News and Events

Health Horizons Newsletters  

Research Strengths

The ARENA Issue

The Healthy Ageing Issue

The Healthy Start Isssue

The Cancer Issue

The Medicines Issue

The Indigenous Issue

The Mind Issue

The Food Issue

News headlines

February 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017

August 2017
July 2017

June 2017

May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February  2017

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.

December 2017

Professor Libby Roughead wins Distinguished Investigator - Life time Achievement Award

Congratulations to Prof Libby Roughead who leads the Quality Use of Medicines and Pharmacy Research Centre who has recently won the Health Services Research Association (Australian and New Zealand) Distinguished Investigator - Life time Achievement Award. These awards recognise researchers who have made a significant contribution to the field of health services and health policy research through leadership, scholarship and teaching and advancement of science and methods. Congratulations Libby!

ARC success for Sansom Institute researchers

Professor Ian Olver has been awarded an ARC Linkage grant, Linked semantic platforms for social and physical infrastructure and wellbeing led by researchers at Swinburne. Professor John Hayball has been awarded an ARC Discovery grant, Immunisation to protect against transmissible cancers in Tasmanian devils led by researchers at the University of Tasmania.

PhD Candidates and researcher receive prestigious Endeavour Fellowships

Congratulations to the following recipients of Endeavour PhD Research Fellowships to support trips overseas as part of their PhD research:

  • Huah Shin Ng, School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences
  • Katrina Li, School of Health Sciences
  • Ana Klisuric, School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences
  • Hayley Lewthwaite, School of Health Sciences

Congratulations also to Dr Tasha Stanton from the Body in Mind group for receiving an Endeavour Postdoctoral Research Fellowship to support her research.

Ultrasound training to save lives in regional SA 

Dr Nayana Parange has won a Hospital Research Foundation grant for the project, Healthy Newborn Project: Saving lives of mothers and babies through antenatal ultrasound in rural and remote Australia. Her work will focus on training health care workers in rural and remote Australian antenatal ultrasound skills. You can read the full story here.

New cancer biomarkers report - Australian researchers zero in on molecular fingerprint for prostate cancer

A new report produced by the Sansom Institute for Health Research titled ‘Cancer Biomarkers in Australia’ which reviewed the body of evidence for the efficacy of biomarkers and examines overseas precedents for their regulation and the Australian context has received a lot of media attention recently. It also reports on the opinions of Australian oncologists and researchers in the biomarker field who are ultimately responsible for their measurement being translated into improved patient care and outcomes. You can read the media release here.

New UniSA partnership puts patient-centred care at the heart of the QEH

An MOU between UniSA and the State Government underpins plans to increase collaboration across research and practice between the hospital and the University. In a new partnership signed recently, the University of South Australia and SA Health Central Adelaide Local Health Network, will be working together to ensure the new-look Queen Elizabeth University Hospital is at the forefront of innovative practice. The full media release can be found here.

 Horticulture Innovation Australia funding

Dr Permal Deo from Food Science and Health and Dr Rietie Venter leader of Microbiology research group are investigators on a grant Improving safety of vegetable produce through on‐farm sanitation, using Electrolysed Oxidising Water from Horticulture Innovation Australia. The project is led by Professor Enzo Lombi from the Future Industries Institute.


November 2017

Winnovation 2017

Kate Fennell Winnovation

Kate Fennell from the Sansom’s Psychosocial oncology research group has been awarded the Winnovation Regional, Rural and Remote Award for 2017. The Winnovation Awards showcases and celebrates the successes of female innovators changing the game in South Australia. Kate’s award recognises her work investigating strategies to use technology to address the health needs of rural communities, including a website filled with relevant support to motivate and encourage cancer patients to travel for their treatment; a YouTube channel creating a face to face support network instilling hope in patients as they work through their treatment; self-help programs to improve mental health and wellbeing outcomes to farmers.
Winnovation finalists included Dr Sally Plush in the Emerging Innovator category and Dr Katia Ferrar in the Social impact category.


