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Curtin Health Innovation Research Institute News

What is this CHIRI researcher doing in a paddock?

By Amanda Iannuzzi 17 July 2018 News Comments off
Dr Jully Gogoi Tiwari.

Dr Jully Gogoi Tiwari.

Curtin Health Innovation Institute (CHIRI) Research Associate Dr Jully Gogoi Tiwari has quite different research goals and seems to do exceedingly well in both. One is to find a cure for liver cancer with CHIRI, and her other passion is finding a cure for mastitis in cattle, which actually, is also relevant for human health.

Jully must be one of CHIRI’s best examples of diversity being ‘the spice of life’! This interesting mix can be explained with a bit of background about Jully, who originally trained as a veterinarian, but then diversified her research interests with a CHIRI-PhD in the Liver Diseases and Regeneration group, focusing on the role of liver progenitor cells in liver regeneration and in liver cancer.

Demonstrating her extraordinary breadth of talent, on this occasion we are celebrating Jully being shortlisted by the Dairy Research Foundation (DRF) as a finalist in the 2018 Emerging Dairy Scientists’ Program. Jully will this week present her research on “A new approach to develop an effective vaccine against Staphylococcus aureus mastitis” at a DRF symposium in New South Wales.

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Book makes teaching about microbes child’s play

By Amanda Iannuzzi 4 July 2018 News Comments off
Book launch

Top: Cutting of the ribbon. Bottom: Author Dr Rina Fu, CHIRI Researcher Dr Josh Ramsay, Curtin Senior Laboratory Technician (Microbiology) Luma Abu-Alsaad, and former Curtin Laboratory Technician (Microbiology) Michael Erskine. Photos: Brian Njane

When CHIRI’s Dr Josh Ramsay isn’t in the lab leading a team of researchers studying the genetics of bacteria and their spread of infectious diseases, he also finds time to contribute as committee member of the WA Branch of the Australian Society for Microbiology (ASM). Recently, he also managed to fit in story time!

In his capacity as an ASM Committee Member, Dr Ramsay attended the launch of the children’s book, My Mad Scientist Mummy.

Written and illustrated by sessional academic, Dr Rina Fu, who currently teaches biomedical sciences at Curtin, the book introduces young readers to the fascinating world of science.

Dr Fu, who completed her doctorate in malaria drug resistance in WA before having two children, wanted to fill a void in science-based children’s books and find an educational and delightful way to share her passion for lab-based science and microbes.

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The story behind CHIRI’s logo

By Amanda Iannuzzi 3 July 2018 News Comments off
CHIRI logo and cherry energy tree.

CHIRI logo and a cherry energy tree.

The Curtin Health Innovation Research Institute’s (CHIRI’s) logo was inspired by a Japanese artist’s depiction of a cherry energy tree.

CHIRI sounds a little like ‘cherry’, but it was the story behind the energy tree that resonated with CHIRI’s Director, John Mamo.

“I wanted a logo that reflected the intent and work of the institute – our focus is on diseases that occur with older age but our intention is not only to increase longevity but also quality of life,” John said.

“I was reading some notes by the artist that explained the significance of the cherry energy tree. They said if a cherry tree was well cared for, it could bear fruit for hundreds of years. I thought, wow that captures everything we are trying to do here at CHIRI.”

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Developing best practice in shared resource facilities

By Amanda Iannuzzi 27 June 2018 News Comments off
CHIRI Senior Technical Officer, Jeanne Edmands.

CHIRI Senior Technical Officer, Jeanne Edmands.

When it comes to its facilities, the Curtin Health Innovation Research Institute (CHIRI) knows sharing is caring.

Just ask our Senior Technical Officer (STO) Jeanne Edmands, who this month represented CHIRI at the annual Australasian Cytometry Society (ACS) Roadshow in Sydney, Australia.

Jeanne is the STO for CHIRI’s Flow Cytometry shared resource facility, located at the institute’s premises at Curtin University in Bentley, Western Australia.

Held at the Westmead Institute for Medical Research, the one-day roadshow saw cytometry staff come together to discover emerging technologies and fields in cytometry and to discuss key components of the Shared Resource Laboratory experience.

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Leadership on the menu

By Amanda Iannuzzi 19 June 2018 News Comments off
Prof. Deirdre Coombe, A/Prof. Pritinder Kaur, Curtin University’s Deputy Head of the School of Public Health Dr Helen Brown and Dr Nina Tirnitz-Parker, pictured left with Prof. Lyn Beazley AO FTSE CIE and right with Dr Patricia V Kailis AM OBE.

Prof. Deirdre Coombe, A/Prof. Pritinder Kaur, Curtin University’s Deputy Head of the School of Public Health Dr Helen Brown and Dr Nina Tirnitz-Parker, pictured left with Prof. Lyn Beazley AO FTSE CIE and right with Dr Patricia V Kailis AM OBE.

