Monthly Archives: August 2016

Cell colour technology wins Eureka prize

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA31 August 2016:

Ewa Goldys, Deputy Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale BioPhotonics (CNBP) and Professor at Macquarie University, together with Dr Martin Gosnell, CNBP research affiliate and Managing Director at Quantitative Pty Ltd have won the ANSTO ‘Innovative Use of Technology’ award at the 2016 Australian Museum Eureka Prizes.

They were recognised for their innovative colour focused research, able to distinguish between healthy and diseased cells, in areas as diverse as embryology, neurodegeneration, cancer and diabetes.

“We are absolutely thrilled to be awarded this prize out of such a high-quality field of researchers and scientists,” said Prof Goldys following the Eureka announcement.

“The hyperspectral imaging technique pioneered by our team lets us successfully extract specific biomolecular information hidden in fluorescent colour signatures of living cells and tissues.”

Goldys explained, that with this research, a new window into the body had been opened.

“Through the approach we are taking, incorporating leading-edge microscopes, ‘big data’ and the high processing speeds of modern computers, we are able to noninvasively and rapidly detect major health conditions, across a wide variety of areas.”

The future of the research, Goldys believes is one of high-impact and significant possibility.

“These colour-based cellular and molecular measurements have the potential to be done in-vivo (in the body), expediting the potential for healthcare decisions based on the health needs of the individual and their unique biological characteristics.”

Concluded Goldys, “The really exciting thing is that while we are probing the very limits of our understanding of life at the molecular level, this technology also yields real world translational outcomes – outcomes that will support clinicians in making improved diagnosis and health decisions for patients.”

The Eureka Prizes are presented by the Australian Museum and reward excellence in research and innovation, science communication and journalism, leadership and school science. Prize winners were announced at an Awards Dinner at Sydney Town Hall.

 

Australian Museum Eureka Prizes 2016

Education session at Olympus Australia

Andy-Greentree-at-Olympus26 August 2016:

Olympus LIVE hosted a workshop today, involving a group of Quantum Physics researchers and  students from RMIT University and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale BioPhotonics (CNBP).

It was the first microscopy workshop of its kind involving Olympus, the University and Centre, giving students valuable exposure and hands-on experience with resident Olympus microscopy experts.

The initial planning for the event was coordinated by CNBP Chief Investigator Prof Andrew Greentree from RMIT University (pictured top left) and CNBP industry partner Mr Jian Shen from Olympus Australia. The day consisted of a training/education session that was part of the ‘Masters in Nanotechnology and Smart Materials’ course, which is in its first year at RMIT University.

The event was hosted by Olympus at their state of the art new facility at Notting Hill, Melbourne and included a theory session, hands on training on microscopes run by Olympus experts, and a tour of some of the facilities.

It is planned that this will become an annual event as part of the ‘Masters in Nanotechnology and Smart Materials’ course at RMIT.

Said Prof Greentree, “This is just another way that the Olympus/CNBP partnership is providing benefits above and beyond that of direct research.”

 

Official IPHT partner launch

IPHT launch_sq25 August 2016:

CNBP and the Leibniz Institute of Photonic Technology (IPHT) in Jena officially acknowledged their long term research and collaboration activity with a formal partnership launch today, taking place at IPHT HQ in Germany.

CNBP Deputy Director Prof Ewa Goldys, CNBP Macquarie University Node Leader Prof Jim Piper and CNBP RMIT University Node Leader A/Prof Brant Gibson were all in attendance at the event which was hosted and led by Partner, Prof Jurgen Popp from IPHT. CNBP’s Associate Investigator, Dr Stephen Warren-Smith who is just concluding his Marie Curie Fellowship with IPHT, and will be returning to the University of Adelaide after securing a Ramsay Fellowship, was also present and attended the program of the 3 day partner launch.

Included as a part of launch activity were presentations from both organisations, tours of IPHT laboratory space, research updates on key projects and engagement with CNBP industry partner Heraeus.

Specific highlights from the visit included the opening of the partner launch at the Scala Tower Restaurant in Jena with CNBP’s Prof Jim Piper presenting a keynote presentation, a tour of the InfectoGnostic Research Campus and a visit to Zeiss, concluding with a lecture from Prof Ewa Goldys.

Pictured top left is IPHT Partner, Prof Jurgen Popp being presented with the CNBP Partner Plaque by CNBP Deputy Director Prof Ewa Goldys.

CNBP’s recognize theme expands

Andrew-Abell-224 August 2016:

There have been a number of updates from CNBP’s Recognise Theme (focused on creating optically-controlled surfaces to recognise molecules in living systems) led by Chief Investigator Prof Andrew Abell (pictured top left) from the University of Adelaide. Updates include –

  • Prof Irene Hudson from the University of Newcastle has been appointed Associative Investigator, as has Dr Abel Santos from the School of Chemical Engineering,  University of Adelaide. Both will work closley with the recognise theme
  • Birgit Gaiser will be joining the recognise theme for 6 months from the University of Copenhagen as an international visitor
  • Kathryn Palasis has joined the recognise theme as an honours student to work on photoswitchable proteasome inhibitors
  • Aniket Kulkarni has joined the recognise theme as a new PhD student to work on hypoxia switchable anti cancer agents
  • Two new postdocs join the recognise theme: Dr Beatriz Blanco Rodriguez has joined to work on hypoxia switchable anti cancer agents (funded from outside the CNBP). Dr Borja Lopez Perez has also joined the recognise theme to work on hypoxia switchable anti cancer agents (and likewise is funded from outside the CNBP)
  • Yuan Qi Yeoh from the recognise theme was awarded first class honours
  • And finally, Pan Yanbo from Hong Kong has been awarded a University of Adelaide international PhD scholarship to join the recognise theme.

