Category Archives: Uncategorized

R U OK? Day at IPAS

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On Tuesday 12th September, in support of the national charity R U OK? IPAS proudly hosted a special seminar to raise mental health awareness. The seminar was led by Student Life Counselling Support and provided all staff and students with helpful tips and advice on how to initiate conversations with people  in difficulty and how best to support mates and loved ones. Following the seminar, IPAS members celebrated #R U OK? Day with a get-together over pizza and drinks sponsored by IPAS Science Network.

R U OK? is a not-for-profit organisation that aims to inspire and empower everyone to meaningfully connect with people around them ad support anyone struggling with life.  R U OK? Day is a national day of action, held on the second Thursday of September each year. This year it is September 14, 2017.

But every day at IPAS, we believe that excellent communication and creativity should not be limited just to our scientific endeavors, but should extend to all aspects of our relationships with each other.  This seminar was a great opportunity to reflect on the need to provide a supportive, caring work environment to make sure all IPAS members
“R OK” every day and at work.

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LIGO & Miniprobes featured in Making a difference – Outcomes of ARC Supported Research

Making the first two pages in the “Making a difference – Outcomes of ARC supported research” publication, Detecting Gravitational Waves  & Smart Needle To Make Brain Surgery Safer were proudly featured in the “Understanding Our World and Translating Fundamental Research” section. This publication is a snapshot of some of the outstanding research outcomes derived from research projects funded by the Australian Government through the Australian Research Council (ARC) National Competitive Grants
Program (NCGP).

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Detecting Gravitational Waves – the most exciting discovery in fundamental physics for decades was firstly announced in 2016 which has opened a new window in astronomy. These discoveries have opened up new possibilities in exploring the universe through its most enigmatic objects: black holes, while at the same time testing our current understanding of the physical laws underpinning the universe. Prof Peter Veitch and A/Prof David Ottaway are leading the Research being carried out at the University of Adelaide node of the new ARC Centre of Excellent for Gravitional Wave Discovery, OzGrav.

Smart Needle To Make Brain Surgery Safer project lead by Prof Robert McLaughlin had developed a revolutionary tiny imaging probe encased within the brain biopsy needle to allow surgeons to avoid  at-risk blood vessels which can potentially fatal. This device contains a tiny fibre-optic camera using shining infrared light and combined with smart image processing software to alert surgeon potentially damaging vessels. Professor Christopher Lind, Consultant Neurosurgeon successfully did a pilot trial with 12 undergoing neurosurgery.

Congratulations to both LIGO and Miniprobes team!

 

 

Measuring up!

ProBarry Inglis Medalfessor Andre Luiten was honoured today by the National Measurement Institute as he received the 2017 Barry Inglis Medal.

Presented by Dr Barry Inglis PSM himself, the medal recognises outstanding achievement in measurement research and excellence in practical measurements.

Dr Inglis is the president of the international body that defines the units and measurement scales for science (CIPM) and was the first CEO of the National Measurement Institute.

IPAS Seminar: Commercialisation

Francois DuvenageThis week’s IPAS seminar will be presented by Francois Duvenage, titled “Commercialisation: Are You Ready“.

Francois is a Commercial Manager within Adelaide Enterprise.

Event details:
Thursday, 6th July, 3:30-4:30 pm
Level 2, The Braggs Meeting Room

ARC Linkage Grant to Support Biodiversity in Naracoorte Caves

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Congratulations to IPAS members, Dr Lee Arnold and Adjunct Professor Nigel Spooner for their successful $669k ARC Linkage Project to establish an unprecedented record of biodiversity and environmental change during the Quaternary in the Naracoorte Caves.

The caves of Naracoorte provide a rare opportunity to investigate multiple biological and environmental records spanning a key period in earth history. The study will integrate investigations on all aspects of the preserved deposits, employing new approaches in geochronology, palaeontology and geochemistry to develop a truly comprehensive reconstruction of regional-scale palaeoecological and palaeoenvironmental histories.  Comprehensive understanding of long term patterns is key to our understanding of future impacts of climate change and biodiversity loss.

A full list of successfully funded ARC Linkage programs can be found here.

IPAS Seminar: Dr Stephen Warren-Smith

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Dr Stephen-Warren Smith

This week’s IPAS seminar will feature Dr Stephen Warren-Smith, who will be presenting  his work involving “Sensing with Micro/Nano-Structure Optical Fibre“.

Stephen is currently a Ramsay Fellow within the Optical Materials and Structures group.

Event details:
Thursday, 1st June, 3:30-4:30 pm
Level 2, The Braggs Meeting Room
 

Welcome Elodie and Mel

We have just finished the process of hiring and are pleased to announce that three new staff members are joining the IPAS team. 
 
elodie-janvier1IPAS Strategic Research Development Manager – Ms Elodie Janvier
The Strategic Research Development Manager is responsible for providing leadership and contribute to the ongoing research capacity development of IPAS. Elodie will ensure IPAS researchers target key programs and will coordinate pre- and post-award administration of competitive research grant applications and awards, manage the internal grant programs, including the IPAS Pilot Projects and Travel funding programs. She will take a leading role in the development of strategies and initiatives to enhance grant application quality and help the Institute and its researchers strengthen their external profile and demonstrate impact.
 
