22 January 2019:
Senior indigenous students were given an insight into life as an academic researcher, as well as provided with an overview of light-based imaging in the body, following an outreach presentation undertaken by CNBP’s Dr Annemarie Nadort at Macquarie University.
Dr Nadort’s presentation (the challenge of exploring blood as it circulates through the body) and hands-on demonstration of a clinical micro-circulation imager supported Walanga Muru’s ‘Camp Aspire’ program. Camp Aspire sees approximately fifty Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students (in Year 11/12) spend three days at Macquarie University to discover tertiary options, explore the campus and make potential connections related to future study.
“I hope to inspire students with my research journey as well as to show them that a science degree can help open multiple doors when it comes to future career options,” says Dr Nadort. “The skills you learn at University are valuable and will stand you in good stead regardless of what you end up doing.”
Co-presenting the outreach session with Dr Nadort was Macquarie University’s Professor Orsola De Marco. She spoke to students about her own career journey as an astrophysicist and discussed the importance of tackling gender imbalance by encouraging more women to undertake STEM related study.
Below: Dr Annemarie Nadort explains the properties of light and how it can be best used to explore the inner workings of the body.
10 August 2018:
Over one hundred primary school children saw CNBP and Macquarie University researchers Dr Martin Ploschner (pictured) and Dr Annemarie Nadort present fun-filled light-focused science demonstrations at the Australian Museum as a part of National Science Week and the Sydney Science Festival for 2018.
Dr Martin Ploschner demonstrated how every-day items such as soap, detergent, money, and identity documents will glow or fluoresce when UV light is shone on them. Also demonstrated was the ‘glow affect’ from natural organisms such as scorpions, green leaves and bacteria on pistachios.
Dr Annemarie Nadort showed the children how they could see a network of blood vessels in their own tongue with a special microscope camera, facilitating an understanding of the human body and the tools needed to be able to see within it.
“The kids were amazed by seeing the continuous flow of red blood cells in the vessels. They were described as being like ‘in a rollercoaster’ or ‘like little ants walking on paths’, said Dr Nadort.
“It was great to see the excitement and interest from kids as young as six at our stand. Hopefully we managed to play a small role in promoting an ongoing interest in science in these bright and eager minds,” she said.
Below – Dr Annemarie Nadort and Dr Martin Ploschner demonstrate the wonders of science to children at the Australian Museum.
26 July 2018:
Touching on issues as diverse as space science, natural disasters, pollution and extreme biology, Yr 7- 12 high school students had the opportunity to gain insight into humanity’s big issues at a three day Macquarie University outreach event held in association with the organisation ‘One Giant Leap (Australia)’.
As a part of this event activity, CNBP’s Dr Annemarie Nadort undertook two separate outreach presentations to approximately 50 students, explaining the human body, the biology of blood, the physics of light and the potential of non invasive optical clinical technologies that could potentially be applied to humans in space.
“It was great to talk with such enthused students,” said Annemarie. “There were some great questions about how we can image deep inside the body and the many challenges that we face in being able to do so successfully.”
Below – Students are given a demonstration of a clinical micro-circulation imager by Dr Nadort. Using the device, blood cells and vessels under the tongue are able to be seen on the screen.
6 June 2018:
CNBP researcher Dr Annemarie Nadort has participated in ‘Fresh Science’, a national competition helping early-career researchers find, and then share, their stories of discovery. The program takes up-and-coming researchers with no media experience and turns them into spokespeople for science, giving them media training and a public event to present their science to the community. Ten researchers took part in the Fresh Science event for NSW.
Dr Nadort reports on her experience below.
“Fresh Science was an intense, colourful, and informative workshop ranging between fun and hard work. The first day consisted of a Q&A and mock interviews with journalists from television, radio and written news. The participants all had very interesting and new science to pitch and I definitely enhanced my network of Sydney researchers.”
“I also was impressed by the skills of the journalists. They said that society viewed them as the least trusted people, but their professionalism and ability to pick up the most important parts of our complicated science made me think the opposite!”
“The second morning consisted of a Q&A with commercialisation experts, the NSW Chief Scientist and collaboration experts, followed by a 1 minute pitch to stakeholders.”
“The workshop concluded with a final event at the Three Wise Monkeys Hotel: every Fresh Scientist presented their research for as long as their sparkler was still sparkling.”
“I was awarded the ‘highly commended’ distinction for my ‘bright sparks’ presentation which detailed the development of optical methods to improve the detection and therapy of high-grade brain cancer.”
Below – Dr Annemarie Nadort presents her science to an interested and engaged audience at the Three Wise Monkeys Hotel, Sydney.
10 May 2018:
CNBP’s Dr Annemarie Nadort has shone a light on biophotonics, microcirculation, medical device development and a career in science to an audience of 35 Yr 9-10 high school students, at an outreach session at Macquarie University, May 10th, 2018.
The students, attending the University as a part of a ‘career-ready’ day, were given a quick tutorial on blood and light and were then given a hands-on demonstration of a clinical microcirculation imager that was able to provide a real-time view of red blood cells circulating in capillaries under the tongue.
Students were then given a brief history of the imager’s development and then asked how they could potentially improve a mark-two version of the device from a biological, physics, engineering, IT and software perspective. This explained Dr Nadort was the sort of critical thinking required to kick-start a career in medical device design and development; and the skills that could be learnt from undertaking higher education study.
Feedback from the students was extremely positive. Half a dozen students tried the imager under their own tongues. Seeing the body’s cells operate in real-time on a large screen proved insightful and engaging to all in the room.
