Research News

Fantastic work continues from our researchers being recognised in the news for their published work. To name a few:

- Professor Gary Hime and Professor Leonie Quinn
- Professor Bill Heath
- Hui-Fern Koay, PhD Student co-led by Dr Daniel Pellicci and Professor Dale Godfrey,
- Lung Health Research Centre
- Professor John Furness


Textbook of Evolutionary Medicine

Professor John Furness from the Department of Anatomy and Neurosciences has been invited to contribute a chapter to the Textbook of Evolutionary Medicine being launched by Oxford University Press.  The Chapter is entitled, ‘How food choices and food technology have influenced human evolution and health’.  The invitation arose out of a public lecture that he presented in London as part of the London Science Gallery’s “Fed-Up” exhibition on food and food history, in the London Borough Market by London Bridge.

14/12Dr Dustin Flanagan, Research Fellow in Professor Elizabeth Vincan’s laboratory Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience, returned recently from a three week visit to the laboratory of Professor Hans Clevers in Utrecht, Netherlands. True personalised medicine is becoming reality through organoid technology. Organoid technology and ‘patient-derived organoid Biobanking’ was first established in the research laboratory of Professor Clevers - personalised treatment for various types of malignancy and hereditary disease is now a reality. The Dyason-funded fellowship allowed Dusty to learn the many facets of patient-derived organoid Biobanking and organoid culture techniques not yet established in Australia. Patient-derived organoid technology is of particular importance to cancer treatment as the patient-derived tumour organoids grown in tissue culture respond to anti-cancer drugs in the same way as the patient. This means that a patient’s cancer cells can be screened for sensitivity to drugs and the patient treated with the correct drugs from the outset, and avoid unnecessary treatment. The expertise gained is invaluable to establishing an Australian equivalent Biobank, a collaborative effort between the University of Melbourne, Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre (VCCC), Walter and Eliza Hall Institute (WEHI) and several hospitals and other institutes. Like its counterpart, the Australian biobank will provide better patient outcomes through personalised care.

Hime and Quin labs paper published in December 13 issue of Stem Cell Reports

Professors Gary Hime and Leonie Quinn, Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience 


Breakthrough research spears heads highly effective malaria vaccine

Professor Bill Health, Department of Microbiology and Immunology 


Immune cell development secrets revealed

Hui-Fern Koay, PhD Student co-led by Dr Daniel Pellicci and Professor Dale Godfrey, Department of Microbiology and Immunology 


Cutting edge medicine for an old disease

Lung Health Research Centre, Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics


Genetic risk score card: towards early prediction of heart disease

Associate Professor Michael Inouye, Department of Pathology, Centre for Systems Genomics


The growth and growth of the research tale on the Egyptian mummy head

Dr Varsha Pilbrow, Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience

An article published in Pursuit on August 19th, 2016 on an ancient Egyptian mummy head from the Harry Brookes Allen Museum of Anatomy and Pathology has attracted around 70,000 reads and over 716,000 views worldwide. It has continued to generate additional news and has featured in Live Science, Science Alert, International Business Times and many other news sources and TV shows. Multiple teams from The University of Melbourne, particularly the School of Biomedical Sciences, Monash University, and the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine came together to generate a CT scan, develop a 3D print, study the anatomy and pathology of the young woman and generate an artistic reconstruction of her face.

The Egyptian civilization is of enduring interest to history, archaeology, and anthropology and has always occupied a special place in the popular media. The ability to observe dental and cranial pathologies through the scans and 3D print and provide a glimpse into the life and death of the individual open up new possibilities for education and research in the biomedical sciences by allowing us to study population specific health conditions in large numbers of mummified ancient Egyptians from their physical remains.