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Curtin University
Public Health Head of School updates



Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas! I would also like to take this opportunity to thank you all for all your hard work throughout 2016.

Weekly Update

Thank you to those who have sent through news worthy items, again if you would like anything shared with the team, please email Rebecca Henderson –


Congratulations to  Dr Ryu Takechi has been awarded one of the most highly competitive national fellowships in the latest NHMRC round namely an NHMRC Career Development Fellowship (4 yrs 2018-21). This is a stunning achievement and builds on Ryu’s very strong research outputs to date working in CHIRI with Professor John Mamo.

Congratulations to Krysten Blackford who has been awarded her PhD (with minor revisions).
Krysten is supervised by A/Prof Jonine Jancey, Professor Andy Lee and Dr Tony James
Title: “Development, implementation and evaluation of a diet and physical activity intervention targeting rural Australian adults with or at risk of metabolic syndrome”

Well done Dr Krysten Blackford!!



8 day Japan Nutrition Study Tour

Dr Tony James, Dr Karin Clark and Mrs Yasuko Timmings led a busy academic study tour of Japan with 20 students carefully selected from the Curtin’s Nutrition degree and Nutrition/Health Promotion double degree.

A central feature of the tour included visits to Kagawa Nutrition University (KNU) at their two impressive campuses.  We were warmly welcomed by academic and professional university staff as well as students from the Nutrition Sciences Degree Program.  Our activities included a lecture on Japanese food and cultural history, and current nutrition and health issues in Japan (Associate Professor Masa Kagawa (PhD Curtin)).  We were able to tour the Shozo and Aya Kagawa Memorial Museum, extensive catering training and metabolic facilities at KNU and were also given a Nutrition Clinic tour and lecture by Professor Keiko Kamachi.  This lecture highlighted the efficacy of individualised nutrition programs and reminded our students of why they learn about single nucleotide polymorphisms in Nutritional Biochemistry.

Our students enjoyed participating in a Japanese cooking challenge that was led by Chef Kentaro Kaida and assisted by Kagawa chef trainees.  The next day we were honoured with a guided Tsukiji market tour by Chef Mitsuo Furukawa.

Throughout the eight days, our students were immersed into the food system in Tokyo and really soaked up the many learning experiences relevant to their course and personal development.  Our relationship with KNU granted us access to Shiroyama Primary School to see a ‘shokuiku’ (a food and nutrition lesson) in action and participate in the children’s lunch service.  We were given a guided supermarket tour, visited the Ajinomoto Food Culture Centre, and a factory tour to see the traditional production of soy sauce.

Mr Hiroto Fukuda (Healthy Food Company), explained the range and therapeutic uses of functional foods produced by their company (specifically low protein and texture modified foods).  Our students were able to see the direct relevance of their food chemistry to these products and the potential for use in dietetics.

We are ever grateful for the School’s ongoing relationship with Kagawa Nutrition University, the majority of the tour activities were only possible due to this relationship.  For our students the tour was an opportunity to apply global perspectives to food and nutrition issues so that they may incorporate cultural awareness into their nutrition practice.  Journal club activities along the way promoted students’ responsibility in learning, developed their communication skills and reflective practice. Arigatō gozaimas.  Hai.



‘’Enhancing Collaborative Cancer Epidemiological Research in WA’’ workshop

On the 9th of November 2016, the Cancer Epidemiology Network (CCEN) held a workshop at Wollaston Conference in Perth with a theme “Enhancing Collaborative Cancer Epidemiological Research in WA”.  Aims of the workshop were to learn about research interests of WA researchers, identify potential areas for collaboration in cancer epidemiology, and to facilitate new collaborative partnerships and professional networks.

The workshop brought together 24 researchers from Curtin University, UWA, ECU, Department of Health, The University of Melbourne, Cancer Council WA and the Telethon Kids Institute. From the 24 invited researchers, 8 were from Curtin University. Also, 2 consumers who have interest in cancer research and are members of our Consumer Advisory Committee attended this workshop.

Prof. Lin Fritschi opened the workshop by affirming the aims of the CCEN and giving a brief overview of the day program. After this, four presentations on cohort studies both in WA and interstate (Raine Study, Ten to Men, Busselton Health Study and Health in Men Study) were presented. The cohort studies presentations provided basic information on the cohort, a summary on what has already been done in relation to cancer, ideas on what the cohort could contribute to cancer research and information on data sharing. Afterward, 20 speakers each gave a five minute presentation, talking about their educational background, current job position, past and current cancer epidemiology research, project ideas for potential collaborations and how they could contribute to other people’s studies.

Participants from Curtin University have several skills they could contribute to other people’s studies including expertise in assessing work hazards, descriptive epidemiology, quantitative and qualitative research methods, interventions, etc.

Following lunchtime, the speed networking session started. In this session, each attendee had the opportunity to speak to each of the other attendees for five minutes and discuss potential areas of collaborations in cancer epidemiology.

A particular bonus was that some consumers participated in this session, which gave the researchers an opportunity to explain their research in plain language.

Feedback from attendees was uniformly positive and we plan to follow-up with the attendees to record collaborations which occurred as a result of this workshop

Professor Lin Fritschi opening the workshop

Associate Professor Alison Reid giving a five minute presentation

Speed networking session


P1: Abdolmanafi A, Owens RG, Winter S, Jahromi RG, Peixoto MM, Nobre P Determinants of Women’s Sexual Dissatisfaction: Assessing a Cognitive-Emotional Model. J Sex Med 13(11):1708-1717

P2”: Toye C, Parsons R, Slatyer S, Aoun SM, Moorin R, Osseiran-Moisson R, Hill KD Outcomes for family carers of a nurse-delivered hospital discharge intervention for older people (the Further Enabling Care at Home Program): Single blind randomised controlled trial. International Journal of Nursing Studies 64:32-41

P3: Calton EK, Keane KN, Soares MJ, Rowlands J, Newsholme P Prevailing vitamin D status influences mitochondrial and glycolytic bioenergetics in peripheral blood mononuclear cells obtained from adults. Redox Biology 10:243-250