In the news

In the news/media releases 2018

Synopsis and story link

A/Prof Justin YerburyABC's Australian Story documentary on Associate Professor Justin Yerbury, 26 March 2018

Associate Professor Justin Yerbury's MND research and battle with the disease will feature in a documentary produced by the ABC's Australian Story, airing Monday 26 March, 8pm. Read more...

Professor Liz HalcombProfessor Liz Halcomb inducted into the nursing hall of fame, 26 March 2018

Professor Halcomb is the only Australian and one of 20 honourees selected from around the globe to be inducted into the International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame. Read more...

Great Illawarra WalkTeam IHMRI conquers The Great Illawarra Walk, 17 March 2018

A team of IHMRI administrative staff and researchers, plus their friends and family, took part in the Great Illawarra Walk fundraiser to support the Saving Chloe Saxby campaign and ground-breaking stem cell research at IHMRI. Read more...

Dr Kara Vine-Perrow. Photo by Mark NewshamIHMRI scientist awarded scholarship at International Women's Day event in Wollongong, 2 March 2018

Dr Kara Vine-Perrow has been awarded the inaugural Margaret Gardner Scholarship in recognition of her career in cancer research, at the International Women's Day Luncheon. Read more...

Nick Rousch. Photo supplied.Rare disease research at IHMRI in hunt for a cure for Friedreich's Ataxa, 28 February 2018

As part of Rare Diseases Day Australia, IHMRI is highlighting the important work being carried out by Associate Professor Mirella Dottori and her team here in the Illawarra. Read more...

Dr Trish Adams, Kara Lamond, Dame Bridget Ogilvie, Professor David J. Adams and Nadia Levin. Photo by Mark Newsham.Empowering women in health and medical research, 28 February 2018

In the lead up to International Women's Day, IHMRI once again held Lunch with Dame Bridget Ogilvie, a special event to celebrate and support female health and medical researchers in the region. Read more...

IChloe SaxbyHMRI researchers provide new hope for Chloe Saxby, 16 February 2018

New developments in stem cell research may hold the key to understanding Vanishing White Matter Disease, which could lead to a potential treatment for Chloe. Read more...

Dr Susan Furber (Chief Investigator), Jon Roberts (Pilot Participant) and Karen Waller (DTEXT Program Manager & UOW PhD candidate)Diabetes study in the Illawarra-Shoalhaven seeking participants, 8 February 2018

IHMRI researchers working in the Health Promotion Service of the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District (ISLHD) are seeking 340 people with type 2 diabetes to take part in a research program. Read more...

IHMRI PhD candidate, Rachelle Balez. Photo by Paul JonesBreaking the ice ceiling for women in science, 25 January 2018

IHMRI PhD candidates Rachelle Balez and Claudia Kielkopf are bound for Antarctica as part of the Homeward Bound leadership program for female scientists. Read more...

Queen Garnet plumsThe colour purple—Do plums pack a positive punch for better health? 19 January 2018

A clinical trial at IHMRI led by Associate Professor Karen Charlton is exploring the benefits of plum juice to protect against age-related diseases, such as high blood pressure. Read more...

Kelly Lambert. Photo by Mark Newsham

Boost for kidney disease research in the Illawarra, 18 January 2018

IHMRI researcher and Renal Dietitian, Kelly Lambert, has received a TRIP Fellowship from the National Health and Medical Research Council to develop a dietary model for patients with chronic kidney disease. Read more...

Dr Lezanne OoiWhy do motor neurons change before MND sufferers notice any symptoms? 16 January 2018

IHMRI researchers Dr Lezanne Ooi and Associate Professor Justin Yerbury have been awarded a grant from the Motor Neurone Disease Research Institute of Australia to investigate the onset of motor neurone disease (MND). Read more...

In the news/media releases 2017

Synopsis and story link

Dr Martina Sanderson-SmithTargeting the sweet spot to prevent bacterial infections, 6 December 2017

IHMRI Research Fellow and Theme Leader Dr Martina Sanderson-Smith has been awarded a prestigious National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) grant to continue research into bacterial sugar recognition to prevent infection. Read more...

Pregnancy study 100x100Pregnancy study for women with obesity in the Illawarra, 1 December 2017

IHMRI researchers are taking a fresh look at how diet and exercise can reduce pregnancy complications and deliver healthy babies in the Illawarra. Read more...

PancreasNew drug delivery system for pancreatic cancer developed by IHMRI researchers, 28 November 2017

A team of IHMRI scientists and clinicians are working together to test a new way of administering chemotherapeutic drugs. Read more...

Belmore Basin, Wollongong. Photo by MOD PhotographyUnlocking the key to living a longer, healthier life, 17 November 2017

Neurodegenerative diseases and ageing will be the focus of the third International Proteostasis and Disease Symposium to be held in Wollongong, from November 20-22. Read more...

Professor David AdamsIt's being described as an industrial revolution for Australian biosciences, 15 November 2017

The Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute is set to get a state-of-the-art robot that will enable researchers to do a year's worth of work in just one day. Read more...

Associate Professor Justin YerburyIHMRI scientist wins motor neurone disease research prize, 10 November 2017

Molecular Biologist, Associate Professor Justin Yerbury, has been awarded the prestigious Betty Laidlaw MND Research Prize. Read more...

Professor Ian WrightGiving preterm babies a better chance at survival, 3 November 2017

Professor Ian Wright has contributed to an important study into the benefits of delaying umbilical cord clamping by 60 seconds. Read more...

