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Posts Tagged ‘University of Queensland research’

Monday, June 12th, 2017

University of Queensland sweeps $22.6m in research funding

The University of Queensland has topped the nation by securing funding for more research projects than any other Australian university in the prestigious Australian Research Council grants announced in Canberra on June 5, with 17 projects set to share a total of $22.6 million.

University of Queensland sweeps $22.6m in research funding

UQ has been awarded funding for more research projects than any other university in Australia

UQ’s exceptional honour roll includes two new ARC Australian Laureate Fellowships, 14 ARC Future Fellowships and funding for an ARC Industrial Transformation Training Centre for Innovation in Biomedical Imaging Technology.

The 17 grants have been awarded to UQ research projects spanning biotechnology, electrochemical energy, ecological impacts of cattle production, antibiotic resistance, cultural history, quantum systems, and atomic physics.

UQ Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Peter Høj said it was an outstanding result for UQ and again demonstrated the strength of the university’s research.

“UQ has been awarded funding for more research projects than any other university in Australia, and we ranked number two for total funding, with $22.6 million in grants,” Professor Høj said.

“UQ has won the lion’s share of ARC Future Fellowships funding, securing $12.1 million which accounts for 15.7 per cent of the total $77 million in grants.

“These results underscore UQ as the destination of choice, given that we have been awarded more ARC Future Fellowships across the life of the scheme than any other university, and it comes less than a week after our researchers were awarded $4.3 million for 12 ARC Linkage Projects.

“This is a real testament to the quality of researchers we have at the university,” he said.

“I’m delighted to note that six of UQ’s 14 new Future Fellows are women.

“There is also an excellent spread of Future Fellowships across UQ’s broad areas of research, with five going to researchers in humanities and other non-science disciplines.”

ARC Australian Laureate Fellowships have been awarded to Professor George Zhao, who is working to develop sustainable electrochemical energy storage technology, wastewater resource recovery expert Professor Zhiguo Yuan.

Professor Zhao, of UQ’s School of Chemical Engineering, will get $2.8 million over five years for research to develop next-generation energy storage applications based upon sodium-ion capacitors.

Professor Yuan, director of UQ’s Advanced Water Management Centre, will get $2.9 million over five years for research into bioconversion of methane into higher-value liquid chemicals.

“Professor Yuan’s work on biotechnology solutions through the cost-effective production of liquid chemicals from biogas could propel Australia to the forefront of sustainable resources research,” Professor Høj said.

The University of Queensland will have a new ARC Industrial Transformation Training Centre for Innovation in Biomedical Imaging Technology, backed by $4.7 million in ARC funding and an additional $1 million provided by industry partners.

The centre will train 20 industry-ready innovation scientists to tackle skills gaps in radiochemistry and diagnostic imaging in Australia’s medical technologies and pharmaceuticals sector.

The centre will draw together leading researchers and industry partners to develop novel diagnostics, therapeutics and theranostics for cost-effective diagnostic imaging and improved health outcomes.

Professor Høj said UQ’s powerful performance across the ARC funding projects was further evidence of the university’s commitment to supporting leading researchers and enabling them to create positive change.

Discover more about studying at the University of Queensland!

Monday, November 16th, 2015

UQ attracts top ARC funding over five years

The Australian Research Council has given the green light to more than 100 University of Queensland research projects, and will back them to the tune of almost $42 million.

Cumulatively over the last five rounds, UQ has received more funding for Discovery Projects and Discovery Early Career Researcher Awards (DECRA) than any other Australian university.

UQ environmental sciences

UQ has received more funding for Discovery Projects and DECRA than any other Australian university

UQ’s combined result in these two schemes for 2016 also tops the country, with more than $39.7 million awarded.

UQ Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Peter Høj said this reinforced UQ’s position among the nation’s leading research-focused institutions, and recognised UQ’s excellence in developing the next generation of world-class researchers.

“Our consistent success in attracting competitive research funding is evidence of our high-calibre researchers and the direct relevance of their projects to solving pressing global problems,” Professor Høj said.

