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Hearing colour and seeing sound – switchable optoacoustic imaging agents

Optoacoustic imaging is a relatively new medical imaging technique. It utilises laser light to excite an imaging agent, which in turn converts this light energy into heat. This heat is dissipated as a sound wave, which can be detected with an ultrasound receiver. This technique aims to overcome the minimal penetration depth of fluorescence imaging, and the lack of molecular specificity of ultrasound.In this project we are aiming to develop and synthesize intelligent imaging agents for optoacoustics, which are able …

Study level
Master of Philosophy, Honours, Vacation research experience scheme
Faculty
Faculty of Science
School
School of Chemistry and Physics
Research centre(s)
Centre for Materials Science

Using mathematics to understand multiple sclerosis: what causes the immune system to attack the brain?

Every day, we use our bodies to move, think, talk and eat, but for people with multiple sclerosis (MS) these tasks can be virtually impossible. MS is a chronic disease which develops because the immune system has started to attack the nerve cells in the brain. This causes the degradation of parts of the brain and irreversible impairment in physical and mental activity. Unfortunately, this disease has no cure, and while considerable therapeutic advances against this disease have been achieved, …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours, Vacation research experience scheme
Faculty
Faculty of Science
School
School of Mathematical Sciences
Research centre(s)

Role of microRNAs (miRNA) in progression and development of liver disease

Liver disease is a significant burden on society, accounting for more than 2 million deaths worldwide. miRNAs can exert causal roles, being pro- or anti-inflammatory, as well as pro- or antifibrotic mediators or being oncogenes as well as tumour suppressor genes. In this project we will identify novel miRNAs which play a role in the progression and development of liver disease and delineate the mechanisms utilised by these miRNAs using cell and mouse models of disease.Aim 1: To identify differentially …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours
Faculty
Faculty of Health
School
School of Biomedical Sciences
Research centre(s)

Understanding the role of TGF signalling intermediates in liver and iron-related disease

Transforming growth factor β (TGFβ) and its family members is involved in many phases of liver disease development and iron regulation. We have identified unexplored players in liver disease and iron-related disorders: TGF signalling intermediates. In this project, we build on our exciting findings to examine the molecular mechanisms involved in TGF signalling intermediates-mediated disease progression and their potential as targets for liver and iron-related disease.AimsThis project aims to:examine the expression of TGF signalling intermediates in the liverspecifically deplete TGF …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours
Faculty
Faculty of Health
School
School of Biomedical Sciences
Research centre(s)

Modelling interactions between viral surface and polymeric anti-viral drugs

In 2020, the impact of emerging viral infections on human health and socioeconomic development has been made glaringly apparent by the COVID-19 pandemic, caused by SARS-CoV-2. While SARS-CoV-2 is having a global impact, other viral infections are major contributors to morbidity and mortality around the world. Therefore, we need to have broad spectrum therapeutics on hand that can reduce disease severity, regardless of which viral strain causes the next pandemic.This project aims to develop broad spectrum antiviral polymeric nanoparticles, to …

Study level
Vacation research experience scheme
Faculty
Faculty of Engineering
School
School of Mechanical, Medical and Process Engineering
Research centre(s)

Investigating genetic variants involved in Wilson disease and copper metabolism using genome editing

Wilson disease (WD) is a genetic disorder of copper metabolism. It can present with hepatic and neurological symptoms, due to copper accumulation in the liver and brain (1). WD is caused by compound heterozygosity or homozygosity for mutations in the copper transporting P-type ATPase gene ATP7B. Over 700 ATP7B genetic variants have been associated with WD. Estimates for WD population prevalence vary with 1 in 30,000 generally quoted. Early diagnosis and treatment are important for successful management of the disease. …

Study level
Master of Philosophy, Honours
Faculty
Faculty of Health
School
School of Biomedical Sciences
Research centre(s)
Centre for Genomics and Personalised Health

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
Research centre(s)

Immunotherapy for autoimmune disease using T cell receptor-modified T-regulatory cells (PhD)

Autoimmune diseases affect approximately 5% of Australians. Well known examples include type I diabetes, multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis. These diseases have unpleasant, and sometimes tragic, consequences for the affected person and are a costly burden on our health system. As treatment is often limited to managing symptoms, new therapies for autoimmune diseases are much desired.The autoimmune diseases we study are described as "organ-specific", which means the unwanted immune response attacks either a single organ, or a collection of organs …

Study level
PhD
Faculty
Faculty of Health
School
School of Biomedical Sciences
Research centre(s)

Immunotherapy for autoimmune disease using T cell receptor-modified T-regulatory cells

Autoimmune diseases affect approximately 5% of Australians. Well known examples include type I diabetes, multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis. These diseases have unpleasant, and sometimes tragic, consequences for the affected person and are a costly burden on our health system. As treatment is often limited to managing symptoms, new therapies for autoimmune diseases are much desired.Many autoimmune diseases are tightly associated with inheritance of a particular allele at the major histocompatibility complex (MHC, also called human leucocyte antigen or HLA). …

Study level
Master of Philosophy, Honours
Faculty
Faculty of Health
School
School of Biomedical Sciences
Research centre(s)

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
Research centre(s)

Light, circadian rhythms and Parkinson’s disease

Up to 98% of patients with Parkinson’s Disease (PD) have non-motor symptoms (Poewe et al. Nature Rev Dis 2017, 3: 17013) and of those, circadian and sleep disorders are the most common (for review, Gros & Videnovic. 2020, Clin Geriatr Med 36: 119). These symptoms become increasingly prevalent during the course of PD and are key determinants affecting quality of life, advancement of overall disability and placement in nursing homes (Shapira et al. Nat Rev Neurosci 2017,18:435). Circadian and sleep …

Study level
PhD
Faculty
Faculty of Health
School
School of Biomedical Sciences
Research centre(s)

Role of peroxisomes in fatty liver disease

Liver disease is an increasing burden on society, accounting for more than 2 million deaths worldwide. Peroxisomes are multifunctional cellular organelles which are highly enriched in the liver. Our preliminary data shows that defects in a peroxisomal protein affects the ability of the liver to respond to toxic insults. In this research proposal, we build on these important and exciting findings to examine the relationship between peroxisome dysfunction and liver disease.AimsThis project aims to:examine the expression and function of peroxisomal …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours
Faculty
Faculty of Health
School
School of Biomedical Sciences
Research centre(s)

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