Dr Kara VineIHMRI hosts 11th annual Drug Delivery Australia Conference to showcase the latest in drug delivery research, 23 October 2017

The 2017 Drug Delivery Australia Conference brings together prominent scientists from pharmaceutical, medicinal, biological, engineering, and chemistry backgrounds to discuss emerging technologies in drug delivery science. Read more...

Professor Nadia SolowijIHMRI researcher to co-lead new research centre to study medicinal cannabis, 11 October 2017

Professor Nadia Solowij will co-lead a team of Australian researchers and clinicians in establishing a world-first centre to coordinate research into medicinal cannabis use. Read more...

Professor Rodney CroftIHMRI researcher awarded NHMRC grant to study possible health risks of mobile phones and Wi-Fi, 11 October 2017

Professor Rodney Croft from the Australian Centre for Electromagnetic Bioeffects Research to investigate potential danger of exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic energy. Read more...

Senior Professor Xu-Feng HuangResearchers identify molecule deficiency in patients with schizophrenia, 4 October 2017

IHMRI researcher Senior Professor Xu-Feng Huang may be one step closer to developing a new drug to treat the negative symptoms of schizophrenia after uncovering a molecule implicated in cognitive deficits. Read more...

Dr Katrina GreenHealthy gut = healthy mind? 4 October 2017

IHMRI researchers, Dr Katrina Green, Senior Professor Xu-Feng Huang and Professor Nagesh Pai, are investigating the potential benefits of probiotics for people living schizophrenia? Read more...

Jess Dobson

Could a newly designed work boot save underground coal miners in the Illawarra from injury? 22 August 2017

IHMRI researchers, Jess Dobson and Professor Julie Steel, have designed a number of prototypes they believe could one day revolutionise the industry. Read more...

Professor David AdamsSea snails could hold the key to chronic pain relief, 1 August 2017

Poisonous sea snails found off Australia’s coastline could provide the next big breakthrough in pain relief. Research by IHMRI Executive Director Professor David Adams, is a step closer to a safe pain relief alternative to morphine. Read more...

PhD candidate Ashleigh Osborne and Dr Katrina GreenCannabis compound has potential to unlock new cognitive treatment for schizophrenia, 1 June 2017

PhD candidate Ashleigh Osborne and Dr Katrina Green have discovered that an active compound in cannabis plants may alleviate cognitive impairment, providing a vital opportunity in the treatment of schizophrenia. Read more...

Dr Kara VineProtein study reveals new insights into bowel cancer, 29 May 2017

IHMRI scientists and doctors uncover potential new way to assist in early detection and monitoring of bowel cancer. Read more...

Professor Ian WrightLong-term impact of neonatal abstinence syndrome tracked with NAPLAN data , 11 May 2017

IHMRI researcher and Paediatrician Professor Ian Wright is the co-author of a new study which has revealed the poor long-term school results of children born with neonatal abstinence syndrome. Read more...

Dr Justin Yerbury and Isabella Lambert-Smith

Protein deposits: the black holes of motor neurones, 10 May 2017

A five-year international research project led by Principal Research Fellow Dr Justin Yerbury is making progress into the causes of motor neurone disease (MND). Read more...

IHMRI Grants Program2017 IHMRI Grants Program, 26 April 2017

The 2017 IHMRI Grants Program is now open for applications from academic, clinicians and health professional researchers. Seven grants are available across two schemes, providing $130,000 in total. Read more...

Dame Bridget OgilvieDame Bridget Ogilvie Career Advancement Scholarships, 6 April 2017

Following on from our highly successful inaugural event that celebrated women in health and medical research in the Illawarra, Lunch with Dame Bridget Ogilvie, IHMRI is very pleased to announce the Dame Bridget Ogilvie Career Advancement Scholarships. Read more...

Dr Martina Sanderson-Smith and Dr David de OliveiraIHMRI researchers discover link between Streptococcal infections and blood type, 5 April 2017

Senior Research Fellow Dr Martina Sanderson-Smith, and Post-Doctoral Researcher Dr David De Oliveira, have found that people with a common blood group could be more susceptible to Streptoccocal infections. Read more...

Aboriginal Healthy Hearts Research Workshop

New research initiative to address high rates of coronary heart disease in Indigenous people, 30 March

IHMRI and Research Central at The Wollongong Hospital bring together health experts, public servants, doctors and members of the community to discuss solutions to this pressing health issue. Read more...

Winners of the Dame Bridget Ogilvie Awards

Dame Bridget Ogilvie awards and scholarships recognise female researchers, 10 March 2017.

In the week of International Women’s Day, IHMRI has funded two awards to celebrate outstanding work by female IHMRI researchers, with the inaugural recipients, Dr Rebecca Stanley and Kelly Lambert, receiving $3000 each. Read more...

Tour de Cure donationCyclists spin funds for cancer research, 6 March 2017

Cancer charity Tour de Cure donates $10,000 to Professor Marie Ranson and Oncologist Professor Philip Clingan to support Phase II clinical trials of new cancer drug, Deflexifol. Read more...

Dame Bridget OgilvieIHMRI tackles the science of gender equality, 6 March 2017

In the spirit of International Women’s Day celebrations, IHMRI hosted an event with our patron, Dame Bridget Ogilvie, to support and recognise female researchers in the Illawarra region. Read more...

ACES and IHMRI schizophrenia research

Reversing the cause of schizophrenia, 2 March 2017

Researchers from IHMRI and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Sciences (ACES) have developed a potential new treatment for schizophrenia that targets its underlying cause. Read more...

