Finding cancer cures in the deep sea, reverse-engineering stem cells, creating a bionic bra, reconnecting nerves, and using plum juice to boost memory – these are just a few of the projects being explored UOW’s amazing scientists.
1. Dr Danielle Skropeta
From sea cucumbers that destroy multi-resistant ovarian cancer to microorganisms that attack breast cancer, Dr Skropeta published a review on the 188 new chemicals that have been discovered in the deep sea in the last five years. Dr Skropeta found that more than 60 per cent of these chemicals are cytotoxic, meaning they can kill cancer cells grown in the lab! Take that, cancer! Read more.
2. Dr Lezanne Ooi
Dr Lezanne Ooi, from the Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute based at UOW, is at the forefront of an exciting new branch of neuroscience that converts donated human skin cells back to their original stem cell state in order to discover new treatments and ultimately a cure for a range of devastating brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Schizophrenia and Motor Neurone Disease. Way to save our brains. Read more.
3. Professor Julie Steele
The most supportive sports bras tend to be the most uncomfortable to wear, but can you imagine a bra that automatically tightens and loosens in response to breast movement? Professor Julie Steele is one step closer to making it a reality with the development of a new Bionic bra prototype. Thanks for the support. Read more.
4. PhD Researcher Katharina Schirmer
As a teenager in Germany, Katharina (Kati, pictured above) watched her boyfriend fall from his BMX bike and break his third and fourth vertebrae, rendering him a quadriplegic. Kati is now based at UOW’s Innovation Campus developing 3D structures for nerve regeneration. “I’m developing a method to fabricate conduits [channels] that help damaged nerves to reconnect,” Kati said. “I’m using hydrogel material with cells and growth factors, plus experimenting with conducting wires such as platinum.” Nerves of steel, for real. Read more.
5/6/7. Associate Professor Karen Charlton and PhD Researchers, Katherine Kent (seen above) and Ezinne Korie
UOW researchers are conducting a ‘superfood’ study that aims to find out how much Queen Garnet Plum juice is needed to impact blood pressure and memory in humans. The fruit’s high level of anthocyanin (an antioxidant and the stuff that makes it purple) also has the potential to improve short-term memory in people who have dementia. Now that’s a real boost juice. Read more.
If you’re interested in science and want the opportunity to have these amazing scientists as teachers, check out the range of science degrees or health degrees on offer at UOW.