All Department 2019 projects

Heads up! Use the arrows to sort the table data by column.

Projects Title Project Site Department Project Description Number of Places Available Primary Supervisor Title Primary Supervisor First Name Primary Supervisor Surname Primary Supervisor Email Co-Supervisor 1 Title Co-Supervisor 1 First Name Co-Supervisor 1 Surname Opportunity
Nanoparticles and optical stimulation of neurons Surgery, Otolaryngology, Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital Surgery

The fields of neurophotonics and optogenetics promise to revolutionise neurophysiology and medical bionics. In particular, light can be used to excite neurons without direct contact and with high spatial precision. Our research interest is in understanding how to harness these

1 A/Prof Paul Stoddart Dr Karina Needham PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
A framework for creating subject-specific mathematical brain models St Vincent's Hospital Medicine and Radiology

This project aims to develop a framework for bridging the microscopic and macroscopic scales of neural dynamics. Methods will be developed to tailor macroscopic mean-field models to microscopic scale experimental data. The approach will be validated by comparing predictions of

1 Dr Dean Freestone PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
A global approach to combat keratoconus Surgery, Ophthalmology, Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital Surgery

Keratoconus is a common condition that affects the cornea and despite its increasing prevalence, the cause of keratoconus is largely unknown. Research centres across the world have individually collected cohorts of patients with keratoconus to better understand the

1 Paul Baird Srujana Sahebjada PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
A pilot trial of innovative communication approaches in clinical care to promote health literacy for women with low English proficiency Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute General Practice

Inadequate or mis-communication of critical informational between health professionals and women with low English proficiency is one of the factors contributing to marked disparities between maternal and perinatal outcomes o refugee and migrant women compared to ‘native’ born women

Dr Jane Yelland PhD
A randomised controlled trial of anti-androgen treatment for transgender women. Austin Health Medicine and Radiology

This is a randomised controlled trial comparing the effectiveness of cyproterone acetate and spironolactone in suppressing testosterone levels in transgender women seeking feminisation. The study will be run as part of the Trans Medical Research group within the Endocrinology Department

1 Jeffrey Zajac PhD
A randomised controlled trial of transdermal versus intramuscular testosterone therapy in transgender males Austin Health Medicine and Radiology

This is a randomised controlled trial comparing the safety of intramuscular vs transdermal testosterone on haematocrit in transgender males. Testosterone can increase haematocrit (blood thickness) and raised haematocrit levels have been associated with increased cardiovascular mortality, the risk of which

1 Jeffrey Zajac PhD
A study of the extracellular vesicles in glioblastoma tissue Florey Institute of Neuroscience & Mental Health Medicine and Radiology

An individual who is diagnosed with aggressive brain cancer has a less than 3% chance of survival in the ~12-15 months following diagnosis. Despite decades of research, the cause of aggressive brain cancer is unknown and despite repeated efforts there

1 Laura Vella PhD; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Abnormal Placental Stem Cells And Their Role In Human Pregnancy Pathologies Obstetrics and Gynaecology

The therapeutic potential of human placental mesenchymal stem cells is the subject of intense investigation in the field of regenerative medicine. However, the function of stem cells in the placenta, and their contribution to human pregnancy pathologies, is poorly understood.

1 Bill Kalionis PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Acquired epilepsy in Alzheimer’s disease Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology

Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients are 10 times more likely to develop epilepsy compared with age-matched controls. The treatment of recurrent seizures with conventional antiepileptic drugs may exacerbate cognitive decline. There are currently no treatments that prevent epilepsy in AD patients

1 Patrick PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
ADAR1 and RNA editng St Vincent's Institute of Medical Research Medicine and Radiology

RNA editing is a widespread process that modifies the cellular transcriptome. A-to-I editing is the most prevalent form of RNA base modification in humans and other mammals and can lead to structural and functional changes in the RNA

1 Alistair Chalk PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Adolescent2Emerging Adult Development Study Psychiatry

We are seeking an enthusiastic and motivated candidate for a PhD/Masters project beginning in 2019. The project is a joint initiative of the Melbourne Neuropsychiatry Centre (Department of Psychiatry) and the Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences, The University of Melbourne,

Sarah Whittle swhittle@unimelb.edu.au Julian Simmons PhD; Masters by Research; Master of Biomedical Science
Adult Pneumonia In Mongolia In The Era Of A Childhood Pneumococcal Vaccine Programme Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics

The project in Mongolia will explore how the introduction of the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) into the routine immunisation programme in children has impacted adult respiratory disease in the country. It will also explore other risk factors for adult

Kim PhD
Advanced MRI in multiple sclerosis Florey Institute of Neuroscience & Mental Health Medicine and Radiology

Despite being well treated for acute neuroinflammatory relapses, many patients with MS exhibit ongoing brain atrophy and ultimately, progressive disability.We are developing advanced brain imaging technologies based on MRI to detect neurodegeneration at the earliest stages of MS in order

Scott Kolbe kolbes@unimelb.edu.au PhD; Masters by Research
Advancing vaccine development for infectious diseases: bioinformatics, antibody engineering, immunoassay development and human cohort studies Burnet Institute Medicine and Radiology

Infectious diseases continue to be a major burden on global health. They contribute to global inequities, especially in low-middle income countries and to the world's most

2 Jack Richards PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Alcohol and striatal adaptation Florey Institute of Neuroscience & Mental Health Medicine and Radiology

Project description: Despite the major socioeconomic burden, alcohol use disorders (AUDs) remain a major health risk, and current medications are still inadequate to treat both relapse and heavy drinking. Our lab has recently shown muscarinic acetylcholine receptors (mAChR) undergo adaptations

1 Andrew Lawrence PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
Altered functional and phenotypic characteristics following treatment of age-related macular degeneration Florey Institute of Neuroscience & Mental Health Medicine and Radiology

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a multifactorial disease and is a leading cause of irreversible vision loss in Australia. AMD at its early stage is characterized by accumulation of debris (lipid rich drusen) in retina, which is believed

1 Ben J. Gu Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Alzheimer’s diseases modelling with human cerebral organoids Surgery, Ophthalmology, Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital Surgery

Advances in stem cell technology now allow researchers to generate induced pluripotent stem cells from adult tissue (for instance, from skin biopsies or blood samples from patients, or those at risk of developing a disease). These represent a

1 Alice Pebay apebay@unimelb.edu.au PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
AMPK regulation of cholesterol metabolism St Vincent's Institute of Medical Research Medicine and Radiology

Imbalance of cholesterol metabolism may contribute to the development of metabolism diseases such as hypercholesterolemia, obesity and Type 2 diabetes. It has been shown that AMPK phosphorylates HMG-CoA reductase (HMGR) on Ser 871 and inhibits the mevalonate pathway important for

1 Prof Bruce Kemp PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
AMPK regulation of lipid metabolism St Vincent's Institute of Medical Research Medicine and Radiology

AMPK phosphorylates and inhibits acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC) isoforms 1 and 2, key mediators of fatty acid metabolism. We have generated single and double knock-in mouse lines with Ser to Ala mutations for the individual AMPK phosphorylation sites on ACC 1

1 Prof Bruce Kemp PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
An alternative method to temporarily secure umbilical catheter(s) in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the Royal Women’s Hospital, in routine care of newborns requiring central vascular access Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Obstetrics and Gynaecology

Umbilical catheters are often used for the stabilization and ongoing management of a critically ill neonate in NICU. Current routine practice is to apply a suture at the base of the umbilical cord with some more ties along the catheter,

1 Marta Thio marta.thiolluch@thewomens.org.au Peter G Davis Honours
An anti-calcitonin receptor (CTR) antibody for the detection of programmed cell death: the role of CTR in a novel adaptive response in a pre-apoptotic mechanism Austin Health Medicine and Radiology

Programmed cell death (PCD) is an essential process in life. For apoptosis the sequelae of events resulting in capitulation and PCD, include changes in mitochondrial membrane potential, shunting of phosphatidylserine to the cell surface, activation of caspases, chromatin

1 Peter Wookey Honours
Analysing the mutations in calcitonin receptor (CTR) mRNA transcripts, and identifying the isoforms and polymorphisms of CTR expressed in high grade glioma cell lines from glioblastoma Austin Health Medicine and Radiology

Our group was the first to publish on the expression of CTR in the deadly brain tumour glioblastoma [1] and about 70% of patients express CTR mRNA transcripts. Common isoforms of CTR, CTRa (insert negative) and CTRb (insert-positive)

1 Peter Honours
Analysis of gene regulations on gonocyte transformation into spermatogonial stem cells Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics

How is gonocyte transformation into spermatogonial stem cells regulated? What are the critical regulators for gonocyte transformation?

