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Today's date is Wednesday, June 03, 2020
Faculty of Science
 February 2019
Tuesday 26
13:00 - SEMINAR - Seminar : School of Human Sciences Seminar Series Website | More Information
Jennifer Young (Dual gradient hydrogel systems for mechanobiology applications): The spatial presentation of mechanical information is a key parameter for cell behavior. We have previously developed a method for creating tunable stiffness gradient polyacrylamide hydrogels with values spanning the in vivo physiological and pathological mechanical landscape. Importantly, we created gradients that do not induce durotaxis in human adipose-derived stem cells (hASCs), thereby allowing for the presentation of a continuous range of stiffnesses in a single sample without the confounding effect of differential cell migration. Using these nondurotactic gradient gels, stiffness-dependent hASC morphology, migration, and differentiation were studied, providing high resolution data on stiffness-dependent expression and localization. Expanding upon this work, we are utilizing these gradient hydrogel systems to study cancer cell-ECM interactions. Interactions with the surrounding microenvironment have been shown to positively influence cancer cell survival and invasion by conferring adhesion-based resistance in response to chemotherapeutic drugs, and subsequently driving metastasis into surrounding tissues. In order to study a wide range of ECM environments, we produce dual-gradient systems by fabricating a gradient of ligands on top of our previously described stiffness gradient hydrogels. Ligand gradients are produced by either a gradient photomask to which proteins can be coupled to the substrate via a UV-sensitive crosslinker or by depositing a gradient of gold nanoparticles onto the hydrogel to which thiolated peptides can readily attach. Using these dual gradient hydrogels, we can better understand the interplay of substrate stiffness, ligand type, and ligand spacing in regulating adhesion-conferred chemoprotection in cancer cells. Andrew W. Holle (Under pressure: the role of multidimensional confinement in mechanobiology): As bioengineers systematically move from simple 2D substrates to more complex 3D microenvironments, the role of cellular and nuclear volume adaptation in response to these substrates is becoming more appreciated. Long, narrow PDMS microchannels, which recapitulate porous extracellular matrix (ECM) networks found in vivo, confine cells to a single axis of migration and require them to utilize a complex synergy of traction force, mechanosensitive feedback, and subsequent cytoskeletal rearrangement. This process exhibits characteristics of the poorly understood mesenchymal-to-amoeboid transition, in which cells alter their migratory phenotype in order to traverse narrow constrictions and more successfully metastasize. During channel permeation, the volume of the nucleus changes, suggesting that nuclear reorganization and volume adaptation is a key step for successful permeation. Volume adaptation is also an important phenomena in stem cell mechanobiology. 3D GelMA hydrogel scaffolds with linear stiffness gradients were used to confine stem cells in three dimensions, with cells in the soft end more able to deform the matrix and increase their cell volume, while those on the stiff end were more confined. Cells on the soft end, which were able to adapt their volume more efficiently, exhibited markers for osteogenesis, while those on the stiff end became more adipogenic. This trend, which is opposite to what is observed on 2D hydrogels, suggests that volume adaptation, not stiffness, is sufficient for mechanosensitive differentiation in 3D. Ultimately, as volume adaptation is ubiquitous in 3D microenvironments in vivo, new tools will lead the way in analyzing and understanding mechanobiology.
Wednesday 27
12:00 - SEMINAR - Bayliss Seminar Series : John Lunn - Sucrose signalling and regulation of sucrose by metabolism by trehalose 6-phosphate More Information

 March 2019
Thursday 07
17:00 - SEMINAR - Researchers in Agriculture for International Development (RAID) Seminar and Networking Event Website | More Information
There is a rapidly growing interest among agricultural research to work in international development. Certainly, it is an extraordinary field, filled with challenges, yet bringing enormous rewards. Some key questions that many enthusiasts face are:

How do I get involved?

What does a career in international development entail?

Which organisations exists and what do they do?

If any of the above ring a bell to you, please join us in our next RAID event. Researchers in Agricultural for International Development (RAID) is an Australia-wide network aimed at connecting, supporting and engaging with researchers with an interest in this space.

Please, join us on 7 March to meet and learn from top leading researchers in the field:

Dr Deborah Prichard: Senior Lecturer, Department of Environment and Agriculture, Curtin University

- Prof. Richard Bell: Professor in Land Management and leader of the Land Management Group at Murdoch University

- Prof. Kadambot Siddique: Hackett Professor of Agriculture Chair and Director, The UWA Institute of Agriculture

- Dr Eloise Biggs: Lecturer, Faculty of Science, UWA School of Agriculture and Environment

- Prof. Tim Colmer: Acting Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research), UWA School of Agriculture and Environment

- Dr David Mickler: Interim Director of the UWA Africa Research & Engagement Centre (AfREC) and Senior Lecturer in Foreign Policy & International Relations in the School of Social Science, UWA

- Em Prof. Lynette Abbott: Senior Honorary Research Fellow, UWA School of Agriculture and Environment, Crawford Fund WA Committee Coordinator

- David Windsor: Consulting Agricultural Scientist, WA Chair AG Institute Australia

Speakers will talk about their own experiences and provide tips on how to get actively involved in agricultural research for international development. The event is aimed at CONNECTING people with a common passion, so we encourage all attendees to participate in the networking after the talks. Nibbles and drinks will be provided.

