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Today's date is Wednesday, January 20, 2021
Faculty of Science
 September 2017
Friday 29
12:10 - EVENT - Bayliss Seminar Series : "Neuronal dynamics underlying traumatic brain injury” More Information

 October 2017
Tuesday 03
16:00 - EVENT - Psychology Colloquium: From clinical to pre-clinical research - using animal models to understand the neurobiology of schizophrenia (E/Prof Pat Michie, University of Newcastle) More Information
Psychology Colloquium

Tuesday 3rd October 4:00-5:00pm in Bayliss MCS G.33, followed by post-talk drinks in the Psychology Courtyard (or, in bad weather, the Psychology Common Room, 2nd floor of main psychology building)

Presenter: E/Prof Pat Michie (University of Newcastle)

Title: From clinical to pre-clinical research – using animal models to understand the neurobiology of schizophrenia.


In addition to a range of negative and positive clinical symptoms, patients with schizophrenia exhibit quite profound cognitive deficits that impinge on their capacity to engage in social, employment and educational opportunities. They also exhibit a range of electrophysiological and neurobiological abnormalities. Although the dominant model of schizophrenia is that it is a neurodevelopmental disorder that results in excessive dopaminergic activity as a core feature, there is increasing evidence that hypo-function of the glutamate NMDA receptor(NMDAR) system can account for a broader range of positive, negative and cognitive symptoms of the disorder. Our own research has confirmed the involvement of the NMDAR system from evidence that an electrophysiological measure that has been shown to be an index of the integrity of the NMDAR system, the mismatch negativity (MMN), is reduced in schizophrenia. Our current research is attempting a reverse translation of these well–established clinical findings to a neurodevelopmental animal model of schizophrenia in an attempt to understand the neurobiology of the disorder and potentially develop new treatments. Recent research using a mouse neurodevelopmental model of maternal immune activation either early or late in gestation seemed to offer an explanation of both the dopamine and NMDAR abnormalities with maternal immune activation (MIA) in early gestation resulting in greater dopamine disturbance (or a more positive-symptom type phenotype) but MIA late gestation indicated greater disturbance in the NMDAR system (and a more negative/ cognitive deficit phenotype). In the first series of studies we induced maternal immune activation in rat dams either early or late in gestation and examined the behavioural. cognitive and electrophysiological phenotypes in adult offspring as well as neurobiological changes, namely, in the density and expression of NMDAR subunits. The outcome of these studies suggest that MIA alone in the rat induces only subtle behavioural and cognitive abnormalities and unexpected NMDAR subunit changes that potentially have implications for treatment. In the second series of investigations currently underway, we are investigating a two-hit model of schizophrenia by combining MIA with chronic adolescent cannabis use based on the rationale that an early insult to the developing brain (MIA) makes it more vulnerable to a second insult (adolescent cannabis use) and may therefore yield a more complex schizophrenia-like phenotype in the offspring.

Speaker Bio:

Dr. Pat Michie is currently Emeritus Professor of Psychology at the University of Newcastle, Australia. She previously held professorial positions at UWA and Macquarie University. She is an experimental psychologist whose research has focussed on the neural basis of normal and abnormal cognition. She is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences of Australia and is the 2016 recipient of the Australian Psychological Society’s Distinguished Contribution to Psychological Science Award. Her research has been characterised by application of theories and methodologies from basic research in cognition and cognitive neuroscience to understand the nature of cognitive deficits and their neural basis in individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia and those at risk. Her research spans auditory processing deficits, impaired inhibitory control and cognitive control more generally and uses both psychophysical methods to assess performance as well as functional brain imaging methods such as event-related potentials (ERPs) of the brain. She was a key member of the Australian group who were the first to demonstrate that individuals with schizophrenia exhibit impaired automatic change detection in a background of auditory regularities, an ERP-derived observation replicated many times and one of the most robust findings in the schizophrenia literature. Her current research is focused on animal models of schizophrenia. Pat currently chairs the Research Committee of Orygen, the National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health, and the National Committee of Brain and Mind (NCBM) of the Academy of Sciences of Australia. She is past chair of the Australian Brain Alliance, an initiative of the NCBM and the Academy. The Alliance, which is supported by the Australian Psychological Society, the Psychology Foundation and the Australasian Neuroscience Society and major research organisations, aims to secure investment in Australian brain research comparable to other international initiatives.

