Welcome to the final edition of the Faculty of Health Sciences & Medicine newsletter for 2010.
I would like to congratulate many of our staff members and students who have recently been recognised for their outstanding work. From teaching to research, 2010 has been a very successful year for the Faculty.
On behalf of the Faculty of Health Sciences & Medicine, we wish you a safe and prosperous festive season. We look forward to seeing you all in the new year.
Please enjoy reading the latest news from the Faculty of Health Sciences & Medicine.
Professor Richard Hays
FACULTY ACADEMICS RECEIVE VICE-CHANCELLOR’S RESEARCH GRANTS
|The quality of research within the Faculty of Health Science & Medicine was again recognised with four staff members recently awarded grants within the Vice Chancellor’s Research Grant Program. Professor Patrick Warnke, Associate Professor Donna Sellers, Associate Professor Sonya Marshall and Assistant Professor Bon Gray all received grants to pursue their various fields of research.|
As a highly reputed stem-cell researcher, Professor Patrick Warnke achieved international recognition after his research team successfully cultivated a new jawbone for a cancer patient.
Professor Warnke hopes to use the grant to further his research and begin to develop nanoscale human environments for adult stem cells in petri dishes.
“Essentially what we are looking at is the human niche in a petri dish,” said Professor Warnke.
Modern nanotechnologies and human tissue fluids can be used to emulate naturally occurring human tissue environments. Previously, tests had to be run on animals to provide the best information, but with these new methods and technologies not only will animals be spared, but experiment results will be more accurate and reliable due to the human environment.
“This emerging and cutting-edge field in medicine can be used for tissue regeneration of damaged organs or to grow entire organs anew in the future,” said Professor Warnke.
Associate Professor Donna Sellers is currently researching Diabetic Bladder Dysfunction (DBD) and its wide range of symptoms. One of the most common complications associated with diabetes, DBD heavily impacts the quality of life of patients and requires extensive resources to treat the dysfunction, placing a heavy burden on Australia’s healthcare system. What causes these complications is still unclear.
The project will use recent research which has identified the unique role of the inner-lining of the bladder, called the urothelium. Once thought of as a passive barrier, it is now believed the urothelium is highly specialised and directly influences the bladder’s ability to function. Associate Professor Sellers’ studies are an extension of her initial research in the United Kingdom, and by joining her former research with that of the Bond Urology Group she hopes to identify the mechanisms causing these dysfunctions and develop treatment plans.
Associate Professor Sonya Marshall began studying possible diagnostic tools and biomarkers for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) during a world-first research project focusing on the disorder. The project has received significant recognition due to its developments. CFS is something that affects millions of people and costs the Australian community hundreds of millions of dollars in diagnosis and treatment.
Professor Marshalls research is aimed at narrowing down the possible biomarkers of the disease to help streamline the diagnosis process and begin treatment immediately. “Our initial research produced some very promising findings and we hope to use this grant to fund the commercial development of an accurate diagnostic tool,” she said.
Assistant Professor Bon Gray has been involved in investigating sports science, more specifically how exercise-related health and fitness affects the human body on a molecular level. Assistant Professor Gray has a history of research at the Australian Institute of Sport and hopes to continue his studies with the help of the grant to investigate the affects of certain prescribed exercises and other applications to improve a person’s overall health and fitness.
The Faculty of Health Sciences & Medicine would like to congratulate each of the grant recipients and wishes them the best with their future research endeavours.
FACULTY ACADEMIC WINS WOMEN IN TECHNOLOGY AWARD
|Dr Sonya Marshall, Associate Professor of Biochemistry at Bond University, was recently honoured with the Women in Technology Biotech Rising Star Award. Women in Technology (WiT) is a group dedicated to promoting the success of women in various technology industries in Queensland.|
The award, presented at the Women in Technology Awards Gala Dinner on September 18, recognises Dr Marshall’s outstanding contributions in the field of biotechnology and her extensive research into investigating early diagnostic markers of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
“This award recognised not only the research that I have done so far, but also the significant implications of that research further down the track to deliver better health outcomes for people suffering from chronic fatigue.”
“Not only was this exciting on a personal level, but it is also wonderful news for Bond University,” said Dr Marshall.
Dr Marshall has been instrumental in helping to establish Bond as a leading research institution. Her well-respected reputation as one of Australia’s foremost researchers in the area of Meuroimmunology along with future research and development outlooks has propelled the medical school into elite ranks.
“Bond is truly starting to emerge as a quality research institution. To be in the company of finalists of the calibre of the Mater Medical Research Institute and the University of Queensland and to win, shows that Bond University is doing all the right things with regards to research,” she said.
