Garvan announces the purchase of Irys Technology from BioNano Genomics
MEDIA RELEASE: 04 Dec 2013Garvan today announced that it has elected to incorporate Irys technology from BioNano Genomics into its disease research programs, with particular emphasis on improving understanding of prostate cancer. With this purchase, Garvan becomes the first Early Access user of an Irys System in Australia.
Genomics expert to assume Petre Foundation Chair of Prostate Cancer Research
MEDIA RELEASE: 29 Nov 2013The Garvan Institute and the University of Sydney are proud to announce that from January 2014 Professor Vanessa Hayes will assume the inaugural Petre Foundation Chair of Prostate Cancer Research. Professor Hayes heads the Laboratory for Human Comparative and Prostate Cancer Genomics at Garvan. She also holds a position as Professor of Genomic Medicine at the J. Craig Venter Institute in San Diego, California.
Daniel Christ recognised with NHMRC Excellence Award
28 Nov 2013Garvan immunologist Dr Daniel Christ has been recognised by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) as one of the top-ranked applicants in the 2012 round of grant and fellowship awards. Last night Dr Christ received his Excellence Award at the Academy of Science in Canberra. The award winners represent the top 20 out of 5236 peer reviewed applicants for funding in 2012.
The deadly news about all osteoporotic fractures
MEDIA RELEASE: 28 Nov 2013It is well known that hip and vertebral fractures increase the risk of premature death. Until now, little has been known about the clinical impact of non-hip, non-vertebral fractures – so new Garvan research showing that they may also increase the risk of death will better inform treatment.
Angela Chou and Lee Marshall win 2013 Castle Harlan Award
15 Nov 2013Dr Angela Chou and Lee Marshall share this year’s $10,000 USD Castle Harlan Award for being the most outstanding early career PhD students at Garvan in 2013. Pathologist Angela Chou has been performing a detailed analysis of two potentially treatable subtypes of pancreatic cancer. Lee Marshall is undertaking a genome-wide study of several regions of the brain that confer susceptibility to Parkinson’s Disease, to find biomarkers that might be used to screen for the disease at an early stage and to identify potential therapeutic targets.
Understanding immune system memory – in a roundabout way
MEDIA RELEASE: 11 Nov 2013While the principle of immune memory has been known for decades, the exact molecular mechanisms underpinning it have remained a mystery. Garvan scientists have now unraveled part of that mystery, identifying the role of a gene called STAT3, which acts as a kind of roundabout, directing chemical messenger molecules to various destinations.
Molecular interplay explains many immunodeficiencies
MEDIA RELEASE: 10 Nov 2013Garvan scientists have described an exquisitely balanced interplay of four molecules that trigger and govern antibody production in immune cells. As well as being an important basic science discovery, it helps explain why people with mutations in any one of the associated genes cannot fight infection effectively, and develop rare and crippling immunodeficiency disorders.
How fat could help solve part of the diabetes problem
MEDIA RELEASE: 29 Oct 2013The pancreas is a large organ that wraps around our gut, and produces the exact amount of insulin our bodies need when we eat – except when we start to develop diabetes, and insulin production slows down. Sydney scientists describe how a fat recycling system within pancreatic ‘beta cells’ determines the amount of insulin they secrete, and so may provide a target for future diabetes therapies.
Garvan receives $15.5 million in NHMRC funding round
24 Oct 2013The Garvan Institute received $15.5 million, out of a total funding pool of $559.1 million, in the latest round of National Health and Medical Research Council grants, announced yesterday by Prime Minister Tony Abbott accompanied by federal Minister for Health Peter Dutton. Garvan peformed well, with a success rate of 26% for project grants, well ahead of the national average of 16.9%.
Using gesture and voice to control 3D molecular graphics
MEDIA RELEASE: 17 Oct 2013Scientists from Garvan and CSIRO announced their ‘Molecular Control Toolkit’ at the 3rd IEEE Symposium on Biological Data Visualization in Atlanta, Georgia, USA on Sunday. The toolkit is an innovative piece of software designed to connect commercially available gesture and voice recognition devices with any molecular graphics system, allowing people to control 3D representations of molecules with their hands.
Rapid reversal of diabetes after gastric banding surgery
MEDIA RELEASE: 15 Oct 2013Clinical researchers from Garvan and St. Vincent’s Hospital have shown that a form of weight loss surgery, known as ‘gastric banding’, brings about reversal of diabetes in some patients, and dramatic improvement of glucose tolerance in others, within 12 weeks.