Ullrich Ecker, PhD Associate Professor Director, Community and Engagement School of Psychological Science University of Western Australia +61 (0)8 6488 3257 www.uwa.edu.au/people/ullrich.ecker www.cogsciwa.com @UlliEcker @UWApsych ‏
Thursday 05
12:00 - SEMINAR - Bayliss Seminar Series : UWA PhD Completion More Information
Investigation into the atmospheric degradation of a-phellandrene: A computational, experimental and modelling study
Wednesday 11
18:00 - PUBLIC LECTURE - Genome research produces new anti-malarial drug targets : The 2017 Ian Constable lecture by Professor Simon Foote - Director of The John Curtin School of Medical Research at The Australian National University Website | More Information
In a malarial infection, there is a competition between the malaria parasite and the host. If the malarial parasite can reproduce sufficiently rapidly, it can reach a level of parasitaemia that is lethal to the host. However, if its rate of growth is slowed, the host’s adaptive immune response can kill the parasites before the lethal level of parasitaemia kills the host. The host response that controls the growth of malarial parasites has been largely thought to be the adaptive immune response. This talk will introduce the concept that perhaps as important is the innate immune response as mediated by platelets. Platelets are able to recognise infected red cells, bind to them, activate and kill malarial parasites. This talk will describe the research underpinning this observation. It will also introduce a large-scale ENU screen that has been performed to identify host molecules that are important in the host response to malaria.

Professor Simon Foote is a molecular geneticist. He is the Director of The John Curtin School of Medical Research at The Australian National University. He has been Dean of The Australian School of Medicine at Macquarie University, Director of the Menzies Research Institute at the University of Tasmania and Divisional Head at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, Melbourne. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the Whitehead Institute at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Professor Foote has a medical degree and PhD from Melbourne University and a DSc from the University of Tasmania. He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, the Academy of Technological Science and Engineering and the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Research. Professor Foote is interested in the genetic control of susceptibility to disease, with particular focus on infectious disease. His laboratory has identified loci governing the response to leishmaniasis and malaria. However the major focus of the laboratory is on trying to identify new drugs to combat malaria. By using the example of natural mutations that affect the red cell and making it difficult for the parasite to grow, his laboratory has found genes, that when mutated, prevent growth of malarial parasites. These genetic changes point the way to the creation of a new type of treatment that will be steadfast against the development of drug resistance. His laboratory is also interested in the genetic susceptibility to other diseases of humans. He is currently working on investigating the reasons that renal disease is so common in Aboriginal communities and in the genetic changes that underpin the familial nature of some of the common cancers.
Thursday 12
18:00 - FUNDRAISER - From Perth to Antarctica: A Leadership Journey for Women in Science : Team WA Homeward Bound 2018 fundraiser celebrating WA women in science Website | More Information
*Requires ticket - pruchase via Eventbrite or Chuffed (links at end)*

Join Team WA Homeward Bound 2018 for a lively evening of conversation and celebration on behalf of WA women in science. In a provocative moderated discussion, panelists share stories and insights from their leadership journey. Live music, silent auction, wine and canapés included (tickets $100). Cocktail attire.

Panelists: Professor Lyn Beazley (Science Ambassador), Diana Jones (WA Museum), Professor Carolyn Oldham (UWA), Professor Melinda Fitzgerald (Curtin U.)

Proceeds support Team WA Homeward Bound 2018 as we embark on a leadership journey to Antarctica for gender equity and environmental sustainability action.

Team WA Homeward Bound 2018: Rachel Zombor, School of Psychological Science UWA & Neurosciences Unit WA Health; Veronique Florec, Post-doctoral Researcher, UWA; Anais Pages, Research Scientist, CSIRO; Jessica Brainard, Curator, New Museum Project, Western Australian Museum; Valérie Sage, Senior Research Scientist, CSIRO

Chuffed: https://chuffed.org/project/homewardboundwa-2018

Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/from-perth-to-antarctica-a-leadership-journey-for-women-in-science-tickets-37326152527

Saturday 14
10:00 - EVENT - Therapy Groups for children with Anxiety; the Robin Winkler Clinic (School of Psychological Science UWA) : Emily South More Information
Anxiety Group Therapy Program for Children

Does your child experience heightened levels of anxiety?

Is he/she aged between 8-12 years?

Would you like to learn some skills to help you and your child?

If you answered yes to each of these questions, an upcoming treatment group at UWA may be of interest to you. We are running therapy groups for children with anxiety. The treatment will closely follow the ‘Cool Kids’ program, an effective group therapy for decreasing anxiety. It runs for 10 weeks, for 1.5 hours each week on a Saturday morning, with sessions for both parent(s) and child held at the same time.

The group sessions will be at the Robin Winkler Clinic (Myers St Crawley) at the University of WA. Your child can continue with any existing therapy or medication throughout that he/she is already involved in throughout the group program.

If you are interested, please contact Emily South at [email protected] or 6488 2644 for more information.

