum 2015. “The theme of the LIYSF forum for 2015 was ‘global endeavour’; attending the Science Bazaar – where students from around the world showcased the research they have undertaken – has galvanised my interest in not only pursuing my own research endeavours but to work with others to collaborate and try to help them to reach theirs.”

In 2016, 11 students from New South Wales are being supported by the Department of Industry, travelling to Research Science Institute, Canada Wide Science Fair, National University of Singapore Science Summer Camp, and London International Youth Science Forum.