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Staff successes!

Congratulations to all our staff members on their recent successes.

Presentations and awards

Dr Suze Leitao, Senior Lecturer School of Psychology and Speech Pathology, has been awarded a prestigious Life Membership by the Speech Pathology Association (SPA), which is the highest award offered by the organisation. The award was for Ms Leitao’s contribution to the profession over many years, including as chair of the Ethics Board and in her role mentoring speech pathologists in both research and clinical practice. Ms Leitao’s referees for the award were a university colleague, a SPA national office staff member, a previous research student and a community partner.

Associate Professor Daniel Gucciardi, School of Physiotherapy and Exercise Science, has been honoured with a 2016 Aspire Professional Development Award. The awards provide staff from universities and other not-for-profit organisations with financial support to attend international conferences. Associate Professor Gucciardi will attend the International Society of Sport Psychology (ISSP) 14th World Congress in Sevilla, the premier conference in the field of sport and exercise psychology, where he will apply for a position on the Managing Council.

Dr Revathy Carnagarin, PhD scholar, Sessional Academic School of Pharmacy and School of Biomedical Sciences, has won the Platinum award for the best scientific presentation 2016 at the Australian Society of Medical Research’s symposium, which was held at Curtin on Monday 6 June 2016. Dr Carnagarin’s presentation was entitled ‘Pigment epithelium-derived factor stimulates skeletal muscle glycolytic activity through NOX-dependent ROS production’.

Curtin’s School of Physiotherapy and Exercise Science was well represented at the recent Australian Physiotherapy Association (WA) Seminar and Awards day.

Invited presentations by


  • Contribution to Physiotherapy Education – Ms Anne Furness.
  • Contribution to Physiotherapy Research – Dr Kylie Hill.
  • Contribution as an Emergent Researcher – Mrs Bri Tampin (adjunct).
  • APA (National) Board of Directors Student Prize 2015 – Naomi Michael (graduate 2015).

Grants – School of Psychology and Speech Pathology

Associate Professor Moira O’Connor has received funding for three projects examining palliative care in WA. $81,587 will come to the school. Associate Professor O’Connor’s projects are:

  • State-wide analysis of carer support in palliative care. O’Connor, M., Johnson, C., McConigley, R., Ives, A. Cancer and Palliative Care Network, WA Health Department.  $86,942.
  • Gap analysis and minimum standards for supporting 24-hour support in palliative care. Johnson, C., McConigley, R., O’Connor, M., Ives, A. Cancer and Palliative Care Network, WA Health Department. $94,953.
  • Evaluation of Metropolitan Palliative Care Consultancy Service (MPaCCS) and Talking About End of Life (TAEOL). Johnson, C., O’Connor, M., McConigley, R., Ives, A., Watts, K. Cancer and Palliative Care Network, WA Health Department. $102,125.

Dr Sarah Hardcastle has secured $9000 from Linear Clinical Research Limited towards a project entitled ‘The impact of illness representations on illness management in patients with Chronic Kidney disease’.

Dr Sarah Hardcastle has also successfully secured another $15,000 from St John of God Healthcare towards a PhD scholarship for Chloe Maxwell-Smith (six months). The research being undertaken is ‘The promotion of health behaviour change in colorectal cancer survivors’.

Dr Andrea Loftus has been successful in obtaining an additional $15,000 from Parkinson’s Western Australia.

Grants – School of Biomedical Sciences

Investigator: Professor Deirdre Coombe.

Project Title: Carbohydrate-like drugs for asthma and allergy.

Grant: Glycan Biosciences.

Amount: $325,300.


Investigator: Dr Evelyne Deplazes.

Project Title: Venoms to drugs: characterizing the molecular interactions between venom peptides and ion channels with a view to rational drug design.

Grant: National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Early Career Fellowship.

Amount $305,596.


Investigators: Mr Francis Gratte, Professor John Olynyk, and Dr Janina Tirnitz-Parker.

Project Title: Using precision-cut liver slices to investigate the role of PPAR-gamma and TWEAK in the regulation of liver progenitor cell and hepatic stellate cell responses during liver fibrosis.

Grant: Fremantle Hospital Medical Research Foundation.

Amount: $14,800. 


Investigator: Associate Professor Cyril Mamotte and Professor Philip Newsholme.

Project Title: Y16G-MAMC ‘Modulation of pancreatic β-cell function with alanyl-glutamine including potentiation of sulfonylurea action and protection from lipo-toxicity’.

Grant: Diabetes Australia Research Trust research grant.

Amount: $59,000. 


Investigator: Dr Mark Agostino.

Project Title: Structure-based design of noscapine analogues for cancer treatment.

Grant: The Cancer Council WA.

Amount: $14,000.


Investigators: Dr Magdy Elnashar, Dr Julianne Crowley and Mr Morgan Titmus.

Project Title: Agentic formative feedback in STEM: stimulating student action for sustainable learning.

Grant: Curtin Learning Institute – Teaching Academic Scholarship Seed (TASS) Grant.

Amount: $6,400.


Professor Dharmarajan has submitted 4 NHMRC grant applications. He is CIA on one, CIB on two and CIC on one.