1 Dr Ruili Li Professor John Hutson Honours
Analysis of synovial fluid and peripheral blood samples from patients with rheumatoid arthritis and using patients with osteoarthritis as controls. Western Health Medicine and Radiology

Better understanding of the pathophysiology of Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) has led to the development of new therapeutic strategies. Despite this there is still an unmet need with an important number of patients not achieving low disease states or remission. Granulocyte

Keith Lim PhD; Masters by Research
Anxiety and neurodegeneration in preclinical Alzheimer’s Disease Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology

Anxiety has been shown to have a negative impact on cognitive function, with a strong link between a decline in cognitive performance in later life and increased anxiety levels. Research has demonstrated that increased anxiety was a significant predictor

1 Cassandra PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Applying New Genomic Technologies To Understand The Genetic Basis Of Autism Spectrum Disorder Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a complex and highly heritable neurodevelopmental disorder defined by deficits in social communication and repetitive behaviours with restricted interests. Over 300,000 Australians have ASD and the annual national economic cost is ~$9.7 billion. ASD

Paul PhD
ARC Training Centre in Cognitive Computing for Medical Technologies St Vincent's Hospital Medicine and Radiology

The Centre will train individuals to learn skills applicable across technologies and medical sectors and will focus its research on four high-value medical domains:

1) epileptic seizure prediction based on real-time data analytics and online training using data

1 Mark PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Arterial coronary artery bypass surgery Royal Melbourne Hospital Surgery

95% of coronary bypass surgery is performed using at least one saphenous vein graft (SVG) from the leg. Yet this conduit is a vein and not an artery, and is subject to progressive failure over time due to the development

1 Alistair Royse Alistair.Royse@unimelb.edu.au Colin Royse PhD
Assessment of mitochondrial function in a mouse model of obesity and type 2 diabetes Austin Health Medicine and Radiology

The aim of this study is to investigate the contribution of mitochondrial dysfunction to the type 2 diabetes phenotype of the New Zealand Obese (NZO) mouse. Techniques: Assessment of mitochondrial oxidative capacity and ROS production in muscle, liver

1 Sof Andrikopoulos Honours
Association between Serum Levels of Vitamin D and the Risk of Post-Stroke Western Health Medicine and Radiology

While low levels of serum vitamin D are common in patients with cognitive impairment and stroke, there has been little investigation on the associations between levels of vitamin D and post-stroke cognitive impairment. The aim of this study is to

Tissa Wijeratne PhD; Masters by Research
Associations between domestic violence in pregnancy and women’s and their subsequent children’s outcomes Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics

Domestic violence is an international public health issue and an important policy focus in Australia, where one in four Australian women have experienced domestic violence since the age of 15. There are many risk factors that increase the likelihood of

1 Ashlee Smith Dr Anna Price Masters by Research; Honours
Bacterial factors for pneumococcal transmission Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics

What pneumococcal genes are important for transmission?

1 Dr Catherine Satzke Dr Salvatore Manna Honours
Bacterial gene expression in pneumococcal pneumonia Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics

What are the differences in pneumococcal gene expression in carriage vs pneumonia.

1 Dr Eileen Dunne Dr Catherine Satzke Honours
Barriers to early epilepsy diagnosis and the impact of diagnostic delay Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology

New onset epileptic seizures are relatively common in the population. Early expertdiagnosis and management of new onset epilepsy has a critical impact on outcomes.Despite this, our data demonstrate a substantial proportion of patients experiencediagnostic delay, which may be of several

1 Anne McIntosh Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
BiliNappy: Novel low cost point-of-care diagnostic for Jaundice embedded in a newborn nappy Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics

Can we detect bilirubin, a biomarker for clinical jaundice, by placing a sensor in contact with urine collected from neonates with jaundice?

1 Dr Anushi Rajapaksa Dr Ronda Greaves Honours
Bioenergetics in the optic nerve Surgery, Ophthalmology, Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital Surgery

Glaucoma is a neurodegenerative disease, strongly associated with ageing and high intraocular pressure. Recent work has suggested that metabolism and energy supply in the retinal ganglion cells may also play a critical role. In the optic nerve, energy

1 Peter van Wijngaarden PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
BioFabrication of the osteo-chondral interface using multimodal 3D bioprinting St Vincent's Hospital Surgery

The osteochondral (OC) interface is not only the interface between two tissues, but also the evolution of hard and stiff bone tissue to the softer and viscoelastic articular cartilage covering the joint surface.[1] Reproducing the distributed mechanical of the knee

1 Peter Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Bioink development for cartilage tissue engineering St Vincent's Hospital Surgery

A critical aspect of any bioprinting strategy is the ‘bioink’ used to carry the cells through the bioprinter. During or after the printing process, the bioink is typically crosslinked to form a bioscaffold which holds its structure and encourages 3D

1 Dr Romane Blanchard Dr Cathal O’Connell Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Biomarkers for sports concussion Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology

Mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) is a serious medical and societal issue. Of particular concern are individuals at high risk of suffering repetitive mTBI (RmTBI) – such as collision sport athletes – because RmTBI may contribute to chronic neurological impairments

1 Sandy Shultz PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Biomarkers in younger onset neurocognitive disorders Psychiatry

The Neuropsychiatry Unit, Royal Melbourne Hospital, is a unique multidisciplinary service involved in the diagnosis and management of patients with younger onset dementia and patients with complex neuropsychiatric presentations.

Diagnostic groups include

1 Dennis Velakoulis dennis.velakoulis@mh.org.au Mark Walterfang PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Biomarkers of human papillomavirus-related cancers Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Obstetrics and Gynaecology

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted infection, and is also the causative infectious agent of cervical cancers, a proportion of other female anogenital cancers, and the majority of anal cancers in both men and women. HPV associated

2 Alyssa Cornall Honours
Biophenotypes for Personalised Psychiatry Psychiatry

Current diagnostic categories in mental illness are based largely on common symptomatology rather than an understanding of the underlying mechanisms of brain, cognitive and general

2 Bernhard Baune bbaune@unimelb.edu.au PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
Bone Substrate Composition Affecting Bone Cell Formation, Function and Bone Turnover Western Health Medicine and Radiology

Bone substrate can affect both bone cell formation and bone cell function. Dysregulation of bone cells and altered turnover of bone are central to pathophysiology of bone. Both physical properties and chemical components may play a role. This project has

1 Damian PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
Brain cells in a dish: strategies for novel therapeutics in the CDKL5 disorder Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics

This project will further study the biological consequences of CDKL5 deficiency in brain-like nerve cells, and in doing so progress the development of high-throughput therapeutic strategies for these devastating disorders.

1 Dr Nicole Van Bergen Professor John Christodoulou Honours
Building a Tumourigenesis Atlas for Lynch syndrome related-colorectal cancer Clinical Pathology

Lynch syndrome is one of the most common hereditary cancer syndromes caused by autosomal dominant inheritance of germline mutations in one of the DNA mismatch repair (MMR) genes, MLH1, MSH2, MSH6 or PMS2. Mutation carriers are at a significantly increased

1 Daniel Buchanan PhD; Masters by Research; Master of Biomedical Science
Burden of disease associated with genetic aetiology at a paediatric hospital Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics

What has been the trend over 30+years in the ‘burden of disease’ (e.g. frequency of admission, length of hospital stay) at the RCH associated with conditions categorised as having a genetic component?

1 Professor Jane Halliday Professor Agnes Bankier Honours
Can a common parasite alter brain injury outcomes? Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology

Little is known about the effects of lifelong brain infections on the neurological health of the host. Toxoplasma gondii is a parasite infects approximately 1/3 of the world’s population and causes a chronic lifelong infection in the brain of the

1 Sandy PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Can machine learning improve the diagnostic prediction of imaging measures in dementia and epilepsy? Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology

Breast cancer is a highly heterogeneous disease. Many studies have shown that each cell in a given tumour has a specific genomic background. This high level of heterogeneity represents a major obstacle for patient biopsy and diagnostic, as

1 Delphine Merino Honours
Characteristics associated with drug-related hospital admissions in older patients Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology

The aim of this study is to examine the characteristics associated with drug-related hospital admissions in older patients admitted to metropolitan hospital in Melbourne. Older patients aged 65 years and older have an increased risk of experiencing a drug-related admission

1 Elizabeth Honours
Characterization of GPR35 in models of cardiac and renal disease St Vincent's Hospital Medicine and Radiology

G-protein coupled receptor 35 (GPR 35) expression is increased early in the hearts animal models of cardiac disease such as myocardial infarction and models of hypertrophy, and in heart failure patients. Furthermore, in neonatal cardiomyocytes exposed to hypoxia,

1 Andrew Kompa akompa@unimelb.edu.au Amanda Edgley Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Characterization of Osteosarcopenia in Older Persons: A Bench to Bedside Approach Characterization of Osteosarcopenia in Older Persons: A Bench to Bedside Approach Western Health Medicine and Radiology

In older persons, the combination of osteopenia/osteoporosis and sarcopenia has been proposed as a subset of frailer individuals at higher risk of institutionalization, falls and fractures. However, the particular clinical, biochemical and functional characteristics of the osteosarcopenic (OS) patients

1 David Scott PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
Characterizing metastatic heterogeneity in colorectal cancer Clinical Pathology

A large number of cancer patients develop metastases and their survival rates are unfortunately very poor, because metastatic tumours respond poorly or start growing back after treatment has stopped. Establishment of resistance and recurrence of initially treatment-responsive tumours are likely

1 Frederic Hollande PhD; Masters by Research; Master of Biomedical Science
Circulating microparticles in neurodegenerative diseases Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology

Emerging evidence has shown that activated platelets in the circulation mediate inflammatory effects through release of extracellular vesicles including exosomes (<100 nm) and microparticles (100-1,000 nm). Microparticles are membrane bound bodies released from multiple cell types and they carry various

2 Ben J Gu ben.gu@florey.edu.au James S. Wiley PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Circulating nucleic acid biomarkers for tumour surveilance in Merkel cell carcinoma Clinical Pathology

MCC is a highly aggressive and often fatal neuroendocrine skin cancer linked to viral infection and excessive sun exposure. The majority of MCC (~65%) present as early stage disease, which nevertheless has an estimated 5-year survival of only 50% meaning

1 Richard Tothill Masters by Research; Honours
Clinical utility and cost-effectiveness of genomic sequencing for epilepsy Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology

Genetic variants have been found to cause epilepsy as well as affect how people respond to treatment. Whole exome sequencing is a new method of genetic testing that has the advantage of being able to screen all the genes in

