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Today's date is Tuesday, November 19, 2019
School of Molecular Sciences
 August 2012
Sunday 12
10:00 - EVENT - 2012 Open Day : Experience what's on offer at UWA Website | More Information
UWA opens up the whole campus to the public.

Come and find out about the courses on offer, career options, scholarship opportunities, our valuable research, community programs and facilities.

There's also residential college tours, hands-on activities, live music and entertainment, and plenty of fun activities for the whole family.

11:00 - EVENT - SCINEMA Film Festival : Science films showing on Open Day in the Science Library Foyer More Information
As part of National Science Week, the Science Library is once again hosting the SCINEMA Film Festival

Two collections of short films on selected topics will be screened in the Science Library Foyer during Open Day, and they are as follows:

11:00am - 12:45pm - ‘A Climate for change’

12:50pm - 3:00pm - ‘Space & Astronomy’

Entry to enjoy these two collections of films is free, so come along and enjoy!
Thursday 16
16:00 - VISITING SPEAKER - RNA editing and DYW-type PPR proteins as specificity factors in mitochondria of the moss Physcomitrella patens and the protist Naegleria gruberi : Numerous cytidines are converted into uridines by site-specific RNA editing of mitochondrial and chloroplast transcripts, which corrects genetic information in land plants. More Information
In flowering plants, mitochondrial transcriptomes contain some 300–500 RNA editing sites and chloroplast transcriptomes approximately 30 editing sites. In lycophytes, RNA editing is particularly abundant with more than 2100 editing sites in mitochondrial mRNAs and rRNAs of the spikemoss Selaginella moellendorffii. In contrast, only 11 sites are identified in mitochondria of the model plant Physcomitrella patens, making this moss an attractive model for functional studies. Pentatricopeptide repeat (PPR) proteins with unique carboxyterminal extensions (E/DYW) encoded by extended nuclear gene families in plants have previously been characterized as specificity factors recognizing editing sites. PPR proteins with the DYW domain in particular were shown to perfectly correlate with the presence of RNA editing in evolution. Our DYW-PPR gene knockout studies in Physcomitrella will contribute to identify the full set of nuclear specificity factors addressing all editing sites in a plant mitochondrial transcriptome. Most surprisingly, we recently also identified DYW-type PPR proteins in the heterolobosean protist Naegleria gruberi. Interestingly, we were now able to identify C-to-U editing in the mitochondrial transcriptome of this protist, which is phylogenetically separated from the plant lineage by more than 1 billion years of evolution.
Tuesday 21
13:00 - SEMINAR - Stroke and cerebral ischaemia: exploring potential neuroprotective strategies : School of Anatomy, Physiology & Human Biology Seminar Series More Information
The Seminar: We have previously reported that treatment with magnesium following global and focal cerebral ischaemia does not reduce brain damage in normothermic rats (1, 2). However we have shown that mild hypothermia (35°C) combined with magnesium is more effective than either treatment used alone following global and focal ischaemia (3). Treatment is effective when commenced 2 hours post global ischaemia and when commenced 2 or 4, but not 6 hours post-permanent focal ischaemia (4). We are currently further defining therapeutic windows following global ischaemia and transient focal ischaemia.

The Speaker: Bruno Meloni obtained his Bachelor of Science degree at Curtin University in 1985 and his PhD degree at Murdoch University in 1993. In 1996, he started a second Postdoctoral position with the newly formed Stroke Research Group, situated at the ANRI and headed by Clinical Professor Neville Knuckey. A/Prof Meloni was responsible for setting up the molecular biology, in vitro cultivation and animal surgery laboratories and has played a major role in overseeing its direction over the last 15 years. A/Prof Meloni's research has focussed on identifying neuroprotective proteins for the development of potential treatments for ischaemic brain injury and assessing the effectiveness of mild hypothermia and magnesium as a neuroprotective therapy following cerebral ischaemia. To this end, his talk will focus on experimental work performed by the Stroke Research Group over the last several years characterising the efficacy of mild hypothermia and magnesium in stroke and global cerebral ischaemia rat models.
Thursday 23
17:00 - WELCOME - NEW ACADEMIC STAFF MEMBER! "By Way of Introduction" : Dr Mylne is soon to join UWA as an ARC Future Fellow. More Information
Currently at University of Queensland, Dr Mylne will speak about his past, current and future plans for his Fellowship at UWA. Welcome Dr Mylne! "At UWA I intend to focus on three areas; 1) study the various genetic ‘innovations’ that create these ultra-stable peptides, 2) hone in on the in vivo biochemical process that produce such biomedically relevant peptides; and 3) develop a new biological system to discover the elusive biochemical targets of important anti-malarials drugs." DETAILED CV AVAILABLE !!! email jennifer.gillett@uwa.edu.au
Friday 24
8:30 - CONFERENCE - Combined Biological Sciences Meeting 2012 : Full day meeting for all members of the life sciences community Website | More Information
CBSM aims to promote biological science in Western Australia by encouraging the interaction of scientists, students and industry representatives from all aspects of life science.

