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Posts Tagged ‘Monash research’

Tuesday, November 15th, 2016

Monash University secures highest funding of $47.9m in research grants

Monash University has been awarded $47.9 million in the latest round of Australian Research Council (ARC) funding, the highest amount awarded to any university.

Monash achieved the highest funding for 18 ARC Future Fellowships of $13 million, and for five Linkage, Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities (LIEF) projects for which it was awarded $3.4 million.

Monash University secures highest funding of $47.9m in ARC grants

Study science and engineering at Monash University!

In addition, Monash achieved $7.5 million for 21 Discovery Early Career Researcher Awards (DECRA) and $24 million for 62 Discovery Projects.

The ARC funding will support a diverse range of research projects from enhancing a state-of-the-art microscope facility to analyse the atomic level structure of the natural world and advanced materials; understanding the role of mitochondria—the power generators of cells—in evolutionary adaptation; to developing a satellite that can measure moisture levels in soil more deeply than previously possible.

Announced by the Minister for Education and Training, Senator the Hon. Simon Birmingham, Monash was awarded funding by the ARC for work on 106 Projects across eight faculties and the Monash Indigenous Centre.

Monash University Vice-Provost (Research) Professor Pauline Nestor said Monash had achieved an outstanding result in the ARC grants, and it reflected the university’s high impact research work.

“These awards reflect the extremely high calibre of our research staff who are leading the way in delivering high impact outcomes to address the challenges facing the planet and impacting people’s quality of life,” Professor Nestor said.

Professor Joanne Etheridge, Director of the Monash Centre for Electron Microscopy and Professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, led one of the largest Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities (LIEF) awards for Australia this year. Professor Etheridge’s $1.8 million grant will deliver a revolutionary microscope to analyse the structure matter at the atomic level, building upon the outstanding research capability of the Monash Centre for Electron Microscopy.

Professor Jeffrey Walker from the Monash Faculty of Engineering receives the largest Discovery Projects grant given to a Monash researcher this year of $923,500. Professor Walker’s five-year project will develop a new satellite that can remotely measure soil moisture to deeper levels than previously possible, giving farmers the data needed to optimise their available water resources and maximise food production.

Dr Damian Dowling from the Monash Faculty of Science was awarded an $805,008 ARC Future Fellowship. His project aims to discover if the genetic variation in mitochondria—the power generator of cells—contributes to evolutionary adaptation, and could reveal the role of mitochondria in adaptation to climatic stress.


Want to learn more about engineering and science programs available at Monash University? Contact OzTREKK Admissions Officer Shannon Tilston at shannon@oztrekk.com!

Wednesday, April 20th, 2016

Ancient burial ground discovered at the Plain of Jars

Researchers are a step closer to unravelling one of the great prehistoric puzzles of South East Asia, after discovering an ancient burial ground, including human remains, at the Plain of Jars in central Laos.

The discoveries were made during excavations conducted in February 2016 and led by a team of Australian and Lao researchers including Dr Louise Shewan from the Monash University Warwick Alliance and Centre for Archaeology and Ancient History, Dr Dougald O’Reilly from the Australian National University and Dr Thonglith Luangkhoth of the Lao Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism.

 Monash University

Researchers at the Laos site (Photo: Monash University)

The fieldwork is part of a five-year project funded by the Australian Research Council aimed at uncovering the mysteries surrounding the 90-plus jar sites, including who made the jars, what they were used for, and how the sites came into existence.

The sites, located in the central Lao province of Xieng Khouang, comprise large carved stone jars of varying sizes—some as big as two metres in diameter and three metres high. Initially brought to the attention of science by French researcher Madeleine Colani in the 1930s, the sites have remained largely unstudied due to the huge quantity of unexploded bombs in the area—the result of heavy bombing during the ‘Secret War’ in Laos in the 1970s.

The recent excavations—the first major excavations in nearly two decades—uncovered an ancient burial ground in an area known as ‘Site 1,’ and revealed various burial methods including the internment of whole bodies, the burying of bundled bones and bundled bones placed inside ceramic vessels and then buried.

Dr Shewan, who is analysing teeth found at the burial ground, says the project has the potential to ascertain who these people were and where they lived.

“My research involves the measurement of strontium isotopes in human dental enamel to shed light on the home environment of the individual,” Dr Shewan says. “Teeth mineralise at different ages, so by analsying different teeth we are able to ascertain where an individual lived during their childhood.”