1 Patrick PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Cocaine and amphetamine regulated transcript in alcohol seeking Florey Institute of Neuroscience & Mental Health Medicine and Radiology

Alcohol use disorders represent a significant social and economic burden to Australian society. The enduring tendency to relapse is one of the fundamental features of alcohol

1 Andrew PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
Cognitive impairment and its interference with Activities of Daily Living Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology

Dementia is a syndrome characterized by progressive cognitive decline and significant interference in daily function. The first observable problems in daily life often concern the instrumental activities of daily living (IADL). IADL can be defined as “complex activities for which

2 Julian Sacre PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Comparing quantitative imaging measures in dementia

Substance abuse is a major health care problem. Accordingly, there is a real need to increase our fundamental understanding of the processes behind addiction, so that more targeted therapeutic strategies can follow. We

1 Andrew Lawrence Andrew.Lawrence@florey.edu.au Erin Campbell PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
Contributing to efforts to end AIDS and eliminate hepatitis B and hepatitis C as public health threats by 2030 Burnet Institute Medicine and Radiology

The Burnet Institute is a global leader in research contributing to efforts to end AIDS and eliminate hepatitis B and hepatitis C as public health threats by 2030. With a particular focus on poor and vulnerable populations, the Burnet

1 Margaret Hellard PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Control of prosthetic limbs from decoded brain signals St Vincent's Hospital Medicine and Radiology

This research will restore mobility to patients who suffer from paralysis. We aim to create a device, known as a brain-machine interface, which is an artificial communication path from the brain that bypasses an injury, such as a

1 Dr Dean Freestone PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Controlled mechanical stimulation for cartilage regeneration modelling with 3D bioprinting techniques St Vincent's Hospital Surgery

Promising treatment options of cartilage injuries combine the use of 3D-printed biomaterials with stem cells, commonly referred to as bioscaffolds, to produce hyaline cartilage. Although this repair strategy has good prospects, its main shortcomings are the difficulty in matching and

Dr Carmine Onofrillo Dr Serena Duchi PhD; Masters by Research
Creating transplantable human capillary networks derived from adult human stem cells St Vincent's Institute of Medical Research Surgery

A major issue in chronic skin wounds is the growth of blood vessels (revascularization) into the wound site. Although commercially available dermal matrices in combination with skin grafts can create skin coverage, the revascularization of complicated wounds is often difficult.

1 A/Prof Geraldine Mitchell PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Deepening Our Understanding Of Severe Irritability In Children Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics

We are seeking to recruit a recruit a high quality graduate (medicine/psychology/neurosciences) to undertake a clinical study in children aged 5 - 14 years with severe irritability. This study will be run jointly by the MCRI and the Complex

David PhD
Defining the regulators of embryo implantation to facilitate IVF success Obstetrics and Gynaecology

Human blastocyst implantation failure is a major cause of infertility affecting a staggering 1 in 10 couples, or millions of people worldwide. IVF is an important intervention for infertility, however despite selection of ‘good quality’ blastocysts and screening for chromosomal

1 Peter Rogers PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Defining the role of p53 in cancer immunotherapy Medicine and Radiology

Despite clear evidence of an association between the tumour suppressor p53 and immunity, a gap in knowledge exists regarding its role in modulating immune responses, or its value in predicting patient responses to immunotherapy. Given the unprecedented

1 Ygal Haupt PhD; Honours
Defining the Role of Transcriptional Stress Pathways in Cancer Cell Resistance Towards Anti-Cancer Therapeutics Western Health Medicine and Radiology

De novo and acquired resistance of cancer cells towards chemotherapeutics, hormonal treatments, as well as recently developed targeted therapeutics such as those that inhibit the actions of EGF-R family members like HER2, has become a major clinical issue. Almost always

1 John Price PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
Design of tensile strength tests for very soft materials St Vincent's Hospital Surgery

The field of tissue engineering offers new therapeutic avenues by using 3D printed materials and patient’s stem cells. Applications of these techniques at St Vincent’s are cartilage, muscle, or neuronal tissues engineering.

Currently, the mechanical properties of these

1 Dr Cathal O’Connell Dr Romane Blanchard PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Determine the key signalling pathways/ genes that regulate phenotype changes in prostate cancer in response to androgen deprivation therapy. Royal Melbourne Hospital Surgery

The development of resistance to androgen (male sex hormone) deprivation therapy (ADT), the primary treatment for aggressive prostate cancer, is not clearly understood. Phylogenetic analyses of resistant tumours demonstrate no significant tumour evolution or clonal/subclonal selection with therapy, supporting the

4 Niall Corcoran PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Determining the role of CCL17 in arthritis and inflammation Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory disease affecting approximately 1% of the population. It results in destruction of joints, with pain being a major symptom. We have shown that CCL17 is important for the development of several models of

1 Andrew Cook PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Developing a human pre-cancer atlas of colonic polyps for predicting future risk of colorectal cancer or polyps Clinical Pathology

The development of a colorectal cancer (CRC) is usually preceded by pre-cursor/pre-malignant lesion called a polyp. There are two major types of polyp defined by histological features namely the adenomatous polyp and the serrated polyp. It is now thought that

1 Daniel Buchanan PhD; Masters by Research; Master of Biomedical Science
Developing a multifactorial classification approach for germline variants in the colorectal cancer susceptibility genes POLE and POLD1 Clinical Pathology

In the current era of genetic testing for inherited Colorectal Cancer (CRC), multiple susceptibility genes are tested simultaneously (referred to as multi-gene panel or gene panel testing) enabling cost-effective, personalized CRC risk determination. The increasing clinical problem resulting from multi-gene

1 Daniel Buchanan daniel.buchanan@unimelb.edu.au Khalid Mahmood PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Developing a new treatment for stomach cancer Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics

Why does our identified SNP increase the risk of stomach cancer and will drugs that target the product of this gene reduce inflammation?

1 A/Professor Philip Sutton Dr Sohinee Sarkar Honours
Developing a patient reported outcome measure for joint replacement patients St Vincent's Hospital Surgery

The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care recognises that patient reported outcome measures (PROMS) are an emerging method to assess the quality of health care from the patient perspective. A patient-reported outcome (PROs) is a patient’s assessment

A/Prof Michelle Dowsey mmdowsey@unimelb.edu.au Dr Darshini Ayton PhD; Masters by Research
Developing and commercialising new diagnostic tests for tropical infectious diseases Burnet Institute Medicine and Radiology

New tests are required to diagnose malaria and other tropical infectious diseases in resource-poor settings to enable prompt treatment and to strengthen public health disease surveillance. A wide range of projects are available to develop new diagnostic tests with technologies

2 Jack Richards PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Developing epigenetic biomarkers and treatments for the pregnancy disorder preeclampsia. Obstetrics and Gynaecology

Preeclampsia is a severe condition affecting 3-7% of pregnancies worldwide. It is a leading cause of maternal and fetal mortality and morbidity. However, alarmingly there are no pharmacological treatment options and no predictive biomarkers. We have identified inflammatory mediators and

1 Peter Rogers parogers@unimelb.edu.au Eva Dimitriadis PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Developing field-based tools and health systems for malaria elimination Burnet Institute Medicine and Radiology

Malaria elimination/ eradication is a global commitment that is achievable but which will require the development of novel tools and approaches. This project will include engaging with local communities and stakeholders in malaria-endemic countries to understand practical challenges and needs.

2 Jack Richards PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Developing highly sensitive point-of-care molecular diagnostic devices malaria eradication Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology

Detection of very low-density malaria infection is essential for malaria elimination, but current diagnostics are insensitive and/or costly. We are developing a low-cost, point-of-care diagnostic device based on our novel electrical immunosensor platform with ultra-sensitive detection capacity. The platform will

1 Stephen PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
Developing New Therapies For Childhood Heart Disease Using Stem Cell Technology Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics

An opportunity exists for a highly motivated post-graduate student to join a multidisciplinary research group working on the molecular mechanisms underlying congenital heart disease. The student will have the opportunity to work on a multi-disciplinary, collaborative project utilising genetically

David PhD
Developing Objective Measures To Improve Outcomes In ADHD Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics

We are seeking to recruit a recruit a high quality graduate (medicine, psychology/neurosciences) to undertake a clinical study in children aged 5 - 14 years with a diagnosis of ADHD. This study will be run jointly by the Murdoch

David PhD
Development and characterisation of an animal model of neurological heterotopic ossification Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology

Neurological heterotopic ossification (NHO) is characterised by the formation of bone in soft tissue following a neurological condition. NHO frequently occurs following a traumatic brain injury and concomitant peripheral injury and often forms around the hip, knee and shoulder joints,

1 Rhys Brady Honours
Development of a low cost, point-of-care diagnostic platform Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology

Point-of-care (POC) testing is the testing at the site of patient care. It is done on patients conveniently and immediately allowing patients and doctors to receive the results quicker, making faster clinical decisions. The aim of the project is to

1 Patrick PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Development of mechanical testing protocols for very soft tissues St Vincent's Hospital Surgery

In vitro cartilage tissue growth in hydrogels creates complex heterogeneous structures that are challenging to mechanically characterize.
Currently, unconfined compression is used to assess the compression modulus of the regenerated cartilage in hydrogel matrix. Due to the inhomogeneities and their

1 Dr Cathal O’Connell Dr Romane Blanchard PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Development of novel point-of-care diagnostics tests and surveillance tools Burnet Institute Medicine and Radiology

There is an urgent need for diagnostic and surveillance tests that could be used in resource-poor settings. These include vaccine antibody testing (malaria, measles, HBV, pneumonia and others) to assess vaccine coverage in populations, and sero-surveillance tools for monitoring and

1 Philippe Boeuf PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Development of regenerative therapy for photoreceptor losses using cellular reprogramming technology Surgery, Ophthalmology, Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital Surgery

Photoreceptors are light-sensing cells that form the basis of our vision by converting light into electrical signals that can be decoded by the brain. the loss of photoreceptors is a key hallmark of many blinding diseases, such as

1 Raymond Wong PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Development of scaffolds for restoration of myotendous junctions St Vincent's Hospital Medicine and Radiology

Damage to muscle tissue resulting from trauma poses significant problems for orthopaedic surgeons attempting to save limbs and recover joint function. Likewise, it is currently beyond the scope of regenerative therapies to restore lost muscle function arising from disease-related loss

1 A/Prof Robert Kapsa PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Diagnostic accuracy of a screening tool to identify patients at risk of sarcopenia Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology

Sarcopenia (age-related low muscle mass and muscle strength) is a treatable disease and associated with physical deconditioning, falls, morbidity and mortality. Sarcopenia is prevalent in up to 34% of community-dwelling older adults and up to 15% of healthy older adults.