DATE: Saturday 14th October to Saturday 16th December 2017 (10 weekly sessions)

TIME: 10am- 11.30am COST: $60 in total
Monday 16
14:00 - SYMPOSIUM - The Clever Country: The importance of investing in regional and remote students Website | More Information
This symposium brings together a panel of experts from across Australia to discuss ways to support regional and remote students to succeed in higher education. The purpose is to explore the value of investing in higher education from the perspective of the individual, community and the university sector and to question what we need to do to become a truly ‘clever country'.

The symposium will feature the following panel of experts:

Professor Grady Venville Chair (Dean of Coursework Studies, The University of Western Australia)

Tim Shanahan (Chair, WA Regional Development Trust)

Professor Sally Kift PFHEA (President, Australian Learning and Teaching Fellows, Former DVC – Academic, James Cook University)

Professor Steven Larkin (Pro Vice-Chancellor, Indigenous Education and Research, University of Newcastle)

Vicki Ratliff (Director, Equity Policy and Programmes, Australian Government Department of Education and Training)

Professor Sue Trinidad (Director, National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education)

The symposium will be held in The University Club of Western Australia Auditorium, and refreshments will be provided. Attendance is free, but tickets are limited so RSVP is essential. Reserve your ticket here: https://bit.ly/2xunNxe
Tuesday 17
13:00 - SEMINAR - The early life origins of cardiorespiratory disease : School of Human Sciences (APHB) Seminar Series Website | More Information
Dr. Wang’s PhD was carried out with the Early Origins of Adult Health Research Group, University of South Australia. Her research focused on the associations between low birth weight and the risk of cardiovascular disease in adult life. Her studies demonstrated that reduced substrate supply in utero and low birth weight can negatively impact heart development into adult life. Dr. Wang is currently a NHMRC Early Career Research Fellow and has just moved from the Telethon Kids Institute to the School of Human Sciences in September 2017. Her research interests have now expanded to the fetal origins of respiratory disease whereby her studies are aimed at understanding the links between in utero insults and airway/lung structure-function after birth. Her data demonstrate changes in airway responsiveness as a result of intrauterine growth restriction that could influence susceptibility to asthma development and contribute to sexual dimorphism in asthma prevalence which switches from a male dominated disease in early life to a female dominated disease in adulthood.

Thursday 19
13:00 - FREE LECTURE - Discussions on New Discoveries in Gravitational Wave Search : This lecture will discuss the progress of gravitational wave discoveries. More Information
The first detection of gravitational waves from binary black holes was made in September 2015. This not only confirmed Einstein’s 1915 general theory of relativity, but also marked the beginning of a new era of gravitational wave astronomy. In recognition of the promising revolutionary effect of this discovery in astrophysics, in October 3, 2017, the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to the three pioneers in the field, Rainer Weiss (MIT), Kip Thorne and Barry Barish (Caltech). Since the first discovery, three more confirmed detections of gravitational waves from binary black holes have been announced. In September 2017, for the first time, the Virgo detector in Italy and the two LIGO observatories in US made a joint three-detector detection. On October 16th, a new breakthrough is to be announcement that is considered by many as revolutionary as the first detection.

The three groups in the UWA node of Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Gravitational Wave Discovery (OzGrav) contributed to these discoveries ranging from instrumentation, signal processing, theory, to electromagnetic follow up observations. This lecture will discuss the progress of gravitational wave discoveries with focus on the new event as well as the UWA contributions.

The speakers will be joined by Dr. Clancy James, Prof. David Coward and Prof. Chris Power, for a panel discussion.
Tuesday 24
13:00 - SEMINAR - Assessing APP96-110 as a novel neuroprotective agent against traumatic spinal cord injury. : School of Human Sciences Seminar Series More Information
The Seminar: Sarah’s PhD thesis entitled “Immunomodulatory and neuroprotective approaches including human mesenchymal precursor cell transplantation for spinal cord injury repair” investigated combined immunomodulatory, drug and cell based therapies for spinal cord injury (SCI) repair in a Nude rat model.

