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HIV protein Vpr in viral isolates from AIDS patients, investigation of the ...... Post-doctoral Fellow. Dr Ping Ye ... Ms Virginia James. Database .... Post-doc/Fellows ...



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OVERVIEW RESEARCH REPORT 57 805857 Chairman’s Report – 38 05Infection & Immunity – 30 R2 57 Director’s Report – 457 8 57 57 57 57 – 37C r ance Messages – 5 Liver and Metabolic – 43 8 N53 57 Research Highlights – 6 57 57Neuroscience and Vision – 45 Infection and Immunity – 10 R2N5357 57Cancer – 14 57 5757Cardio-respiratory – 48 Liver and Metabolic – 16 57 57 N59 5757 Neuroscience and Vision – 1857 Staff – 50 57 R2 N59 57 Cardio-respiratory – 20R2 International collaborations – 22OR6Publications 2006 – 54 N59 Advisory Board and Council of Governors – 242R2R PR2 R2Westmead Millennium Institute at a glance – 60 Organisation Structure – 25 R2 R4OP4OR6 Funding – 26R2 R4
Chairman’s Report
Medical research is driven by a hypothesis. A scientist begins Furthermore WMI researchers devised a test which assists in their project with a critical assumption or idea. While science identifying the appropriate treatment for multiple sclerosis can be serendipitous, presenting unanticipated results, it is patients.!ey have created a quick and non-invasive the researchers dogged pursuit of knowledge that advances diagnosis for brain infections, including brain abscess and our medical frontiers. meningitis and worked tirelessly to understand the nature of Like any investigation, medical research, is a step-by-step a liver disease now commonly known as NASH. process. It can be painstaking, entailing the collection and!rough its longitudinal, Blue Mountains Eye Study, WMI interpretation of endless data, over many years. A researcher researchers have identified the most common causes of will test, and re-test results before announcing an outcome. blindness in the elderly. And this year the Institute established Research at the Westmead Millennium Institute (WMI) is Australias first major collaborative breast cancer tissue bank focused on outcomes; outcomes, which will directly benefit – a central library of both clinical and molecular data for use patients and assist health care practitioners provide better by all Australian researchers. treatments and prevention strategies. Support of this high caliber medical research is critical. ! it researchers cannot continue to look for cures andis year the Institute celebrated its tenth anniversary. It Without has been a decade of outstanding achievement.! bettere diverse treatments. research work conducted at the Institute and its contribution I would like to thank those who do support and continue to to better healthcare outcomes is recognized internationally. support the Institute including the Millennium Foundation SinceitsformalestablishmentjustoveradecadeagotheoBfoardvaenrndoirtss,stSay"tvihceeWMSIerthean,dadraoByrosivdAilncouCndenydalthaHeAreWest Institute’s researchers have lead or contributed to a number Go of significant medical research breakthroughs. WMI is widely University of Sydney. acknowledged for its contribution to the discovery of the first Finally I would like to congratulate the Institute sta"on gene found to cause melanoma. WMI researchers are world their achievements over the past decade and wish them every leaders in HIV research, tracing and trying to prevent the success in 2007. way HIV enters the body. Australia’s only successful clinical islet cell transplantation unit for curing Type 1 diabetics, wasMr Paul Bell established by WMI researchers and this unit is still one of only a few in the world.
From the Chief Executive, From the Vice-Chancellor, Sydney West Area Health Service University of Sydney !of Sydney West Area Health Service is to providee vision !e University of Sydney has been allied with Westmead quality health care to the people it serves. Fundamental to since it was established in the late nineteen seventies. As a this objective is the support and enhancement of medical university teaching facility it is a first class campus. For almost research and innovation. three decades it has displayed an unrivalled ability to blend From the outset medical research has been a key part of the academia with the practicalities of healthcare delivery. Westmead campus.!e campus was developed on a highly From the outset its professors and doctors have embraced e"ective model - a tertiary teaching hospital, combining first both basic science and clinical medicine while at the same class clinical care with teaching and medical research. time emphasising the translation of research into better OverthepastdecadetheWestmeadMillenniumInstitutehastheenalyteharosuatcgoo,mtehsi.srWesheearncthhephIinlsotsitouptheywwasasforrmmallylyeensttraebnlicshheeddgrown to become one of Australia’s leading research institutes. Its primary objective of translating research outcomes in to Since then WMI researchers have contributed to the field improved diagnostics and more e" medical research in a number of diective prevention and of"erent ways. Not treatment strategies assists SWAHS in meeting our goal of only does their work contribute enormously to medical improving the health of our community through excellence knowledge, but their mentoring and support of PhD, in healthcare. Masters and Honours students ensures the continued growth I applaud the dedication and innovation of Westmead of a critical mass of research excellence. Millennium Institute researchers and wish them every success Over the past decade the University of Sydney has been in the next decade. proud to support the world-class medical research at  Westmead and as we continue our partnership, wish its sta"Professor Steven Boyagesevery success. Professor Gavin Brown AO FAA CorrFRSE
