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Articles categorized as ‘University of Melbourne Science Programs’

Wednesday, October 12th, 2016

University of Melbourne ahead again in world rankings

The University of Melbourne has recorded a significant achievement by moving up one place to 31 in the 2016 Performance of Scientific Papers for World Universities released Oct. 11 by National Taiwan University (NTU).

University of Melbourne ahead again in world rankings

Study at the University of Melbourne

Once again, the University of Melbourne is also the highest-placed Australian university in the rankings of nearly 500 universities worldwide.

Formerly known as the HEEACT Ranking, the program provides annual performance rankings of universities around the world based on their production and impact of scientific papers.

The rankings reflect three major research performance criteria: productivity, impact and excellence.

University of Melbourne Vice-Chancellor Professor Glyn Davis welcomed the NTU rankings as “pleasing” especially since they came after a number of positive rankings for the University internationally in 2016.

“That the result also show a noticeable improvement in ten of our disciplines that are captured in these rankings is also good news, and a testament to the breadth and depth of our research and teaching commitments at Melbourne.”


Discover more about science degrees at the University of Melbourne. Contact OzTREKK Admissions Officer Shannon Tilston for more information at shannon@oztrekk.com.

Wednesday, June 15th, 2016

Climate change likely to turn up heat on koalas

A changing climate means that by 2070 koalas may no longer call large parts of inland Australia home, researchers have found.

Using a detailed ecological model, the University of Melbourne study shows hotter temperatures and altered rainfall patterns will make it much more difficult for koalas to get the water they need—making inland populations vulnerable to heat-stress.

Climate change likely to turn up heat on koalas

Koalas will not be able to find all the water they need to survive under climate change, research suggests

The researchers mapped potential koala habitats in 2070 by using information about koala behaviour, physiology, body size, and fur to predict how much energy and water koalas need to survive under the climate at a particular location. They found that the climatically suitable area dramatically reduced by 2070, particularly in Queensland. The koala’s range across Australia was limited by water requirements for keeping cool, with the timing of rainfall and heat waves being crucial in limiting the koala in the warmer parts of its range.

Lead author of the study Dr Natalie Briscoe from the Melbourne School of Biosciences, University of Melbourne says that the findings could help our ability to forecast future impacts of climate change on biodiversity.

“Studies of climate change impacts on wildlife have often focused on how changes in average temperature or rainfall will affect species, but our research highlights the importance of thinking about the extreme conditions that will be most stressful for the animals—such as hot, dry periods—and how these may change in the future.

“By developing a better understanding of what controls species distributions now, we are much better placed to forecast how these may shift in the future” says Dr Briscoe.

Dr Brendan Wintle, Deputy Director of the National Environmental Science Programme’s Threatened Species Recovery Hub, and a co-author of the study, says describing where koalas and other threatened species find refuge from changing climate and other threats such as cats and foxes allows efficient focus of conservation efforts and limited conservation funding.

To build the ecological model the team compiled data on how koalas behave under different weather conditions, measured characteristics such as fur depth and body size from across the koala’s range, and collated detailed data on koala physiology. They could then predict the koalas’ habitat from a climatic point of view based only on their water and energy requirements, assuming that eucalyptus trees were available everywhere.

The team also used models that correlate known koala locations with the climatic conditions of the recent past—the approach most commonly used to predict climate change impacts on wildlife, but one which could be misleading when projected to the future.

They found that both kinds of models made accurate predictions of the koala’s current range and agreed that koalas will disappear from much of the drier, hotter parts of their range.

“There is a lot of uncertainty when predicting the impacts of climate change on species, particularly when climate change leads to novel weather patterns. Comparing predictions from different models allows us to more confidently predict the location of havens where koalas could survive in the future” says Dr Briscoe.

The Threatened Species Recovery Hub brings together Australia’s leading conservation scientists to help develop better management and policy for conserving Australia’s threatened species.

It is supported by the Australian Government ’s National Environmental Science Programme, a long-term commitment to support environmental and climate research.


Are you interested in studying climate change and other environmental sciences? Email OzTREKK Australian Environmental Sciences Admissions Officer Shannon Tilston at shannon@oztrekk.com.