Busy and exciting times!

Founders Lecture awarded to Thompson

Jeremy Thompson21 August 2016:

Congratulations to A/Prof. Jeremy Thompson (CNBP Chief Investigator at the University of Adelaide) who has given the Founders Lecture at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the Endocrine Society of Australia and the Society for Reproductive Biology (SRB), at the Gold Coast Convention Centre, 21st August 2016.

The Founder’s Lecturer is the SRB’s major plenary speaker at the Annual Meeting, with those awarded the Lecture, recognised for their significant contributions to the field of reproduction in Australia.

According to an announcement from the SRB Secretariat, Thompson is a “fantastic asset to the SRB and well deserving of the  Founders lecture award,” having been a proactive member of the SRB for over two decades and a “world renowned expert in embryo development.”

Further information about the Annual Meeting is available online.

 

Open Day at Macquarie University

MQ Open Day_sq20 August 2016:

CNBP researchers at Macquarie University celebrated the formal end of National Science Week by participating in Macquarie University’s Open Day, Sunday August 20th.

With a table and demos set-up to entice intending students and members of the public, CNBP researchers discussed their science and talked about the opportunities that a science education can provide. A key focus was the potential of the biophotonics field which will lead to exciting new diagnostic tools and techniques, which will be hugely beneficial to society.

Demonstrations were also undertaken by CNBP researchers including participation in a 30 minute magic show (showcasing real life science that appears fantastical). CNBP Research Fellow Martin Ploschner entertained and educated young and old with his fluorescing bubbles!

The day was hugely fulfilling and given a big thumbs up by CNBP Research Fellow Lianmei Jiang (pictured below) who led the outreach coordination on the day.

IMG_2226-crop

 

Inaugural Professorial Lecture by CI Greentree

Andy-Greentree_web19 August 2016:

CNBP Chief Investigator Andrew Greentree presented to a full-house at RMIT University during his Inaugural Professorial Lecture on Friday evening, August 19th, 2016.

Over 150 colleagues, friends, family and members of the public were in attendance to hear about Andy’s innovative research, and to better understand the exciting potential of quantum technology and its many applications.

The inspiring 60 minute talk included live light-based demonstrations and a Q&A session with the audience giving Andy a heartfelt ovation as proceedings concluded. Informal feedback from guests as they departed was that the talk had been inspiring, educational and thoroughly enjoyable in nature!

Below – images from the event.

Andy-Professorial (1)

Andy-Professorial2

Successful CNBP workshop at RMIT node

RMIT workshopsq19 August 2016:

CNBP’s RMIT University node hosted CNBP researchers from Macquarie University and the University of Adelaide today, at a successful and well attended workshop event held in Melbourne.

A number of CNBP related projects currently taking place at RMIT were explored during the day long session, including presentations and discussion on the following topics:

  • Efforts to fabricate micro-optics for integration on multicore optical fibre imaging bundles
  • The potential of combining nano-photonics and biomedical acoustics to open new windows into the body
  • Use of of diamond lasers for sensing
  • Optimal search techniques when measuring at the nanoscale
  • The development of a molecular zinc sensor based on successful collaboration between CNBP chemists, physicists and biologists.

Other discussion points covered were diverse, and included but were not limited to – phone technology for fertility assessment, polarised endoscopes, spiky cholesterol crystals, 3D lens printing, bubble functionalisation, diamond laser sensing, conditional probability distribution, high-impact non-lame publishing via interdisciplinary collaboration and so much more!

Formal and informal networking took place throughout the day with new avenues for potential investigation captured. Thanks to all who participated on such a knowledge expanding day!

 

New student at CNBP MQ node

Minakshi-Das_sq15 August 2016:

CNBP’s Macquarie University node welcomes student Minakshi Das to the team.

Minakshi is undertaking her PhD on bio functionalization of upconversion nanoparticles for cancer cell targeting and labeling, and is being supervised by Dr. Xiaoxue Xu and CNBP Chief Investigator, Professor Nicolle Packer.

Prior to joining Macquarie University, Minakshi completed her Masters of Engineering in Biomedical Sciences from Gachon University, South Korea. She worked under the guidance of Prof. Dong Kee Yi and Prof. Seong Soo A. An, where she analysed the protein corona effect of silica functionalised gold nanorods on mammalian cells.

Minakshi also possesses a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Biotechnology from Utkal University, Odisha, India.

Her career goal in the near future is to solve the unanswered questions related to ‘upconversion nanoparticle – cell interaction’ as a part of her PhD and to continue doing further research in nanotechnology for Targeted Cancer Therapy.

Welcome!

Open Day at RMIT University

IMG_6019final_sq14 August 2016:

CNBP’s RMIT University node had a highly successful Open Day experience, with more than 500 people passing through CNBP laboratories and work areas, with CNBP researchers on hand to discuss their science and explain more fully just what nano-scale biophotonics encompasses!

Activities included Associate Professor Brant Gibson introducing CNBP to groups of families, postdocs discussing their own photonics and biology research, students discussed the day to day life of lectures and labs, and Professor Andy Greentree greeting visitors at the elevator foyer with a giant spring and a leafblower.

According to CNBP node leader A/Prof Brant Gibson a real highlight on the day was seeing theoretical CNBP researchers in the labs, discussing their work to the public and explaining the experimental equipment used by CNBP on a daily basis, such as optics tables and lasers.

Below, CNBP researchers Emma Wilson and Ivan Maksymov discuss their science to members of the public.

Ivan and emma