News and Events

March 2019
February 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018

July 2018
June 2018

May 2018

April 2018

March 2018

February 2018 

March 2019

Division of Health Sciences in the Media

You may have noticed that we have had extensive media coverage of our researchers’ stories in January and February 2019; special thanks go to our proactive Media Liaison Coordinator Ms Candy Gibson!

Some of the January and February stories included:

  • Dr Vijay Suppiah, School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences, highlighted the importance of pharmacogenetic testing to help clarify the potential impact of drug interactions at the genetic level for different people based on his recent publication
  • Dr Rose Boucaut, School of Health Sciences, emphasised ‘Text neck,’ as it is colloquially called, which places stress on the spine and alters the neck’s natural curve, thus increasing the likelihood of associated soft tissue discomfort. The 2018 paper identified the high ergonomics risk of smartphone users resulted from two key risk factors: posture and muscle use
  • Dr Margarita Tsiros, School of Health Sciences, stressed that sitting in front of the TV puts kids in the obesity hotseat. Key findings from the team of predominantly UniSA-based authors included that; not all types of sedentary behaviour are “created equal”, with time spent watching television being consistently linked with adiposity. Furthermore, associations may be sex-specific.

New Director of the Cancer Research Institute

Following the departure of the inaugural Director of CRI; Professor Ian Olver, we congratulate Professor Alan Boddy who recently commenced his new duties as Director of CRI. Alan will retain his duties as Head of School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences and so, will have two important roles for the next 12 months.

Ian Davey Research Thesis Prize 2019 - outstanding nominee

Congratulations goes to Dr Tahnee Dening from Pharmacy and Medical Sciences, whose thesis, entitled “Nanostructured clay materials for solidifying lipid-based drug delivery systems” was one of only four nominated for the 2019 Ian Davey Research Thesis Prize. Whilst not the overall winner, Tahnee’s thesis was recognised for its outstanding research and scholarly contribution. The Ian Davey Research Thesis Prize is awarded to the most outstanding research thesis leading to a Doctor of Philosophy in the preceding calendar year.

My PhD Story

This short video features PhD student, Kristy Gray, telling her PhD story; Kristy is a PhD student in the School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences. Kristy’s research is in intermittent energy restriction in weight loss, and diabetes risk markers in women who have had gestational diabetes. This continues a series of My PhD stories which will be released in a variety of formats each month, with the aim of encouraging future students interested in a career in research. 

February 2019

ARC Funding Success

Researchers in the Division and from the Centre for Cancer Biology were awarded ARC Discovery Projects at the end of 2018. Recipients of these grants include:

  • Dr Sang Hong Lee: Whole-genome multivariate reaction norm model for complex traits
  • Prof Janna Morrison: Going with the flow: Directing nutrient rich blood to the brain
  • Dr Cameron Bracken: Transcriptional regulation by microRNAs

CCB Success in Cancer Council Funding Scheme

The outcomes of the Cancer Council/Beat Cancer Projects were announced in late December.

Researchers in our Division were awarded 4 grants, with a further 5 applications not considered for Cancer Council funding because the researchers had already been successful in securing NHMRC funding for the corresponding Project Grant. Congratulations goes to:

  • Assoc Prof Susan Branford: Towards a new genomic classification of risk for patients with chronic myeloid leukaemia
  • Prof Greg Goodall: Direct transcriptional regulation by microRNAs
  • Dr Jo Woodcock: A unifying approach to Non-small cell lung cancer therapy
  • Dr Anna Brown: Biological characterisation and therapeutic options for high risk, DDX41 mutated, haematological malignancies

My PhD Story

This short video features PhD student, Hayley Schultz, telling her PhD story; Hayley is a PhD student in the School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences. This begins a series of My PhD stories which will be released in a variety of formats each month, with the aim of encouraging future students interested in a career in research.