Tuesday, March 15th, 2016

Introducing the five new “Drowned Apostles”

Australia’s iconic tourist attraction, the Twelve Apostles, has received an unlikely boost in numbers with the discovery of five extra limestone columns hidden way below the water.

The never-before-seen sea stacks, located 6km offshore from the Great Ocean Road and 50m beneath the water’s surface, were revealed during sonar mapping of the seafloor off Victoria’s southern coast.

University of Melbourne Science degrees

The Twelve Apostles are now five more, after a surprising geological discovery of similar sea stacks underwater just a few kilometres away (Image: University of Melbourne)

Scientists are dubbing them the “Drowned Apostles.”

While the Drowned Apostles are smaller in both size and number than their more famous cousins, their existence alone is remarkable given their defiance of normal erosion rates.

It is understood to be the first time such limestone stacks have been found preserved in the ocean.

The discovery was made by PhD student Rhiannon Bezore, Associate Professor David Kennedy from the Melbourne School of Geography and Deakin University’s Dr Daniel Ierodiaconou, who provided the high-resolution sonar data.

“Sea stacks are always eroding, as we saw with the one that collapsed in 2005, so it is hugely surprising that any could be preserved at that depth of water,” Associate Professor Kennedy said.

“They should have collapsed and eroded as the sea level rose.”

University of Melbourne Science degrees

The Twelve Apostles

Like the Twelve Apostles, the newest additions would have once been part of larger limestone sea cliff.

Ms Bezore, who made the initial discovery in the sonar data, said they probably date back 60,000 years.

“We had to check what we were seeing because no one has seen stacks submerged at this sea level before,” she said.

Only a very fine balance can create sea stacks, with rock needing to be soft enough to erode quickly from a cliff but hard enough to support a rocky pillar, Dr Ierodiaconou said.

Dr Ierodiaconou’s sonar data was collected using the latest advances in multi-beam sonar technology and the team are continuing to fill important knowledge gaps aboard Deakin’s $650,000 research vessel, Yolla.

The data is part of a project to map the reef estate in Victoria which supports commercial fisheries for southern rock lobster and abalone.

“We are only just starting to understand the biodiversity value of these deep reefs which harbour diverse invertebrate communities, many unknown to science,” he said.

Ms Bezore presented the paper at the International Coastal Symposium in Coogee, Sydney on March 10.

The findings have been published in the US-based Journal of Coastal Research.

A visit to the site by Victorian technical divers has provided photos of the beauty of these deep reef communities.

Melbourne School of Geography

The Melbourne School of Geography is embarking on an exciting period of growth. This follows its move into the Science Faculty at the start of 2015, and the recognition there of the importance of Geography’s capacity to work in and across both the social and natural sciences.

At Melbourne you can undertake a Geography major as part of a Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Environments. These lead  on to various Masters and PhD programs and a diversity of career opportunities.


Would you like more information about science degrees at the University of Melbourne? Contact OzTREKK Admissions Officer Shannon Tilston for more information at shannon@oztrekk.com.

Thursday, January 14th, 2016

Twenty new freshwater fish species uncovered in the Kimberley

Researchers have discovered a record 20 new fish species while conducting fieldwork in the remote Kimberley, unveiling it as Australia’s most biodiverse region for freshwater fish.

University of Melbourne sciences

University of Melbourne researchers conducting fieldwork in the Kimberley (Photo credit: University of Melbourne)

It is the single greatest addition to the country’s freshwater fish inventory since records began and boosts the total number of known species in Australia by almost 10 per cent.

The research team included Associate Professor Tim Dempster, Professor Stephen Swearer, James Shelley, Matthew Le Feuvre (University of Melbourne), Dr Martin Gomon (Museum Victoria) and Dr Michael Hammer (NT Museum).

Team leader Dr Tim Dempster, from the University of Melbourne School of Biosciences, says the discovery highlights the hidden wealth of biodiversity within the Kimberley.

“The freshwater ecosystems of the Kimberley are among the poorest known and least researched areas of Australia,” Dr Dempster said.

“If we can double the number of known fish species unique to the Kimberley in just three years, it can only mean the entire biodiversity of life in Kimberley rivers is underestimated.

“Certainly, it is a treasure trove for freshwater fish, and the amazing thing is that we weren’t even looking for it.”

Dr Dempster’s researchers were in the Kimberley to study the extinction risks for the region’s existing freshwater fish, results of which have just been published in the journal Global Ecology and Biogeography.

