[ASC-media] Why are our defenders attacking us? Higgs hunter talks physics and women, heads up on prizes

Niall Byrne niall at scienceinpublic.com.au
Tue Oct 15 17:10:49 PDT 2013

Dear ASCers,

Why are our immune systems attacking us and causing autoimmune diseases and lifestyle diseases?

We'll be able to ask individual immune cells what they're doing and why, at the Centre for Human Systems Biology to be established by the Centenary Institute and The University of Sydney with a $1million Ramaciotti grant announced last night.

The award was made to the Centenary Institute's Prof Barbara Fazekas de St Groth and her colleagues Prof Nicholas King, University of Sydney and Dr Adrian Smith, Centenary Institute. Barbara is also Assistant Director of the Centenary Institute.

The Centre will buy Australia's first CyTOF (cytometry by time of flight) mass spectrometer which can track up to 100 different cellular processes simultaneously in a thousand cells each second. Prof Fazekas and her colleagues expect that their work will also lead to potential drug targets for improved approaches to allergies, organ transplant, vaccines and cancer therapy.

Prof Fazekas is also determined to ensure that the equipment and expertise of the new Centre is freely available to the wider NSW research community.

"We already have proposals from researchers who plan to use the Centre to explore:

  *   How individual human melanoma cells change as they migrate away from a tumour
  *   How cells become cancerous in response to UV radiation and potential new drugs to treat this
  *   The differences between the individual cells in a breast cancer tumour
  *   How viruses such as herpes and measles infect nerve cells and the damage that's caused when our bodies respond."
You can find the full media release at: www.scienceinpublic.com.au/centenary/cytof<http://www.scienceinpublic.com.au/centenary/cytof>

In Sydney and Queensland, meet one of the Australian women who helped find the Higgs boson.

Physicist Elisabetta Barberio is one of 30 Australians who contributed to the hunt for the Higgs. She's touring Australia talking to students and the public about the Higgs boson, why it matters, and Australia's small role in finding it.

Later this month...

  *   Five scientists and teachers will be awarded 2013 Prime Minister's Prizes for Science in Canberra on Wednesday 30 October
  *   And an unsung hero of biomedical science will be awarded the 2013 CSL Florey Medal, in recognition of a career dedicated to improving human health.
We can brief you on embargo - contact me on niall at scienceinpublic.com.au<mailto:niall at scienceinpublic.com.au> for more details of both of those prizes.

The full bulletin is online at:  www.scienceinpublic.com.au/bulletins/media-16oct13<http://www.scienceinpublic.com.au/bulletins/media-16oct13>

Kind regards,

Niall Byrne
Creative Director
Science in Public
82 Hudsons Road, (PO Box 2076)
Spotswood VIC 3015
Phone: (03) 9398 1416
Mobile: 0417 131 977
niall at scienceinpublic.com.au<mailto:niall at scienceinpublic.com.au>
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Web: www.scienceinpublic.com.au<http://www.scienceinpublic.com.au/>

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