Scholarship Success

International Scholarship Round

  • The Division received an allocation of 5 RTPi (fees and scholarship fully covered by the university) and 6 UPS (fees covered by the university and 100% scholarship funding required from the local area).
  • All 5 RTPi scholarships were awarded, and 5 of the 6 UPS scholarships available were awarded.

Domestic Scholarship Round

  • The Division received an allocation of 17 x RTPd (fees and scholarship fully covered by the university) and 11 x USAPA (50% scholarship covered by the university and 50% scholarship funding required from the local area)
  • A total of 17 RTPd and 6 USAPAs were awarded.

December 2018

NHMRC Success: Funding announcement made

Researchers from the Division and from the Centre for Cancer Biology have been awarded NHMRC Project Grant funding totalling $11.95 million plus an NHMRC/NAFOSTED Joint Call for Collaborative Research project. Read the UniSA story here.

  • Prof Sharad Kumar: Deciphering the mechanisms of caspase 2 mediated suppression of aneuploidy and tumourigenesis
  • Prof Elina Hypponen: Identifying pathways to dementia: a large-scale genetic study
  • Assoc Prof Nicole Pratt: Large scale evidence generation for the utilisation and safety of biologic medicines
  • Prof Sharad Kumar: Ubiquitination-regulated sodium homeostasis in kidney disease
  • Assoc Prof Natasha Stanton: Targeting unhelpful pain beliefs to promote physical activity in people with knee osteoarthritis: a multicentre, randomised controlled trial with cost-effectiveness analysis
  • Prof Stuart Pitson: A new therapeutic target for proteasome inhibitor resistant multiple myeloma
  • Assoc Prof Carol Maher: Annual rhythms in weight gain, activity and diet compositions in parents – identifying opportunities to prevent cycles of weight gain
  • Dr Christopher Hahn: Germline mutations in familial haematopoietic malignancies identifies new pan-cancer predisposition genes and may alter clinical decision making, including for known cancer genes
  • Dr Philip Gregory: Characterising an RNA splicing pathway driving prostate cancer metastasis and therapy resistance
  • Professor Claudine Bonder: Desmoglein-2; an unsuspected regulator of melanoma
  • Assoc. Prof Paul Anderson: Therapeutic Targeting of Vitamin D Catabolism in Chronic Kidney Disease
  • Prof Alex Brown: Intervening on social and health services practice to address social determinants of Aboriginal social and emotional wellbeing: The Northern Pathways Project
  • Dr Tuan Nguyen: Strengthening responses to dementia: Building an evidence platform for the development of a Vietnam National Dementia Plan (NHMRC-NAFOSTED).

The national outcomes are now available from the NHMRC website here.

Appointment to the 2019 ARC College of Experts

Professor Eva Bezak has been offered an appointment to the 2019 ARC College of Experts (College).  The College is made up of experts of international standing, drawn from all corners of the Australian research community, including from higher education institutions, industry and public sector research organisations.
College of Experts members are engaged by the ARC for appointments of one to three years, during which time they play a key role in identifying research excellence, moderating external assessments, and make funding recommendations under the ARC’s National Competitive Grants Program.

Outcomes of the 2018 Research Theme Investment Scheme (RTIS)

Seed Funding is designed to support the formation or development of research that spans across traditional disciplinary boundaries, and that builds collaborative partnerships. This year 13 of the 29 successfully funded projects were from the Division of Health Sciences (in total 95 application across the University were made; 35 of these were from the Division of HSC).

The full listing of the successful Development Scheme and Seed Funding projects are available on the RIS website here.  

November 2018

Research Day Award Success

The University hosted an inaugural University-wide Research Day on Monday 22 October 2018. We achieved several successful outcomes for the Division as folllows:

  • Research Excellence category - Early Career Award joint winners: Dr Brenton Hordacre (HLS) and Dr Stephanie Reuter-Lange (PMB)
  • Pathway to Impact category - Commercialisation Award winner: Professor Stuart Pitson (PMB/CCB)
  • Best RTIS Application winner: Professor Clive Prestidge (PMB), Dr Nicky Thomas (PMB), Professor Allison Cowin (FII), Dr Zlatko Kopecki (FII) and Dr David Ogunniyi (FII) for 'Re-sensitising Resistant Bacteria Against Antibiotics: Giving New Power to Failing Medicines'.

