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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)

Targeting Fibrosis: Identification of novel natural compounds to modulate collagen expression

Liver disease is a huge and increasing burden on society; it can be due to a number of different reasons including excessive alcohol consumption, viral infections, and non-alcoholic liver disease. Each of these causes may have a different molecular pathway of developing the disease pathology, but one common feature is there is an injury or insult to the liver. This injury then results in activation of the wound healing process; when this healing process goes awry liver disease can develop, …

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

Renewal and differentiation in human neural stem cells and their application to understanding neurological disorders

The effective regeneration of brain tissue requires an understanding of the factors mediating the damage as well as the integration of new/replacement cells to form new functional neural networks. The isolation and expansion of human stem cells and limited neural lineage differentiation have provided the foundation for strategies in the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders. We utilise iPSC-derived NPCs and patient-derived (Alzheimer’s disease; AD) iPSCs and neural lineage differentiation of hMSCs, iPSC NPCs and AD iPSCs in neuronal and glial culture …

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

Investigation of genetic factors that contribute to concussion and its outcomes

The health outcomes from traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) and concussion depend on the nature of the injury, but response also varies greatly between individuals, suggesting that genetic factors may play a role. In particular, due to effects of head trauma on balances of ions, neurotransmitters and energy use in the brain, there is suggestion that variation in the genes that encode proteins involved in these pathways, e.g. ion channels, may affect the risk of, as well as response to a …

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

Understanding the role of the hSSB1 protein in the response to UV induced DNA damage

Melanoma is the 4th most common cancer in Australia. The link between skin cancer and UV exposure is now well established. If a DNA damage induced by UV exposure is left unrepaired, the mutation generated in the genome can lead to cell death or cancer. It is thus highly important to understand of how a cell can repair DNA damage. The main pathway to repair UV DNA damaged is the nucleotide excision repair pathway (NER) (Kamileri I. et al, Trends …

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

Detection of anti-Chlamydia antibodies in serum as a marker of testicular infection

Chlamydia trachomatis is an obligate intracellular, bacterial pathogen. C. trachomatis infections of the human reproductive tract affect approximately 127 million people globally each year. The major concern of C. trachomatis infections is their ability to cause infertility in both men and women, by damaging the upper reproductive tracts. Historically, Chlamydia has been considered more of a problem for women, but our recent research has shown the testes of men can be infected and this may contribute to idiopathic male infertility. …

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

Infection kinetic changes that occur within macrophage-adapted Chlamydia

Chlamydia trachomatis is an obligate intracellular, bacterial pathogen. C. trachomatis infections of the human reproductive tract affect approximately 127 million people globally each year. The major concern of C. trachomatis infections is their ability to cause infertility in both men and women, by damaging the upper reproductive tracts. However, we are still lacking information about how Chlamydia travels around the reproductive tract, and reaches the upper tract (ovaries and testes in particular) to cause this damage.Recent research has shown that …

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

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
School
School of Biomedical Sciences
Research centre(s)

Illuminating the microbial world using genome-based fluorescence microscopy

Our understanding of microbial diversity on Earth has been fundamentally changed by metagenomic characterisation of natural ecosystems. Traditional approaches for visualising microbial communities are time-consuming and provide limited information about the identity of specific microorganisms.The proposed research aims to combine single cell genomics and super resolution microscopy for novel, high-throughput, genome-based techniques to visualise microorganisms, plasmids and viruses, with strain level specificity. The application of these highly scalable approaches will provide comprehensive and unprecedented insight into the fine-scale dynamics and …

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

Adaptive evolution of anaerobic methanotrophic (ANME) archaea mediating methane oxidation in freshwater environments

The as-yet-uncultured archaeal lineage Methanoperedenaceae are anaerobic methanotrophs with a key role in mitigating the atmospheric release of methane in freshwater environments. The metabolic diversity of these microorganisms directly links methane with several key biochemical cycles and suggests a remarkable ability of these microorganisms to adapt to diverse environmental conditions.The overall aim of this PhD project will be to uncover the metabolic diversity of the Methanoperedenaceae and to understand the evolutionary mechanisms responsible for these adaptations.Methods and ResourcesThe project will …

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

Testing of novel antibiotic-loaded nanoparticles for treatment of Chlamydia infection

C. trachomatis, sexually transmitted infections of both the female and male human reproductive tract, affects approximately 127 million people globally each year. The major concerning sequela of C. trachomatis infection is infertility in both men and women. This occurs by damaging the upper reproductive tracts, the ovaries and testes most importantly.The majority of research has been focussed on female disease, and male disease has been underestimated and understudied, particularly therapeutics for male infections. Antibiotic therapy is the only therapy currently …

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

Early diagnosis of pregnancy complications using exosomes

Complications of pregnancy, including preterm birth represent the major causes of fetal and neonatal morbidity and mortality and potentially affect childhood and adult susceptibility to both cardiac and metabolic diseases. Early detection of these disorders is, therefore, essential to improve health outcomes for mother and baby.Exosomes are small (40-120 nm), stable, lipid bilayer nanovesicles identified in biological fluids (e.g. in milk, blood, urine and saliva). They contain a diverse array of signalling molecules, including mRNA, microRNA (miR), proteins, lipids and …

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

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