Lead author of the paper, Matthew Le Feuvre, said, “Many of the 18 known and 20 newly discovered species unique to the Kimberley share similar characteristics with fish species elsewhere in Australia that are conservation listed as vulnerable, threatened or endangered.

“However, currently no fish species in the Kimberley are conservation-listed, despite their potential vulnerability.”

The new species were discovered during nine months of fieldwork across 17 Kimberley rivers between 2012 and 2014.

Twelve of the 20 species were discovered within a three-week period in 2013 by James Shelley and Matthew Le Feuvre when they accessed some of the most remote rivers in Australia by helicopter.

Sampling was challenging, with Mr Shelley attacked by a freshwater crocodile while snorkeling in the Glenelg river on the Kimberley plateau.

The new species fall within three categories:

  1. Terapontidae (grunters) 16 new species
  2. Eleotridae (gudgeons) three new species
  3. Atherinidae (hardy heads) one new species

One of the new species—a 25cm-long grunter found in the remote and spectacular Prince Regent River—is set to be named after writer and novelist Tim Winton.

“It’s in recognition of his contribution to Australia’s cultural life, his love of fish which shines through in many of his novels, and his staunch advocacy for conservation in the Kimberley,” Mr Shelley said.

Mr Winton said it was “surprisingly gratifying” to have his name attached to a new species of fish.

“The Kimberley is a treasure that clearly requires more study and greater protection and groundbreaking discoveries like these underline just how much there is still to learn about this special region,” Mr Winton said.

All the remaining new species will receive a common name reflecting the aboriginal name for the area it was collected from or words describing its features, as well as a Latin scientific name.

The research team hopes the discovery strengthens conservation efforts in the Kimberley.

“Fish are just the tip of the iceberg,” he said. “This discovery has major implications for conservation, particularly in light of the Federal Government’s moves to modify water resources in northern Australia.

“A lot of these new fish species are unique to just one catchment, so they’re particularly vulnerable if there is a change to their limited habitat.”

The University of Melbourne and Dr Dempster are in the process of creating a conservation fund that would aim to protect Australia’s 220-plus freshwater fish and other marine fauna.

It is hoped the fund will be formally established later this month.


Would you like more information about science degrees at the University of Melbourne? Contact OzTREKK Admissions Officer Shannon Tilston for more information at shannon@oztrekk.com or call toll free in Canada at 1-866-698-7355.

Tuesday, December 8th, 2015

University of Melbourne scientists recognised with awards

A scientist working to develop a one-shot-for-life flu vaccine and a renowned environmental scientist have been awarded prestigious Australian Academy of Science medals.

University of Melbourne science degrees

Associate Professor Katherine Kedzierska and Dr Jane Elith will receive the prestigious Academy of Science medals for 2016 (Photo credit: University of Melbourne)

University of Melbourne immunologist Associate Professor Katherine Kedzierska, from the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at The Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, won the 2016 Jacques Miller Medal for experimental biomedicine.

Associate Professor Kedzierska researches immune responses to virus outbreaks, including influenza, with a particular focus on how best to protect vulnerable and high-risk groups.

Her cutting-edge work could lead to the development of a one-shot flu jab for life.

Professor Sharon Lewin, Director of the Doherty Institute, said Associate Professor Kedzierska’s outstanding translational research was integral to the work of the organisation.

“Katherine is such a deserving recipient of the Jacques Miller Medal and I congratulate her on this outstanding achievement. Earlier this year she made headlines for her research identifying ‘killer’ CD8+ T cells as the best way to protect against a new strain of avian influenza virus emerging from China, a major breakthrough in the search for universal flu vaccine.

“I am also very excited to see these two medals being awarded to two outstanding female scientists.” Professor Fabienne Mackay, Head of the School of Biomedical Sciences, said this is only the second time the Jacques Miller Medal for Experimental Biomedicine has been awarded.

“We are very proud of Katherine for such an incredible achievement. The honour is a testament to the capability within the university’s biomedical department and the Doherty Institute for producing ground-breaking research with the potential to make a real global impact.”

Dr Jane Elith, who recently won the Prime Minister’s Prize for Science, was awarded the Fenner Medal. Dr Elith from the Melbourne Faculty of Science, has become one of the world’s most influential researchers in applied ecology.

