The Queensland Institute of Medical Research and The University of Queensland have announced a joint research partnership to tackle global problems in infectious diseases research.

The Australian Infectious Diseases Research Centre will bring together researchers from the two organisations to support research into diseases such as malaria, dengue fever and schistosomiasis.

Both organisations have pledged funds to support joint PhD scholarships and to nurture collaborations in infectious diseases research.

The Director of UQ's Australian Infectious Diseases Research Centre, Professor Mark Walker, said the new partnership would leverage the research strengths of both organisations, resulting in new opportunities in health research.

"The combination of expertise from UQ and QIMR will ensure rapid progress is made in the detection, understanding, treatment and prevention of a range of infectious diseases problems," Professor Walker said.

"With a child still dying of malaria on average every minute and Australians constantly under threat from tropical diseases such as dengue fever, we still have a lot of work to do," said Professor James McCarthy, Coordinator of QIMR's Infectious Diseases Program.

"For QIMR, infectious diseases have been the cornerstone of our research with the Institute forming in 1945 to tackle tropical diseases affecting Queenslanders.

"This partnership is testament to the great work currently being undertaken in Queensland and will further strengthen existing collaborations between our two great Institutions.

"It will pave the way for even greater synergies and allow us to use our complementary research strengths.

The CSIRO and Cotton Seed Distributors have announced a five-year, $35 million extension to their existing agreement to fund projects through the Cotton Breeding Australia join venture, which has been running since 2007.

CSIRO and Cotton Seed Distributors have announced a $35 million extension to their existing agreement to fund projects through the Cotton Breeding Australia joint venture, which has been running since 2007.

Australia’s top climate scientists have expressed concern that the country’s recent spate of cool, wet weather over the summer will breed confusion over the effects, and perhaps even the existence, of climate change.

The Institute of Biomedical Engineering and Technology (BMET) has been officially opened at the University of Sydney.

Australia’s land and oceans have continued to warm at unprecedented rates in response to the highest levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere in the past 800,000 years.

The University of New South Wales  has established a new professorial chair in geotechnical engineering, building on its partnership with global mining company Rio Tinto  (Northparkes Mines).

 

 

Professor Graham Davies, Dean of Engineering at UNSW said the partnership will enable the university develop a world-leading research, teaching and training effort in the field of underground mining and block caving.

 

 

Block caving is a large-scale underground mining method suitable for accessing low-grade ore bodies such as copper, which often exist as massive, near-vertical areas of mineralisation. 

Mine access tunnels are excavated to the base of the mineral deposit, where an extraction level is created to access the ore.  

 

 

Following initial blasting to trigger the caving process, the rock mass then caves downwards to the extraction level and breaks up naturally under gravity and the effects of rock stress. From here it is collected and hauled to the surface for processing. 

 

 

Research will explore how different ore bodies respond to block caving, and will develop improved design and prediction methodologies.

 

 

“This partnership recognises the importance of geotechnical engineering as a core element for successful and safe underground mining,” says Professor Bruce Hebblewhite, Head of the UNSW School of Mining.

 

 

“This is the lowest-cost underground mining method available and is growing rapidly around the world… and there is a significant shortage of people with skills in these areas,” says Professor Hebblewhite. 

 

 

Northparkes Mines – a gold and copper mine in central western NSW – was Australia’s first block cave mine and has more than 15 years experience working with the technology. 

 

 

Northparkes Mines has supported several undergraduate scholarships within the UNSW School of Mining and also regularly hosts UNSW students to visit the site for educational field trips.

 

An international search is now underway to fill the position.

The Panel of the Strategic Review of Health and Medical Research in Australia has held its fourth private meeting in Brisbane.

Professor Wright has worked at Curtin since the 1990s, fulfilling a number of leadership and executive roles. His new position as DVC R&D will include the oversight of all research, research training, and commercialisation and knowledge transfer activities within the University.

One hundred and forty seven distinguished researchers have been selected to assess and report on the quality of research in Australia as part of the 2012 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) evaluations.

Researchers from The University of Queensland (UQ) and Korea have combined their expertise in polymer patterning and materials science in a bid to develop new-generation solar cells.

UQ's Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (AIBN) Director, Professor Peter Gray, has signed a memorandum of understanding with Yonsei University in Seoul, Korea.

It will allow AIBN Professor Ajayan Vinu's research group to work closely with Yonsei Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Professor Eunkyoung Kim, and School of Advanced Materials Science and Engineering, Professor Cheolmin Park.

Professor Vinu said the collaboration would encourage “the creation of new science and new products”, including efforts to improve the efficiency of solar cells.

He said AIBN would bring expertise in materials science, particularly Prof Vinu's work on and porous semiconducting and bio-nanomaterials.

Yonsei researchers would match this expertise with their knowledge of polymer patterning and fabrication.

“We can't all be experts in every field. That is why we are collaborating with these experts in this field,” Professor Vinu said.

“We have expertise in the fabrication of porous functionalised semiconducting nanostructures that will maximise quantum efficiency of dye sensitized or organic solar cells, while the Yonsei researchers have know-how in designing the various types of solar cell device.

“The fusion of materials development and device fabrication can help us to achieve a new solar cell technology or product with a low cost, which is going to make a huge revolution in the solar industry.”

Beyond collaborating on research, the bond between AIBN and Yonsei includes joint conferences, student exchanges and plans for a joint lab in Korea.

AIBN will host the third joint International Conference on Emerging and Advanced Nanomaterials in Brisbane from October 22-25.

The institute has welcomed visiting Korean student Sehwan Kim to the Vinu research group for a three-month internship.

The institutes also had a collaboration with the National Institute for Materials Science – the number one materials institute in Japan.

Dr Wayne Stange, the Managing Director of AMIRA International, has been appointed Director of the Julius Kruttschnitt Mineral Research Centre (JKMRC) within the University of Queensland's Sustainable Minerals Institute (SMI).

Macquarie University has announced it will provide Australia’s first integrated advanced coursework and research training degree as a key pathway to entry to a PhD.

The Federal Government has announced $4 million in research funding to 13 new projects that are investigating methods to prevent the harm caused by obesity, tobacco and harmful use of alcohol.

Federal Minister for Science and Research, Senator Chris Evans, has urged greater investment in Australian science and research, saying that it is key to driving higher productivity and forging a strong and sustainable economy.

Ear Science Institute Australia partners with Deakin University to engineer world’s first acoustically optimised repair for perforated ear drums.

Flinders University has launched a researcher mentoring scheme that pairs researchers in the early stages of their careers with experienced University academics who will act as their mentors, guiding and supporting them in all aspects of academic life.

Funding for three collaborative projects through the first round of the Australia-India Strategic Research Fund (AISRF) Grand Challenge Fund has been announced by the Minister for Science and Research, Senator Chris Evans.

The CSIRO Organic Geochemistry of Mineral Systems Cluster has been officially launched  at Curtin University’s Resources and Chemistry Precinct.

The Federal Government has opened applications for funding to support anthologists interested in native title work.

The Federal Government has announced the successful applicants for the first round of the Australia-India Strategic Research Fund (AISRF) Grand Challenge Fund.

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