Professor Peter MetcalfeIHMRI researchers awarded funding to develop world-first radiotherapy system, 2 March 2017

A Cancer Council NSW funded project led by Professor Peter Metcalfe from UOW's Centre for Medical Radiation Physics will make radiation therapy safer and more effective. Read more...

Associate Professor Ronald Sluyter

Motor neurone diseases: the search for new treatments, 2 February 2017

IHMRI researchers Associate Professor Ronald Sluyter and Dr Justin Yerbury to investigate potential drug to halt the progression of motor neurone diseases. Read more...

In the news/media releases 2016

Synopsis and story link

IHMRI launches Science Communication Competition smallHelping scientists explain science: IHMRI launches Science Communication Competition, 15 December 2016

IHMRI researcher Dr Kara Perrow, from UOW's School of Biological Sciences, organised the Science Communication Competition to help PhD students, post-docs and researchers improve their presentation skills for a community audience. Read more...

Dr Michael Friedrich and Professor Roger Truscott

New insights into the cause of multiple sclerosis, 7 December 2016

IHMRI researchers Professor Roger Truscott and Dr Michael Friedrich track the breakdown of myelin basic protein in the brain, paving the way for a new understanding of this autoimmune disease that affects over 23,000 Australians. Read more...

Professor Barbare Meyer and Associate Professor Mitch Byrne. Photo by Paul Jones

IHMRI researchers awarded more than $3.8M in NHMRC grants, 3 December 2016

Five IHMRI researchers at the University of Wollongong have been awarded highly-competitive and prestigious grants from the National Health and Medical Research Council for their vital research into major health challenges in Australia. Read more...

Illawarra Shoalhaven Suicide Prevention Collaborative

Illawarra-Shoalhven trial of Lifespan Integrate Suicide Prevention system, 1 December 2016

Representatives from the Black Dog Institute attended the December 2016 meeting of the Illawarra Shoalhaven Suicide Prevention Collaborative (ISSPC), held at Kiama Pavilion, to discuss the implementation of the trial in 2017. Read more...

National Meal Guidelines

IHMRI researchers develop National Meal Guidelines for Meals on Wheels, 30 November 2016

A team of IHMRI researchers led by Associate Professor Karen Walton, from UOW's Smart Food Centre, have developed the National Meal Guidelines for the Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP). Read more...

A Prof Karen Charlton

Managing malnutrition in older people, 29 November 2016

A partnership between Grand Pacific Health and a team of IHMRI researchers led by Associate Professor Karen Charlton will develop malnutrition screening and nutrition care plans to allow older people to maintain independence. Read more...

Dr Jiamei Lian

Study examines impact of antipsychotic drugs on young minds, 18 November, The Illawarra Mercury

Early career researcher Dr Jiamei Lian has been awarded a prestigious National Health and Medical Research Council biomedical fellowship to further her work on the risks of growing use of drugs in childhood. Read The Illawarra Mercury story.  Read UOW story.

NSW Minister for Health, Pru Goward

Project Air Strategy for Schools breaking new ground, 4 November 2016

Project Air Strategy for Schools is a unique and collaborative program, co-developed by Dr Michelle Townsend from UOW's School of Psychology, that aims to address the alarming rates of youth suicide and self harm. Read more...

IHMRI researchers awarded more than $1.3 million in Australian Research Council grants, 1 November 2016

Distinguished Professor Anatoly Rozenfeld, Dr Susanna Guatelli, Professor Jun Chen and Dr Bridget Kelly have all received grants from the Australian Research Council. Read more...

Associate Professor Judy Mullan

Study shows knowledge gap in safe use of over-the-counter pain medications, 25 October

New research from Associate Professor Judy Mullan has exposed a knowledge gap between consumers and the safe use of over-the-counter (OTC) products containing ibuprofen. Read more.

Professor Philip Clingan and Professor Marie Ranson

Human trials saving lives, 15 October, The Illawarra Mercury

Wollongong cancer patients are putting their bodies on the line to increase survival rates and improve the quality of life, for themselves, and countless others. More here.

Dr Javad Foroughi

Spinning a clever yarn: artificial muscles no longer the realm of science fiction, 11 October 2016

Dr Javad Foroughi has created a new smart textile made from carbon nanotube and spandex fibres that is capable of sensing and moving in response to a stimulus from a muscle or joint. Read more...

Professor Alison Jones

IHMRI researchers improving patient outcomes, 4 October 2016

Three IHMRI researchers, Professor Alison Jones, Clinical Associate Professor Geoff Murray and Dr Susan Furber, have been granted Translational Research Grants for projects on deliberate self-harm, opioid dependence and diabetes type 2. Read more...

Brin GrenyerPsychologists collaborate on Australia’s largest suicide prevention trial, 9 August

Clinical psychologist Professor Brin Grenyer will help implement Australia’s largest integrated suicide prevention program in the Illawarra and Shoalhaven. Read more.

Dr Anita Needham

Researchers unlock market potential of gluten-free sorghum, 24 June, ABC TV

A study conducted in IHMRI's Clinical Research and Trials Unit by PhD candidate, Anita Needham, has revealed untapped potential for the Australian-grown grain, sorghum, in reducing obesity. More here.

IHMRI student Michael De Santis

Antipsychotic use in childhood could have significant long-term effects, 22 June, ABC TV

A study conducted by IHMRI-affiliated researchers has revealed potential life-long impacts of early antipsychotic use on depression, anxiety and hyperactivity. More here.

