Highlights and achievements

This issue's media highlights

Grants and funding

Janna Morrison has been successful with a grant from the ARC for her project entitled ‘Going with the flow: Directing nutrient rich blood to the brain’. The value of the grant is $550,000. 

Agnes Vitry has been successful with a grant from the World Health Organization for her project entitled 'Assessment of medical use of tramadol in low and middle income countries and the potential impact of international scheduling'. 

Michael Roberts has been awarded two US Federal Drug Administration (FDA) Generic Drug User Fee Amendments (GDUFA) grants and will contribute to a 3rd successful grant to the value of AUS ($2.5 million) ($US1.75M) to research better skin products. These projects are being led by the University of South Australia (UniSA) and the University of Queensland (UQ).  For more information on the funded projects and a full list of funds awarded by the GDUFA in 2018, click here.

Paula Facal Marina in the Applied Chemistry and Translational Biomaterials group was awarded a CACHSR grant to develop new multimodule approaches for cancer treatment in collaboration with Prof. Yunxue Zhao at Shandong University (China). Paula was also  able to bring two Spanish students to the group for 6 months after they were awarded a grant from the Spanish Government (Programa Faro). The funding included flights and accommodation and allowance.

Mingfeng Yu has secured funding for the project “Developing a new therapeutic for childhood acute myeloid leukaemia” from the Channel 7 Children’s Research Foundation (CRF).

Nicole Pratt and Paul Anderson were both successful recipients of NHMRC Project Grants. Nicole was awarded the grant for her project 'Large scale evidence generation for the utilisation and safety of biologic medicines' (value $1,165,466) and Paul received the grant for 'Therapeutic targeting of vitamin D catabolism in chronic kidney disease' (value $681,653).

Tuan Nguyen was a successful recipient of an NHMRC – NAFOSTED Grant for 'Strengthening responses to dementia: Building an evidence platform for the development of a Vietnam National Dementia Plan' (value $ 499,805).

Awards and achievements

Jacinta Johnson was recently elected as the National Vice President of the Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia. 

Agnes Vitry was an advisor at the 41st meeting of the WHO Expert Committee on Drug Dependence (ECDD) in November 2018. 

Jackie O’Flaherty has won a 2018 International Effective Online Practice Award for her proposal “Science & Uniready: Tailoring an Online Workshop for Successful Transition and Academic Performance in Health Sciences”. Jackie has used learning analytics to predict and improve first study period success for transitioning nursing & midwifery students. The award was presented at the International Online Learning Conference Accelerate 2018 in Orlando, Florida in November. 

Effective practice awards focus on topics related to innovation and/or technology that enhance the field of digital learning. All effective practices are peer reviewed to insure quality and focus on five pillars of quality in online education: access, learning effectiveness, faculty satisfaction, student satisfaction, and scale (institutional commitment to achieve capacity enrolment via cost effectiveness). Jackie has also been invited to present her research which addresses challenges associated with student retention and identification of students at risk of failure, at the OLC Conferences Effective Practice Award Discovery workshop. Please contact Jackie for more information if you are interested in applying for this award for tenure and promotion.

Jackie has also been congratulated by the Open Universities Australia after receiving 100% student satisfaction ratings for the delivery of the online Human Health course.

Paul Anderson has been appointed to the editorial board of the Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

International connections

Globalisation of Pharmaceutical Network (GPEN)

Members of the Prestidge and Garg research groups represented UniSA at the 1st Controlled Release Asia (CRA) conference and the Globalisation of Pharmaceutical Network (GPEN) meeting in Singapore from 26-29 September. It was a fantastic week of networking with professionals and students in the drug delivery field. As a result of the two conferences, they made many new friends and connections all across the globe. They wer e able to share their research in the format of posters and podium presentations, where Chelsea, Franklin (PhD students) and Santhni (honours student) were top 10 competitors in the poster to podium competition at CRA in which Santhni won the first prize and Hayley (PhD student) was invited for an oral presentation at GPEN.

The Applied Chemistry and Translational Biomaterials (ACTB) group, headed by Anton Blencowe have established an international collaboration with Vetter Pharmaceuticals (a Global leader in the manufacture of pharmaceutical formulations and aseptic packaging) to develop a new sterilisation approach for aseptic products. The collaboration is supported by 1:1 funding from Vetter and the Division’s New Partner Scheme to the value of Au$70K, and will form the basis of a larger strategic partnership with Vetter.  

