Seven was a lucky number for young UWA medical researchers last month.
Seven of the major prizes awarded during Medical Research Week went to UWA researchers and graduate students. And seven of the eight new research grants from the WA Department of Health were won by UWA staff.
Medical Research Week is the Australian Society for Medical Research's annual symposium. ASMR is the peak professional society that represents medical researchers in Australia and members present their research each year to politicians, the corporate sector and community groups to encourage their ongoing support.
Prizes for the best presentations went to researchers in the fields of cancer, sleep apnoea, exercise science, HI V infection, cardio-vascular disease and viruses.
Yu Shen from the School of Medicine and Pharmacology won an award for her research into quercetin (which is found in fruit and vegetables including onions, apples, tea and grapes) and its potential cardio-protective effects, which are readily achieved through diet.
Dr Anna Johansson from WAIMR was rewarded for her work on strategies to enhance immunotherapy on tumours that are resistant to immune rejection. Shruti Krishnan's winning research also focused on tumours and how methods of stimulating the host's immune system to destroy cancer cells may be improved by targeting immune suppression at the same time.
Laila Abudulai from the School of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine looked at the effects of HI V infection and antibody responses.
The use of the sleeping pill Temazepam was found not to aggravate the severity of Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA ) by Carolyn Visser (Anatomy, Physiology and Human Biology) working with WA 's sleep medicine expert Winthrop Professor Peter Eastwood. People with OSA often suffer insomnia and it had been thought that using Temazepam would make the OSA worse.
Marc Sim, in the School of Sport Science, Exercise and Health used 10 trained athletes in four running and cycling trials, to look at iron levels and liver function during and after exercise.
And Laura Masters studied the Human Cytomegalovirus (HCMV) and its persistence in human populations around the world.
Later in June, grants of $10,000 from the Department of Health were awarded through the 2012 New Independent Research Infrastructure Support (NIRIS ) awards.
Two grants were awarded to the Centre for the Built Environment and Health, to Assistant Professor Hayley Christian and Associate Professor Lisa Wood for their research into the influence of the built environment on people's health.
Dr Natalie Ward in the School of Medicine and Pharmacology received funding for her work in nutrition and lifestyle and their roles in heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke.
Pre-term births and their relationship to infections and inflammation in the mother will be studied by Dr Matthew Kemp in the School of Women's and Infants' Health.
Dr Alison Reid (WAIMR ) will use her grant to look at improving the occupational health and safety of migrant workers.
Rett Syndrome, early onset scoliosis and the CDKL5 disorder in children will be the focus for Dr Jenny Downs from the Centre for Child Health Research.
And Dr Gianina Ravenscroft (Centre for Medical Research) won a grant for research that involves identifying genes and developing therapies for genetic skeletal muscle diseases.
Published in UWA News, 23 July 2012
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