Surgery

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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
Artificial intelligence in ophthalmology: from data to algorithm and real-world application Surgery, Ophthalmology, Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital Surgery This project aims to further evolve artificial intelligence technology to develop and validate a clinical decision system that can predict disease outcomes and prognosis, as well as help clinicians decide on treatment options, based on real-world multi-modality clinical data. Professor Mingguang He mingguang.he@unimelb.edu.au n/a PhD students; Masters by Research
Artificial intelligence system to detect eye and cardiovascular diseases Surgery, Ophthalmology, Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital Surgery Using the advanced deep learning system that has been developed and validated by the team as a basis, this project brings together medical research institutes, technical developers, industry, consumer organisations, government policy and service providers to develop, translate and prove an all-in-one AI system (A-Eye) that aims to create innovative solutions for multiple health disciplines and needs, including an opportunistic screening model, diagnosis standardisation and a cross-disciplinary model of risk prediction for cardiovascular diseases. Professor Mingguang He mingguang.he@unimelb.edu.au n/a PhD students; Masters by Research
Biofabrication of an in vitro 3D osteosarcoma model St Vincent's Hospital Surgery The goal of this project is to generate a 3D in vitro model of osteosarcoma using primary tumour cells and 3D bioprinting technologies. Dr Serena Duchi serena.duchi@unimelb.edu.au Dr Carmine Onofrillo Prof Peter Choong n/a PhD students; Masters by Research
CASE: Cartilage Analytic Screening Environment St Vincent's Hospital Surgery The goal of our research is to prevent the onset of Osteoarthritis by regenerating cartilage using a unique 3D printing technology, that requires multiple iteration steps to select the optimal combination of a biocompatible material and stem cells, to efficiently regenerate cartilage. Dr Carmine Onofrillo carmine.onofrillo@unimelb.edu.au Dr Serena Duchi Prof Peter Choong n/a PhD students; Masters by Research
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 students; Masters by Research
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. Dr Raymond Wong wongcb@unimelb.edu.au n/a PhD students; Masters by Research
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 students; Masters by Research
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 students
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. Dr Geraldine Mitchell gmitchell@svi.edu.au Dr Anne Kong n/a PhD students
Evidence-Based Practice in the Management of Glaucoma Suspects Surgery, Ophthalmology, Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital Surgery One in ten Australians over 50 years old are considered glaucoma suspects and are at risk of developing irreversible vision loss. This project aims to synthesise and critically appraise current evidence related to the clinical management of glaucoma suspects, in order to provide evidence-based guidance and identify key knowledge gaps to address in prospective studies. Dr Zhichao Wu wu.z@unimelb.edu.au A/Prof Laura Downie n/a PhD students
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. Dr Tara Karnezis tkarnezis@svi.edu.au n/a PhD students; Masters by Research
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 students; Masters by Research
Genome-wide expression profiling of keratoconus and non-keratoconus corneas Surgery, Ophthalmology, Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital Surgery Keratoconus is a potentially blinding eye disease of the cornea. Typically, it occurs in childhood and various intervention measures are currently used to slow its progression but there is no cure. While its aetiology is due to genes and environment, the involvement of these factors is still poorly understood. In this proposal we will greatly advance our understanding of disease through genetic analysis of this disease. 1 Dr Srujana Sahebjada Srujana.sahebjada@unimelb.edu.au A/Prof Mark Daniel Prof Paul Baird n/a Masters by Research
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 students
Improved early diagnosis of eye diseases by integration of retinal photography and artificial intelligence to build an opportunistic screening service in metro, regional and remote primary care settings Surgery, Ophthalmology, Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital Surgery This study is to understand the needs, develop the prototype and evaluate the usability of a AI-based Do-it-Yourself(DIY) fundus image system, in real-world clinical setting of GP and endocrinology clinics and Aboriginal Medical Services. Professor Mingguang He mingguang.he@unimelb.edu.au n/a PhD students; Masters by Research
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 Dr Shiang (Max) Lim maxlim@unimelb.edu.au Dr Jarmon Lees n/a PhD students
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. Associate Professor Niall Corcoran niallmcorcoran@gmail.com Professor Christopher Hovens n/a PhD students; Masters by Research
Modelling cardiovascular diseases using human cardiac organoids St Vincent's Institute of Medical Research Surgery This project aims to construct a multicellular cardiac organoid model using cardiomyocytes and non-myocyte cell populations derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells to study heart disease. Doctor Shiang Lim mlim@svi.edu.au Doctor Jarmon Lees n/a PhD students; Masters by Research
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. Dr Tom Edwards thomas.edwards@unimelb.edu.au Dr Lauren Ayton Ms Jasleen Jolly n/a PhD students; Masters by Research
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. A/Prof Peter van Wijngaarden peterv@unimelb.edu.au n/a PhD students
Taking the “Guesswork” Out of Glaucoma Clinical Management with Novel Imaging Surgery, Ophthalmology, Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital Surgery Glaucoma is a leading cause of irreversible vision loss in Australian and worldwide. This project seeks to examine whether state-of-the-art imaging can be used to transform the clinical management of glaucoma. Dr Zhichao Wu wu.z@unimelb.edu.au n/a PhD students
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 students; Masters by Research
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. Dr Rodney Luwor rluwor@unimelb.edu.au n/a PhD students; 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. Dr Stanley Stylli sstylli@unimelb.edu.au n/a PhD students; Masters by Research
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. Dr Rodney Luwor rluwor@unimelb.edu.au n/a PhD students; Masters by Research
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. Dr Ramin Shayan rshayan@svi.edu.au Dr Tara Karnezis n/a PhD students; Masters by Research
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. Dr Ramin Shayan rshayan@svi.edu.au Dr Tara Karnezis n/a PhD students; Masters by Research
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. Dr Ramin Shayan rshayan@svi.edu.au Dr Tara Karnezis n/a PhD students; Masters by Research
Using Artificial Intelligence to improve the diagnostic predictions of corneal topography machines for Keratoconus subjects 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. There are many clinical gaps regarding keratoconus in terms of subclinical detection, clarifying its disease stage and identifying which features should be used to predict its progression. These gaps impact on a clinician’s decision-making process for keratoconus disease management. Dr Srujana Sahebjada srujana.sahebjada@unimelb.edu.au A/Prof Mark Daniel Prof Paul Baird n/a PhD students