UQ attracted funding across three ARC schemes:

  • In Discovery Projects, 78 UQ proposals share a total of just over $30 million. UQ enjoyed a 23.56 per cent success rate across its Discovery Project applications, well ahead of the national average of 17.7 per cent.
  • A total of 27 UQ researchers share more than $9.7 million under the Discovery Early Career Researcher Awards scheme, with UQ a clear leader in Australia.
  • Three Linkage Infrastructure Equipment and Facilities projects were funded for a total of almost $3.3 million.

“It’s fantastic to see the breadth of research that will proceed at UQ in coming years as a result of this new funding, in areas such as engineering, social sciences, biochemistry and climate change strategy,” Professor Høj said.

“As a former head of the ARC, I know how tough the competition is, and how truly impressive the research proposals need to be to succeed.

“It’s a great delight again to congratulate a group of UQ researchers who have attracted funding for their work, which is independently seen as the nation’s best in their respective areas.”

Significant highlights of the funding announcement:

  • In UQ’s largest Discovery Project grant this round, the Institute for Molecular Bioscience’s (IMB) Professor Kirill Alexandrov secured $650,000, for a four-year project to develop novel, sensitive, inexpensive and flexible electric biosensors to potentially monitor any molecule.
  • Professor Mark Moran and Professor Jennifer Corrin from UQ’s Institute for Social Sciences Research secured $628,000 for a project to address how to better manage the flow of public finances and people across international borders.

The Institute for Molecular Bioscience and Queensland Brain Institute at UQ enjoyed success rates of 55 per cent and 50 per cent respectively for Discovery Project grants, reinforcing their position as leading Australian research institutes.

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The University of Queensland is one of Australia’s leading teaching and research institutions, internationally renowned for its highly awarded teaching staff, world-acclaimed researchers and superior campus facilities and services. Email OzTREKK’s Admissions Officer Adam Smith at adam@oztrekk.com for more information about UQ research.

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

UQ receives grants for medicine and biomedical science researchers

Researchers from the University of Queensland’s Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences have figured prominently in the latest round of National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) grants.

University of Queensland Medical School

Medical studies at the University of Queensland

More than $13.3 million has been awarded across the faculty for major project grants to improve life quality for cancer patients, to develop new immune therapies, and to improve recovery for people following whiplash injuries.

Professor Nicholas Fisk, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, congratulated the faculty’s three successful research teams from the Diamantina Institute, the Cancer Prevention Research Centre and the Centre for National Research on Disability and Rehabilitation Medicine.

“Researchers from the Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences have assisted UQ to take pride of place in the grants round, receiving more funding than any other Australian research institution,” Professor Fisk said. “This grant success is testimony to the depth of research talent we have within our faculty’s schools, institutes, and research centres.”

The Diamantina Institute was awarded one of two successful Program Grant proposals to be received by the University of Queensland, and one of only 11 to be selected nationally.

The $11.8 million research program is spearheaded by Professor Ranjeny Thomas and will investigate immunological therapies for cancer, chronic infection and autoimmunity.

The UQ Cancer Prevention Research Centre from the School of Population Health has teamed up with the Cancer Councils of New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia to receive $1.267 million for a Partnership Project.

Led by CPRC Director Professor Elizabeth Eakin the project aims to improve quality of life and longevity of cancer survivors via the Cancer Council Helpline.

Also successful in a Partnership Project was the UQ School of Medicine’s Centre for National Research on Disability and Rehabilitation Medicine (CONROD).

Associate Director Professor Michele Sterling was lead investigator on a grant of $293,500 to improve recovery and health following whiplash.

The NHMRC awarded a further $591,614 in postgraduate scholarships to researchers across the faculty for work in:

  • optimizing antibiotic doses for Indigenous Australians in intensive care;
  • improving prostate cancer diagnosis;
  • identifying children with chronic cough after acute respiratory infection;
  • understanding how the physical environment influences the mental health of children;
  • the impact of a strength training intervention on muscle structure and function in people with cerebral palsy; and
  • the management of  women with type 1 diabetes in late pregnancy, immediately after delivery and during breastfeeding.

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Thinking about medical school and medical research? Find out more about the UQ Medical School. Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Medical Schools Admissions Officer Broghan Dean at broghan@oztrekk.com, or call toll free in Canada at 1-866-698-7355.