NHMRC success for Sansom Institute and Centre for Cancer Biology Researchers

Sansom Institute researchers have been awarded Fellowships and Development Grants funding totalling $3.2 million, read the UniSA new story here:

  • Dr Kristen Carson, Early Career Fellowship:  iSNAP (interactive Smoking, Nutrition, Alcohol and Physical activity) program for youth
  • Dr Natasha Stanton, Career Development Fellowship: Improving pain and movement outcomes in symptomatic knee osteoarthritis
  • Professor Alex Brown, Research Fellowship: Understanding and Overcoming Cardiovascular and Diabetes Inequalities in Indigenous Australians
  • Professor Janna Morrison, Research Fellowship: Promoting healthy heart development for a healthy heart in adult life
  • Professor Shudong Wang, Development Grant: Development of highly selective CDK4/6 inhibitors for treating cancer

Centre for Cancer Biology researcher Dr Stephanie Conos was awarded an Early Career Fellowship: Investigating the roles of non-coding RNAs in inflammatory signalling and cancer.

And Associate Professor Susan Hillier has been awarded a NHMRC Partnership grant A network of sites and ‘up-skilled’ therapists to deliver best practice stroke rehabilitation of the upper limb led by researchers at La Trobe University.

Dr Kate Fennell Awarded a Churchill Fellowship  

Dr Kate Fennell from the Sansom Institute’s Psychosocial Oncology Research Group has recently been awarded a prestigious Churchill Fellowship. Kate was awarded the Leslie (Les) J Fleming Churchill Fellowship to investigate sustainable methods of improving the health and well-being of rural cancer survivors and will travel the USA and the Netherlands as part of her research. Congratulation Kate!

SA Health Mental Health Excellence Award

Nicholas Proctor



Congratulations to Professor Nicholas Procter, leader of the Sansom’s Mental Health and Substance Use research group, and his research team who are the recipients of two prestigious awards as part of the SA Health Mental Health Excellence Awards. Nicholas was awarded the ‘Dr Margaret Tobin Award’ which  recognises exceptional leadership and commitment to mental health and wellbeing for his outstanding leadership in mental health and suicide prevention reform in South Australia for over 20 years. The ‘Partnering with Lived Experience Award’ was won by the Mental Health and Substance Use Research Group (Prof Nicholas Procter; Dr Mark Loughhead; Dr Monkia Ferguson; Ms Heather Eaton; Dr Amy Baker and Ms Melissa Gibson). The award recognised excellence in creating partnerships with people with lived experience in the improvement of services, programs and organisations in South Australia.

Lorimer Moseley announced as Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences

Physiotherapist and renown pain specialist, Professor Lorimer Moseley, leader of the Sansom’s Body in Mind research group has been announced as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences. Fellows of the Academy are recognised for distinguished professional achievement in a field related to health and/or medicine and outstanding leadership in the science of health and medicine. Lorimer is one of three South Australians to be inducted and the only recipient from UniSA. You can read the full story here.

Lethal brain tumours prompt $1m research pledge

A $1 million research pledge to develop new drugs in the fight against lethal brain tumours will help Professor Stuart Pitson, the inaugural NRF Brain Tumour Research Chair from the Centre of Cancer Biology further his research into glioblastoma, a highly malignant and the most commonly diagnosed brain tumour in adults which kills 95 per cent of patients within five years. You can read more about this story here.

Obesity may be a factor for fractures

PhD Candidate Deepti Sharma from the School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences has had her research highlighted which focuses on investigating how a person’s body composition influences the effect of calcium to protect against bone loss as part of World Osteoporosis Day. The full story can be found here.

The Conversation

Dr Evangeline Mantzioris from the Sansom’s Community and Public Health Nutrition research group authored a paper which focused on the pros and cons of butter and margarine, and you can read the full story here.

October 2017

Eureka Prize team member

Emeritus Professor Richard Head was a member of the Colvera team (CSIRO, Clinical Genomics Pty. Ltd and Flinders University) the winner of the 2017 Johnson and Johnson Eureka Prize for Innovation in Medical Research.

Back stiffness research

Dr Tasha Stanton from the Sansom’s Body in Mind research group has published a paper in Scientific Reports, a Nature research journal, demonstrating for the first time that feeling of back stiffness could be a protective mechanisms to avoid further injury. The full story appeared in the recent UniSA News here, read the Scientific Reports paper here.

Type 1 Diabetes treatment

Professor Xin-Fu Zhou from the Sansom’s Neuroscience research grouping has been successful with a grant from D&R Pharma Pty Ltd for a project titled Development of induced beta cells for the treatment of type I diabetes.