NEW CENTRE LAUNCHED FOR RESEARCH IN EVIDENCE-BASED-PRACTICE
|On Wednesday, July 28, Bond University welcomed the Director of the newly established Centre for Research in Evidence-Based Practice (CREBP), Professor Paul Glasziou.|
As a former director of Oxford University’s Centre for Evidence-Based-Medicine (EBM) and Professor of Evidence-Based-Medicine, Professor Glasziou hopes to bring his expertise and international reputation to Bond University to develop a highly regarded research program within the field of EBM. The public seminar outlined Professor Glasziou’s primary research focus, the occurrence of waste in medical research and potential resolutions to the issue.
“There are often gaps between research evidence and its subsequent application, and my study aims at narrowing that gap,” said Professor Glasziou.
CREBP has been developed around Director Paul Glasziou’s original research into Evidence-Based Practice initiated by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Australian Fellowship Grant that was awarded to him. The main goal of this program is to enhance overall health care by improving communications between researchers and practitioners.
“This will be done by identifying the causes of, and developing solutions to, the discrepancies often found between research evidence and its implementation in practice” said Professor Glasziou.
The Centre will concentrate on a few focal points to better comprehend what causes these gaps, including: individual applicability of treatments, the effectiveness of current diagnostic and disease monitoring procedures, and the cognitive processes that may influence clinicians’ conclusion about diagnosis and treatment.
CREBP will begin exploring the processes and applications of Evidence-Based Medicine with the hopes of enhancing the overall health and healthcare of Australia. Bond University will establish itself as a leader in the field and help facilitate further research and teaching to develop young researchers to advance other programs into the future.
CREBP also plans to encourage international collaboration and exchange of researchers to ensure the best information and intellectual minds are working together so the program may run at the highest level of effectiveness. The Centre will not only help to build the reputation of the Faculty of Health Sciences & Medicine but also as a leader in the medical research field.
For more information visit www.bond.edu.au/CREBP.
GRADUATE SECURES AUSTRALIAN INSTITUTE OF SPORT TRAINEESHIP
|The Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) has awarded Bond University Bachelor of Sports Science student Lachlan Mitchell a prestigious traineeship in the Physiology Discipline as part of the Australian Students Occupational Training Program.|
The annual AIS traineeship attracts applications from hundreds of sports science students across Australia; Lachlan said that without the support of Bond
University he may not have achieved such great success.
“Bond has provided me with the knowledge necessary to obtain this traineeship, and it is due to the great education I have received at the University
that I’ve been granted this opportunity,” he said.
Lachlan said that this traineeship is a dream come true after spending many childhood years visiting the AIS.
“Each year when I visited the AIS as a competitive swimmer, I was captivated. It became more apparent that I wanted to be a part of what they were doing and that I wanted to study sports science,” he said.
Lachlan said finding a university program that covered his specific interests was difficult, but Bond’s Bachelor of Sports Science focused on elite athletes rather than clinical populations and was exactly what he was looking for.
“I have learned so much about sports science while studying at Bond, and now I am looking forward to developing my skills as a sports scientist while working with the driven athletes, coaches, and support staff at one of the best sporting institutes in the world,” he said.
The traineeship will place Lachlan at the AIS for a year, starting January, 2011. His first two months will be spent learning the necessary field skills, and for the remainder of the year he will work with a physiologist on various projects and tasks in two-month rotations.
Lachlan’s goal to become part of the Australian Instituite of Sport has come quicker than anticipated, he now is aiming to obtain a full-time position leading a
OUTSTANDING TEACHING IN HEALTH SCIENCES & MEDICINE
|Faculty Academic and Assistant Professor of Anatomy, Dr Allan Stirling, was the recent recipient of the Australian Learning and Teaching Council’s “Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning”. Assistant Professor Stirling has been an advocate of innovative and interactive learning methods since coming to Bond University in 2007, and this prestigious award is reflective of his work.|
“ I previously worked in a clinical profession as a surgical registrar and now teach clinical anatomy, biomedical science and anatomy subjects, and the Faculty’s Exercise Science program,” said Assistant Professor Stirling.
The citation comes with a $10,000 grant which will allow Assistant Professor Stirling to further develop his teaching methods.
He currently utilises academic tools like podcasts, vodcasts, crosswords, flash quizzes, and other teaching aids. With the help of the grant he plans to further investigate new and innovative methods to motivate students.
In the future Professor Stirling hopes to incorporate new technology and medical teaching research into a doctorate, perhaps forming a research unit of his own.
“New developments in higher-education schooling techniques such as virtual reality, haptics and augmented reality are a unique and effective way to prepare medical students for their chosen career paths,” said Assistant Professor Stirling.