Our HDR candidates were also successful:

  • Training and Support category - Best Transformed PhD Student of the Year winner: Tahnee Dening (PMB)
  • Ian Davey Research Thesis Prize winner: Dr Jessica Wojciechowski (PMB).

Research Australia Health and Medical Research Awards 2018 - Nominees announced

Congratulations goes to Professor Bill Runciman (HLS) who has been successful in making it to the final two nominees of the Health Services Research Award Category.   This Award is for an individual who has provided leadership and made an outstanding contribution to health services research, has driven research that has led to a significant improvement in healthcare and/or has championed the development of the health services research field. 

Bill’s nomination was successful due to his extensive work in developing patient safety and standards for the discipline of Anaesthesia; we wish Bill the best of luck in the November awards in Sydney!

SAHMRI Annual Scientific Meeting Research Showcase - Pitch Perfect Award

Associate Professor Kristin Carson-Chahhoud (HLS) was recently awarded the Pitch Perfect Award at the Annual Scientific Meeting which took place on 25-26 October. The Research showcase took place on day 2 of the meeting. Congratulations Kristin on winning the much anticipated'Pitch Perfect' award.

October 2018

CSL Florey Next Generation Nominees

Following a University-wide selection process, both CSL Florey Next Generation nominees were selected from our Division. The 2018 CSL Florey Next Generation Award will shortly be conferred to a PhD candidate who has demonstrated outstanding capability, creativity and potential in the biomedical sciences and/or health and medical research.
Our good wishes go to Alexandra Wade (PhD candidate in HLS) and Hayley Schultz (PhD candidate in PMB) who submitted applications and a short (90 second) video that answered the question “What research challenge do I intend to solve during the course of my career”.  Alex took a creative approach and her video can be viewed here, whilst Hayley chose a more conventional approach which can be viewed here, both are exceptional nominees!

Beat Cancer Travel Grant Success

Congratulations goes to Naranie Shanmuganathan, (PMB PhD candidate) for her success in the Beat Cancer Project Travel Grant. The Beat Cancer Project is a South Australian state-wide initiative intended to support and advance cancer research within the state. It is funded by Cancer Council SA and the SA Government (through SA Health) and administered by the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI).  Naranie received $2500 in the conference attendance and travel subcategory, which she will use towards attendance at the America Society of Haematology conference. 

Success at the Controlled Release Asia (CRA) Meeting

A large delegation from PMB attended the Controlled Release Asia (CRA) meeting in Singapore in September. Two PMB students Santhni Subramaniam (Honours) and Chelsea Thorne (PhD) were selected from a pool of 130 students and gave very impressive presentations; resulting in 1st and 3rd place respectively.  Congratulations on your terrific achievements; you can see Santhi’s particularly wide smile in receiving the 1st prize of registration for a future meeting in Valencia, Spain.


      Santhni Subramaniam                         Chelsea Thorne

UniSA Ranks as Australia's top university for income derived from Industry Partnerships

Congratulations to the enterprising spirit of UniSA’s dedicated and talented Health Science researchers and the team of people which support these partnerships to fruition. Their combined hard work has recently been reflected in the Times Higher Education 2018 rankings.
The University of South Australia is now Australia’s top university for income derived from industry partnerships, according to the 2018 -2019 University World Rankings, highlighting its commitment to solutions-focused research. Members of the Division of Health Sciences play a key role in this partnering capability with industry to do just that; we work with partners here in Australia and worldwide to support everything from the development of more reliable and affordable vaccines for critical diseases, or safer, more accurate cancer detection, to better military vehicle design for our partners in the Defence sector.

September 2018

International Pharmaceutical Federation Award

Emeritus Professor Lloyd Sansom was awarded the André Bédat Award at the FIP World Congress of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences 2018 in Glasgow. The Award is FIP’s highest pharmaceutical practice award and is awarded every two years.