This study investigated the potential neuroprotective effects of the APP96-110 peptide, a heparin binding site at residues 96-110 of the amyloid precursor protein (APP) that has marked neuroprotective effects following traumatic brain injury (TBI). Rats received a moderate contusive thoracic (T10) SCI, and were given a single intravenous injection of APP96-110 (active) or mAPP96-110 (inactive mutant) peptide at 30 minutes post-injury. At 1 week post-injury (wpi), a cohort of animals underwent transplantation of viable or non-viable (nv) human mesenchymal precursor cells (hMPCs) into the spinal cord lesion site. Recovery of hindlimb function was assessed weekly for 8 weeks before animals were euthanised and spinal cord sections were analysed for hMPC survival, cyst formation and spinal cord morphology. There were no significant differences in hindlimb function between treatment groups when assessed during open field locomotion (Basso-Beattie-Bresnahan (BBB) scoring) and no treatment groups recovered to pre-injury scores/performance. APP96-110 or hMPCs alone did not improve tissue morphology, however combined APP96-110 + hMPCs significantly reduced cyst size compared to SCI only. Donor hMPCs also significantly increased βIII tubulin fluorescence intensity, and the amount of GFAP+ and laminin+ tissue, and decreased the amount of ED1+ tissue compared to SCI only. This study demonstrates that the APP96-110 peptide may have modest neuroprotective effects following SCI, which may be enhanced when combined with hMPC transplantation. Although no functional improvements were reported in these studies, there were significant improvements in tissue morphology with individual and combined therapies, which highlights the potential of combinatorial approaches for SCI. Better understanding of how hMPCs exert neuroprotective and neuroregenerative effects may improve the favourable outcomes reported with hMPC transplantation following SCI. Optimising drug dose/concentration, and the timing and duration of early immunomodulatory and neuroprotective interventions may also significantly improve the efficacy of these therapies. Utilising combinatorial approaches that target specific pathophysiological events at different stages following SCI can significantly improve the efficacy of individual therapies and lead to greater functional and morphological improvements.

The Speaker: Sarah completed her Undergraduate degree with Honours in Neuroscience at UWA in 2010. She worked as a Research Assistant before commencing her PhD in the Spinal Cord Repair Laboratory UWA in 2011, supervised by Associate Professor Stuart Hodgetts, Professor Alan Harvey and Associate Professor Giles Plant. Sarah’s PhD was awarded in June 2017 and she is now working as a Research Officer in the School of Human Sciences, UWA.
Friday 27
12:00 - SEMINAR - Bayliss Seminar : A Radical Approach to Enzyme Biotechnology More Information
Tuesday 31
16:00 - EVENT - Psychology Colloquium:Current Controversies and Future Directions in the Treatment of Obesity (A/Prof Liz Rieger, ANU) More Information
Psychology Colloquium

Tuesday 31st October 4:00-5:00pm in Bayliss MCS G.33, followed by post-talk drinks in the Psychology Courtyard (or, in bad weather, the Psychology Common Room, 2nd floor of main psychology building)

Presenter: A/Prof Elizabeth Rieger (Australian National University)

Title: Current Controversies and Future Directions in the Treatment of Obesity.


How to best support adults with obesity is a significant research and clinical challenge, not only because of the high prevalence of obesity but also due to its seeming intransient nature both in terms of prevention and treatment. Given these challenges, it is perhaps not surprising that considerable controversy has emerged in terms of how to best meet this challenge. This presentation will begin with an exploration of one of these controversies, namely, whether researchers and clinicians should continue focusing on behavioural weight loss programs for adults with obesity. The presentation will then provide an overview of two recent studies on behavioural weight loss programs that sought to increase both the effectiveness and scalability of these programs through (1) the inclusion of support people in the intervention and (2) the use of technological strategies to augment face-to-face treatment.

Speaker Bio:

Elizabeth Rieger is an Associate Professor and Clinical Psychologist in the Research School of Psychology at the Australian National University. She specialises in eating disorders and obesity in her research, teaching, and clinical work. She completed her PhD at the University of Sydney in 2001, which focused on motivation to change in eating disorders. She then undertook a post-doctoral fellowship at the Centre for Eating and Weight Disorders (University of California, San Diego) where she was trained in interpersonal therapy and expanded her research and clinical focus to obesity. Elizabeth has published widely on the cognitive, motivational, and interpersonal aspects of eating disorders and obesity. She has been involved in several large-scale treatment trials including as CIA on an NHMRC-funded project grant that entailed a multi-site RCT of a CBT weight loss program for adults with obesity and their support people, as senior investigator on an RCT entailing a CBT program augmented by text-message support for adults with obesity, and as an investigator on a project supported by an Australian Rotary Health grant investigating a weight loss and body image enhancement program for young women with obesity. She is also the editor of the first Australian undergraduate textbook on abnormal psychology that was instigated to promote research-based teaching in psychology programs throughout Australia; it is currently in its fourth edition (Rieger, E. [2017]. Abnormal Psychology: Leading Researcher Perspectives. Sydney: McGraw-Hill) and was awarded Winner of the Best Tertiary Student Resource Award at the 2015 Educational Publishing Awards. She is senior editor for the Journal of Eating Disorders, and a member of the Eating Disorders Research Society and the Australia and New Zealand Academy for Eating Disorders.