The meeting is designed to provide a platform for the exchange of ideas and expertise to keep the life sciences in WA at the cutting edge. This annual meeting includes plenary presentations by national and international scientists and in 2012 will incorporate concurrent specialist symposia each with its own keynote speaker and session of local senior scientists.

CBSM is also geared toward students and the development of students among their peers. Several sessions are set aside for student presentations and for many it represents their first chance to present their work in a conference setting. These honours and post-graduate students work in universities, research institutes, and industry around Western Australia. In this way CBSM offers a unique “snapshot” of what is happening in local biological science and now attracts 250-300 delegates every year, with nearly 40 oral presentations, over 70 scientific posters and 30 trade booths. Check out the program at www.cbsmwa.org.au/program.

So where will you be on Friday the 24th of August? Join us at the University Club, The University of Western Australia for CBSM 2012!

www.cbsmwa.org.au - cbsm@cbsmwa.org.au
Monday 27
10:00 - WORKSHOP - Flow Cytometry Data Analysis More Information
This workshop is recommended to anyone who is currently using or is thinking of using FlowJo for flow cytometry data analysis. The sessions will be very informative and you will pick up some new tricks! Sessions include: 10.00 am Basic Functionality, Groups Layouts, Tables, Batching, and 11.00am Compensation, Transforms, Advanced Analysis Platforms
Tuesday 28
13:00 - SEMINAR - The biomechanical environment modulates airway smooth muscle phenotype and function in vitro: implications for studying asthma : School of Anatomy, Physiology & Human Biology Seminar Series More Information
The Seminar: The cellular and molecular biology of airway smooth muscle (ASM) is typically studied with single-cell cultures grown on solid, thus extremely stiff, 2D substrates. However cells in vivo exist as part of complex 3D structures and experience a much softer mechanical environment. It is well established in other cell types that altering substrate stiffness or growing cells in 3D exerts potent effects on phenotype and function. These factors may be especially relevant to the study of ASM function in asthma, a disease characterized by structural remodeling of the airway wall and a stiffer microenvironment experienced by ASM.

In this seminar, two key research projects will be presented to demonstrate the importance of the mechanical environment on in vitro ASM function: 1) use of a polyacrylamide hydrogel model used to alter substrate stiffness, and 2) the development and characterisation of a physiologically relevant 3D ‘microtissue’ culture model that allows for in vitro contractile force measurement, and shows great promise to simulate the biomechanical changes associated with asthma.

The Speaker: Adrian West’s scientific career was born and raised at the University of Western Australia. He undertook his BSc, Honours and PhD in the Department of Physiology where he studied the molecular mechanisms of intestinal haem iron absorption under Dr Phillip Oates. A lucky opportunity allowed Adrian to switch fields for his first postdoc to work in Prof Howard Mitchell’s respiratory physiology laboratory. During this time, he studied the effects of dynamic mechanical strain on acute regulation of airway smooth muscle (ASM) force and developed an interest in bridging the gap between whole-organ and cell-level mechanical properties.

Realising that engineers get to play with the coolest toys, Adrian moved to Dalhousie University in Canada for his second postdoc to work with an upcoming biomedical engineer, Dr Geoffrey Maksym. In this current position he is using novel cell culture and tissue engineering techniques to study how chronic changes in the biomechanical environment regulate ASM dysfunction, and how this may contribute to the pathogenesis of asthma.
Thursday 30
16:00 - SEMINAR - CMCA Seminar Series: Tools to better understand soil phosphorus - a finite and scarce resource. More Information
Phosphorus - a non-renewable resource - is a key element in food production and maintaining sustainable ecosystems. Predictions suggest global P fertiliser production may peak around 2030’s and will be one third of that peak level by the end of the 21st century. This will have a major impact on agriculture, especially heavily fertilised low P sandy soils of Western Australia.