NHMRC Early Career Fellowship success

Our Division received 4 Early Career Fellowships with a total value of $1.4 million; Dorothea Dumuid to work on Optimisation of compositional data to inform lifestyle behaviour interventions; Jaqueline Bowden for Investigating ways to reduce parental supply of alcohol to teenagers in Australia; Renly Lim to work for Misdiagnosed as ageing: medicine-induced deterioration in older people; and, Liping Wang for Development of an innovative 3D bio-printing platform for auricular reconstruction.

The UniSA success rate was 33.3% compared to the national success rate of 24.3%

NHMRC Research Fellowships outcomes

Professor Stuart Pitson (CCB) was successful, to work on Targeting sphingolipid metabolism in disease and Professor Lorimer Moseley received a 6th year fellowship extension to continue his work on Reducing the prevalence and impact of persistent pain.

Brain Foundation Prize

Many congratulations go to Dr Brenton Hordacre who recently won the 2018 Elizabeth Penfold Simpson Prize. The award was based on being the author of the best piece of original research in any of the neurosciences published in the last two years.

August 2018

Early Career Pharmacist Award

Congratulations to Dr Jacinta Johnson from the School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences who was awarded the 2018 Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Early Career Pharmacist of the Year. The award nomination singled Dr Johnson out for her extensive support and mentoring of students, her volunteer work within the industry and her research. Read the UniSA story here

Sonography Fellowships

Dr Jessie Childs, Dr Nayana Parange and Sandy Marannawere awarded the inaugural Fellowships of the Australasian Sonographers Association recognising their outstanding individual contributions to the advancement of sonography profession in Australasia.

Workforce model to deliver community mental health care

Professor Leonie Segal from the Centre for Population Health Research and collaborators have published an article in The Lancet A needs-based workforce model to deliver tertiary-level community mental health care for distressed infants, children, and adolescents in South Australia: a mixed-methods study. Read the article here.

Sonographer of the Year

Congratulations to Kate Lamb who wasawarded the prestigious Australasian Sonographers Association Sonographer of the Year: South Australia.

Twelfth Year of Continuous Funding from SA Health

Professor Nicholas Procter, Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Research Group, School of Nursing and Midwifery has received an additional $459,000 funding from SA Health. The additional funding will be used to further develop trauma informed practice and suicide prevention research.

World-first study published

PhD candidate Sharayah Carter recently published in JAMA with a world-first study which found that diabetes sufferers can achieve weight loss and maintain blood glucose levels, by following the 5:2 diet.

3MT Division Final Results

Tahnee Dening  

PhD candidate Tahnee Dening (PMB) won the Division of Health Sciences 3MT final with a talk on Our great big “dirty” problem.

 Runner up was awarded to Nina Wilson (PMB) with a talk on Fishy Fats are Friends in Pregnancy.

Both Sarah Edney (HLS) & Ludivine Delon (PMB) received Highly Commended awards whilst People’s choice winner went to Tahnee with 47% of the vote.

Both Tahnee and Nina are representing the Division of Health Sciences at the University 3MT Finals on 23rd August, you can register here

  Nina Wilson

Best Poster Award in ECR/PhD Student Category

Emily Blackmann 2  

Second year PhD Candidate Emily Blackman recently won best poster (ECR/PhD Student Category) at the Suicide Prevention Australia National Conference. Emily is a member of the Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Research group located in the School of Nursing and Midwifery.

The Conversation

Professor Tim Olds from ARENA has published an article Weighing kids at school has more pros than cons but the reasons may surprise you.

