All Department 2019 projects

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Projects Title Research Node (Project Site) Department Project Description Number of Places Available (Masters) Number of Places Available (Honours) Primary Supervisor UoM Staff ID Number 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 Co-Supervisor 2 Title Co-Supervisor 2 First Name Co-Supervisor 2 Surname Co-Supervisor 3 Title Co-Supervisor 3 First Name Co-Supervisor 3 Surname Additional Supervisors (Please include the title and full name) Opportunity
'Beating the odds': Early life experiences influencing the association between genetic prediction and language development in mid-childhood Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics This project will (1) investigate the association between this polygenic score and language development (vocabulary) at 11-12 years, and (2) investigate the mediation of this genetic-outcome correlation by a range of early-life exposures, including home environment, extra-curricular activities, parental involvement, social support and family demographics. The results may help to identify key lifestyle factors that contribute to resilience for language development in children with poorer genetic prediction. 1 Doctor Anneke Grobler anneke.grobler@mcri.edu.au Doctor Katherine Lange Associate Professor Ben Edwards n/a Honours
: Social and physical activities in ageing women Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology This project provide opportunity to work with a rich database with data that spans over 20 years already collected to evaluate the social and physical activities in ageing women. 1 Dr Jarrod Kerris jarrod.kerris@unimelb.edu.au Professor Cassandra Szoeke n/a Honours
A cytokine pathway in the control of inflammation and pain Medicine and Radiology Chronic pain has led significantly to the opioid epidemic and the need for improved therapy. With this in mind the project is designed to understand how a particular protein controls inflammation and its associated pain. Professor John Hamilton jahami@unimelb.edu.au Dr Ming-Chin (Kevin) Lee n/a PhD
A detailed examination of the economics of end of life care St Vincent's Hospital Medicine and Radiology This mixed methods study will involve a detailed exploration of costs born by patients, families and communities as well costs born by the health systems to develop a more detailed and nuanced understanding of both expenditure and its impact. Prof Jennifer Philip jphilip@unimelb.edu.au Dr Anna Collins Davidson n/a PhD
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 mean-field models to experimental data collected from calcium imaging and multi electrode arrays, which provide a ground truth. The creation of subject-specific models from data is important, as there is a large variability in neural circuits between individuals, despite seemingly similar network activity. The intended outcome is new insights into the processes that govern brain function and methods for improving interfacing to the brain. 1 1 Dr Dean Freestone deanrf@unimelb.edu.au n/a 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 underlying molecular causes, clinical characteristics and treatment options of keratoconus in order to develop strategies that can halt the disease progression. 1 1 Dr Srujana Sahebjada Srujana.sahebjada@unimelb.edu.au A/Prof Mark Daniel Prof Paul Baird n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
A new test of listening effort Bionics Institute Medical Bionics Department This project will develop and evaluate in normal hearing listeners a new dual-task behavioural test for listening effort. 1 1 Prof Colette McKay cmckay@bionicsinstitute.org n/a Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
A Pharmacogenomics study of the teratogenicity valproate based on the prospective Australian Register for Anti-epileptic Drugs in Pregnancy Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology Project Aims: Identify genetic markers that predict the risk of valproate-induced birth defects. 1 2 Professor Terence O'Brien obrientj@unimelb.edu.au Dr Charles Malpas Professor Piero Perucca n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Post Doctor Research
A survey and audit of postnatal corticosteroid use to reduce the risk of chronic lung disease in extremely preterm infants Obstetrics and Gynaecology A survey and multicentre audit of systemic corticosteroid use to reduce the risk of chronic lung disease in extremely preterm infants. 1 Dr Brett Manley brett.manley@thewomens.org.au Professor Peter Davis Dr Omar Kamlin n/a Honours
Abnormal Placental Stem Cells And Their Role In Human Pregnancy Pathologies Obstetrics and Gynaecology This project will explore the molecular mechanisms by which extracellular vesicles derived from normal and pathological placental mesenchymal stem cells, modulate endothelial cell function. 1 Dr Bill Kalionis kalionis@unimelb.edu.au Dr Maria Kokkinos n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Acquired epilepsy in Alzheimer’s disease Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology People with Alzheimer's disease (AD) are 10 times more likely to develop epilepsy compared with age-matched controls. Elucidating the pathomechanisms of epileptogenesis in AD is critical in identifying effective therapeutic strategies to prevent the development of epilepsy in this high risk and vulnerable population. Professor Patrick Kwan patrick.kwan@unimelb.edu.au Assoc Professor Nigel Jones Dr Jianxiong Chan n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
An antibody that detects a high molecular weight surrogate ligand of calcitonin receptor is detected in malignant glioma cells and cell lines Austin Health Medicine and Radiology An antibody was developed that binds high molecular weight targets (HMWT) with similar properties to the natural ligands of the calcitonin receptor (CTR). 1 Dr Peter Wookey pwookey@unimelb.edu.au Prof David Hare n/a PhD; Honours
An antibody that detects a high molecular weight surrogate ligand of calcitonin receptor is detected in malignant glioma cells and cell lines. Austin Health Medicine and Radiology Research to contribute to our understanding of endocrine-like tumours and foetal development. Dr Peter J Wookley pwookey@unimelb.edu.au n/a PhD; Honours
Animal models of Brain Development assessed using MRI Royal Melbourne Hospital Psychiatry A newly commenced Program Grant aims to map brain-structure-function relationships and molecular signatures across developmental stages in the mouse, as measured through novel neuroimaging techniques and microscopy. The aim of the current project is to model hippocampal structure in the mouse brain using a combination of structural and spectroscopy neuroimaging techniques, and to determine whether differences are present between age groups. 1 Prof Christos Pantelis cpant@unimelb.edu.au Dr Warda Taqdees Syeda n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
Antibiotic resistance mechanisms in Mycoplasma Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics The project will use molecular methods including Sanger sequencing, quantitative PCR, and digital PCR, in combination with bacterial culture, to investigate the mutations that contribute to antibiotic resistance, and how these mutations arise. Developments in this area will contribute to our understanding of treatment failure. 1 1 Doctor Gerald Murray gerald.murray@mcri.edu.au Professor Suzanne Garland n/a Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Anxiety and neurodegeneration in preclinical Alzheimer’s Disease Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology The project will provide a unique opportunity to work on an Australian dataset with midlife and late-life data collected (data over 20 years), and will suit a candidate with interest in cognition and ageing. There is also opportunity for publication. 1 Mrs Samantha Elder samantha.elder@unimelb.edu.au Professor Cassandra Szoeke n/a Honours
Application of intra-oral 3-Dimensional Scanning to monitor oral health in children Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics This project will evaluate the validity of an intra-oral scanner to measure the presence and severity of dental caries and developmental defects in children of different ages in both primary and secondary dentition. The PhD involves performing clinical assessments, including dental examinations and 3D intra oral scanning, on children, with a substantial analytical component to validate the intra oral scanner for population health research and as a diagnostic and patient management tool. Professor David Burgner david.burgner@mcri.edu.au Dr Mihiri Silva A/Prof Nicky Kilpatrick n/a PhD students
Application of multi-omic approaches to identify the genetic bases of disorders of mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation. Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics A combination of state-of-the-art technologies will be employed to identify candidate disease genes, including where appropriate whole genome sequencing, transcriptomic and quantitative proteomic studies, followed by a range of cell and/or tissue-based functional studies to validate their pathogenic significance. This combination of approaches will allow us to reach a definitive diagnosis for a significant proportion of patients who are currently missed by initial genomic sequencing approaches. 1 Professor John Christodoulou john.christodoulou@mcri.edu.au Professor David Thorburn Doctor Alison Compton n/a Honours
Assessment of hippocampal subfields across development: associations with cognition and psychopathology Royal Melbourne Hospital Psychiatry The aim of this study is to characterize hippocampal subfield development in the age range 8 to 22 years and to examine whether specific subfields are related to learning and memory and symptoms of psychopathology. 1 Dr Vanessa Cropley vcropley@unimelb.edu.au Dr Tamsyn van Rheenen AProf Andrew Zalesky n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
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 and pancreatic β-cells from NZO mice. 1 A/Prof Sof Andrikopoulos sof@unimelb.edu.au n/a Honours
Assessment of the Falls and Fractures Prevention Clinic as the Most Effective Setting toReduce Falls and Fractures in High-Risk Older Persons: A Care Program Assessment Western Health Medicine and Radiology Western Health is one of the two centres in Australia that have implemented a new Falls and Fractures Prevention Clinic (FFPC). However, the effectiveness of this care model has not been assessed. We will assess the impact of the FFPC at reducing falls and fracture risk from initial assessment to six month follow up. 1 Professor Gustavo Duque gustavo.duque@unimelb.edu.au n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
Australian children and adults exposure to trace elements, and their association with cognition and development Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics We propose to work with an Honours student to investigate patterns of Australian children and adults exposure to trace elements, and how beneficial and toxic elements (are associated with cognition and development. There is latitude in this project for the student to select which cognitive and development outcomes are of interest to investigate, given the broad range of outcome data available. 1 1 Professor Richard Saffery richard.saffery@mcri.edu.au Associate Professor Ben Edwards Professor Melissa Wake n/a Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Bio-engineering complex next generation human liver organoids St Vincent's Institute of Medical Research Surgery This project will use human induced pluripotent stem cells to differentiate all these human liver cell types, characterize the specific cell types and co-culture them in 3-dimensional organoids. Determining the response of these human liver organoids to certain liver disease conditions is also planned. 1 Dr Geraldine Mitchell gmitchell@svi.edu.au Dr Kiryu Yap n/a PhD; Honours
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 joint has so far remained an insuperable challenge. Now, with the advent of 3D bioprinting, we now have a method to recapitulate the complexity of human tissues for the first time.In this project, you will use state-of-the-art 3D bioprinters to create complex structures composed of multiple materials, and embedded with human stem cells. 1 1 Professor Peter Choong Dr Cathal OConnell n/a 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 cell growth.In this project, you will develop novel hydrogel formulations tailored to the bioprinting of stem cells for cartilage regeneration. This project will pay particular attention to the rheological (i.e. flow) performance of the hydrogels, the formation of core-shell structures, and in-situ monitoring of the crosslinking reaction. 1 1 Dr Cathal O'Connell oconnell.c@unimelb.edu.au n/a Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Brain development and the pathophysiology of psychosis Royal Melbourne Hospital Psychiatry This PhD project will conduct a program of research that investigates brain developmental changes associated with the emergence and pathophysiology of psychotic disorders. Dr Vanessa Cropley vcropley@unimelb.edu.au n/a PhD
Cancer drug discovery by inhibition of a DNA repair pathway with Crispr/Cas9 gene editing and biochemistry St Vincent's Institute of Medical Research Medicine and Radiology In this project, you would learn about DNA repair, genetic diseases like familial breast cancer, and a variety of laboratory-based techniques (CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing in breast cancer cell lines, AlphaScreen drug discovery assays, recombinant DNA technology, drug discovery, cell-based chemotherapy response assays, pharmacokinetics, protein purification and in vitro enzyme assays). 1 1 Dr Wayne Crismani wcrismani@svi.edu.au n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Causes of Depressive Symptoms in Early Ageing Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology Major benefits of this study are: 1. There is opportunity for publication 2. You will have access to a unique database with two decades of psychological and social data 3. This study would be particularly suited to an individual wishing to gain experience in the areas of geriatric psychology and/or depression. 1 Professor Cassandra Szoeke cszoeke@unimelb.edu.au Professor Lorraine Dennerstein n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Master of Biomedical Science
Characterisation of rotavirus strains emerging in the vaccine era Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics This project will provide a unique insight into the diversity of strains circulating in the vaccine-era and support efforts to maintain an effective immunisation program. 1 1 Professor Julie Bines jebines@unimelb.edu.au Doctor Celeste Donato n/a Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Characterising Respiratory Infections in Immune-suppressed Haematology and Transplant Patients Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology Invasive fungal and viral infections are frequent complications in malignant haematology and transplant patients leading to high morbidity and mortality. This project aims to evaluate the host immune response in blood and lung through a prospective clinical study at the Royal Melbourne Hospital Professor Monica Slavin Monica.Slavin@mh.org.au Dr Michelle Yong n/a PhD
Characterising the genetic profile of gubernacular cells derived from androgen receptor knockout mice (ARKO) during testicular descent Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics This project will determine the genetic characteristics of the gubernacular cell derived from the androgen receptor knockout mice during the second phase of testicular decent. By creating and maintain cell lines in culture from these mice at the age of embryonic day 17 to day 3 post birth, we will profile the extracellular matrix genes as well as characterise the growth, elongation (mitosis and differentiation) of these cells in vitro. 1 Doctor Gulcan Sarila gulcan.sarila@mcri.edu.au Professor John Hutson n/a Honours
Characterising the immune response to RSV in preterm and term infants Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics Using a cohort of preterm and term infant cord blood samples, we aim to characterise their immune response profiles by using a combination of cell culture, flow cytometry and multiplex cytokine assays. This data will provide important insights into the immunological susceptibility to severe RSV during early life with the promise of developing more targeted approaches to protect this vulnerable group of infants. 1 1 Associate Professor Paul Licciardi paul.licciardi@mcri.edu.au Doctor Lien Anh Ha Do n/a Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
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. Evidence suggests that GPR35 may be an early marker of cardiac pathology and may also be a potential target for the development of novel therapies. This project will assess the expression of GPR 35 in archived tissues from various animal models of cardiac disease, including myocardial infarction, pressure-overload hypertrophy and diabetes using immunohistochemistry and real time PCR. 1 1 Dr Andrew Kompa akompa@unimelb.edu.au Dr Amanda Edgley n/a Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Clinical features in a common inherited cause of kidney failure Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology The aim of this project is to correlate mutations with clinical features. This project includes attending clinics, taking retinal photographs, searching clinical records, and examining mutations for pathogenic features (bioinformatics). 2 2 Professor Judy Savige j.savige@unimelb.edu.au A/Prof Deb Colville A/Prof Heather Mack n/a PhD; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Closed-loop bioelectrical neuromodulation control over bladder function Bionics Institute Medical Bionics Department Controlling urination with a bionic device implanted onto nerves that innervate the bladder is a novel technique for the treatment of bladder incontinence/retention. An electrode array can be used to activate or inhibit neural signals in order to trigger or prevent urination. However, for this technology to be useful, precise timing of the application of electrical neuromodulation is essential. 1 1 Dr Sophie Payne spayne@bionicsinstitute.org A/Prof James Fallon n/a Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Closing the Gap on Aboriginal Cardiovascular Health disparities- Using Big Data to understand the patient health journey Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology Cardiovascular (CV) disease is the largest contributor to the health gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. This research will inform CV risk management pathways and identify how CV disease is managed across the primary and tertiary care continuum for Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. 1 Associate Professor Luke Burchill blj@unimelb.edu.au Dr Aneta Kotevski n/a Masters by Research
Cognition and brain connectivity in psychosis Royal Melbourne Hospital Psychiatry The aim of this project is to determine whether impairments in episodic memory, attentional set-shifting, and spatial working memory are related to disrupted brain connectivity (as measured by MRI-derived structural covariance; see Wannan et al, 2019) in key regions associated with performance on these tasks in individuals with first-episode psychosis. 1 Prof Christos Pantelis cpant@unimelb.edu.au Ms Cassandra Wannan n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
Cognitive training for behavioural and psychological symptoms in young onset dementia Royal Women’s Hospital Psychiatry This project focused on the development and evaluation of an intervention targeting BPSD in people with young onset dementia 1 1 Dr Alex Bahar-Fuchs alex.bahar@unimelb.edu.au n/a Masters by Research; Honours
Common severe childhood infections, innate inflammatory responses and cardiometabolic risk: The VASCular changes aFter INfectious Diseases (VASCFIND) study Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics Infection, the commonest reason for childhood hospital admission, is a major driver of inflammation and is associated with cardiometabolic risk and disease. This established prospective study investigates how severe childhood infection affects innate inflammatory immune responses and cardiometabolic health. It encompasses both clinical assessments and laboratory studies. Prof David Burgner david.burgner@mcri.edu.au Dr Siroon Bekkering TBA n/a PhD
Concussion Essentials: A clinical trial for reducing persisting symptoms after child concussion Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics A single-centre randomised controlled trial to assess if a novel multimodal intervention can speed recovery from child concussion compared to usual care. Professor Vicki Anderson Vicki.Anderson@rch.org.au n/a PhD
