Research Review 0307
The University of Melbourne is Australia's second largest research organisation after the CSIRIO. Research Review is a biannual magazine which reports on the University's research achievements and the latest in research news.
1 March – 31 August 2007
Introduction and overview
Welcome to the 2007 edition of Research Review, an annual review showcasing the quality and impact of research at the University of Melbourne.
From parasite to saviour: bacteria breakthrough at the University of Melbourne
Bacteria that commonly infect insects have evolved from parasites to being a fertility aid. The bacteria could eventually be targeted as an option for pest control in order to kill common human disease carriers such as mosquitoes.
Brain scan can predict risk of schizophrenia
Brain scans can be used to predict how well young people will recover from early psychotic episodes that occur in mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, according to University of Melbourne research.
Politically powerful artists chosen to portray complex war
When artists Charles Green and Dr Lyndell Brown were approached by the Australian War Memorial (AWM) to go to Iraq and Afghanistan as war artists, the pair’s initial response was an adamant “no way!”.
New organs can be grown in body –key breakthrough
A novel technique enabling vital new organ tissue to be grown in a special bio-chamber in the body has been developed by scientists at the University of Melbourne and the Bernard O’Brien Institute of Microsurgery (BOBIM).
Reducing greenhouse gases ‘an enormous task’
As the search continues for a source of power without greenhouse gas emissions, researchers are working on ‘locking up’ the carbon dioxide (CO2) we currently release. Barry Hooper heads the CO2 Cooperative Research Centre (CO2CRC) Capture Program which has a base at the University of Melbourne, where they are developing techniques to capture CO2 from stationary sources of CO2 such as coal-fired power stations.
Spiraling into ‘chrome world’
It is a world where disadvantaged young people momentarily transform their lives to become key players in popular culture.
Managing nuclear waste knowledge for future generations
As Australia struggles to embrace nuclear power, researchers are seeking ways to preserve knowledge on the dangers of toxic waste.
A research project at the University of Melbourne is investigating how artists and scientists may broaden the scope of habilitation practices for hearing technologies and develop a new cross-disciplinary methodology for evaluating vocal quality.
A grand gesture toward the Neo-Baroque
The visceral nature and immediacy of meaning invoked by a Baroque aesthetic has given the movement a prolific cultural currency in both an historical and contemporary context. Neo-Baroque expression, specifically based on the Atlantic rim, as well as related multiculturalism, and cultural complexity, has given rise to an international research initiative involving Associate Professor Angela Ndalianis of the School of Culture and Communication at the University of Melbourne.
Climate change to affect grape industry: study
Climate change will dramatically alter the growing season for Australian grapes and affect the wine styles produced here according to new University of Melbourne and CSIRO research.
Nossal Institute for Global Health:a hub for teaching, research and knowledge transfer
The University of Melbourne has recognised eminent immunologist Professor Sir Gustav Nossal’s lifetime contributions to global health by creating a new global health institute in his honor – the Nossal Institute for Global Health.
Parliament passes stem cell Bill
Australian scientists will be able to do research that their counterparts are doing in the UK and in privately funded laboratories in the US, according to Professor Loane Skene, Chair of the Lockhart Committee, which reviewed Australian stem cell legislation.
Plants can aid the study of stem cells
Plants share many similar stem cell traits to humans and can be used to unlock secrets useful for human stem cell research, according to University of Melbourne biology experts.
The reading gene
Being able to recognise words visually when learning to read is affected by different genes to those used to sound out words, according to joint research at the University of Melbourne and collaborating institutions.
Meeting of minds
From her earliest career aspirations, Dr Gaye Williams had education in mind. With her sights initially set on educational psychology, Dr Williams now finds herself an esteemed academic, recognised locally and internationally for her innovative research on cognitive learning in maths. Dr Williams’ insights have provided educators with important new perspectives about learning, with implications for education settings around the globe; while her doctoral thesis has won a coveted national award for the best PhD in Australia. She credits her supervisor, Professor David Clarke, with a passion for research that has challenged and inspired her.
