News

Immunity protein at birth reduces likelihood of childhood malaria

Monday, 30 July 2018

Newborn babies who were born with high levels of an immune-related protein in their blood cells were less likely to develop malaria throughout their early childhood, new research led by Curtin University and GOHaD researchers has found. The research, published in the Journal of Scientific Reports, screened a number of immunity proteins, known as cytokines, at birth and investigated whether these small proteins provided protection against malaria for newborn babies. Lead author Dr Yong Song, from the School of Public Health at Curtin University and GOHaD, said childhood malaria remains one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality resulting in 500,000 deaths annually, and with more than 90 per cent of malaria infections occurring in sub-Saharan Africa. “We found that newborn babies born with a high level of a certain type of cytokine, known as IL-12, in their umbilical cord blood had a higher resi [...] Read More

Chinese immigrants in Australia at higher risk of allergies

Tuesday, 3 July 2018

Chinese immigrants who live in a Western environment like Australia have an increased risk of allergies, hay fever and asthma, new research led by Curtin University, the Centre for Genetic Origins of Health and Disease and the Telethon Kids Institute has found. The research, published in the journal Allergy, found that Chinese immigrants who have lived in a Western environment for more than seven years have a lower resistance to common allergic diseases, due to less exposure to common bacteria in modern society. Lead author Associate Professor Brad Zhang, from the School of Public Health at Curtin University and the Centre for Genetic Origins of Health and Disease, said the research investigated changes in the immune system among the Chinese immigrant population. “Our immune systems are trained by exposure to environmental microorganisms, which means less exposure to these harmless microorganisms can delay [...] Read More

Rare genetic variations found in multiplex schizophrenia families

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Scientists at the Centre for Genetic Origins of Health and Disease at UWA and Curtin and the UWA Centre for Clinical Research in Neuropsychiatry have used whole genome sequencing to detect rare genome variations in families with schizophrenia. Schizophrenia has high heritability, but the genetics of the disease are complex and still not well understood. Over the last decade, studies have indicated that genomic copy number variants (or CNVs, which are deletions or duplications of sections of DNA in the genome) play an important role in the development of schizophrenia. This type of genetic variation poses a greater technical challenge for detection and characterisation when compared to single point mutations in the genome. In a paper recently published in Schizophrenia Research, the researchers describe their use of data from the Western Australia Family Study of Schizophrenia (WAFSS), which investigates both cl [...] Read More

GOHaD researchers awarded funds for breast cancer research

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Dr Jennifer Stone, National Breast Cancer Foundation Fellow, was today awarded a Priority-driven Collaborative Cancer Research Scheme grant from Cancer Australia to enable her breast cancer research. Jennifer has a specific interest in mammographic density and is an internationally recognised expert in the field. Her project will investigate techniques and benefits of measuring mammographic density in younger women to inform primary prevention and early detection of breast cancer. Rachel Lloyd, a Research Assistant and PhD student with GOHaD, has also been awarded funding from the War Widows' Guild of Western Australia to support her breast cancer research. Congratulations Jennifer and Rachel! Read More

Personality as Potential Endophenotype for Schizophrenia

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Personality as Potential Endophenotype for Schizophrenia
Researchers from the Centre for Genetic Origins of Health and Disease (GOHaD) at UWA and Curtin and the UWA Centre for Clinical Research in Neuropsychiatry (CCRN) have shown for the first time that the strength of genetic support for personality traits as endophenotypes for schizophrenia is broadly equivalent to that of cognitive traits. Schizophrenia affects about 1% of the population, or around 150,000 to 200,000 Australians. Research has consistently shown that schizophrenia tends to cluster in families, with close relatives of a person with schizophrenia at a higher risk for schizophrenia than unrelated individuals. To date, genome [...] Read More

Dr Jennifer Stone Awarded 2017 Mavis Robertson Fellowship

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Dr Jennifer Stone Awarded 2017 Mavis Robertson Fellowship
The Women in Super Mother’s Day Classic has awarded the 2017 Mavis Robertson Fellowship to National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF) funded researcher Dr Jennifer Stone from the University of Western Australia. The Mavis Robertson Fellowship was established in 2011 and is awarded to Australia’s best and brightest female researcher who also demonstrates to be a leader in breast cancer research. A pioneer of the superannuation movement, Mavis Robertson was a founder of the Women in Super Mother’s Day Classic fun run/walk and a Trustee of NBCF for over ten years. The annual Mother’s Day Classic fun run/walk provides the single largest [...] Read More
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