CIBM News Archive
2010 News ItemsOctober 2010
Congratulations to Dan Johnstone — Winner of the 2009 ASMR Research Award (Domestic)
Dan is a member of CIBM and has recently returned from taking up this research award in the lab of Prof. Debbie Trinder at the University of Western Australia. Dan’s proposal, involving the investigation of the effects of iron overload disorders on the central nervous system, was selected for the award from a list of nationwide applications.
Congratulations to Professor John Forbes on winning prestigious research award.
John Forbes is the 2010 recipient of COSA’s Tom Reeve Oration Award for Outstanding Contributions to Cancer Care.
The award is presented to a national cancer leader who has made a significant contribution to cancer care through research, clinical leadership and community service during the year. John will be presented his award during the COSA ASM Conference dinner on Wednesday 10 November.
The Human Ethics website of the University of Newcastle has moved to
Research Ethics Advisors
News of our new Research Centre's building appear in GenomeWeb
Construction of the $90 million Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI) building is officially underway, signalling the start of one of the most significant research infrastructure projects in the region's history.
The sealing of a Time Capsule titled “Knowing” by Federal Member for Charlton, Greg Combet and HMRI Director, Professor Maree Gleeson has marked the commencement of the project on the Rankin Park campus, adjacent to John Hunter Hospital.
The Centre for Bioinformatics, Biomarker Discovery and Information-Based Medicine (CIBM) will be one of the 10 centres located at this new facility, which will be up and running before the end of 2012. The building has been made possible through unprecedented community support and funding from Federal and State Governments and the University of Newcastle.
The centres that this new facility will host will be critical in addressing health and medical questions for future generations and will provide a vital platform to further promote research, training and employment in the Hunter ( more...)
Recently NBN television featured a news series highlighting the work of the Hunter Medical Research Institute. In a recent program, they interviewed A/Prof. Pablo Moscato on cutting-edge research which could provide a predictive test for Alzheimer's Discease based on DNA. (more...)
Two new machines have been added to the ever-growing CIBM cluster: mendel, after Gregor Mendel, famous naturalist and "father" of genetics. koltsov, after Nikolai Koltsov, prominent russian geneticist who proposed the DNA structure 25 years before its description by Watson & Crick. These machines are similar to fisher in capability: fisher, mendel & koltsov have GPUs: 3fermi+1tesla, 3fermi, 4fermi respectively.
The winnners of the popular photographic exhibition, HMRI Through the Lens 2010, have been announced! The winning image was submitted by CIBM researchers, Dr Nikola Bowden and Dr Katie Ashton, and Ricardo Vilain from the Hunter Area Pathlogy Service. For more information about the exhibition please see the HMRI website.
To see a gallery of all of the entries, including several submissions by CIBM researchers, please see The Beauty of Biology article on the ABC Local Radio Website. The photos will also be on exhibition at Wallsend Library until the 29th of June.
April 2010: CIBM Researchers Publish in PLoS ONE
Congratulations to our CIBM researchers on the publication of their paper to PLoS ONE on April 13. The paper is "Uncovering molecular biomarkers that correlate cognitive decline with the changes of hippocampus' gene expression profiles in Alzheimer's disease" by M. Gomez-Ravetti, O.A. Rosso, R. Berretta and P. Moscato This is the second paper to be published by CIBM researchers in PLoS ONE on Alzheimer's Disease in less than two years. This manuscript required almost one year of work and it has been very well received. (more...)
March 2010: HMRI Building Gains Approval
The NSW Government has given development approval for the new Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI) building. The Centre for Bioinformatics, Biomarker Discovery & Information-Based Medicine (CIBM) constitutes the core of one of seven HMRI research program. CIBM researchers Moscato, Scott, Riveros, Bowden, and Ashton have been involved during the past two years in functional design process and elicitation of technical requirements, providing input in the areas of molecular medicine, bioinformatics, information-based medicine and information technology services.
The new HRMI building to be located next to the John Hunter Hospital will host CIBM’s supercomputing systems and high-throughput data acquisition technologies. The co-location on the same building of several members of the CIBM, currently workingat different campus, will facilitate joint research and boost the emerging interactions withother HMRI research programs, providing specialised data analysis and algorithmics.