July 2018

Department of Health Pharmacy trial Program

Professor Libby Roughead from the Quality Use of Medicines and Pharmacy Research Centre is leading the ReMInDAR (Reducing Medicine Induced Deterioration and Adverse Reactions Trial) program, a near $3m program from 2018-2020. The program was announced by The Hon Greg Hunt MP, Minister for Health at the recent Australian Pharmacy Professional Conference. The team at QUMPRC (Nicole Pratt, Lisa Kalisch and Renly Lim) are chief investigators on the trial, and will be collaborating with Professor Debra Rowett, Associate Professor Gaynor Parfitt, Professor Tim Olds, University of Tasmania and Helping Hand. Funded by the Department of Health Pharmacy trial Program Tranche 2, the study is for aged care residents who are at risk of deterioration from prolonged use of certain medicines.

NHMRC Research Excellence Award 

Professor Shudong Wang from the Centre for Drug Discovery and Development was recognised with the Top Ranked Development Grant award at the NHMRC Research Excellence Awards. Shudong’s Development Grant is titled Development of highly selective CDK4/6 inhibitors for treating cancer. See the full list of winners here.

Australian Government Innovation Manufacturing CRC

Associate Professor Paul Andersonfrom the Musculoskeletal Biology research laboratory is an investigator on a $6m Australian Government Innovation Manufacturing CRC grant, led by Prof. Krasimir Vasilev (School of Engineering, UniSA). The grant titled An antimicrobial nanosurface for orthopaedic implants is over 4 years. 

Cancer Council NSW Pathways to a Cancer-Free Future

Dr Stephanie Reuter Lange is an investigator on a grant titled Pathway of Research to Evaluation of Dose-Individualised Cancer Therapy: Development of a national individualised cancer dosing program to both generate evidence and implement existing evidence on algorithms for dosing targeted and non-targeted chemotherapy funded by the Cancer Council NSW Pathways to a Cancer-Free Future. The grant is led by Professor Jennifer Martin (University of Newcastle).

The Hospital Research Foundation fellowship success

Dr Nicky Thomas has been successful in The Hospital Research Foundation 2018 Grant Round Mid-Career Fellowships. His fellowship is titled A Trojan Horse strategy for antimicrobial biologicals.

Research Degree Excellence Grants

PhD candidates Hayley Schultz and Sharayah Carter have been awarded UniSA Research Degree Excellence Grants. Hayley is in the third year of her PhD, supervised by Professor Clive Prestidge, and her research focus is on developing innovative lipid-based formulations for improving the oral delivery of poorly water soluble drugs, including those for prostate cancer. Sharayah, also in her third year, is supervised by Associate Professor Jennifer Keogh, and her research is focused on the comparison of intermittent energy restriction versus continuous energy restriction in type 2 diabetes. 

The Conversation Articles

June 2018

Lifetime Achievement Award: Lung Foundation


Professor Alan Crockett from ARENA was recognised and honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Lung Foundation for his contribution to the management of chronic lung disease, through his leadership of the Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) co-ordinating committee, COPD-X guideline writing committee, COPD checklist development and the development of a General Practice (GP) Toolkit.

2018 Global Voices Scholar

Hayley Leake, first year PhD candidate in Body in Mind was recently awarded the Global Voices Scholarship which sends a UniSA student to Geneva, Switzerland to attend the World Health Assembly (WHA). The WHA acts as a formal decision-making body for the World Health Organisation and Scholars will deepen their knowledge of public health policy, disease and development.

BUPA Health Research Grants

Four PhD students from our Division have been selected to receive UniSA’s BUPA Health Research Grants which may be used to cover PhD research-related travel. Congratulations to Verity Booth (HLS), Sandra Lucas (HLS), Mitchell Lock (PMB) and Imogen Ramsay (NRC) on this achievement, which was awarded on the basis of academic achievement, a written statement and performance at a selection panel interview.

Article in The Conversation

In case you missed it in The Conversation; My cancer is in remission - does it mean I'm cured? Read Professor Ian Olver’s, UniSACRI Director, article here.

 Feeling Human exhibit in MOD.

Professor Lorimer Moseley and Dr Tasha Stanton from Body in Mind  have collaborated with the Museum of Discovery (MOD.) to develop the Feeling human exhibit, an immersive, multi-sensory exhibit that invites you to consider – and experience first hand – how the body and mind work together to make us feel pain. MOD. was launched this month on the ground floor of the UniSACRI building.

