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CHIRI’s research takes flight

By Amanda Iannuzzi 23 May 2019 News Comments off
Dr Hani Al-Salami (photo: CMBEBIH) and Professor Marco Falasca.

Dr Hani Al-Salami (photo: CMBEBIH) and Professor Marco Falasca.

Two Curtin Health Innovation Research Institute (CHIRI) researchers have packed their research and taken it to the world stage at conferences in Bosnia and Herzegovina and London this month.

Dr Hani Al-Salami has recently returned from giving a headliner presentation at the CMBEBIH 2019 International Conference on Medical and Biological Engineering in Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Meanwhile, Professor Marco Falasca is preparing to present at the 4th International Symposium on Immunotherapy at the Royal Society in London on 24-25 May.

Given a full hour to speak, Hani took the opportunity to talk about CHIRI and share his future perspective on his research area of expertise: bio-nanotechnological advancement in drug delivery and pancreatic tissue engineering.

Hani’s team at CHIRI is committed to identifying new pharmaceutical therapies for diabetes and age-related diseases using novel bio-nanotechnologies and pharmaceutical formulation targeted-delivery systems. Read more…

A new synthetic biologist in search of next generation therapeutics

By Amanda Iannuzzi 9 May 2019 News Comments off
Professor Oliver Rackham.

Professor Oliver Rackham.

The Curtin Health Innovation Research Institute (CHIRI) has a new expert in the burgeoning field of synthetic biology, who will be providing new tools to better understand diseases associated with ageing.

Fascinated with engineering and understanding mammalian gene expression, Professor Oliver Rackham’s research focuses on using synthetic biology – reprogramming the functions of molecules and cells using artificial DNA made in the lab – to develop new therapeutics to target age associated cancer, diseases characterised by loss of metabolic (energy) function, for example in heart failure, and diseases relevant to immune function, including antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Read more…

Team’s taking its cancer research full circle, embarking on clinical trials

By Amanda Iannuzzi 16 April 2019 News Comments off
The research team: (L-R) Dr Vanathi Perumal, Prof Joshua Dass, Prof Satvinder Dhaliwal, Prof Crispin Dass, Prof Arun Dharmarajan and Dr Tammy Corica in CHIRI’s lab.

The research team: (L-R) Dr Vanathi Perumal, Prof Joshua Dass, Prof Satvinder Dhaliwal, Prof Crispin Dass, Prof Arun Dharmarajan and Dr Tammy Corica in CHIRI’s lab.

Three Curtin Health Innovation Research Institute (CHIRI) researchers involved in a pilot clinical trial are circling in on new ways to improve radiotherapy treatments for head and neck cancers.

Working in collaboration with researchers from Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital and Curtin University, their goal is to manipulate radiotherapy techniques used as the current primary treatment for these cancers to improve patient outcomes and reduce treatment failure rates.

The team is investigating a way of doing this by tracking circulating tumour cells (CTCs) and circulating cancer stem cells (CCSCs) in patients’ blood at various stages of disease progression and treatment.

“Our initial proof-of-principle study on healthy volunteers has been completed and the data looks promising, giving us the confidence in proceeding to patient studies,” lead researcher Professor Joshua Dass said.

“We are ready to progress our research through the next exciting phase and hopefully come up with some new ways to treat what are the seventh most common forms of cancer in Australia and the world.”

Read more…

World of opportunity opens for CHIRI PhD researcher

By Amanda Iannuzzi 28 March 2019 News Comments off
Ahlima Roumane.

Ahlima Roumane.

Globetrotting Curtin Health Innovation Research Institute (CHIRI) PhD student Ahlima Roumane will go wherever her research journey takes her if it means becoming a better researcher and potentially helping people with some debilitating metabolic disorders.

So when the opportunity to pack her bags and head to Scotland for a year to continue work on an international research collaboration between CHIRI and the University of Aberdeen, off she went.

Ahlima will be based at the world-renowned Rowett Institute, where most of the current research is sponsored by the Scottish Government and aims to address some big issues of our time, including food inequalities, food security and obesity, and the sustainable development of Scotland’s food industry. Major programs of the institute’s food and health-related research are also funded by the European Union and research councils.

Ahlima’s research is part of a collaboration between the laboratories of CHIRI’s Professor Philip Newsholme, and Prof. Justin Rochford from the University of Aberdeen, which aims to find new therapeutic targets for a fatty tissue disorder called lipodystrophy.

Ahlima, who has been working on this collaborative project for seven months under her CHIRI supervisors Prof. Newsholme and Associate Prof. Cyril Mamotte, will now work under the supervision of their Scottish counterparts in the collaboration. Read more…

We love synchrotron science!

By Amanda Iannuzzi 21 March 2019 News Comments off
Ross Graham, Clinton Kidman and James Chasland.

Ross Graham, Clinton Kidman and James Chasland.

Wondering what has these three Curtin Health Innovation Research Institute researchers beaming? Conducting research at the Australian Synchrotron of course.

Dr Ross Graham, PhD student Clinton Kidman and research assistant James Chasland recently visited the X-ray Fluorescence beamline at the Australian Synchrotron in Melbourne as part of their research into links between iron and fatty liver disease.

Along with CHIRI’s Associate Professor Cyril Mamotte and Dr Mark Hackett, the trio is investigating the distribution of iron and other metals in liver cells exposed to high concentrations of iron and fatty acids.