STEM+ Business Fellowship

Professor John Hayball and Dr Liang Liu from the Sansom’s Experimental Therapeutics Laboratory have been successful with a Science and Industry Endowment Fund STEM+ Business Fellowship titled SCV vector vaccine manufacturing optimization for 2017-18 with Dr Paul Howley from Sementis Ltd as the industry partner.

Lorimer Moseley receives fellowship from college of anaesthetists 

Professor of Clinical Neurosciences and Chair in Physiotherapy Lorimer Moseley has been awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the Faculty of Pain Medicine. You can read the full story here.

Claudine Bonder’s research receives national media coverage

Associate Professor Claudine Bonder from the Centre for Cancer Biology received recent national research coverage through The Advertiser and for her research that focuses on beating cancer by starving cancer cells to death.  

Misuse of over-the-counter painkillers costing Australia millions

Dr Jacinta Johnson from the School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences has featured in a video that focuses on the results of her Australian-first study into the overuse of over-the-counter painkillers which has revealed the high costs of the nation’s growing dependency on codeine.

September 2017

Alex Wade

Division of Health Sciences success at UniSA 3MT Finals

Congratulations to both PhD candidates Hannah Thomas (PMB) and Alex Wade (HLS) for their recent success in the UniSA 3MT Finals. Hannah received First Prize along with the People’s Choice Award for her research which focuses on key cells in the healing process of diabetic wounds. Alex also came second for her talk that focused on her research on the link between a Mediterranean diet and a lower risk of dementia.
This is the fourth year in a row that the Division has won the UniSA finals and we are very proud of all the PhD candidates that participated in the competition this year. Hannah will now be representing UniSA at the Asia Pacific 3MT Finals held at the University of Queensland on the 29th September. You can read the full story here.


Dr Joel Fuller

Science Excellence Award

Dr Joel Fuller from the Sansom’s ARENA took out the PhD Excellence Award at the 2017 South Australian Science Excellence Awards held at the Adelaide Convention Centre on Friday 11th August.

Joel completed his PhD from 2013-16 when he received an Australian Postgraduate Award to investigate the effect of different types of running shoes on running performance, injuries, and associated physiological and biomechanical mechanisms of effect.  Hear Joel’s research story here.

Here's Health Research 2017

As part of the ‘Here’s Health. Research’ event hosted by Assoc Prof Susan Hillier on Thursday 3 August a number of awards were presented to researchers and students, along with the Division final of the 3MT®.

Congratulations to the following winners:

The Researcher One Team Award was awarded to Professor Nicholas Procter leader of the Sansom’s Mental Health and Substance Use group from a very strong field of nominees across the Division. This Award recognises outstanding research expertise coupled with excellence in team building and support, to ensure staff and students work as ‘one team’ across research activities. 

The Thesis of the Year was awarded to Dr Emily Flies (PMB) for not only an excellent PhD thesis and numerous publications and conference presentations related to her PhD; but her demonstrated commitment to science communication through her participation in the 3MT®, co-founding Science in the Pub and interactions with the media.  Emily is now a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Tasmania.

 Prizes were also awarded to HDR students who submitted posters as part of the annual competition. Judges shortlisted 4 finalists from a total field of 26 entries from current HDR students across the Division. Each finalist made a short presentation on the topic of their poster, before making a final decision with Gink Yang (PMB-FII) placing 1st, Tahnee Dening (PMB) placing 2nd and Gizat Kassie (PMB) and Jake Treloar (PMB) both Highly Commended. Ankitkumar Parikh (PMB) won the poster People’s Choice award.


The highlight of the evening was the 3MT® competition with Hannah Thomas (PMB-FII) winning first place and the People’s Choice Award; with runner-up Alexandra Wade (HLS) placing 2nd, Danielle Pollock (NRC) placing 3rd and Michaela Johnson (PMB) and Nashwa Masnoon (PMB) both Highly Commended. Congratulations to all students for excellent presentations and fantastic performances. Both Hannah and Alexandra will progress to the University 3MT® Final on Thursday 24 August.

HDA Women's Excellence in Research Award  

Heathy Development Adelaide Women’s Excellence in Research Award 

Congratulations to Assoc Prof Carol Maher in the Sansom’s ARENA who has won the HDA Women’s Excellence in Research Award 2017. Carol gave a guest lecture “Children’s health, activities and lifestyles around the world” when she received the award.

Stillbirth Research Award

Assoc Prof Jane Warland from the Sansom’s Mothers Babies and Families Research group was presented the 2017 Stillbirth Research Award by the Star Legacy Foundation at the recent Stillbirth Summit in Minneapolis, see the UniSA news story here.