May 2018

Digital Health CRC 

Professor Libby Roughead from the Quality Use of Medicines and Pharmacy Research Centre is leading one of the themes of the Digital Health Cooperative Research Centre, a new $200 million cooperative research centre to improve the health of Australians using digital technology. The Digital Health CRC engages a unique, multi-disciplinary collaboration of research, clinical, industry, government and educational organisations to focus research and development on combining these expertise with data, information and telecommunication technologies. Sixteen Australian universities are involved in the seven-year project, along with 40 commercial and government organisations in the health, care and disability sectors and a range of technology start-up companies. You can read the full story here, and read more about the new CRC on its website.

Nature Publication

Professor John Hayball and his team in the Experimental Therapeutics laboratory have had their research on infectious diseases spread by mosquitoes published in Nature Communications, as highlighted in the UniSA News, plus the group also received coverage in The Advertiser at the end of March.

International Travel Grants

Congratulations to Sarah Edney from the School of Health Sciences and Tesfahun Eshetie from the School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences for being awarded Research Degree International Travel Grants.

Channel 9 Young Achiever Awards

Congratulations to PhD Candidate Tahnee Dening from the School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences who was a finalist in the Channel 9 Young Achievers Awards in the First National Real Estate Innovation Awards. The winners will be amended on the 11th of May and we wish Tahnee the best of luck!

Prestigious award for CCB professor’s genome research 

Congratulations to Professor Greg Goodall from the Centre for Cancer Biology on being awarded the Julian Wells Medal at the 2018 Lorne Genome Conference. The annual award is given to a scientist who has made an outstanding contribution to the understanding of the organisation and expression of the genome, has made a major contribution to the development of this field of research in Australia.

How does your fitness compare with an elite athlete?

The Exercise Science Toolkit developed by Professor Kevin Norton from the School of Health Sciences, Dr Lynda Norton from Flinders University and UniSA PhD students received coverage on Nine News Adelaide and also featured in the UniSA news. You can ready the story and watch the coverage here.

Recognition for volunteer work to improve health of mums-to-be

Associate Professor Nayana Parange has received a 2017 Governor’s Multicultural Award for volunteer work in developing ultrasound services, as well as upskilling health professionals in rural, remote and Indigenous communities. The annual awards celebrate South Australians who promote multiculturalism and increase understanding of the benefits of cultural diversity in the community. You can read the full story here.

The Repat Foundation – The Road Home Scholarship

PhD Candidate Holly Bowen from the International Centre for Allied Health Evidence has been awarded a PhD Scholarship by The Repat Foundation – The Road Home to investigate if art therapy could be an effective treatment for PTSD. You can read more about Holly’s project and the wider work UniSA is involved in with the Invictus Pathway Program here.

April 2018

International Nut & Dried Fruit Council research grant recipient

Professor Jon Buckley from ARENA has been awarded an INC grant, An almond, dried grape and dried cranberry (AGC) mix for improving endurance exercise performance in athletes (clinical study). This project was 1 of only 2 research projects funded worldwide. INC is the international organization of reference regarding health, nutrition, statistics, food safety, and international standards and regulations relating to nuts and dried fruit, bringing together nearly 700 nut and dried fruit companies from over 70 countries.

Australian vaccine innovation set to strike out Zika and Chikungunya in one go

Professor John Hayball and members of the Experimental Therapeutics group together with Sementis Limited and QIMR’s Berghofer Medical Research Institute have developed new technology set to deliver vaccines for many diseases and conditions, more cheaply and efficiently. This research was published today in Nature Communications and you can read the full press release here.

Silence around stillbirth a major issue for bereaved parents

PhD Candidate Danielle Pollock from the School of Nursing and Midwifery has had her doctoral research highlighted recently in relation to the silent treatment and stigma surrounding stillbirth. You can ready more about Danielle and her research here.

