NZMS2012 Award - Professor Greg Cook
Congratulations to Professor Greg Cook who was awarded the 2012 Distinguished Speaker Award at the 57th Annual Scientific Meeting of the New Zealand Microbiological Society, held in Dunedin last week. Greg is a world-leading authority on the metabolism and energetics of microbial growth.
Student Success at OMSRS 4th Year Presentations
Congratulations to Elliott Dunn, who won second prize at the Otago Medical School Research Society Awards for 4th Year Students. Elliott presented work from the first year of his M.Sc. degree in Ros Kemp's lab - "Macrophage and T cell distribution in autoimmune inflammation of the gut"
Research Retreat 2012
The Research Retreat held at the Dunedin City Library on November 2 was a great success. The day provided an inclusive platform for all members of the department to engage in an interdisciplinary exchange of research experience.
Congratulations to the winners of the poster competition:
Judge's Prize - Farah Al Barwani
People's Choice - Rhodri Harfoot
Technical Staff Prize - Nicky Real
A big thank-you to those who made the day a success, especially our sponsors - Life technologies, BD and Merk.
Professor Frank Griffin elected as Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand
Professor Frank Griffin was one of eleven top New Zealand researchers and scholars elected as Fellows of the Royal Society of New Zealand at the Annual General Meeting of the Society’s Academy in Wellington today (October 17).
Academy Chairperson Professor Le Heron said: “Being elected as a Fellow is an honour given to our top researchers for showing exceptional distinction in research or in the advancement of science, technology or the humanities”.
Frank has inspired and led the development of diagnostic tests and a vaccine to combat three major bacterial diseases of deer, Tuberculosis, Yersiniosis and Johne’s disease.
For further information on Frank’s research, view his webpage
For the Royal Society of New Zealand media release, click here
4th Year Research Symposium and Best Speaker Competition
4th year students based in Microbiology and Immunology had a chance to present their year's research at the annual 4th Year Research Symposium on Friday October 12. Thirteen speakers presented, with topics ranging from silver nanoparticles to tuberculosis.
This year the best speaker prize was jointly awarded to Kiel Hards and Victor Komarovsky.
Kiel presented his BSc(Hons) research, completed in Prof Gregory Cook’s lab, with a talk entitled "Activity and localization of the Mycobacterium smegmatis hydrogenase Hyd1".
Victor Komarovsky presented his BSc(Hons) research, completed in Prof Clive Ronson’s lab, with a talk entitled "Horizontal gene transfer to non-symbiotic rhizobia in legume nodules".
Elliott Dunn received a runner-up prize for his talk entitled "Macrophage and T cell distribution in autoimmune inflammation of the gut". Elliott presented the first year of his MSc research completed in Dr Roslyn Kemp’s lab.
Congratulations to the winners and to all the 4th year speakers for providing excellent, high-quality and professional presentations.
Congratulations to the following academic staff members, who have been awarded funding from the University of Otago Research Grant (UORG) scheme to assist their research programmes. The scheme was set up to support excellence in research and scholarship.
Professor Clive Ronson – for a project entitled ‘Recoding a Regulator to Control Horizontal Gene Transfer’
Dr Keith Ireton – for a project entitled ‘Role of the human kinase mTOR in infection by Listeria monocytogenes’
Dr Joanna Kirman – for a project entitled ‘Investigating immunological memory against Tuberculosis using a novel adoptive transfer model’
Dr Sergio Morales – for a project entitled ‘Empirical testing of N2O emissions regulatory netowrks in agricultural soils based on a bioinformatics approach’
Medical teaching award for Dr Heather Brooks
Congratulations to Dr Heather Brooks who has again received a best lecturer award for her medical course teaching at the recent Otago University Medical Students' Association (OUMSA) Teaching Excellence Awards. Heather has repeatedly been voted a 'best lecturer' by the second and third year medical students, which emphasises her continuing commitment to provide students with a high quality learning environment.
Division of Health Sciences Annual Research Forum - Student Poster Success
Congratulations to Andy Highton (from Ros Kemp's lab), who won the Otago Medical Research Society Prize for his poster "Immunisation using sustained release vaccines generates a discrete CD8 T cell memory population in the gut" at the Division of Health Sciences Annual Research Forum.
For more details, click here
Emeritus status recognition - Professor Gerald Tannock (FRSNZ)
Gerald Tannock’s contribution to the University and the Department of Microbiology and Immunology has been recognised by granting him Emeritus Professor status. He has provided the Department with outstanding service since 1974 and as a world leader in his field; he is expected to continue to represent the University with distinction.