1 Esmee M. Reijnierse PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Diet induced obesity: is it an addiction? Florey Institute of Neuroscience & Mental Health Medicine and Radiology

Difficulty in managing food intake, especially highly palatable food, can result in obesity and substantial associated health liabilities. A cardinal feature of the pathological over-eating often underlying obesity is that although the individual can describe the negative consequences of their

1 Andrew Lawrence PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
Diffusion properties in hydrogel materials St Vincent's Hospital Surgery

Growth of regenerated tissue in vitro is very sensitive to the diffusive properties of the nutrients and oxygen into the host material. This project proposes to develop a computational model of diffusion of molecules into hydrogels. The anticipated outcomes are

1 Dr Cathal O’Connell Dr Romane Blanchard PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Discovering new pathways controlling T lymphocyte development and autoimmunity St Vincent's Institute of Medical Research Medicine and Radiology 1 Dr Mark Chong PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Discovering the mechanisms and targets of immunity against malaria Burnet Institute Medicine and Radiology

Antibodies are an important component of acquired immunity against malaria, as demonstrated in pivotal studies in which immunoglobulin G (IgG) from immune adults was transferred to malaria-infected children and resulted in clearance of infection. The mechanisms of protection and

2 James Beeson PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Disease mechanisms in a novel mouse model of progressive myoclonus epilepsy Florey Institute of Neuroscience & Mental Health Medicine and Radiology

A recurrent mutation, Arg320His, in the KCNC1 gene, encoding voltage-gated potassium channel Kv3.1, has been identified as one of the main causes of progressive myoclonus epilepsy (PME), a rare, inherited disorder manifesting with myoclonus, tonic-clonic seizures, and ataxia. In vitro

1 Snezana Maljevic Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Disentangling the predictors of depressive symptomatology in multiple sclerosis Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology

Multiple sclerosis is a chronic inflammatory demyelinating condition of the central nervous system. It is the leading cause of disability in young adults. Depressive symptoms are common in MS, and there is a complex interplay between these symptoms and disease

1 Tomas Kalincik PhD
Dissecting genomic and transcriptional complexities underlying immune competence and immune diseases St Vincent's Institute of Medical Research Medicine and Radiology

Mammalian genomes contain approximately 20,000 genes. This is only twice the number of genes found in simple organisms such as worms and flies, and half the number of some plants such as potatoes. How is it then possible to

1 Dr Mark Chong PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Dissecting the relevance of a novel molecular pathway in stem cells and immunodeficiencies St Vincent's Institute of Medical Research Medicine and Radiology

We have found that Drosha, one of the RNase III enzymes necessary for microRNA biogenesis, also functions to regulate the stability of certain protein-coding mRNAs. This occurs via recognition and cleavage of secondary stem-loop structures within these mRNAs. We

1 Dr Mark Chong PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Do individuals age in the same way? Inter- and intra-individual pattern of diseases accumulation Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology

The accumulation of age related diseases is one of the most striking phenomenon during the (human) ageing process. Chronological age is the most important risk factor for the development of diseases due to the underlying ageing process, which has been

2 Andrea Maier PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Does stress contribute to epilepsy? Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology 1 Nigel Jones PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Does sugar really affect cognition? Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology

A recent series of press reports have suggested that sugary drinks may impair cognition in rodents. However, these studies use rudimentary assays for cognition with questionable translational relevance to human populations. This

1 Nigel Jones PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Dynamic microfluidic in vitro differentiation of stem cells for cartilage regeneration in surgical 3D bioprinting St Vincent's Hospital Surgery

With this study we aim to characterize in vitro the characteristics of newly regenerated cartilage starting from 3D bioprinted stem cells once dynamically stimulated (using a diffusion bioreactor) with chondrogenic differentiation media.

From this project the candidate will

Dr Carmine Onofrillo Dr Serena Duchi PhD; Masters by Research
Early detection of cognitive decline and disease Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology 1 Stephen Campbell PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Early Life Molecular Pathways Underpinning Later Health And Disease Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics

The world is experiencing an alarming rise in the incidence of cardiovascular disease, obesity and poor metabolic health (collectively referred to as cardiometabolic disease). Mounting evidence suggests that the in utero and early postnatal period plays a critical role

Richard PhD
Early Life Molecular Pathways Underpinning Later Health And Disease Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics

The world is experiencing an alarming rise in the incidence of cardiovascular disease, obesity and poor metabolic health (collectively referred to as cardiometabolic disease). Mounting evidence suggests that the in utero and early postnatal period plays a critical role

Richard PhD
EEG/ MEG network measures as a biomarker in pre-surgical planning for epilepsy patients St Vincent's Hospital Medicine and Radiology

In both neuroscience and neurology, there is a plethora of data that has not been quantitatively analysed. One interesting way of analysing this `big data’ is to convert it into a functional network that is spatially sampled at different points.

1 Alan Lai PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Effect of ACTN3 on corticosteroid response in Duchenne muscular dystrophy Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics

The research question is to determine if the presence or absence of alpha-actinin-3 will influence how muscles respond to corticosteroids in a mouse model of DMD.

1 Dr Jane Seto Professor Kathryn North Honours
Effect of uraemic toxins of vascular reactivity St Vincent's Hospital Medicine and Radiology

Cardiovascular disease in the setting of chronic kidney disease (CKD) displays unique characteristics, primarily left ventricular (LV) hypertrophy with extensive interstitial fibrosis as well as endothelial dysfunction, arterial stiffness, calcification and inflammation, collectively termed ‘uraemic cardiomyopathy’. Uraemic toxins are elevated

1 Andrew Kompa Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Effects of Dichloroacetic Acid (DCA) on Exercise Performance in Patients with Heart Failure with Preserved Ejection Fraction (HFpEF): a Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Cross-Over Trial Western Health Medicine and Radiology

Millions of people worldwide are living with chronic heart failure. 40-50% of these people have Heart Failure with a Preserved Ejection Fraction (HFpEF) contrasted with Heart Failure with a Reduced Ejection Fraction (HFrEF). Whilst there have been remarkable improvements in

Chris Neil PhD; Masters by Research
Effects of Drugs on Cognition-Related Brain Wave Signals in the Rat Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology

It is increasingly recognised that the rhythmic signals recorded with the electroencephalogram (EEG), or“brain waves” are not just the “noise” of neural activity, but are probably frequency specific channels throughwhich cognition related signalling occurs, including memory encoding. High frequency (“gamma”)

2 Chris French PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Effects of Vitamin D Status on DEXA Femoral Neck BMD in Children and Adolescents Western Health Medicine and Radiology

Vitamin D deficiency is a well-established risk factor for femoral neck fracture in the elderly. Furthermore, the antecedents to the development of osteoporosis in later life typically occur across the lifespan. Lifestyle factors leading to decreased direct sun exposure together

1 Christine Rodda PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
Effects of Vitamin D Status on Forearm Fracture Healing Rates in Children and Adolescents: A Pilot Study Western Health Medicine and Radiology

The effect of Vitamin D deficiency on fracture healing rates in children and adolescents is currently unknown. This is a pilot study to investigate the use of pQCT in the evaluation of fracture healing rates, with or without vitamin D

1 Christine Rodda Honours
Eggsurance? Making decisions about elective egg freezing Obstetrics and Gynaecology

Declining fertility is an urgent social and economic problem in Australia and most other developed countries. The most common and potentially avoidable factor contributing to declining fertility is advanced female age. There is a growing trend in developed countries for

1 Michelle Peate mpeate@unimelb.edu.au Martha Hickey PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
Elucidating molecular signalling pathways controlled by anti-inflammatory steroids Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology

Project description: Steroids (glucocorticoids) are widely used to treat the chronic inflammation and pain associated with many diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Unfortunately, there are side effects associated with usage of glucocorticoids in such diseases. In

1 Adrian Achuthan PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Elucidating the Effect of Hyperglycaemia (Short and Long Term) on Bone and Muscle Quality and Metabolism Western Health Medicine and Radiology

Increased bone fragility and reduced skeletal muscle quality are under-recognised complications of long-term hyperglycaemia in type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). As a result, patients have an increased risk of falls, fractures, and a reduced quality of life. The effect of

1 Itamar Levinger PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
EMPOWER the power of human muscle Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology

Muscle is one of the most powerful, but most neglected organs of our human body. Physical inactivity leads to immediate significant decrease in volume and therewith muscle function, whereas recovery of function is hard to accomplish without dedicated intervention. The