The RAID team look forward to seeing you at the event!

Note: There is free parking in and around campus after 5pm.
Wednesday 13
15:30 - WORKSHOP - Co-innovation with robots: Introduction of Pepper to UWA : A communication robot Pepper and its producer will present a talk on cloud robotics. More Information
An Australian robotics company, ST Solutions, will present a talk on how to use its product, "Pepper", a communication robot for research, teaching, and outreach activities. There will be a robot demonstration using Pepper.
Tuesday 19
12:00 - STUDENT EVENT - R U OK Day (Science Students) Website | More Information
We’re hosting an event in support of the national charity R U OK? because we believe that asking “are you ok?” is something we can all do to make a difference. On March 19th, the Science Student Office, Science Union and SNAGS will be holding our R U OK? Day to inspire that simple but important question “are you ok?” Free BBQ and drinks provided
Wednesday 20
17:30 - EVENT - Panel: Migrant and Refugee Health : Harmony Week Event - Panel discussion of health issues for migrants and refugees in WA focussing on social aspects of health. Website | More Information
Migrants to Australia often experience diverse health and mental health needs which may not be met by mainstream services. Addressing such needs involves understanding complex social and cultural specifics. Instead of treating people as generic bodies, a social approach to health recognises that individual and collective histories, migration stories, settlement conditions, cultural practices and social positioning affect health outcomes. Taking social perspectives into account can help us ensure inclusive health and mental healthcare. So what are the key issues? And what are the solutions? Essential by registering online at http://bit.ly/migrant-health-uwa by Monday 18 March 2019
Tuesday 26
13:00 - SEMINAR - Improving Immunity to Melanoma : School of Human Sciences Seminar Series Website | More Information
Abstract: Melanoma is the fourth most commonly diagnosed cancer in Australia, resulting in ~1500 deaths each year. While extensive public health campaigns have increased community awareness of the importance of sun-safety and skin monitoring, a substantial number of melanomas remain undetected until late-stage progression. New treatments that harness the immune system offer great promise for melanoma treatment, but further advances are required for these approaches to succeed in the majority of patients. Immunotherapy strategies use a variety of approaches to harness T cell immunity to control melanoma. We have recently identified several new settings of effective T cell cancer surveillance, resulting in either complete elimination of malignant cells or the establishment of a dynamic ‘melanoma-immune equilibrium’. This fundamental knowledge should be of value for the development of novel clinical strategies targeting cancer.

Speaker: Dr. Jason Waithman is a molecular and cellular immunologist having obtained his PhD in 2008. His training was completed in outstanding institutions that include the University of Melbourne, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, and Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research under the guidance of multiple international leading immunologists. He relocated to Perth in 2012 to establish and run an independent, original research program at the Telethon Kids Institute. He has successfully attracted fellowship support from 2010-21 and has attracted project funding from multiple sources to support his research program. He is currently working closely with an industry partner and the host institute to develop innovative therapeutic techniques for cancer patients as part of the discovery and translation pipeline associated with his research program.
Thursday 28
12:00 - SEMINAR - admin-sms@uwa.edu.au : Skeletal genetics and transcriptomics More Information

13:00 - SEMINAR - The Search for a function of the melanoma tumour antigen melanotransferrin: Iron binding molecule turned pro-tumourigenic signalling protein : School of Human Sciences Seminar Series Website | More Information
Melanotransferrin (MTf) is a membrane-bound transferrin homologue that is found in melanoma cells and was one of the first melanoma tumour antigens to be characterized. It possesses an iron-binding site like the iron-binding protein in the blood, transferrin, but does not play a role in normal cellular iron metabolism. This was shown by Richardson through a variety of studies in vitro in cell culture and in vivo using purpose generated melanotransferrin knockout and transgenic mice. However, Richardson later demonstrated that melanotransferrin stimulates melanoma growth, proliferation and migration and more recently appears to play an exciting role in oncogenic signalling via down-regulating the metastasis suppressor protein, NDRG1. Intriguingly, over-expression of NDRG1 can down-regulate MTf. The studies over a period of 20 years will be discussed.