The results of the project will be showcased in the CAVE2 facility with support from the Monash Immersive Visualisation Platform.

“To visualise all our research findings, including excavation data, remote sensing data and drone imagery in the CAVE2 environment is going to greatly assist our analysis and interpretation and provides a unique opportunity to conduct ‘virtual fieldwork’ in areas that are inaccessible by foot. From the drone imagery we may also be able to identify potential occupation areas. At present there are no known occupation sites. No one knows where these people lived,” Dr Shewan said.

The research will assist the Lao government in their bid to have the jar sites nominated for UNESCO World Heritage status.


Find out more about studying Archaeology and Ancient History at Monash University!

Monday, January 11th, 2016

Monash leads the way in Australian Research Council Future Fellowships

Eight Monash University researchers have been awarded Australian Research Council (ARC) Future Fellowships, providing $6.1m in funding to support their research. This is the strongest performance of any Australian university. The prestigious four-year fellowships are aimed at increasing research activity in areas of national significance. Special consideration is given to applicants with demonstrated ability to collaborate with industry and other research institutions.

Monash University, Australia

Monash leads the way in Australian Research Council Future Fellowships (Image credit: Monash University)

The Monash fellows include Dr Michelle Dunstone (Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology), who is researching the Membrane Attack Complex (MAC). MAC is a large hole-punching protein complex used by the human immune system to target invasive bacteria and parasites. Dr Dunstone’s research aims to explore how the MAC inserts into cells in real time.

Dr Keyne Monro’s (Monash School of Biological Sciences) research aims to determine whether evolutionary responses can protect marine populations against environmental changes.

The focus of Dr Juile Kalman (School of Philosophical, Historical and International Studies) is on the role of Sephardic Jewish traders in colonial systems, which will transform the history of Western imperialism in the Mediterranean.

Dr Matthew Piper (School of Biological Sciences) will use novel genomics techniques to determine how organisms use nutrition to enhance fitness. The research will contribute significantly to existing knowledge of fundamental nutritional biochemistry.

‘Measuring the mind: A framework for building a consciousness meter’ is Professor Tim Bayne’s study. Professor Bayne aims to develop a new framework to measure consciousness; a project that will have numerous applications in science and ethics discussions.

The School of Physics and Astronomy’s Dr Eric Thrane has received a fellowship for his innovative research into gravitational waves. Dr Thrane aims to detect ripples in the fabric of spacetime using new data analysis techniques.

Dr Agustin Schiffrin (School of Physics and Astronomy) will synthesise and characterise low-dimensional organic nanostructures.

‘Engineering novel two-dimensional materials for optoelectronic applications’, Dr Qiaoliang Bao’s study, will enable many technology innovations and enhance Australia’s productivity in engineering and manufacturing.

Provost and Senior Vice-President Professor Edwina Cornish said the university’s success is reflective of its focus on collaboration, innovation and research excellence.

“The Future Fellows are from diverse fields of study and several have already worked extensively in international institutions. Collaboration, diversity and research excellence are core priorities of Monash University, and are an important part of the Future Fellowships criteria,” Professor Cornish said.

“The university is extremely proud of our Monash Future Fellows. Their valuable research will contribute significantly to their respective areas, both locally and globally,” she said.


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

Monday, November 9th, 2015

Monash a leader in global research rankings

Monash University has been recognised as a leader in research in the latest global university ranking.

The university achieved a ranking of 84 out of 750 institutions worldwide in the 2016 US News Best Global Universities Rankings, representing an improvement of four places since last year.

Monash University

Monash research is ranked in the top 11% in the world!

Institutions were evaluated based on their research performance both around the world and in their region.

Administered by US News, the Best Global Universities Rankings is in its second iteration and has expanded this year to include 750 universities, up from 500.

The new offering also features a subject ranking, profiling the top 200 universities across 22 discipline areas.

Monash polled in the top 200 across 16 discipline areas globally, and was ranked number one in Australia in chemistry, materials science, and pharmacology and toxicology.

Monash University President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Margaret Gardner AO said the rise highlighted the university’s global reputation for high-quality research.

“These latest global rankings are a welcome recognition of the university’s commitment to quality and performance, enabling us to deliver world-class research that has global impact,” Professor Gardner said.