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 damaged spinal cord or stroke. The interface will decode a user’s intent and act upon it. Decoders will use physiological principals and state-of-the-art machine learning methods. We will test a user’s ability to control an artificial limb using decoded brain activity. 1 1 Dr Dean Freestone deanrf@unimelb.edu.au n/a 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 mimicking cartilage development in the in vitro studies required to validate the specific 3D bioprinting system. The aim of this project is to characterize the rate of chondrogenic differentiation of 3D bioprinted samples laden with mesenchymal stem cells, by mechanical stimulation. Dr Carmine Onofrillo carmine.onofrillo@unimelb.edu.au Dr Serena Duchi n/a PhD; Masters by Research
Dairy supplementation to recommended levels is associated with favourable serum markers of cardiovascular health in older adults in residential aged-care To determine if 12 months of dairy supplementation improves serum markers of cardiovascular health in older adults in residential aged-care. 1 Dr Sandra Iuliano sandraib@unimelb.edu.au Prof David Hare n/a Honours
Defining the functional pathology of Hirschsprung Disease Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics Hirschsprung disease (HD) is an intestinal motility disorder that is typically diagnosed in infants. This project focuses upon understanding the what cell types, other than neurons, are affected in HD. 1 Associate Professor Sebastian King sebastian.king@rch.org.au Dr Simona Carbone Dr Daniel Poole n/a Honours
Defining the role of embryo implantation failure in infertility and IVF success. Royal Women’s Hospital Obstetrics and Gynaecology Infertility affects 1:6 couples worldwide. Professor Eva Dimitriadis eva.dimitriadis@unimelb.edu.au n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science; Post Doctor Research
Dendritic cell cutaneous egression in Mycobacterium ulcerans infection Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre (VCCC) Clinical Pathology In exploring the mechanisms of how M. ulcerans evades local immune responses in the skin, we can gain further insight into how this common organism causes destructive "flesh-eating" ulcers in children and elder populations worldwide. 1 1 Associate Professor John Hayman hayman@johnhayman.net Dr Yi Qiu Sun n/a Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
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 hydrogels are tested in uniaxial compression for the compression modulus and rheology for the storage modulus. However strength is a very important properties to investigate for the different applications. Tensile testing is the most acknowledged method to test material strength. Although this technique has been successfully developed for hard materials and rubbers, the development of such tests for very soft materials remains challenging. 1 1 Dr Cathal O'Connell oconnell.c@unimelb.edu.au n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Detecting the tissue of origin of circulating cell free DNA Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre (VCCC) Clinical Pathology The aim of this project is to analyse sequence data on circulating cell free DNA to identify methylation patterns which indicate the tissue of origin. 1 1 Professor Lachlan Coin lachlan.coin@unimelb.edu.au n/a Masters by Research; Honours
Determining the role of GM-CSF in osteoarthritis Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology To determine the role of granulocyte macrophage-colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF) in osteoarthritis (OA) using experimental models the associated OA risk factor of obesity. 1 1 Associate Professor Andrew Cook adcook@unimelb.edu.au Dr Ming-Chin Lee n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Developing a drug therapy for hearing loss Bionics Institute Medical Bionics Department Hair cell loss is the leading cause of deafness, occurring in almost half a billion people worldwide. Despite the prevalence, there are no biological treatments available for deafness. The current standards of care are restricted to palliative devices including hearing aids or cochlear implants that provide only partial hearing restoration for a limited patient population. As such, there is a significant demand for the development of a pharmacological treatment for hearing loss. 2 Dr Niki Gunewardene NGunewardene@bionicsinstitute.org A/Prof Andrew Wise n/a PhD
Developing a methodology for building new clinical trial capability St Vincent's Hospital Medicine and Radiology Recent investment by the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre included a specific focus to build clinical trial capability in palliative care – an area which had not traditionally undertaken trials. An opportunity to undertake a detailed examination of the processes, requirements and outputs that facilitate the successful establishment of a clinical trials program in a ‘trial-naïve’ discipline is available. 1 Prof Jennifer Philip jphilip@unimelb.edu.au A/Prof Brian Le n/a PhD; Honours
Developing interactome (Protein binding maps) maps for BRCA1 and the collagen I molecule affected in osteogenesis imperfecta Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology The aim of this study is to develop interactome/protein binding maps of both these proteins. Skills acquired in the year include a critical review of the literature, and a greater understanding of structural biology and bioinformatics. These maps will be of great use to clinicians and will result in publications. 1 2 Prof Judy Savige jasavige@unimelb.edu.au n/a Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Developing novel diagnosis methods for tree nut allergies Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics This project will be focused on optimising diagnostic testing for tree nut allergy. Using samples from the HealthNuts study, novel laboratory techniques for use in screening, determining severity and reaction thresholds for tree nut allergy will be explored. 1 Doctor Kirsten Perrett Kirsten.Perrett@rch.org.au Doctor Thanh Dang n/a Honours
Developing novel methods for the diagnosis of tree nut allergies Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics With the rapid rise in food allergy incidences, there is an urgent need to correctly identify food allergic sufferers. This project will focus on develop novel diagnostic techniques for tree nut allergy using large population cohorts. Dr Kirsten Perrett kirsten.perrett@mcri.edu.au Dr Thanh Dang n/a PhD
Development of a low cost, point-of-care diagnostic platform Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology To develop a novel rapid, ultrasensitive real-time point of care platform targeting molecules in blood or saliva. This will be integrated on a single chip platform. Professor Patrick Kwan patrick.kwan@unimelb.edu.au Dr Jianxiong Chan n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Development of Marrow Fat Quantification as a Predictor of Poor Outcomes in Osteosarcopenia Western Health Medicine and Radiology The number of diagnostic methods for osteosarcopenia remains limited especially those with the reliability to predict poor outcomes in older persons.The aims of this project are to develop and validate a new potential diagnostic method for osteosarcopenia based on the fat volume within the bone marrow and muscles of humans (prospective study and retrospective analysis of images obtained in major human studies). 1 Professor Gustavo Duque gustavo.duque@unimelb.edu.au n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
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 interaction with the fluid phase of the hydrated hydrogels, and to the viscoelastic properties of hydrogels, new techniques need to be investigated in order to obtain accurate measurement of the compressive stiffness modulus. 1 1 Dr Cathal O'Connell oconnell.c@unimelb.edu.au n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Development of new treatments to halt the spread of endometrial cancer. Royal Women’s Hospital Obstetrics and Gynaecology Endometrial cancer is the most common invasive gynaecological malignancy. Advanced and recurrent disease has a very poor prognosis. This project will use new models to investigate how endometrial cancer develops and spreads. Professor Eva Dimitriadis eva.dimitriadis@unimelb.edu.au n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science; Post Doctor Research
Development of novel vaccines against malaria Burnet Institute Medicine and Radiology This project is suitable for a student with a keen interest in humoral and cellular immunology and vaccine development. 1 1 Prof James Beeson beeson@burnet.edu.au Dr Gaoqian Feng n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
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 retinitis pigmentosa, age-related macular degeneration, and diabetic retinopathy.  These diseases affect millions of patients and cause a significant socis-economic burden on our healthcare system. Currently, there are no effective means to cure blindness once photoreceptors are lost.  We must therefore find a new approach to help restore vision to these patients.  Regenerative therapy to replace photoreceptors has the very real prospect of helping patients to restore vision. 1 1 Dr Raymond Wong wongcb@unimelb.edu.au n/a 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 The predictive value of the SARC-F with patient outcomes compared to the actual sarcopenia diagnosis in subacute geriatric rehabilitation patients. 1 1 Dr Esmee Reijnierse esmee.reijnierse@unimelb.edu.au Prof Andrea Maier n/a Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Diet and Healthy Ageing Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology You will have the opportunity to work with a rich database with lifestyle data that spans over 20 years. This project will provide clinical skills experience as it involves direct hands-on participant evaluation, and will suit a student with an interest in nutrition who is interested in publishing findings. 1 Professor Cassandra Szoeke cszoeke@unimelb.edu.au Dr Alexandra Gorelik Dr Marjan Tabesh n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Master of Biomedical Science
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 2D diffusion maps within the hydrogel material for different time points simulating the penetration of the growth factors. 1 1 Dr Cathal O'Connell oconnell.c@unimelb.edu,au n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Discovering the mechanisms and targets of immunity against malaria Burnet Institute Medicine and Radiology Conduct immunologic assays to understand the mechanisms of protective immunity to malaria and identify key targets. This knowledge will be use to inform vaccine development 1 1 Prof James Beeson beeson@burnet.edu.au Dr Herbert Opi Dr Linda Reiling n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
Discovering the targets of drugs that stop malaria parasites invading red blood cells Burnet Institute Medicine and Radiology This project will involve discovering the mechanism of action of several compounds that inhibit the invasion of human red blood cells by malaria parasites. The protein targets of the inhibitory compounds will be discovered in parasites along with the role the target proteins play during the invasion process. 1 Dr Paul Gilson paul.gilson@burnet.edu.au A. Prof. Freya Fowkes n/a Honours
Disease detection and quantification with inertial sensors Bionics Institute Medical Bionics Department People with movement disorders (e.g. Parkinson’s disease and dystonia) find it challenging to perform activities of daily living (such as getting dressed, eating, and drinking) that most take for granted. Fine motor skills are stifled by tremors, movement becomes strenuous due to increased muscle stiffness, and postural instability leads to falls. Evaluating these symptoms is crucial to managing therapy, seeking new interventions via clinical trials and understanding mechanism of disease through research. Existing assessment techniques rely on subjective methods such as surveys, patient diaries, and observation-based rating scales. This project will develop a medical device that allows us to overcome several limitations associated with subjective techniques. 1 Dr Thushara Perera TPERERA@bionicsinstitute.org n/a PhD
Does stress contribute to epilepsy? Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology This project aims to investigate this hypothesis and its underlying mechanisms using valid animal models, with a parallel focus on anxiety and depression-like behaviour. We will study how early life stress can lead to vulnerability to epilepsy, and focus on altered inflammatory pathways as a key neurobiological mechanism. 1 Associate Professor Nigel Jones nigel.jones@monash.edu n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Does sugar really affect cognition? Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology This project will use touchscreen-based cognitive assays of working memory and spatial learning, tasks which are analogous to those used in clinical psychology to determine the impact of high sugar diet on these cognitive domains. 1 Associate Professor Nigel Jones nigel.jones@monash.edu n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Does the Braden scale predict more than pressure injury risk in older inpatients? Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology The Braden scale is a commonly used assessment tool to predict risk of pressure injury (PI) in hospitalised patients, and there is emerging evidence that it may also predict morbidity and mortality. This study will examine the predictive value of the Braden scale for PI, functional outcomes and mortality in a cohort of older hospitalised adults. 1 Dr Rebecca Iseli rebecca.iseli@mh.org.au Prof Andrea Maier n/a Honours
Domestic violence and cognition in Australian women – a twenty year follow-up study Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology This study aims to evaluate association of domestic violence and cognition in Australian women – a twenty year follow-up study. 1 Mrs Samantha Elder samantha.elder@unimelb.edu.au Professor Cassandra Szoeke n/a Honours
Drug delivery to treat hearing loss Bionics Institute Medical Bionics Department This project will focus on developing a treatment for hearing loss. We have recently made significant progress in the development of a nanoparticle-based drug delivery system that overcomes some of the barriers for drug delivery to the inner ear. The project will involve in vivo deafness models to characterise the drug delivery system, and to test its safety and efficacy in repairing hearing loss. 1 A/Prof Andrew Wise awise@bionicsinstitute.org n/a PhD
Drug development for metabolic diseases St Vincent's Institute of Medical Research AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is a central regulator of cellular energy metabolism that phosphorylates multiple protein targets to adapt cellular metabolism to energy and nutrient availability. AMPK dysregulation is associated with a range of prevalent metabolic diseases (e.g. type 2 diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease), thus huge efforts are being made to develop AMPK-targetting drugs. Our aim is to develop 2-specific AMPK activators to trigger AMPK signalling in these tissues without complications associated with off-target effects. 1 A/Prof Jon Oakhill joakhill@svi.edu.au Prof Bruce Kemp Dr Kevin Ngoei Dr Chris Langendorf n/a PhD; Honours
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. Dr Carmine Onofrillo carmine.onofrillo@unimelb.edu.au Dr Serena Duchi n/a PhD; Masters by Research
Early detection of cognitive decline and Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology Major benefits from this study are: There is opportunity for publication You will work with a well-known longitudinal database with over 20 years of data already collected. 1 Dr Alison Flehr alison.flehr@unimelb.edu.au Professor Cassandra Szoeke n/a Honours
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.  This not only reduces the order of the data, but also provides a way of examining the internal structure of the data.  Using various network measures, this project aims to find a functional biomarker that indicates cortical hyper-excitability.  We can then use this to systematically analyse brain networks for pre-surgical planning for resective surgery in epilepsy patients. 1 1 Dr Alan Lai alan.lai@unimelb.edu.au Dr Andre Peterson n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Effect of congenital UDT on Gonocyte development Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics The project will analyse the effect of congenital UDT on gonocyte transformation using animal models and or human biopsies. The study will involve the use of flow cytometry, immunohistochemistry, confocal microscopy, PCR. 1 1 Doctor Ruili Li ruili.li@mcri.edu.au Professor John Hutson n/a Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Effect of uraemic toxins of vascular reactivity St Vincent's Hospital Medicine and Radiology This project will assess the vascular reactivity of aortic vessels exposed to the uraemic toxin IS and its inhibition using selective AhR antagonists in aortic rings. Following experiments the tissue will be examined using immunohistochemistry and real time PCR. 1 1 Dr Andrew Kompa akompa@unimelb.edu.au n/a Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Effects of anticholinergic medications in hospitalised older patients discharged from geriatric rehabilitation wards Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology The aims of this longitudinal, prospective study are to detect anticholinergic medication use in older people across transitions of hospital care, to identify risk factors associated with anticholinergic medication use and to determine the associations of anticholinergic medication use with increased risk of clinical outcomes including mortality and re-admission to hospital. 1 Professor Elizabeth Manias emanias@unimelb.edu.au Professor Andrea Maier n/a Honours
Effects of Drugs on Cognition-Related Brain Wave Signals in the Rat Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology In this project, signals related to cognitiveprocessing, including gamma frequency oscillations and place cells will be recorded with microelectrodearrays. The effects of antipsychotic drugs and some related compounds, including potassium and sodiumchannel modulators, will be examined 2 Dr Chris French frenchc@unimelb.edu.au n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Effects of inappropriate medication use in frail older patients discharged from geriatric rehabilitation wards Medicine and Radiology The aims of this longitudinal, prospective study are to examine potentially inappropriate medication use in older, frail people across transitions of hospital care, to identify risk factors associated with inappropriate medication use and to determine the associations of potentially inappropriate medication use with increased risk of clinical outcomes including mortality and re-admission to hospital. 1 Professor Elizabeth Manias emanias@unimelb.edu.au Professor Andrea Maier n/a Honours
Eggsurance? Making decisions about elective egg freezing Royal Women’s Hospital Obstetrics and Gynaecology “Of course it was part of my plan to be a mother, but… things don’t always go to plan” 1 1 Dr Michelle Peate mpeate@unimelb.edu.au Prof Martha Hickey n/a Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Electrical Impedance changes during cochlear implantation Surgery, Otolaryngology, Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital Surgery We are pioneering the use of intra-operative monitoring of hearing function during cochlear implantation to actively preserve this function in the operating theatre. In this project, you will monitor the electrical impedance across the cochlear implant, while simultaneously measuring hearing function using electrocochleography. 1 Dr Christofer Bester christofer.bester@unimelb.edu.au Prof Stephen O'Leary Dr Aaron Collins Dr Hayden Eastwood n/a Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Elucidating molecular signalling pathways controlled by anti-inflammatory steroids Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology In this project you will use genome-wide approaches such as microarray to indentify the genes that are regulated by glucocorticoids. 2 2 Dr Adrian Achuthan aaa@unimelb.edu.au n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Elucidating the role of SPINT1 in placental insufficiency Mercy Health Obstetrics and Gynaecology Poor placental function can result in fetal growth restriction and ultimately stillbirth. We have recently identified SPINT1 as a protein dysregulated in women carrying a small baby. The aim of this project will be to elucidate the regulatory mechanisms of SPINT1 in placental function using animal models and samples collected from women delivering at the Mercy Hospital for Women. Associate Professor Tu'uhevaha Kaitu'u-Lino t.klino@unimelb.edu.au Associate Professor Natalie Hannan n/a PhD