Dr Amy Wyatt thumb

Profile: Dr Amy Wyatt, 30 May

Before Dr Wyatt even starts her research project in June 2016, she has already beaten the odds. She was one of only three UOW researchers to attract a National Health and Medical Research Project Grant in 2015 as lead investigator, and one of just 515 successful applications from a field of 3,758, which equates to a success rate of just 13.7 per cent. More here.

IHMRI Student Tiantian Jin and Prof Xu Feng Huang

Health and medical students develop device to rapidly separate cells, 27 May

An innovation developed by PhD students from IHMRI and the University of Wollongong will help neuroscientists test the effects of drugs on isolated cells responsible for diseases like schizophrenia and improve the productivity and efficiency of a common laboratory task. More here.

Dr Kara Perrow

New class of molecules proves promising in the fight against multi-drug resistant cancers, 17 May, ABC TV, ABC Online, ABC Local, WIN TV

IHMRI researchers have discovered a new class of molecules originally derived from sea snails that are showing promising results against multi-drug resistant cancers. The molecules, called N-alkylisatins, killed 100 per cent of drug resistant cancer cells in the lab in just 48 hours. More here.

Dr Danielle Camer and Dr Yinghua Yu thumb

New drug promising in the prevention of obesity, 27 March, WIN TV

A new drug derived from a chemical found in olive oil appears to prevent obesity in mice fed a high fat diet. The discovery could lead to new treatments that prevent diabetes in pre-diabetes patients and for those taking anti-psychotic medication, which is renowned for causing weight gain. More here.

Dr Justin Yerbury and Natalie Farrawell

New gene link provides hope to families with Motor Neurone Disease, 18 April, ABC News, WIN TV, Health Canal and ALS News (US)

IHMRI researchers have contributed to a breakthrough in our understanding of Motor Neurone Disease (MND) which will lead to the development of a new genetic test for the fatal disorder. As reported to Nature Communications, the 70-strong research team have linked a gene called CCNF to MND and Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) for the first time. More here.

Professor Roger Truscott

Research raises questions on the cause of Alzheimer’s disease, 1 March

Conventional wisdom on the cause of Alzheimer’s disease, and current thinking on treatment strategies, may be called into question by the publication of a scientific paper suggesting that the real culprit may be slow changes to plaque in the brain that simply happen with time. Release here.

Dr Justin Yerbury and Dr Kara Perrow 2

Illawarra scientists attract American funding to tackle MND, 18 January, ABC Online, WIN TV, ABC Local, ALS Today News

The American Department of Defense (DoD) has awarded two IHMRI researchers US$500,000 to develop a new treatment strategy for Motor Neurone Disease (MND), a devastating illness with no known cure and only one drug available to alleviate symptoms. ABC Illawarra story here. Release here.

In the news/media releases 2015

Synopsis and story link

Dr Justin Yerbury and Dr Kara Perrow

IHMRI researchers to tackle Motor Neurone Disease with cancer expertise, 26 November, WIN TV, i98FM

The worldwide quest to develop an effective treatment for the devastating Motor Neurone Disease (MND) will be pursued by IHMRI researchers after they won a substantial grant from the MND Research Institute of Australia (MNDRIA) today. Neuroscientist, Dr Justin Yerbury will work with cancer biologist, Dr Kara Perrow, to develop a new drug delivery system. Release here.

NHMRC announcement

More than $3M awarded for vital medical research, 11 November

As part of today's National Health and Medical Research Council funding announcement, IHMRI researchers were awarded more than $3.2 million to develop new breast cancer drugs, reduce obesity and fight dementia.

IHMRI ED David Adams

IHMRI attracts new talent to the region, 7 October

Following an extensive recruitment effort, IHMRI today announced the appointment of Professor David Adams as its Executive Director. The former Director of the Health Innovations Research Institute at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) University will take up the new role in December. Release here.

Suicide Prevention Collaborative

Suicide targeted by Illawarra health experts, 7 September, Illawarra Mercury and South Coast Register

IHMRI researchers, regional healthcare experts and educators have come together to tackle the suicide epidemic through the Illawarra Shoalhaven Suicide Prevention Collaborative - a new working group that will develop a comprehensive plan to provide services where and when people need them. Story here.

Professor Nick Dixon and A/Prof Aaron Oakely

Scientists solve another step in the DNA replication puzzle, 1 September

IHMRI theme leader, Professor Nick Dixon, is the lead author of a Nature paper explaining how particular proteins bound to DNA can be a barrier to DNA replication, which has implications for understanding how these blocks may form and be overcome in human cells.

Dr Sarah Loughran

Are mobile phones having an impact on kids while they sleep? The Conversation, Huff Post, ABC Radio (and worldwide exposure), 12 August

A world-first study investigating the effects of mobile phone emissions on the sleeping patterns, brain activity and cognitive performance in children and adolescents has commenced at IHMRI after a state-of-the-art sleep laboratory was integrated into IHMRI's Clinical Research and Trials Unit. The Conversation piece here. 

Drs Justin Yerbury and Lezanne Ooi

Major funding boost for dementia research in the Illawarra, Illawarra Mercury, 10 August

As part of its $200 million Boosting Dementia Research budget measure, the Australian Government has awarded a $6.7M grant to a Macquarie University team to take up the fight against dementia and related neurodegenerative diseases. The team includes IHMRI researchers, Dr Justin Yerbury and Dr Lezanne Ooi, who will investigate frontotemporal dementia. Mercury story here.