1 Kwang Lim PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Enabling treatment trials of atrophic age-related macular degeneration Surgery, Ophthalmology, Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital Surgery

Although treatments currently exist for the acute, neovascular complications of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), individuals that develop atrophic complications currently face an inevitable future of progressive central vision loss since no effective treatments are available to prevent or

1 Zhichao Wu PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Endometriosis: Characterising genetic risk, disease pathogenesis and unexplored therapeutic opportunities. Obstetrics and Gynaecology

Endometriosis is a common, oestrogen-dependent condition associated with menstrual pain, chronic pelvic pain and infertility. It is thought to affect 7-10% of women of reproductive age in Australia. The personal and healthcare costs associated with endometriosis are high. In an

1 Sarah Holdsworth-Carson scarson@unimelb.edu.au Jacqui Donoghue PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
EndoNeeds: exploring the physical, psychological and social needs of Australian women with endometriosis Obstetrics and Gynaecology

Endometriosis is a condition affecting an estimated 6-10% of reproductive age women and can affect every facet of life.1 Pelvic pain due to endometriosis can interfere with a woman’s ability to work, study, socialise and enjoy a normal sex

1 Michelle Peate mpeate@unimelb.edu.au Jennifer Marino PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
Engineering artificial bone marrow Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics

Is it possible to generate an artificial bone marrow culture that can support the growth and differentiation of haematopoietic cells.

1 Professor Andrew Elefanty Ms Elizabeth Ng Honours
Epigenetic regulators of endometrial cancer as new treatment targets to halt metastatic spread. Obstetrics and Gynaecology

Endometrial cancer is the most common invasive gynaecological malignancy in developed countries, with more than 280,000 cases on average annualy.There is no effective screening test for early detection and furthermore, a lack of curative therapies. Alarmingly, the incidence is increasing,

1 Peter Rogers parogers@unimelb.edu.au Eva Dimitriadis PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Epileptic Seizure Forecasting St Vincent's Hospital Medicine and Radiology

Seizures appear unpredictable and greatly affect the quality of all aspects of life for patients with epilepsy and their carers. New advances in complex systems theory suggest that transitions from normal brain activity to seizures are preceded by

1 Dean PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Evaluating health outcomes of transgender children and adolescents Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Psychiatry

Referrals of young transgender individuals to clinical services are rising exponentially across the western world. Consistent with this, recent population-based estimates suggest that the prevalence of young people identifying as transgender is ~1%, which is much higher than previously thought.

Ken Pang ken.pang@mcri.edu.au Michelle Tollit PhD
Evaluating Health Outcomes Of Transgender Children And Adolescents Referrals of young transgender individuals to clinical services are rising exponentially across the western world. Consistent with this, recent population-based estimates suggest that the prevalence of young people identifying as transgender is Kenneth PhD
Evaluating sodium selenate as a new therapy to prevent post-stroke epilepsy and associated neurological impairments Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology

Stroke is the second leading cause of death and the leading cause for disability worldwide. Acute stroke is caused by a blockage of one of the arteries in the brain resulting in interrupted blood supply. Brain cells deprived of oxygenated

1 Pablo Casillas-Espinosa PhD; Masters by Research
Evaluating the clinical and cost effectiveness of total joint replacement St Vincent's Hospital Surgery

Annually more than 100,000 joints are replaced in Australia, making it one of the most common elective surgical procedures in this country. Joint replacement numbers are expected to double within the next 30 years and while considered a highly successful

Prof Philip Clarke A/Prof Michelle Dowsey PhD
Examination of brain structure in schizophrenia subgroups stratified by hallucination types Psychiatry

Although hallucinations and delusions are a core feature of schizophrenia, they vary in their clinical presentation and the neural substrates underpinning different forms of hallucinations and delusions are unclear. This project aims to investigate the prevalence of hallucinations / delusions

1 Vanessa Cropley vcropley@unimelb.edu.au Tamsyn Van Rheenen Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Examination of cross-neutralising immunity following HPV vaccination in Fiji Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics

What is the level and persistence of cross-neutralising antibodies following HPV vaccination

1 A/Professor Paul Licciardi Mr Zheng Quan Toh Honours
Examining A New Drug Target For Preventing Stomach Cancer Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics

Stomach cancer (gastric adenocarcinoma) is the fifth most common cancer in the world and the third leading cause of death due to malignancy. The vast majority of these cancers develop as a direct result of a chronic gastritis (inflammation

Philip PhD
Examining A New Drug Target For Preventing Stomach Cancer Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics

Stomach cancer (gastric adenocarcinoma) is the fifth most common cancer in the world and the third leading cause of death due to malignancy. The vast majority of these cancers develop as a direct result of a chronic gastritis (inflammation

Philip PhD
Examining brain structure in first-episode mania Psychiatry

While there is reasonable evidence to indicate that there are brain structural abnormalities in adults with bipolar disorder, far fewer studies have examined brain structure in individuals following a first episode of the illness. Characterizing brain structure at this

1 Tamsyn Van Rheenen tamsyn.van@unimelb.edu.au Vanessa Cropley Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Examining modifiable risk factors for bipolar disorder: focus on cigarette smoking and the brain Psychiatry 1 Vanessa Cropley vcropley@unimelb.edu.au Tamsyn Van Rheenen Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Examining neuropsychological trajectories using data collected from a longitudinal study Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology

In this study we will examine neuropsychological trajectories over the 16 years for which we have cognitive data and the many associated factors such as menopausal status, psychological status, health status, cognitive performance, APOE e4 status,and so on, to

1 Alex Gorelik PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Examining the effect of alpha-actinin-3 deficiency in skeletal muscle injury Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics

This project aims to determine how alpha -actinin-3 deficiency influences the muscles response to damage and its ability to regenerate following acute injury

1 Professor Kathryn North Dr Peter Houweling Honours
Examining the evolutionary role of alpha-actinin-3 in adaptive thermogenesis Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics

Using the Actn3 KO mouse, this project will study the role of alpha-actinin-3, in both skeletal muscle and BAT in response to cold stimuli and determine if evolutionary loss is actually our gain.

1 Professor Kathryn North Dr Peter Houweling Honours
Experiences and priorities of women living with ovarian cancer Obstetrics and Gynaecology

Ovarian cancer is the most common form of gynaecological cancer. Women are often diagnosed late, with poor prognosis and a high risk of recurrence. Survivors require ongoing support and professional help in managing complex personal issues, long-term treatment side effects

2 Jennifer Marino jennifer.marino@unimelb.edu.au Michelle Peate PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Exploiting IPads for vision self-monitoring in age-related macular degeneration Surgery, Ophthalmology, Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital Surgery

Neovascular complications in age-related macular degeneration (AMD) can occur spontaneously in at-risk individuals and are often undetected until substantial vision loss has occurred. This is due to limitations in current self-monitoring methods, resulting in a significant loss of

1 Zhichao Wu PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Exploration of novel approaches to anti-cancer treatment: manipulation of mutant p53 Medicine and Radiology

P53 is the most mutated gene in human cancer, affecting about half the cases of cancer, and involved in every cancer type. We have recently identified novel regulators of mutant p53 using sophisticated loss of function whole genome high content

1 Ygal Haupt PhD; Honours
Exploring data from ENROLL-HD - an international observational study in Huntington’s disease Psychiatry 10 Anita Goh goha@unimelb.edu.au Anita Goh Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Exploring the microbiome and epigenetic links in obesity development Austin Health Medicine and Radiology

The global obesity epidemic is worsening both here in Australia and in other Westernised countries and it is clear that current therapies, particularly those involving public health measures are ineffective in curbing this surge. There is much evidence in the

1 Barbara Fam Honours
Factors affecting anxiety disorders in adolescence: social isolation, exercise, and neurogenesis Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology

Most anxiety disorders are diagnosed during adolescence, and adolescents show heightened resistance to gold-standard behavioural therapies for anxiety. The propensity to develop anxiety disorders during adolescence is influenced by lifestyle factors, such as social environment and physical activity levels. This

1 Jee Hyun Kim Honours
Fertility preservation in children with cancer Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Obstetrics and Gynaecology

One in 900 children is a cancer survivor. Cancer treatment can significantly affect future fertility. Fertility preservation is where families may decide if they wish to choose options (such as ovarian or testicular tissue preservation) in the hope that it

1 Yasmin Jayasinghe yasmin.jayasinghe@unimelb.edu.au PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
Finding a cure for a devastating form of epilepsy Florey Institute of Neuroscience & Mental Health Medicine and Radiology

Epileptic encephalopathy is a severe disease that is characterised by intractable seizures and neurodevelopmental delays. The genetic revolution has begun to unravel the molecular basis of disease with a number of genes now implicated in causing the disease. This includes

1 Christopher Reid PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
Functional studies of sodium channel mutations contributing to severe childhood epilepsy Florey Institute of Neuroscience & Mental Health Medicine and Radiology

Developmental andearly epileptic encephalopathies (DEE) are a group of devastating disorders with poor prognosis and complex etiology presenting in childhood. De novo mutations in the SCN2A gene encoding for the voltage-gated sodium (Nav) channel, type II α subunit (Nav1.2), represent

1 Geza Berecki PhD; Honours
Functional characterisation of a novel gene linked to autism spectrum disorder Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics

What is the molecular basis of autism spectrum disorder in a large multigenerational family. The project will specifically test if dysregulation of the identified novel gene causes damage to the functionality of neurons/glia

