7 December 2016:
CNBP PhD student Vicky Staikopoulos has presented a poster on preliminary work created from a collaboration between Hutchinson, Packer and Hoffmann labs at the Australasian Neuroscience Society 36th Annual Scientific Meeting hosted in Hobart 4-7th December 2016.
This work showcased CNBP and partner proteomic capabilities to measure with spacial topography, changes in identified peptide abundances throughout targeted pain processing areas.
This highlights the potential to identify many key peptides that may be involved in neuropathic pain development/maintenance that may have not been previously considered due to protocol limitations.
According to Staikopoulos this data was well received and a few scientists from various backgrounds were interested in watching this space.
9 February 2016:
We’re happy to report that Vicky Staikopoulos has started her PhD study at the Centre for Nanoscale BioPhotonics at the University of Adelaide.
Vicky who has worked closely with CNBP researchers in recent years as an assistant researcher and laboratory manager, is looking into the role of NO (nitric oxide) and HNO (nitroxyl) in neuropathic and inflammatory pain mechanisms within the CNS and periphery, as well as their involvement in morphine tolerance.
Using novel sensing tools developed by CNBP chemists (Michelle Zhang and Sabrina Heng) and CNBP physicist (Martin Ploschner), Vicky will be supervised by CNBP Director Prof. Mark Hutchinson and Dr. Elizabeth Beckett, Senior Lecturer in the School of Medical Sciences at the University of Adelaide.
Vicky hopes to identify novel targets for drug development in pain management and improve the effectiveness of current pain medication by increasing the understanding of drug tolerance using unique, CNBP generated, sensing and imaging tools for the first time.
17 October 2015:
CNBP was represented at the Society for Neuroscience (SfN) 2015 conference with researcher Vicky Staikopoulos presenting a poster on her nanoparticle research.
The conference took place October 17-21, at McCormick Place in Chicago. With more than 30,000 attendees from eigthy countries, SfN’s meeting is the world’s largest source of emerging news on brain science and health.
13 October 2015:
CNBP researcher Vicky Staikopoulos undertook a visit to the Maier/Watkins Laboratory of Behavioral Neuroscience at the University of Colorado in October 2015.
Potential collaboration and expansion of work currently being undertaken in the CNBP ‘Origins of Sensation’ space was discussed.
21 August 2015:
CNBP researchers Michelle Zhang and Vicky Staikopoulos visited Allenby Gardens Primary School in Adelaide during National Science Week. They talked to 30+ Year 5 students about the power of light and its use in medical research and diagnosis.
This included discussions on fluorescence in Nature and biology, and the use of advanced optical fibres, probes and lasers to better understand the living body.
Students at this outreach session were also provided with a demonstration illustrating the ‘exciting’ properties of light. Ultraviolet detecting beads containing pigments that change color when exposed to the sun, were used to show the impact of light on differing materials.
17 August 2015:
CNBP’s Vicky Staikopoulos presented a poster at the Australasian Neuroscience Society / International Society of Neurochemistry combined conference, in Cairns, August 2015.
The poster, detailing nanoparticle work in a perfused mouse brain, allowed Vicky to discuss her CNBP work to peers, for interest and feedback. There were positive responses to the work and people were interested in seeing how the research develops.
15 August 2015:
CNBP Director Prof. Mark Hutchinson and Centre researcher Vicky Staikopoulos were talking Pirate Photons at the ‘Kids Navigate Neuroscience’ outreach event, coordinated and hosted by the University of Adelaide Medical School, August 15, 2015.
The event, supported by the Centre of Nanoscale BioPhotonics, contributed to National Science Week activity, and saw 250 children aged 6-12 in attendance. Over an action packed four hours the children explored how the brain and nervous system work in a fun and hands-on way by participating in a series of interactive neuroscience exhibits created by University faculty members and health sciences/medical students.
Feedback from the event was universally positive, with children gaining the opportunity to engage with science content in an entertaining and and approachable way.
7 July 2015:
CNBP Research Fellow, Vicky Staikopoulos has only good things to say following a successful laboratory visit to partner collaborators located at the Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China.
In a post visit report she notes –
“CNBP team members were invited to spend a couple of weeks in the labs of the affiliated WNLO (Wuhan National Laboratories for Optoelectronics) to generate some work that would form the pilot data for potentially on-going collaboration & future publications. I thought this would be a great opportunity to learn some new imaging techniques for live animal work and opted to attend.”
“The idea put forth to Prof. Zhang and her team was use of our Chronic constriction model of neuropathic pain in the sciatic nerve, to then observe morphological or signal output changes in the spinal cord of live animals.”
“We attempted this work and in the process generated our first data that shows that this approach is feasible. We also learnt that we needed to improve some of our technical processes as regards future activity. Additionally, I learned about some of the limitations in carrying out live animal imaging and also undertook some new surgical techniques.”
“It was a great environment to work in, the students and staff at the institute made me feel welcom and were very generous with their time despite having their own work to do. They were willing to explore new ideas even if they hadn’t tired the activity themselves before.”
“I would highly recommend this facility to any CNBP student wanting to spend some time working in an overseas lab. This was a thoroughly rewarding place to visit.”
23 June 2015:
Vicky Staikopoulos, CNBP Research Fellow, was talking all things science at a recent outreach event at Alberton Primary School in Adelaide.
Invited to discuss how chemistry, physics and biology come together in the human body, Vicky’s focus was on light (physics), taste & digestion (chemistry) and how they affect the body (biology).
An interested and inquisitive group of 7-12 year olds, got to see what happens when food is ingested and digested via a video from YouTube, followed by a demonstration of what happens when food is placed into hydrochloric acid (the main acid in the stomach).
To understand how differing chemicals interact with the tongue for taste, the students participated in a paper testing experiment, where three children were given the same paper with a specific chemical and asked to describe their tasting experience. This also helped explain the differences, between people’s ability to sense and perceive chemicals.
Additionally, there was discussion about light and how it affects the human body (UV exposure on the skin and the production of vitamin D) and how people and other living organisms, see in differing wavelengths.
The session was judged to have been highly successful with feedback from the teacher noting much additional discussion from the students, on what they had seen and heard from this interactive outreach activity.
16 December 2014 :Science Communication workshop.
“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” – Albert Einstein.
On December 15-16th, 9 CNBP ECRs from University of Adelaide, RMIT University, Macquarie University and SAHMRI attended a science communication workshop at the Questacon workshop (Canberra) and were taught the importance of translating their research into lay terms. More specifically, explaining concepts such as the use of nanoparticles for targeted drug therapy to an 8 year old. Its harder than you think and involves the art of scaffolding; i.e. simplifying a concept by using analogies.
The most interactive and fun session of the workshop involved us creating models and physical demonstrations of our research and included us all running around the Questacon workshop to explain current, throwing paper at people as a demonstration of drug delivery, different coloured glow sticks as an analogy for the use of nanoparticles/probes to diagnose pain and the use of lots and lots of velcro and hot glue guns to make “up-scaled” nanoparticles. Think Playschool for scientists.
CNBP were proud to be sponsors of this professional development workshop which was developed by The ARC Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science, in partnership with the ARC Centre of Excellence in Convergent Bio-Nano Science and Technology and the ARC Centre of Excellence in Nanoscale BioPhotonics.
The workshop was designed to teach participants how to put their best foot forward in media interviews, community talks and scientific presentations.