She uses new tools to understand species distribution in the wild, helping to better inform environmental managers and governments on invasive species, land-use and improving biodiversity.

Dean of Science at the University of Melbourne Professor Karen Day said Dr Elith was blazing a trail for women in the disciplines of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).

“She is an outstanding conservation biologist and a wonderful role model for women in STEM,” Prof Day said.

“Her work exemplifies the power of combining mathematics and biology to provide innovative solutions to environmental problems.” The Academy President, Professor Andrew Holmes called the women ‘inspirational.’

“These scientists are simply inspirational. They are working at the leading edges of their fields and of human knowledge, and they are developing innovations that will change and improve our society, our economy and our health,” Professor Holmes said.

The awards will be formally presented at the Academy’s annual three-day celebration of Australian science, Science at the Shine Dome, in Canberra in May 2016.


Interested in science programs at the University of Melbourne? Call OzTREKK toll free in Canada at 1-866-698-7355.

Friday, November 6th, 2015

University of Melbourne environmental scientist receives award

Dr Jane Elith has been awarded the 2015 Frank Fenner Prize for Life Scientist of the Year, one of the six awards in the annual Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science.

University of Melbourne Environmental Sciences

Dr Elith (Photo credit: University of Melbourne)

Dr Elith is an Australian Research Council Future Fellow at the University of Melbourne School of Biosciences and a member of the Centre of Excellence for Bioscecurity Risk Analysis (CEBRA).

The award recognises her contributions to environmental management worldwide including the development and assessment of methods for tracking and predicting invasive species that attack Australian crops and natural environments.

These species distribution models have been used by governments, land and catchment managers and conservationists around the world to help map the spread of cane toads, and compare the implications of development options in the Tiwi Islands for threatened plants and animals that have largely disappeared from the mainland.

Dr Elith says the field is is a niche that fits her well.

“I’ve ended up in an area which links my interest in nature and my liking for data and models,” she added.

“The Atlas of Living Australia database has 50 million species records. But we know that there are issues with that data. It wasn’t collected for modelling. Most of the records are close to roads and towns, for instance, or clustered in the favourite national parks of field biologists. The models need to deal with those sorts of biases.”

Dr Elith collaborates with the world’s foremost statisticians, computer scientists and ecologists to puzzle out how to extract useful information from data and combine and relate it to measurements and estimates of characteristics of the environment.

She then passes on what she has learned to environmental managers and decision makers in the form of guides and tools to using different techniques of modelling species distribution, and the suitability and drawbacks of each one.

Dr Elith explains she uses statistical models to describe the patterns of species we see, where and how frequently they occur in the environments they encounter.

Her guides are some of the most highly referenced environmental publications in the world. In nearly two-thirds of papers that cite her work, at least one of the scientists is from a government land management agency or private environmental consulting company.

Recognized as one of the most influential environmental scientists in the world, in the field of environment and ecology she is the 11th most cited author worldwide over the past 10 years, and is the only Australian woman on the highly cited list, according to the information company Thomson Reuters.


Are you interested in environmental sciences? Find out more about studying at the University of Melbourne! Contact OzTREKK Australian Environmental Sciences Admissions Officer Rachel Brady at rachel@oztrekk.com.

Tuesday, October 6th, 2015

Melbourne studies how smog affects the lungs

Coughing. A sore throat. Maybe a pain in your chest as you take a deep breath?

These are all common symptoms for many city-living Australians when smog levels are high. And while it is well understood that smog can cause such problems, new research has for the first time given us a glimpse as to what might be happening at the molecular level.

University of Melbourne sciences

Study science at the University of Melbourne

The University of Melbourne’s Professor Richard O’Hair, from the Melbourne School of Chemistry’s Bio21 Institute, in collaboration with Professor Stephen Blanksby (from the Queensland University of Technology and formerly the University of Wollongong) co-authored a study examining how ozone reacts with models of lung proteins.

Smog is made up of ozone, an invisible gas and a well-known air pollutant made up of three oxygen atoms. Ozone is also the pollutant that leaves a distinctive smell in the air after using a photocopier.

Using a mass spectrometer, the research team was able to introduce the amino acid cysteine—a component of lung proteins—with ozone molecules in a highly controlled, near-vacuum environment.