STAR STUDENT DRAWS CROWD AT THE ROYAL QUEENSLAND SHOW
|At this year’s Royal Queensland Show (Ekka), Faculty of Health Sciences & Medicine student Michael Kakanis drew quite a crowd at the National Science Week Pavilion booth. Attendees of all ages gathered around Michael’s stall to measure their lung capacity and grip strength, and see how they measured|
up against world-class athletes such as Michael Phelps and Grant Hackett. In a four hour span over one thousand people had visited the stand.
Michael’s presentation and demonstrations formed part of his Smart Futures PhD Scholarship which he recently received from the Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation. He is currently pursuing a PhD researching elite athletes and how their immune systems are affected
by varying levels of intensity and duration of endurance training. The booth was established in conjunction with the Queensland Academy of Sport Centre of Excellence for Applied Sports Science Research, a Centre that is deeply involved in Michael’s research.
“ I work very closely with the QAS (Queensland Academy of Sport) with two of my co-supervisors, Dr Sue Hooper and Dr Jonathan Peake, from the QAS Centre of Excellence in Applied Sports Science Research” Said Michael. Michael is also fortunate to have the QAS’ assistance with funding for both his
Honours and PhD research projects.
Through his research, Michael hopes to make a difference in the overall performance of athletes.
“The very end result is a hope that we can identify exactly what is causing this increased risk of upper respiratory illness, and then use
this information to find ways to decrease that risk” said Michael.
BOND UNIVERSITY RECEIVES $3 MILLION RESEARCH GRANT
|Bond University has received a significant grant of $3 million over five years from the Estate of Dr Clem Jones AO.|
The grant will fund Bond University’s macular degeneration research project to help find a cure for the leading cause of blindness in Australia.
Led by Bond University’s Professor of Surgery Dr Patrick Warnke, the research project is a collaboration on a global scale between the University, other institutions, and leading Gold Coast ophthalmologists including Dr Darryl Gregor and Dr Peter Heiner.
The team plans to develop a procedure, which utilises the patient’s own adult stem cells and latest nanotechnology.
Bond University Vice-Chancellor Professor Robert Stable said the research grant was an outstanding achievement for the University, which reflected the considerable growth in its research portfolio.
"This significant research grant will contribute immensely to the innovative and cutting-edge research that Dr Warnke and his team are conducting here on the Gold Coast." said Professor Stable
“Dr Warnke is an internationally recognised stem cell researcher known for growing a new jawbone in the back of a cancer sufferer using the patient’s own stem cells. He joined Bond University from Germany’s University of Kiel almost a year ago and has continued his revolutionary MyJoint program here.
“Additionally, internationally acclaimed Evidence-Based-Medicine researcher Professor Paul Glasziou joined Bond from Oxford University earlier this month. Joining Pro Vice-Chancellor- Research, Professor Chris Del Mar, he will greatly enhance the University’s interest in this field.
“In the past two years our research and consultancy income increased by more than 40 per cent from 2007 to 2008 and by a further 23 per cent in 2009. This latest grant, coupled with a $4 million grant from the Australian Government for a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)
Australia Fellowship awarded to Professor Paul Glasziou, truly does indicate we are building considerable momentum within our research capabilities.
“I commend Dr Warnke and the collaborative team on their innovative and important work to progress the cure of macular degeneration and I thank the trustees of the Estate of Dr Clem Jones AO for their support,” said Professor Stable.
|OPEN DAY 2010
On Sunday, August 22, Bond University opened its doors to prospective students for the annual Open Day.
Guests to the Faculty of Health Sciences & Medicine were able to view the state-of-the-art facilities through a self-guided tour competition, with the chance to win a brand new iPad upon completion. There were presentations by our world-renowned academics and many other fun and engaging activities for guests to learn more about the Faculty.
Congratulations to Hugh Murray, Brisbane, who won the competition and is now the proud owner of an iPad!
The Faculty of Health Sciences & Medicine is looking forward to making Open Day 2011 bigger and better then ever!
|FACULTY HOSTS NATIONAL SYMPOSIUM ON GASTROINTESTINAL & UROGENITAL RESEARCH
On Friday, September 3, Bond University’s Faculty of Health Sciences & Medicine hosted the Second National Symposium on Gastrointestinal and Urogenital Research. Delegates from Bond University and other prestigious universities from around Australia gathered to discuss the latest developments and findings in the field of urology. The conference was a success and has helped to further expand the reputation of the ever-growing Bond Urology Group headed by Professor Russ Chess-Williams.
Since receiving a National Health Medical Research Council grant last year, the group has focused on investigating overactive bladders, a dysfunction that affects 17 per cent of Australians. The field of urology, while very important to patients’ well-being, is less developed in Australia, but with the assistance of Professor Chess-Williams’ group, Bond University has placed itself in the forefront of the development of a critical field of research.