University News


Associate Professor Kevin Pfleger

UWA spin-off company wins funding for kidney treatment

Monday, 18 October 2010

An innovative project that aims to deliver a new treatment for a common kidney disease was one of only two WA recipients of Federal funding announced on Friday by Innovation, Industry, Science and Research Minister, Senator Kim Carr.

A picture of Assoc Prof Xiaolin in front of an Australian flag and Chinese flag

Australia China Young Scientist Exchange Program (YSEP)

Monday, 18 October 2010

Associate Professor Xiaolin Wang recently attended the Australia China Young Scientist Exchange Program (YSEP) Showcasing Event at the Australia Pavilion, Shanghai World Expo where he met with other past representatives and this year’s Australia Young Scientists from program.

While at the expo, Xiaolin participated on a panel discussion about the past achievements and the future development of the YSEP program.

PhD student Holly McClellan, of the Human Lactation Research Group

Ultrasound images help unlock the mysteries of breastfeeding

Monday, 18 October 2010

PhD student Holly McClellan has been utilising ultrasound imaging to help discover why breastfeeding can be such a painful and distressing time for some mothers.

Although breastfeeding is a practice that’s been around for aeons, it appears there’s still a lot we don’t know about it.

All mammal species feed their young a unique composition of milk that promotes optimal immunity and development. Most mammals are born with the ability to co-ordinate sucking, swallowing and breathing to remove milk from their mother’s nipple/teat.

Vice-Dean, Winthrop Professor Brendan Waddell

A time of change – and further accolades for our research

Monday, 18 October 2010

Welcome to the latest edition of Science Matters which comes at a time of considerable change within the Faculty. Our Dean of more than 12 years, Winthrop Professor George Stewart, retired in June to enjoy a more relaxed lifestyle in Tasmania. George was the inaugural Dean of the Faculty of Life and Physical Sciences and was central to its establishment and subsequent success. George also played a key role for the Faculty and broader university through his development of significant links with China, which will benefit the university for many years to come.

Providing accurate information on climate science…UWA Climate Science group

UWA researchers contribute to climate science debate

Monday, 18 October 2010

Scientists from around UWA’s campus have formed an interest group dedicated to contributing to the debate over climate science.

The UWA Climate Science group has some 40 scientists from a variety of disciplines.

The group has taken part in several public events on climate change and climate “skepticism”, contributes to regular radio programs, and has its own website at

Special commendation…Dr Kamel Hammani is continuing his research overseas

Kamel's protein research earns kudos

Monday, 18 October 2010

One of Plant Energy Biology’s recently graduated PhD students, Dr Kamel Hammani, has been honoured with a special commendation by UWA for his research into plant proteins.

Kamel’s research characterised six previously undiscovered pentatricopeptide repeat (PPR) proteins. PPR proteins are of great interest due to their ability to change the way that a gene is expressed.

Galaxy cluster Abell 1689

Kenji sheds light on how distant galaxies grow

Monday, 18 October 2010

ICRAR astronomer Dr Kenji Bekki has discovered a previously unknown process that causes new stars to form in large clusters of galaxies.

He explained the process in a letter recently published in the Astrophysical Journal.

Using complex computer simulations, Dr Bekki found that as a cluster of galaxies grows, individual galaxies feel the pressure and start forming new stars in massive bursts. 

ICRAR's Professor Lister Staveley-Smith

New astronomy centre will boost ICRAR staff

Monday, 18 October 2010

The Australian Research Council has announced funding of $20.6 million for a new astronomy Centre of Excellence, to be known as the ARC Centre of Excellence for All-sky Astrophysics (CAASTRO).

The centre is a collaboration between the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR); The University of Sydney; The University of Melbourne; Swinburne University of Technology; and The Australian National University, with national and international research partners.  

Family dynamics is part of research being undertaken at Anatomy & Human Biology

How brothers and sisters affect each other

Monday, 18 October 2010

The feisty relationship between brothers and sisters and their family group has been a staple theme of television comedies for decades.

Yet the real-life relationships can be more subtle, affecting several aspects of siblings’ lives according to research being undertaken by researchers at the School of Anatomy and Human Biology.

A relatively small set of mammals – including humans -- live in more or less “nuclear” family groups.

Tiny particles, big issues: Professor Colin Raston

Making the most of our nano future

Monday, 18 October 2010

Nanoparticles are the incredibly tiny building blocks at the forefront of a whole new field of cutting edge research, technology and science.

So it’s a bit of a surprise for some people to find that nano-particles aren’t that new.

“Nanoparticles have been around forever,” says Professor Colin Raston, of UWA’s Centre for Strategic Nano-fabrication.

“Every time a meteorite strikes the atmosphere or there’s a volcanic eruption, huge numbers of nanoparticles are created.”