 April 2019
Tuesday 02
13:00 - SEMINAR - Measuring physical activity patterns using objective devices: Past, present, and future : School of Human Sciences Seminar Series Website | More Information
There is emerging evidence that how individuals accumulate their physical activity and sedentary behaviour (e.g. bouts, breaks) each day may be important for health. It is possible to assess activity patterns using different objective monitors (e.g. ActiGraph, activPAL, etc), yet there is little consistency in which patterns are examined in children and adults. In this talk, A/Prof Ridgers will discuss her research that is focusing on understanding patterns of activity accumulation. She will describe ways that have been used measure activity patterns, and identify some of the historical and current challenges facing researchers. She will present research that has examined changes in patterns over time and within interventions, and how patterns are associated with health outcomes. She will finish with a discussion that highlights the importance of considering changes in activity across the activity spectrum (from sedentary to vigorous activity). Throughout the presentation, A/Prof Ridgers will highlight opportunities afforded by objective measures to assess activity patterns moving forwards.

A/Prof Nicola Ridgers is a researcher within the Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition (IPAN) at Deakin University. Her program of research primarily focuses on the measurement of children’s physical activity patterns, examining factors that influence activity levels, and promoting physical activity using theory-based interventions. She currently holds a National Heart Foundation of Australia Future Leader Fellowship that is focusing on the accumulation of activity by youth and associations with cardio-metabolic risk factors.
Friday 05
12:00 - SEMINAR - admin-sms@uwa.edu.au : Targeting P-glyoprotein, endocytosis and the lysosome compartment as a novel anti-cancer stragegy of overcome cancer cell resistance More Information

13:00 - SEMINAR - Measuring physical activity patterns using objective devices: Past, present, and future : School of Human Sciences Seminar Series Website | More Information
There is emerging evidence that how individuals accumulate their physical activity and sedentary behaviour (e.g. bouts, breaks) each day may be important for health. It is possible to assess activity patterns using different objective monitors (e.g. ActiGraph, activPAL, etc), yet there is little consistency in which patterns are examined in children and adults. In this talk, A/Prof Ridgers will discuss her research that is focusing on understanding patterns of activity accumulation. She will describe ways that have been used measure activity patterns, and identify some of the historical and current challenges facing researchers. She will present research that has examined changes in patterns over time and within interventions, and how patterns are associated with health outcomes. She will finish with a discussion that highlights the importance of considering changes in activity across the activity spectrum (from sedentary to vigorous activity). Throughout the presentation, A/Prof Ridgers will highlight opportunities afforded by objective measures to assess activity patterns moving forwards.
Wednesday 10
12:30 - PRESENTATION - Physics to fish with some whales on the side! Second International Indian Ocean Expedition 110°E repeat line : Prof. Lynnath Beckley presents on the month-long voyage that will repeat the 1960s Indian Ocean investigation. Website | More Information
In the 1960s, Australia made a significant contribution to the first International Indian Ocean Expedition. Now, nearly six decades later, a second Expedition is underway, and in May 2019 a multi-institutional team of 30 oceanographers will head offshore from Fremantle with the Australian Research Vessel Investigator to study the oceanography of the SE Indian Ocean. On this month-long voyage we will to repeat the 110°E line from the 1960s, examine multi-decadal change in the physics, chemistry and biology of the water column, investigate microbes and biogeochemistry especially related to nitrogen and study the pelagic food web from plankton through to mesopelagic lantern fishes. The voyage will also enable ground truthing of bio-optical quantities like sea surface colour recorded by satellites as well as an acoustic survey of whales. For comparison, some of our work will use the original techniques employed during the first Expedition but these will be supplemented by a host of modern techniques and electronic technology that will assist us in better understanding the pelagic ecosystem at the western edge of Australia’s Exclusive Economic Zone.
Thursday 11
12:00 - SEMINAR - Seminar Series : Analysis of Imaging Mass Spectrometry Data in Proteomics and Cancer Research More Information
Friday 12
12:00 - EVENT - Bayliss Seminar Series : Towards machine learning in computational spectroscopy for isomers More Information
Towards machine learning in computational spectroscopy for isomers
Tuesday 23
12:00 - SEMINAR - Bayliss Seminar Series : Markus Muellner - Tailor-made nanoparticles from molecular polymer brushes More Information