The effect was instant, or in scientific terms, close to the “collision rate.”

“We observed that the cysteine became ‘radicalised’ in the presence of ozone,” said Professor O’Hair.

“No one had really noticed that you can form free radicals in the reaction of proteins with ozone, and since these are highly reactive species, you don’t want them around.

“Free radicals can unleash fury and cause many chemical transformations.

“If they get out of control, they can just chew through a system and destroy it. For example, free radical damage is thought to play a key role in heart disease and some cancers.

“So when free radicals are formed in the body, such as the lining of the lung, damage occurs, that may ultimately result in inflammation and breathing difficulties.”

The research pushes forward the understanding of the molecular effect of ozone on proteins. But because the tests were conducted in an artificial environment, more work needs to be done to confirm the creation of protein free radicals in lungs and link their effects on human lung physiology.

Professor O’Hair hopes the research inspires fellow scientists to build on the findings.

Associated research will be of the most benefit to those with asthma, other respiratory illnesses or the young and the elderly who are most susceptible to smog.

“If there is free radical damage to lung proteins, it’s unlikely to be reversible, so you won’t be able to design a magic-bullet drug to undo the damage,” Professor O’Hair said.

“Ozone is the result of pollution. So the message has to go out that we need to be proactive on reducing smog levels and pollution.”

The work was funded by the Australian Research Council Centre for Excellence in Free Radical Chemistry and Biotechnology.

The results have just been published in leading chemistry journal, Angewandte Chemie (Applied Chemistry) International Edition.

Melbourne School of Chemistry

Chemistry is the science describing matter and its transformations. It is the science that defines molecules, nanostructures, and extended solids, and their properties, reactions and applications. This empowering science is central to virtually all areas of modern science and technology, especially the new, exciting inter- and multi-disciplinary areas of molecular genetics, molecular biology, nanotechnology, medicinal chemistry, drug design and development, and green (environmentally sustainable) chemistry/industry.

Master of Science at the University of Melbourne

The Master of Science is run through the Melbourne Graduate School. A distinctive suite of programs designed to provide options in advanced research training, specialised coursework studies and professional skills development.

Designed in consultation with national and international educators, as well as government and industry employers, the Master of Science prepares students for a career in industry and research. It is also a foundation for entry into the Master of Philosophy (MPhil) or Doctor of Philosophy (PhD).


Would you like more information about science degrees at the University of Melbourne? Contact OzTREKK Admissions Officer Rachel Brady for more information at rachel@oztrekk.com or call toll free in Canada at 1-866-698-7355.

Thursday, August 13th, 2015

Shapes, lines and movements are in the eye of the beholder

New thinking about how we perceive shapes, lines and movement suggests this information is first deciphered in the retina of the eye, rather than within the brain’s visual cortex as previously thought.

Learning more about the circuitry of the sensory systems is essential to making medical advancements in the treatment of conditions such as dyslexia and schizophrenia or even to develop the next generation bionic eyes.

University of Melbourne Optometry School

Learn more about optometry at the University of Melbourne

A new paper in Trends in Neurosciences, authored by University of Melbourne neuroscientist Professor Trichur Vidyasagar at the Department of Optometry and Vision Sciences and Professor Ulf Eysel from Ruhr-University-Bochum in Germany suggests we process orientation and movement of objects in the same way we process their colours.

The vast majority of information about the world around us is processed in the visual cortex of the brain, but it has long been known that colour is a different case.

Colour perception is initially processed in the eye itself by three types of receptors within the cone cells of the retina that are sensitive to blue, green and red.

Information sent from the cone cells is measured by the brain’s primary visual cortex as a ratio of the activity of the three cone types. Every perceived colour has thus, a unique ‘ratio’.

“Our sensory world of colour is first painted by only three primary pigments rather than drawn with hundreds of different coloured pencils, which is a very efficient way of processing” Prof Vidyasagar explains.

“But we have found that the way colour is processed may not be unique to colour perception, but may also apply to perception of most sensory stimuli.

“When we observe that the orientation of a line or an edge is vertical, horizontal or oblique, or that one object is larger or darker than another, or how fast an object is moving, our nervous system uses the same simplifying and combining principles as it does when perceiving colours.

