Tag Archives: Melanie McDowall

CNBP meets the pollies

Hannah-and-CPyne4 March 2016:

CNBP fully embraced the opportunities provided by the just completed ‘Science meets Parliament’ event, organised by Science & Technology Australia, March 1-2, 2016.

The event, attracting 200 of Australia’s top scientists across all disciplines, aimed to help researchers understand how politics, policymaking and the media work, and gave them an opportunity to look at their science from an alternate point of view.

Over 100 federal parliamentarians also took part in the event, taking one-to-one meetings with scientists, attending debates and dinners and having informal discussions.

Attending from the CNBP were Director Prof Mark Hutchinson and researchers Dr Hannah Brown, Dr Alfonso Garcia-Bennett and Dr Melanie McDowall – all were focused on networking, meeting politicians and better understanding ways of improving communication of CNBP science to media, policymakers and parliamentarians.

STA President and CNBP Chief Investigator Professor Jim Piper was also actively involved, undertaking hosting and MC duties throughout the full two-day program, as well as meeting with key politicians and stakeholders.

Highlights included Prof Hutchinson and his involvement on a Q&A style panel, discussing his experiences as a ‘Science meets Parliament’ alumni. Outlined were tips on dealing with politicians including the need for researchers to engage more effectively with stakeholders, to keep it simple, to talk with passion and to stimulate interest through high-quality communication of exciting science.

An undoubted highlight for CNBP’s Hannah Brown and Alfonso Garcia-Bennett was getting the chance to meet with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to discuss their science. Both absolutely enjoyed the experience of meeting Australia’s leader and seeing his enthusiasm for innovative and ground breaking research.

In addition to this, the CNBP team managed to meet a wide number of parliamentarians throughout the two day program (both formally and informally), this including Minister Christopher Pyne, Minister Simon Birmingham, Assistant Minister Karen Andrews, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten and MPs Terri Butler, Adam Bandt, Andrew Southcott and Melissa Parke.

CNBP Director Mark Hutchinson summed up the event, “The SmP 2016 experience continued to surprise and inform me of new challenges and opportunities for scientific endeavours in the Australian political arena. It was so refreshing to hear from scientific leaders and policy makers of their driving passion to support our research efforts through quality and workable policy and political engagement.”

A ‘Behind the Scenes’ video taken at Science Meets Parliament by the RiAus also featured CNBP talent, with researchers Mel and Hannah figuring prominently.

CNBP is already looking forward to next year’s event!

PM _Science meets Parliament

Extending prematuration with cAMP modulators enhances oocytes

Mel McDowall High Res Edit 004022 February 2016:

CNBP senior researcher Melanie McDowall (pictured) and CNBP Chief Investigator Jeremy Thompson are co-authors on a newly published paper in the Journal ‘Human Reproduction’.

Publication title: Extending prematuration with cAMP modulators enhances the cumulus contribution to oocyte antioxidant defence and oocyte quality via gap junctions.

Authors: H K Li, M L Sutton-McDowall, X Wag, S Sugimura, J G Thompson and R G Gilchrist.

Abstract:

STUDY QUESTION:

Can bovine oocyte antioxidant defence and oocyte quality be improved by extending the duration of pre-in vitro maturation (IVM) with cyclic adenosine mono-phosphate (cAMP) modulators?

SUMMARY ANSWER:

Lengthening the duration of cAMP-modulated pre-IVM elevates intra-oocyte reduced glutathione (GSH) content and reduces hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) via increased cumulus cell-oocyte gap-junctional communication (GJC), associated with an improvement in subsequent embryo development and quality.

The paper is available online.

 

 

 

IPAS best papers competition

cnbplogosquare129 January 2016:

CNBP researchers featured prominently in the recent ‘Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing (IPAS) Best Papers’ competition.

The awards, presented in January 2016,  aim to showcase the quality and impact of the research being conducted by IPAS members.

Winners for the best ECR led Paper were Abel Santos, Agnieszka Zuber and CNBP Research Fellow Xiaozhou (Michelle) Zhang.

The best PhD Student Led Paper Awards went to CNBP student Malcolm Purdey, Parul Mittal and Tess Reynolds.

The Best Transdisciplinary Paper with a Strong Medical/Animal Science Element went to CNBP senior researcher Melanie McDowall.

Full details on the awards, all of the winners and their papers can be found at the IPAS web site.

Adelaide node visited by Karen Andrews MP

Andrews 417 April 2015:

CNBP Adelaide node was recently visited by Karen Andrews MP, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Industry & Science.

The visit proved to be a wonderful opportunity to explain in greater detail, the trans-disciplinary work that CNBP is undertaking across the nano biophotonics field, and its particularly advantageous nature to biological and medical research.

As part of the visit, Mrs Andrews met with Centre Director Mark Hutchinson and other senior Centre staff including Heike Ebendorff-Heidepriem, Mel McDowall and Kathy Nicholson, and was shown around several working laboratories to get a flavour of CNBP activity.

Topics discussed with Mrs Andrews included 3D imaging of live and intact cells, sensing technologies for advanced reproductive research, the use of photonics for advanced diagnostics as well as the specific use of lasers and fibre in CNBP related science.

Publication: Molecular Reproduction and Development

 

Embryo stained

3 February 2015 – Interdisciplinary and inter-node publication

Accepted in next to no time – CNBP scores our first internode and interdisciplinary Embryo publication

We have just submitted this paper a few days ago and the editor liked it so much that it was immediately accepted!  The paper cited below is a result of joint work between Dr Mel McDowall  and A/Prof Jeremy Thompson with other embryology co-authors, Prof Andrew Abell  and PhD Student Malcolm Purdy  (Chemistry Adelaide node of CNBP), and Prof Ewa Goldys (Physics, MQ node of CNBP). Andrew provided unique reagents and Ewa introduced quantitative analysis of the images. The images are also lovely, and Mel made a nice desktop background which we will submit for the journal cover.

This event demonstrates our collective power when we apply our diverse disciplines to a single CNBP biological challenge.

 “REDOX and anti-oxidant state within cattle oocytes following in vitro maturation with bone morphogenetic protein 15 and follicle stimulating hormone

Melanie L Sutton-McDowall 1,2, 7, Malcolm Purdey 2; Hannah M Brown 1, Andrew Abell 2; David G Mottershead 1, Pablo D Cetica 3, Gabriel C Dalvit 3, Ewa M Goldys 4; Robert B Gilchrist 1, 6, David K Gardner 5 & Jeremy G Thompson 1, 2

Accepted in Molecular Reproduction and Development.  Accepted 3 Feb 2015

 

Best Oral Presentation Award at Society for Reproductive Biology Conference

Mel McDowell24-27 August 2014: Conference presentation

Dr Melanie Sutton-McDowall presented at the Society for Reproductive Biology Conference.  This presentation entitled “The heterogeneous nature of cow embryos: sorting out the mixed bag of blastomeres” was awarded the Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) New Scientist Award (oral presentation).  For more information please click here to see the abstract.

In addition Dr McDowall was a member of the conferences program organising committee; Introduced for the public forum “Making babies in the 21st Century” and co-organiser of “Science meets publican” – a 60 second elevator pitch competition