Monday, March 3rd, 2014

UQ researchers find shivering could burn body fat

Shivering against the cold may have the added benefit of burning body fat, a new study led by a University of Queensland researcher has found.

University of Queensland

Study at the University of Queensland

The study, which determined the role of hormones in regulating how humans respond to cold, showed that shivering caused the body to secrete hormones that transform ordinary white fat into fat-burning brown fat.

Dr Paul Lee, who led the study, is a UQ/National Health and Medical Research Council-funded endocrinologist and visiting fellow at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the United States.

“Unlike ordinary white fat, which primarily stores excess calories, brown fat may actually help the body burn calories when activated,” Dr Lee said.

Healthy volunteers were exposed to cold temperatures until they shivered and researchers collected blood samples during cooling to measure levels of different hormones.

“We found that the hormones irisin and FGF21 were released when the subjects grew cold, irisin from shivering muscle and FGF21 from activated brown fat,” Dr Lee said.

The team then treated human white fat cells with the two hormones in the laboratory and observed that treated fat cells took on the characteristics of heat-producing and energy-burning brown fat cells.

Previous studies have shown that people who are lean tend to have more brown fat than people who are overweight.

“Further research will establish whether these two hormones may be targeted to help the body produce more brown fat, which may benefit metabolism and weight control,” Dr Lee said.

The study was conducted at and supported by the Intramural Research Program of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases at the NIH.

Dr Lee’s role in the study was also supported by the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council Early Career Fellowship, the Royal Australasian College of Physicians Foundation Diabetes Australia Fellowship, the Bushell Fellowship, and the UQ School of Medicine.

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Does research like this at the University of Queensland sound fascinating? Contact OzTREKK at 1-866-698-7355 or email info@oztrekk.com to find out more about Australian universities and about how you can study in Australia.

Friday, February 28th, 2014

UQ Medical School researcher studies ancient Chinese mind-body movement therapy

University of Queensland study has shown ancient Chinese mind-body movement therapy could offer dramatic health benefits for people with chronic conditions such as diabetes or obesity.

UQ Medical School

Study medical research at the University of Queensland

The study examined whether adults with diabetes or at risk of type 2 diabetes could improve their health by undertaking the SMILE Wellness program, a low-impact gentle mind-body movement therapy based on Tai Chi and Qigong.

Researcher Dr Xin Liu, from UQ School of Medicine, said the study results were encouraging.

“The therapeutic program resulted in many health benefits for participants, including reduced blood sugar, blood pressure, body weight and waist circumference,” Dr Liu said.

“Average blood sugar levels decreased by six per cent, blood pressure decreased by nine per cent, and body mass index and waist circumference decreased by four per cent and three per cent respectively.”

Participants also showed improvements in mental health, strength and flexibility, sleeping patterns, immunity, pain reduction and quality of life.

“The SMILE Wellness program may be the first exercise program to scientifically demonstrate the significant effects of exercise alone on the management of diabetes, weight and waist circumference, depression and stress,” the UQ Medical School researcher said.

The program may be most beneficial for those who are unable or unwilling to participate in conventional types of physical activity, such as strength training or gym-based exercises.”

The study was funded by the Diabetes Australia Research Trust and findings have been published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine and the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

The SMILE Wellness program is now being offered to the public to benefit the community.

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Curious about medical school and medical research?

Find out more about the UQ Medical School and other medical schools in Australia. Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Medical Schools Admissions Officer Broghan Dean at broghan@oztrekk.com, or call toll free in Canada at 1-866-698-7355.

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

Monash University young researchers recognized

Monash University PhD students Caroline Le and Monique Topp were recognized nationally among talented early career researchers this month.

The university is reporting that the pair was recognized at an awards ceremony of the Cooperative Research Centres Association (CRC) in Melbourne, celebrating exceptional research and communication. They were among six finalists from more than 50 entries in the Showcasing Early Career Researchers competition, with Le taking home the award.

Entrants were asked to submit a 30-second video demonstrating they could convey the aim of their research clearly and effectively, the university said. Le won the audience over with her inspiring research on how stress can affect the progression of cancer, according to Monash.