Garvan Institute receives grant to research role of long non-coding RNAs in Parkinson’s disease
MEDIA RELEASE: 02 Oct 2013The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research and Shake It Up Australia Foundation are co-funding a 12-month research project by Garvan to look at the role of long non-coding RNAs in Parkinson’s disease.
Fat and obesity gene also affects hip fracture
MEDIA RELEASE: 25 Sep 2013Garvan researchers have demonstrated a strong association between the FTO (fat and obesity) gene and hip fracture in women. While the gene is already well known to affect diabetes and body fat, this is the first study to show that its high-risk variant can increase the risk of hip fracture by as much as 82%.
International declaration to support young people with psychosis
18 Sep 2013The Healthy Active Lives (HeAL) Declaration highlights the physical health challenges faced by young people with psychosis, and offers practical solutions and support. It represents the culmination of years of collaborative work between Australian clinical researchers and psychiatrists, as well as further development of that work by an international working groupfrom over 11 countries. Garvan's Professor Katherine Samaras played a key role in the process.
Potential treatment for a specific kind of pancreatic cancer
MEDIA RELEASE: 16 Sep 2013Garvan researchers have identified a potentially treatable subtype of pancreatic cancer, which accounts for about 2% of new cases. This subtype expresses high levels of the HER2 gene. HER2-amplified breast and gastric cancers are currently treated with Herceptin.
Garvan wins Hitachi Data Systems APAC Health and Life Sciences Innovation Award
29 Aug 2013The Garvan Institute of Medical Research has been presented with the APAC Health and Life Sciences Innovation Award by Hitachi Data Systems Corporation (HDS), a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd. The award recognises Garvan’s innovative use of technology to better enable its researchers to study and develop cures for some of the most widespread diseases affecting our world today.
International team reveals 21 ‘signatures’ in 30 common cancers
MEDIA RELEASE: 15 Aug 2013An international team, including scientists from Garvan and The University of Queensland, has described the mutational processes that drive tumour development in 30 of the most common cancer types. The discovery, published overnight in Nature, one of the world’s leading scientific journals, could help to treat and prevent a wide range of cancers.
A complex story behind genes, environment, diabetes and obesity
MEDIA RELEASE: 08 Aug 2013While it is well known that there is a strong genetic basis to both diabetes and obesity, and that they are linked, Garvan researchers say that there are many rare genetic variants involved, which will pose a significant challenge in the quest to develop effective therapies.
Amy Nguyen wins People's Choice Award in speaking event
07 Aug 2013Garvan Neuroscience PhD student Amy Nguyen, a member of Professor Herbert Herzog’s Eating Disorders lab, won the People’s Choice Award at the University of NSW Faculty of Medicine Three Minute Thesis event, held in late July. That makes her eligible to enter the UNSW Interfaculty final on 5 September 2013.
The art of telling science stories during National Science Week
06 Aug 2013Garvan visual science communicator, Dr Kate Patterson, will talk at a National Science Week event to be held at the University of Sydney on the evening of Thursday 15 August. She will be one of three panellists discussing how visualisation helps create multi-disciplinary approaches to research, preventative health and clinical treatment.
A smart way of using testosterone to prevent muscle wasting
MEDIA RELEASE: 31 Jul 2013New Garvan research suggests that a small dose of testosterone directed solely to the liver stimulates protein synthesis, likely preventing muscle loss and wasting, and potentially promoting muscle growth. The researchers believe they have developed a safe and effective treatment for men and women, that could prevent the muscle wasting associated with many chronic diseases and with ageing.
Professor Vanessa Hayes awarded for exceptional Africa-related work
MEDIA RELEASE: 29 Jul 2013Professor Vanessa Hayes received a Celebration of African Australians Inc Award at Parliament House on Saturday. The awards recognised “exceptional achievements and remarkable contributions to Australia, Africa and the world through education, science, research, philanthropy, leadership and community engagement by African Australians.”
New hope for hormone resistant breast cancer
MEDIA RELEASE: 23 Jul 2013A new finding provides fresh hope for the millions worldwide with oestrogen receptor positive breast cancer. Garvan scientists have shown that a specific change, which occurs when tumours become resistant to anti-oestrogen therapy, might make the cancers susceptible to treatment with chemotherapy drugs.
Dr Tim Mercer wins 2013 Young Garvan Award
15 Jul 2013Dr Tim Mercer has won the 2013 Young Garvan Award. The annoucement was made on Saturday night at Young Garvan’s main annual fundraising event, the “All Ribbons Ball”, held this year at Sydney’s Hilton Hotel. Dr Mercer completed his PhD with Professor John Mattick and continued postdoctoral work within Garvan’s RNA Biology and Plasticity laboratory from late 2012.