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 slow the unrelenting degeneration of the retina. Although many clinical trials are now underway for atrophic AMD, a significant barrier to their success is the lack of precise clinical measures to determine their efficacy. Dr Zhichao Wu wu.z@unimelb.edu.au Prof Robyn Guymer n/a PhD
Endometriosis: Characterising genetic risk, disease pathogenesis and unexplored therapeutic opportunities. Royal Women’s Hospital Obstetrics and Gynaecology Endometriosis is a common, estrogen-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 Australian report, direct medical and surgical costs for endometriosis were estimated at $6 billion per annum for adult women (based on 1 in 10 adult women having endometriosis, $10,000 per woman). The characteristic feature of endometriosis are lesions – benign growths containing tissue like that found in the lining of the uterus (endometrium) located primarily in the pelvic cavity. Dr Sarah Holdsworth-Carson scarson@unimelb.edu.au Dr Jacqui Donoghue n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
EndoNeeds: Investigating the unmet physical, psychological and social needs of Australian women with endometriosis. Royal Women’s Hospital Obstetrics and Gynaecology The best way to learn how to help patients is to ask them what they need. 1 1 Dr Michelle Peate mpeate@unimelb.edu.au Dr Jennifer Marino n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Engineering a tissue flap St Vincent's Institute of Medical Research Surgery We have assembled pre-vascularized scaffolds in the laboratory, by seeding human induced pluripotent stem cell derived endothelial cells (iPSC ECs) into a porous scaffold, with the formation of an interconnected human capillary network within 24 hours. When implanted in vivo into a wound this pre-vascularized scaffold survives and connects to the host blood circulation. We have also successfully connected this human capillary network to a large artery and vein in an animal model thereby establishing the basis of a tissue flap – large vessels connected to a capillary network. This project will progress our hiPSC flap tissue with the addition of muscle tissue, and or fat tissue and/or skin tissue, largely developed from hiPSC. 1 Dr Geraldine Mitchell gmitchell@svi.edu.au Dr Anne Kong n/a PhD; Honours
Epileptic Seizure Forecasting St Vincent's Hospital Medicine and Radiology New advances in complex systems theory suggest that transitions from normal brain activity to seizures are preceded by measurable changes in the brain’s responses to stimuli, known as critical slowing. Measurement of critical slowing will enable prediction of seizures, providing a warning system, and possibly an opportunity to deliver preventative therapies.We will investigate if critical slowing can be used as a biomarker of seizure susceptibility in epilepsy. Critical slowing refers to the lengthening of a time period a system takes to recover to the normal state after perturbation when it is close to a tipping point or critical transition. 1 1 Dr Dean Freestone deanrf@unimelb.edu.au Professor Mark Cook Professor David Grayden n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Establishing the roles of Plasmodium falciparum merozoite invasion proteins Burnet Institute Medicine and Radiology This project aims to follow 4 different proteins involved in malaria parasite invasion of red blood cells to resolve their order of action and to understand their invasion functions. 1 Dr Paul Gilson gilson@burnet.edu.au A. Prof. Freya Fowkes n/a Honours
Evaluate inflammatory response with microparticles in blood and urine Florey Institute of Neuroscience & Mental Health Medicine and Radiology We will study the microparticles in blood and urine from healthy controls and patients with inflammatory diseases to evaluate the diagnostic and prognostic value of this novel biomarker. 1 1 Dr. Ben Gu ben.gu@florey.edu.au Prof. James Wiley n/a 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 Paediatrics This research project involves a longitudinal cohort study of transgender children and adolescents, and will allow us to address important questions related to the health of this vulnerable population Associate Professor Ken Pang ken.pang@mcri.edu.au Dr Michelle Tollit n/a
Evaluating the use, impact and ongoing sustainability of maternal and newborn health training programs in LMIC of immediate newborn care programs in the Asia-Pacific region This project will allow the student to gain experience in global maternal and perinatal health epidemiology, systematic review and quantitative analysis methodologies, with a view to a scientific publication and pursuing a PhD. Prof Caroline Homer caroline.homer@burnet.edu.au Dr Joshua Vogel Dr Michelle Scoullar n/a Masters by Research
Exploring predictors of the treatment resistant schizophrenia phenotype Royal Melbourne Hospital Psychiatry The aim of this project is to characterize the profile of treatment resistant psychosis patients by comparing them to non-treatment resistant psychosis patients and controls on several measures 1 Dr Tamsyn Van Rheenen tamsyn.van@unimelb.edu.au n/a Honours
Exploring the effect of neural dead regions in the cochlea on hearing with a cochlear implant Bionics Institute Medical Bionics Department Neural dead regions in the cochlea are regions of the cochlea in a deaf person where there is poor survival of auditory nerve cells. Such regions are not suitable for electrical stimulation with a cochlear implant, but are difficult to identify. The presence of these regions is one main reason that some cochlear implant users do not understand speech well. This project, undertaken with cochlear implant users, will develop an objective method for identifying these dead regions in individuals. 1 Prof Colette McKay cmckay@bionicsinstitute.org n/a PhD
Exploring the microbiome and epigenetic links in obesity development Austin Health Medicine and Radiology We have developed a mouse model of diet-induced obesity in which there is a clear divergence of the population into those that are prone to weight gain whilst on a high-energy dense (HED) diet and those that are resistant to this diet. We also have evidence that changes in nutrient specific gut receptor expression (involved in gut microbiota action) rather than central changes may be more closely linked to the differences in body weight gain responses. 1 Dr Barbara Fam bcfam@unimelb.edu.au n/a Honours
Expression systems for pluripotent stem cells and their differentiated derivatives Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics This project involves the design and development of gene expression systems that can be used to controllably regulate transgene expression in cells derived from pluripotent stem cells. Professor Ed Stanley ed.stanley@mcri.edu.au Professor Andrew Elefanty n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science; Post Doctor Research
Factors that determine islet antigen-specific T cell expansion before the onset of Type 1 diabetes St Vincent's Institute of Medical Research Medicine and Radiology Our goal is to prevent the cytotoxic CD8+ T cell-mediated destruction of insulin-producing pancreatic beta cells that leads to type 1 diabetes. Islet-specific CD8+ T cells appear in cycles in the blood reflecting waves of clonal proliferation, they expand just before diagnosis of diabetes and their quantity in the islets reflects the extent of pathology. 1 Prof Helen Thomas +61 3 9231 3282 Dr Bala Krishnamurthy n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Master of Biomedical Science
Fertility decision tools for young women with breast cancer Royal Women’s Hospital Obstetrics and Gynaecology “As hard as the cancer treatment was, losing my fertility was the hardest thing” Dr Michelle Peate mpeate@unimelb.edu.au n/a PhD; Masters by Research
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. 1 Dr Yasmin Jayasinghe yasmin.jayasinghe@unimelb.edu.au n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
Finding a cure for a devastating form of epilepsy Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology Epilepsy is a devastating disease with no cure for most. We have engineered a genetic mouse model based on a human mutation to better understand the disease and develop new therapeutic strategies. 1 2 A/Prof Christopher Reid christopher.reid@florey.edu.au Dr Paulo Pinares-Garcia n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
Finding a needle in the haystack: ctDNA detection for tracking cancer evolution and refining cancer risk Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre (VCCC) Clinical Pathology This project will explore the correlation between ctDNA and somatic mutation status derived from formalin fixed paraffin embedded tissue. This will involve micro-dissecting normal colonic epithelium and tumour region that will then be profiled using next generation sequencing techniques. The project will also explore the correlation between immune indices determined from the blood and the quantity of ctDNA. 1 1 Associate Professor Daniel Buchanan daniel.buchanan@unimelb.edu.au Dr Ryan Hutchinson Dr Mark Clendenning n/a Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Function and cryo-EM structure of the breast cancer predisposition gene BRCA1 St Vincent's Institute of Medical Research Medicine and Radiology The Genome Stability Unit at St Vincent’s Institute seek an honours or PhD student to join their multidisciplinary team, to uncover the molecular level details of the BRCA1 protein. BRCA1 contributes to the majority of known familial breast cancer risk in women by promoting DNA repair, a process critical to suppression of aging and cancer. 1 A/Prof Andrew Deans adeans@svi.edu.au Dr Rohan Bythell-Douglas n/a PhD; Honours
Future Health Today - health informatics Western Health General Practice This project will centre around the use of electronic medical records (EMR) for clinical trials as part of the larger FHT program. Associate Professor Jo-Anne Manski-Nankervis jomn@unimelb.edu.au n/a PhD
Future Health Today Changing the course of cardiovascular disease Western Health General Practice This project will involve the development and implementation of a cardiovascular disease quality improvement platform as part of the larger Future Health Today program. Associate Professor Jo-Anne Manski-Nankervis jomn@unimelb.edu.au n/a PhD
Gamma oscillations in genetic mouse models of schizophrenia Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology For this project, we will investigate the involvement of specific cell types in the regulation of gamma oscillatory activity through the use of genetically modified mice. 1 Dr Matt Hudson matt.hudson@monash.edu A/Prof Nigel Jones n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
Gene signatures of the ‘lymphaticome’ St Vincent's Institute of Medical Research Surgery We would like to gain an understanding of the genetic signatures of the “lymphaticome”. This information will allow for a greater understanding of the lymphatic system and diseases relating to it and provide an avenue to develop organ specific therapeutics. 1 1 Dr Tara Karnezis tkarnezis@svi.edu.au n/a 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 are of great value for transferring various culture systems into clinically relevant situations. The repair process can be better monitored in ex vivo systems than in in vitro cell cultures. The aim of this project is to establish an ex vivo osteochondral model prepared from human articular cartilage harvest. Dr Carmine Onofrillo carmine.onofrillo@unimelb.edu.au Dr Serena Duchi n/a 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. 1 A/Prof Sof Andrikopoulos sof@unimelb.edu.au n/a Honours
Glaucoma Outcome Measure for Cost-Effectiveness and Quality-of-Life Evaluations Surgery, Ophthalmology, Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital Surgery There is an urgent need to identify the most relevant and cost-effective strategies for managing this condition, and quality of life and health status instruments are typically used to characterise the impact of a disease and guide health policies for its management. However, there is a lack of effective tools for capturing the multidimensional impact of glaucoma and its treatments, making it difficult to accurately ascertain the cost-effectiveness of current or potentially new management strategies. Dr Zhichao Wu wu.z@unimelb.edu.au A/Prof Gang Chen Dr Simon Skalicky n/a PhD
Gut epithelial stem cell function: the influence of enteric neurons Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics This study, which includes novel co-culturing of organoids and enteric neurospheres, will identify signalling pathways and cellular mechanisms by which nerves influence the epithelia during homeostasis and ageing. This project aims to investigate the interaction between gut neurons and the epithelial stem cell compartment, as well as the relationship between age-related loss of enteric neurons and changes in gut epithelial stem cells. 1 1 Doctor Lincon Stamp lstamp@unimelb.edu.au Doctor Marlene Hao Associate Professor Sebastian King n/a Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Hearing but not listening: Using behavioural training in pre-clinical studies to test the ability to listen to complex sounds Bionics Institute Medical Bionics Department Behavioural training of animals allows the testing of perception of complex sounds. When applied to animals with cochlear implants or treated with hearing therapeutics, this provides important information on the performance of the intervention. This can provide more clinically relevant information than is obtained with traditional functional measurements or from histology. This added information is important, as many treatments or stimulation techniques look promising in pre-clinical models but fail in the clinic. Using behavioural training, we aim to reduce the gap between pre-clinical and clinical studies. 1 A/Prof James Fallon JFALLON@bionicsinstitute.org n/a
Heterogeneity of treatment response in advanced cancer: role of intrinsic and microenvironmental factors Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre (VCCC) Clinical Pathology This project aims to identify and characterise the contribution of tumour-intrinsic and microenvironmental factors in driving the drug resistance of aggressive cancer cell subsets. The project uses tumour organoids derived from colorectal and pancreatic cancer patients. 1 1 AProfessor Frederic Hollande frederic.hollande@unimelb.edu.au n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
How are autophagic processes involved in bone mineralisation? St Vincent's Institute of Medical Research Medicine and Radiology Our recent discoveries indicate that intracellular vesicles, including autophagy (intracellular recycling), are involved in mineral secretion by osteoblasts and osteocytes. We have carried out RNA-sequencing in bones from mice with brittle bones, and found changes in a range of autophagic genes. This provides new information about the way that cells in the skeleton control bone composition. 1 Prof Natalie Sims nsims@svi.edu.au n/a PhD; Honours
How do early-life exposures shape childhood metabolomic profile? Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics We hypothesise that altered infant metabolic profile from birth mediates the relationship between early life exposures and various aspects of childhood development. To test this, we will examine the relationship between specific maternal factors, including metabolomic measures of maternal blood during pregnancy (28 weeks gestation), and offspring metabolome (birth, 12 months, and 4 years of age). 1 1 Professor Richard Saffery richard.saffery@mcri.edu.au Professor David Burgner Doctor Toby Mansell n/a Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
How do we improve the knowledge and skills of midwives and doctors in assessment and classification of perineal tears? Burnet Institute This project will involve a systematic review to examine initiatives undertaken to educate and train midwives and doctors in perineal anatomy and classification of perineal tears. 1 Dr Alyce Wilson alyce.wilson@burnet.edu.au Prof Caroline Homer Dr Joshua Vogel Dr Meghan Bohren n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
How does the brain remove the excess number of neurons during development and aging Florey Institute of Neuroscience & Mental Health Medicine and Radiology This project will focus on the recognition mechanisms for apoptotic cells to be recognized and captured by phagocytes. 1 1 Dr. Ben Gu ben.gu@florey.edu.au Prof. James Wiley n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science; Post Doctor Research
How to detect a T cell’s response to autoantigen? St Vincent's Institute of Medical Research Medicine and Radiology The goal of the research undertaken in the Mannering Lab is to identify the antigens recognized by human T cells implicated in the immune pathogenesis of type 1 diabetes. We take a functional approach to identifying antigens this means that we identify antigens based on a T cell’s response. 1 1 A/Prof Stuart Mannering smannering@svi.edu.au Dr Colleen Elso Dr Pushpak Bhattacharjee n/a PhD; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
HPV immunity as markers of protection against infection Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics This project aims to examine the immunological response following HPV vaccination using a combination of techniques including flow cytometry, PCR and possibly RNA-sequencing. 1 1 Doctor Zheng Quan Toh zheng.quantoh@mcri.edu.au Associate Professor Paul Licciardi n/a Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Human testis organoids - a novel stem cell model for reproductive disorders Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics This project involves optimising the differentiation of human testicular cells from pluripotent stem cells, and growing these to organoid formation. These organoids will then be used to test the importance of new candidate pathogenic gene variants found in DSD patients. 1 1 Dr Katie Ayers katie.ayers@mcri.edu.au Professor Andrew Sinclair n/a 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 This project will use genomic technologies such as Whole Exome Sequencing and targeted microarrays to find novel candidate genes that may cause DSDs. In this project, you will analyse DSD patient sequencing data for potential pathogenic gene variants in an effort to identify novel candidate genes. 1 1 Professor Andrew Sinclair andrew.sinclair@mcri.edu.au Doctor Katie Ayers n/a Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Identification of novel therapeutic targets in mucinous ovarian cancer St Vincent's Institute of Medical Research Medicine and Radiology Mucinous ovarian cancer (MOC) is a subtype of ovarian cancer that is almost always fatal when diagnosed at a late stage or when it comes back after therapy. Therefore, it is essential that we find new approaches to treating MOC. Traditionally, the pharmaceutical industry has concentrated on identifying and targeting a ‘single protein switch that works’ i.e. by stopping a rogue cancer cell from dividing. But cancer cells rely on specific protein networks (multiple proteins interacting with each other). This project will use these networks to our advantage, and identify key protein:protein interactions which can be targeted by a combination of drugs, or drugs that bind to more than one target. 1 1 Dr Jessica Holien jholien@svi.edu.au Dr Kylie Gorringe n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Identifying globally conserved malaria virulence determinants as vaccine candidates Medicine and Radiology P. falciparum employs a diverse armoury of variant surface proteins to hide from immunity, but only some of these proteins cause severe disease and possibly they could be used in a life-saving vaccine. 1 1 Dr Michael Duffy mduffy@unimelb.edu.au n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Post Doctor Research
Identifying Predictors of Death in Patients with Epileptic and Psychogenic Seizures Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology Project Aims: To link databases of the Comprehensive Epilepsy Program of Melbourne Epilepsy Centres with the National Death Index and National Coroners Database to determine who has died and the cause of death, and to identify risk factors. 1 2 Professor Terence O'Brien obrientj@unimelb.edu.au Dr Charles Malpas n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Post Doctor Research
Identifying targets and mechanisms of acquired immunity to severe malaria in children Burnet Institute Medicine and Radiology This project aims to identify immune responses that protect against severe malaria in young children. It will involve testing samples from young children in specific immunologic assays 1 1 Prof James Beeson beeson@burnet.edu.au Dr JoAnne Chan n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