PhD candidate Adam Verrender

Is wireless technology making us sick? WIN TV, 20 July

IHMRI researchers want to hear from local residents who experience headaches, nausea and other negative health symptoms after being exposed to electromagnetic energy (EMF) from mobile phones, base stations, Wi-Fi and smart meters as part of an investigation into the phenomenon known as Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity. Story here. 

Professor Alan Pettigrew IHMRI Chair

IHMRI sets a new benchmark for regional health research Health Professional Radio, 26 June

As part of its Health Academy Series, Health Professional Radio conducts an in-depth interview with IHMRI Chair, Professor Alan Pettigrew, about the role that IHMRI plays in bringing academic and clinician researchers together in a world-class facility to solve local health problems. Listen to the interview or read the transcript here.

Dr David Camfield

Search for depression biomarkers could lead to simpler more personalised treatments, 25 June, ABC Illawarra, The Australian, WIN TV

IHMRI-affiliated researchers have embarked on a study to identify biomarkers for depression, which could lead to simpler diagnosis and more personalised treatments. The study, led by Cognitive Neuroscientist Dr David Camfield with Professor Rodney Croft aims to develop an objective diagnostic test that can be easily administered by a GP. More here.

IHMRI Nuts study Linda Tapsell

Translating science is not all nuts, 2 June, WIN TV

A report on nuts and heart health conducted by IHMRI-affiliated researchers confirms that regular nut consumption can play a significant role in lowering the risk of death from heart disease. Release here.

IHMRI Shingles study

Shingles vaccine study published in top medical journal, 1 June

IHMRI's decision to establish a dedicated Clinical Research and Trials Unit on the University of Wollongong campus in 2010 has paid dividends, with the results of its first-ever pharmaceutical trial on a shingles vaccine published in the world’s top clinical journal. Story here.

Professor Marie Ranson and Phil Clingan

Anti-cancer formulation begins clinical trail, 21 April, The Australian, Illawarra Mercury

A new drug developed by IHMRI-affiliated researchers or the treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC), has begun a phase 1 trial in humans in the Illawarra. UOW story here. The Australian story here. Mercury story here.

IHMRI PhD candidate Sarah Hancock

Study finds increase in healthy Omega-3s in the brain as we age, 8 April

IHMRI researchers have found surprising evidence that the amount of health-giving omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in the human brain don’t decrease with age. They increase. The finding, published in the Neurobiology of Aging, is the first to emerge from a research program looking at the role that phospholipids play in ageing and Alzheimer’s disease. Release here.

Professor Brin Grenyer thumb

Explainer: What are personality disorders and how are they treated? 24 March, The Conversation

The scientific leader of the IHMRI's Mental Health and the Ageing Brain, Professor Brin Grenyer, adds to the knowledge base of current thinking on personality disorders and how to treat them in The Conversation in an effort to further break down stigma and misinformation.

IHMRI PhD candidate Nat HarrisRapping doctor's beef with cancer,  14 March, UOW Media, YouTube, ABC Radio National, ABC Illawarra, Triple J, Mirror UK and more 

When Nat Harris started his PhD at IHMRI three years ago, he had no idea he would be able to combine his passion for rapping with his research into innovative cancer treatments. His rap for the worldwide Thinkable Open Innovation Award has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times.

Project Air Strategy release

Major funding boost for the treatment of personality disorders, 20 January, Sydney Morning Herald, Illawarra Mercury

In December 2014, the NSW Minister for Mental Health, the Hon. Jai Rowell announced a $115 million funding boost to mental health services in NSW. Today at Sutherland Hospital he announced that the package would include $1.8 million over the next two years to extend the Project Air Strategy for Personality Disorders. SMH story here.

IHMRI Xu-Feng Huang and Yinghua Yu

Researchers build case against diet high in saturated fatty acids,  19 January, Health Canal

If the world needed further evidence on the link between a diet high in saturated fats and obesity, IHMRI researchers have demonstrated that the consumption of palmitic acid – a major source of saturated fatty acids in our diet – induces brain inflammation and impairs the leptin signalling pathways that regulate appetite. Release here.

In the news/media releases 2014

Synopsis and story link

Australian cherries

Serving of cherries a day 'boosts memory'27 December, Illawarra Mercury 

If you needed any more reasons to eat your fill cherries this festive season, IHMRI researchers have found promising results on how the chemicals found in cherries affect brain function in older adults, particularly those with dementia.

IHMRI Chair, Professor Alan Pettigrew

New script prescribed for medical research, 21 December, Illawarra Mercury 

IHMRI Chairman, Professor Alan Pettigrew talks to Illawarra Mercury health writer, Lisa Wachsmuth, about the opportunities ahead for the institute, how he plans to tackle some of the funding challenges and the contribution that IHMRI is making to the Illawarra community by attracting the best researchers.

Dr Francesca Fernandez

Cognitive function and dysfunction, 18 December, International Innovation

Dr Francesca Fernandez-Enright is a senior research scientist with a background in genetics and neurosciences. In the journal, International Innovation, she discusses her work on the complex mechanisms surrounding cognitive function and dysfunction, with specific application to schizophrenia. Story here.

Illawarra Born participant

Minister's visit shines a light on Illawarra Born study, 5 November, Illawarra Mercury 

The Illawarra Born cross-generation health study captured the imagination of NSW Health Minister and Minister for Medical Research, Jillian Skinner MP, during her visit on Thursday 4 December. The study has already recruited a several local women, including Brinie, whose son Benji will have his health tracked over the next 20 to 30 years.