This current ranking continues the strong standing of Monash in global standings. Monash was recently ranked 73 by the 2015-16 Times Higher Education World University Rankings.


Find out more about studying at Monash University! Contact OzTREKK to learn more about Australian universities!

Monday, March 23rd, 2015

Monash researchers inducted into Victorian Honour Roll of Women

Two Monash University researchers are among 22 outstanding women who have been inducted into the Victorian Honour Roll of Women this year.

Victorian Minister for Women, Fiona Richardson announced the 2015 inductees at a special ceremony at Federation Square on March 11.

Monash Medical School

Study at Monash University, Melbourne

“This year, we honour twenty-two women who have helped shape our state. By celebrating their work, we’re sending a powerful message about gender equality,” she said.

Professor Christina Mitchell, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences at Monash University, and Dr Jacqueline Boyle, School of Public Health & Preventive Medicine, were inducted into the Roll.

Professor Mitchell said: “In medicine, we continually strive to make society fairer and better by dedicating ourselves equally to the care of every patient, and by conducting research aimed at eliminating disease and suffering.

“It is an honour to be recognised for the part I play in this as the head of a faculty where young health professionals learn the skills and responsibilities of their role in improving our world.”

Dr Boyle said to be recognised alongside such an incredible group of women meant a lot.

“It reflects the wonderful support that the Monash Centre for Health Research and Implementation (MCHRI) at Monash University has provided to women’s health,” she said.

“It is wonderful that the importance of public health in improving the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and refugee women has been recognised and it has been such a privilege to work with inspiring community women.”

The Victorian Honour Roll of Women began in 2001 and includes more than 500 inductees. Each year, the Roll acknowledges and pays tribute to women from across Victoria who have succeeded through vision, leadership, commitment and hard work. It is a reminder of the significant contribution women have made to Victoria.

Find out more about studying Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences at Monash University.

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

World-first Aspirin study reaches new milestone

Australia’s largest clinical trial is a step closer to revealing in 2018 whether healthy older people should or should not take aspirin to prevent or delay cardiovascular disease (heart attack and stroke), dementia, depression and some types of cancers.

ASPREE (ASPirin in Reducing Events in the Elderly), a randomised, placebo controlled trial in older people, has reached its recruitment target of 19,000 participants in Australia and the US.

Research at Australian universities

Monash University Clayton Campus

Led by Monash University and the Berman Center for Outcomes and Clinical Research in the US, the ASPREE trial will measure extended years of living free from physical and cognitive disability, to determine the benefits versus the risks of daily low-dose aspirin.

Principal Investigator to the trial in Australia, Professor John McNeil, credits the 16,500 Australian volunteers—aged between 70 and 97 years—as the true heroes of medical research.

“Without the community mindedness of each and every participant in the study, we could not have reached this remarkable milestone. We are extremely grateful for their commitment to help improve the health and medical care for future generations,” said Professor McNeil.

“If aspirin is shown to be overall beneficial, thousands of healthy older people around the world will be advised to take the drug; if aspirin is proven not to be beneficial, thousands will be saved from taking an unnecessary medication.”

Additional results in 2018 will be from ancillary studies that investigate the effect of aspirin on: age-related macular degeneration, cancer, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, severe infection, sleep apnea, age-related hearing loss and microvascular changes in the brain.

Of note is Australia’s first Healthy Ageing Biobank, a repository of blood samples from more than 11,500 ASPREE participants to help researchers identify blood-borne predictors of disease, such as Alzheimer’s, or even good health.

In Australia, ASPREE is primarily conducted through general practice in south-eastern states and territory. Participants are randomly allocated to take daily 100mg aspirin or a matching placebo tablet, undergoing annual health checks until late 2017.

About Monash University

Monash University takes pride in attracting some of Australia’s best researchers. They are the professional home to several distinguished fellows, including National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Australia Fellows and Australian Research Council (ARC) Federation Fellows.

Monash is ranked

  • in the top one per cent of world universities – 83rd in the world – according to the Times Higher Education World University Rankings (2014-2015)
  • the 70th university in the world according to the 2014/2015 QS World University Rankings
  • in the top 150 world universities, with an estimated rank of 134th according to the Academic Ranking of World Universities 2013.


Find out more about studying at Monash University! Contact OzTREKK to learn more about Australian universities!