This new $90 million research facility will house 400 medical researchers from The University of Newcastle and Hunter New England Health. The building, to be completed in the first half of 2012, will be located on the Rankin Park campus of Hunter New England Health.
HMRI is a partnership between the University of Newcastle, Hunter New England Health and the community. (more...)
February 2010: Appointment to Editorial Board for JCBi
Congratulation to A/Prof. Pablo Moscato on his appointment as a member of the editorial board of the new journal, Journal of Clinical Bioinformatics (JCBi). JCBi is a peer-reviewed open access, online journal, which publishes research papers and reviews featuring clinical applications and translational sciences of bioinformatics and the development of bioinformatics tools, methodologies, data integration and approaches for clinical and translational research.
January 2010: CIBM Researcher to Work with World's Best in USA
Two young researchers from the University of Newcastle have been invited to work with the world's leading schizophrenia and cancer experts in the United States.
PhD student Natalie Beveridge and Dr Nikola Bowden will this year spend three and six months respectively at the prestigious National Institutes of Health (NIH) at Bethesda, near Washington D.C. The NIH comprises more than 27 institutes and centres with 6,000 researchers and has the largest medical research budget in the world.
Dr Bowden will learn how to sequence the entire human genome and research childhood cancer, at the National Cancer Institute (NCI). Ms Beveridge is investigating what causes genes to behave differently in schizophrenia patients, and will work with a team at the National Institute of Mental Health. (more...)
2009 News Items
November 2009: CIBM Member Receives Recearch Award
Congratulations to Osvaldo Rosso who received the distinguished Pro Vice-Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Research Publications 2009. Rosso's research interests focus on time series analysis using nonlinear dynamical systems, wavelet transforms and information theory. Below is a selection of Dr Rosso's papers in 2009:
- Shakespeare and other English renaissance authors as characterized by Information Theory complexity quantifiers O. A. Rosso, H. Craig, P. Moscato Physica A 388 (2009) 916-926
- Distinguishing childhood absence epilepsy patients from controls by the analysis of their background brain electrical activity O. A. Rosso, A. Mendes, J. A. Rostas, M. Hunter, P. Moscato Journal of Neuroscience Methods 177 (2009) 461-468
- Distinguishing childhood absence epilepsy patients from controls by the analysis of their background brain activity (II): A combinatorial optimization approach for electrode selection. O. A. Rosso, A. Mendes, R. Berreta, J. A. Rostas, M. Hunter, A. Moscato Journal Neuroscience Methods 181 (2009) 257-267
October 2009: ARC Discovery Grant for John Attia
A project involving CIBM member John Attia has received ARC Discovery grant funding of $178,000 over three years commencing in 2010. A key national challenge for social science is to develop and evaluate cost effective health behaviour interventions that may have relatively small effects at the individual level, but which, when aggregated across a large population, produce a measurable benefit. The trials required to evaluate such interventions are typically subject to biases arising from study design and measurement of behaviour, and therefore result in poor estimates of efficacy and cost-effectiveness. By quantifying the extent to which aspects of the research process affect estimates of intervention efficacy, efforts to address national health priorities such as physical inactivity, smoking, hazardous drinking, and poor nutrition will be enhanced.
October 2009: HMRI Research Facility
The Hunter Medical Research Institute's (HMRI) world class research facility is taking shape, with plans available for public exhibition from the NSW Department of Planning from Monday October 12. (more)
October 2009: Effectiveness of Melanoma Treatments and the p53 Gene
CIBM Research Associate Kelly Avery-Kiejda has received funding from Cure Cancer Australia to study why treatment of melanoma is sometimes ineffective. Her research has confirmed a link between resistance to melanoma treatment and small isoforms of the p53 gene. This outcome will ideally enable the development of better melanoma treatments in the future. (more)
September 2009: Congratulations on Appointment to Editorial Board
Congratulations to Osvaldo Rosso for his recent appointment to the editorial board of the journal Information and to Drew Mellor for the recent publication of his book Reinforcement Learning, Logic and Evolutionary Computation.