Minister Skinner

Health Minister meets Illawarra's women in science, 4 November, Illawarra Mercury, ABC Illawarra, i98FM, WIN TV

NSW Health Minister and Minister for Medical Research, Jillian Skinner MP, visited IHMRI today (Thursday 4 December) to meet with four young female researchers at the cutting edge of their fields. More here.

IHMRI Dr Lezanne Ooi and Prof Brett Garner

Neuroscientists investigate the main gene responsible for late-onset Alzheimer’s Disease20 November

A study to determine how and why the main gene responsible for late-onset Alzheimer’s Disease regulates neuron survival is underway at IHMRI. The study, led by neuroscientist Professor Brett Garner, will investigate the disease affecting 10 per cent of people over the age of 65, and 30 per cent of people over the age of 85 in Australia.

IHMRI Nature Communications release

Researchers say beautiful protein may be nasty to bacteria, 18 November, Health Canal

In the journal Nature Communications today, researchers in UK, Sydney and Wollongong present, for the first time, detailed structural information on a protein that plays a crucial role in cell division in pathogenic bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus (‘golden staph’), representing an important new drug target in the battle against antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Release here.

Project Air Strategy logo

Social media opens door to narcissism, 7 November, Illawarra Mercury

Social media is making us more narcissistic according to Professor Brin Grenyer, Director of the IHMRI-based Project Air Strategy, which hosted a conference to improve understanding of narcissistic and borderline personality disorders. More than 300 health professionals attended the event, opened by NSW Mental Health Commissioner John Feneley. Release here.

Professor Rodney Croft

Forum to explore link between mobile phone usage and brain tumours, 5 November, Illawarra Mercury

Some of the world’s leading experts in electromagnetic energy will address the public's health concerns at a forum on 11 November hosted by the Australian Centre for Electromagnetic Bioeffects Research and IHMRI.

Dr Lezanne Ooi

Scientists reprogram skin cells to help find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease, 14/15 October, Illawarra Mercury, WIN TV, SBS

IHMRI researcher, Dr Lezanne Ooi, is at the forefront of an exciting new branch of neuroscience that converts donated human cells back to their original pluripotent stem cell state so that they can be used in disease modelling and drug discovery. 

IHMRI Ice Bucket Challenge

IHMRI takes the Ice Bucket Challenge,  21 August, WIN TV

IHMRI's Motor Neurone Disease research team, led by Dr Justin Yerbury and Dr Lezanne Ooi, get into the spirit of the #Icebucketchallenge. View the video and donate here. 

IHMRI Xu-Feng Huang Ginseng

Ancient Asian herb could be used in the fight against obesity, 20 August

Neuroscientists Dr Yinghua Yu and Professor Xu-Feng Huang attracted worldwide attention earlier this year by publishing a paper on the anti-inflammatory effects of a compound found in ginseng, which has been used for thousands of years in Chinese medicine. Story here. 

IHMRI Sustain study

Starvation in the midst of plenty... Illawarra leading the way in addressing malnutrition in the elderly, 29 July, Illawarra Mercury

IHMRI and Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District researchers have teamed up to develop novel ways to address malnutrition in senior citizens, with figures showing that a third of patients aged 65 and older who are admitted to hospital in the Illawarra are overtly malnourished. Illawarra Mercury story here. 

Professor Alan Pettigrew IHMRI Chair

Professor Alan Pettigrew says IHMRI will attract top scientists, Illawarra Mercury, 8 July

Having a world-class health and medical research facility in the Illawarra will result in "brain gain" for the region, according to one of the nation's leading innovation and research advisers, Professor Alan Pettigrew. Illawarra Mercury story here.

A Prof Karen Charlton

Illawarra residents worried and overweight, 3 July, ABC Illawarra, Illawarra Mercury, WIN TV

A study of more than 150,000 Illawarra residents has shown the region has higher than national average rates of chronic diseases such as obesity, hypertension and anxiety disorders. Public health researcher and co-author of the study, Associate Professor Karen Charlton, says the figures are concerning. UOW story here.  Illawarra Mercury story here.

IHMRI Marie Ranson

Illawarra researchers take the stage in cancer CONCERT, 6 June, ABC Illawarra, Illawarra Mercury

This week the New South Wales Health Minister and Medical Research Minister, Jillian Skinner, announced $19.3 million in funding for three new cancer research hubs across NSW. $6.5 million will go towards the establishment of a new Centre for Oncology Education and Research Translation (CONCERT) involving IHMRI. Illawarra Mercury story here.

Illawarra Born thumb

Study to measure the health and wellbeing of Illawarra families, 2 June, ABC Illawarra, Illawarra Mercury

A unique study to track the health and wellbeing of Illawarra families over time has commenced with a feasibility study at the Wollongong Hospital with pregnant women. ABC Illawarra story here.  Illawarra Mercury story here. Study website here.

Indigenous Health story

Improving Indigenous health in regional communities, 30 May

IHMRI researchers have received $74,000 to trial a healthy lifestyle intervention for Indigenous Australians attending residential alcohol and other substance abuse programs in Mount Isa and Alice Springs. UOW story here.

Health Track thumb v2

Illawarra researchers help local residents fight battle of the bulge, 6 May, WIN TV, ABC Illawarra, Illawarra Mercury, i98 FM

University of Wollongong and Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District researchers are inviting Illawarra residents who are concerned about their weight and lifestyle to get involved in an innovative new trial of a personalised health program that will help them lose weight and develop a healthier lifestyle. Illawarra Mercury story here.