Prior to starting her career in Research Management, Elodie worked as a Scientist and Engineer for multinational Companies, Laboratories and Governmental Organisations in France and Germany. The combination of her experience in carrying out Research & Development projects in the academic, defence and industrial sectors, together with her expertise in Quality Management makes Elodie a perfect fit for IPAS. 
 
mel-mcdowallIPAS Grant Writer / Science Communicator – Dr Mel McDowall
Reporting to Elodie, Mel will work closely with Institute researchers under Elodie’s direction to ensure submission of grant applications and fellowship applications of high quality.   She will collate  and maintain the IPAS databases,  promote key funding streams, updates and other opportunities through the IPAS newsletter and work with the Marketing and Communication Branch and researchers to enhance knowledge of IPAS research members achievements. She will also assist in the design and marketing of IPAS events for external stakeholders.
Mel has a research background, spanning basic science, agriculture and medical sciences. She is also passionate about science communication and outreach and has written articles for numerous different websites such as “The Conversation” and “I Quit Sugar” and has been involved in public outreach campaigns for “Your Fertility” and “Science Meets Parliament”.


IPAS Project Manager – Starting 24 April 2017 – To be announced soon
The IPAS Project Manager will provide specialised project management for IPAS research projects secured with industry, government, and defence customers. The role will be customer facing and provide a critical communications conduit between clients and our research teams. The IPAS Project Manager will contribute to the development of masterplans, schedules and milestones for projects so that large research teams have an effective resource and expertise planning and are thus able to deliver on projects within budget and on time.  The IPAS Project Manager will  enhance the delivery of projects by interfacing with external parties and key stakeholders within the University. 

New optical fibre sensor to aid breast cancer surgery

An IPAS research team led by Dr Erik Schartner has developed an optical fibre probe that distinguishes breast cancer tissue from normal tissue – potentially allowing surgeons to be much more precise when removing breast cancer.

The device could help prevent follow-up surgery, currently needed for 15-20% of breast cancer surgery patients where all the cancer is not removed.

Published today in the journal Cancer Research, the researchers in the ARC Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale BioPhotonics (CNBP), the Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing, and the Schools of Physical Sciences and Medicine, describe how the optical probe works by detecting the difference in pH between the two types of tissue. The research conducted with our partners Prof. Grantley Gill at with the Breast, Endocrine and Surgical Oncology Unit at the Royal Adelaide Hospital, Dr Deepak Dhatrak of SA Pathology and Prof David Callen, Director of the Centre for Personalised Cancer Medicine at the University of Adelaide. 

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“We have designed and tested a fibre-tip pH probe that has very high sensitivity for differentiating between healthy and cancerous tissue with an extremely simple – so far experimental – setup that is fully portable,” says project leader Dr Erik Schartner, postdoctoral researcher at the CNBP at the University of Adelaide.

“Because it is cost-effective to do measurements in this manner compared to many other medical technologies, we see a clear scope for this technology in operating theaters.”

Current surgical techniques to remove cancer lack a reliable method to identify the tissue type during surgery, relying on the experience and judgement of the surgeon to decide on how much tissue to remove. Because of this, surgeons often perform ‘cavity shaving’, which can result in the removal of excessive healthy tissue. And at other times, some cancerous tissue will be left behind.

“This is quite traumatic to the patient, and has been shown to have long-term detrimental effects on the patient’s outcome,” Dr Schartner says.

The optical fibre probe uses the principle that cancer tissue has a more acidic environment than normal cells; they produce more lactic acid as a byproduct of their aggressive growth.

The pH indicator embedded in the tip of the optical probe emits a different colour of light depending on the acidity. A miniature spectrometer on the other end of the probe analyses the light and therefore the pH.

“How we see it working is the surgeon using the probe to test questionable tissue during surgery,” says Dr Schartner. “If the readout shows the tissues are cancerous, that can immediately be removed. Presently this normally falls to post-operative pathology, which could mean further surgery.

The researchers currently have a portable demonstration unit and are doing further testing. They hope to progress to clinical studies in the near future.

$14.7 million in grants to further drive innovative defence technologies

Minister for Defence Industry, The Hon Christopher Pyne MP today announced seven Australian organisations would receive Australian Government funding of $14.7 million to develop and demonstrate innovative technologies to enhance Defence capability, as part of the Government’s $1.6 billion investment in defence innovation.

https://www.pyneonline.com.au/media-centre/media-releases/147-million-in-grants-to-further-drive-innovative-defence-technologies

IPAS researchers Prof Andre Luiten, A/Prof John Hartnett and A/Prof Martin O’Connor are the research leaders of one of these projects. Their project is to develop Ultra-High Quality Signal Generation for Over the Horizon Radar. The project aims to upgrade the overall performance of the Jindalee Operational Radar Network (JORN), through a performance upgrade of its essential sub-systems. This will improve overall detection of targets.

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$4.5 million awarded for new research discoveries

IPAS researchers have today been awarded $4.5 million in federal funding for new research.

This included 4 Discovery Projects, 1 DECRA Fellowship, 1 Future Fellowship and 2 LIEF infrastructure grants led by IPAS members.