 September 2012
Tuesday 04
13:30 - EVENT - Using Image J for Image Analysis of Microscope Images - An Introduction More Information
This workshop is a “hands-on” computing exercise and is scheduled to be conducted in the Pharmacology Computing Laboratory (room G17, M block QEII). Class size is strictly limited to 40 participants. Until 5 pm Monday 27th August, priority will be given to those with a current CMCA registration after which participation will be open to all on a “first in” basis. The workshop is free to attend but registration is essential. Please contact CMCA admin (admin-cmca@uwa.edu.au) to register. Also note, if you register and then fail to attend the workshop, a $50 non-attendance fee may be levied.
Wednesday 05
16:00 - SEMINAR - Epigenetic Basis of the Pathogenesis of Neonatal Chronic Lung Disease : School of Anatomy, Physiology & Human Biology Seminar Series More Information
The Speaker: Dr Albertine graduated magna cum laude in biology from Lawrence University, Appleton, Wisconsin, in 1975. He graduated with a doctoral degree in human anatomy from Loyola University of Chicago, Stritch School of Medicine, in 1979. He received postdoctoral training at the Cardiovascular Research Institute, University of California, San Francisco (1980-83).

He held faculty appointments at the University of South Florida, the University of Pennsylvania, and Thomas Jefferson University before joining the faculty at the University of Utah, in 1993. The same year he established the Pediatric Fellowship Core Curriculum and continues to lead this training program for all first-year fellows in pediatrics.

Dr Albertine’s research topic is acute and chronic lung disease, with emphasis on neonatal chronic lung disease. His research group created the preterm lamb model of bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD). BPD is the second most prominent pediatric disease in the United States, eclipsed only by pediatric asthma. His large-animal, physiological model is the only such model of BPD. His laboratory has been supported by NIH grants for over 30 years.

He has authored almost 150 peer-reviewed papers and nearly 100 non-peer-reviewed papers, editorials, chapters, and textbooks. He is a reviewer for more than two dozen basic science or clinical journals and is Editor-in-Chief of The Anatomical Record, the flagship journal of the American Association of Anatomists.

Dr Albertine also participates in the Federation of Pediatric Organizations (FOPO), as a member of the Child Health Working Group. The charge of this group is to provide national guidance on approaches to attract physicians-in-training to become academic pediatricians (pediatric scientists).
Tuesday 11
13:00 - SEMINAR - In vivo strategies for tissue engineering, from a beating heart to a beating drum : School of Anatomy, Physiology & Human Biology Seminar Series More Information
The Seminar: The field of tissue engineering has seen significant advances in materials and cell biology research over the last twenty years, but most development has been through ‘in vitro’ technologies. Translation of these methods to the clinic will require ‘in vivo’ methods to be advanced and this talk will consider recent progress in two applications: engineering beating heart muscle from stem cells and tissue engineering for rapid repair of tympanic membrane perforations.

The Speaker: Rod Dilley is Head of Molecular and Cellular Otolaryngology at Ear Science Institute Australia and Adjunct Associate Professor in School of Surgery at UWA. In 1986 he completed his PhD in Department of Anatomy and Human Biology at UWA on vascular biology of vein graft arterialisation, with John McGeachie as supervisor. Rod did postdoctoral research training at University of Washington in Seattle USA then at Baker Institute in Melbourne, working on cardiovascular growth in hypertension, diabetes and atherosclerosis. Since then his research on cardiovascular disease has come to include tissue engineering and applications for adult stem cells. At Melbourne University since 2004 he was Head of the Cardiac Tissue Engineering group at O’Brien Institute and Principal Scientist for the biotechnology company Australian Tissue Engineering Centre. In 2011 he returned to Perth where his new position also takes in regeneration and tissue engineering in the ear.
Wednesday 12
13:00 - SEMINAR - Research IHC tips, tricks and pitfalls : CELLCentral Seminar (School of Anatomy, Physiology & Human Biology) More Information
Research tissue poses a number of issues when it comes to immunohistochemistry. The tissue may be human or non-human in origin, but either way care needs to be taken to obtain robust and reproducible IHC results. During this seminar Jane will try to give you some of the information that you need to make your life easier when you’re dealing with research samples and also some of the tricks that she has learnt during her time as a lab manager of a multi-user research histology lab.
Wednesday 19
16:00 - VISITING SPEAKER - WHAT A PLANT KNOWS : PLEASE NOTE DATE & VENUE CHANGE !!!!! More Information
How does a Venus flytrap know when to snap shut? How do flowers know when to show their pretty colours? Can plants actually hear the chatter of the neighbourhood? This seminar is a window open onto the realm of plants, one hour detour into the history of how we perceive them, what we know about them but most importantly, how plants themselves perceive and sense their world. Dr Gagliano completed a PhD in marine ecology at James Cook University in 2007 and was then awarded a postdoctoral research fellowship at Australian Institute of Marine Science, where she studied the physiological effects of climate change on coral reef fishes. In November 2009, she joined the Centre for Evolutionary Biology (CEB) at The University of Western Australia, where she is currently a postdoctoral research fellow. While continuing her work on marine life. She has since stretched the boundary of her scientific thought and ecological research into new directions, including the behavioural ecology of plants.
Monday 24
12:00 - SEMINAR - LIWA Medical Research Seminar Series : Mr Gary Cox presents "Patenting for medical researchers the ins and outs" Website | More Information
LIWA invites you to a free seminar on: "Patenting for medical researchers the ins and outs" by Mr Gary Cox, Chairman, Partner, Wray and Associates. Time: 12 noon for light lunch with 12.30pm – 1.30pm presentation.
Wednesday 26
12:00 - SEMINAR - School of Chemistry and Biochemistry Seminar : When nano meets bio: Interdisciplinary applications of electron microscopy More Information
As leader of the electron microscopy capability in the Centre for Microscopy, Characterisation and Analysis (CMCA), my core role is to support those wanting to apply advanced electron microscopy techniques in their research. With a background in Physics and an interest in the development of microscopy techniques, I have traditionally collaborated with researchers in the physical sciences. The interdisciplinary nature of the CMCA has, however, encouraged collaborations that bridge the physical and biological sciences where my knowledge of electron microscopy complements the discipline-specific expertise within the research groups.