IHMRI researchers Mark Wilson Amy Wyatt 100

Significant step in targeting chronic inflammation, 5 May, The Australian

IHMRI researchers have made another major discovery in their search for ways to prevent diseases involving chronic inflammation such as Alzheimer’s disease, vascular disease and rheumatoid arthritis. They provide exhaustive evidence that hypochlorite, a type of ‘oxidant’ produced by immune cells, can be used to activate a helpful ‘chaperone’ protein which targets damaged proteins for disposal.

IHMRI MND Australia event

Motor Neurone Disease Week highlights IHMRI research, 1 May, ABC Illawarra, WIN TV

To coincide with the launch of Motor Neurone Disease (MND) Week, IHMRI is hosting a research open day on 5 May with representatives from MND Australia and its research arm, the MND Research Institute of Australia (MNDRIA). Also in attendance will be people with MND, clinicians and others eager to address this devastating illness. ABC Illawarra story here.

IHMRI Chair Professor Alan Pettigrew

Prominent research and innovation advisor brings insights to the Illawarra, 11 April, 2014, ABC Illawarra

On 10 April 2014, IHMRI announced that one of Australia’s most respected research and innovation advisors, Professor Alan Pettigrew, had joined the IHMRI Board as Chair. Story here.


Discovery could lead to new drug targets to fight Alzheimer's Disease, 8 April, 2014, ABC Illawarra, Illawarra Mercury, ABC South Coast

A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA reports how IHMRI researcher, Associate Professor Heath Ecroyd, and researchers from the University of Oxford harnessed the activity of naturally-occurring 'chaperone' proteins to inhibit protein aggregation, a process thought to underpin Alzheimer's Disease and other 'diseases of ageing'. Story here.

Associate Professor Aaron Oakely

Anti-inflammatories could be used to fight superbugs, 13 March, 2014,The AustralianIllawarra Mercury, ABC Illawarra, Fox News and ABC Science onlineAl Jazeera, Huffington Post, Herald Scotland, Nature World News

IHMRI researchers have discovered that some common anti-inflammatory drugs have an antibiotic effect, suggesting they may have a role to play in treating the ‘superbugs’ that pose a major risk to human health. Story here.

Panizzi donation to IHMRI 100

From little things big things grow - how a few small donations added up to big $$ for research, 5 March, Illawarra Mercury

University of Wollongong students and staff have raised $8,000 for health and medical research, simply by buying a piece of fruit from the popular campus cafe Panizzi. 5 March. Story here.

IHMRI Clinicial Nurse Fiona Roberts

Researchers seek participants for innovative Down Syndrome trial, 26 February, WIN TV

IHMRI is seeking participants for a clinical study which is looking at the effects of a specific compound on memory and cognition in people with Down Syndrome. The COMPOSE Study (Cognition and Memory in People with Down Syndrome), will look at the potential of a compound called BTD-001 to improve memory, language and learning. UOW story here.

Dr Justin Yerbury Alt shot IHMRI News

New target identified in fight against Motor Neurone Disease, 18/19 February, Illawarra Mercury, WIN TV

A three-way collaboration between researchers in Wollongong, Melbourne and Canada has resulted in the publication of an important paper on the cause and spread of Motor Neurone Disease.  Story here. Release here. story here. Illawarra Mercury story here.

In the news 2013

Synopsis and story link


Eyes on the prize – cataract researcher wins US award, 19 December

Professor Roger Truscott has been awarded a prestigious $15,000 Kinoshita Lectureship by the National Foundation for Eye Research (NFER) in the US in recognition of his team’s work in showing that age-related cataract is due to the deterioration of proteins that make up the human lens. Release here.

Professor Roger Truscott

From Batteries to Bio-Systems: $25million funding for next generation 3D devices, 18 December

The ARC Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science (ACES) has received $25million as a new ARC Centre of Excellence to further develop their work on smart nano-materials, to now create 3D devices with advanced capabilities over their 2D counterparts. Read the ACES release here.

Professor Gordon Wallace

NHMRC grant for nano-device grabs media attention, 13 November. Herald Sun, ABC Illawarra

IHMRI researchers are developing a brain implant they hope will provide a breakthrough in the treatment of symptoms of mental illness. Story published in Melbourne's Herald Sun and The Telegraph online.

Xu Feng Huang

Project Air Strategy for Personality Disorders wins mental health award, 11 October, ABC Illawarra

An innovative strategy to improve the identification, treatment and management of Personality Disorders has been presented with a major mental health award by the NSW Minister for Mental Health, the Hon Kevin Humphries MP. Release here.

Project Air Mental health award

Study links diabetes and schizophrenia, 7 October, WIN TV

IHMRI researchers have found that the prevention and treatment of diabetes might prove beneficial for people with schizophrenia and may yield better cognitive functioning, especially in immediate memory and attention. Story featured by WIN TV and in Science Alert, UOW website and more.

 Professor Xu Feng Huang

Aspirin Study launch, 3 October, Illawarra Mercury

ASPREE (ASPirin in Reducing Events in the Elderly) is a landmark study investigating whether a daily low dose of aspirin can delay or prevent the onset of common age-related diseases such as cardiovascular disease (heart attack and stroke), dementia and some cancers.  The trial is being hosted locally by IHMRI. Release here. Illawarra Mercury story here.

 IHMRI Aspree study

Illawarra researcher attracts $5 million to study the health effects of mobile phone use, 22 August

Wollongong researchers are now firmly placed to lead the world in understanding the long-term health effects of mobile phone use and radio frequency emissions, with a second major NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence grant awarded to IHMRI psychologist, Professor Rodney Croft. Release here.