Australasian Sonographers Association Award 

Dr Jessie Childs won three awards at the ASA International conference: Researcher of the year; Best contribution to the Sonography journal; and, Best research presentation at the conference.

Journal of Spatial Science Best Paper Award 

Dr Deborah van Gaans from the Sansom’s Centre for Population Health Research and her co-authors (Professor Graeme Hugo and Andrew Tonkin) received the Best Professional Paper Award for 2017 by the Editorial Board of the Journal of Spatial Science for the paper “The development of a spatial model of accessibility to phase 2 cardiac rehabilitation programs”. This was a posthumous award to Professor Hugo, who was one of Australia’s most distinguished demographers.

Aliso Coates - ARENA  

Nutrition Society of Australia Award 

Assoc Prof Alison Coates from the Sansom’s ARENA has won the Mid-Career Award for demonstration of excellence in nutrition research and contribution to the activities of the Nutrition Society of Australia.

The Conversation article 

Assoc Prof Paul Anderson, PhD student Deepti Sharma and Prof Howard Morris from the Sansom’s Musculoskeletal Biology research laboratory have authored an article for The Conversation Both men and women need strong bones, but their skeletons grow differently across ages.

August 2017

Brightest young researchers recognised in the state’s 2017 Tall Poppy Awards


Dr Kate Fennell and Dr Ashleigh Smith are among eight researchers in South Australia to be named Tall Poppies for 2017. The awards, presented each year by the Australian Institute for Policy and Science, celebrate the best and brightest of Australia’s young scientists, helping to promote science to a new generation via public talks and school presentations. Full story.

Nature Paper

Professor Doug Brooks leader of the Sansom’s Mechanisms in Cell Biology and Diseases research grouping co-authored a Nature paper with national and international collaborators titled Endosomal NOX2 oxidase exacerbates virus pathogenicity and is a target for antiviral therapy. Read the Nature article here and the UniSA news story here.

PhD Successes

  • Dr Victoria Madden from the Sansom’s Body in Mind research group has been awarded the 2017 Ian Davey Thesis Prize. This prestigious prize is awarded annually to the most outstanding PhD research thesis at UniSA, as judged by the selection panel comprised of Emeritus Professor Ian Davey, Professor Tanya Monro (Deputy Vice Chancellor: Research & Innovation) and Professor Pat Buckley (Dean: Graduate Studies). In awarding Tory this prize, the panel took into consideration not only the comments of her examiners, but also the outputs of her project and scientific communication outreach through the Body in Mind blog. Read the UniSA news story here.
  • Hayley Schultz, PhD student supervised by Professor Clive Prestidge from the Sansom’s Centre for Pharmaceutical Innovation and Development, is the 2017 recipient of the highly prestigious and competitive Gould Experimental Science Grant for her project entitled, Supersaturated silica lipid hybrids for the improved delivery of oral chemotherapy. The grant, valued at $5,000, will support the costs of Hayley’s experimental research data collection and analysis. Read the UniSA news story here.
  • WC Chai, PhD candidate in the School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences, won the People's Choice Award at the School’s research symposium for a presentation titled Cellular division as a target for the development of novel antimicrobial agent. Chai is supervised by Dr Rietie Venter, Dr Susan Semple and Dr Heather Rickard.

Boost to imaging capacity

Professor Doug Brooks leader of the Sansom’s Mechanisms in Cell Biology and Diseases research grouping has secured significant equipment funding from The Hospital Research Foundation to purchase a 3D Histech Pannoramic confocal scanner. The scanner will aid translational research programs aiming to develop new detection and visualization technologies for prostate cancer. Read the UniSA news story here.

Thyne Reid Foundation Grant

Professor Jason White and Dr Cobus Gerber have secured a Thyne Reid Foundation Grant to expand national wastewater drug screening program. Read the Alumni news story here.


