How ‘junk DNA’ can control cell development

Centenary Institute Cell

Cell is regarded as one of the most prestigious journal to publish in.

Researchers from the Gene and Stem Cell Therapy Program at Sydney’s Centenary Institute have confirmed that, far from being “junk”, the 97 per cent of human DNA that does not encode instructions for making proteins can play a significant role in controlling cell development.

And in doing so, the researchers have unravelled a previously unknown mechanism for regulating the activity of genes, increasing our understanding of the way cells develop and opening the way to new possibilities for therapy.

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Motherpedia: How bioinformatics is transforming medicine


A blog by mothers, for mothers.

Our Executive Director, Professor Matthew Vadas, has guest blogged for Motherpedia this month, a blog by mothers for mothers, on the topic of how bioinformatics is transforming medicine.

Professor Vadas talks about how bioinformatics is critical to the development of personalised medicine and will result in significant changes in prevention, treatment & possibly cures.

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Hope for Hep C cure: No excuse for risk-taking, expert warns

Professor Geoff McCaughan

Exciting early indications of a cure for Hepatitis C do not mean we should become complacent about the risks of contracting the debilitating disease, a leading Australian researcher warns.

Professor Geoff McCaughan, right, head of the Liver Immunobiology Program at Sydney’s Centenary Institute of medical research, says preliminary results of a newly developed oral treatment regime for liver transplant patients with Hepatitis C were showing promising results.

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Committed Centenary Supporter Recognised for his Creativity

John Cutler

Committed Centenary supporter, John Cutler.

We love celebrating the successes of our committed Centenary supporters, just as we love celebrating those of our dedicated scientists.

Over the weekend we were delighted to see John Cutler of J. H. Cutler Bespoke, featured in the Australian Financial Review for his unique and internationally recognised creativity – he has crafted Australia’s most precious coat.

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Doping to Win: Professor John Rasko explains EPO abuse

John Rasko ABC CatalystCentenary Institute’s Professor John Rasko AO, Group Head of our Gene and Stem Cell Therapy lab, talked to Dr Maryanne Demasi about the use of life enhancing drugs in sports on the latests episode of Catalyst.

Professor Rasko explains how Erythropoietin (EPO) improves a persons stamina, as Catalyst investigates the substances at the forefront of the sports doping controversy.

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International award for Centenary stalwart

Liver DiseaseCongratulations to Professor Geoff McCaughan the head of Centenary’s Liver Injury and Cancer research program and director of the Australian National Liver Transplant Unit at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital who has won this year’s Distinguished Service Award of the International Liver Transplantation Society (ILTS).

The award was presented today at ILTS’s International Conference held in Sydney and has been presented annually since 1993 to a member of the Society who has demonstrated outstanding service to ILTS and is a recognized leader in the area of liver transplantation. The list reads like a Who’s Who of transplantation.

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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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Centenary scientist named “lab legend” by The Australian

In South-East Asia alone, 130 million people carry the hepatitis virus – a statistic well known to Centenary liver scientist, Dr Thomas Tu, whose family members have been affected by the disease.

Vietnam 2010 600 (2)In an article by The Australian today, Dr Tu explains, “seeing people with the disease has been a driver in keeping me passionate about my research. Family members have contracted the disease, but no one talks about it. They are worried about telling workmates because of the stigma.”

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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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Centenary-led TB research centre knuckles down to work

Professor Warwick Britton

Professor Warwick Britton

  • Should TB patients be quarantined in hospital or treated at home?
  • What are the legal and ethical implications?
  • How can the newest TB drugs best be managed to avoid triggering resistance in TB bacteria?
  • What are the most effective ways of using the latest genomic techniques and information to combat TB?

These are just some of the questions that are becoming ever more critical as extensively drug-resistant (XDR) TB looms on Australia’s horizon—it’s already in Papua New Guinea. They are also examples of the issues to be discussed on Thursday 2 May and Friday 3 May at the first symposium of the new NHMRC-funded Centre of Research Excellence in Tuberculosis Control, located at the Centenary Institute.

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