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Health Sciences’ innovations take out awards

The Faculty of Health Sciences was well represented at the 2016 Curtin Commercial Innovation Awards. The awards celebrate the work of Curtin staff and students who have made significant contributions to the advancement of commercial industries.


The awards celebrate the work of Curtin staff and students who have made significant contributions to the advancement of commercial industries.
The awards celebrate the work of Curtin staff and students who have made significant contributions to the advancement of commercial industries.

Virtual home visits

The Virtual Home Visits game was developed by Senior Clinical Professional Fellow Anne Furness, School of Physiotherapy and Exercise Science, and her research team, as a way for students to experience how to assess risks in a client’s home without the need for every student to physically visit a client.

Developed using HTML5, the ‘serious game’ is accessible and can be played on a desktop or mobile device. It gives the sense of being in a client’s home, with students to identify and classify hazards that could result in falls, formulate a risk management plan and determine the service the client needs.

Packaged in a game, the solution is much more engaging than classroom learning. The digital training process is preparation for students and should aid them in helping the elderly, allowing people to remain in their homes longer and avoid institutional care.

Cancer stem cells

Professor Arun Dharmarajan, School of Biomedical Sciences, and his research team, have isolated components of a protein which occurs naturally in the body. These peptides are able to interfere with the signals that allow cancer cells to grow. It also affects cancer stem cells, making them less resistant to chemotherapy.

This breakthrough has huge potential in cancer treatment and offers hope for new, safer drugs. The protein breaks down into domains and then into smaller peptide parts, which block cancer growth signals while being much less likely to have unexpected or detrimental effects on the body.

Used in combination with other currently available treatments, this new discovery is set to aid greatly in the fight against cancer and save lives.