July 2017

The Hospital Research Foundation funding success

Sansom Institute researchers are investigators on grants awarded by The Hospital Research Foundation:

  • Professor Clive Prestidge was awarded a Development Grant with collaborators at Adelaide University “A novel formulation to prevent epidural adhesions post-laminectomy
  • Dr Anton Blencowe is part of a successful Project Grant “Using our own cancer fighting T cells to treat incompletely resected or inoperable tumours

ARC Future Fellow

Professor Janna Morrison from the Sansom’s Early Origins of Adult Health Research Group has been awarded one of 91 new ARC Future Fellowships, titled Normal heart development before birth. This project aims to understand how the fetal heart can develop normally with much less oxygen than an adult heart uses and expects to generate new knowledge about mechanisms of fetal heart cell proliferation. The Future Fellowships scheme supports research in areas of critical national importance by giving outstanding researchers incentives to conduct their research in Australia. The aim of the Future Fellowships scheme is to attract and retain the best and brightest mid-career researchers. Janna’s research was highlighted in the ARC’s media release, see here.


 The Clever Guts Diet with Dr Michael Mosely

Associate Professor Susan Hillier, Dean: Research (Operations) and Research Education, led an ‘in conversation’ session with Dr Michael Mosely at The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre’s The Clever Guts Diet event at the Adelaide Convention Centre.

New UniSA/PAFC partnership in China

An MOU has been signed between Port Adelaide Football Club, UniSA and China’s Shandong Research Centre of Sports Science (SRCSS) and Shandong Sports University (SSU). The initiative provides opportunities to grow expertise in elite coaching and athlete training and the science that supports elite sports performance, from exercise physiology and dietetics, through to physiotherapy and sports psychology. Read the story here.

Study to improve SA regional health

Dr Matthew Leach, Department of Rural Health, is lead researcher on a project to conduct one of the largest health surveys ever to be carried out in regional South Australia, in a bid to improve the health services available in these areas. Read the story here.

Open Door Health Clinic

Dr Katia Ferrar, 2016 AMP Tomorrow Maker, has conceived a new pro bono, student-led Open Door Health Clinic providing physiotherapy and podiatry services to adults in crisis or experiencing homelessness in a new partnership with the Salvation Army and the SOS Health Foundation. Read the full story here.

Research profiled in UniSA news

The Conversation articles

Dr Lucinda Bell is co-author of an article titled Six ways to improve meal times with your children

June 2017

Outstanding Young Investigator Award

Bronwen Mayo has received the Outstanding Young Investigator Award for the MASCC/ISOO Annual Meeting on Supportive Care in Cancer taking place this month in Washington DC, USA. Bronwen’s presentation is titled Alterations of gut microbiome associated with tyrosine kinase inhibitor-induced diarrhoea and the effect of the GLP-2 agonist elsiglutide.

Beat Cancer grant

Sansom Institute Director Professor Ian Olver and Dr Hayley Whitford from the Sansom’s Psychosocial oncology research group have been awarded a Beat Cancer grant from the Cancer Council SA. The project is titled Improving the management of chemotherapy-induced nausea by assessing and treating nausea as a symptom cluster, see further details here.

Society of Hospital Pharmacists top award

Professor Debra Rowett has been awarded the Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia’s most prestigious award, which recognises individuals who make outstanding contributions to hospital pharmacy in Australia. Prof Rowett, who is Discipline Leader: Pharmacy External Relations, was presented with the Fred J Boyd Award in recognition of her achievements and leadership in the development of national practice standards, education and research excellence in Australian hospital pharmacy. You can read Prof Rowett’s oration in the Journal of Pharmacy Practice and Research.

Engaged PhD mentoring program launch

The Division has recently launched a new mentoring program initiative to support second year PhD students embedded within Engaged PhD program. Researchers within the Division have volunteered their time to act as mentors who have been specially trained to support and guide students through the Engaged PhD. The mentors act as an ‘interested supporter’ rather than a contributor to the students research and it is hoped that the relationship will be able to  assist students with developing their future careers after completing the PhD. The Division wishes to thank the following academics for volunteering to undertake this important role including:

  • A/Prof Paul Anderson (PMB)
  • Dr Katia Ferrar (HLS)
  • Dr Sheridan Gentili (PMB)
  • Dr Marianne Gillam (PMB)
  • A/Prof Jennifer Keogh (PMB)
  • Dr Saravana Kumar (HLS)
  • A/Prof Carol Maher (HLS)
  • Dr Michelle McDonnell (HLS)
  • Dr Craig Phillips (NRC)
  • Dr Sally Plush (PMB)
  • Dr Stephanie Reuter Lange (PMB) and,
  • Dr Gisela van Kessel (HLS)

You can find out more about the mentors on the Engaged PhD website. If you are interested in being involved get in touch with the Division Research Office.

