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Investigating hepcidin regulation in hereditary haemochromatosis

Iron is an essential nutrient, but is also toxic when in excess, so the amount of iron in the body must be tightly controlled. As mammals don’t actively excrete iron, body iron levels are regulated at the point of absorption in the small intestine. This process is controlled by the hormone hepcidin which is secreted by the liver in response to iron requirements.Circulating hepcidin binds to the iron export protein ferroportin on intestinal cells, causing the protein complex to be …

Study level
Vacation research experience scheme
Faculty
Faculty of Health
School
School of Biomedical Sciences

Investigating metal metabolism using cell and molecular biology techniques

Metals such as iron and copper are essential for life. Low or high amounts in the body can be damaging and hence levels are tightly regulated through various molecular pathways. Defects in these pathways can lead to genetic disorders such as haemochromatosis (iron overload), Wilson's disease (copper overload) or anaemia (iron deficiency).Increased understanding of the pathways regulating iron or copper homeostasis will be useful for the development of diagnostics and therapeutics for treating these disorders. This project will use cell …

Study level
Vacation research experience scheme
Faculty
Faculty of Health
School
School of Biomedical Sciences
Research centre(s)
Centre for Genomics and Personalised Health

Investigation of dysregulated iron metabolism in cystic fibrosis

Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disease caused by cystic fibrosis transmembrane regulator (CFTR) mutation. CFTR protein is responsible for transporting chloride to the cells and defective CFTR leads to excessive sweat and mucus secretion mainly affecting the lungs. Cystic fibrosis lungs are prone to bacterial infection which could lead to exacerbations.High levels of iron have been reported in airways of cystic fibrosis patients and this is associated with increased bacterial infection in the patients. However, the mechanism of iron dysregulation …

Study level
Vacation research experience scheme
Faculty
Faculty of Health
School
School of Biomedical Sciences

Identification and functional characterisation of genetic modifiers of iron overload

Iron is an element essential for virtually all life forms; aberrant iron metabolism is linked to many diseases. These include cancers, neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, iron overload and iron deficiency disorders, iron-loading anaemias, and the anaemia associated with chronic disease. Central to proper iron regulation is the appropriate expression and activity of the liver-expressed regulatory peptide, hepcidin, and the iron exporter, ferroportin (FPN). Modulating the expression and activity of hepcidin and FPN, and their interaction is …

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

Conservation is a noisy business: modelling the effects of stochasticity on wildlife management decisions

To conserve species in disturbed natural environments, we need to use mathematical models to predict the consequences of different interventions. Unfortunately, these models are based on partial information of complex systems, and the systems themselves are subject to substantial observational and process noise.We often use ordinary differential equations to describe ecosystems, like the classic logistic growth model:dn/dt = r n (1 - n / k)However, these models are deterministic, and they assume we know the values of the key parameters …

Study level
Master of Philosophy, Honours, Vacation research experience scheme
Faculty
Faculty of Science
School
School of Mathematical Sciences
Research centre(s)
Centre for Data Science
Centre for the Environment

Modelling and managing uncertain Antarctic species networks

Antarctic ecosystems are complex, and data is limited since it is expensive to collect. Species interact in food webs which can be modelled as mathematical networks. The relationships between species are not always known, or we might know they interact but not how strongly. Noisy (or imperfect) data can be used to model these species interactions to give more certainty about how the ecosystem works as a whole – although the worse the data is, the less information it contributes. …

Study level
Honours, Vacation research experience scheme
Faculty
Faculty of Science
School
School of Mathematical Sciences
Research centre(s)
Centre for Data Science
Centre for the Environment

Using catastrophe theory to prepare for global warming in Antarctica

According to dynamical systems theory, crises occur because couplings within a system (geophysical, ecological and social) create instabilities. Nonlinear feedbacks means that relatively small changes in circumstances can cause a rapid change to the system state. For example, a small increase in tourism visitors could lead to the invasion of a new species. Or, a gradual change in the average global temperature could lead to the collapse of Antarctic ice-shelves.In the coming decade, the Antarctic and sub-Antarctic are likely to …

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

Centre for the Environment

How do households dispose of medication?

It is likely that every household would have some surplus medicines that are no longer required by the person who originally took them. Some countries have schemes for return of medicines for appropriate disposal while others do not. Inappropriate disposal of medicines can lead to environmental pollution or if stored, may lead to incorrect dispensing to other family members or friends.This project aims to review the available literature on disposal of medicines from households. This includes searching for literature on …

Study level
Vacation research experience scheme
Faculty
Faculty of Health
School
School of Public Health and Social Work

Statistical methods for detecting Antarctic ecosystems from space

Satellite images are a frequent and free source of global data which can be used to effectively monitor the environment. We can see how the land is being used, how it’s being changed, what’s there – even where animals are in the landscape. Using these images is essential, particularly for regions where data is expensive to collect or difficult to physically access, like Antarctica. In Antarctica and the sub-Antarctic islands, satellite images can be an easy and quick way to …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours
Faculty
Faculty of Science
School
School of Mathematical Sciences
Research centre(s)
Centre for Data Science
Centre for the Environment

Machine learning for wildlife monitoring

This project will investigate methods to monitor wildlife using machine learning applied to aerial imagery.While it is highly desirable to use drones and aerial footage to monitor wildlife, there are substantial challenges created by the nature of the data and target wildlife.This, combined with the vast nature of any collected aerial data, makes manual analysis difficult. This challenge motivates the development of machine learning methods to automatically process data and perform tasks, such as:detecting target animalscounting herd animalsclassifying land useassessing …

Study level
Vacation research experience scheme
Faculty
Faculty of Engineering
School
School of Electrical Engineering and Robotics
Research centre(s)
Centre for Data Science

IT-enabled corporate social responsibility (CSR)

Organizations engage in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to ensure that a company is socially involved and accountable—to itself, its stakeholders, and the public. The aim of CSR (also referred to as corporate citizenship is to make companies conscious of the impact they are having on multiple dimensions of society (i.e., economic, social, and environmental). Modern technology advancements have clearly proven to enhance information access, efficiency in service provisioning and a multitude of innovations. This project aims to analyze the current …

Study level
Vacation research experience scheme
Faculty
Faculty of Science
School
School of Information Systems
Research centre(s)
Centre for Future Enterprise

High performance and economical adsorbents for carbon capture

Capturing excess CO2 from the atmosphere or anthropogenic emissions is key to minimising a warming climate. However, a major barrier to implementing carbon capture is the cost associated with current technologies. Therefore, development of high performance and economical materials to capture excess carbon is of great interest.

Study level
Honours, Vacation research experience scheme
Faculty
Faculty of Engineering
School
School of Mechanical, Medical and Process Engineering

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