Michael Roberts has taken his team of modelers to Certara Model-informed Drug Development, November 26–30, 2018 in Shanghai, China. Whilst in China he also delivered an invited seminar at the China Pharmaceutical University. He then travelled to New Zealand to work with the New Zealand Government on their Universities performance in health research.

Media highlights

Research led by Gabrielle Todd on ice addiction among teenagers is mentioned in The Advertiser, Daily Telegraph, Herald Sun, The Mercury, Townsville Bulletin, Gold Coast Bulletin, Geelong Advertiser, Brisbane Courier-Mail and Cairns Post, reporting that SA schools are putting former addicts into classrooms to speak about how the drug destroyed their lives. Read the article here

Further coverage by MedIndia on Tahnee Dening’s obesity research, where she suggests soil holds the key to reducing obesity with a new clay formula thought to be better than weight loss drugs. Read the article here

Campus Morning Mail and psa.org.au reports Lloyd Sansom has received the International Pharmaceutical Association's highest honour, the Andre Bedat Award. Read the article here

Research led by Gabrielle Todd on ice addiction among teenagers is mentioned in The Advertiser, Daily Telegraph, Herald Sun, The Mercury, Townsville Bulletin, Gold Coast Bulletin, Geelong Advertiser, Brisbane Courier-Mail and Cairns Post, reporting that SA schools are putting former addicts into classrooms to speak about how the drug destroyed their lives; Read the article from the Advertiser here

Prostate cancer research by Huah Shin Ng and Agnes Vitry is reported byLife Begins At… Read the article here

2SER FM interviews Evangeline Mantzioris about the possibility of banning energy drinks in Australia for children under the age of 18. (Aug 30, 2018)

Clive Prestidge and Tahnee Dening’s research on obesity is reported by Channel 9 stations in Adelaide, Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Darwin, Web MSN Australia, and various Southern Cross stations including Toowoomba, Townsville, Cairns, Bundaberg, Mackay, Rockhampton, and Sunshine Coast. The researchers suggest soil holds the key to reducing obesity, with a new clay formula thought to be better than weight loss drugs. (Aug 31, 2018)

The Senior publishes new research from PhD candidate Tahnee Dening and Clive Prestidge about clay being a possible cure for obesity. Read the article here

ABC Southern Queensland interviews Rietie Venter about antibiotic resistance, where bacteria changes in a way that stops antibiotics from working. (Sept 5, 2018) 

UniSA Adjunct Professor of Biology Chris Daniels discusses his plans for Cleland Wildlife Park as he settles into his role as its inaugural director, The Sunday Mail reports. Read the article here

Research by Libby Roughead into the effects of pharmacists prescribing in the hospital setting is reported in the Australian Journal of Pharmacy.

Education Matters Mag online reports on new research showing a link between common ADHD medication and adverse cardiovascular events in children, with researcher Libby Roughead commenting that the findings are not an argument to take children off the medication, but to monitor cardiovascular health before starting treatment.  Read the article here

Jason White appears in a report in the Adelaide Advertiser to discuss the market forces affecting the Australian supply of illicit drugs, after recent seizure of large quantities of methamphetamine in the state. Read the article here

UniSA are acknowledged online by Mirage News for participation in the data collection for the fifth Australian Criminal Intelligence Committee report of the National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program. Read the article here 

Chris Daniels appears on an ABC Radio National segment Future Martians to discuss the potential for sustaining life on the Mars One mission, a private venture to establish permanent settlement on Mars. Read the article here 

Jason White ​is interviewed by Channel 10 and featured in reports by ABC and The Advertiser, in light of new research which found Australia's drug habit is one of the worst in the world. (Oct 9, 2018) 

Benzinga.com reports Jacqueline O'Flaherty will be awarded an Effective Practice Award at the nline Learning Consortium (OLC) Accelerate conference in Orlando, Florida. Read the article here

The Australian picks up on recent research from PhD candidate Sharayah Carter and Peter Clifton suggesting intermittent fasting may improve blood glucose control in people with type 2 diabetes. Read the article here 

Chris Daniels joins physicist Josh Richards and Food for Thought’s Dianne McGrath for a conversation on Radio National examining the challenges facing human exploration of Mars. The discussion was recorded at the Hawke Centre. (Oct 11, 2018)

In an interview on 5AA, Evangeline Mantzioris says only about five per cent of Australians are eating enough vegetables and notes the best diet is one that is mainly plant-based with only small amounts of animal product.  (Oct 12, 2018)

UniSA health researcher Stephen Fricker speaks to ABC Riverland about new research aimed at keeping mosquito numbers down. (Oct 12, 2018)

ajp ​reports on an inquest into the death of Stephen Atkins, who died in a major South Australian hospital from opioid toxicity. Jason White provided evidence to the inquest and is featured in the report.​​ Read the article here