 The Conversation

Prof Rachel Gibson and colleague Dr Hannah Wardill from SAHMRI had an article in The Conversation that examined how gut bacteria affect cancer risk and response to treatment. You can read the full article here

 Channel 9 Young Achiever Awards

Congratulations to our completed PhD candidates, Dr John Arnold (graduated October 2014) and Dr Joel Fuller (graduated December 2016)  who were recent finalists in the Channel 9 Young Achiever Awards under the Science and Technology Awards.

The Bridge Program

Professor Xin-Fu Zhou, Dr Nicky Thomas and Dr Lorraine Mackenzie have been selected as 3 of the 100 participants from across Australia to take part in The Bridge Program, part of the MTPConnect Project Fund Program. The Program aims to boost the commercial outputs of Australian pharmaceutical research through face-to-face and online training of participants in the scientific, legal, financial, clinical, regulatory and reimbursement disciplines that contribute to research translation and the commercialisation of medicines.

May 2017

Prof Lorimer Moseley earns a Doctor of Science

Congratulations to Professor Lorimer Moseley from the Sansom’s Body in Mind research group who has been awarded the first ever UniSA Doctor of Science. The degree acknowledges Lorimer’s distinguished international contribution to physiotherapy and clinical neuroscience, see the UniSA story here.

Faye Fuller foundation success

Dr Gaby Todd from the Sansom’s Neuroscience research grouping has been successful with a Faye Fuller foundation grant. The project outcome will be a new evidence-based, ready-to-use health message that increases community knowledge of the long-lasting consequences of methamphetamine use, changes attitudes towards methamphetamine, and discourages use of the drug in young people. Read the UniSA news story here and the ABC news story here.

Stroke rehabilitation App

Dr Michelle McDonnell in collaboration with international partners has developed the ViaTherapy app. The result of a five-year project to make stroke rehabilitation guidelines more accessible to clinicians and funded by the Toronto Rehab Foundation and the Canadian Stroke Network, the App supports clinicians to develop best practice rehabilitation strategies for patients with arm impairments following stroke.

Dr Anton Blencowe featured in ABC The World Today

Dr Anton Blencowe was recently featured in an interview on the ABC’s The World Today that focused on his new approach for controlling feral cats as part of his crowdfunding campaign. You can read the article from the interview here.

April 2017

Young Investigator Award 

Dr Ian Johnson from the Sansom’s Mechanisms in Cell Biology and Diseases Research Group is the recipient of a 2017 John Mills Young Investigator Award, funded by the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride and the Movember Foundation through Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia’s Research Program. The Award provides catalytic funding for early, post-doctoral researchers to help further their research and attract ongoing funding.

Sansom Institute scoops uni-wide crowdfunding opportunity

Three projects developed by Sansom researchers have been chosen by the University to launch the inaugural crowdfunding campaign. The projects are:

The full story can be read here.

Congratulations to Research Degree Student International Travel Grant recipients

Congratulations to those PhD students that have been recently awarded Research Degree Student International Travel Grants. The aims of these grants are to enable PhD students to gain an international perspective and improve their thesis by having the opportunity to undertake research, data collection or work with an institutional or industry partner. Of the 5 applications submitted by the Division, 4 applications were funded centrally with local contributions. The recipients were:

  • Alicia Byrne, School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences: visiting the Centre for Mendelian Genomics, Broad institute of Harvard and MIT and attending and presenting at conferences in New York, Vermont and Orlando
  • Dorothea Dumuid, School of Health Sciences: visiting the University of Cambridge
  • Jim Hughes, School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences: visiting Ohio State University
  • Mitchell Lock, School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences: visiting the University of Florida and presenting at a conference also in Florida

Medical Journal of Australia article

Dr Gillian Caughey from the Sansom’s Quality Use of Medicines and Pharmacy Research Centre has led a study published in MJA titled Understanding 30-day re-admission after hospitalisation of older patients for diabetes: identifying those at greatest risk. The study which revealed almost a quarter of diabetes patients over the age of 65 are being re-admitted to hospital within a month of being discharged made headlines on ABC Radio around the country, read the article here and the related UniSA story here.

PhD students feature in UniSA News

The Division of Health Sciences PhD students featured in the March edition of UniSA News. Stories included details on our School of Health Sciences PhD exercise students, Max Nelson, Michael Hartland and Jason Bartram testing members of the Chinese cycling team and School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences student Alicia Byrne using DNA sequencing to detect server are rare inherited disorders. It’s fantastic to see our PhD students demonstrating the impact of their research.