Immunological responses following pneumococcal conjugate vaccination Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics This project will measure cellular immune responses following reduced dose PCV schedules in Vietnam using flow cytometry. Results from this study will facilitate our understanding of PCV-induced immunity and will contribute to the global evidence on reduced dose PCV evaluation. 1 1 Associate Professor Paul Licciardi paul.licciardi@mcri.edu.au Doctor Dan Pellicci Professor Kim Mulholland n/a Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Impedance triggered therapeutic intervention after cochlear implantation Surgery, Otolaryngology, Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital Surgery We are pioneering the use of intra-operative monitoring of hearing function during cochlear implantation to actively preserve this function in theatre. However, even after an atraumatic surgery, many patients lose their residual hearing function in the following weeks. The loss of this hearing is often accompanied by a sudden, drastic increase in the electrical impedance of the implant. The purpose of this project is to test whether the monitoring of electrical impedances can be used to trigger a therapeutic intervention to prevent subsequent hearing loss. 1 Dr Christofer Bester christofer.bester@unimelb.edu.au Prof Stephen O'Leary Dr AAron Collins n/a PhD
Implementation considerations for a national program for expanded reproductive carrier screening Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics The PhD student will take responsibility for a mixed-methods, longitudinal analysis of the Mackenzie's Mission reproductive genetic carrier screening program with a focus on implementation from the perspective of couples. This will include intrinsic and extrinsic influences on couples’ decision-making about screening and about future reproductive choices.  Dr Alison Archibald alison.archibald@vcgs.org.au Dr Belinda McClaren Dr Stephanie Best n/a PhD
Implementing the Gait and Balance Gym and the Effect on Falls and Falls Risk Factors Virtual-reality balance training has recently gained prominence, particularly with the use of systems such as the Nintendo Wii. Our clinic makes use of the Balance Rehabilitation Unit (BRU) by Medicaa, a virtual-reality system which is valid and reliable in the assessment and training of static balance. 1 Professor Gustavo Duque gustavo.duque@unimelb.edu.au n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
Improve the diagnostic prediction of imaging measures in dementia and epilepsy Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology The aim of this study is to study the impact of neuroimaging tools driven by machine learning on clinical diagnosis in dementia and epilepsy . 1 Dr Vijay Venkatraman vijay.venkatraman@unimelb.edu.au Prof Roland Bammer Dr Chris Steward n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Master of Biomedical Science; Post Doctor Research
Improving speech understanding of cochlear implant users with neural dead regions Bionics Institute Medical Bionics Department Many cochlear implant users do not understand speech very well. One reason for this is the presence of neural ‘dead regions’ in the cochlea. These dead regions affect speech understanding by making it difficult for each component frequency in a speech signal to be independently heard. Thus, implant users experience a ‘scrambled’ speech signal. In this project, conducted with adult cochlear implant users, we will use a psychophysical method to determine which parts of the cochlear contain neural dead regions in each individual. 1 Prof Colette McKay cmckay@bionicsinstitute.org n/a PhD
Improving stroke outcome through brain monitoring and electrical stimulation Bionics Institute Medical Bionics Department Most strokes result in vary degrees of permanent brain injury due to a failure of neurons to re-grow at the injury site. This limitation in brain repair is often due to critical events such as inflammation that results in toxic signalling and formation of scar tissue that together create a major obstacle to brain repair and remodelling. Treatments that overcome these barriers may have greater success for recovery. 1 1 Dr Carli Roulston carlir@unimelb.edu.au A/Prof Chris Williams Dr Matt Petoe n/a PhD; 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 .The project has two aims – to examine the effects of conventional and novel treatments on the tumours aswell as the development of e 2 Dr Chris French frenchc@unimelb.edu.au Dr Rod Luwor n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Inflammatory mediators in the development of preeclampsia and pre-term birth. Royal Women’s Hospital Obstetrics and Gynaecology Preeclampsia, pre-term birth and still birth are severe conditions affecting 10-15% of pregnancies worldwide. There are no treatments. This project will identify how these diseases develop and may lead to the development of new therapeutic targets. Professor Eva Dimitriadis eva.dimitriadis@unimelb.edu.au n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science; Post Doctor Research
Inhibiting hypoxia and inflammation-induced damage to improve the outcomes of islet transplantation St Vincent's Institute of Medical Research Medicine and Radiology We will test methods to reduce the stress response of islets before and during transplantation and determine if these promote islet survival in vivo. Mouse and human islets will be cultured in hypoxic conditions, together with small molecule inhibitors of inflammatory pathways, then transplanted under the kidney capsule of diabetic recipient mice. 1 Dr Michaela Waibel mwaibel@svi.edu.au Prof Helen Thomas n/a Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Inhibition of microglia inflammation by AMPK for obesity treatment St Vincent's Institute of Medical Research Medicine and Radiology This project will investigate whether AMPK activation in microglia can suppress hypothalamic inflammation and damage of appetite-regulating neurons resulting in reduced body weight gain with high-fat feeding. The study will involve the isolation and culture of primary microglia and handling of knockout and transgenic mice to investigate hormone signalling pathways, gene expression, whole-body energy homeostasis and hepatic glucose production. Dr Sandra Galic sgalic@unimelb.edu.au Prof Bruce Kemp n/a PhD
Investigating a novel mechanism for improving beta-cell function in type 2 diabetes St Vincent's Institute of Medical Research Medicine and Radiology We aim to investigate whether pharmacological inhibition of Y1 receptor signalling will enhance β-cell function and improve glucose homeostasis in type 2 diabetes. 1 Dr Kim Loh kloh@svi.edu.au n/a PhD; Honours
Investigating cardiovascular disease in Friedreich's ataxia using human induced pluripotent stem cells St Vincent's Institute of Medical Research Surgery This project aims to generate patient-specific cardiovascular cells from induced pluripotent stem cells to establish novel human Friedreich's Ataxia disease models for disease modelling and drug discovery 1 1 Dr Shiang (Max) Lim maxlim@unimelb.edu.au Dr Jarmon Lees n/a PhD; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Investigating novel chromatin proteins of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum as drug targets. Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology Plasmodium falciparum has novel bromodomain proteins that are involved in creating chromatin structure and in gene regulation. We will characterise these proteins as potential drug targets. 1 1 Dr Michael Duffy mduffy@unimelb.edu.au n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Post Doctor Research
Investigating the basis of antibiotic resistance in Mycoplasma genitalium Royal Women’s Hospital Obstetrics and Gynaecology The project will use molecular methods including Sanger sequencing, quantitative PCR, and digital PCR, in combination with bacterial culture, to investigate the mutations that contribute to antibiotic resistance, and how these mutations arise. 1 1 Dr Gerald Murray gerald.murray@mcri.edu.au Professor Suzanne Garland n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
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 In this project you will explore the effects of IE phagocytosis by M1-like and M2-like MDMs on cytokine production and trafficking. Furthermore, you will be investigating the expression and function of signalling proteins that govern phagocytosis and cytokine secretion in these two types of MDMs 2 2 Dr Adrian Achuthan aaa@unimelb.edu.au Professor Stephen Rogerson n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Investigating the electrophysiology of neuronal network dynamics St Vincent's Hospital Medicine and Radiology The aim of this project is to understand the relationship between brain structure and brain activity. Specifically, the aim is to uncover the relationship between the structure of in vitro and in vivo neuronal networks and their behaviour, specifically their synaptic connectivity and patterns of neuronal firing. Of particular interest is the pathological case of Epileptic networks that produce abnormal electrical activity. 1 1 Dr Andre Peterson peterson@unimelb.edu.au Prof Steve Petrou A/Prof Chris Reid n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Investigating the link between phenotype change and treatment resistance in prostate cancer 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. 1 1 Associate Professor Niall Corcoran niallmcorcoran@gmail.com Professor Christopher Hovens n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
Investigating the molecular basis of Parkinson’s Disease using novel mouse models Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics The aim of this project is to characterise the function of RAB39B and investigate its role in the pathogenic mechanisms underlying Parkinson's disease. Studies will utilise newly developed and unique mouse models with mutations in RAB39B to perform preclinical studies to characterise disease processes and identify potential therapeutic targets. 1 1 Associate Professor Paul Lockhart paul.lockhart@mcri.edu.au Dr Yujing Gao n/a Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Investigating the molecular basis of Parkinson’s Disease using novel stem cell models Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics he aim of this project is to characterise the function of RAB39B and investigate its role in the pathogenic mechanisms underlying Parkinson's disease. Studies will utilise newly developed and unique induced pluripotent stem cell models to perform preclinical studies to characterise the disease process and identify potential therapeutic targets. 1 1 Associate Professor Paul Lockhart paul.lockhart@mcri.edu.au Doctor Yujing Gao n/a Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Investigating the relationship between fat, bone and muscle Western Health Medicine and Radiology Osteoporosis, sarcopenia, frailty, falls and fractures in older Australians are a huge burden on the economy and health system. There is a great opportunity to address the issue by investigating how changes in the musculoskeletal system can lead to the weakening of our bones and muscles as we age; and how we can prevent falls and fractures by understanding such changes. 1 Professor Gustavo Duque gustavo.duque@unimelb.edu.au n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
Investigating the role of novel miRNAs in preterm birth Royal Melbourne Hospital Obstetrics and Gynaecology This project aims will use our unique biobank of human clinical samples and mouse models of preterm birth to identify miRNAs that may be involved in spontaneous preterm birth. 1 1 Associate Professor Martha Lappas mlappas@unimelb.edu.au n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
Investigating the role of novel proteins and genes in gestational diabetes Royal Melbourne Hospital Obstetrics and Gynaecology This project aims will use our unique biobank of human clinical samples to thoroughly characterise the role of novel genes/proteins in the pathophysiology of gestational diabetes. 1 1 Associate Professor Martha Lappas mlappas@unimelb.edu.au n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
Iron and Fatigue Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology The Women’s Health Ageing Project is an epidemiological sampled longitudinal prospective study that contains 20 years’ worth of data. The aim of this project is evaluating the association of Iron deficiency and Fatigue. 1 Dr Marjan Tabesh marjan.tabesh@unimelb.edu.au Professor Cassandra Szoeke n/a Honours
Lifestyle Factors and Cognitive Health Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology The main opportunities for this project are: 1. An opportunity for publication 2. Hands-on involvement in participant evaluation 3. Work with a large database with over 20 years of lifestyle data 4. This project would suit a candidate with an interest in neuropsychology 1 Professor Cassandra Szoeke cszoeke@unimelb.edu.au n/a PhD; Masters by Research
Lifestyle factors and effects on mood in elderly women Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology The Women’s Healthy Ageing Project (WHAP) has prospective longitudinal, epidemiological data on alcohol consumption and mood of Australian women from age 45 over 25 years. This project will provide the opportunity for publication, as well as participant contact and clinical skills experience. 1 Professor Cassandra Szoeke cszoeke@unimelb.edu.au Professor Lorraine Dennerstein n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Master of Biomedical Science
Lifestyle for Healthy Ageing Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology This project will involve direct hands-on participant evaluation. This project will involve direct hands-on participant evaluation. You will also have the opportunity to work with a rich database with lifestyle data that spans over 20 years and opportunity for publication. 1 Dr Alexandra Gorelik alexandra.gorelik@unimelb.edu.au Professor Cassandra Szoeke n/a Honours
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 brain waves (local field potentials) and single unit activity during cognitive performance 1 Dr Nigel Jones nigel.jones@monash.edu n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Lipoproteins and Cardiovascular Risk from Mid- to Late-life in Women Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology This project will provide the opportunity to work with a rich database with data that spans over 20 years, as well as having participant contact and clinical skills experience. This project would suit a candidate who is interested in cardiovascular disease. There is also opportunity for publication. 1 Senior Research Fellow Alexandra Gorelik alexandra.gorelik@unimelb.edu.au Professor Cassandra Szoeke n/a PhD; Master of Biomedical Science
Long-term health and social implications of risk-taking in adolescence Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics Risk-taking is normal during adolescence, but much illness and social adversity arises from risky behaviour in adolescence. We will use longitudinal cohort data linked to administrative health and social data to better understand pathways between risk-taking and negative health and social outcomes. 1 1 Dr Jennifer Marino jennifer.marino@unimelb.edu.au n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Post Doctor Research
Long-term impact of moderate and late preterm birth: effects on neurodevelopment, brain development and respiratory health at school age Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics The Victorian Infant Brain Studies group at The Murdoch Children’s Research Institute is seeking a PhD student to join their team on a project investigating the impact of moderate-late preterm (MLP; 32 to <37 weeks’ gestation) birth on neurodevelopment, brain development, and respiratory health at 9 years of age. The majority of preterm births are attributed to MLP births, and there is a growing evidence-base demonstrating that children born MLP experience more adverse outcomes in early childhood than their term-born peers. Professor Jeanie Cheong jeanie.cheong@thewomens.org.au n/a PhD
M-ficolin in the Immune Response to Plasmodium falciparum malaria Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology This is an exciting project that examines the role of the innate immune system in the fight against malaria. Malaria is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality, particularly among children and pregnant women. 1 2 Dr Louise Randall louise.randall@unimelb.edu.au Prof Stephen Rogerson n/a Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Machine learning assisted stroke neuroimaging Medicine and Radiology Assessment of stroke neuroimaging is increasingly complex. Machine learning assisted (decision support system) will likely enhance clinical decision making to the greater benefit of stroke patients. 1 1 Professor Bernard Yan bernard.yan@mh.org.au Professor Marimuthu Palaniswami n/a PhD; Masters by Research
Making B-lymphocytes form pluripotent stem cells Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics This project involves the generation of B-lymphocytes from pluripotent stem cells. Professor Ed Stanley ed.stanley@mcri.edu.au Professor Andrew Elefanty n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science; Post Doctor Research
Manipulation of cochlear implant to reverse insertion trauma Surgery, Otolaryngology, Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital Surgery We are pioneering the use of intra-operative monitoring of hearing function during cochlear implantation to actively preserve this function in theatre. As part of this monitoring, the surgeon may adjust the electrode’s trajectory actively during implantation to preserve hearing. With newer pre-curved electrode designs that are advanced out of sheaths, it is unclear how these manipulations affect the tip of the electrode array. 1 Dr Christofer Bester christofer.bester@unimelb.edu.au Prof Stephen O'Leary Dr Aaron Collins Dr J Jean-Marc Gerard n/a Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Maximising the utility of clinical samples collected in pregnancy for population-based microbiome analysis at scale Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics This project focuses on the Group B Streptococcus (GBS) swab, collected at 36 weeks gestation. It will involve a literature review to evaluate previous testing of these swabs for microbiome profiling (both 16S and metagenomics) and also direct testing of clinical sample handling parameters (across Victoria Pathology providers) on the downstream microbiome data generated by sequencing technologies. 1 1 Professor Richard Saffery richard.saffery@mcri.edu.au Professor Melissa Wake n/a Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Measuring pain in children with cerebral palsy who are unable to self-report Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics This project aims to explore the use of technology for measuring pain in children with CP. It involves trialing an App that incorporates facial coding as well as other observations to score pain levels in adolescents with CP. 1 1 Doctor Adrienne Harvey adrienne.harvey@mcri.edu.au Professor David Amor n/a Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Measuring pain in children with developmental disabilities Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics Pain can be difficult to identify and measure in children with developmental disabilities. This project will use technology to develop innovative methods to measure pain in this population of children. 1 Dr Adrienne Harvey adrienne.harvey@mcri.edu.au Professor David Amor n/a PhD; Masters by Research
MicroRNA effects on embryo implantation Royal Women’s Hospital Obstetrics and Gynaecology In this project we will use a mouse model to mimic the high levels of microRNAs seen in humans with implantation failure and investigate the precise mechanisms. 1 Dr Wei Zhou wei.zhou1@unimelb.edu.au Prof Eva Dimitriadis n/a Honours
microRNAs in Endometrial Cancer Royal Women’s Hospital Obstetrics and Gynaecology Endometrial cancer is the most common gynaecological cancer in Australia. The prognosis for late stage or metastatic endometrial cancer is poor: new treatments for endometrial cancer are 1 1 Dr Ellen Menkhorst ellen.menkhorst@unimelb.edu.au Professor Eva Dimitriadis n/a Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Mid-Life Determinants of Health in Older Age Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology The study has already collected data over 20 years and there is opportunity for publication. This project would suit a candidate with an interest in ageing. 1 Dr Kate Gregorevic katherine.gregorevic@mh.org.au Professor Cassandra Szoeke n/a Honours
Milk 4 D study: Validaiton of a novel low cost point-of-need diagnostic for the Assessment of Vitamin D Deficiency in infants Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics This project is for the clinical validation of a recently developed rapid diagnostic test for the accurate, quantitative assessment of 25(OH)D3 in human breast milk. This project will involve the validation of vitamin D detection system in breastmilk at high sensitivity and specificity. 1 1 Doctor Anushi Rajapaksa anushi.rajapaksa@mcri.edu.au Professor John Wark n/a Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
