Research and Research Education

Recent PhD Completions within the Division

Student NameSchoolPrincipal SupervisorThesis title

Aleisha Brock


Adrian Esterman

The role of drug quality in the emergence and transmission of antimalarial resistance.

Maja Pajcin


Christopher Della Vedova

Investigation of peripheral biomarkers for assessing operator alertness and attention during sleep loss.

Ilea Sanders


Carol Maher

Cluster analysis and usability testing for “Active Team”: an online social networking intervention to increase physical activity.

Penny Williamson


Saravana Kumar

Actioning advance care directives in South Australian emergency departments: a qualitative description study.

Huah Shin Ng


Agnes Vitry

Assessment of the burden, types, and development of comorbidities in the Australian population with cancer.

Bilquis Romana


Clive Prestidge

Liposome-micelle hybrid systems for oral delivery of poorly water-soluble cardiovascular drug lovastatin and anticancer drugs paclitaxel and 5-fluorouracil.

Mehreen Rahman


Xin-Fu Zhou

Functions of proBDNF and its signaling receptor p75 in neuroprotection after ischemic stroke.

Long Periods of Undisturbed Sleep a Risk Factor for Stillbirth

Associate Professor Jane Warland, one of the principal investigators in an international team of researchers, found that sleeping more than nine hours per night during pregnancy may be associated with late stillbirth.

Researchers from the United States, Australia, United Kingdom and New Zealand surveyed 153 women who had experienced a late stillbirth (after 28 weeks of pregnancy), as well as 480 women with an ongoing third trimester pregnancy or who had recently delivered a live baby. The findings, which appear in the journal Birth, suggest an association between lengthy periods of undisturbed maternal sleep and stillbirths that were independent of other risk factors.

Ian Davey Research Thesis Prize 2019: Outstanding Nominee

Congratulations to Dr Tahnee Dening from the School of Pharmacy & Medical Sciences and the Centre for Cancer Diagnostics and Therapeutics, whose thesis entitled Nanostructured clay materials for solidifying lipid-based drug delivery systems was one of only four nominated for the 2019 Ian Davey Research Thesis Prize. Whilst not the overall winner, Tahnee’s thesis was recognised for its outstanding research and scholarly contribution. The Ian Davey Research Thesis Prize is awarded to the most outstanding research thesis leading to a Doctor of Philosophy in the preceding calendar year.

Channel Seven Children’s Research Foundation Funding

UniSA Cancer Research Institute researchers have been awarded funding through the Channel Seven Children’s Research Foundation for 2019:

  • Associate Professor Kristin Carson-Chahhoud: Mixed Reality and Holographic technologies (iHealth) to deliver cognitive and behavioural therapy for treatment of anxiety among teenagers with asthma;
  • Dr Yu-Wen Su: Injury site-derived proteoglycan glypican-3 suppresses growth plate cartilage bony repair and bone fracture healing;
  • Dr Mingfeng Yu: Developing a new therapeutic for childhood acute myeloid leukaemia (ECR).

Outcomes of the 2018 Research Theme Investment Scheme (RTIS)

Seed funding is designed to support the formation or development of research that spans across traditional disciplinary boundaries, and that builds collaborative partnerships. This year, 13 of 29 successfully-funded projects were from the Division of Health Sciences (in total, 95 applications across the University were made; 35 of these were from the Division). The full listing of the successful Development Scheme and Seed Funding projects are available on the RIS website, here.

Endeavour Leadership Awards

PhD students Leah Wright and Chelsea Thorn from the Pharmaceutical Innovation and Development Research Group have been successful in securing Endeavour Leadership Awards for 6 months and 12 months of overseas research, respectively. Leah will travel to Uppsala University in Sweden to work with Professor Christel Bergström, utilising state-of-the-art synthetic gastrointestinal permeability models to analyse protein and nanoparticle transport. Chelsea will travel to the Helmholtz Institute for Pharmaceutical Research Saarland in Germany to work with Professor Claus-Michael Lehr to learn highly sophisticated, bacteria-infected organoid models that will access the pre-clinical efficacy and tolerability of her bacterial-targeting formulations. Both PhD students are eagerly looking forward to the opportunity to experience research in different countries, which will uniquely benefit their PhD and future careers as scientists.