Attending the Australia Israel Chamber of Commerce WA’s Annual ‘Dr Patricia V Kailis AM OBE Women of Achievement Lunch’ provided food for thought for some of CHIRI’s leading ladies.

The event featured an address by Diane Smith-Gander, Non-Executive Director of AGL Energy and Wesfarmers Limited, on ‘Learning to lead – one woman’s perspective’.

CHIRI’s Professor Deirdre Coombe, Associate Prof. Pritinder Kaur, A/Prof. Delia Nelson and Dr Nina Tirnitz-Parker took the opportunity not only to take home some inspiration and insights into leadership but also some photos for the CHIRI blog. One photo was with Dr Kailis and another with renowned neuroscientist, and former Chief Scientist of WA, Prof. Lyn Beazley AO FTSE CIE, who is an AICC (WA) Board Member.

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Judging Amy a winner at ASMR 2018

By Amanda Iannuzzi 14 June 2018 News Comments off
Curtin University Pro Vice-Chancellor of Health Sciences, Professor Archie Clements, Amy Woodfield, and CHIRI Director, Prof. John Mamo.

Curtin University Pro Vice-Chancellor of Health Sciences, Professor Archie Clements, Amy Woodfield, and CHIRI Director, Prof. John Mamo.

It was a golden moment for the Curtin Health Innovation Research Centre when one of its recent Honours students, Amy Woodfield, stepped onstage at the Australian Society of Medical Research (ASMR) WA Symposium Gala Dinner.

Amy was there to accept the Silver Sponsors Award for the symposium’s Best Presentation by an Honours Student for 2018.

Amy completed her Honours project at CHIRI last year, under the supervision of Associate Professor Giuseppe Verdile, whose team is working in collaboration with Prof. Paul Fraser at the University of Toronto to characterise a new preclinical model of Alzheimer’s disease and type 2 diabetes.

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Building a body of research on muscle repair

By Amanda Iannuzzi 7 June 2018 News Comments off

CHIRI Postdoctoral Fellow Dr Federica Tomay is part of a team working to turn back the clock on immune system decline with ageing, with a particular focus on muscle repair.

Declined immune function slows healing and delays tissue regeneration, making the elderly more prone to injury and two times more likely than young people to develop complications following injury.

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Days in the life of a CHIRI researcher

By Amanda Iannuzzi 31 May 2018 News Comments off
Callum Verdonk, Linton Robins and Tahlia Bastholm.

Callum Verdonk, Linton Robins and Tahlia Bastholm.

Is Shenton College Year 12 student Linton Robins a future microbial genetics researcher at the Curtin Health Innovation Research Institute (CHIRI)? Time will tell but Linton is on the right track having recently completed a three-day work placement under the supervision of PhD students Tahlia Bastholm and Callum Verdonk.

Tahlia and Callum are researchers in Dr Josh Ramsay’s team, which looks at the genetics of bacteria and their role in the spread of infectious diseases. They welcomed Linton with a tour of CHIRI’s facilities, followed by some hands-on work in the lab.

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New blood Nick joins renewed heart disease research effort

By Amanda Iannuzzi 24 May 2018 News Comments off
CHIRI Director Professor John Mamo, PhD student Nick Fimognari and Professor Spencer Proctor.

CHIRI Director Professor John Mamo, PhD student Nick Fimognari and Professor Spencer Proctor.

It has been more than a decade since the Curtin Health Innovation and Research Institute (CHIRI) Director Professor John Mamo and his former PhD student Professor Spencer Proctor teamed up and made some ground-breaking discoveries in heart disease research.

Their pioneering study turned some previously held misconceptions about the causes of heart disease on their head, finding lipoproteins from dietary fats to be a major contributor to the disease.

The findings surprised the research world and earned the pair an international reputation that led to Professor Proctor securing a prestigious National Health and Medical Research Council-Early Career Research Fellowship, which he completed at the University of Alberta in Canada, where he is now based.

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Research that gets under your skin

By Kerrie Collier 22 May 2018 News Comments off

Gardner, Joanne5When you’re a researcher at CHIRI the work can really get under your skin!

Just ask CHIRI’s Postdoctoral Fellow Dr Joanne Gardner (School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences).

It’s been great having Joanne working with us as part of Associate Professor Pritinder Kaur’s team, whose research is focused on improving the regeneration abilities of skin stem cells.  Joanne had previously completed her PhD here at CHIRI.

The research team is working to develop better ways of growing skin in the laboratory for transplanting onto patients with skin-related injuries including burns, or to replace skin lost in the removal of skin cancer.

Hear more about what Joanne has been up to on this video.

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