“The mechanisms for registering, for example, a line’s orientation, are already in the retina in a coarse form. And just like colour, the visual cortex is only required to sharpen these signals.”

The new theory is at odds with the dominant school of thought that sensitivity to lines and edges is first developed only in the brain’s cortex.

University of Melbourne Doctor of Optometry (OD)

The Doctor of Optometry is four years in duration, and consists of a combination of on-campus teaching and clinical placements, with the clinical component commencing in Year 1 and gradually increasing to full time in the final year. Opportunities exist for clinical-related research to be conducted as a required component of the degree.

Program: Doctor of Optometry (OD)
Location: Melbourne, Victoria
Semester intake: Late February / early March
Duration: 4 years
Application deadline: September 30, 2015

Entry Requirements

The Melbourne Doctor of Optometry is available only to those applicants who have successfully completed an undergraduate degree or are in the final year of completing an undergraduate degree.

To be considered for admission into this program, a Canadian applicant must comply with the following:

1. Have completed an undergraduate degree and prerequisite subjects:
Successfully completed at least a three-year bachelor’s degree, which includes

  • one university second-year or third-year subject in anatomy or cell biology; and
  • two university second-year or third-year subjects from one or more relevant biological science disciplines.

2. Write the OAT:
Applicants will be required to complete an admissions test, either the Optometry Admission Test (OAT), the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), or or the Graduate Australian Medical School Admissions Test (GAMSAT). OAT test result is valid for two years.

3. Submit a personal statement:
Applicants must provide a written statement (maximum 500 words) in support of the application explaining your motivation to study optometry.

There is no minimum GPA or GAMSAT/MCAT/OAT requirement to apply for the program; however, as there are limited places available, selection is highly competitive.

The university may conduct interviews via Skype with short-listed candidates.

Apply to the Melbourne Optometry School!


Find out more about the Melbourne Doctor of Optometry program. Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Optometry Schools Admissions Officer Rachel Brady at rachel@oztrekk.com or 1-866-698-7355.

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

University of Melbourne welcomes $2m for proton beam therapy development

The University of Melbourne has welcomed a $2-million investment by the State government in the budget to help plan and develop a National Centre for Proton Beam Therapy (PBT) as part of the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre (VCCC).

The project will be undertaken in conjunction with the university and the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre.

University of Melbourne Medical School

Learn more about Melbourne Medical School

Proton beam therapy is a cancer treatment that offers significant benefits to patients, particularly children, as it causes less side effects than other forms of radiation treatment and results in less damage to the healthy tissue surrounding a tumour.

There are presently no proton therapy facilities in Australia or South East Asia, and approximately 50 PBT centres globally. The presence of a facility in Victoria will not only benefit Victorians but also offer opportunities for research into cancer therapies and training of clinicians.

Acting Vice-Chancellor Professor Margaret Sheil said the project is a great initiative for Victoria.  “This Centre will draw on the existing strengths of the Melbourne biomedical precinct, and the expertise located at the university’s Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences and the Faculty of Science.

“The university welcomes the opportunity to be part of this project, that builds on our already strong record in cancer research and medical training, and will help ensure Victoria continues to lead the way in developing advanced treatments in the fight against cancer.”

The Centre will bring together experts in research and cancer treatment from both the University of Melbourne and the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre.  The $2-million commitment will allow work to begin on developing a business case for the Centre and determine the most appropriate location and machine.

Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences Professor Stephen Smith said, “This announcement is an excellent recognition of the work that needs to be done in this area.”

“As a member of the VCCC we’re looking forward to working with our partners on further developing improved clinical treatments for patients.”

About the Melbourne Doctor of Medicine Program

Program: Doctor of Medicine (MD)
Location: Melbourne, Victoria
Semester intake: February
Duration: 4 years
Application deadline: June 22, 2015 (Melbourne time).  NOTE: All Melbourne MD application documents must be received by Friday, June 19, 2015 in order for your complete application to be submitted on time.

The Melbourne MD is a four-year, graduate-entry medical program that builds on the university’s reputation for excellence in teaching and research. It enables students to become outstanding medical practitioners who will excel as world-class leaders in their chosen field.