Their aim is to better understand the underlying mechanisms of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and iron overload disorders and the link between them. These disorders manifest largely in middle age and may cause complications such as liver failure if untreated. Read more…

Mind-blowing support for traumatic brain injury research

By Amanda Iannuzzi 12 March 2019 News Comments off

 

Professor Melinda Fitzgerald.

Professor Melinda Fitzgerald.

Massive news out of the Curtin Health Innovation Research Institute – A research mission led by our Deputy Director Melinda (Lindy) Fitzgerald to help improve the lives of children and adults with traumatic brain injuries has been awarded $50 million in Federal Government funding over the next 10 years.

The Mission for Traumatic Brain Injury initiative will bring together health professionals from major hospitals, universities and research institutes across Australia to help identify the predictors of poor outcomes following a traumatic brain injury and develop feasible initiatives to help improve the lives of patients.

The research will cover traumatic brain injuries of all severities, from concussion in sports to severe brain injuries from road accidents. Read more…

Union of CHIRI and European collaborators to advance diabetes research

By Amanda Iannuzzi 5 March 2019 News Comments off
CHIRI’s Dr Hani Al-Salami, with collaborators Dr Walter Minnella from Paris, France and Katrin Borrmann from Muenster Germany.

CHIRI’s Dr Hani Al-Salami, with collaborators Dr Walter Minnella from France and Katrin Borrmann from Germany.

Two European pharmaceutical company researchers have travelled across the world as part of a new bio-nanotechnology based industrial partnership with the Curtin Health Innovation Research Institute (CHIRI).

Dr Walter Minnella, a physicist from pharmaceutical company Elvesys in Paris, France and Dr Katrin Borrmann, from MARCOTECH oHG in Muenster, Germany are working in collaboration with CHIRI diabetes researcher Dr Hani Al-Salami, whose team is committed to identifying new therapies for diabetes and age-related diseases using novel bio-nanotechnologies and pharmaceutical formulation delivery systems.

Walter, who is a scientist and a field-application specialist, is on a two-month placement at CHIRI, overseeing nanotechnological microchip (lab-on-a-chip) testing for the treatment of diabetes. He received his PhD from the University of Bordeaux (France) under the European Training Network focused on label-free cell sorting, and is an expert in microfluidics and microchips/PCR technologies.

Katrin Borrmann, a chemist and a researcher at Westphalian Wilhelms University, is with CHIRI for a one-month placement. As an expert in hydrophilic nanoencapsulation of antioxidants and the development of novel therapeutics for chronic injuries/wounds, she is overseeing testing of nanotechnological formulations using industrial standards. Read more…

CHIRI researcher on top of the world

By Amanda Iannuzzi 28 February 2019 News Comments off
Professor Chris Reid.

Professor Chris Reid.

Better than one in a million – how’s three in a hundred!

Congratulations to Curtin Health Innovation Research Institute’s (CHIRI) Professor Christopher Reid, who’s among three Curtin University scientists in a worldwide list of the 100 most-mentioned scholarly research articles online in 2018.

Remarkably, Chris made the Altmetric Top 100 list not once, but three times for articles on his pioneering studies into the effect of aspirin in the healthy elderly. One of the articles alone reached a potential audience of around 4 million people. Read more…

CHIRI primed for next-level research excellence

By Amanda Iannuzzi 26 February 2019 News Comments off
Professor Lindy Fitzgerald.

CHIRI Deputy Director, Professor Melinda (Lindy) Fitzgerald.

With the Curtin Health Innovation Research Institute’s (CHIRI) research continuing to grow, so too has its leadership team, with Professor Melinda (Lindy) Fitzgerald being appointed as the inaugural Deputy Director of the institute.

Already a CHIRI researcher co-appointed by the Perron Institute for Neurological and Translational Sciences and located at the Sarich Neurosciences Research Institute Building in Nedlands, Lindy will work closely with CHIRI’s Director, Professor John Mamo, to take the significant work undertaken by the institute “to the next level”. At the top of Lindy’s list is capitalising on existing research collaborations and identifying new opportunities.

“Since its inception, CHIRI has been busy refining its research focus and strengths and building a culture of research excellence,” Lindy said. “Now is the time for CHIRI to take the opportunity to capitalise and further encourage national and international collaborations to the next level.” Read more…

Grant success kick-starts metabolism research

By Amanda Iannuzzi 21 February 2019 News Comments off
Dr Jose Caparros-Martin, Dr Ricky Lareu and Professor Fergal O'Gara.

Dr Jose Caparros-Martin, Dr Ricky Lareu and Professor Fergal O’Gara.

A collaborative team led by Curtin Health Innovation Research Institute (CHIRI) researchers is hopeful of inspiring new and innovative prevention strategies to control the burden of metabolic-related conditions after securing funding through a competitive national grants scheme.

Funded by the Endeavour College of Natural Health in late 2018, the grant is aimed at mechanistically characterising how nutraceutical compounds (a group of chemical compounds of plant origin, which are claimed to provide health benefits) modulate the gut-liver axis to prevent the development of metabolic disorders.

The research team includes CHIRI researchers Professor Fergal O’Gara, Dr Jose Caparros-Martin and Dr Ricky Lareu from Curtin’s School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, and Dr Natalie Ward from the School of Public Health, in collaboration with Dr Sangeetha Mathavan (Endeavour College of Natural Health and Curtin University) and Dr Patricia Agudelo-Romero (Telethon Kids Institute and The University of Western Australia).

The team will use the grant to carry out different ‘omics’ analyses to progress its research program on the molecular pathways involved in host-gut microbiota interaction. Read more…

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