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Biomedical Sciences – Message from the Head of School, March 2016

Welcome to the second School of Biomedical Sciences online newsletter.

In recent months, the school has had the pleasure of welcoming a number of new staff; Dr Danielle Dye (ALB T&R), Professor Eric Moses  (ALE RA, joint position with UWA and MRF at Royal Perth Hospital) and Associate Professor Pritinder Kaur (ALD RA). Please take the time to introduce yourself to our newest team members.

The school has also received recognition for excellence in teaching with the award of an Honourable Mention Teaching Award to Dr Paul Costantino, while Dr. Julianne Crowley and Dr Alina Miranda were successful with their TEDF grant applications. In research, the school was recognized by NHMRC grant awards for research starting in 2016 to;

(i) Dr Connie Jackaman Dr Danielle Dye and Dr Hannah Crabb, Reprogramming macrophage function in the elderly to rescue impaired inflammatory responses to muscle injury – New Investigator grant $410,983.

(ii). A/Pr Giuseppe Verdile, Prof Ralph Martins (ECU), Prof Paul Fraser (University of Toronto)and Prof Philip Newsholme, Investigating underlying mechanisms linking Type 2 diabetes with Alzheimer’s disease pathology – Standard Project grant $701,950.

(iii) Dr Prashant Bharadwaj, currently working in the Laboratory of Prof Philip Newsholme, Neuroprotective functions of autophagy regulators in Alzheimer’s disease. NHMRC-ARC Dementia Research Development Fellowship grant $434,644 (to be administered through ECU).

The school has engaged in international collaboration with respect to ongoing research, involving scientists in Canada, China, Brazil, Ireland, Singapore, UK and USA . We have aslo had a remarkably productive period through 2014 and 2015 concerning research publications (see publications section of the newsletter) and an increase in our HDR enrolments. This was reflected in the recent outcomes of the national ERA exercise, where school based researchers contributed to the following successful outcomes with respect to Curtin University: 1103 Clinical Sciences 3,
1108 Medical Microbiology  5, 1111 Nutrition and Dietetics 5, 1115 Pharmacology and Pharmaceutical Sciences 4.

In terms of school infrastructural issues, I am confident that the refurbishment of microbiology laboratory space on Level 2, B308 and some office / meeting room facilities on level 1, B308 will be completed during the first half of 2016. Refurbishment of office space in B310 will hopefully be completed early in 2016.

I hope to hold several social events during 2016 that will involve all staff of the school and I look forward to feedback and comments in relation to information being provided through this newsletter.