1 A/Professor Paul Lockhart Dr Kiymet Bozaoglu Honours
Functional characterization of epilepsy-causing mutations Florey Institute of Neuroscience & Mental Health Medicine and Radiology

Increasing number of genetic variants affecting ion channel genes and associated with different forms of epilepsy has been identified in the recent years. One of the important steps in understanding if and how these variants contribute to the disease phenotype

1 Snezana Maljevic Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Gait, Cognition and Decline (The GOOD Project) Western Health Medicine and Radiology

Declines in performance of gait and cognition are very common in older adults, with a prevalence of around 20% estimated among adults aged 65 years and over, often co-existing within the same individual. This coexistence is responsible for falls

1 Gustavo PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
Gamma oscillations in genetic mouse models of schizophrenia Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology

Current treatments for schizophrenia remain inadequate, particularly when it comes to treating cognitive dysfunction, which is increasingly being considered a crucial aspect of the disorder. Recent developments in schizophrenia research propose high frequency neuronal oscillations in the gamma frequency band

1 Matt Hudson PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
Gene signatures of the ‘lymphaticome’ St Vincent's Institute of Medical Research Surgery

The lymphatic system is a hierarchical system- comprised of lymphatic endothelial cells-that is integral to fluid homeostasis, absorption of dietary fat and immune cell surveillance. The lymphatic system can be hijacked during cancer to promote metastasis to distant organ sites

1 Dr Ramin Shayan Dr Tara Karnezis PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Generation of an ex vivo regeneration model for 3D bioprinting applications St Vincent's Hospital Surgery

The goal of our research is to prevent the onset of OA by regenerating cartilage using a unique 3D printing technology, that requires multiple iteration steps to select the optimal bioink to efficiently regenerate cartilage.

New models for evaluating cartilage repair/regeneration

Dr Carmine Onofrillo Dr Serena Duchi PhD; Masters by Research
Genetic Analysis of Impaired beta Cell Function and Loss in Type 2 diabetes Austin Health Medicine and Radiology

The aim of this study is to identify the pancreatic islet gene(s) responsible for the increased diabetes susceptibility of a model of diabetes when challenged with a hyperglycaemic environment. Once identified, the equivalent genes will be searched for

1 Sof Andrikopoulos Honours
Genomic and Immune cell profiling of sebaceous skin lesions for optimising identification of patients with Lynch syndrome Clinical Pathology

Sebaceous neoplasms describe rare skin tumours involving the sebaceous glands that include sebaceous adenomas, sebaceous carcinomas and sebaceomas (collectively referred to as sebaceous neoplasia). Muir-Torre syndrome (MTS) is a phenotypic variant of Lynch syndrome, where carriers of germline mutations in

1 Daniel Buchanan daniel.buchanan@unimelb.edu.au Ingrid Winship PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Genotype-phenotype correlations in renal complementopathies Northern Health Medicine and Radiology

We have several families with inherited disorders of complement genes and eye abnormalities. This project involves carefully characterizing clinical features, collecting DNA, undertaking exomic sequencing, and checking for mutations in candidate genes. Any possible mutation will then be

2 Judy Savige Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
GM-CSF-mediated molecular signalling pathways contributing to inflammation Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology

GM-CSF is a pro-survival factor for monocytes, macrophages and granulocytes, and can activate them for enhanced inflammatory mediator levels. Depletion of GM-CSF has been show to suppress arthritis in animal models. Clinical trials in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) targeting GM-CSF or

2 Adrian Achuthan PhD; Masters by Research; Master of Biomedical Science
Goal-directed cognitive rehabilitation for self-management in older diabetic adults Baker IDI Heart & Diabetes Institute Medicine and Radiology

Older adults with diabetes are at risk for cognitive decline and dementia. Self-management in diabetes is key to the prevention of secondary complications, including cognitive decline. However, self-management may be affected by mild or even subtle cognitive changes, as well

1 Alex Bahar-Fuchs PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
Group pregnancy care for women of refugee background: a qualitative study examining the experiences of multidisciplinary provider teams Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute General Practice

Group pregnancy care (GPC) for refugee background women is a unique inter-agency, community informed model of antenatal care and group information sessions designed to improve women’s access to care, enhance health literacy and reduce social isolation. A multidisciplinary team

Dr Jane Yelland PhD; Masters by Research
Group Pregnancy Care: improving access, health literacy and social inclusion General Practice

Group Pregnancy Care (GPC) for refugee background women is a world-first inter-agency, community informed model of pregnancy care and group information sessions designed to improve women’s access to care, enhance health literacy and reduce social isolation. The program is delivered

Elisha PhD; Masters by Research
Haemostatic abnormalities in children with venous thromboembolism and stroke Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics

What are the risk factors associated with Venous thromboembolism and Stroke in children?

1 A/Professor Vera Ignjatovic Professor Paul Monagle Honours
Haemostatic system in Fontan patients with liver dysfunction Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics

What are the characteristics of the haemostatic system in Fontan patients with liver dysfunction?

1 A/Professor Vera Ignjatovic Ms Chantal Attard Honours
Handling Missing Data In Complex Longitudinal Studies Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics

Missing data are inevitable in epidemiological studies. If not handled appropriately, missing data can affect the validity and accuracy of the results from such studies. Multiple imputation has become a popular approach for dealing with missing data, however as

Margarita PhD
HDAC6 inhibitors as a treatment for Rett syndrome: Resolving neuronal trafficking deficits Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics

We hypothesize that correcting the cytoskeletal defect in MECP2-deficient neuronal cells using HDAC6 inhibitors that correct the is cytoskeletal defect could underlie a therapeutic solution for Rett syndrome.

1 Dr Nicole Van Bergen Professor John Christodoulou Honours
Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies in Papua New Guinea – The impact of nutrition, malaria, and other infections on pregnant women and infants Burnet Institute Medicine and Radiology

Being born too small is the biggest risk factor for neonatal death. In addition, in resource-poor regions globally, pregnant women experience high rates of malaria, under-nutrition, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and other viral and bacterial infections, which can lead to

1 James Beeson PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies: Maternal metabolic disturbances, inflammation, and poor nutrition and their impact on pregnancy outcomes Burnet Institute Medicine and Radiology

The level of mortality and disease among newborns and children in Papua New Guinea (PNG) is very high. Every year, 5,000 newborns die and almost half of those who survive have poor growth and development (known as stunting). Low birthweight

1 Philippe Boeuf PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Hearing loss and acidosis in the cochlea Surgery, Otolaryngology, Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital Surgery

The auditory system is vulnerable to a number of pathological conditions (i.e. ischemia, excessive noise exposure) that cause acidification or acidosis (a drop in the extracellular pH of a cell). Exposure to extreme or prolonged acidosis is toxic to neurons.

1 Dr Karina Needham PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Hearing protection in surgery Surgery, Otolaryngology, Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital Surgery

This project aims to reduce the risk of hearing loss during surgery or medical interventions, such as chemotherapy to treat cancer. Hearing loss during cochlear implantation is of particular interest, since the aim of implant surgery is now to combine

1 Dr Hayden Eastwood Prof Stephen O’Leary PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
High Dose Vitamin D and Post-Stroke Outcomes: A Randomized Controlled Trial Western Health Medicine and Radiology

Levels of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) have been shown to serve as a predictor of cardiovascular disease risk, and an independent predictor of functional outcome post-acute ischemic stroke. While the prevalence of 25 (OH)D deficiency is high in patients with

Tissa Wijeratne PhD; Masters by Research
How do antibodies against Plasmodium falciparum gametocytes induce transmission blocking immunity? Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology

Immunity against sexual stage, that underpin transmission-blocking vaccines (TBV), directed at parasite molecules expressed in the gametocyte through to ookinete stages are not well-understood. Antibodies (Ab) directed against these molecules are likely be crucial for transmission blocking immunity (TBI). We

1 Siddhartha Honours
How do HLA-DQ2 and DQ-8 increase the risk of people developing Type 1 diabetes? St Vincent's Hospital Medicine and Radiology A/Prof Stuart Mannering PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
How do long noncoding RNAs (IncRNAs) regulate dendritic cell function and prevent autoimmune disease? St Vincent's Hospital Medicine and Radiology Dr Tom Brodnicki PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
How Do Monocytes Remember? Characterisation Of The Early Life Exposures That Induce Innate Immune Memory Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics

We all know that the adaptive immune system develops memory following specific antigen exposure, but is the same true for the innate immune system? An emerging field of research tells us exactly this, with epigenetic remodelling as the underlying

Boris PhD
How do mutations in dynein motor components cause birth defects? St Vincent's Institute of Medical Research Medicine and Radiology

Dyneins are large protein complexes that move cargos along microtubules in the cell. Mutations in several subunits of the cytoplasmic Dynein-2 complex have recently been linked to severe birth defects, so-called short-rib/polydactyly syndromes, in humans.

Affected patients have

1 A/Prof Jorg Heierhorst PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
How does aging affect traumatic brain injury pathology and outcomes? Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology

Traumatic brain injury is a leading cause of death and morbidity. With the world’s population aging, the incidence of TBI in the elderly has doubled in the past twenty years. There is some evidence that elderly individuals suffering a TBI

1 Sandy Shultz PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
How does amino acid supply immune cell function and the development of autoimmune disease? St Vincent's Hospital Medicine and Radiology Dr Tom Brodnicki PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
How does bone matrix composition determine bone strength? St Vincent's Institute of Medical Research Medicine and Radiology

Although bone strength is partially determined by the amount of bone in the skeleton, the material composition of bone also influences its strength.