Surprise finding reveals adaptive nature of immune system
MEDIA RELEASE: 15 Jul 2013Studies of patients with immunodeficiencies involving single gene mutations can reveal a great deal about our immune systems, especially when actual symptoms do not accord with clinical expectations. Garvan scientists acknowledge such a gap between expectation and reality in a new study, which examines people with ‘Autosomal Dominant Hyper IgE Syndrome’.
New insight into the human genome through the lens of evolution
MEDIA RELEASE: 12 Jul 2013By comparing the human genome to the genomes of 34 other mammals, Australian scientists have described an unexpectedly high proportion of functional elements conserved through evolution. While other studies have shown that around 5-8% of the genome is conserved at the level of DNA sequence, indicating that it is functional, the new study shows that in addition much more, possibly up to 30%, is also conserved at the level of RNA structure.
Winners of Precinct Three Minute Thesis Competition announced
11 Jul 2013The three winners of the St Vincent’s Precinct Three Minute Thesis Competition, held last night at The Kinghorn Cancer Centre in Darlinghurst, were all PhD students at Garvan: Louise Purtell (first prize), Amy Nguyen (second prize) and Gemma Pearson (third prize).
Double-barreled attack on obesity in no way a no-brainer
MEDIA RELEASE: 09 Jul 2013In the constant cross talk between our brain and our gut, two gut hormones are already known to tell the brain when we have had enough to eat. New Garvan research suggests that boosting levels of these hormones simultaneously may be an effective new weapon in the fight against obesity. While the double-barreled approach may seem like a no-brainer, the strongly enhanced effect seen was by no means inevitable.
The genome’s 3D structure shapes how genes are expressed
MEDIA RELEASE: 24 Jun 2013Garvan scientists and collaborators from the United States bring new insights to our understanding of the three-dimensional structure of the genome, one of the biggest challenges currently facing the fields of genomics and genetics. Their findings are published in Nature Genetics, online today.
Professor John Eisman wins ASBMR William F. Neuman Award
20 Jun 2013Professor John Eisman AO has won the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research (ASMBR) William F. Neuman Award. The award is the ASBMR's oldest and most prestigious award. It recognizes an ASBMR member for outstanding and major scientific contributions in the area of bone and mineral research and for contributions to associates and trainees in teaching, research, and administration.
Nanotechnology helps track and improve drug action in pancreatic cancer
MEDIA RELEASE: 12 Jun 2013Garvan scientists, in collaboration with colleagues from the UK, have been able to show ways in which we can markedly improve drug targeting of solid tumours, using tiny ‘biosensors’ along with new advanced imaging techniques. In real time and in three dimensions, these technologies can show us how cancers spread and how active cancer cells respond to a particular drug. They can also tell us how much, how often and how long to administer drugs.
A VIVID exploration of biomedical animation
MEDIA RELEASE: 29 May 2013Sydneysiders will have the opportunity to meet two of the world’s best biomedical animators and science communicators, who will present and discuss samples of their work at the Museum of Contemporary Art on Thursday 30 May as part of Vivid Sydney, a festival of light, music and ideas.
Insight into the dazzling impact of insulin in cells
MEDIA RELEASE: 21 May 2013Garvan scientists have charted the path of insulin action in cells in precise detail like never before. This provides a comprehensive blueprint for understanding what goes wrong in diabetes. The breakthrough study is now published in the early online edition of the prestigious journal Cell Metabolism.
Garvan and St Vincent’s Welcome Critical Prostate Cancer Funding for The Kinghorn Cancer Centre
MEDIA RELEASE: 17 May 2013Both the Garvan Institute of Medical Research and St Vincent’s Hospital have welcomed the Federal Government’s foreshadowed announcement in this week’s budget of $5.5 million over 4 years to The Kinghorn Cancer Centre’s National Prostate Cancer Research Centre.
Garvan and Cancer Therapeutics CRC Pty Ltd License Pan-Kinase Binding Agent to SYNkinase
MEDIA RELEASE: 16 May 2013Garvan and Cancer Therapeutics CRC Pty Ltd have signed a licence agreement with SYNkinase Pty Ltd to develop and market a unique Pan-Kinase Binding Agent to help screen human cells and tissues and identify potential drug targets in diseased states. The novel agent has the unique ability to detect a large proportion of the protein kinase family, giving it the potential to become a remarkable research tool for life scientists around the globe.
