Research and Research Education

Recent HDR Completions Within the Division

Student NameSchoolPrincipal SupervisorThesis Title

Scott Weeks


Associate Professor Steve Milanese

Developing foundations for robust occupational-therapy-based intervention studies to address the sensory needs of children with autism spectrum disorder in Australia

Melissa Hull


Associate Professor Jim Dollman

Cultivating farmer health: development, evaluation and application of a novel help-seeking scale for farmers

Sherin Vareeckal Joseph


Associate Professor Michael Wiese

The role of haptenation in penicillin and cephalosporin allergy

2019 Pain Revolution Rural Outreach Tour

The 2019 Pain Revolution Rural Outreach Tour was an overwhelming success. A group of 26 cyclists and 29 educators, clinicians and support staff made their way from Devonport to Hobart via Burnie, Cradle Mountain, Launceston, St Helen’s and Swansea. The cyclists rode 700km, climbed the equivalent of 1.5 Mt Everests, and raised over $100,000 for the Pain Revolution initiatives, being the Local Pain Educator Program, the Local Pain Collective, and community engagement projects.

UniSA Alumni and Adjunct Research Fellow Dr Daniel Harvie led the Brain Bus to each town, welcoming school groups, locals and spectators by engaging them in the experiments that are occurring in the Body in Mind (BiM) research group. The group delivered 20 outreach events in 10 locations. The support from the Tasmanian locals was phenomenal, with riders and support staff being well-fed along the way with some delicious homemade goodies.

The University now has another 19 Local Pain Educators from Tasmania that have commenced and are studying away, and has recently held a very successful first meeting of all the Local Pain Educators and their mentors. Check out a brief glimpse of the Pain Revolution Ride here.

Research Australia Highly Commended Award

Professor Bill Runciman (Australian Centre for Precision Health) was recently invited to attend the Research Australia Health and Medical Research award night, where he received Highly Commended in the Health Services Research Award. This award is for an individual who has provided leadership and made an outstanding contribution to health services research; has driven research that had led to a significant improvement in healthcare; and/or has championed the development of the health services research field. View the video here.

GlaxoSmithKline Fast Track Challenge

Professor Tom Gonda from the Cancer Research Institute (CRI) and Professor Richard D’Andrea from the Centre for Cancer Biology (CCB) have been announced as the winners of the GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Fast Track Challenge. The UniSA researchers, together with GSK scientists, test GSK compound libraries against a target protein that plays a role in a number of different cancers. The protein has been shown to be critical in acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) and the researchers believe the discovery of a molecule that could block the function of this protein could ultimately lead to new therapies.

Philanthropic Funding Support

Advancement Services, together with the UniSA CRI Cancer Research Institute (CRI), have been successful in attracting private funding to support melanoma research. The family who has a personal interest in melanoma research were recently hosted at UniSA CRI, and researchers presented a number of research projects to family members who agreed to fund three projects.

PhD Awards

  • PhD candidate Chelsea Thorn, School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences and Cancer Research Institute, is the recipient of a number of awards and grants in recent times:
    • Chelsea is the 2019 Maurice de Rohan International Scholarship recipient. Chelsea has received a grant of $17,500, which is for the purpose of undertaking research, data collection or work with institutional or industry partners in the United Kingdom or United States of America. Chelsea intends to internship at the University of Nottingham and the UK Biofilm Centre;
    • Chelsea is also the recipient of a Gould Experimental Science Grant Encouragement Award;
    • Lastly, Chelsea has recently received a BUPA Health Research Grant.  Congratulations Chelsea!
  • PhD candidate Jack Janetzki, School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences and Cancer Research Institute, is the 2019 recipient of the highly prestigious and competitive Gould Experimental Science Grant.
  • PhD candidate Hayley Schultz, School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences and Cancer Research Institute, is the BPW Adelaide Heather Southcott Memorial Grant recipient.
  • PhD candidate Ellie Davies, School of Nursing and Midwifery, was awarded a 2019 BUPA Health Research Grant to further her research.

New US Patent

Professor Sanjay Garg is pleased to announce that the University has a new patent. This patent is an outcome of a collaborative program with our long-term industrial partner, Neoculi Pty Ltd. The program is developing novel antimicrobial compounds and formulations for resistant infections in human and animals is a partnership between the company, UniSA, the University of Newcastle, Murdoch University and the University of Adelaide.

Tour de Cure

A team of 13 UniSA researchers and staff from the Cancer Research Institute, Centre for Cancer Biology and Advancement Services have completed the recent Tour de Cure SA Discovery Tour. A total of 80 riders rode some stunning terrain around Kangaroo Island and the Fleurieu Peninsula and raised over $300,000 for cancer research, with the funds supporting UniSA and the Flinders Foundation.

Active Team App

After five years of development and research, ARENA’s Associate Professor Carol Maher and her team’s social networking physical activity app, Active Team, is now publicly released and freely available in the Google Play and Apple app stores. The development of this app has come about through Associate Professor Maher’s NHMRC grant, Active Team - Examining an online social networking intervention to increase physical activity in controlled (RCT) and ecological (ET) settings.

Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) Competition

Many staff will be aware of the 3 Minute Thesis (3MT®) competition. The Division of Health Sciences has a strong success record in the broader UniSA competition; last year Tahnee Dening (PMB) was placed second overall and in the previous four years, HSC was ranked first via presentations by Hannah Thomas (PMB) in 2017, Joel Fuller (HLS) in 2016, Mahmoud Bassal (PMB) in 2015 and Emily Johnston (PMB) in 2014.

This year, the Division’s top competitors will compete for a spot at the University finals on Tuesday, 30th July at 10.30am after the City East DVC:R&I Town Hall session (Brookman Hall; B5-09). Following Professor Beecham’s presentation and a morning tea, staff are invited to stay on to support our PhD candidates and vote for their favourite 3MT® presentation in the People’s Choice Award. One winner and two runners-up from each of the Divisions will go through to the UniSA Grand Final. A light lunch will also be provided.

The 3MT® competition is designed to cultivate students’ academic, presentation and research communication skills, by giving a 3-minute presentation of their research project with related content presented on one PowerPoint slide.

An 80,000-word PhD thesis would take 9 hours to present. Their time limit... 3 minutes.

In their presentations, participants should explain:

  • What their research is about;
  • How they intend to carry out their research;
  • Why their research matters and/or who it affects.

This year, we look forward to hearing from five PhD candidates. Join us to vote on presentations by:

  1. Nicole Miller (PMB)
  2. Lettie Pule (HLS)
  3. Hunter Bennett (HLS)
  4. Ellen Davies (NRC)
  5. Emma Jaunay (PMB)

We look forward to seeing you there!