March 2017

Kylie Johnston awarded prestigious Churchill Fellowship

The Sansom Institute’s Dr Kylie Johnston, Senior Lecturer, was recently awarded a 2016 Churchill Fellowship: To learn new methods to manage chronic breathlessness using non-drug interventions - UK, Canada, US. A Churchill Fellowship provides a pathway for Fellows to access expertise from around the world, expanding their knowledge and experience for the benefit of Australian society. View the full list of Churchill Fellows here.

The scheme provides the opportunity to travel overseas to conduct research in a field that is not readily available in Australia and rewards Australians with further opportunity to pursue excellence for the Australian society. In Kylie’s case, this Fellowship will enable her to travel to centres of excellence in the UK and Canada that provide specialised breathlessness intervention services. She will also visit projects that use innovative approaches to understand and change the experience of people with chronic breathlessness in the UK and USA.

Chronic breathlessness is a common, distressing and often stigmatised symptom affecting daily life in Australians living with a variety of chronic conditions (lung, heart and cancer). The models of care and approaches used by the centres Kylie will visit have been shown to relieve breathlessness-related suffering and improve quality of life, but none of these approaches are part of existing health services in South Australia and there is currently minimal involvement of physiotherapists in this field in Australia. Kylie hopes to bring back new knowledge to share with Australian clinicians and consumers, feed into physiotherapy programs and promote clinically applicable research in chronic breathlessness management.

2016 AMP Tomorrow Makers

Dr Margarita Tsiros and Dr Katia Ferrar have been announced as AMP Tomorrow Makers 2016. They are two of the 53 AMP Tomorrow Makers 2016, made up of a diverse range of artists, athletes, social innovators, scientists, educators, entertainers, entrepreneurs, filmmakers, fashion folk, musicians and medical researchers, each sharing in $1 million in grants. Read their stories and see their videos here:

Canadian Institutes of Health Research grant success

Professor Janna Morrison from the Sansom’s Early Origins of Adult Health Research Group and collaborators from Sick Kids Hospital have been awarded funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research to study “The Heamodynamics of interuterine growth restriction”. Dr Mike Seed, a fetal cardiologist at Sick Kids Hospital will come to UniSA several times a year to participate in the project where we will use MRI to measure blood flow and oxygen saturation in the fetus.

New Biofilm Testing Facility

Sansom researchers Dr Nicky Thomas, Professor Clive Prestidge and Dr Rietie Venter have been successful in obtaining financial support from Adelaide Integrated Biosciences (AIB) Laboratories/TechInSA (formerly BioSA) to establish Adelaide’s first experimental Biofilm Testing Facility. The Facility will undertake characterisation and efficacy studies against bacterial biofilms of clinically relevant pathogens (e.g. S. aureus, P. aeruginosa, E. coli, S. epidermidis) and will provide researchers from academia, health care providers and industry customised solutions to evaluate biofilm inhibition and killing efficacies of antimicrobial compounds, formulations, wound dressings, and medical devices.

NHMRC Partnership Projects for Better Health

Sansom Institute researchers have been awarded NHMRC Partnership Projects for Better Health led by other researchers/administering institutions:

  • Professor Ian Olver is a part of a successful project led by The University of Adelaide “Investigating the inclusion of vulnerable populations in Advance Care Planning: Developing complex and sensitive public policy”
  • Professor Alex Brown with collaborators at Curtin University of Technology “Looking forward - moving forward project: transforming systems to improve mental health and drug and alcohol outcomes for Aboriginal peoples”

Top 25 influencers of exercise and sports science in Australia

Dr Kade Davison was recently announced in the December issue of the Exercise & Sports Science Australia’s (ESSA) journal – Activate – as one of CEO, Anita Hobson-Powell top 25 influencers of exercise and sports science in Australia. Kade was noted for being a long term member of the ESSA National Board Member and South Australian State Chapter and playing a significant role in the development of exercise science standards and helped to guide ESSA’s recognition internationally.

PhD Candidate Joyce Haddad PhD Top-Up scholarship

Joyce Haddad from the School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences has recently been awarded a top-up scholarship from the Healthy Development Adelaide and Channel 7 Children’s Research Foundation for her research that aims to determine if the Dietary Guideline Index for children and adolescence be used as an effective monitoring and feedback intervention. Congratulations Joyce!