Below – Dr Annemarie Nadort explains to students how we can use light to see blood using innovative new tools and techniques.
18 April 2018:
Two fantastic sessions of outreach in two days by CNBP researcher Dr Annemarie Nadort saw 100 Year 11 and Year 12 students learn about biophotonics, blood cells and the skills required to create medical devices that benefit society.
The sessions took place at Macquarie University and were part of a highly successful initiative aimed at encouraging students to undertake higher education learning and potentially develop a career in science.
During the outreach sessions, Dr Annemarie Nadort provided the students with a brief overview of light-based imaging and how it could be best applied to examine blood inside the body. Students were then presented with a real-life case-study on the development of a clinical microcirculation imager. A hands-on demonstration of the device then took place, followed by an interactive group discussion on how the device could be potentially improved with future development. Students were then left with the message that there were many opportunities open to them across the scientific and technology disciplines, and that they should study in those areas that they were most enthusiastic about.
“I was extremely impressed as to how engaged these students were,” said Dr Annemarie Nadort. “They provided some great answers during the group discussion stage of the session and had really thought through issues and potential solutions. I could see the keenness for science and technology in the room and hopefully my sessions added to that keenness and passion for science. I’d love to see some of these students become the researchers of the future, developing their own fantastic new medical devices over the years and decades to come.”
Below: Dr Annemarie Nadort communicating the wonders of science to high school students and explaining what it takes to become a successful academic research scientist.
13 April 2018:
The BioNetwork 2018 symposium titled ‘Killing it in Science’ was held Friday, 13th April at Macquarie University with significant CNBP involvement at the event.
The aim of the symposium was to foster interactions across the Macquarie University biosciences researcher community encompassing the Science & Engineering and Medicine & Health Sciences Faculties.
A unique career-building panel session was held in the morning of the symposium and a scientific session was held in the afternoon to create a platform for interdisciplinary research collaborations to commence novel or strengthen existing projects.
CNBP Associate Investigators Dr Alfonso Garcia-Bennett (Macquarie University) and Dr Varun Sreenivasan (University of New South Wales) were both invited speakers at the event speaking to their careers in academia, providing tips for advancement as well as outlining challenges that they had faced.
For the science session, CNBP students Mina Ghanimi Fard and Sameera Iqbal (pictured top left) jointly presented on the brain and the targeting and measuring of central nervous system sugar receptors. Other CNBP students also took part with Piotr Wargocki, Kashif Islam, Minakshi Das and Rachit Bansal presenting their CNBP releated science during the morning and lunch-time poster sessions.
CNBP AI’s Annemarie Nadort and Nima Sayyadi were both key members of the symposium organising committee.
“We had a fantastic engaged crowd of over 150 attendees and a wide range of presenters covering careers in academia, research-industry collaboration, innovative bio-research activity and much much more,” said Annemarie Nadort.
“There was so much positive feedback from participants on the day and we’ve kick-started a great many conversations and discussions which will hopefully build new research relationships and lead to even more innovative science taking place.”
Below – Organiser Annemarie Nadort observing the successful symposium panel discussion from the wings.
15 December 2016:
CNBP researchers were at the forefront of this year’s Biofocus Conference held at Macquarie University, 15 December 2016.
Early career Centre researchers Annemarie Nadort, Lindsay Parker and Nima Sayyadi sat on the conference organising committee, Centre Deputy Director Ewa Goldys (pictured) opened proceedings while CNBP Chief Investigator Prof Andrew Abell (from the University of Adelaide) delivered an extremely well received plenary talk titled, “Defining biomolecular structure and function in solution and on surfaces: new therapeutics and biological probes.”
The annual conference provides a platform for the multidisciplinary community at Macquarie University to present and communicate research, discuss research outcomes and facilitate interdisciplinary collaborations spanning the fields of of biomedical sciences, biomedical engineering, physics, chemistry and medicine.
Feedback from attendees at this year’s event was extremely positive with plenty of formal and informal scientific discussion taking place between sessions.
11 March 2016:
Centre Chief Investigator Prof Nicolle Packer and researcher Dr Annemarie Nadort represented CNBP at the inaugural ‘Women in Life Sciences’ luncheon’, held in Sydney, Friday 11 March 2016.
The event was a celebration of success in the Life Sciences sector with a panel of industry leaders exploring entrepreneurial and leadership opportunities for women.
Discussed were issues relevant to women in the workplace, including targets versus quotas to increase participation rates, as well as thoughts on what is needed to achieve equality.
Attendees also had the opportunity to network with industry colleagues as well as to share their personal stories, challenges and insights.
A sold-out event, it is expected that the luncheon will become a regular annual fixture.
26 February 2016:
Dr Annemarie Nadort and CNBP researchers Jiangbo Zhao and Ewa Goldys have had a review paper accepted for the high-impact journal Nanoscale.
Title: Lanthanide upconversion luminescence at a nanoscale: fundamentals and optical properties
Authors: Annemarie Nadort, Jiangbo Zhao and Ewa M. Goldys.
Abstract: Upconversion photoluminescence is a nonlinear effect where multiple lower energy excitation photons produce higher energy emission photons. This fundamentally interesting process has many applications in biomedical imaging, light source and display technology, and solar energy harvesting. In this review we discuss the underlying physical principles and their modelling using rate equations. We discuss how the understanding of photophysical processes enabled strategic influence over the optical properties of upconversion especially in rationally designed materials. We subsequently present an overview of recent experimental strategies to control and optimize the optical properties of upconversion nanoparticles, focussing on their emission spectral properties and brightness.
The paper is available online.