For more information on the research projects undertaken by his lab go to http://micro.otago.ac.nz/research/research-labs/tannock-lab-research
OCEM Appoints Academic Director
The Otago Centre for Electron Microscopy (OCEM) are pleased to announce that Dr Mihnea Bostina has recently been appointed as the Academic Director of the OCEM. Dr Bostina will hold a 0.5 FTE appointment as Academic Director of the OCEM and a 0.5 FTE appointment as a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology. Dr Bostina's research interest is the structural biology of viruses and he will bring his expertise in single particle reconstruction to Otago. Dr Bostina completed his PhD in Biophysics and Structural Biology at the Max Planck Institute of Biophysics in Frankfurt, Germany and a research fellowship at Harvard University in Boston, USA. He is currently a staff scientist at the Facility for Electron Microscopy Research at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. Dr Bostina will be joining the OCEM in mid-2013. His research within the University of Otago and the OCEM will utilise the new 200kV cryo-transmission electron microscope with electron tomography capability that will be arriving in early 2013. Prior to his arrival, Dr Bostina will be involved in the purchase of this microscope. Dr Bostina will be based in both the OCEM and the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, where he will be involved in teaching and graduate supervision.
Innovative 'Functional Formula' project success
Professor Gerald Tannock (Microbiology & Immunology) has been awarded $789,900 over two years for a research project investigating the use of novel carbohydrates (oligosaccharides) that can be added to infant formula made from cow’s milk. The ‘Functional Formula’ project has been funded in the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s 2012 science investment round announced on 23 August.
For more on this news item go to http://www.otago.ac.nz/news/news/otago036549.html
Exceptional PhD Thesis - Matthew McNeil
Congratulations to Matt McNeil (from Peter Fineran's lab) for his PhD thesis "Characterisation of the conserved hypothetical proteins SdhE and YgfX in Serratia 39006" which was recently placed on the Health Sciences Divisional List of Exceptional PhD theses.
The list comprises only those PhD candidates whose research is assessed by examiners as being aprt of an exceptional standard in every respect - research content, originality, quality of expression, and accuracy of presentation - and is amongst the top 10 % of these examined.
"Science As Art" Photo Competition Winner
Saleha Shahar today won first place in the Infectious Diseases Section of the NZ International Science Festival "Science as Art" photo competition. This prize was supported by the Webster Centre for Infectious Disease. For other winners, click here.
Saleha's photo (below) is titled "Counting blue plaques of recombinant Orf virus".
Department Success at National Immunology Conference
The New Zealand Branch Meeting of the Australasian Society of Immunology was held in Dunedin June 28-29, featuring Anne Kelso (WHO Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research on Influenza), Troy Randall (University of Alabama at Birmingham) and Richard Vile (Mayo Clinic). Congratulations to:
Cam Field for winning the Buck Student Presentation Award for his research performed duing his Hons year in Ros Kemp's lab: "Feeling hungry? mTOR, memory, melanoma and metabolic manipulation of the immune system"
Michelle Wilson from the Margaret Baird's lab for winning the Marbrook Research Technician Award for her presentation "Glow and tell: using fluorescence to investigate virus like particles"
Farah Al-Barwani from Vernon Ward's lab for winning the Pecha Kucha Presentation Award for her presentation "Glycosylation of RHDV VLP"
Prof Sandy Smith Scholarship Success
Congratulations to Andy Highton (Kemp Lab), Brooke Dobson (Griffin Lab) and Corinna Richter (Fineran Lab), who were all awarded Prof Sandy Smith Memorial Scholarships this week. These scholarships are administered by the Dunedin Basic Medical Sciences Course Trust and are awarded to students whose research has application to microbiology in relation to medicine.
Microbiology Students Graduate
Congratulations to all of our students who graduated in the weekend:
Deepal Prasad (currently studying P.G.Dip.Sci in Microbiology)
Hannah Furze (currently studying P.G.Cert.Heal.Sc. in Occupational Health)
Ella Williamson (currently studying MB.ChB)
Georgia Bell (currently studying P.G.Dip.Sci in Immunology and employed as part-time Research Technician in Immunology)
Chris Tomlinson (currently employed by Ministry of Primary Industry)
Abby Sawyer (currently employed by Silver Fern Farms)
Elliott Dunn (currently studying M.Sc in Immunology)
Cameron Huxley (currently studying Diploma in Public Health)
Olivia Robb (currently studying MB.ChB; also awarded University of Otago Scholarship in Science, 2011)
Dulani Jayamaha (currently studying MB.ChB (Auckland); also awarded University of Otago Scholarship in Science, 2011)
B.Sc Hons (Microbiology)
Elyce du Mez (Hons I)
Cam Field (Hons I; currently studying Ph.D at Malaghan Institute of Medical Research)
Lisa Flanagan (Hons I; currently employed by Fonterra)
Chris Richards (Hons 2.1; currently studying M.Sc in Microbiology)
Chris Nones (with credit; currently studying M.Sc in Microbiology)
Lotteries Health Success for Immunology Researchers
Congratulations to Alex McLellan, Ros Kemp, and our new recruit, Jo Kirman (starting June 2012) for their recent success in the Lotteries Health Research funding round.
For full details, and other successful Otago researchers, click here.
OSMS Teaching and Research Support Awards
Congratulations to Julie Weaver and Chris Rodgers who both received OSMS awards - Julie for DIstinguished Teaching Fellow / Professional Practice Fellow, and Chris for Distinguished Research Support Staff.
Further information about this year's OSMS Awards can be found here