Zoologists test fidelity of Albert Park swans
The mating habits of Albert Park’s black swans have been under high-tech scrutiny from researchers at the University of Melbourne.
Yabbies’ underwater broadband
Australian yabbies have the same ‘sixth’ sense as sharks – the ability to listen to electrical signals that alert them to prey or predators, according to new University of Melbourne research.
Uni works with NASA on lunar soils
Mathematicians from the University of Melbourne are on the NASA team unlocking the secrets of Martian and lunar soils.
Graham Brown leads new Nossal Institute for Global Health
Professor Graham Brown has been appointed Foundation Director of the new Nossal Institute for Global Health and Chair of Global Health in the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences at the University of Melbourne.
UoM joins Pacific Rim group
The University of Melbourne has joined the prestigious Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU).
University’s $46m funding support for brain disorder research
The University of Melbourne is contributing $46 million to support a $204 million effort to combat brain disorders, launched by the Governor of Victoria, Professor David de Kretser.
David Solomon wins 2006 Victoria Prize
Eminent scientist and inventor of the plastic bank note, Professor David Solomon, Honorary Professorial Fellow in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Melbourne, has been awarded the 2006 Victoria Prize.
David Shallcross awarded chemistry’s prestigious Frank Morton Medal
University of Melbourne academic Associate Professor David Shallcross (Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering) has been awarded the Frank Morton Medal (2006) of the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) for excellence and innovation in chemical engineering education.
$10m program to put eResearch in synch
The University of Melbourne, in partnership with Monash University and the Victorian Government, is part of a new $10 million program to enable collaborative eResearch and sharing of scientific knowledge globally via advanced information and communication technology.
Uni gets Up Close in radio podcasts
The University of Melbourne has launched ‘Melbourne University Up Close’, a fortnightly talk show delivered on podcast, showcasing the research personalities and cultural offerings of the University.
Melbourne tops latest research funding
The University of Melbourne has again topped the latest rounds of Australian competitive research funding, winning more than $118 million in Australian Research Council (ARC) and National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) grants for 2007.
New $9.5 million ‘Metabolomics Australia’ Research Centre to be based at the University of Melbourne
Metabolomics Australia is a new $9.5 million National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS) Centre which will be headquartered at the University of Melbourne.
Triple Helix: global forum for local ideas
In an Australian first, the University of Melbourne has launched a local issue of the international science journal The Triple Helix.
Youths on income support not unhappy
A study from the Melbourne Institute has found that there does not appear to be a welfare stigma effect associated with receipt of income support by Australian youths.
Cutting edge ICT laboratory opened
Victorian Minister for Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Marsha Thomson officially opened the National ICT Australia (NICTA) Victoria Research Laboratory (VRL) at the University of Melbourne’s Parkville campus late last year.
Five-Year Key Statistics
Research and Research Training
In 2006, the University was involved in over 125 centres providing a focus for research
Move Towards World-Significant Research
Under Melbourne’s Growing Esteem strategy the University will invest more in areas of strong performance and potential, where there is scope for significant contribution and the greatest impact. This new focus has coincided with the Federal Government’s Research Quality Framework (RQF) exercise – an initiative designed to assess the quality and impact of research in Australia as a basis for allocating a proportion of future infrastructure funding.
Strengthen Cross-Disciplinary and Collaborative Research
Central support for areas of strategic research importance was provided for the first time in 2006 through the Strategic Research Initiatives Fund (SRIF). The SRIF represents a major commitment of $12.5 million over three years to enable the University to become more competitive in bidding for regional, national and international funding with a particular focus on cross-disciplinary opportunities.
Build Future Research Capacity
Previous Research Review editions
With a Research Higher Degree student load of over 3000, the University has the largest cohort of research students in Australia.