! In addition Associate Professor Philip O’Connell led a teamis year, the Westmead Millennium Institute reached a significant milestone celebrating a decade of excellence in which was awarded $16M over 4 years to establish the medical research. Australian Centre for Pancreatic Islet Transplantation.!is o earchers, is a translational centre which has already cured selected Ten years ago, we were a small group f 60 res ro patients with diabetes through transplantation of islets, a tcoovbeerionngefothuerlmaragjeosrtremseedairccahlarreeseasa.rcShinicnesttihtuetneswienhAauvsetrgaliaw,nperfectexampleofbenchtobedsideresearch. with five primary research divisions and over 400 sta"and!e expertise of the Brain Dynamics Centre, under the postgraduate students. leadership of Associate Professor Lea Williams was recognized Over the past ten years, our researchers have competed with this year when they received a Clinical Centre of Research the best biomedical research in the world but still maintained Excellence award to establish a Centre for Anxiety and a focus on outcomes.! and an Australian Research Council grant to Neurosciencee Institute’s motto ‘bench to bedside’ remains at the core of our work. Our research utilizes the conduct further research into the risk markers for depression. common and rapidly advancing technologies of cell biology!ese successes are based on the legacy of the research and genetic epidemiology. We share ideas and technology, pioneers of Westmead Hospital. In particular Professor Peter collaborating on new research directions for new diagnostics, Castaldi who we recognized this year with the inaugural treatment and therapies. Many of our discoveries are being ’Castaldi Oration’. Professor Castaldi was a driving force transferred to the frontline of health care services and new behind the establishment of this Institute and I would like to biotechnology. reiterate the Institute’s appreciation of his continuing support and guidance. Professor Peter Doherty, Nobel Laureate the Institute, ed tAhseDe"gelivirpmaIckntoaallsfootrntCesrefoethdnaehtaelsredirstairectorof"roatofnaPndutitgetehtsnIsgteerwuldeidaveoamoatninigetetnrewhoconduct both basic and clinical research and are recognized oration on “!e continuing threat of infectious diseases”. internationally in both endeavours.! Finally, to Mr Paul Bell, Chairman of the WMI Advisoryis year the Institute received 14 NHMRC project grants in addition to our three Board and Mr Pat Wilde,!e Millennium Foundation ongoing NHMRC Program Grants and 3 NHMRC Centres President, thank you. Both Boards whom you represent of Clinical Research Excellence.! on a volunteer basis, and have worked tirelessly over operatee breadth of the research is impressive, interactive and covers a diverse range of disorders the past decade to raise much-needed funds and support and diseases.!e funded projects will examine the molecular for the institute. Your e"orts are appreciated by not only the determinants of progression and treatment in melanoma, Executive but all here at WMI. genes underlying dermatitis and asthma, transport of Herpes Simplex virus in nerve cells, host factors a"ectingProfessor Tony Cunningham hepatitis C, nuclear receptors in liver disease, the molecular mechanisms of scarring of kidneys, the mechanisms of induction of high blood pressure by snoring, amongst others and eye disease in children.!ere is an encouraging degree of cross collaboration in the use of biomedical and genetic epidemiologic research techniques amongst the groups involved in these apparently diverse topics.
Research Highlights
In July, the Institute celebrated ten years of research.!e centrepiece of the celebration was the Inaugural Castaldi Oration delivered by 2005 Australian of the year and Nobel Laureate, Professor Peter Doherty.!e oration, was established to honour former Area Health Service Board Chairman and WMI Advisory Board Member, Emeritus Professor Peter Castaldi AO. More than 200 guests attended the event including the Right Honourable Gough Whitlam and NSW Health Minister John Hatzistergos.
!e Institute received more than $14 million in NHMRC funding during 2006, the largest amount awarded to any medical research institute in NSW.!irteen highly-competitive grants were awarded to the institute’s diverse range of projects including research covering diagnosis, treatment and prevention of liver disease, paediatric eye disorders, ovarian, breast and colon cancer, renal and kidney failure, serious viral infection, cardiac arrhythmia and respiratory disorders including asthma and sleep apnoea.