June 2009: Two new Genes Implicated in the Pathogenesis of Multiple Sclerosis
MS affects 2.5 million people worldwide including almost 20,000 Australians. The causes of MS are unknown but are thought to be a combination of genetic predisposition and environmental factors. A recent article in Nature Genetics finds two new genes implicated in the development of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) that were not previously linked to the disease. The discovery was made by the ANZgene consortium - a collaboration of Australian and New Zealand researchers that includes CIBM members. (more)
May 2009: $35 Million grant to Facilitate the Construction of HMRI Building
An Australian Government grant of $35 million will facilitate the construction of a HMRI building on the Rankin Park Campus of Hunter New England Health. Professor Gleeson says the $90 million HMRI Building will bring together University of Newcastle and Hunter New England Health researchers to improve the health of Hunter people. (more)
March 2009: CIBM Research in March Issue of "Genome Technology"
Research conducted by CIBM in conjuction with HMRI is highlighted in the March 2009 issue of "Genome Technology". (full article)
February 2009: Election to University Council
Congratulations to Professor John Rostas on his recent election to the University Council.
January 2009: NHMRC Funding for Melanoma Research
CIBM members Dr Xu Dong Zhang, Dr Rick Thorne and Professor Peter Hersey have received almost $500,000 from the National Health and Medical Research Council to examine the resistance of melanoma to chemotherapy in an effort to find new treatments for the disease. In Australia, melanoma is the most common cancer in males aged 25-54 years and in females aged 15-29 years. (more...)
2008 News Items
November 2008: The 2008 NSW Bioinformatics Research Symposium
The 2008 NSW Bioinformatics Research Symposium to be held, on Wednesday, November 26, 2008, is the continuation of a series of successful bioinformatics symposia coordinated by Sydney Bioinformatics. Keynote speakers include CIBM co-director, A/Prof Pablo Moscato, who will present “Towards robust classification methods for clinical bioinformatics." (Symposium homepage)
November 2008: HMRI Awards for CIBM members
Professor Rodney Scott, a founder of CIBM, was recently recognised as the Hunter's leading health and medical researcher of 2008 at the Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI) Awards Night 2008. His research focuses on the genetics of breast and bowel cancer.
Other CIBM members to be awarded on the night were Bente Talseth-Palmer (HMRI PULSE education prize and HMRI grants) and Severine Roselli, Leonie Ashman, Rick Thorne, Chris Levi, and Nikola Bowden (HMRI grants). (more...)
November 2008: ARC LIEF grants awarded to CIBM
Nine CIBM members are among the recipients of three grants awarded in the 2008 Australian Research Council Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities (LIEF) program. The grants total to more than $1.7 million and will commence in 2009. The nine CIBM members are Leonie Ashman, Gordon Burns, Peter Dunkley, Pablo Moscato, John Rostas, Rodney Scott, Rick Thorne, Paul Tooney, and Nicole Verrills. Congratulations!
October 2008: Record NHMRC grant awarded
Eight researchers from CIBM are among the recipients of a record $14.8 million in funding from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC). CIBM members Professor John Forbes, Associate Professor Chris Levi, Dr Xu Dong Zhang, and Dr Peter Greer each lead a project that successfully attracted a grant from the NHMRC. (more...)
September 2008: PhD Scholarship for CIBM Student
The Macquarie Group Foundation, together with the Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI) announced a three year Macquarie Group Foundation PhD Scholarship for Mathew Cox, a student in Information Based Medicine. Mathew, who is part of Dr Jeannette Lechner-Scott's MS research group at John Hunter Hospital, will explore the role that genes play in the development of MS. (more...)
July 2008: Understanding Cancer Biology and Improving Human Outcomes through Clinical Trials
Leading breast cancer researcher Professor John Forbes will discuss in a public lecture this week how information-based approaches can improve outcomes for cancer sufferers. His address is a highlight of the Winter School in Mathematics and Computational Biology, organised by the CIBM. (more...)
