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.

Best paper award

Jeremy Thompson26 August 2015:

Dr Melanie McDowall and A/Prof Jeremy Thompson (CNBP researchers) shared an award with 3 other authors given by the Society for Reproductive Biology for the best publication in the Society’s journal “Reproduction, Fertility and Development”. The award was presented at the Society’s Annual Conference in August in Adelaide.

The paper was titled: Hyperglycaemia and lipid differentially impair mouse oocyte developmental competence.

Authors were: Siew L. Wong, Linda L. Wu, Rebecca L. Robker, Jeremy G. Thompson and Melanie L. Sutton McDowall

The abstract can be found online: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25714624

 

Lab visits, seminars and lamas

lama_web19 August 2015:

CNBP researcher Mel McDowall, managed to get up-close and personal with a llama named Marco, during her recent trip to South America.

Mel was visiting the Instituto de Investigation y Tecnologia en reproduccion Animal (INITRA), at the Universidad de Buenos Aires, where she was hosted by Pablo Cetica, a long time collaborator in the field of cattle embryo metabolism.

In addition to meeting a number of research groups, including horse and cattle reproduction units, she also gave a departmental seminar “Master class: measuring metabolism in the oocyte and pre-implantation embryo”.

The technologies created within the CNBP were accepted with a large degree of enthusiasm and there was plentiful talk about future collaborations and possible research placements in Adelaide.

 

Youth ANZAAS visits CNBP in Adelaide

cnbplogosquare19 July 2015:

CNBP researchers Roman Kostecki, Georgios Tsiminis , Mel McDowall, Peipei Jia, Erik Schartner and Tess Reynolds were happy to host a visiting Youth ANZAAS tour at their laboratories at the University of Adelaide on July 9th, 2015.

Youth ANZAAS  (organised by the Australian and New Zealand Association for the Advancement of Science)  is an annual residential international forum for science students in Years 10 to 12. Every year, students from each State and Territory are selected to participate in science activities and experiences over a period of a week.

These high achieving students with eager minds were excited to be shown around the working CNBP laboratories, and learnt more about the research that is being undertaken by the Centre, from the lectures  that each researcher provided.

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.