MIND the Vax Gap: Measuring Immunisation in NeuroDiverse populations and developing an intervention to improve uptake Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics We are seeking a high quality clinical graduate (ie doctor, nursing, psychologist or allied health) to contribute to a mixed methods study focused on vaccine hesitancy and uptake among children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and their siblings. This is the first study in Australia to 1) assess vaccine hesitancy and vaccine uptake among children with ASD and their siblings; 2) identify barriers and facilitators to uptake; and 3) design and pilot a tailored intervention to reduce hesitancy and increase uptake in this vulnerable population. Associate Professor Margie Danchin margie.danchin@rch.org.au Dr Alexandra Ure Dr Jessica Kaufman n/a PhD
Mitochondrial disease caused by ATAD3 rearrangments: Unravelling the complexity Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics Little is known about why hominids have 3 ATAD3 genes and whether they are functionally redundant. This project will therefore utilize a range of molecular biology, cell biology and biochemical techniques to evaluate the individual ATAD3s and their contribution to cellular and mitochondrial functions. 1 1 Doctor Ann Frazier ann.frazier@mcri.edu.au Professor David Thorburn n/a Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Modelling diabetic-induced cardiomyopathy using human cardiac organoids St Vincent's Institute of Medical Research Surgery Our lab has recently established a novel proprietary cardiac organoid model that contains heart cells, blood vessels and autonomic neurons completely derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells. This project aims to use this new pre-clinical human model to study the pathophysiology of diabetic heart disease and arrhythmias. 1 Dr Shiang (Max) Lim maxlim@unimelb.edu.au Dr Jarmon Lees n/a PhD; Master of Biomedical Science
Modelling T-cell Development using pluripotent stem cells Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics This project involves the generation of T-cells from pluripotent stem cells in the laboratory. Professor Ed Stanley ed.stanley@mcir.edu.au Professor Andrew Elefanty n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science; Post Doctor Research
Modellling severe childhood epilepsy Florey Institute of Neuroscience & Mental Health Medicine and Radiology Epilepsy is a common neurological disorder with a third of patients not responding to currently available treatments. To better understand the underlying mechanisms, our lab is developing and analysing disease models for genetic forms of epilepsy. 1 1 Dr Snezana Maljevic snezana.maljevic@florey.edu.au n/a Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Modulation of toxic alpha synuclein in vivo Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics We are interested in understanding the mechanisms by which disease associated genes modulate alpha-synuclein within the brain. We hypothesise that genes that cause Parkinson's disease by loss of functional protein play a key role in eliminating toxic proteins such as alpha-synuclein from within the brain. 1 1 Associate Professor Paul Lockhart paul.lockhart@mcri.edu.au Doctor Sarah Stephenson Yujng Gao n/a Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Molecular signalling pathways controlling gene expression during chronic disease progression Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology In this project you will explore in molecular terms how a particular inflammatory cell type (macrophage/dendritic cell) can adapt to provide a pro-inflammatory environment with consequences for persistence or otherwise of these significant diseases. 2 2 Dr Adrian Achuthan aaa@unimelb.edu.au n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Morphometric analysis of a Dravet Syndrome mouse model. Florey Institute of Neuroscience & Mental Health Medicine and Radiology This project will examine disease mechanisms using a genetic epilepsy mouse model of Dravet Syndrome, that has a sodium channel mutation, which has been found in over 85% of Dravet Syndrome patients. The purpose of the current project is to provide evidence of the structural mechanism/s causing seizures and possible therapeutic strategies. 1 1 Dr Kay Richards kay.richards@florey.edu.au Professor Steven Petrou n/a Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Moving on from IVF in women with a low chance of success Royal Women’s Hospital Obstetrics and Gynaecology We aim to explore why women and clinicians continue IVF when success is unlikely. Given the burgeoning use of IVF internationally and the generous Medicare subsidy of repeated cycles of IVF in Australia, we are well placed to address this growing problem. Dr Michelle Peate mpeate@unimelb.edu.au Prof Martha Hickey n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Multimodal imaging measures to improve dementia diagnosis Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology The aim of this study is to study the influence morphological and longitudinal measures to improve dementia diagnosis. 1 Dr Vijay Venkatraman vvenkatraman@unimelb.edu.au Prof Patricia Desmond Prof. Roland Bammer n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Master of Biomedical Science; Post Doctor Research
Multimorbidity and ageing women Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology This project will provide opportunity for publication within one year and suits a candidate with an interest in a number of disease areas. 1 Dr Alexandra Gorelik alexandra.gorelik@unimelb.edu.au Professor Cassandra Szoeke n/a Honours
Neural modelling of epileptic dynamics St Vincent's Hospital Medicine and Radiology This project aims to understand the links between the average single neuron behaviour with the behaviour of a network of neurons.  In particular, we would like to understand how the electrical behaviour becomes unstable, for example, when there is a transition to a seizure-like state from a normal or resting state.  1 1 Dr Andre Peterson peterson@unimelb.edu.au n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Neuropsychological trajectories and Health outcomes across 20 years Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology The project will suit a candidate with interest in neuropsychology. Benefits of this project include the opportunity for publication and that the data set has already been collected. 1 Dr Alison Flehr alison.flehr@unimelb.edu.au Professor Cassandra Szoeke n/a Honours
New methods for investigating bone muscle and fat mass using 2D DXA images to predict performance, risk of falls and fractures Western Health Medicine and Radiology We have a new region of interest for analysing whole body DXA scans that can determine muscle, bone and fat mass in one go and in a matter of seconds. If validated, we can develop a quick, affordable and efficient way of screening people for bone, muscle and fat mass in one go. 1 Professor Gustavo Duque gustavo.duque@unimelb.edu.au n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease – characterising disease features in order to develop new therapies St Vincent's Hospital Medicine and Radiology Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease is the most common chronic liver disorder in developed countries, affecting up to 30% of the population. 10-20% of NAFLD patients will progress to non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, in which inflammatory processes are activated in the liver. NASH can then progress to more advanced liver diseases, including cirrhosis and even hepatocellular carcinoma. Currently, no effective treatments have been shown to alter the natural history of NAFLD progression. Research efforts to understand the pathogenesis of NAFLD progression are hampered by the lack of a robust animal model. 1 1 Dr Amanda Edgley aedgley@unimelb.edu.au Dr Fay Khong Dr Roy Kong n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Non-invasive intracranial pressure Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology Intracranial pressure (ICP) monitoring is a critical parameter in neurosurgical and neurological treatments. However, there are no non-invasive methods to reliably measure ICP. This project investigates a novel way to reliably measure ICP without the need for a surgical procedure. Dr Sam John sam.john@unimelb.edu.au Dr Lauren Ayton A/PROF Bang Bui n/a Masters by Research; Honours
Novel molecular and clinical aspects of FMR1 in fragile X syndrome with implications for patient management Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics This project will utilise many of the developed technologies, the vast collection of bio-specimens and clinical data, to characterize the relationship between FMR1 mRNA, FMRP and abnormal ASFMR1 expression with epigenetic and clinical changes in FXS males and females. The primary project outcome will be characterization of the distinct and overlapping molecular pathways associated with ID and ASD features in FXS. 1 1 Associate Professor David Godler david.godler@mcri.edu.au Doctor Emma Baker n/a Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Novel therapies for the treatment of cardiorenal syndrome St Vincent's Hospital Medicine and Radiology The aim of this project is to investigate the mechanisms underlying the direct effects of uraemic toxins in vitro in cardiac, renal, vascular cells and monocytes, with a focus on actions mediated via the AhR. Dr Andrew Kompa akompa@unimelb.edu.au Dr Amanda Edgley n/a PhD
Nutritional needs of hospitalized older patients admitted to geriatric rehabilitation wards Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology This project will assess the nutritional needs, particularly at energy and protein needs versus energy and protein intake, in patients in geriatric rehabilitation programs. 1 1 Dr Esmee Reijnierse esmee.reijnierse@unimelb.edu.au Prof Andrea Maier n/a Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Ocular gene therapy: the new era of blindness prevention Surgery, Ophthalmology, Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital Surgery In December 2017, the world’s first direct-to-human gene therapy was approved for an inherited retinal disease called Leber Congenital Amaurosis. This disease normally onsets in early childhood and causes severe vision loss and blindness. Excitingly, the new gene therapy treatment was able to halt the progression of this disease, saving vision for the study participants. This has opened the doors for a new era of medicine – one where blindness may be able to be stopped in its tracks with the use of gene therapy. 1 1 Dr Tom Edwards thomas.edwards@unimelb.edu.au Dr Lauren Ayton Ms Jasleen Jolly n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Olfactory-focused cognitive training Royal Melbourne Hospital Psychiatry The successful candidate in this project will help develop and evaluate an olfactory training paradigm suitable for use with cognitively impaired older adults. 1 1 Dr Alex Bahar-Fuchs alex.bahar@unimelb.edu.au n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Post Doctor Research
Optogenetics for precise neural stimulation Bionics Institute Medical Bionics Department The aim of this project is to develop the next generation of neural stimulation devices that use optical stimulation or combined optical/electrical stimulation in order to improve the precision of neural activation. 1 A/Prof Rachael Richardson RRICHARDSON@bionicsinstitute.org n/a PhD
Otitis Media (Ear Infection) in Indigenous Australians Surgery, Otolaryngology, Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital Surgery Otitis media is exceedingly prevalent in Australian Aboriginal children, and causes a hearing loss that lasts throughout childhood and often into adult life. Recurrent infections and associated hearing loss hinders learning and educational opportunities, and may have life-long impacts. We are committed to reducing the burden of ear infection amongst Indigenous children, through clinical and experimental research. 1 Prof Stephen O'Leary sjoleary@unimelb.edu.au Dr Katie Ozdowska n/a Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Pacemaker channels and brain excitability Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology Pacemaker channels in the brain are important for normal function. In this project we use optogenic tools to better understand what they do in the brain 1 2 A/Prof Christopher Reid christopher.reid@florey.edu.au Dr Paulo Pinares-Garcia Dr Ming So n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a complex condition with poorly defined genetics and pathogenesis. This project utilises genetic and functional approaches to identify and understand genes contributing to PD. Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a complex condition with poorly defined genetics and pathogenesis. This project utilises genetic and functional approaches to identify and understand genes contributing to PD. Associate Professor Paul Lockhart paul.lockhart@mcri.edu.au Doctor Yujing Gao n/a PhD
Patterns of Electrocochleography drops in cochlear implant recipients Surgery, Otolaryngology, Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital Surgery We are pioneering the use of intra-operative monitoring of hearing function during cochlear implantation to actively preserve this function in theatre. As part of this monitoring, we often see a sudden drop in cochlear output, which we hypothesize is due to a trauma occurring to the inner-ear. We have demonstrated that drops of a certain size are correlated with greater losses of hearing post-operatively. These drops can occur rapidly or slowly at multiple parts during the insertion. The purpose of this project is to investigate whether the timing, size, or slope of these drops affects the severity of post-operative hearing loss. 1 Dr Christofer Bester christofer.bester@unimelb.edu.au Prof Stephen O'Leary Dr Aaron Collins Dr Hayden Eastwood n/a Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Peripheral UBE3A expression as a predictor of the clinical phenotype in Angelman Syndrome Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics This project will utilise many of the developed technologies and clinical data to characterise relationships between UBE3A expression with objective assessments of developmental functioning, autism traits, and sleep problems. 1 1 Doctor Emma Baker emma.baker@mcri.edu.au Professor David Amor Associate Professor David Amor n/a Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Physical Activity, Sedentary Behaviour, and Cognition in Ageing Women Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology This project aims to evaluate the association of Physical Activity, Sedentary Behaviour, and Cognition in Ageing Women over 20 years of follow-up. 1 Dr Jarrod Kerris jarrod.kerris@unimelb.edu.au Professor Cassandra Szoeke n/a Honours
Pluripotent stem cell models of mitochondrial disease Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics In this research project, the hESCs generated by CRISPR/Cas9 mediated gene disruption, or iPCs from mitochondrial disease patient fibroblasts, will be validated as mitochondrial disease models, followed by confirmation of the impact on the targeted gene and pathway. Selected cell lines will then be differentiated to cardiomyocyte and/or neural lineages to enable comparison (with control cells) of the impact of the gene knockout on various aspects of mitochondrial and cellular function. 1 1 Doctor Ann Frazier ann.frazier@mcri.edu.au Professor David Thorburn n/a Honours
Potential of stem cell therapy to treat Hirschsprung's disease Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics Stem cell therapy, where missing enteric neurons are replaced, is an exciting area area of research. In this project, we are using a rat model of Hirschsprung Disease to investigate the clinical application of cell therapy for Hirschsprung patients. 1 1 Doctor Lincon Stamp lstamp@unimelb.edu.au Associate Professor Sebastian King Doctor Marlene Hao n/a Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Pre-Clinical Studies Identifying Novel Molecular Regulators of Skeletal Muscle Growth and Atrophy Western Health Medicine and Radiology The aim of this project is to use rodent- and cell-based models to examine the potential for specific growth factors, signalling molecules, metabolic enzymes and/or transcription factors to stimulate muscle growth or promote muscle atrophy. 1 Associate Professor Alan Hayes hayes.a@unimelb.edu.au n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
Predicting tumour evolution, immune surveillance and editing using integromic classification of the tumour microenvironment Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre (VCCC) Clinical Pathology This project aims to identify tumour microenvironment signatures that predict immune-surveillance, immune-editing, tumour evolution and whether these signatures increase the risk of developing recurrence andor metastases. 1 1 Associate Professor Daniel Buchanan daniel.buchanan@unimelb.edu.au Dr Ryan Hutchinson Dr Khalid Mahmood n/a Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Prediction of ovarian malignancy in children with ovarian cysts Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Obstetrics and Gynaecology Ovarian cysts are very common in children however ovarian malignancy is uncommon. 1 Dr Yasmin Jayasinghe yasmin.jayasinghe@unimelb.edu.au n/a Honours
Pregnancy Specific beta-1 glycoproteins (PSGs) and their role and function in preeclampsia and fetal growth restriction Mercy Health Obstetrics and Gynaecology PSGs 4, 7 and 9 are highly expressed in placenta and may have important roles in diseases of pregnancy including preeclampsia and fetal growth restriction. The aim of this project will be to characterise the expression of these molecules in placental and blood samples already collected from women with these diseases. In addition, functional studies to elucidate the regulation of these molecules will be undertaken using primary human placental cells and tissues. 1 Associate Professor Tu'uhevaha Kaitu'u-Lino t.klino@unimelb.edu.au n/a Honours
Prevalence of menstrual disorders in young women and associations with the early life environment Royal Women’s Hospital Obstetrics and Gynaecology Menstrual disorders and pelvic pain are common and confer a major health, social and economic burden. This project analyses data from a population-based cohort to measure prevalence and predictors of symptoms. 1 Prof Martha Hickey hickeym@unimelb.edu.au Dr Jennifer Marino n/a Masters by Research; Master of Biomedical Science
Priorities and Needs of Women Living with Advanced Cancer Royal Women’s Hospital Obstetrics and Gynaecology The aim of this project is to gather qualitative and quantitative data from advanced cancer patients, their families, and their providers to identify their needs, with the eventual goal of establishing clinical tools, including patient-reported outcome measures and useful tools that can improve the end-of-life experience of these patients and their families. 1 1 Dr Michelle Peate mpeate@unimelb.edu.au Dr Jennifer Marino n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Probing the complexity of cartilage using the Atomic Force Microscope St Vincent's Hospital Surgery The articular cartilage of the knee exhibits complex mechanical properties, including steep stiffness gradients, sensational lubrication, and dynamic viscoelasticity. However, studying and reproducing these properties has been a challenge, since they are exhibited at micro-scales. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) is a nanoscience technique which uses a tiny, super-sharp tip to ‘feel’ a surface. As versatile mechanical probe, AFM allows a unique insight into the mechanical microenvironment of materials and tissues. 1 1 Dr Cathal O'Connell oconnell.c@unimelb.edu.au n/a Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Quantitative imaging in dementia Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology The aim of this study is to explore the utility of advanced MR imaging approaches in detecting early dementia. 1 Prof Patricia Desmond Patricia.Desmond@mh.org.au Prof Roland Bammer Dr Vijay Venkatraman n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Master of Biomedical Science; Post Doctor Research
Raising innate immunity to fight with severe infection Florey Institute of Neuroscience & Mental Health Medicine and Radiology Explore a novel antibiotics-independent treatment for severe bacterial infection by raising innate phagocytosis ability with peptide drugs. 1 1 Dr. Ben Gu ben.gu@florey.edu.au Prof. James Wiley n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science; Post Doctor Research
Refining the comprehensive geriatric assessment Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology Domains of the comprehensive geriatric assessment need urgently to be defined to rationalize care for older individuals. 1 3 Prof. Andrea Maier andrea.maier@mh.org.au Prof. Kwang Lim n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