The Adelaide Advertiser reports that UniSA had six winners at last night’s Winnovation Awards. Those honoured were MOD. co-designer Anika Johnstone, medical researcher Renly Lim, co-directors of the Australian Centre for Child Protection, Professor Fiona Arney and Professor Leah Bromfield, Structural Engineering Professor Yan Zhuge, Senior Lecturer of Information Studies, Dr Tina Du, and Dr Chia-Chi Chien, Research Fellow at the Future Industries Institute. Read the article here

The Campus Morning Mail also acknowledges UniSA’s six winners at last week’s Winnovation Awards. Read the article here

An article in the Australian Journal of Pharmacy discusses career paths to the pharmacy industry, interviewing fourth year UniSA student Caela Crane about her experiences. Read the article here

ABC Radio Adelaide speaks to Chris Daniels, who identifies a secret sound to be that of a barking gecko. (Oct 24, 2018)

A French study showing the link between organic food consumption and a lower risk of cancer may not be conclusive, The Limbic reports. Peter Clifton says that cancer has a long development period, so people would need to have consumed organic food for years to show causation. Read the article here

Craig Williams tells ABC Riverland about a new initiative called Activating Citizen Scientists, which is being run in conjunction with SA Health's Office for the Ageing and aims to engage older people with a number of UniSA research projects. (Oct 29, 2018)

The Conversation uses a panel of 5 experts, including Evangeline Mantzioris, to discuss whether light dairy products are better for our health. Read the article here

Infection Control Today and Mirage News report on innovative needle-free vaccination technology Natalie Prow has developed in collaboration with Sementis. Prow says the new delivery mode for the vaccine will ensure greater global reach to communities affected by Zika virus and chikungunya. Read the article here 

The green grocer cicadas, which can grow up to six centimetres in length, have emerged from underground in Mt Gambier. Chris Daniels says that the mating call of the green grocer cicada is so loud, they can deafen themselves. The story appears in The Advertiser, News.com.au, Cairns Post, Perth Now and 9 other outlets. Read the article here 

Market Watch, Biospace, Global Banking and Finance Review and 5 others report on the awarding of two new grants by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to Certara, a leader in model-informed drug development. Certara will partner with Michael Roberts, who says he is delighted to have support for the research. Read the article here 

Chris Daniels talks to Kids News about the new cicada season, including the discovery of a giant Green Grocer at Mount Gambier which was 50 per cent larger than the average cicada. Read the article here 

UniSA PhD candidate Tahnee Dening tells Australasian Science about a new discovery that could be a breakthrough in obesity treatment. Her research has revealed a specific clay material can soak up fat droplets in the gut, leading to more effective weight loss than existing drugs. Read the article  here 

Getstem.com, Getlifestyle.com, miragenews.com, and myscience.org ​report a research collaboration of the University of Queensland and UniSA will investigate properties of medicines that determine their efficacy in treating a range of ailments. Research leader Michael Roberts ​is featured and quoted in the reports.​​ Read the article here 

Rietie Venter comments to 10 daily about the dangers of the Botulinum toxin contained in honey, and the risk of infants of contracting Botulism after honey consumption. Read the article here 

ABC Riverland reports on new research by UniSA and the University of Queensland testing sunscreen high in zinc oxide nanoparticles, approved on human skin for the first time. (Nov 21, 2018)

The University of Queensland reports on grants awarded by the US Food and Administration (FDA) to Certara, for collaborative projects with UniSA and The University of Queensland. Michael Roberts comments on the effectiveness of topical medicines and designing new products to impact drug performance. Read the article here

ABC Radio Adelaide, AJP.com.au, ABC Riverland SA and 3 other outlets report on new research by UniSA and the University of Queensland showing direct evidence that zinc oxide nanoparticles in sunscreen don’t penetrate the skin or cause cellular toxicity. Michael Roberts says the myth about sunscreen toxicity took hold from the results of a previous study based on animal sunscreen absorption. (Nov 21, 2018)

Indiatimes.com and manufacturing.net report on new UniSA research, lead by Michael Roberts, suggesting zinc oxide nanoparticles are safe in sunscreen. Read the article from Indiatimes.com here and from manufacturing.net here. ABC Sunshine Coast interviews Amy Holmes about the research. (Nov 26, 2018)

UniSA food scientist Karma Pearce appears on ABC Radio Adelaide to answer the age-old question: why does cream thicken when you beat it? (Nov 29, 2018)