Professors win prestigious RPA Foundation Medal

Outstanding research into bacterial skin infections has won leading clinician and Centenary Laboratory Head the shared honour of the prestigious RPA Foundation Medal – Royal Prince Alfred Hospital’s, highest accolade.

Professor Wolfgang Weninger, Immune Imaging

Professor Wolfgang Weninger, Head of Immune Imaging

Professor Wolfgang Weninger, who heads up Centenary Institute’s Immune Imaging program, and Professor Paul Torzillo, RPA’s Head of Department of Respiratory Medicine – were announced joint winners, each taking home $35,000 to invest in medical and health-based research.

Dermatology expert Professor Weninger was honoured for his research into the mechanisms of skin inflammation and infection. In particular, his group is interested how the function of the skin immune system is inhibited by highly infectious bacteria and other microbes. Continue reading

2013 Centenary Institute Scientific Image Prize

Launched in 2009, the Centenary Institute Scientific Image Prize enables us to share imagery taken by our staff that directly ‘tells the story’ of our work in the most creative context.

The Eye of Sauron, Ka Ka Ting

The Eye of Sauron, Ka Ka Ting

Open to all Centenary staff, the 2013 Prize entries were judged by a panel lead by respected artist Janet Laurence and members of the Centenary Institute Faculty.

Recipients for the 2013 prize were announced at Centenary’s Annual Meeting and presented with their awards by special guest Professor Ian Frazer, who has reached international acclaim as the co-inventor of the cervical cancer vaccine (HPV) and was made the 2006 Australian of the Year. He is also a member of the Centenary Institute’s Scientific Advisory Board. Continue reading

Insight Centenary: The underestimated burden of skin disease.

Skin diseasesAn interview with Dr Philip Tong, PhD scholar in Immune Imaging.

Centenary Institute: “What is it about dermatology and skin research that interests you?”

Dr Philip Tong: “People need to appreciate their skin… it is our largest organ. It’s important that people don’t underestimate the enormous burden of skin disease.

I was drawn to dermatology by chance. My father had an itchy skin condition on his neck that was related to stress. I remember him telling me how much it affected him.

After he’d seen a dermatologist, I could see changes, I could see him getting better – and it was this that compelled me to study skin diseases.

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Skin Diseases – Immune Imaging team plays a major part in International Conference

Skin Diseases

The International Investigative Dermatology Conference was held in Edinburgh, Scotland, this year.

Skin diseases are a global problem. In order to gain a better understanding of skin cancer, eczema and skin infections, it requires international collaboration.

Earlier this month, several members of Centenary’s Immune Imaging laboratory attended the International Investigative Dermatology (IID) meeting in Edinburgh, Scotland.

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From the prick of a rose thorn to a better understanding of ageing

Inflammation

Professor Weninger, Immune Imaging Group Head

Following the prick of a rose thorn, a paper cut, or an infection our bodies start to fight back. And the defence begins with inflammation. That inflamed, tender, red patch we all know as the hallmark of a wound or infection is the result of certain white blood cells summoning the troops and increasing the blood supply to deal with a wound or invasion.

Professor Wolfgang Weninger, head of Centenary’s Immune Imaging program, who leads our work in research, says “understanding inflammation is becoming an important topic across Centenary, helping us understand cardiovascular disease, organ rejection and auto-immune diseases, for example. Another important issue is ageing. Our immune system response changes with age. It’s part of the process of ageing, where the body becomes less and less capable of coping with destructive events.”

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Cardiology, TB, ageing and immunology

Centenary wins support for research thrust

NHMRC

The latest NHMRC funding will help Centenary's ground-breaking research, such as in the T-Cell Biology lab, headed by Professor Barbara Fazekas de St Groth.

Centenary scientists have won over $5 million in the latest NHMRC grant round – with seven research grants and three early career fellowships.

The development of a TB vaccine, the genetic regulation of ageing, the fundamental workings of the immune system, the genetic basis of heart disease—these are some of the research areas of key interest to Centenary Institute for which the Australian Government has announced funding through the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).

Centenary also boasts three new NHMRC Early-Career Fellows along with seven significant research projects in the medical research funding released on Friday.

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Turmeric could spice up malaria therapy

Early-Career Australia-India Fellowship

Dr Saparna Pai after being awarded her Early-Career Australia-India Fellowship.

A Centenary researcher is off to New Delhi to study the impact on cerebral malaria of the major ingredient of turmeric, curcumin.

Dr Saparna Pai has been awarded an Australian Academy of Science Early-Career Australia-India Fellowship to investigate curcumin’s action on immune cells during malaria infection. The Fellowships were announced by the Academy during the visit to India of the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard.

“It has long been known in India that curcumin is useful in treating malaria,” says Dr Pai, a post-doctoral fellow in Professor Wolfgang Weninger’s Immune Imaging laboratory at the Centenary Institute.

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