13:00 - SEMINAR - Surgical wound complications: improving prevention and outcomes : School of Human Sciences Seminar Series Website | More Information
Surgical wound complications such as dehiscence (SWD) are a significant issue that affect large numbers of patients and is almost certainly under-reported. The impact of SWD can be considerable: increased mortality, delayed hospital discharge, readmission, further surgery, delayed adjuvant treatment, suboptimal aesthetic outcome and impaired psychosocial wellbeing. Consequently, it is imperative to raise awareness of SWD and improve identification, prevention and management. Prevention of SWD comprises excellence in surgical practice, prevention of surgical site infection, reducing risk of healing impairment and use of interventional therapies such as single-use negative pressure wound therapy in appropriately identified high-risk patients. Management also involves a holistic approach that includes amelioration of impediments to healing, optimising conditions in the wound bed and using appropriate treatment modalities to ultimately close the wound. The need for international consensus on the core issues around SWD arose from the doctoral research of Kylie Sandy-Hodgetts. The process started with a meeting of an international group of surgical care experts in July 2017. Development of the subsequent consensus document included extensive review by the Core Expert Working Group and a Review Panel. This consensus document is aimed at clinicians in all care settings who work with patients with surgical incisions. The main objective of the document is to inspire clinicians to improve outcomes for patients by providing practical guidance on how to improve prevention and management of SWD.
Wednesday 24
13:00 - SEMINAR - Seeking the secret of longevity, deep in the sea : School of Human Sciences Seminar Series Website | More Information
Abstract: Professor Pierre Blier -Seeking the secret of longevity, deep in the sea. Delineating the physiological and biochemical causes of aging process in the animal kingdom is a highly active area of research not only because of potential benefits for human health but also because aging process is related to life history strategies (growth and reproduction) and to responses of organisms to environmental conditions and stress. In this presentation, I advocate studying bivalve species as models for revealing the determinants of species divergences in maximal longevity. This taxonomic group includes the longest living metazoan on earth (Arctica islandica), which insures the widest range of maximum life span when shorter living species are also included in the comparative model. This model can also be useful for uncovering factors modulating the pace of aging in given species by taking advantages of the wide disparity of lifespan among different populations of the same species. For example, maximal lifespan in different populations of A islandica range from approximately 36 years to over 500 years. In the last 15 years, research has revealed that either regulation or tolerance to oxidative stress is tightly correlated to longevity in this group which support further investigations on this taxon to unveil putative mechanistic links between Reactive Oxygen Species and aging process.

Bio: Pierre Blier is Professor of Evolutionary Physiology at the Université du Québec à Rimouski in Canada. He obtained a PhD at Laval University in Comparative Physiology and Biochemistry and has been invited professor at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, the “Institution des Sciences de l’Évolution de Montpelleir and at the Linus Pauling Institute of Science. He is currently invited Scholar at Monash University. He has been interested in the evolution of mitochondria in animals (mostly ectotherms) for the last 30 years and worked on the links between evolution of mtDNA and mitochondrial phenotype. In the last 15 years he studied the mitochondrial characters potentially associated with lifespan animals.
Friday 26
13:00 - SEMINAR - Phenotypic consequences of mutation accumulations on mitochondria : School of Human Sciences Seminar Series Website | More Information
Abstract: Professor Dufresne France - Phenotypic consequences of mutation accumulations on mitochondria. Mitochondria are essential organelles that generate ATP necessary to sustain life via the oxidative phosphorylation. The mitochondrial genome is known to be sensitive to the accumulation of deleterious mutations due to its highly mutagenic environment. Yet we lack a complete understanding of the impact of spontaneous DNA mutations on heritable damages within the germ line and how these affect mitochondrial functions. Exposure to mutagenic environmental contaminants can accelerate mutation accumulation. However, little is known about how mutagenic compounds affect the scope and extent of the phenotypic effects of spontaneous mutations on the mitochondria. In this talk, I will present our recent work on the effects of mutation accumulations (MA) on mitochondrial traits and fitness in the microinvertebrate, Daphnia pulex. We used lines of Daphnia that were bottlenecked every generation for 120 generations under mild copper and benign conditions. We compared life history traits, mtDNA copy number and mitochondrial respiration in bottlenecked Daphnia lines to those of control lines (Daphnia that were kept in large numbers for the same period of time). Our results are the first to empirically demonstrate the alleged sensitivity of mitochondria to mutational load and point at modulation of mtDNA content as an important mitigation mechanism of mutational impacts.

Bio: France Dufresne is a professor of genetics at the Université du Québec à Rimouski. She obtained her Ph.D. in zoology from the university of Guelph. She held postdoctorate fellowships at the Université Laval and at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography (San Diego). She has major interests in genome size evolution, and more specifically in how increases in genome size through polyploidy affects adaptation to cold environments. Another major aspect of her studies is the evolution of sexual reproduction. She applies genetic and genomic tools to examine the evolutionary consequences of a lack of genetic recombination in her model system, Daphnia. Other areas of expertise in her laboratory include genetic connectivity and local adaptation in various marine invertebrate species and algae.

 May 2019
Wednesday 08
14:00 - SEMINAR - Grey literature searching for systematic reviews Website | More Information
Searching grey literature is an important step in ensuring that your systematic review is truly comprehensive. Come and learn some strategies and sources for searching grey literature, which includes everything that has not been published in a conventional sense.

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