Entry Requirements for the Melbourne MD Program

To apply to the Melbourne MD, eligible Canadian applicants must have

  • successfully completed an undergraduate degree in any discipline at a recognized university;
  • completed prerequisite second-year university subjects (one each) in anatomy, physiology and biochemistry. Subjects from overseas universities will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  • completed the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) or the Graduate Australian Medical School Admission Test (GAMSAT); and
  • received an invitation by the University of Melbourne to sit a multi-mini interview (MMI).

The selection of eligible international applicants, including Canadians, will be based on the following:

  • Academic record: grade point average (GPA) from a completed three-year (or more) university degree in any discipline (with prerequisites met and studies completed within the last 10 years)
  • Test results in an aptitude test, MCAT or GAMSAT: MCAT test results from January 2013 to May 2015 (inclusive) will be accepted for those applying for the 2016 intake. Applicants sitting the MCAT test more than once within this date range may choose which set of scores to include with their application
  • Structured multi-mini interview (MMI)

Apply to Melbourne Medical School!


Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Medical Schools Admissions Officer Sarah Bridson for more information about how to apply to Melbourne Medical School. Email Sarah at sarah@oztrekk.com or call toll free in Canada at 1-866-698-7355.

Thursday, March 19th, 2015

Melbourne researcher named L’Oréal Women in Science Rising Talent

In a ceremony held in Paris on March 19, University of Melbourne biochemist and molecular biologist, Dr Kathryn Holt was named one of 15 Rising Talents for L’Oréal Women in Science for 2015.

Dr Holt was recognised for her innovative methods in detecting the presence and impact of drug resistant bacteria in hospitals. Her work in this field began when researching typhoid in Nepal.

University of Melbourne science programs

Study science at the University of Melbourne

She found that the tropical disease didn’t always arise from the same source even within a small community, indicating that community members could be carrying the disease from multiple sources.

In hospital settings, Dr Holt is studying whether patients in intensive care are carrying drug resistant strains of bacteria when they arrive in hospital.

Screening incoming patients for existing infections could change the way the patient is treated and reduce the number of instances of untreatable infections in hospitals.

This research was funded by a L’Oréal Women in Science Fellowship grant which she received in 2013.

Dr Holt and her colleagues have based their computational lab at The Bio21 Institute, working closely with other researchers in Australia and internationally.

Professor Leann Tilley, Deputy Head of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Melbourne Bio21 Institute said Dr Holt is an inspiration to graduate research students and aspiring future research leaders.

“Dr Holt is emerging as one of Australia’s research stars,” she said.

“She is leading the development of computational biology and bioinformatics in Australia—the science of the future,” Professor Tilley said.

Professor Stephen Smith, Dean of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences pointed to Dr Holt as an example of the exceptional scientific talent present in the biomedical precinct.

“She is collaborating with multiple affiliates towards a common goal of better health outcomes for patients,” he said.

“Dr Holt is working towards real and practical improvement for the care of patients and hospital staff.”

University of Melbourne Vice Chancellor Glyn Davis said engaging more women in science and technology is a priority for the University of Melbourne.

“We are excited by the work of individuals who challenge assumptions and chart new directions in public health and epidemiology. Dr Holt will inspire more young women to participate in science,” he said.

University of Melbourne Bio21 Molecular Science and Biotechnology Institute

The University of Melbourne‘s $140m Bio21 Molecular Science and Biotechnology Institute (Bio21 Institute) is a multidisciplinary research centre, specialising in medical, agricultural and environmental biotechnology.

Opened in 2005, the Bio21 Institute improves human health and the environment through innovation in biotechnology and related areas, driven by multidisciplinary research and dynamic interactions with industry.

The Institute embraces commercialisation as a facilitator of innovation, skills development and economic outcomes. A key driver of innovation is the Institute’s commitment to intellectual property protection, technology transfer and business incubation.

Accommodating more than 500 research scientists, students and industry participants, the Bio21 Institute is one of the largest biotechnology research centres in Australia.

The Bio21 Institute is the flagship of the Bio21 Cluster project, which includes 21 member institutions recognised for research excellence and translational outcomes in medical and biomedical science and biotechnology.


Interested in science programs at the University of Melbourne? Contact OzTREKK for more information about studying science at Australian universities. Call toll free in Canada at 1-866-698-7355 or email OzTREKK Australian Science Programs Admissions Officer Rachel Brady at rachel@oztrekk.com.