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Investigating the role of Neuropilin-1 in Triple-Negative Breast Cancer metastasis and chemoresistance

Triple-negative breast cancers (TNBC) are negative for Estrogen Receptor, Progesterone Receptor and HER2 expression, are clinically aggressive and are unresponsive to the available hormonal or targeted drugs used for other breast cancer subtypes, so that TNBC patients rely mainly on chemotherapy. TNBC accounts for 15-20% of all invasive breast cancer and patients have increased risk of recurrence, mortality and early metastatic progression. Thus, there is an urgent clinical need to develop improved treatment strategies for TNBC. Neuropilin-1 (NRP1) is a …

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)

Precision of allergen specific immunotherapy for personalized care of patients with allergic rhinitis and asthma

Allergic rhinitis (hayfever) affects 19.3% of Australians as well as 500 million people worldwide. Grass pollen allergens are the major outdoor allergen trigger globally. Grass pollen allergy is also an important trigger for asthma, including thunderstorm asthma epidemics, and exposure to pollen allergen can diminish antiviral immunity, which is of particular interest in relation the impact of allergies on COVID. Our research shows that patients with grass pollen allergy from subtropical regions show sensitisation and specific IgE and T cell …

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

Identifying emergent ecosystem responses through genes-to-ecosystems integration at Stordalen Mire

Permafrost thaw induced by climate change is predicted to make up to 174 Pg of near-surface carbon (less than 3m below the surface) available for microbial degradation by 2100. Despite having major implications for human health, prediction of the magnitude of carbon loss as carbon dioxide (CO2) or methane (CH4) is hampered by our limited knowledge of microbial metabolism of organic matter in these environments. Genome-centric meta-omic analysis of microbial communities provides the necessary information to examine how specific lineages …

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

Providing legal evidence for non-accidental scald burn injury

Although most burn injuries are completely accidental in nature, they can also occur due to neglect or abuse. Burn clinicians are often required to ascertain if the patient history and the wound are consistent with accidental or non-accidental injury. If the case goes to court, the clinician will prepare a medico-legal report as evidence. We have previously conducted studies examining the depth of burn injury after different durations and temperatures of hot water. This data can be used to predict …

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

Identifying protein and metabolite markers of burn injury and trauma

It can be difficult for clinical teams to determine the severity of burn injuries when the patient first presents to the hospital. This is because burn wounds continue to deepen/progress over time, in a process known as burn wound conversion. Some wounds may deepen over days or weeks and require aggressive surgical treatment e.g. grafting, and some wounds don’t progress, stay superficial in depth, and they can be managed conservatively with the application of different bandages or dressings. We have …

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

Chronic Toxoplasma gondii infection and degenerative diseases of the brain and retina

This project will test the central hypothesis that chronic Toxoplasma gondii infection contributes to degenerative diseases of the brain and retina. T. gondii is a protozoan parasite that is estimated to infect ~30% of the world’s population. The parasite invades the brain and retina, where it converts into a slowly-replicating form within a cyst. These cysts can remain latent (chronic infection) for the life of the individual without reactivation or causing clinical symptoms. However, there is increasing evidence from human …

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

Centre for Immunology and Infection Control

Molecular mechanisms of bacterial proteins involved in host recognition and defense

Pathogenic bacteria employ a large repertoire of molecular weapons known as virulence factors to infect the host and cause disease. In particular, autotransporter proteins, the largest family of secreted virulence factors in Gram-negative bacteria, promote bacterial colonisation, biofilm formation and host cell invasion and/or damage (1). In response, host cells deploy various antimicrobial strategies, such as the mobilization of copper at the site of infection, which induces bacterial stress. Despite the abundance of autotransporters and their roles in infection, their …

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

Centre for Immunology and Infection Control

Characterisation of emerging multidrug resistant E. coli pathogens

The last fifteen years have witnessed an unprecedented rise in the rates of antimicrobial resistance among Gram-negative bacteria, described by the World Health organisation as a global health crisis (1). Escherichia coli sequence type 131 (E. coli ST131) is a ‘high-risk’ group of Gram-negative pathogens that have emerged rapidly and spread worldwide in the period of the last 10 years (2). E. coli ST131 strains are typically resistant to multiple classes of antibiotics and cause bloodstream and urinary tract infections …

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

Centre for Immunology and Infection Control

A preclinical evaluation pipeline for new antivirulence drugs targeting multidrug resistant bacterial pathogens

A post-antibiotic era—in which common infections and minor injuries can kill—far from being an apocalyptic fantasy, is instead a very real possibility for the 21st century.’ - WHO, 2014 (1). Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a global public health priority. If no action is taken, AMR is predicted to kill more people than cancer and diabetes combined by 2050, with 10 million deaths estimated each year and a global cost of up to 100 trillion USD. New therapies to tackle multidrug …

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

Centre for Immunology and Infection Control

Using a natural β-carboline dimer compound to target metabolic vulnerabilities linked to glycolysis in prostate cancer.

Prostate cancer is an androgen dependent cancer and treatments are aimed at preventing activation of the androgen receptor. Part of the development of resistance to therapies involves prostate cancers reprogramming their metabolism to overcome metabolic stress induced by these therapies and support growth and survival. This reprogramming involves increases in the rate of glycolysis and intermediate pathways branching from glycolysis. Previously in our laboratory, the natural compound, beta-carboline dimer, BD, was identified to have potent effects on cell viability, cell …

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

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
School
School of Biomedical Sciences
Research centre(s)

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