We have developed a new method using the Australian Synchrotron Infra-Red beamline to assess bone

1 A/Prof Natalie Sims Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
How is hair cortisol related to mother's mental health and wellbeing over time? Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics

Women in their first years after giving birth are at greater risk of poor mental health. This is particularly the case for women who are also experiencing social adversity, such as low socioeconomic status, single parenthood, and low educational attainment.

1 Prof Sharon Goldfeld Dr Anna Price Masters by Research; Honours
How to increase numbers of neural precursor cells in vitro for cell therapy for the birth defect Hirschsprung disease. Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics

How to increase the yield of enteric nervous system precursor cells in vitro

1 Dr Donald Newgreen Mr Lincon Stamp Honours
How to transfer neural precursor cells to the aneural colon for cell therapy for the birth defect Hirschsprung disease. Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics

How to transfer progenitor cells into the colon across a cell barrier.

1 Dr Donald Newgreen Mr Lincon Stamp Honours
Human Stem Cell Models of Mitochondrial Disease Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics

Mitochondria are our cellular power plants that burn sugars, fats and proteins to generate energy. Each week in Australia a child is born with a mitochondrial disorder. Many of these children die in the first years of life and

David PhD
Human Stem Cell Models of Mitochondrial Disease Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics

What underlies the pathology behind the heterogeneous clinical presentations and tissue specificity of mitochondrial energy generation disorders?

1 Dr Ann Frazier Professor David Thorburn Honours
Human Testis Organoids From Stem Cells - A Novel Model For Reproductive Disorders Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics

Often the first question asked when a child is born is "is it a boy or a girl". Unfortunately, a definitive answer cannot be given to the parents of a child born with severe ambiguous genitalia. These cases occur

Andrew PhD
Identification and Characterisation of Molecular Mediators of Cancer Metastasis Western Health Medicine and Radiology

Cancer accounts for 1/3 of all Australian deaths and is a major social and economic burden. The prime feature of treatment failure as well as the cause of majority of death in cancer patients is due to the spread

1 John Price PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
Identification of how vitamin A alters distinct B lymphocyte niches in the bone marrow St Vincent's Institute of Medical Research Medicine and Radiology

Vitamin A deficiency has a significant impact on our health. With respect to blood cells, the most life-threatening consequence of vitamin A deficiency is impaired immune function. Worldwide, approximately 250 million preschool children are vitamin A deficient, and

1 Gavin Tjim Louise Purton Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Identification Of New Genes That Cause Disorders/Differences Of Sex Development Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics

Often the first question asked when a child is born is "is it a boy or a girl". Unfortunately, a definitive answer cannot be given to the parents of a child born with severe ambiguous genitalia. These cases occur

Andrew PhD
Identification of novel vaccine targets that induce protective immunity against malaria Burnet Institute Medicine and Radiology

Development of a highly effective vaccine against malaria is greatly needed for global elimination of malaria. However, currently this is hindered because of a limited knowledge of the mechanisms and specific targets of immunity to malaria. We

1 Gaoqian Feng Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Identification of osteoblast lineage cells by fluorescence-activated cell sorting St Vincent's Institute of Medical Research Medicine and Radiology

Osteoblasts are bone-forming cells. There is a well-recognised hierarchy of osteoblast-lineage cells in the bone marrow, with the most immature cell being the mesenchymal stem cell and the most mature cell being the osteocyte. Studies of osteoblast lineage cells have

1 Alistair Chalk Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Identification of protective pathways in mitochondrial disease: what protects retinal cells from Leber's hereditary optic neuropathy? Surgery, Ophthalmology, Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital Surgery

Project outline: Leber’s hereditary optic neuropathy (LHON) is an inherited mitochondrial disease that can cause sudden onset of blindness predominantly in young men. Amongst people who carry a LHON mitochondrial DNA mutation, some go blind (LHON affected patients)

1 Isabel Lopez Sanchez PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Identifying better therapies for patients with myelodysplastic syndromes St Vincent's Institute of Medical Research Medicine and Radiology

We make billions of blood cells every day. In the adult, haematopoiesis (the ongoing formation of blood cells from haematopoietic stem cells (HSCs)) occurs via self-renewal vs differentiation decisions of the HSC. Deregulation of HSCs can result in blood cell

1 Meaghan Wall Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Identifying germline and somatic mutations that cause brain malformations and epilepsy Austin Health Medicine and Radiology

Investigation of germ-line and somatic (brain-only) mutations in specific epilepsy syndromes associated with brain malformations has revealed novel and unexpected biological pathways, and provided important diagnostic and counselling information for patients and their families. A remarkable example is hemimegalencephaly -

1 Michael Honours
Identifying IL-17 receptor functions in pancreatic beta cells St Vincent's Institute of Medical Research Medicine and Radiology

Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is a human disease involving progressive autoimmune destruction of the beta cells in the pancreatic islets. Inflammatory cytokines and lymphocytes are important inducers of T1D, however their precise mechanisms of action in T1D pathogenesis remain unclear.

1 Helen Thomas PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Identifying risks for Thunderstorm Asthma in Seasonal Allergic Rhinitis (TAISAR) cohort study Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology

On 21st November 2016, Melbourne suffered an asthma epidemic following a thunderstorm that overwhelmed emergency services and led to the activation of disaster codes. Tragically, 10 people died of asthma as a consequence. Whilst clusters of Epidemic Thunderstorm Asthma (ETSA)

1 Jo Douglass PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Identifying The Genetic Causes Of Brain Malformation In Children Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics

The human cortex is the surface of the brain that enables advanced intellectual function. It forms through a series of overlapping steps involving neuronal proliferation, migration and differentiation. Abnormal formation of the cortex causes a group of disorders known

Paul PhD
Immunomodulatory effects of Vitamin D on the host response to bacterial and viral infections Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics

Immune effects of vitD on bacterial and viral infection

1 A/Professor Paul Licciardi Dr Lien Anh Ha Do Honours
Improving therapy in breast cancer associated with an inherited risk St Vincent's Institute of Medical Research Medicine and Radiology

Are all genes associated with breast cancer functioning by the same basic mechanism? A new type of breast cancer drug called PARP inhibitors has proven to be highly effective in killing breast cancer in patients with a BRCA1 or

1 Dr Andrew Deans PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
In vitro brain tumour model – studying epileptic seizure development and sensitivity to anti-cancer therapy Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology

Malignant brain tumours are notoriously difficult to treat and are often complicated by severe epilepticseizures. Research into therapies has been hampered by a limited range of model systems to explorepathogenesis and treatment of these tumours. We have developed an in

2 Chris French PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
In vitro models of type 1 diabetes Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics

Can the interaction between human insulin producing beta cells and immune cells be modelled in vitro

1 Professor Edouard Stanley Professor Andrew Elefanty Honours
Inflammatory markers and cognitive function in schizophrenia Psychiatry

Schizophrenia is a severe mental illness characterised by disturbances in perception, mood and cognitive (thinking) skills. Converging evidence has implicated immune system disruption in the disorder, however the impact of such alterations on cognition remains unclear. This project will examine

1 Vanessa Cropley vcropley@unimelb.edu.au Tamsyn Van Rheenen Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Infusion Safety in Newborn Babies Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Obstetrics and Gynaecology

How does one safely infuse fluids and multiple medications continuously into a patient who may weigh only 600 grams? It can be a real challenge but the accurate administration of fluids and medications to a sick baby is crucial. Even

1 Christiane Theda Christiane.Theda@thewomens.org.au Omar Kamlin Honours
Inhaled RSV therapeutics: Aerosol delivery of novel therapies to the infant lung Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics

Does aerosol delivery of palivizumab reduce the severity of RSV disease of RSV infection comparable to intramuscular delivery as determined in a biologically-relevant lamb model?

1 Dr Anushi Rajapaksa A/Professor Paul Licciardi Honours
Inhibiting hypoxia and inflammation-induced damage to improve the outcomes of islet transplantation St Vincent's Institute of Medical Research Medicine and Radiology

Islet transplantation is used clinically for replacement of insulin-producing pancreatic beta cells in a subset of patients with type 1 diabetes. During isolation, culture and transport of human islets for transplantation the islets are subjected to a number of

1 Helen Thomas PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Inter-relationship of stated diet adherence and biometric/physical activity trajectories in multiple sclerosis Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a progressive, autoimmune, demyelinating condition of the central nervous system, manifesting in sensory, motor and/or cognitive dysfunction. Given its onset is typically in the prime years of life – often in the 20s – it has

1 Steve Simpson, Jr. PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
Inter-relationship of stated diet adherence and depression and quality of life in multiple sclerosis Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a progressive, autoimmune, demyelinating condition of the central nervous system, manifesting in sensory, motor and/or cognitive dysfunction. Given its onset is typically in the prime years of life – often in the 20s – it

1 Steve Simpson, Jr. PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
Inter-relationship of stated diet adherence and relapse, disability, and fatigue in multiple sclerosis Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a progressive, autoimmune, demyelinating condition of the central nervous system, manifesting in sensory, motor and/or cognitive dysfunction. Given its onset is typically in the prime years of life – often in the 20s – it

1 Steve Simpson, Jr. PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
Investigating Alcohol-Related Dementia Florey Institute of Neuroscience & Mental Health Medicine and Radiology

Alcohol-related dementia (ARD) is one of the leading causes of secondary (preventable) dementia, and younger onset dementia (onset of symptoms prior to 65 years) in Australia. Together with the high rates of alcohol

1 Andrew Lawrence PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
Investigating lipotoxic impacts of fatty acid synthesis on: (1) osteoblasts, and (2) osteoclast, in vitro and (3) Skeletal Muscle Western Health Medicine and Radiology