“Using glowing tumour cells, my work shows that stress weakens our immune systems and actually helps cancer cells spread throughout the body,” Le told Monash University. “I’ve also shown that the use of some existing drugs may be able to block these stress signals from having their effect.

Le is a PhD student at the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences and is a student member of the Cancer Therapeutics Co-operative Research Centre, the university said.

“The CRC Association showcasing early career researchers is an amazing opportunity to present your work to a wide and diverse audience. Winning the competition was very humbling, even more so because I was up against a group of extremely talented early career researchers,” Le told Monash.

Topp was shortlisted for her research investigating models that can change the way ovarian cancer is treated. According to Monash, she is also a PhD student, pursuing studies in the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences at Monash, as well as being a student member of the Cancer Therapeutics Co-operative Research Centre.

More information about pursuing research degrees in Australia: All eight of OzTREKK’s partner universities offer graduate research degrees, including Bond University, James Cook University, Macquarie University, Monash University, University of Melbourne, University of Newcastle, University of Queensland and University of Sydney.

Canadian university graduates who wish to undertake independent, original research and potentially make a unique contribution to an existing body of knowledge, spend considerable time exploring higher degree research opportunities. Combining an international education experience while undertaking postgraduate research in Australia, can result in academic supervision and teaching from cutting-edge researchers who are world renowned in their fields of study.

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Find out more about earning a postgraduate research degree in Australia! Like what you’re reading about Monash University? Look further into Monash!

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

UQ researchers find flies sleep just like us

Researchers at the University of Queensland have discovered that, like humans, flies sleep in stages of different intensities.

The UQ Queensland Brain Institute‘s Associate Professor, Bruno van Swinderen, told UQ that human sleep involved the rapid eye movement (REM) stage, or light sleep during which dreaming typically occurred, and several stages of non-REM sleep, or deep sleep.

“We have shown that sleep in flies also appears to alternate between lighter and deeper sleep stages, suggesting different functions for each even in the smallest animal brains,” he told UQ.

The study, led by Dr. Bart van Alphen, measured sleep intensity in flies by recording their brain activity and responsiveness to mechanical stimuli, UQ said. During waking behaviour and learning, some synaptic connections – the parts of the neurons that allow cell-to-cell communication – become strengthened, the university said.

One proposed function of deeper sleep stages is to proportionally weaken all synapses in the brain, so as to preserve learning while decreasing energy requirements, UQ stated. The research group discovered that if learning pathways were activated during the day, the flies needed deeper sleep at night, the university said, adding that if they mutated a protein known to be important for weakening synapses, the flies compensated by sleeping more deeply even during the day.

“This suggests that synaptic weakening probably involves molecular processes that are engaged during deeper sleep stages,” van Swinderen told UQ. He told the university that the importance of different stages of sleep should be considered in future studies of this kind.

The study, “A dynamic deep sleep stage in Drosophila”, was published online in the April 17 issue of Journal of Neuroscience.

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Monday, March 4th, 2013

UQ researcher captures the soul of fashion

University of Queensland researcher Dr. Toni Johnson-Woods is on a mission to prove that some of the most interesting fashion is on the streets of emerging fashion cities – like Shanghai and soon, Sydney and Brisbane.

The UQ researcher recently spent 10 days in Shanghai taking photos of everyday fashion and speaking with passers-by about their style for a book she co-authored with Dr. Vicki Karaminas, UQ reports.

Shanghai Street Style is yet to be launched, but is already book of the month in Waterson’s in the UK, according to the University of Queensland. Johnson-Woods describes the book as a “celebration of everyday fashion”, UQ said.

“What we choose to wear says something about you – the mood you are in, the gender you are, the reason you are out. Fashion is part of our everyday performance,” Johnson-Woods told UQ.

“In Shanghai, I carefully did not choose young people or those who wore ‘designer’ clothes – I chose those who wore an item that told me something about them or about fashion.”

The opportunity to go to Shanghai for the project was not only due to the University of Queensland researcher’s expertise in popular culture, but also a matter of ‘being at the right place at the right time’, according to UQ.