Regulation of ghrelin signalling by AMPK St Vincent's Institute of Medical Research Medicine and Radiology This project will use genetically modified mice to determine whether deletion of AMPK from ghrelin-sensitive cells can suppress appetite during low-calorie feeding and whether specific targeting of ghrelin-AMPK signalling is an effective strategy to prevent rebound weight gain after dieting. 1 Dr Sandra Galic sgalic@svi.edu.au Prof Bruce Kemp n/a Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Regulation of invadopodium function and involvement in cancer cell invasion Royal Melbourne Hospital Surgery This project will involve studies that explore the role of a number of invadopodia proteins in cancer cells, how they contribute to their invasive/metastatic phenotype and ultimately influence the cancer cell response to treatment protocols. 1 1 Dr Stanley Stylli sstylli@unimelb.edu.au n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Relationship between the microbiome and female infertility. Royal Melbourne Hospital Obstetrics and Gynaecology Recent studies have identified the endometrial microbiome however little is known how it affects the endometrium and whether it is associated with infertility. Professor Eva Dimitriadis eva.dimitriadis@unimelb.edu.au n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science; Post Doctor Research
Respiratory strategies to protect the preterm lung at birth Paediatrics An exciting opportunity for a PhD Student who is enthusiastic and self- motivated to apply for a PhD Scholarship for research into preterm lung injury. The successful scholar will work with our molecular and translational program, which focuses on better understanding the physiological and biological response to mechanical ventilation, using proteomics and imaging tools such as Electrical Impedance Tomography (EIT), to develop ventilation strategies that improve lung function and prevent long-term injury. 2 Dr Prue Pereira-Fantini prue.pereira@mcri.edu.au A/Prof David Tingay n/a PhD; Masters by Research
Reversible silencing of the cochlea Bionics Institute Medical Bionics Department The auditory system has long been studied as an example of neural plasticity, with functional changes to neural processing resulting from deafness or severe hearing loss. Cochlear implants can provide peripheral input and partially reverse these changes from deafness. However, it is unknown if this incomplete reversal is due to the crude input from a cochlear implant or if it is a fundamental limit to plasticity of the mammalian auditory system. 1 A/Prof Rachael Richardson RRICHARDSON@bionicsinstitute.org n/a PhD
Roles of macrophages subpopulations in tumour microenvironment in gastric cancer Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology In this project you will explore the roles of proinflammatory (e.g. IFNgamma) and anti‐inflammatory cytokines (e.g. IL‐10) driving the heterogeneity of macrophage populations. Our previous genomic experiments have provided a number of exciting candidate genes that may be involved in the effector functions of these macrophage subpopulations. 1 1 Dr Adrian Achuthan aaa@unimelb.edu.au Professor Alex Boussioutas n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Satellite imaging technology to detect the early signs of glaucoma and Alzheimer’s disease in the retina Surgery, Ophthalmology, Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital Surgery We aim to be the first group in the world to bring hyperspectral imaging, based on NASA satellite technology, to the clinic to improve the care of Australians with glaucoma and Alzheimer’s disease. There are no screening tests for the earliest stages of the diseases. 400,000 Australians live with dementia and most have Alzheimer’s disease. 1 A/Prof Peter van Wijngaarden peterv@unimelb.edu.au n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Senescence as a measure of morbidity Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology Ageing is the biggest underlying risk for the development of all chronic diseases. Within the last decade cellular senescence (permanent cell cycle arrest) has been identified as a central component of ageing. This project aims to determine if the senescent load of blood within an individual is associated with morbidity. 1 1 Dr Camilla Tuttle camilla.tuttle@unimelb.edu.au Prof Andrea Maier n/a Masters by Research; Honours
Sepsis pathway compliance and outcomes for haematology patients Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology We will examine the impact of the sepsis pathway to determine the effect on patient outcomes in all haematology patients at Peter Mac and RMH Prof Monica Slavin monica.slavin@petermac.org Prof Karin Thursky n/a Honours
Sex based differences in response to total joint replacement for osteoarthritis of the lower limb St Vincent's Hospital Surgery Sex based differences in response to TJR exist but are often ignored and therefore poorly understood. The Department of Surgery at St. Vincent’s houses the St. Vincent's Melbourne Arthroplasty (SMART) Outcomes Registry. SMART is a unique clinical registry that holds outcome data in more than 11,000 patients who have undergone lower limb joint replacement. Over 100,000 patient pain, function and quality of life surveys are recorded in the Registry. An opportunity to undertake a detailed examination of the sex-based differences in morbidity and mortality outcomes of patients undergoing TJR is available. This longitudinal cohort study has the potential to inform future trial design and targeted treatment to ensure equitable and optimal outcomes for all those considering joint replacement surgery. 1 A/Prof Michelle Dowsey mmdowsey@unimelb.edu.au Prof Peter Choong n/a Honours
Sex differences in infantile amnesia Florey Institute of Neuroscience & Mental Health Psychiatry Infantile amnesia refers to how we forget more rapidly the younger we are. The goal of this project is to investigate pre-pubertal sex differences in forgetting, and the molecular correlate in brain regions important for emotional memory. 1 1 Associate Professor Jee Hyun Kim jee.kim@florey.edu.au n/a Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Sex, drugs and rock'n'roll: Young people and risk behaviours Burnet Institute Medicine and Radiology Every year, we conduct an online survey with young people, asking about about social media use, sexual health and behaviour, alcohol and other drug use, mental health and other risks and behaviours. In this project the student will use the data collected to investigate patterns of risk behaviours and health outcomes in young people. 1 1 Dr Megan Lim megan.lim@burnet.edu.au n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Sexting, porn, and Tinder: An investigation of education and health promotion Burnet Institute Medicine and Radiology Access to new technologies could present novel risks to young people’s sexual health. 1 1 Dr Megan Lim megan.lim@burnet.edu.au n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Sexual dysfunction in women who have experienced cancer Royal Women’s Hospital Obstetrics and Gynaecology Sexual problems are a common and distressing effect of cancer and its treatment. Sexual dysfunction affects the majority of female survivors of breast and colorectal cancer, the most common cancers in women. We take a biopsychosocial approach to research measuring and treating sexual problems in this population. Dr Michelle Peate mpeate@unimelb.edu.au Dr Jennifer Marino n/a PhD; Masters by Research
Short course antibiotic therapy for acute septic arthritis and haematogenous osteomyelitis in children Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics This is a randomised factorial design non-inferiority trial of short course antibiotic therapy for children with acute septic arthritis and osteomyelitis. Dr Amanda Gwee amanda.gwee@rch.org.au Prof Nigel Curtis n/a PhD; Masters by Research
Simplifying clinical acid-base diagnosis in critical care Medicine and Radiology Validate simplified approach to diagnosing clinical acid-base disorders 1 1 Professor David Story dastory@unimelb.edu.au n/a Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Single pulse electrical stimulation for epilepsy monitoring and tuning of DBS therapy St Vincent's Hospital Medicine and Radiology The device is a brain implant that can stimulate brain regions and simultaneous record the neural responses. We will use a systematic combination of stimulating and recording to track epileptic activity and regulate abnormal brain activity. The technology will form the basis of a new therapy for epilepsy. 1 1 Dr Dean Freestone deanrf@unimelb.edu.au n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Sodium Channels in Epilepsy Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology This project is to study voltage-gated sodium channels, membrane proteins that are the basis of almost all electrical signaling in the nervous system, and so of the greatest significance in normal function, as well as disease states including epilepsy. 2 Dr Chris French frenchc@unimelb.edu.au n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Sodium Selenate as a Disease Modifying Treatment for Probable Behavioural Variant Front-temporal Dementia Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology Sodium Selenate as a Disease Modifying Treatment for Probable Behavioural Variant Front-temporal Dementia 1 2 Professor Terence O'Brien obrientj@unimelb.edu.au Dr Charles Malpas Dr. Lucy Vivash n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Post Doctor Research
Somatic mutations in Alzheimer's disease Florey Institute of Neuroscience & Mental Health Medicine and Radiology Using whole genomic sequencing and cell sorting to search for possible somatic mutations in patients with Alzheimer's disease. 1 1 Dr. Ben Gu ben.gu@florey.edu.au Dr. Xin Huang Laureate Prof. Colin Masters n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science; Post Doctor Research
Stentrode: Tissue Response to Endovascular Stimulation Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology Tissue response influences the effectiveness of the bioelectric implants. The aim of this project is to evaluate the Acute and chronic histological, macroscopic changes due to endovascular electrical stimulation to the surrounding blood vessels. Dr Sam John sam.john@unimelb.edu.au A/Prof Nicholas Opie Dr. Brooke Farrugia n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
Sternal ultrasound assessment of plate vs. wire fixation Royal Melbourne Hospital Surgery Planned trial comparing a commercial band and plate fixation device versus conventional stainless steel wire fixation following midline sternotomy for cardiac surgery. The technique of measurement is high frequency ultrasound at rest and with coughing. 1 Prof Alistair Royse Alistair.Royse@unimelb.edu.au Prof Colin Royse AProf Doa El-Ansari n/a Masters by Research; Honours; Post Doctor Research
Stroke assessment with multi-modal imaging Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology The aim of this project will be to explore the utility of multimodal imaging in stroke assessment. 1 Dr Vijay Venkatraman vijay.venkatraman@unimelb.edu.au Prof. Roland Bammer Prof Patricia Desmond n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Master of Biomedical Science; Post Doctor Research
Structural biology of proteins involved in bone diseases St Vincent's Institute of Medical Research Medicine and Radiology Remodelling of bone is critical for normal physiological function and becomes dysfunctional in diseases such as Osteoporosis (bone thinning and fragility) and Osteosarcoma (bone cancer), where a paucity of bone material causes debilitating illness that is currently irreversible. Alternatively, mutation of a specific membrane protein, ClC-7, causes a rare inherited disease (Osteopetrosis) in which too much bone material is deposited leading to abnormally increased bone mass. Our preliminary studies have suggested a molecular basis for aberrant function of ClC-7 mutants in Osteopetrosis. The aim of this project is to fully characterise the mechanism of ClC-7 mutations that cause Osteopetrosis in order to develop drugs that mimic the phenotype of these mutations. 1 Dr Brett Bennetts brettb@unimelb.edu.au Prof Michael Parker n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Structural biology of proteins involved in cancer St Vincent's Institute of Medical Research Medicine and Radiology We are investigating, though structural and biochemical means, how a range of ruthenium, arsenic and osmium-based drugs and drug-like compounds interact with Glutathione S-Transferase (GST) family of proteins. 1 Dr Craig Morton craig.morton@unimelb.edu.au Prof Michael Parker n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Structural biology of proteins involved in infection St Vincent's Institute of Medical Research Medicine and Radiology The b-barrel pore-forming toxins constitute the largest group of functionally related toxins/proteins and are expressed in many species in the prokaryotic and eukaryotic kingdoms and also include the membrane attack complex/perforin (MACPF) family of mammalian immune defence proteins. Despite their widespread occurrence and role in bacterial pathogenesis and immune defence, the detailed mechanism by which they form pores remains an enigma. The overall aim here is to visualise the 3D structures of family members as a basis for functional studies to reveal the molecular details of how these toxins insert into membranes to form b-barrel pores and how the process is regulated. 1 Dr Craig Morton craig.morton@unimelb.edu.au Prof Michael Parker n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Structural biology of proteins involved in mental illnesses St Vincent's Institute of Medical Research Medicine and Radiology Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the fourth biggest killer in developed countries. Amyloid precursor protein (APP) plays a central role in the development of AD, through generation of the toxic Abeta peptide by proteolytic breakdown of APP. Here we will use X-ray crystallography at the Australian Synchrotron to determine the 3D atomic structures of Abeta bound to therapeutic antibodies currently in clinical trials in order to understand how these molecules recognise Abeta. We use this information to engineer more potent antibodies as treatments for AD. 1 Prof Michael Parker mparker@svi.edu.au n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Structure-based drug design of selective Drp1 inhibitors St Vincent's Institute of Medical Research Medicine and Radiology The mitochondrial protein dynamin-related protein (Drp1) has been implicated in the development of a number of diseases, including; cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease. To date, no direct small molecule drugs of human Drp1 have been identified. This project will use rational drug discovery techniques to develop these small molecule drugs. 1 1 Dr Jessica Holien jholien@svi.edu.au Dr Belinda Abbott Dr Christopher Langendorf Dr Shiang Yong (Max) Lim n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Studying brain-behaviour relationships during adolescence Royal Melbourne Hospital Psychiatry The project aims to examine associations between neurodevelopment during adolescence and behavioural and mental health outcomes. There will also be opportunity to explore the influence of environmental factors such as parenting behaviour and early life stress on the maturation of the brain. 1 1 Associate Professor Sarah Whittle swhittle@unimelb.edu.au Ms Divyangana Rakesh n/a Masters by Research; Honours
Surgical experience in paediatric gynaecology Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Obstetrics and Gynaecology Paediatric gynaecology is a relatively new field with the surgical experiences and credentialling relatively unexplored. 1 Dr Yasmin Jayasinghe yasmin.jayasinghe@unimelb.edu.au n/a Honours
Tablet-based documentation during neonatal resuscitation Royal Women’s Hospital Obstetrics and Gynaecology In neonatal resuscitation, accuracy of documentation is crucial for clinical and medico-legal reasons, and for quality improvement. This prospective cohort study will compare a tablet App-based documentation with the conventional paper-based documentation. 1 1 Dr Marta Thio marta.thiolluch@thewomens.org.au Dr Omar Kamlin Dr Jennifer Dawson n/a Honours
Targeting inflammation and fibrosis for the treatment of retinal disease St Vincent's Hospital Medicine and Radiology Currently, there are no effective treatment options for retinal scarring and limited therapies for neovascularisation, hence there is a high unmet clinical need for novel and cost effective products to prevent vision loss associated with neovascularisation, inflammation and fibrosis. With this focus our group, along with the biotech company OccuRx, has patented a library of new chemical entities with potent anti-inflammatory and anti-fibrotic properties to treat inflammatory and fibrotic diseases of the retina. Dr Roy Kong Dr Amanda Edgley n/a PhD
Testing nanoengineered drug delivery systems to treat hearing loss Bionics Institute Medical Bionics Department It has long been established that hair cells in the inner ear are susceptible to damage. Recent evidence has revealed that the synapses between hair cells and neurons are the first to degenerate in the ageing or noise-exposed inner ear. This project will focus on developing a treatment strategy to repair the synaptic connections in the damaged inner ear. 1 Dr Niki Gunewardene NGunewardene@bionicsinstitute.org n/a PhD
Testing therapeutics for infertility in organoid models Royal Melbourne Hospital Obstetrics and Gynaecology This project aims to recreate human organoid cultures of the endometrium to determine the cause and treatment of embryo implantation failure infertility. 2 2 Professor Eva Dimitriadis eva.dimitriadis@unimelb.edu.au Dr Wei Zhou n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science; Post Doctor Research
The Baby Directed Umbilical Cord Cutting Physiology Study: A Randomised Controlled Trial (Baby-DUCC) Royal Women’s Hospital Obstetrics and Gynaecology Current neonatal resuscitation guidelines recommend that if an infant is not breathing at birth, the umbilical cord should be cut straight away so the infant can be transferred to a resuscitation platform where clinicians can provide resuscitation interventions. The aim of this study is to prove that supporting babies’ breathing before cutting the umbilical cord improves clinical outcomes, by ensuring oxygen transfer and blood flow are not interrupted whilst the baby is struggling to breathe. 1 Dr Marta Thio marta.thiolluch@thewomens.org.au Dr Douglas Blank Dr Shiraz Badurdeen n/a Honours
The blood pressure drop makes you fall Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology (Initial) orthostatic hypotension ((i)OH) is highly prevalent in older adults, especially in those with one or more chronic diseases. This project will focus on determinants and outcomes related to (i)OH in patients in rehabilitation and visiting the outpatient clinics to guide future pharmacological intervention studies. 1 1 Prof. Andrea Maier andrea.maier@mh.org.au n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
The cellular fuel gauge: Novel mechanisms of metabolic control St Vincent's Institute of Medical Research Medicine and Radiology All living organisms have a critical need to couple energy and nutrient supply with growth. A major sensor of the nutrient status of a cell’s environment is the evolutionarily conserved AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK). AMPK acts as the cell’s fuel gauge by directly sensing energy state (AMP, ADP and ATP), and orchestrating multiple branches of metabolism by phosphorylating and regulating key rate-limiting enzymes in these pathways. Our research goal is to bridge this knowledge gap by hunting for regulatory AMPK kinases and metabolite ligands. 1 A/Prof Jon Oakhill joakhill@svi.edu.au Dr John Scott n/a PhD; Honours
The development of anti-NPY1 receptor antibodies for research into and treatment of cardiovascular diseases and cancer Austin Health Medicine and Radiology Research into the developement of an immunotoxin or imaging reagent for potential treatment or imaging of CVD and breast cancer respectively. Dr Peter J Wookley pwookey@unimelb.edu.au n/a PhD
The effect of anxiety on cardiovascular risk in healthy ageing women Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology This project will consider whether the presence of anxiety symptoms is related to increase Cardiovascular Risk in a cohort of healthy ageing women from the Women’s Healthy Ageing Project (WHAP). 1 Professor Cassandra Szoeke cszoeke@unimelb.edu.au Professor Lorraine Dennerstein n/a Honours
The Genomic Drivers of High Risk Prostate cancer Royal Melbourne Hospital Surgery The issue of prostate cancer (CaP) in the Western world represents a major clinical problem with the prostate being the most cancer prone internal organ, but only an unpredictable 10% of these cases progress to lethality. Professor Christopher Hovens cbhovens@gmail.com Associate Professor Niall Corcoran n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
