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Can virus-based defective interfering particles (DIPS) be used to treat dengue infection?

Infection by dengue virus causes incapacitating and potentially dangerous acute disease in humans. Dengue is a mosquito-borne infectious disease with about 100 million serious clinical infections annually. Considerable effort in drug development is underway, but no effective drug therapy is available. A major difficulty for drug development is the rapid evolution of RNA viruses, like dengue virus, which presents a major challenge for controlling virus transmission and infection using conventional pharmaceuticals and vaccines.This project is based on the observation that …

Study level
Master of Philosophy
Faculty
Faculty of Health
School
School of Biomedical Sciences

Paediatric intensive care survivorship

One in 500 children require admission to paediatric intensive care (PICU) for acute life-threatening illness or injury during their childhood1. There are an estimated 300,000 survivors of paediatric critical illness in Australia. Up to 30% of PICU survivors experience long-term impairments in physical, cognitive, emotional, and social health. This is termed Post Intensive Care Syndrome – Paediatrics, and significantly impacts child development, with a multiplier effect on the family and society. This is believed to be caused, in part, by …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours
Faculty
Faculty of Health
School
School of Nursing
Research centre(s)
Centre for Healthcare Transformation

Therapeutic opportunities targeting epigenetic-metabolism crosswalks in cancer

Epigenetic and metabolic pathways in cancer cells are highly interconnected. Epigenetic landscape in cancer cells is modified by oncogene-driven metabolic changes. Metabolites modulate the activities of epigenetic modifying enzymes to regulate the expression of specific genes. Conversely, epigenetic deregulation that occurs in cancer affect the expression of metabolic genes, thereby altering the metabolome. These changes all coordinately enhance cancer cell proliferation, metastasis and therapy resistance.The overall aim of the project is to understand the link between the activity of epigenetic …

Study level
Master of Philosophy, Honours
Faculty
Faculty of Health
School
School of Biomedical Sciences

Nutrition interventions to improve outcomes in people with kidney dIsease

Dietary interventions are cornerstone treatment in chronic kidney disease. Our research focuses on the shift away from nutrient monitoring, and towards a whole food approach to improving diet quality and reduce disease progression. We have expertise in nutritional epidemiology and dietary intervention trials, and work directly with clinicians in patient care.We currently have projects investigating:Plant based diets to reduce resistant proteinuriaIntensive weight loss to slow progression of kidney diseaseThe impact of dietary patterns on cardiovascular disease risk in chronic kidney …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy
Faculty
Faculty of Health
School
School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences

Determining the theapeutic efficiency of epigenetic drugs in ovarian cancer

Because cancer and many diseases arise from a combination of genetic propensity and the response of cells to external factors mediated through changes to the expression of key genes, it is important to understand epigenetic regulation. The epigenome is crucial to the changes of gene expression and there is now strong evidence that epigenetic alterations are key drivers of cancer progression. However, very few drugs targeting epigenetic modifiers have been successful, in part due to the lack of effective means …

Study level
Master of Philosophy, Honours
Faculty
Faculty of Health
School
School of Biomedical Sciences

Metagenomic analysis of bacterial contamination screening pooled platelets

Bacterial sepsis is second only to ABO incompatibility as a cause of death from transfusion. Bacterial contamination of platelets is recognised as the most significant residual infectious risk of transfusion in developed countries. Bacterial Contamination Screening (BCS) has been required for testing of pooled and apheresis platelets manufactured by the Blood Service since April 2008. International microbiological culture studies suggest that the incidence of bacterial contamination ranges from 1:3000 to 1:1000 units of apheresis platelets and 1 in 600 to …

Study level
Master of Philosophy, Honours
Faculty
Faculty of Health
School
School of Biomedical Sciences

Investigating the activities of clinically significant arboviruses from 2002 to 2017 in Australia: possible implications for blood transfusion safety

Arboviruses are a significant concern for public health in Australia and worldwide. More than 75 arboviruses have been identified in Australia.1 Three of the most common and clinically important arboviruses in Australia today include Ross River virus (RRV), Barmah Forest virus (BFV) and dengue virus (DENV). These mosquito-borne diseases have exhibited an upward trend in case numbers in Australia since 2002.Concern has arisen that these numbers will only continue to increase as a result of climate change. Vector-borne disease risk …

Study level
Master of Philosophy, Honours
Faculty
Faculty of Health
School
School of Biomedical Sciences

Investigating differences in downstream signalling mediated by two isoforms of FGFR2 in endometrial cancer

FGFR2 encodes two alternatively spliced isoforms that differ in their ligand binding domain and the combination of tissue specific expression of these isoforms and tissue specific expression of the FGF ligands is the foundation of normal paracrine signalling. Isoform switching from FGFR2b (inclusion of exon 8) to FGFR2c (inclusion of exon 9) occurs in tumorigenesis as it establishes an autocrine loop in epithelial cancer cells.We have previously published a detailed investigation into differences between wildtype FGFR2b and mutant FGFR2b following …

Study level
Master of Philosophy, Honours
Faculty
Faculty of Health
School
School of Biomedical Sciences

Advanced artificial intelligence based ultrasound imaging applications

Our research in the space of advanced quantitative medical imaging is investigating how to use ultrasound as a real time volumetric mapping tool of human tissues, to guide in a reliable and accurate way complex medical procedures1. We have developed several novel methods which make use of the most cutting-edge artificial intelligence technology2. For example, to show where the treatment target and the organs at risk are at all times during treatments in radiation therapy3, 4; or to inform robots …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy
Faculty
Faculty of Health
School
School of Clinical Sciences
Research centre(s)
Centre for Biomedical Technologies

Testing a promising targeted therapeutic for triple-negative breast cancer

Triple-negative breast cancers (TNBC) are negative for Estrogen Receptor, Progesterone Receptor and HER2 expression, are clinically aggressive and cannot be treated with the available hormonal or targeted drugs used for other breast cancer subtypes. TNBC accounts for 15-20% of all invasive breast cancer and patients have increased risk of recurrence, mortality and metastases early during disease progression. There is an urgent clinical need to develop improved treatment strategies for these women since the median survival of patients with metastatic TNBC …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy
Faculty
Faculty of Health
School
School of Biomedical Sciences

Identifying individuals at high risk of Alzheimer’s disease

Dementia is the greatest cause of disability in Australians over the age of 65 years. In the absence of a significant medical breakthrough, more than $6.4 million Australians will be diagnosed with dementia in the next 40 years. The most common form of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease (AD), accounting for 60-80% of cases. The pathogenic process of AD begins decades prior to the clinical onset, so it is likely that treatments need to begin early in the disease process to …

Study level
Master of Philosophy, Honours
Faculty
Faculty of Health
School
School of Biomedical Sciences

Epigenetic regulation of non-coding RNAs in hypoxic tumours

In solid tumours, hypoxia occurs as a result of limitation on oxygen diffusion in avascular primary tumours or their metastases. Persistent hypoxia, significantly reduces the efficacy of radiation and chemotherapy and lead to poor outcomes. This is mainly due to increase in pro-survival genes that suppress apoptosis, enhance tumour angiogenesis, the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition, invasiveness and metastasis. Much of tumour hypoxia research has been centred on examining the transcriptional targets of hypoxia inducible factors (HIFs).HypothesisEpigenetic changes mediate the effect of hypoxia …

Study level
Master of Philosophy, Honours
Faculty
Faculty of Health
School
School of Biomedical Sciences

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