Professor Rodney Croft 3

Worrying report on the health of Illawarra Shoalhaven residents, 20 August, WIN TV

Chief Investigator (Scientific) of IHMRI's HealthTrack Study, Professor Linda Tapsell, comments on a new report published by the Illawarra Shoalhaven Medicare Local about the health of regional residents and the rising incidence of preventable diseases, particularly obesity.

Professor Linda Tapsell

Prestigious international award for Wollongong toxicologist, 15 August, UOW News

Distinguished researcher and Dean of the University of Wollongong’s Graduate School of Medicine, Professor Alison Jones, has been awarded a rare and prestigious fellowship by the American Academy of Clinical Toxicology (AACT), cementing her reputation as one of the world’s leading clinical toxicologists. Release here. UOW story here.

 Professor Alison Jones

New technology for safer and more effective cancer therapy, 13 August, WIN TV and Illawarra Mercury

A novel device, known as ‘MOSkin’, which can detect how much radiation patients are exposed to during radiotherapy has been developed by IHMRI researchers based at the Centre for Medical Radiation Physics. UOW story link. Illawarra Mercury link.

 Anatoly Rozenfeld

Australia’s best brains map the future of brain research, 16 July, 2013, UOW News

IHMRI neuroscientist, Dr Justin Yerbury, will be “inspiring smarter brain research in Australia" when he travels to Melbourne in late July to participate in the 2013 Theo Murphy High Flyers Think Tank. He will be joining 60 early and mid-career researchers who will discuss novel applications of science and technology and identify some of the knowledge gaps that Australia needs to address in order to remain competitive in the 21st Century. Release here.

Dr Justin Yerbury

Leading paediatrician appointed to the inaugural chair of Paediatrics and Child Health Research, 20 June, 2013, Illawarra Mercury

The University of Wollongong’s Graduate School of Medicine (GSM) has appointed academic paediatrician, Professor Ian Wright, to the inaugural chair of Paediatrics and Child Health Research; a new role created with the help of community funds. Illawarra Mercury/Financial Review story here.

 Professor Ian Wright

Extraordinary funding boost for Alzheimer’s research in the Illawarra ,11 June, 2013, The Australian, Sydney Morning Herald, WIN TV

Today the Hon Mark Butler MP announced that, with an additional $3 million in funding from the Department of Health and Ageing, six dementia-related project grants submitted to the NHMRC in 2012 will now receive extraordinary funding. Almost $430,000 will go towards an IHMRI project led by Professor Brett Garner examining the role that vitamin-B12 plays in protecting the brain against neuron death; said to underlie several dementia-related diseases. Story in The Australian. Story in the Sydney Morning Herald. Release here.

Professor Brett Garner thumb

The Dementia Care Competency Framework resource, 31 May 2013

An innovative resource that enables multi-disciplinary health practitioners, including psychologists, occupational therapists, dieticians, physiotherapists and social workers to assess their level of competency in caring for people with a dementia has been developed by Associate Professor Victoria Traynor and Nicole Britten. Release here.

 A Prof Victoria Traynor thumb

Driving and dementia – call for community feedback on decision aid booklet, Illawarra Mercury and ABC Illawarra, 13 May

After being reviewed by local, national and international clinical and research experts and piloted by individuals living with dementia, an innovative Driving and Dementia Decision Aid is now ready for wider community testing before being made publicly available. Release here. Illawarra Mercury story here.

IHMRI News Thumb Driving and Dementia

To defeat bacteria, researchers think like bacteria, Illawarra Mercury, ABC Illawarra, UOW web feature, Australian LifeScientist, 7, 10 and 14 May

A new approach to treating antibiotic-resistant infections has been developed by University of Wollongong  and University of New South Wales researchers who have patented the new technology and entered into commercialisation discussions with two French pharmaceutical companies.
Illawarra Mercury stories here and here. Australian LifeScientist story here. Release here.

IHMRI researchers Dr Michael Kelso thumb

Whole lot of goodness, Illawarra Mercury, 23 March

Professor Stephen Lillioja's paper on the benefits of consuming whole foods is featured as a full-page story in the Illawarra Mercury's Good Life section. Story here.

Professor  Stephen Lillioja

Protein may assist the brain's ‘garbage collector cells’ in reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, 6 March

A team of researchers led by dual National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and Australian Research Council (ARC) fellow, Professor Brett Garner, have identified a protein that may assist the brain's ‘garbage collector cells’ in reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
Release here.

Professor Bretty Garner and Henry Li

In the battle of the bulge, men and women respond differently to low fat dairy advice, 27 February

Low fat dairy products are often recommended for people trying to lose weight as they provide less energy and saturated fat than their full fat counterparts. A recent study completed at the Smart Foods Centre has found, however, that participants of a weight loss trial did not always benefit from this advice. Published in The Illawarra Mercury and The Australian. Release here

IHMRI Dairy food study thumb

Healthy cereal is alive - whole grains are anti-oxidant foods, 25 February

Australians should be consuming at least 40 grams and ideally 50 grams of whole grains daily according to University of Wollongong (UOW) researcher, Professor Stephen Lillioja, who has published a scientific report suggesting that whole grains are just as important as fruit and vegetables in protecting the body against chronic disease. Release here, feature on ABC Science and Illawarra Mercury.

Whole grain study thumb  

 News archive I 20122011 I 2010 I 2009 


Last reviewed: 29 March, 2018