The Impact of Inflammation-Driven Cancers on Immune Ageing Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology Chronic inflammation can accelerate cellular ageing, particularly in immune cells, and certain forms of cancer can be highly inflammatory. This project aims to dissect the signalling pathways induced by multiple myeloma-driven inflammation in immune cells and to identify targets for preserving immune function in cancer patients. Prof David Ritchie david.ritchie@mh.org.au Dr Rachel Koldej Dr Kylie Quinn n/a PhD; Masters by Research
The neurobiology of anxiety across development and sex Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute This study aims to characterise the neurobiology of fear learning (a key mechanism in anxiety) in children, adolescents and adults, and investigate the role of pubertal hormones. Knowledge gained will have implications for understanding the etiology and treatment of anxiety disorders. Associate Professor Sarah Whittle swhittle@unimelb.edu.au n/a PhD
The pathophysiological role of the RAS in portal hypertension Austin Health Medicine and Radiology This project aims to achieve a greater understanding of portal hypertension associated with both cirrhotic as well as non-cirrhotic patients, and to develop new therapies for their treatment or prevention. 1 Dr Chandana Herath cherath@unimelb.edu.au Prof Peter Angus n/a Honours students
The power of human muscle Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology This project will determine the risk factors of muscle mass, muscle strength and physical performance decline during hospitalization and determine intervention factors related to improvement of muscle health in hospitalized patients. 2 2 Prof. Andrea Maier andrea.maier@mh.org.au n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
The prognosisdiagnosis of common pregnancy complications utilising genetic material found in extracellular vesicles derived from maternal blood and urine. Royal Women’s Hospital Obstetrics and Gynaecology The ultimate objective of this research is to develop a test for the early detection of common pregnancy disorders. 1 1 Dr Bill Kalionis kalionis@unimelb.edu.au Assoc Prof Harry Georgiou Dr Maria Kokkinos n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
The relationship between diet and mental health in children and young adults Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics This project utilises two large independent population-based cohorts of Australian children and adults - (1) the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC) with the nested Child Health CheckPoint physical health and biospecimens module, and (2) the Clinical review of the Health in adults conceived with Assisted Reproductive Technologies (CHART) study. Potential students will use linear regression to investigate the association between dietary intake (such as fresh fruit, raw and cooked vegetables, fatty foods, dairy, meat and fish) and mental health in mid-childhood. 1 Doctor Sharon Lewis sharon.lewis@mcri.edu.au Doctor Katherine Lange n/a Honours
The role of AMP-activated kinase in suppressing atherosclerosis St Vincent's Institute of Medical Research Medicine and Radiology The main objective of this project is to study how AMPK controls cholesterol production in the liver and macrophages. AMPK’s activation in response to exercise is thought to be part of the protective mechanism against the development of heart disease. We aim to investigate whether by changing the activity of AMPK, using drugs that currently in clinical trial, we can augment the body’s natural control mechanisms and significantly reduce the development of atherosclerosis. 1 Dr Kim Loh kloh@svi.edu.au n/a PhD; Honours
The role of CCL17 in osteoarthritis Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis, for which there are no adequate therapies 1 1 Dr Kevin Lee mingchinl@unimelb.edu.au A/Prof Andrew Cook n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
The role of EGFR Signaling in Glioblastoma Progression and Resistance to Current Therapies Royal Melbourne Hospital Surgery This project will investigate the critical role the epidermal growth factor receptor plays in glioblastoma progression. 1 2 Dr Rodney Luwor rluwor@unimelb.edu.au n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
The role of endolymphatic hydrops after cochlear implantation Surgery, Otolaryngology, Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital Surgery Protection of the residual hearing after cochlear implantation is one of the main goals of modern implant surgery. Loss of hearing is often the result of the surgical trauma and associated inflammatory reactions. Endolymphatic hydrops (EH) is a little understood cochlear response to trauma, which has been associated with hearing loss in other inner ear conditions. 1 Dr Hayden Eastwood haydente@unimelb.edu.au n/a Honours
The role of FANCM gene in inherited breast cancer St Vincent's Institute of Medical Research Medicine and Radiology 1 in 10 breast cancers are due to inheritance of a predisposing gene. In half of these cases, the inherited gene mutation is in the well characterised BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes. The normal function of BRCA1 and BRCA2 is in DNA repair, to suppress cancer by removing the damage to DNA that is caused by carcinogens. Over the last few years, many other DNA repair genes have been linked with familial breast cancer, including the FANCM gene. Our lab studies the mechanism of DNA repair by the FANCM protein using cell-based and protein chemistry-based approaches. This project will test the breast-cancer associated FANCM mutations identified in a screen of 11,000 women with a history of breast cancer, in a set of assays so that we may determine why they might predispose to breast cancer. 1 A/Prof Andrew Deans adeans@svi.edu.au Dr Elyse Dunn n/a PhD; Honours
The Role of Innate Phagocytosis in the Pathogenesis and Treatment of Alzheimer's Disease Florey Institute of Neuroscience & Mental Health Medicine and Radiology This project is to investigate the functional link between innate phagocytosis of peripheral monocyte and brain Aβ amyloid burden, in order to develop a combination treatment targeting both innate phagocytosis and chronic inflammation for Aβ clearance in AD . 1 Dr. Ben Gu ben.gu@florey.edu.au Prof. James Wiley n/a PhD; Masters by Research
The role of invadopodia in glioma invasion and response to therapeutics Royal Melbourne Hospital Surgery This project will involve studies that explore the role of a number of invadopodia proteins in glioma cells, how they contribute to their invasive phenotype and ultimately influence their response to treatment. 1 1 Dr Stanley Stylli sstylli@unimelb.edu.au n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
The role of NMDA NR2B signalling in fear memory erasure in juvenile rats Florey Institute of Neuroscience & Mental Health Medicine and Radiology We have hypothesized that extinction erases fear memories in juvenile rodents because extinction at this age may rely on plasticity solely within the amygdala due to the immature neural circuitry. Consistent with this idea, others have also hypothesized that the amygdala is capable of extreme plasticity at 2 weeks of age due to the high number of NR2B subunits. Although we have demonstrated that the non-selective NMDAR antagonist MK-801 injected systemically prior to extinction does not disrupt extinction consolidation in juvenile rats, MK-801 shows similar affinity to NR1/NR2A and NR1/NR2B multimers. 1 1 Associate Professor Jee Hyun Kim jee.kim@florey.edu.au n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Master of Biomedical Science
The role of RECQL4 gene in cancer predispositon St Vincent's Institute of Medical Research Medicine and Radiology This project will test RecQL4 mutations associated with Rothmund-Thomson syndrome in a set of assays so that we may determine how the mutations directly impair DNA replication and/or repair. 1 1 Dr Andrew Deans adeans@svi.edu.au n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
The role of STAT3-mediated Cancer Progression and Resistance to Current Therapies Royal Melbourne Hospital Surgery This project will investigate the critical role of STAT3 in mediating cancer progression. 1 2 Dr Rodney Luwor rluwor@unimelb.edu.au n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
The role of the non-muscle myosin component Myl9 in embryonic development and haematopoietic stem cell function St Vincent's Institute of Medical Research Medicine and Radiology Previous studies from our laboratory discovered Myl9 as a novel regulator of haematopoietic stem cell (HSC) function. Dysregulated Myl9 expression causes an condition in mice similar to the myelodysplastic syndrome, which a pre-leukaemic pathology characterised by an inability of HSCs to continually replenish the cells of the immune system. We recently generated a Myl9 knockout mouse model and discovered that it is also critical for late embryonic development, with most animals dying before birth. 1 1 A/Prof Mark Chong mchong@svi.edu.au n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
The same but different: Transcriptional responses to inflammatory stimuli in phenotypically discordant monozygotic twins Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics This project will examine the transcriptional response of purified blood monocytes to inflammatory stimuli in vitro in twins discordant for weight from birth to 6 years of age. As monozygotic twins are genetically identical, any differences in response will be directly attributable to cumulative environmental exposures, allowing the relative contribution of genes and environment to this important aspect of immune cell function to be directly assessed. 1 1 Professor Richard Saffery richard.saffery@mcri.edu.au Professor David Burgner Doctor Boris Novakovic n/a Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Therapeutic intervention of AGE/RAGE pathway in NAFLD Austin Health Medicine and Radiology Identify potentially modifiable factors that exacerbate liver injury and fibrosis in NAFLD and to develop therapies that can prevent or slow liver scarring. 1 Dr Chandana Herath cherath@unimelb.edu.au Prof Peter Angus n/a Honours students
Therapies targeting the renin angiotensin system (RAS) in liver fibrosis Austin Health Medicine and Radiology The broad aim of this project is to achieve a greater understanding of chronic liver disease such as cirrhosis and to develop new therapies for their treatment or prevention. 1 Dr Chandana Herath cherath@unimelb.edu.au Prof Peter Angus n/a Honours students
Towards a patient-specific examination of epileptogenesis St Vincent's Hospital Medicine and Radiology How can we quantify and model these differences in brain network structures in order to personalise diagnosis and treatment in complex patient-specific diseases such as epilepsy? One direction towards this ultimate goal is to use graph theory and dynamical systems in combination with connectome data to convert brain network structures into matrices. 1 1 Prof Mark Cook markcook@unimelb.edu.au Dr Andre Peterson n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Towards an advanced artificial pancreas aimed at optimising metabolic control in people living with Type 1 diabetes St Vincent's Hospital Medicine and Radiology Those living with type I diabetes (T1D) are faced with the daily challenge of matching insulin dosing with rapidly changing insulin requirements. Mismatch can result in high glucose levels which damage vital organs or low glucose levels which may lead to coma and seizures. An artificial pancreas (AP) automatically adjusts insulin delivery every five minutes in response to changes in blood glucose levels. However, even current AP systems remain challenged by unpredictable changes in insulin requirements associated with meals and exercise. Our research group have studies profiling counter-regulatory hormone levels during exercise of differing intensities in people with T1D. This will help us understand factors influencing insulin requirements during exercise and inform future AP systems using signals in addition to glucose (eg. lactate, ketones, fit-bit data, and heart-rate). 1 1 Prof David O'Neal DTRG-t1research@unimelb.edu.au Ms Catriona Sims n/a Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Tracking Physical Activity in Young Adults with Heart Disease Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology Activity trackers offer great potential for understanding physical activity at the population level. This novel research will provide insights into physical activity patterns in young adults with heart disease. 1 Associate Professor Luke Burchill blj@unimelb.edu.au Dr Aneta Kotevski n/a Honours
Transgenerational influence of diet on autoimmune susceptibility St Vincent's Institute of Medical Research Medicine and Radiology While it is not difficult to envisage how an environmental factor can have a direct effect on at-risk individuals, evidence suggest that such cues may also influence autoimmune susceptibility at transgenerational level. That is, the exposure of parent to an environmental factor then affects the susceptibility of their offspring. A/Prof Mark Chong mchong@svi.edu.au n/a PhD
Treating cognitive impairment in bipolar disorder Royal Melbourne Hospital Psychiatry This project aims to examine the efficacy of a neuroplasticity-based cognitive remediation intervention to improve cognitive and functional outcomes in people with bipolar disorder. Dr Tamsyn Van Rheenen tamsyn.van@unimelb.edu.au n/a PhD
Treating fibrosis and inflammation to prevent end-organ damage in diabetes St Vincent's Hospital Medicine and Radiology The Renal and Cardiovascular Translational Research group is focused on developing novel compounds for the treatment of pathological inflammation and fibrosis in diabetic and non-diabetic kidney, heart and eye disease. Our projects adopt a “bench to bedside” approach where we evaluate the efficacy of novel therapies on structural and functional aspects of heart, kidney, liver and eye disease using well characterised animal models that mimic the complications seen in humans. 1 1 Dr Roy Kong roy.kong@unimelb.edu.au Dr Amanda Edgley Dr Fay Khong n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Treatment outcome in older lung cancer patients: does the biological age predict it? Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology We will determine the biological age of older lung cancer patients and test if the biological age can predict treatment outcome. 1 2 Prof. Andrea Maier andrea.maier@mh.org.au Dr. Claire Maddison n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
Trends in maternal and newborn health outcomes in Demographic Household Surveys in Papua New Guinea (2006 and 2018) Burnet Institute In this project, a student will conduct a comparative analysis of the two Demographic Health Surveys (2006 and 2018) available for Papua New Guinea, to assess trends in socio-demographic characteristics, reproductive health service utilization and maternal and newborn health outcomes. 1 Dr Joshua Vogel joshua.vogel@burnet.edu.au Prof Caroline Homer Dr Alyce Wilson Dr Meghan Bohren n/a Masters by Research; Honours
Trying to stop Sudden Unexpected Death in EPilepsy (SUDEP) Florey Institute of Neuroscience & Mental Health Medicine and Radiology This project aims to investigate the underlying mechanisms of Sudden Death in Epilepsy using a mouse model. 1 Associate Professor Christopher Reid christopher.reid@unimelb.edu.au Dr Ming Soh Dr Marie Phillips n/a Honours
Tuberous sclerosis and epilepsy: using resected tissue to understand disease pathogenesis Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics In this project, the candidate will use immunostaining and stereological techniques to determine the gradient density of dysmorphic neurons in resected tuber tissues. These histology findings will be combined with our ultra-high field ex vivo diffusion MRI data to create a 3D reconstruction of tubers. 1 1 Associate Professor Paul Lockhart paul.lockhart@mcri.edu.au Doctor Sarah Stephenson n/a Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Type I interferon regulation of macrophage metabolism and activation Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology This project will explore how metabolic pathways shape macrophage function and inflammatory phenotype. 1 Dr Andrew Fleetwood andrew.fleetwood@unimelb.edu.au n/a Honours
Understand links between the brain, cognition and behaviour in psychiatric disorders on the mood-psychosis spectrum. Royal Melbourne Hospital Psychiatry Several projects related to understanding links between the brain, cognition and behaviour in bipolar disorder and schizophrenia are on offer Dr Tamsyn Van Rheenen tamsyn.van@unimelb.edu.au n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Understanding changes in auditory processing from noise induced hearing loss Bionics Institute Medical Bionics Department This project will investigate the effects of hearing impairment brought about by the exposure to noise. 1 A/Prof Andrew Wise awise@bionicsinstitute.org n/a PhD
Understanding differences in outcomes of cochlear implants Bionics Institute Medical Bionics Department Deafness has a detrimental effect on the structure and function of the auditory system, from loss and demyelination of neurons in the auditory nerve, to plastic changes in the brainstem and cortical areas. These changes can have detrimental effects on a person’s ability to understand speech using a cochlear implant. Understanding the mechanisms of these changes, and how they impact on hearing, will lead to ways to optimise the cochlear implant function for each individual. 1 Prof Colette McKay CMcKAY@bionicsinstitute.org n/a PhD
Understanding family preferences for accessing mental healthcare for children with chronic physical health problems Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics This project is a discrete choice experiment - a survey-based method that helps us to understand people's choices or decisions. The context is unmet need for mental healthcare among children with chronic physical health problems attending RCH outpatient clinics. 1 1 Doctor Jemimah Ride jemimah.ride@unimelb.edu.au Professor Harriet Hiscock n/a Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Understanding hospital, GP, and family factors associated with paediatric asthma re-admissions Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics The overall aim of this project is to identify modifiable and translatable factors associated with asthma re-admissions in order to inform new models of care to keep children out of hospitals. The student will assist with data collection, analysis and exploring a specific angle of interest in more detail within this broader project. 1 Doctor Katherine Chen katherine.chen@rch.org.au Professor Harriet Hiscock n/a Honours
Understanding how A-to-I RNA editing modifies the immunogenicity of endogenous RNA St Vincent's Institute of Medical Research Medicine and Radiology RNA editing, principally A-to-I editing, is the most prevalent form of RNA base modification and can lead to structural and functional changes in RNA and any subsequently encoded protein. Genomically encoded adenosine (A) is converted to inosine (I) in double stranded RNA (dsRNA) substrates. Inosine is interpreted as a guanine (G) during translation, thus harboring the potential to alter the protein coding sequence of mRNA substrates. However, A-to-I editing predominantly occurs in non-coding, repetitive elements such as inverted Alu elements and short interspersed elements (SINE). Estimates of the number of editing sites range from hundreds of thousands to millions in human cells, with tens of thousands in the mouse. This project will apply unique mouse models and genome wide screening to definitively understand the consequences of ADAR1 editing on non-coding and small RNA species. 1 1 A/Prof Carl Walkley cwalkley@svi.edu.au Dr Alistair Chalk Dr Jacki Herard-Farlow n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Understanding how immune cell function is impacted by novel therapies in patients with B cell malignancies Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology In recent years, new non-chemotherapy based small molecule inhibitors such as Venetoclax and Ibrutinib have been shown to offer improved outcomes in patients with B cell malignancies. Our existing data has demonstrated that these therapies have a significant impact on patient immune function when used long term which will be explored further in this project. 1 1 Prof David Ritchie david.ritchie@mh.org.au Dr Rachel Koldej Dr Joanne Davis n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
