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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)

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
School
School of Biomedical Sciences
Research centre(s)

Characterisation of a novel protein co-amplified with the n-MYC oncogene

The MYCN oncogene is amplified in a number of tumour types, including Neuroblastoma (NB) and Neuroendocrine Prostate Cancer (NEPC), where it is associated with worse patient prognosis, as compared to non-amplified tumours. However, the high expression of MYCN (encoding the n-MYC protein) alone in non-amplified tumours is associated with better patient prognosis and less aggressive disease. This suggests that other genes co-expressed in MYCN amplified tumours may be responsible for mediating the aggressive traits of n-MYC. Our team has identified …

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

DNA markers of burn injury and trauma

Burns cause physical and psychological trauma. Patients often experience prolonged treatment to enable their wounds to heal, and may experience scarring and repeated operations. Patients often experience distress related to the initial injury and ongoing management, and are at risk of developing PTSD. The patients who are more likely to develop heightened trauma reactions, long-term psychological sequelae and wound healing with scarring and surgery, need to be identified early in the treatment pathway, for improved management. It is also important …

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

Mapping specificity of allergen recognition for precision medicine in allergic rhinitis and asthma

Approximately two thirds of the 19.3% of Australians with allergic rhinitis (hayfever) are allergic to grass pollen allergens. The QUT Allergy Research Group has shown regional differences in patterns of allergic sensitisation to grass pollens of different subfamilies of grasses. Whilst the major allergen components have been cloned and expressed, and the relative avidity of patient serum IgE to a panel of these allergens has been determined, the comparative epitope specificity of patient serum IgE for related allergens from different …

Study level
Master of Philosophy
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

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