One area where the benefit of this fusion of technique and discipline-specific expertise is readily apparent is when the field of nanomaterials and nanotechnology meets the discipline of biology. From understanding nature’s ability to form minerals at the nanoscale to the interaction of man-made nanomaterials with biological systems, an interdisciplinary combination of physical and biological scientists with experts in characterisation techniques creates distinct advantages. I hope to demonstrate this by presenting data from several ongoing collaborations such as studies of biomineralisation processes in marine molluscs, magnetic nanomaterials for biomedical applications and drug delivery capsules.

The common theme of this research is the application of transmission electron microscopy techniques such as electron diffraction, high resolution imaging, energy-filtered TEM, and electron spectroscopy to extract structural and compositional information down to the nm or atomic scales.


 October 2012
Tuesday 02
13:00 - SEMINAR - Iron and its influence on hepatic lipids : School of Anatomy, Physiology & Human Biology Seminar Series More Information
The Seminar: Obesity and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) are major health problems in Australia. All are characterised by an initial accumulation of lipids which, along with the contribution of confounding factors, such as iron, can lead to organ dysfunction and death. In the presence of existing fat deposits, iron has been linked to progression of NAFLD, via the production of free radicals. Recently we have shown that iron may be involved in the initial lipid accumulation by stimulating production of cholesterol in the liver. Importantly, this cholesterol may accumulate in the mitochondria; mitochondrial cholesterol accumulation has been associated with NAFLD. These data are consistent with an increase in total hepatic lipid burden and a role for iron in the early stages of fatty liver disease

The Speaker: Ross completed his PhD in Physiology at UWA in 1997 studying non-transferrin bound iron uptake in the liver. He retained his interest in metal metabolism following his move to London in 1998, working at the University of London where he studied the synthesis of vitamin B12 in Pseudomonas aeruginosa, the pathogen which causes many lung infections in cyctic fibrosis patients. In 2004, he returned to Western Australia to work in the School of Medicine & Pharmacology, UWA, continuing his work on iron in the liver, focussing on the role of transferrin receptor 2 in iron uptake and how mutations in this protein cause a rare form of the iron-loading disorder, haemochromatosis. This work led to identification of a role for iron in the biosynthesis of cholesterol, implicating iron as a factor in liver disease and obesity. In 2011, he moved to Curtin University where he is continuing his research into liver iron and its effects on other metabolic processes.
Wednesday 03
12:00 - SEMINAR - School of Chemistry and Biochemistry Seminar : A Tale of Two Metalloenzymes: More Information
Binuclear metallohydrolases are a functionally diverse class of metalloenzyme whose members require two closely spaced metal ions in their active site to catalyse the hydrolysis of amides and phosphate esters [1].