Sparking a revolution in pain care in regional NSW

Prof Lorimer Moseley and Dr Tasha Stanton from Body in Mind will be implementing a new strategy called ‘Pain Revolution’ that applies cutting edge educational approaches to help prevent the onset of chronic pain and help to treat it. Read the full story here.

UniSA lecturer receives early career pharmacist award

Congratulations to Dr Jacinta Johnson from the School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences for being awarded the 2018 SA/NT Early Career Pharmacist Development Award. Jacinta’s recent award was highlighted in the UniSA News here.

Young and old join forces to beat dementia

Dr Ashleigh Smith from ARENA has had her dementia research program ‘Forget-me-not’ which is designed to improve the awareness and understanding of dementia in a South Australian community highlighted recently. You can read the full story here.

March 2018

Medical Research Future Fund success

Dr Rietie Venter

Dr Rietie Venter from the Sansom’s Microbiology research group has been awarded $1.1 million from the MRFF for a project to measure the spread of resistant bacteria, including in wastewater, from three residential aged care facilities. This research will inform antimicrobial resistance risk assessments and guide future policy controls to curb the spread of antimicrobial resistance to, within and from residential aged care facilities. The project was one of only 2 funded nationally and the Hon Key Wyatt AM, MP, Minister for Aged Care, Minister for Indigenous Health, made the announcement at UniSA’s Hetzel building on Friday 28 February, read the announcement here.

Cancer Council SA's Beat Cancer funding success

Sansom Institute and Centre for Cancer Biology researchers have secured a number of Beat Cancer grants and a Principal Cancer Research Fellowship:

Project Grants

  • Dr Timothy Hercus: Structure-based design of novel IL-3 variants with selective function in cancer therapy
  • Prof Richard D’Andrea: FANC gene mutations in Acute Myeloid Leukaemia biology and treatment
  • Dr Anna Brown: Biological characterisation and therapeutic options for high risk, DDX41 mutated, haematological malignancies

Translational Research Grant

  • Prof Ian Olver: Supporting primary care to increase participation in bowel cancer screening: a pilot study

Clinical Trial Enhancement Grant

  • Prof Ian Olver: Establishing the South Australian Cancer Trials Network

Travel Grants

  • Mr Alexander Lewis
  • Dr Dawei Liu

Principal Cancer Research Fellowship

  • Prof Hamish Scott: Germline And Somatic Genetic Variation In Cancer

This support is produced with the financial and other support of Cancer Council SA's Beat Cancer Project on behalf of its donors and the State Government of South Australia through the Department of Health, see the Cancer Council announcement here.

Thesis Prize


Dr Jessica Wojciechowski has been awarded the Ian Davey Research Thesis Prize for 2018. This prestigious prize is awarded annually to the most outstanding PhD research thesis at UniSA. Jess’ thesis was titled “Investigating Pharmacometric Approaches to Individualised Medicine in Autoimmune Diseases”. During her candidature Jess produced an outstanding body of work investigating how computer modelling could be used to track the progress of, and optimally treat, autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease.  Importantly, she also developed methods using easy to use web applications for presenting modelling results to doctors so that they could be used in real time when and where they are needed.  This approach has had a huge impact and has set up Jess as leader in the field with considerable interest from pharmaceutical companies looking for smart ways of developing and using drugs."

Entrepreneurship Award

Emeritus Professor Richard Head was a member of the team behind the Colvera blood test for bowel cancer which has been awarded the CSIRO Entrepreneurship Award. Colvera can indicate early molecular changes associated with cancer development which could lead to a reduction in the number of deaths from the disease. Working with partners Clinical Genomics, Colvera has just been released in the US and will hopefully be available in Australia as early as next year.