Understanding how the brain processes combined electrical and acoustic stimulation Bionics Institute Medical Bionics Department The expansion of criteria for cochlear implantation to include patients with substantial residual hearing has focused interest on the benefits of combined electro-acoustic stimulation (EAS). Although such stimulation via a hybrid cochlear implant (CI) and hearing aid in the same ear has been shown to improve speech understanding, particularly in noise, and to increase the aesthetic quality of sound, almost nothing is known about the physiological mechanisms underlying these benefits. A number of animal studies have been performed, but they have used normal hearing animals and used simple acoustic and electrical stimulation that are not representative of complex electrical and acoustic information that represent speech and have limited clinical relevance. 1 A/Prof James Fallon JFALLON@bionicsinstitute.org n/a PhD
Understanding how Type 17 immunity and IL-17 cytokines regulate Type 1 diabetes St Vincent's Institute of Medical Research Medicine and Radiology Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is a human autoimmune disease involving the progressive destruction of the insulin producing B-cells in the pancreatic islets. A clearer understanding of the autoimmune processes will provide new opportunities for therapeutic intervention in human T1D patients. Our primary goal is to cure T1D by developing novel immune therapies. 1 1 Dr Andrew Sutherland asutherland@svi.edu.au n/a PhD; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Understanding links between the brain, cognition and behaviour in psychiatric disorders on the mood-psychosis spectrum. Royal Melbourne Hospital Psychiatry Several projects related to understanding links between the brain, cognition and behaviour in bipolar disorder and schizophrenia are on offer Dr Tamsyn Van Rheenen tamsyn.van@unimelb.edu.au n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Understanding the burden and consequences of Mycoplasma genitalium infection Royal Women’s Hospital Obstetrics and Gynaecology Mycoplasma genitalium (MG) is an emerging pathogen and a suspected cause of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) that is proving difficult to control due to high levels of antibiotic resistance. This project will use epidemiological methods to generate new evidence on the risk of PID among women with MG infection and establish a surveillance system for monitoring MG resistance patterns. Dr Dorothy Machalek dorothy.machalek@thewomens.org.au A/Prof Catriona Bradshaw Dr Gerald Murray n/a PhD
Understanding the cause of human papillomavirus (HPV)-negative cervical cancers in Australian women Royal Women’s Hospital Obstetrics and Gynaecology The vast majority of cervical cancers are attributed to human papillomavirus (HPV) infection. However, a small percentage of cancers are HPV-negative. The project aims to identify the causes for HPV-negative cancers and to identify molecular targets that can be used for diagnosis. 1 Dr Gerald Murray gerald.murray@unimelb.edu.au Dr Sam Phillips Prof Suzanne Garland n/a PhD students
Understanding the genetic basis of lipedema St Vincent's Hospital Surgery Lipidema is a debilitating disease caused by excessive accumulation of fat in arms and lower extremities, affecting women at the onset of puberty. There is no known cure. Often, there is a lymphodema component associated with this disease but the precise role of lymphatics in disease pathology is unclear. This project will initiate a genetic screen of affected individuals and their families in order to identify genes that may be affected in these patients. 1 1 Dr Ramin Shayan rshayan@svi.edu.au Dr Tara Karnezis n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Understanding the importance of variation in the capsular polysaccharide of Streptococcus pneumoniae Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics This project will focus on the identification and characterisation of these variants. This includes the molecular basis of the variation and potential for mistyping, and also the relevance of such changes to the capsule on pneumococcal pathogenesis. Key approaches to this project include: genetic manipulation of pneumococcal isolates, experiments with DNA and RNA, capsular typing of pneumococcal isolates as well as conducting functional assays in vitro. 1 1 Associate Professor Catherine Satzke catherine.satzke@mcri.edu.au Doctor Sam Manna n/a Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Understanding the microenvironment of lymphodema St Vincent's Institute of Medical Research Surgery Approximately 20% of cancer patients undergoing radiotherapy and/or surgical resection of lymph nodes will develop Lymphodema. Communication between cells is a fundamental process during disease progression. One of the key features of lymphodema is the accumulation of fat within the surrounding tissue, fibrosis, poor immunity and extreme pain. We would like to understand how adipocytes, nerve cells, fibroblasts and immune cells communicate with lymphatic endothelial cells during the course of lymphodema. 1 1 Dr Ramin Shayan rshayan@svi.edu.au Dr Tara Karnezis n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Understanding the molecular basis of CANVAS, a novel neurological disorder caused by an expanded repeat Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics his project will characterise the causal expansion repeat using short read and long read gene Next Generation sequencing technologies. It will investigate pathogenic mechanisms underlying disease utilising molecular and cell biology techniques, including primary cell and induced pluripotent stem cell generation and characterisation. 1 1 Associate Professor Paul Lockhart paul.lockhart@mcri.edu.au Professor Martin Delatycki n/a Honours
Understanding the molecular basis of canvas-a novel neurological disorder caused by an expanded repeat Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics Repeat expansions in genomic DNA are a major cause of neurodevelopmental disorders. This project utilises genetic and functional approaches to identify and understand the pathogenesis of this class of disease. Associate Professor Paul Lockhart paul.lockhart@mcri.edu.au Professor Martin Delatycki n/a PhD
Understanding the molecular mechanisms of autism using human NF1 stem cell derived neuronal networks Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics This project will use human preclinical models to characterise the neuronal deficits in individuals with NF1. The proposed study will be the first to use human stem cell-derived brain cell networks (comprising neurons and glia) to examine the effects of NF1 mutations on neuronal development, determine how well they connect together in networks and whether they are able to function efficiently. 1 1 Doctor Kiymet Bozaoglu kiymet.bozaoglu@mcri.edu.au Associate Professor Paul Lockhart n/a Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Understanding the most effective methods for translating evidence into practice in palliative care St Vincent's Hospital Medicine and Radiology This program of work will explore and empirically evaluate existing translational approaches and their application to palliative care as well as develop recommendations for study design to effective implementation into practice. Prof Jennifer Philip jphilip@unimelb.edu.au Dr Anna Collins Davidson n/a PhD
Understanding the role of CXCR7 in lymphodema following radiation injury St Vincent's Institute of Medical Research Surgery We have performed a raft of functional bioassays to specifically interrogate the key functions of lymphatic endothelial cells during the course of radiation induced lymphodema and have developed genomic, proteomic and metabolic platforms to understand the key signalling and communication pathways between lymphatic endothelial cells and their microenvironment critical for disease evolution. CXCR7, a chemokine receptor was one such gene shown to be differentially expressed during radiation injury. We would like to understand the role of this orphan receptor in radiation injury in animal models of radiation-induced lymphodema. 1 1 Dr Ramin Shayan rshayan@svi.edu.au Dr Tara Karnezis n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Using brain imaging to explore language development in infants Bionics Institute Medical Bionics Department Functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) is a child- friendly brain imaging technique that uses light to detect brain activity. It uses a cap containing light emitters and detectors that the person being imaged wears while doing tasks of interest. In this project, working directly with young normal hearing and hearing impaired infants and children, the student will first obtain normative fNIRS data about the development of important language areas in the brain in normal hearing children. 1 Prof Colette McKay cmaky@bionicsinstitute.org n/a PhD
Using cerebral organoids for the study of tuberous sclerosis complex Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics We are currently developing iPSC-derived cerebral organoid models to investigate the aetiology of tuber formation and resultant epilepsy. In this project the candidate will utilise molecular and cellular techniques including stem cell culturing, differentiation, immunostaining and advanced microscopy to analyse organoid models of TSC. 1 1 Associate Professor Paul Lockhart paul.lockhart@mcri.edu.au Doctor Sarah Stephenson n/a Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Using light to control brain activity Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology This project will use laser light to inhibit and activate a specific class of brain cell in mice, and observe how this impacts working memory 1 2 Prof Nigel Jones Dr. Matt Hudson n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
Using metabolomic mass spectrometry imaging to better characterise endometriosis Royal Women’s Hospital Obstetrics and Gynaecology This project aims to spatially image sections of endometriotic lesions to determine what kinds of metabolites are synthesised at the site of disease. This work will have advantageous outcomes for better understanding endometriosis disease mechanisms and for the identification of disease biomarkers. Dr Sarah Holdsworth-Carson scarson@unimelb.edu.au Dr Berin Boughton n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours
Using the JAK1/JAK2 Inhibitor Baricitinib to treat new-onset Type 1 diabetes St Vincent's Institute of Medical Research Medicine and Radiology The goal of this project is to investigate whether the JAK inhibitor baricitinib dampens autoimmunity and preserves beta cell function in human type 1 diabetes. 1 Prof Helen Thomas hthomas@svi.edu.au Prof Tom Kay n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Master of Biomedical Science
Uterine dysfunction in Recurrent miscarriage Royal Women’s Hospital Obstetrics and Gynaecology Recurrent miscarriage is thought to be caused by an impaired maternal response to the pregnancy within the uterus. This project will define how the remodelled uterus promotes the formation of a healthy placenta and the establishment of maternal immune tolerance towards the fetus. Dr Ellen Menkhorst ellen.menkhorst@unimelb.edu.au Professor Eva Dimitriadis n/a Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Utilizing technology to optimise ADHD care Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics Real world clinical outcomes for ADHD fall far below those delivered in clinical trials. This project explores the use potential for improving outcomes through the use of wearable technologies and phones. 1 2 Professor Dave Coghill david.coghill@unimelb.edu.au Dr Melissa Mulraney n/a Masters by Research; Honours
Validation of automated blood pressure devices in children Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics The aims of this project are 1) to perform a formal validation study of an automated blood pressure monitor that is commonly used in children, and 2) to investigate the utility of an electronic stethoscope and offline auscultatory analysis for improving the efficiency and robustness of validation studies. The project will involve recruitment and data collection in 100 children and adolescents attending the Royal Children's Hospital day clinics. 1 1 Doctor Jonathan Mynard jonathan.mynard@mcri.edu.au Associate Professor Michael Cheung n/a Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Vascular remodeling in patients with Mycobacterium ulcerans infection and its effect on wound healing Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre (VCCC) Clinical Pathology Proliferative arteriomyopathy (PAMP) is the response of arteries to prolonged arterial spasm and represents vascularisation of the arterial media occurring as a result of spasm induced smooth muscle ischaemia. Although relatively common, this entity does not appear to have been described and review of the presently available material in 200+ Buruli ulcers and other skin conditions should result in a publication. 1 1 Associate Professor John Hayman hayman@johnhayman.net Dr Yi Qiu Sun n/a Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Virtual reality and surgery Surgery, Otolaryngology, Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital Surgery We are involved in exciting research that will determine how best to train surgeons in VR, and provide real-time feedback to trainees. 1 1 Dr Sudanthi Wijewickrema sudanthi.wijewickrema@unimelb.edu.au Prof Stephen O'Leary n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
Virtual reality-based cognitive training in older adults at risk of dementia Royal Melbourne Hospital Psychiatry This project is a part of a research program seeking to develop and evaluate a virtual reality (VR)-based cognitive training intervention targeting cognition and everyday activities in older adults with mild cognitive impairment. 1 1 Dr Alex Bahar-Fuchs alex.bahar@unimelb.edu.au Dr Jenny Waycott n/a Masters by Research; Honours
Visualising electrode activity for the bionic eye Bionics Institute Medical Bionics Department Electrode activity data has been routinely logged for our bionic eye clinical trial patients. However, there is not (as yet) suitable software to collate and visualise this data. The student will be responsible for writing C#, C++, Java, Python, or Matlab code to produce electrograms and draw comparisons of stimulus activity against recorded behavioural responses. 1 Dr Matt Petoe MPetoe@bionicsinstitute.org n/a Master of Biomedical Science
Vitamin D deficiency and balance Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology This study aims to evaluate association of vitamin D deficiency and balance on already collected data over 20 years. 1 Dr Marjan Tabesh marjan.tabesh@unimelb.edu.au Professor Cassandra Szoeke n/a Honours
Vive La Resistance: Mapping Antimicrobial Resistance in Children Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics How antibiotic use and other factors relate to antimicrobial resistance is unknown in children. This project aims to map the prevalence of resistant bacteria in Victorian children and target interventions to preserve antibiotics into the future. AProf Penelope Bryant penelope.bryant@rch.org.au Prof Nigel Curtis Dr Amanda Gwee n/a PhD
What are antigens/epitopes are recognized in by islet-infiltrating CD8+ T cells in people with type 1 diabetes? St Vincent's Institute of Medical Research Medicine and Radiology This project will reveal the epitopes seen by human CD8+ T cells strongly implicated in the immune pathogenesis of type 1 diabetes. The student will learn state-of-the-art human T-cell immunology, retroviral transduction and molecular biology techniques in a stimulating and supportive environment. 1 A/Prof Stuart Mannering smannering@svi.edu.au Dr Colleen Elso Prof Helen Thomas n/a PhD; Master of Biomedical Science
What are the functional consequences of CDKL5 dysregulation in patient derived neuronal cells? Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics This project will contribute to our investigations on the critical role of the mammalian CDKL5 protein in neurons. CDKL5 is a kinase that regulates key phosphorylation events on many proteins. 1 1 Doctor Nicole Van Bergen nicole.vanbergen@mcri.edu.au Professor John Christodoulou n/a Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
What are the functional properties of human CD4+ T cells, from people with type 1 diabetes, that respond to proinsulin C-peptide? St Vincent's Institute of Medical Research Medicine and Radiology The aim of this project is to use 10X Genomics single-cell sequencing to analyse the TCR usage and epitope specificity of human CD4+ T cells that respond to C-peptide. In addition, the genes expressed by CD4+ T cells specific for C-peptide, an autoantigen, will be compared to genes expressed by CD4+ T cells, from the same donor, who respond to the microbial antigens, influenza matrix protein and/or tetanus toxoid. This work will give unprecedented new insights into the function, and TCR diversity, human CD4+ T cells specific for microbial an autoantigens. 1 A/Prof Stuart Mannering smannering@svi.edu.au Dr Colleen Elso Prof Helen Thomas n/a PhD; Master of Biomedical Science
What controls the development of strong cortical bone? St Vincent's Institute of Medical Research Medicine and Radiology Studying cortical bone development has always been difficult because cortical bone develops at the same time as the rapid increase in bone length.We have developed a mouse model that will allow us to study the process of corticalisation. These mice do not develop cortical bone until they have completed their longitudinal growth. Using in vivo micro-computed tomography this project will map the process of corticalisation, and determine how different interventions (such as mechanical loading) influence the development of cortical bone. 1 Prof Natalie Sims nsims@svi.edu.au n/a PhD; Honours
What do antibodies need to do to protect a woman against pregnancy-malaria? This project would involve measuring different kinds of antibodies towards placental malaria antigen in samples from pregnant women and/or individuals from Phase I vaccine trials, and analysing if they are protective or if they are generated. This will help us understand the types of antibodies involved in protection, information needed to effectively design and evaluate a pregnancy-malaria vaccine. 2 Dr Elizabeth Aitken elizabeth.aitken@unimelb.edu.au Prof Stephen Rogerson n/a Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
What is the microbiological effect of a single dose of azithromycin given in labour? Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics Determine the effect of antibiotic administration on reducing bacterial carriage in mothers and infants in Fiji. 1 Associate Professor Catherine Satzke catherine.satzke@mcri.edu.au Professor Fiona Russell Dr Jonathan Jacobson n/a PhD; Masters by Research
What role does Bax play during gonocyte transformation into spermatogonial stem cells? Paediatrics This study will use mouse model to examine the role of an apoptosis regulator, Bax, in removing persisting gonocytes from the testicular tubules so that they do not mutate into CIS cells and testicular seminomas after puberty. The study will involve use mouse flow cytometry immunohistochemistry with molecular markers and confocal microscopy. 1 1 Doctor Ruili Li ruili.li@mcri.edu.au Professor John Hutson n/a Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
What role does the built environment play in the development of allergic diseases? Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Paediatrics A research project is available for a student to assess whether urban characteristics such as urban density and backyard features, are associated with the risk of food allergy and other allergic diseases. This project would suit a student with an interest in epidemiology, allergy or the use of GIS data in health research. 1 Doctor Rachel Peters rachel.peters@mcri.edu.au Doctor Suzanne Mavoa n/a Honours
White matter imaging in the aging brain Royal Melbourne Hospital Medicine and Radiology The aim of this study is to study the influence of microstructure in the aging brain and its effects on dementia diagnosis. 1 Dr Chris Steward csteward@unimelb.edu.au Prof Roland Bammer Dr Vijay Venkatraman n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Master of Biomedical Science; Post Doctor Research
WomenCAN: Promoting and advancing women’s health and wellbeing after cancer Royal Women’s Hospital Obstetrics and Gynaecology The impact of cancer goes beyond just the treatment phase. Dr Michelle Peate mpeate@unimelb.edu.au Prof Martha Hickey n/a PhD; Masters by Research; Honours; Master of Biomedical Science
“Glass Brain” 3D brain mapping in health and disease. Florey Institute of Neuroscience & Mental Health Medicine and Radiology This project will be using methods to achieve clear brain tissue and to investigate in 3 dimensions the architecture of the brain in health and disease. Our focus is on brain development using genetic epilepsy and Autism mouse models. 1 1 Dr Kay Richards kay.richards@florey.edu.au Dr Tim Karle Professor Steven Petrou n/a Honours; Master of Biomedical Science