Going to Taiwan as a keynote speaker for the South East Asian Popular Culture Association, she was asked by Karamanis if she was willing to take a one-hour flight to Shanghai afterwards to take the photos and do the cultural research. “I call it my guerilla assignment – we chased people, took photos, collected data and permissions, and rushed away before the police could stop us,” she told UQ. “No doubt about it, Shanghai is one of the most stylish cities I have visited — less costume-y than Tokyo, less formal than New York, and more colourful than London. Many of the people we photographed were living in Shanghai but came from other places—Korea, Europe, Japan.”

Over the 10 days in Shanghai, the University Of Queensland researcher and her photographer took 1,500 photos and interviewed more than 300 people about their fashion style, UQ stated. They captured everything from people’s shoes to handbags, hats and accessories, and she noted that street fashion in not about designer labels, but about the playful space between personal style and fashion dictates.

Brisbane may be next on the list for the co-authors, following the success of Shanghai Street Style. She told UQ that they already have a photographer lined up for Brisbane, but have to decide on a time. They are also hoping to capture fashion culture in other cities, already planning photo trips to Sydney and Mumbai this year as well as Cape Town, Sao Paulo and Moscow next year.

She stressed the importance of having a quick turnaround for the books as fashion changes so rapidly. Johnson-Woods is the founder and inaugural president of the Popular Culture Association of Australia and New Zealand.

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Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

UQ camera system, researchers capture first video of giant squid

What do Medusa, a giant squid and researchers from the University of Queensland have in common? They all recently made history, as UQ had a hand in filming ground-breaking underwater footage.

In perhaps the largest (no pun intended) discovery revealed recently at the University of Queensland, researchers from the University of Queensland played a key role in filming the first video images of a live giant squid in its natural habitat, in lightless water up to a kilometre under the ocean.

The university noted that PhD student Wen-Sung Chung, from the Queensland Brain Institute at UQ, assisting Dr. Edith Widder, operated Medusa, a remote-controlled underwater camera craft that filmed the squid last northern summer near the Ogasawara Islands, 1,000 km south of Japan. Chung participated in a deep-sea expedition organized by NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation), NHK Enterprises, and Discovery Channel, UQ said.

In a CNN report from the beginning of the month, it was noted that the University of Queensland PhD student was actually the first to spot images captured of the giant squid, while reviewing footage.

Professor Justin Marshall, from QBI at the University of Queensland, described the giant squid’s skin as extraordinarily metallic-coloured.

“Almost everything we know about deep-sea animals is from catching them and bringing them on board a boat,” Marshall told UQ.  “From the work done on this expedition, we now have evidence that the giant squid responds to smell — as it is drawn to the bait — and to luminescence. We used blue bioluminescence lures to attract the squid.

“The video shows that as the squid discovers the Medusa, its tentacles explore the craft and then the creature moves off very quickly when it realizes it is not edible.

“The shots looking into the squid’s eye are amazing,” he told UQ. “Giant squids have the biggest eyeball on the planet – they are as big as an adult human head.”

The Discovery Channel — along with Japanese public television network NHK — broadcast the video to an international audience last month and some of the footage went viral. The video was filmed with the UQ-designed camera system. Until now, only still photographs existed of a live giant squid.

Although the university is reporting that people have known about giant squid for thousands of years through the creatures washing up on beaches, the video initiated by UQ of the giant squid alive and in its natural habitat is trailblazing.

“This is cutting edge deep-sea research at its best,” Marshall told UQ. “Their habitat is very deep in the ocean — between 600 m and 1 km down — so capturing the video required a major international team effort and years of planning.”

Chung told the university that during the expedition, the team made more than 100 dives totaling 400 hours. Two submersibles, the Medusa camera platform and a new ship, MV Alucia (which Professor Marshall helped design), two film crews and four scientific teams —including 50 scientists and engineers from 11 countries — were involved in the expedition.

Furthermore, Chung told UQ that giant squid could grow to 18 metres, with two long tentacles comprising up to two thirds of that length. Interestingly, the squid filmed by Medusa on the NHK/NEP/Discovery expedition was three metres, but it was missing its characteristic two longest tentacles. He told UQ that if the tentacles had been intact, the giant squid could have measured about eight metres.

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Find out more about the University of Queensland and learn how you could contribute to ground-breaking research opportunities at Australian universities!