March 2008: Young cancer researcher to meet the world's best
Gladys M. Brawn Memorial Post Doctoral Research Fellow Dr Nikola Bowden, a member of the CIBM, has been awarded a PULSE Education Prize to attend two international cancer research meetings in San Diego. Dr Bowden will present the results of her early research into a rare childhood skin cancer disorder, Xeroderma Pigmentosum (XP), at the world's largest cancer meeting, the annual meeting of the American Association of Cancer Research. She will also attend the Illumina User Group Meeting to learn from experts in genetic research. (more...)
2007 News Items
November 2007: HMRI announces CIBM member as the Hunter's leading medical researcher
CIBM member Professor John Forbes was recognised as the Hunter's leading health and medical researcher of 2007 at the Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI) Awards Night 2007. Over the last 20 years his research has improved the treatment and survival outcomes of women with breast cancer.
Another CIBM member, Mathew Cox, also received an award, the HMRI Award for Early Career Research. (more...)
October 2007: Millions of dollars for breast cancer research
CIBM member Professor John Forbes has attracted millions of dollars for breast cancer research from The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC). Professor Forbes said the NHMRC funding would allow his team to continue their world-leading research into the control and prevention of breast cancer. (more...)
August 2007: Newcastle CIBM cancer researcher wins national award
Award-winning young Newcastle researcher Dr Nikki Verrills is one of three researchers to be awarded the Voiceless Eureka Prize at this year's Australian Museum Eureka Prizes.
The award highlights work that has reduced, or has the potential to reduce, the use of animals or animal products in laboratory-based research, education and testing.
The University of Newcastle's Dr Verrills and colleagues at the Children's Cancer Institute Australia, Associate Professor Maria Kavallaris and Dr Sela Pouha, discovered what makes certain leukaemia cells resistant to chemotherapy, without using animals in their research. (more...)
May 2007: ARC Linkage grant awarded to CIBM members to study the genetic basis of Multiple Sclerosis
Researchers from eight major Australian institutions, which included the CIBM members P. Moscato, R. Scott and J. Lechner-Scott, were awarded a A$ 400,000 ARC Linkage grant to study the genetic basis of multiple sclerosis for the next three years. The project is entitled "Identifying genes that influence clinical course and susceptibility in multiple sclerosis" and will identify predisposition factors, aid early diagnosis and provide bona fide molecular targets for new therapies. Crucial new knowledge identified will benefit other major areas of MS research including epidemiology, immunology and neurobiology. (more...)
May 2007: CIBM member receives international grant for schizophrenia study
Dr. Murray Cairns, CIBM neuroscientist, based at the University of Newcastle has been awarded an international grant to support research aimed at developing better treatment for schizophrenia.
Dr. Cairns has received a Young Investigator Award from the US-based National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression (NARSAD), one of only two awarded to Australian researchers this year. (more...)
April 2007: CIBM welcomes new member
The CIBM has a new member, Dr. Kyu-Tae Kim, from the School of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Health. Before joining us, he was a postdoctoral research fellow at Sidney Kimmel Cancer Centre at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, one of prestigious medical research institutions. His research will help understand receptor tyrosine kinase signaling involved in tumour formation.
Exploring gene expression profiles of malignant receptor tyrosine kinase signaling give us better understanding cancer so that we can develop novel drug and approach targeted therapy. While a number of oncogenes have been identified that contribute to human cancer, in many cases the key oncogenes involved remain unidentified. Moreover, leukaemias, like other cancers, involve multiple genetic and epigenetic lesions i.e. the activation of more than one oncogene. The identification of (novel/established) genes that are capable of contributing to a cancer is an important goal for fully understanding the origin of these diseases.
March 2007: CIBM breast cancer researcher among top 10 'hottest' in the world
According to a media release, Professor John Forbes from The University of Newcastle has been named as one of the top 10 'hottest' researchers in the world, with his inclusion on the Thomson Scientific 'Hottest Researcher' list for 2005 - 2006.
John Forbes is Professor of Surgical Oncology at the University of Newcastle, Newcastle Mater Hospital, Group Coordinator of the Australia and New Zealand Breast Cancer Trials Group (ANZ BCTG), and a member of the Hunter Medical Research Institute Cancer Research Program. (more...)