Channel Seven Children’s Research Foundation funding

Sansom Institute and Centre for Cancer Biology researchers have been awarded funding through the Channel Seven Children’s Research Foundation for 2018:

  • Professor Richard D’Andrea: Implication of BRCA1/2 germline variants for childhood AML biology and treatment
  • Dr Shelley Wright: A pilot play-based intervention to improve the social play skills and pragmatic language skills of children who have experienced trauma
  • Professor Xin-Fu Zhou: Characterization of beta cell-like cells converted from human urine stem cells
  • Dr Liping Wang: Developing a 3D navigation model for improving precision and success rates for treating developmental dysplasia of the hip in children

ARC Linkage success

Professor Julie Ratcliffe, jointly appointed through the Sansom Institute and Institute for Choice, has been awarded an ARC Linkage grant, A new quality of life instrument with older people for economic evaluation. The partner organisations are ECH Inc, Uniting (NSW.ACT), Uniting Agewell Victoria; Helping Hand Aged Care Inc, and Presbyterian Aged Care.

February 2018

NHMRC success for Sansom Institute and Centre for Cancer Biology researchers

Read the UniSA story here:

  • Prof Stephen Graves: Enhancing joint replacement outcomes through national data linkage
  • Dr Rietie Venter: Reversing antibiotic resistance with efflux pump inhibitors
  • Prof Timothy Olds: Life on Holidays: Fitness lost, fatness regained?
  • Assoc Prof Natasha Harvey: Understanding how GATA2 controls lymphatic vessel valve development, Defining the role of a novel transcriptional enhancer element in regulation of Prox1 expression and endothelial cell identity and Understanding the role of the atypical cadherin Fat4 in lymphatic vascular development
  • Assoc Prof Yeesim Khew-Goodall: Trafficking mechanisms governing receptor availability for signalling
  • Prof Richard D'Andrea: FANC gene mutations in Acute Myeloid Leukaemia biology and treatment
  • Assoc Prof Michael Samuel: How does ROCK ‘education’ of fibroblasts drive neoplastic progression in the breast?
  • Prof Hamish Scott: Mab immunotherapies for myeloid leukemia patients with germline or somatic RUNX1 mutations
  • Prof Stuart Pitson: Targeting sphingosine kinase 1 to sensitise acute myeloid leukaemia to BH3 mimetic therapy
  • Dr Loretta Dorstyn: Using mouse models to decipher the function of caspase-2 in limiting aneuploidy tolerance and cancer
  • Assoc Prof Simon Conn: Circular RNAs: Trojan Horses of Oncogenesis
  • Dr Quenten Schwarz: Defining the role of IGF-1 as a novel angiocrine factor in the development and treament of common craniofacial disorders and Novel roles for neural crest cells in cardiac morphogenesis

Public Health Association of Australia President’s Awards

Congratulations to PhD student Summer Finlay who has been awarded a PHAA President’s Award. These Awards recognise significant contributions to achieving important public health outcomes.

Emerging Researcher Award

PhD student Sharayah Carter has won the Nestle Emerging Researcher Award at the 10th Asia Pacific Conference on Clinical Nutrition 2017.

PhD candidate success in Commonwealth Scholarships Program for South Australia

Three PhD candidates have been recently awarded scholarships from the Commonwealth Scholarships Program for South Australia program. This program provides funds to support both the students and their research activities.

Congratulations to:

  • Katherine McBride (HLS)
  • Paul Reid (HLS) and
  • Emily Rosenich (HLS)

BUPA Health Foundation Commendation Award

Dr Kate Fennell from the Sansom’s Psychosocial oncology research group been acknowledged with a Commendation Award as part of the Bupa Health Foundation Emerging Health Researcher Award for her work that is focused on improving outcomes for rural cancer patients and survivors. Congratulations Kate!

Higher risk of chronic diseases later in life for women with breast cancer

PhD candidate Huah Shin Ng’s research from the School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences was recently published in the Medical Journal of Australia and featured in UniSA news. You can read the full story here.

Cancer stories a lifeline for rural cancer patients and survivors

A new online resource for people living in remote areas of Australia has been designed by Dr Kate Fennell and Prof Ian Olver from the Sansom’s Psychosocial oncology research group to support rural and remote cancer patients. Further information can be found here.

News archives

Please click on the links below to access pre 2015 news archives.

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