Research Highlights
Infection and Immunityfunded by both the federal government and the JDRF aims !e Nuclear Magnetic Resonance spectroscopy team, lead by to identify factors that cause graft damage and to develop a Professor Tania Sorrell had an extremely successful year with safer immunosuppressive regimen. the completion of studies showing that biochemical profiles!e Molecular Genetics of Allergy Group, lead by Dr of di" Jones made significant process in the understandingerent fungi can be identified using NMR spectroscopy Graham and which can be used for their clinical diagnosis.!and function of a new gene, PHF11, and the genetics  ofe work also showed that resistance to medicines used in therapy can its involvement asthma and eczema.!e group identified also be rapidly determined using this technology. genetic variants in PHF11 that increase the risk of developing Institute researchers together with Professor Adrian Mindel asthma and eczema. It also showed for the first time that conducted the first nationwide survey of adult infection PHF11 controls the expression of other genes expressed in a with Herpes Simplex viruses types 1 and 2 (which cause subset of immune cells called T-cells. oral and genital herpes respectively) conducted outside the USA. Such studies will provide the baseline information forCancer future deployment of vaccines against genital herpes expected Melanoma researchers lead by Professor Rick Ke"ord within the next five years. and A/Professor Graham Mann commenced a research r the Respondingtotheurgentnationalneedforknowledgeonrpisokgraominvestigatingthemoleculardeterminantsofavianu,infectiousdiseasesresearchersinvestigatedwaysNH,pMrRgCrefsusinodneadnpdrotrgeraatmmewnitllrbesepcoonnsdeuicntemdeloavnerotmhae.n!teex to rapidly and accurately identify the presence of the avian fiv e virus in people.! y ars.e virus researchers received two NHMRC e strategic grants to work on a portable diagnostic system that!e Genomics and Genetic Epidemiology group completed could show the presence of flu virus H5N1 in a human the Australian Melanoma Family Study (AMFS), with sample within two hours. A highly sensitive technique for the University of Melbourne’s MEGA Centre and the detection of potential resistance to antiviral drugs was also Queensland Cancer Fund Epidemiology Research Unit. developed.!is is one of the world’s largest population-based studies of melanoma. Approximately 1100 people who developed ! melanomae pioneering immunological clinical research of the before age 40 or una"ected controls were enrolled tphaenmcrebaetiicngislcehtocseelnlttroalnespdlaanntaAtiuosntrgalrioaunpwriedseulrteesdeairnchinthestudy,plusthousandsoftheirfamilymembers. a consortium.!e aim of the research is to develop pancreatic!e Breast Cancer Tissue Bank, a simple but vital research islet transplantation as a mainstream therapy for patients tool, began sample collection this year. Patients operated on with di#cult to control diabetes.! NSW hospitals were invited to donate tissue to the bank. ine new study, which was Researchers across Australia are able to access the bank.
Liver and Metabolic!e Brain Dynamics Centre capped a successful year with Dr Poustchi was the recipient of a Young Investigator the opening of their newly refurbished facilities.!e Baroness award at the Asia Pacific Digestive Disease Week in Cebu, Susan Greenfield o#cially opened three new laboratories. Philippines 2006, for related research on insulin resistance and responses to antiviral therapy in patients with ChronicCardio-respiratory hepatitis C. During 2006 LECRR researchers completed a major In the area of insulin resistance and liver disease, Dr I epidemiologic study that identified heavy snoring as a risk CuaaClinicalResearchFellowwontheUitdanfactorforthepresenceofcarotidarterywallatherosclerosisYoungInvestigatorAwardattheAsianPacincsAseconiti(plaque).Sincedislodgementofcarotidarterywallplaqueisassoc a on cause of stroke, this finding suggests that heavy snoring alone fPohriltihpepiSnteusd,yfoorfthihsestLuivdeiresmoenettihnegr(olMeaorfchad2i0po0k6i)niensiMnanila,posesasignicanthealththreat. mediating insulin resistance in hepatitis C. A project conducted by the Centre for Heart Research involved the creation of a chronic ovine (sheep) model of Neuroscience and Visionatrial flutter using purely percutaneous (through the skin) Researchers in the Centre for Vision Research in conjunction means. Previous models required open heart surgery. With with the University of Sydney, used data from the Blue the aid of new 3D electro-anatomical imaging, the group was Mountains Eye Study to investigate dietary fat and its able to reliably induce atrial flutter in sheep, similar to the relationship to this eye disease.! heart rhythms experienced by humans. Gene and abnormaley found that people who consumed one serve of fish a week had a 40% lower risk of stem cell therapy to treat such disorders of the conduction developing the early form of age-related maculopathy (ARM) system of the heart will commence in late 2007. and people who consumed three serves of fish a week had a 75% lower risk of developing the more severe form of ARM. A PhD project titled: Conscious and Nonconscious Emotion processing: An integration of fMRI and ERPs was recognized by the award of best PhD thesis for this year (winning the Tasman Lovell medal in Psychology). It identified the neural signature of conscious and nonconscious processing of fear and happiness.
We are examining important viruses and bacteria and how they interact with the immune system. We are also looking at how to manipulate the immune system for transplantation.
Infection and Immunity