UWA Forward is the University of Western Australia's weekly staff news bulletin. It is published every Wednesday via all-staff email.

Tea Shavlakadze

Early steps to improve later life

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Is this the elixir of eternal youth?

Dr Tea Shavlakadze is sceptical. But she is excited about her discoveries in the area of ageing, and the possibility of drug therapy to help keep elderly people's muscles from wasting.

Rob Marshall at the clinic on Haiti

Espwa fé viv : Hope gives life

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Rob Marshall, final year medical student and president of the Australian Medical Students' Association, won this year's Alan Charters Prize for his presentation following his elective in Haiti earlier this year.

Rob had taken a year off from his medical studies to spend a year in France and, on the way home in early 2010, he read about the earthquake that had devastated the French-speaking island. He organised his elective over the next 12 months. This is an edited version of his report.

Jen Inglis and her partner Ken Nolan

Mature-age students find MAPS to success

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Jen Inglis was a surfer on the Coca Cola world circuit. And when she took off her wetsuit, she used to write poetry.

"So when I finally got around to doing tertiary study, I knew that I wanted to study English and creative writing," said Ms Inglis, one of the first three graduates from UWA 's new Mature-age Access Program (MAP).

Darren Glass is mentored by UWA Professor Fiona Wood

Footballers and academics are unlikely but successful MATES

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

The AFL grand final last weekend had most of the country thinking and talking about football.

But would anyone have been wondering what the iconic Australian sport had to do with open heart surgery, firing a taser or making pasta? Probably not.

The SkyNet launch

Astronomy research from the comfort of home

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

While you're away at work all day, your home computer could be put to work. theSkyNet is a new project, run by the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR), which aims to use the spare computing power of personal desktop computers.

UWA Vice Chancellor Prof Alan Robson and 3MT winner Matthew Thompson

Letting people know who we are and what we do

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Communication across the spectrum - from academic discourse and international relationships, to student recruitment, marketing and development - has been the focus of much activity on campus in the past two weeks.

A close look at mosses on the tundra

Tiny tundra plants have big impact on carbon balance

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Hurricane-force wind was more of a problem than the cold when biogeochemist Greg Skrzypek spent six weeks in the Arctic Circle recently on climate change research.

Michael Sheldrick met Julia Gillard to talk about The End of Polio

Student gets polio onto CHOGM agenda

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Michael Sheldrick was born 30 years after the last serious polio endemics swept across Australia and 16 years since the last reported case.

But it has not deterred the energetic Law student from campaigning to eradicate the disease in the rest of the world.

Graduations: marking individual and institutional success

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Reflecting on almost two decades of graduation ceremonies, I'm struck by the substance behind the often used statement that ‘the strength of our University is built on its graduates'.

Fast bowling research fast tracks a career

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Teenage cricketers who are prone to back injuries may one day thank Helen Crewe for their preventive training techniques.

Professor Venkatesh and Angel Yu

Meeting of minds a simple mathematical progression

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Akshay Venkatesh and Angel Yu might have felt they were looking into a mirror when they met at UWA recently.

It's not that they look alike, but the 30-year-old Professor Venkatesh, one of the world's most gifted mathematicians, was looking across the table at a 15-year-old mathematics whizz who had just won a bronze medal at the International Mathematics Olympiad in Amsterdam.

Surgical podiatrists at work

Podiatrists put their best feet forward

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Podiatry is a lot more than bunions and in-grown toenails.

The 22 postgraduate podiatrists studying, doing research and performing surgery at UWA's new Podiatric Surgery Clinic take podiatric medicine to levels that many people have never imagined.

Photo by Peter Bowdidge from Christine Howitt's

Teachers turn around the ‘nature deficit’

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Two professors of education were talking about having fun with kids, playing in mud and climbing trees.

Winthrop Professor Grady Venville and Associate Professor Christine Howitt from the Graduate School of Education weren't chatting about the weekend but discussing science education.

Sasha's portrait of Rosalind Franklin

First the structure now the portrait

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Music, dance, a fruit puree sculpture and now a DNA portrait are all products of a program in which high school students create art from science.

Professor Alan Robson

A greater contribution

Thursday, 8 September 2011

New rankings released recently indicate that our University continues to move positively towards its ambitious goal of being counted among the world's best 100 universities in 2013 - the year we celebrate our centenary.

UWA Open Day

Community responses

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

The high regard in which the community holds our University - in no small measure because of our contribution to the social and economic wellbeing of the State - was evident again in the large numbers who attended our recent UWA Open Day.

Barbara Matters with some of the Berndt's huge collection of photos

Photos help Indigenous people to reconnect

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

You would expect a museum to be more interested in acquiring objects and photographs than distributing them.

However, the Berndt Museum of Anthropology is committed to returning copies of its photographic collection to Aboriginal communities.

(L-R) Jose Ramos-Horta, Kevin Rudd, a local farmer and Rob Williams

UWA helps to sow the seeds of a new life

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Poor farming families in Timor-Leste have been able to sell some of their surplus crops in the local market for the first time.

Professor Creaney with Professor Nowack

Clinical trials light a beacon for miners’ cancer

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Two young women are working at the forefront of a health disaster that started in the blue asbestos mining industry in the Pilbara last century.

Dr Pauline Grierson, School of Plant Biology and Ecosystems Research Group

Real science among the red dirt

Monday, 22 August 2011

Recently I went to see the movie Red Dog, which is set in the Pilbara, a place very close to my heart.

This gentle film captured not just the joys of living with a cheeky kelpie who does exactly as it pleases (also close to my heart) but how the shimmering horizon beckons, where blue sky sweeps across a red and yellow landscape and where the red dust gets under your skin - and just about everywhere else.