Purple acid phosphatases (PAPs) are found in animals, plants and fungi. They catalyse the hydrolysis of a broad range of phosphate esters and anhydrides under acidic conditions. PAPs contain an Fe(III) and a divalent metal ion in their active site. In animals, they are responsible for bone resorption in osteoclasts, and there is substantial evidence to support the role of PAPs in osteoporosis, a disease characterised by excessive bone resorption. PAP is, therefore, an attractive target for the development of drugs to treat this debilitating condition [1].

β-Lactam-containing antibiotics such as penicillins, cephalosporins and carbapenems, are the most widely used drugs for the treatment of bacterial infections. A large number of pathogenic bacteria are now producing metallo-β-lactamases (MBLs), enzymes that hydrolyse the β-lactam rings of nearly all known classes of β-lactam-containing antibiotics, and so make these bacteria resistant to these drugs. MBLs contain two zinc(II) ions in their active sites. As yet, there are no clinically useful antagonists of MBLs, and so bacteria expressing these enzymes pose a significant risk to human health.

This presentation will describe a multidisciplinary approach to the development of drug leads against PAP and MBL. Our approaches to the development of enzyme inhibitors have been twofold. In the first approach we have use the crystal structures of PAPs and MBLs to rationally design ligands to bind to the binuclear metal centre of the active sites, and to maximise non-covalent interactions at locations proximal to the active site [2,3]. In the second approach we have used fragment-based screening to identify small molecule inhibitors of PAP, and we have obtained crystals structures of these complexed in the active site of the enzyme [4]. These studies have led to development of the most potent PAP inhibitors yet reported.

[1] Schenk, Mitic, Gahan, Ollis, McGeary & Guddat, Acc. Chem. Res., 2012, 45, 1593. [2] Mohd-Pahmi, Hussein, Schenk & McGeary, Bioorg. & Med. Chem. Lett., 2011, 21, 3092. [3] Faridoon, Hussein, Vella, Ul Islam, Ollis, Schenk & McGeary, Bioorg. & Med. Chem. Lett., 2012, 22, 380. [4] Feder, Hussein, Clayton, Kan, Schenk, McGeary & Guddat, Chem. Biol. & Drug Des., 2012, In Press. doi: 10.1111/cbdd.12001

Wednesday 10
12:00 - SEMINAR - School of Chemistry and Biochemistry Seminar : Water Oxidation Catalysts Inspired by Photosynthesis More Information
Our group is interested in developing highly active water oxidation catalysts for incorporation into (photo)-electrochemical water splitting devices. Inspired by the only water oxidation catalyst known to be active in vivo, the Mn4Ca1O5 cluster found in Photosystem II (PSII), we initially imbedded tetranuclear Mn complexes into Nafion films and demonstrated sustained water oxidation catalysis in vitro on illumination with visible light and application of a bias.1 By combining these photoanodes with a ruthenium(II) sensitiser into a photo-electrochemical cell water oxidation was achieved using visible light as the only energy source, as occurs in PSII.2 Examination of the fate of the Mn cluster during catalysis using X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy (XAS) and Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) revealed that it dissociates in Nafion forming MnII species which, on application of a bias, are oxidized to MnOx nanoparticles (detected by TEM). These are reduced on illumination and O2 is concurrently released.3 Recent EPR studies support the catalytic cycle proposed from the XAS studies. Thus, water oxidation catalysis does not involve the original cluster. The observed cycling between photo-reduced MnII species and the Mn-oxide parallels the well-known biogeochemistry of Mn where MnIII/IV oxides, formed by oxidative processes, are photoreduced to Mn2+ in sunlight. Given that catalysis did not involve the original Mn4O4 cluster, catalytic activity was expected to be independent of the Mn precursor. To our surprise, however, an examination of a series of Mn complexes found that the size, crystallinity and catalytic activity of the MnOx nanoparticles varied with precursor used to generate them. The presentation will also cover our recent research exploring various approaches for the deposition of catalytically active metal oxide films, including the application of ionic liquids.
Friday 12
16:00 - SEMINAR - PaLM Seminar Series (RPH) 2012 - Professor Charles Bond Seminar presentation More Information
All welcome to attend the School of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine 2012 Seminar Series (RPH). On a weekly basis we have local/guest speakers presenting to a wide audience typically in the fields of immunology, molecular biology and cancer related research. This week we are privileged to have a local speaker. Professor Charles Bond from the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Western Australia presenting on "Structural studies of gene regulatory protein in eukaryotes". The event is sponsored by Life Technologies and light refreshments are provided. For further inquiries please contact using the provided email. Look forward to seeing you there!

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