Excessive exercise - more harm than good?

Professor Jon Buckley from the Sansom’s Alliance for Research in Exercise, Nutrition and Activity (ARENA) commented on excessive exercise in a recent story on ABC News

February 2017

NHMRC success for Sansom Institute and Centre for Cancer Biology researchers

Sansom Institute researchers have been awarded Fellowships and Project grants funding totalling $3.6m:

  • Associate Professor Paul Anderson: NHMRC Project Grant “Does enhanced vitamin D activity in bone heal the skeleton in disorders of FGF23 excess?”
  • Associate Professor Leanne Dibbens: NHMRC Project Grant “The identification of new epilepsy genes by whole genome sequencing”
  • Professor Elina Hyppönen: NHMRC Project Grant “The dark side of vitamin D supplementation”
  • Associate Professor Carol Maher: NHMRC Career Development Fellowship “Using online social networks to improve health”
  • Professor Cory Xian: NHMRC Project Grant “NT-3 as an upstream and potentially master regulator promoting bone fracture healing”

Centre for Cancer Biology researchers have also had success in the recent NHMRC Project Grant and Fellowship rounds:

  • Professor Susan Branford “Somatic and germline genetic variation diminish leukaemic cell dependence on BCR-ABL1 oncogenic signalling”
  • Professor Gregory Goodall “Functions of circular RNAs”
  • Professor Gregory Goodall “Using miR-200 to find new therapeutic targets for neuroblastoma”Professor Sharad Kumar “Exploring the role of Arrcd4 in extracellular vesicle biogenesis and its implications in tissue homeostasis”
  • Professor Gregory Goodall “Discovering how microRNAs and circRNAs control cancer metastasis”
  • Dr Philip Gregory “Characterising novel alternative splicing networks that promote tumour cell plasticity”
  • Professor Yeesim Khew-Goodall “Identifying novel biomarkers and therapeutic targets for triple negative breast cancer”
  • Professor Sharad Kumar “Hormone-dependent autophagy and growth signalling in developmental cell death”
  • Professor Angel Lopez “Novel approaches to control mast cell function in allergic inflammation”
  • Professor Stuart Pitson “Modulating sphingolipid signalling to enhance wound healing”
  • Professor Hamish Scott “Genetic autopsy of perinatal death: diagnosis and discovery by Genome Sequencing”
  • Dr Alex Staudacher “Investigating novel antibody drug conjugates for treating lung cancer”

And the following NHMRC projects led by other researchers/administering institutions:

  • Professor Libby Roughead is part of the successful project “How best to protect public health: a comparative analysis of regulatory safety warnings on medicines in Australia, Canada the European Union and the United States” with international collaborators and through the University of Sydney
  • Professor Doug Brooks is an investigator on two successful Monash University projects “Targeting endosomal NOX2oxidase in viral disease’ and ‘Endosomal reactive oxygen species in tumour angiogenesis”
  • Professor John Hayball is part of the successful project led by A Prof Krasimir Vasilev “’Intelligent’ antibacterial coatings for improving outcomes with infections associated with dialysis catheters”
  • Professor Michael Roberts through The University of Queensland “Physiologically-based pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of therapeutic stem cells for liver disease”
  • Professor Alex Brown through The University of Adelaide “Examining the impact of language reclamation on social and emotional well-being among the Barngarla”
  • Professor David Roder with collaborators at SAHMRI “Warning labels for sugar sweetened beverages”

Qianhong-LeSun Pharma Group’s new Sino-Australian joint laboratory

Professor Shudong Wang from the Sansom’s Centre for Drug Discovery and Development is leading a collaboration with China’s Qianhong-LeSun Pharma group to establish a multi-million dollar Sino-Australian Joint Laboratory in Innovative Drug Discovery to fast track the development of new treatments for cancer. Read the UniSA news story here.

The Conversation Articles

In the media

  • Professor Nicholas Procter from Sansom’s Mental Health and Substance Use group is quoted in The Age  in an article discussing Australia’s failure to process and integrate around 30,000 asylum seekers, see the story here 
  • School of Health Sciences PhD candidate Felicity Braithwaite’s research to develop a placebo dry-needling technique to help scientists understand if dry-needling actually works, is discussed by
  • Sansom Director Professor Ian Olver has an article published by titled ‘Work after cancer and its challenges: The other side of the financial toxicity.’

News archives

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Areas of study and research

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