2006 News Items
September 2006: Hunter Medical Research Institute Conference on Translational Cancer Research
CIBM's director, Dr. Pablo Moscato, presented a talk at the HMRI Conference on Translational Cancer Research entitled "Molecular signatures of breast cancer subtypes using combinatorial optimization methods". Also, Dr. Moscato, Dr. Alexandre Mendes and Dr. Nikola Bowden presented three posters at the event:
- Semi-supervised hierarchical classification for breast cancer outcome prediction.
- Benchmarking the ordering of microarray data
- Gene expression profiling in familial adenomatous polyposis and desmoid disease
Over 150 national and international participants were present at the conference, which had the support of The University of Newcastle and several biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, including Novartis, AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Pfizer, Roche, Glaxo Smith Kline, Merck, among others.
For further information, please refer to the Hunter Medical Research Institute website.
August 2006: New fellowships available
The Newcastle Bioinformatics Initiative will support applications for the 2007 round of the University of Newcastle's Research Fellowships.
The fellowships commence at Academic Level B1 for four to five years. Normally applicants would have two to three years post-doctoral experience and be within five years of completing their Doctoral qualification. This will be a highly competitive scheme and applicants are expected to have an outstanding track record relative to opportunity.
For further enquiries, please refer to the university's website.
August 2006: Centre for Bioinformatics, Biomarker Discovery and Information-Based Medicine (CIBM)
The Newcastle Bioinformatics Initiative is a key member of the recently created Centre for Bioinformatics, Biomarker Discovery and Information-Based Medicine (CIBM). The CIBM will coordinate the activities of 24 researchers affiliated with The University of Newcastle.
The core aim of research conducted by this centre will be the delivery of "bench-to-bedside" research by combining the often disparate disciplines of bioinformatics, molecular and genetic analysis, clinical information and population data. Specifically the CIBM will integrate the Newcastle Bioinformatics Initiative (NBI), the data generation facilities in Genomics and Proteomics, the Hunter Community Study and the existing Clinical Trials groups (Cancer, Multiple Sclerosis, Cardiovascular Disease and Dementia) for the purpose of Biomarker Discovery and Translational Personalized Information-based Medicine.
April 2006: New publications and Associate Editor for the Journal of Heuristics
Researchers from the Newcastle Bioinformatics Initiative had two papers accepted on April. One at the IFIP Conference on Artificial Intelligence, to be held later this year in Santiago, Chile, and the second in the bioinformatics journal Biosystems, from Elsevier. For more information, please refer to the 2006 publications section.
Also, the Newcastle Bioinformatics Initiative Director, Dr. Pablo Moscato, was invited to be Associate Editor for the prestigious Journal of Heuristics, from Springer Netherlands.
March 2006: Automated gene functional analisys
An honours student, together with researchers from the NBI began to develop a new software tool to automate the task of gene functional analysis. The project will finish by the end of 2006 and will help to simplify the time-consuming task of analizing the genetic signatures found for the different diseases under study.
The project's Chief Investigator is Dr. Alexandre Mendes and it has a budget of AU$ 5,000, funded by the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Newcastle under the Independent Investigator program. A Computer Science honours student will be working in the development of the software tool until the end of 2006.
February 2006: New research grants secured
Researchers from the NBI have secured two internal grants from the University of Newcastle, to create better computational tools for the classification of diseases and to automatically search and analyze the biological functions of large numbers of genes. The budget of the projects is AU$ 8,000 for one year of research.
The first project aims to create a tool to automatically detect subsets of samples with different genetic expression profiles in microarray datasets. The funding comes from the Independent Investigator program of the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, The University of Newcastle. The project's CI is Dr. Pritha Mahata and the budget is AU$ 3,000 for one year.
The second project aims to create a tool for automated gene functional analisys. The funding also comes from the Independent Investigator program of the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, The University of Newcastle. The project's CI is Dr. Alexandre Mendes and the budget is AU$ 5,000 for one year.