Ullrich Ecker, PhD Associate Professor Director, Community and Engagement School of Psychological Science University of Western Australia +61 (0)8 6488 3257 www.uwa.edu.au/people/ullrich.ecker www.cogsciwa.com @UlliEcker @UWApsych ‏

 November 2017
Friday 03
12:00 - EVENT - Bayliss Seminar Series : Polymer/Graphene-based Nanoparticles: Synthesis via Heterogeneous Polymerization  More Information

14:45 - CANCELLED - FREE LECTURE - Public Event: His Excellency Dr Mari Alkatiri GCIH, Prime Minister of Timor-Leste: Future of Timor-Leste in the 21st Century : It is our pleasure to invite you to a keynote address delivered by Timor-Leste's newly appointed Prime Minister, His Excellency Dr Mari Alkatiri GCIH, to explore his vision for the future of Timor-Leste in the 21st century. Website | More Information
Unfortunately this event has been cancelled.


Situated less than an hour away from Australia's northern shores, Timor-Leste is Southeast Asia's youngest democracy and has a burgeoning youth population who are looking beyond Timor-Leste to engage with the world around them, including Australia. Dr Alkatiri will explore his vision for the future of Timor-Leste in the context of the 21st century and how Australia can play a role in Timor-Leste's future prosperity and its engagement with the Indo-Pacific region in the coming years. We look forward to welcoming you then, Perth USAsia Centre
Monday 06
14:25 - CONFERENCE - Global Timber Conference 2017 Website | More Information
The 2nd edition of Global Timber Conference is designed to provide a conduit to the timber and furniture industry to converge annually; to discuss issues and strategies for a sustainable future of the timber sector.
Tuesday 14
12:00 - SEMINAR - Bayliss Seminar Series : Emergence of chromatin architecture during early embryogenesys More Information

17:15 - FREE LECTURE - Perth USAsia Centre - Public Presentation with Professor Simon Jackman : Trump 365 - The Inaugural Presidential Assessment Website | More Information
We invite you to join us for our last public event for 2017 featuring Professor Simon Jackman, CEO of the United States Studies Centre (USSC) in Sydney who will analyse the first year of the divisive presidency of Donald J. Trump. When President Trump first took office, illegal immigration, the labor market and healthcare were key objectives of his administration. Since taking office President Trump has signed 49 Executive Orders. The last American President to sign this many executive orders through to 13 October in his first year of office was Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964. A number of questions remain: Despite signing a plethora of executive orders, how effective has the 45th President actually been? How far can he push the Republican Party? Does he still have significant support from those who voted for him in the primaries and the election? Join us to hear Professor Simon Jackman answer these and other questions. Please register your attendance and we look forward to seeing you then. Perth USAsia Centre
Thursday 16
8:45 - CONFERENCE - 2017 Australian Institute of Physics WA Postgraduate Conference Website | More Information
This year's Australian Institute of Physics WA postgraduate student conference will be held at the University of Western Australia on Thursday November 16. Morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea will be provided. For detailed information, go to bit.ly/2xtfA0G. Register at bit.ly/2ytIPQk.

- All PhD, Masters and Honours students at WA institutions are invited to present their research on the day by giving a 10-12 minute talk. We are currently receiving abstracts, which can be sent to Philipp at [email protected] until the 31st of October. See more information about abstracts below. Register through the 2017 Conference eventbrite page.

- 3rd year physics students conducting research are invited to present their work via poster presentation. The specifics will depend on the number of abstract submissions. Third years need only register their interest by emailing [email protected] before the 31st of October.

In the event of a large number of abstracts being submitted, some talks may be assigned to a session of 3-minute-thesis style presentations. In this way, we hope to be able to give the majority of students the opportunity to present.

This year the 2017 WA Postgraduate Conference will be held on the same day as the AIP AGM and annual dinner at the University Club of UWA. All conference participants and guests are welcome to register for both the AGM and dinner as well (register at bit.ly/2gmDgMU).
Friday 24
12:00 - SEMINAR - Bayliss Seminar Series : Mapping and exploiting functional variation in crop genomes More Information

17:30 - SEMINAR - UWA Seminar in Science in HCMC, Vietnam : Explore your opportunities at UWA, include our scholarships for Vietnamese students from UG to PG levels. Website | More Information
This is a great chance for all students to meet and discuss with UWA's Regional Manager, Ms Trinh Ngo and UWA Faculty of Science's International Development Manager, Ms Annabel Turner to explore their opportunities at UWA, include our scholarships for Vietnamese students from UG to PG levels.

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