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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.Aim 1: To examine the expression and function of peroxisomal …

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

Hearing colour and seeing sound – switchable optoacoustic imaging agents

Optoacoustic imaging is a 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 to …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours, Vacation research experience scheme
Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty
Lead unit
School of Chemistry and Physics

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.Aim 1: To examine the expression of TGF signalling intermediates in the liver.Aim 2: To …

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

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
Lead unit
School of Biomedical Sciences

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 …

Study level
PhD
Faculty
Faculty of Health
Lead unit
School of Biomedical Sciences

Forecasting disease spread risk based on human movement patterns

This project aims to forecast the risk of infectious disease spread, such as COVID-19 and dengue, based on human movement patterns. We'll use multiple data sources that describe people movement in order to understand individual and population level mobility patterns, and use empirical disease case data to model the effect of movement on the spread of disease.

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours
Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty
Lead unit
School of Computer Science

Mathematical modelling of the mechanobiology during plaque growth

Plaque growth is a chronic inflammatory response induced by the interactions between vascular endothelial cells, lipids, monocytes/macrophages, vascular smooth muscle cells and platelets in the arteries. The mechanism involves interactions between the activities of cellular and acellular components in plaque microenvironment. Experimental studies have revealed the contributing roles of many different biological factors and processes, such as:lipid depositioninflammationangiogenesishaemorrhage.Due to the difficulties in experimental measurement and visualisation of the multiscale process, and the complex nature of the local environment, these complex …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours, Vacation research experience scheme
Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty
Lead unit
School of Mechanical, Medical and Process Engineering

Investigating DNA repair mechanisms in aging adult stem cells

When we age the DNA repair systems of our cells become down regulated. This results in reduced DNA repair capacity, enhanced rates of mutation load and may lead to the development of chronic aging-associated diseases including osteoporosis, Alzheimer's and cancer(1). So it is no surprise that genome instability and stem cell exhaustion, which also strongly correlates with the accumulation of DNA damage, are considered hallmarks of aging(2). However, we still lack a clear understanding on how the decrease in DNA …

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

Developing in vitro 3D models to understand liver disease

Several studies have demonstrated the appropriateness of 3D organoid cultures over the conventional 2D cultures, the advantages of 3D models include replicating the complex attributes of the liver beyond liver-specific metabolism, such as increased cell density, organization, and cell–cell signalling, O2 zonation.In this project we will establish a novel in vitro 3D model to study hepatocyte biology in the context of liver disease. A more comprehensive approach to investigating the intercellular mechanisms of NAFLD will include co-culture of organoids with …

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

New molecules to treat disease

High levels of oxidative stress are associated with a number of diseases (cancer, Alzheimer's disease, inflammatory disorders, cardiovascular disease) including infectious diseases caused by pathogenic organisms (bacteria, fungi and their associated biofilms).This project aims to design and prepare new small molecules to regulate and track oxidative stress in various disease states.

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours, Vacation research experience scheme
Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty
Lead unit
School of Chemistry and Physics

Develop point-of-care microfluidic technologies for cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases

Excessive clotting (thrombosis) leads to the cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack and stroke, killing one Australian every 12 minutes. It has long been recognized that platelets play a central role in thrombosis and are unique in their ability to form stable adhesive interactions under conditions of rapid blood flow.We've recently discovered a new ‘biomechanical’ prothrombotic mechanism that highlights the remarkable platelet sensitivity to the shear stress gradients of blood flow disturbance. Importantly, we've found that current anti-thrombotic drugs, such …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours, Vacation research experience scheme
Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty
Lead unit
School of Mechanical, Medical and Process Engineering

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