Evidence that brains re-wire themselves following damage or injury
MEDIA RELEASE: 14 May 2013Neuroscientists from Garvan, in collaboration with learning theorists from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), have advanced our understanding of brain plasticity by showing that the brain forms complex new circuits after damage, often far from the damaged site, to compensate for lost function. This is the first demonstration of such circuit plasticity.
John Schubert becomes Chairman of Garvan
MEDIA RELEASE: 01 May 2013The Garvan Institute of Medical Research is delighted to announce the appointment this week of Dr John Schubert AO to its Board by the Governor of New South Wales, Her Excellency Professor Marie Bashir AC CVO, and his subsequent election by the Board as its Chair. He succeeds Mr Bill Ferris AC, Garvan Chairman since 2001.
The connection between faulty neural activation and schizophrenia
MEDIA RELEASE: 28 Apr 2013By studying what happens in the normal brain when neurons fire, Australian scientists have been able to identify a finely and dynamically regulated process. They also describe how dysfunction of this process is associated with schizophrenia. The process involves a specific class of genes known as ‘long non-coding RNAs’.
Obesity may explain reduced bone fracture worldwide
MEDIA RELEASE: 10 Apr 2013A Garvan study shows that women – but not men – with more abdominal fat are less at risk of bone fracture. This may explain why global rates of fracture are declining at the same time as obesity is increasing. The data come from the ongoing Dubbo Osteoporosis Epidemiology Study (DOES).
Forget about plaque when diagnosing Alzheimer’s Disease
MEDIA RELEASE: 02 Apr 2013A Garvan study has shown that plaque, long considered to be the hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease, is one of the last events to occur in the Alzheimer’s brain. This finding will impact the current debate about how best to diagnose and treat Alzheimer’s disease.
How the immune system positions its gatekeepers
MEDIA RELEASE: 18 Mar 2013For an immune response to get underway, an invading microbe must first be halted in the spleen, and then digested by immune cells known as ‘dendritic cells’, which guard specific portals. Garvan scientists have now shown how these gatekeepers position themselves to undertake their task. The findings are now published online today in the prestigious journal Nature Immunology.
NSW lifestyle medicine program for severe mental illness adapted for use in UK
MEDIA RELEASE: 19 Feb 2013A lifestyle medicine program designed in New South Wales to combat the dramatic weight gain and metabolic decline associated with anti-psychotic drug use, has recently been adapted in the United Kingdom. It has been offered as an implementation resource to accompany the UK’s National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines for management of children and young people with psychosis.
The brain circuit that makes it hard for obese people to lose weight
MEDIA RELEASE: 06 Feb 2013When people diet, they often find it virtually impossible to lose weight - the less food they eat, the less energy they burn, and the less weight they lose. Garvan scientists explain the exact brain circuitry behind this phenomenon.
A step towards better understanding of pancreatic cancer
MEDIA RELEASE: 04 Feb 2013Garvan scientists, along with collaborators from Belgium and Spain, have observed that the well-studied protein Sirtuin-1, known for helping cells live longer, also appears to play an important role in the initiation and development of pancreatic cancer. They believe that inhibiting Sirtuin-1 may help prevent the initiation of pancreatic cancer, as well as prevent the further growth of established tumours.
Cellular garbage may explain effects of insulin resistance and diabetes
MEDIA RELEASE: 31 Jan 2013Insulin resistance is considered one of the earliest features of many metabolic diseases like Type 2 diabetes, and major efforts are aimed at improving insulin function to combat this problem. A Garvan research team provides evidence that elevated insulin levels caused by insulin resistance may play a large role in illness by shutting off a natural cellular garbage disposal system. Their finding begs a re-evaluation of treatment strategies.
Measuring distress in people with Types 1 and 2 diabetes
MEDIA RELEASE: 21 Jan 2013Diabetes experts, psychiatrists and neuroscientists have reported the benefits of measuring depression and disease-related distress in patients with diabetes. They have also shown that distress is influenced by heritable genetic changes in the way patients’ bodies handle serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates mood.
The genes that drive soft drink consumption and weight gain
MEDIA RELEASE: 17 Jan 2013In a letter to the New England Journal of Medicine, published online today, endocrinologists from Garvan applauded a study in the October 11 issue showing a direct correlation between consumption of sugary soft drinks, obesity and genetic predisposition to weight gain. They wrote to underline the degree to which appetite is genetically determined rather than being solely a lifestyle choice. They also appealed to policy makers to understand the science behind obesity, and protect those ‘at risk’.