Bone is a dynamic organ that remodels and changes in composition throughout the lifespan. As a vital organ, bone is required for weight-bearing and motion, for haematopoiesis and energy storage, among others (Suchacki et al. 2017). Dysregulation of remodelling of

1 Damian Myers Masters by Research; Honours
Investigating maternal tolerance and pregnancy complications to develop biomarkers and treatment options. Obstetrics and Gynaecology

Pregnancy complications such as miscarriage, preeclampsia and fetal growth restriction affect up to 10% of all pregnancies. These complications are caused by an impaired maternal response to the pregnancy within the uterus during the 1st trimester. Uterine

1 Peter Rogers parogers@unimelb.edu.au Ellen Menkhorst PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Investigating microglia as effectors of supragranular cortical thinning in first-episode psychosis Psychiatry

Psychosis is a severe mental illness that typically emerges in adolescence and young adulthood; a time when substantial brain development is taking place.It is now evident that there are subtle yet consistent neuropathological changes in psychosis. Accelerated thinning of cortical

1 Vanessa Cropley vcropley@unimelb.edu.au Tamsyn Van Rheenen Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Investigating the effects of GM-CSF and M-CSF derived human macrophages on phagocytosing P. falciparum infected erythrocytes and cytokine production Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology

An important way in which the body clears malaria infection is through opsonisation of P. falciparum-infected erythrocytes (IE) and phagocytosis by monocytes/macrophages. This process leads to activation of signalling pathway and cytokine production. Current studies utilize human monocytes cultured in

1 Adrian PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Investigating the link between histone modifications, gene expression and phenotype change in prostate cancer in response to androgen deprivation therapy. Royal Melbourne Hospital Surgery

The development of resistance to androgen (male sex hormone) deprivation therapy (ADT), the primary treatment for aggressive prostate cancer, is not clearly understood. Phylogenetic analyses of resistant tumours demonstrate no significant tumour evolution or clonal/subclonal selection with therapy, supporting the

1 Niall Corcoran niallmcorcoran@gmail.com or con@unimelb.edu.au Christopher Hovens PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Investigating the role of signalling-specific mechanisms on tumour cell invasion Royal Melbourne Hospital Surgery

This project will use molecular and cell-based techniques to investigate the role of key factors involved in regulating brain tumour growth, drug resistance and cancer stem cell biology. We recently reported a novel

1 Theo Mantmadiotis theom@unimelb.edu.au Stanley Stylli PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Investigating whether mild traumatic brain injuries cause neurodegenerative disease Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology

Mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), often referred to as concussion, is a serious medical issue worldwide. Repeated mTBIs (RmTBIs) have been linked to the development of neurodegenerative conditions such as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), dementia, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and

1 Sandy Shultz PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Investigation of inter-arm blood pressure differences during paediatric exercise testing Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics

The research questions are i) what is the frequency of interarm blood pressure difference (defined as >10 mmHg) pre- and post-exercise in children undergoing exercise tests in the Cardiology clinic? ii) are interarm pressure differences more frequent in children with

1 Dr Jonathan Mynard Dr Michael Cheung Honours
Investigation of the age-specific changes in Blood Microparticles Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics

Does particular microparticle sub-type dominate early in life and does this change during the process of ageing?

1 A/Professor Vera Ignjatovic Ms Mara Galli Honours
Investigation of the in vitro effect of the antiplatelet drug Tirofiban in children Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics

What is the in vitro effect of the antiplatelet drug Tirofiban in children?

1 A/Professor Vera Ignjatovic Ms Mara Galli Honours
Iron and Fatigue Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology

Iron deficiency is prevalent in ageing women. Studies have shown that iron deficiency results in fatigue, reduced physical performance and impaired cognition. These symptoms are commonly reported in ageing populations. The Women’s Health Ageing Project is an epidemiological sampled longitudinal

1 Cassandra Szoeke PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Is the severity of illness associated with clinical malaria regulated by extracellular vesicles and their micro-RNA cargo? Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology

Infection with Plasmodium falciparum (Pf) ranges in severity from asymptomatic parasitaemia to severe or fatal disease. Host- and parasite-derived factors are involved in determining severity of illness. Pf-infected red blood cells (iRBC) release small membrane particles, called extracellular

1 Siddhartha Honours
Latent inhibition during adolescence Florey Institute of Neuroscience & Mental Health Medicine and Radiology

Ever wondered why individual differences exist in developing an anxiety disorder following a similar traumatic experience (e.g., a car accident)? It turns out that having previous related experiences before the traumatic event can play a huge part. For example, a

1 Jee Hyun Kim PhD; Masters by Research; Master of Biomedical Science
Life-long exposures for Healthy Ageing Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology

Several studies have described the benefit of lifestyle change for healthy ageing and cognitive improvement. For example, smoking, alcohol consumption and a lack of physical activity have been linked to an increased rate of cognitive impairment and cardiovascular diseases.

1 Alex Gorelik PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Lifestyle Factors for Healthy Ageing Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology

Several studies have described the benefit of lifestyle change for healthy ageing and cognitive improvement. For example, smoking, alcohol consumption and a lack of physical activity have been linked to an increased rate of cognitive impairment and cardiovascular diseases.

1 Cassandra Szoeke PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Linking brain activity to behaviour: neural oscillations and cognition Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology

How do brain waves control cognitive processes? Using a combination of in vivo electrophysiology and sophisticated cognitive paradigms of working memory and attention, coupled with genetically modified mice, this project will record

1 Nigel Jones PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Long-term health and social implications of risk-taking in adolescence Obstetrics and Gynaecology

Adolescence is normally a time of exploring boundaries, and risk-taking is part of normal adolescent development. However, risk-taking behaviour is responsible for the majority of youth morbidity and mortality worldwide and in Australia, including road crash,

Jennifer Marino jennifer.marino@unimelb.edu.au PhD
Long-term Prognosis of Antiepilpetic Drug Therapy in People with Newly Diagnosed and Treated Epilepsy Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology

Antiepileptic drug is the mainstay of treatment modality for epilepsy. People with epilepsy often require lifelong antiepileptic drug treatment. Previous Glasgow study in 2000 demonstrated a-third of the epilepsy patient did not response well to antiepileptic drug therapy. Despite the

1 Patrick PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Longitudinal predictors &amp; characteristics of diet engagement in multiple sclerosis Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a progressive, autoimmune, demyelinating condition of the central nervous system, manifesting in sensory, motor and/or cognitive dysfunction. Given its onset is typically in the prime years of life – often in the 20s – it

1 Steve Simpson, Jr. PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
Longitudinal predictors &amp; characteristics of OMS engagement in multiple sclerosis Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a progressive, autoimmune, demyelinating condition of the central nervous system, manifesting in sensory, motor and/or cognitive dysfunction. Given its onset is typically in the prime years of life – often in the 20s – it

1 Steve Simpson, Jr. PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
Longitudinal predictors of cognitive performance in bipolar disorder Psychiatry

We are seeking an academically high-performing student with a background in psychology, psychophysiology and/or neuroscience to be involved in new PhD project aimed at identifying longitudinal predictors of cognitive performance in bipolar disorder.

Cognitive impairment is increasingly recognised as a

Tamsyn Van Rheenen tamsyn.van@unimelb.edu.au PhD; Masters by Research
Longitudinal trajectories of medication use and relationship with clinical features in multiple sclerosis Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a progressive, autoimmune, demyelinating condition of the central nervous system, manifesting in sensory, motor and/or cognitive dysfunction. Given its onset is typically in the prime years of life – often in the 20s – it

1 Steve Simpson, Jr. PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
Longitudinal trajectories of smoking, alcohol and other health behaviours and relationship with clinical features in multiple sclerosis Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a progressive, autoimmune, demyelinating condition of the central nervous system, manifesting in sensory, motor and/or cognitive dysfunction. Given its onset is typically in the prime years of life – often in the 20s – it

1 Steve Simpson, Jr. PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
Longitudinal trajectory of medical comorbidities &amp; relationship with clinical outcomes Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a progressive, autoimmune, demyelinating condition of the central nervous system, manifesting in sensory, motor and/or cognitive dysfunction. Given its onset is typically in the prime years of life – often in the 20s – it

1 Steve Simpson, Jr. PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
Low Health Literacy, Social Disadvantage and Low Treatment Adherence in Rheumatoid Arthritis: An Intervention to Improve RA- Specific Health Literacy in At-Risk Groups Western Health Medicine and Radiology

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a painful,debilitating autoimmunedisease, in which the immune system may also attack the cardiovascular, respiratory, digestive and haemopoietic systems. Little is known about what influences the unpredictable clinical course of RA (characterized by exacerbations and remissions), why

1 Sharon PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
Malaria drug resistance in the Asia Pacific region Burnet Institute Medicine and Radiology

Malaria is a major global health issue causing around 300 million cases and 500,000 deaths annually. In recent years we have witnessed the alarming spread of resistance to many drugs used to treat malaria, and this is

1 Freya Fowkes PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Malaria parasite and neutrophil interactions Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology

Malaria causes almost half a million deaths every year. An understanding of how our innate immune system can help clear infection would go a long way in understanding why some people are able to clear infections while others are

1 Elizabeth Aitken Honours
Management and prognosis of first seizure and newly diagnosed epilepsy Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology

Seventy million people have epilepsy with 34–76 per 100,000 developing the condition every year. To formulate rational treatment plans, it is important to understand the different clinical courses and patterns of response to antiepileptic drugs, ideally by following outcomes from

1 Patrick PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Mapping the human connectome in psychosis Psychiatry