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Research Review 0809

The University of Melbourne is Australia's second largest research organisation after the CSIRIO. Research Review is a biannual magazine which reports on the University's research achievements and the latest in research news.

16 August 2009 - 15 August 2010


Welcome to the 2009 edition of the Research Review
The University of Melbourne has a long and proud tradition of research and teaching excellence. The sheer scale of research facilities, institutes, researchers, fellows and postgraduates in the Parkville Precinct, and surrounds, is without parallel in the southern hemisphere, and one of the very few such concentrations of research excellence worldwide.

In Brief

World-leading facility opened for australian hearing research
A $115m HEARing Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) and the University of Melbourne‚€™s new state-of-the-art Audiology, Hearing and Speech Sciences facility was co-launched recently by Senator Kim Carr.

Hubble constant wins professor prestigious prize
Measuring the size and age of the universe has won University of Melbourne Professor Jeremy Mould and his international colleagues the prestigious 2009 Gruber Prize for Cosmology, announced by the Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation in the United States.

Research advanced by fulbright scholars
Restoring human vision, reducing carbon emissions, fitter gamers and fire regeneration for grapevines will be addressed by four University of Melbourne researchers named as winners of this year‚€™s Australian Fulbright Scholarship.

Funding boost for University of Melbourne‚€“led arc centres of excellence
Two University of Melbourne‚€“led Centres of Excellence have been awarded $17 million by the Australian Research Council to continue their groundbreaking work.

Green light for ‚€˜the spot‚€™
The University‚€™s new Economics and Commerce building has been awarded a five-star Green Star Education Pilot rating by the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA).

Liz Sonenberg named Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research Collaboration)
Former Dean of Science Professor Liz Sonenberg will join Melbourne Research part-time in the role of Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research Collaboration) and will have oversight of development of the University Research Institutes and implementation of a strategy to manage research infrastructure.

Melbourne School of Land and Environment academic wins Victorian of the Year
African-Australian community leader Dr Berhan Ahmed, a Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Forest Ecosystem Science at the University of Melbourne‚€™s School of Land and Environment, has been named the Victoria Australian of the Year 2009.

Melbourne scientists awarded international science links grants
Six University of Melbourne scientists have been awarded grants totalling $47,000 to undertake important international collaborative research under the International Science Linkages ‚€“ Science Academies Program, funded by the Australian Government.

Jim McCluskey named Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research Partnerships)
Professor James McCluskey joined Melbourne Research on 3 August in the role of Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research Partnerships) with responsibility for fostering the relationships with affiliated medical research institutes and other external research partners.


Melbourne Lands Key Role in $1bn Cancer Centre
Cancer research and patient care is set to be revolutionised in Victoria after the announcement of a world-class $1 billion Parkville Comprehensive Cancer Centre, by the Premier of Victoria, John Brumby and Federal Health and Ageing Minister Nicola Roxon in May this year.

The Future of Sight
Imagine being able to cross a road by yourself, read a book and know what shirt you’re wearing. These were the humble dreams recently listed by a group of vision-impaired people during a focus group outlining the impact restored vision would have on their lives.

The Nano Revolution
The world is poised to be revolutionised by nanomedicine [a combination of nanotechnology and biomedicine], with global economic and social benefits, according to Professor Frank Caruso, an Australian Research Council Federation Fellow in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering.

The Science of Scepticism
Climate change is not the professional speciality of world-renowned immunologist Professor Peter Doherty. That he has written about it in A Light History of Hot Airprovides a great insight into how this innovative thinker operates, and unveils a key element behind his scientific success.

Bio21 Institute builds research critical mass
Creating a physical and intellectual environment that fosters world-class multidisciplinary research can inspire and motivate scientists to conduct research of benefit to human health and the environment. At the Bio21 Institute, building critical mass in key platform technologies was part of this ‚€˜big picture‚€™ strategy. In an increasingly competitive international stage, the importance of building capabilities in key areas, coupled with world-class infrastructure, is vital for the continued growth of Victoria‚€™s biotechnology sector and the Institute‚€™s leadership role in the field.

Mental disorders a major problem for the young
Professor Patrick McGorry‚€™s team at the ORYGEN Research Centre, Victoria, has recently been awarded $10 million to continue its wide-ranging studies into mental disorders in young people.

Greening our rooftops
With climate change predicted to bring higher temperatures and lower rainfall to large parts of Australia, researchers in the Departments of Resource Management & Geography and Forest & Ecosystem Science are investigating the potential of green infrastructure to adapt our cities and lessen these impacts.

It‚€™s all in the brain
For Professor Sam Berkovic the brain is the most complex and fascinating organ in the body. The major focus of Professor Berkovic‚€™s work involves the study of the genetic basis of epilepsy. He and his research team showed that many types of epilepsy have a significant genetic component.

Telecommuting future
Superfast broadband will transform the way we work and offers great environmental benefits.

Music in the digital age
New software called MelodicMatch, designed for people who ‚€œmake a living by understanding how music is put together‚€Ě is enabling researchers to formulate and identify musical patterns, and the relationships between them.

Special Report

The Parkville Research Precinct
The sheer quantity of life sciences research facilities, institutes, researchers, felows and postgraduate students in the Parkville precinct and surrounds, and the comprehensive breadth of bioscience disciplines, is without parallel in the Southern hemisphere and one of the few such concentrations of research excellence worldwide.

Emerging Institutes
Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Rathjen believes the removal of barriers to new ideas and a ten-year outlook for emerging institutes will give us the tools to cope with a challenging future.

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