Biomedical Science Honours projects

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Biomedical Science Honours projects


The contemporary field of biomedical science uses the study life processes to gain an understanding of health and the methods for diagnosing, analysing and treating disease. Our biomedical science  research expertise includes:

  • exercise metabolism and nutrition
  • obesity and cardiovascular disease
  • physical activity and fitness, medical microbiology
  • immunology
  • infectious disease and pathogenesis
  • molecular basis of emerging parasitic drug resistance
  • biomineralisation
  • neurobiology/muscle physiology
  • cardiovascular function
  • wound healing
  • biomolecular studies of infectious diseases.

Key research areas



Associate Professor Shelley Cavezza (Walton)
Tel: + 61 7 5430 2826

• Understanding the abberant inflammatory skin immune responses in severe scabies and psoriasis
• Immunobiology of cross reactive house dust mite and scabies mite allergens
• Improved diagnostics for scabies
• The role of diet in the development of allergy and autoimmune disease
• Development of traditional and natural therapies for scabies

Dr Rebecca Donkin
Tel: +61 7 5459 4562

• biomedical education
• pathology
• work integrated learning

Dr Yoke Lin Fung
Tel: +61 7 5456 5178

• transfusion-related acute lung injury (TRALI)
• transfusion-related immunomodulation (TRIM)
• neutrophil immunobiology
• patient blood management
• oxidative stress & inflammation
• evidence based transfusion practice
• patient blood management

Dr Mark Holmes
Tel: +61 7 5430 2844

• molecular biomarkers of dietary lipid intake and cardiovascular disease risk
• exercise metabolism and nutrition

Associate Professor Mohammad Katouli
Tel: +61 7 5430 2845

• molecular pathogenesis of septicaemic and uropathogenic E.coli and the host response to infection
• the impact of probiotics on bacterial translocation
• prevalence and persistence of antibiotic resistance genes in hospital, sewage and surface waters
• microbial source tracking and the impact of faecal pollution of surface waters on human health
• population structure of gut E.coli and their role in causing urinary tract infection

Dr Anna Kuballa
Tel: +61 7 5456 5582

• molecular basis of biomineralisation in pearl oysters
• moult regulation and exoskeletal formation in crustaceans
• prawn HPV infection and resistance
• molluscan metabolic suppression
• gene discovery and trait association

Dr David McMillan
Tel: +61 7 5456 5852

• pathogenesis of beta-hemolytic streptococci
• genetic and genomics of streptococci
• infections of medical devices
• development of novel vaccines for prevention of streptococcal infection
• evolution of antiseptic resistance in hospital pathogens

Dr Kate Mounsey
Tel: +61 7 5456 5245

• molecular medical and veterinary parasitology
• diagnosis, control and drug resistance in infectious tropical diseases
• immunology

Dr Ann Parkinson
Tel: +61 7 5430 2825

• skinned skeletal muscle fibre contractile properties
• crustacean muscle stretch receptor function
• proprioception
• jellyfish envenomation

Dr Fraser Russell
Tel: +61 7 5459 4665 

• omega-3 fatty acids: mechanism for cardiovascular benefits in hypertension
• omega-3 fatty acid metabolites and their effect on abdominal aortic aneurysm
• anti-inflammatory and vascular effects of bee cerumen

Current Honours projects


Primary supervisor

Development of polyvalent vaccines for prevention of infection with group A streptococcus.

Infection with group A streptococcus (GAS) is estimated to kill half a million people each year. The prevalence of these diseases is particularly high in Australia’s Indigenous population. This project will use a combination of molecular epidemiology, immunology and bioinformatics to design and produce novel group A streptococcal vaccine candidates. The effectiveness of these candidates to induce immune responses that kill GAS will then be investigated.

Dr David McMillan

Tel: +61 7 5456 5852

Functional characterisation of SIC, a streptococcal protein that inhibit the host innate immune system.

Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are small molecules produced by immune system that act as front-line defenders against bacterial infection. GAS produces a protein (SIC) that inhibit the anti-bacterial activity of this AMPs. We have recently shown SIC to possess amino acid motif that is associated with protein-protein interactions. The aim of this project is to determine whether this motif is responsible for the AMP inhibitory properties of SIC.

Dr David McMillan

Tel: +61 7 5456 5852

Effective treatments for scabies are limited, and the development of novel acaricides is unlikely in the future.

This project will contribute important pre-clinical data on the potential of the veterinary anti-parasitc drug moxidectin as a treatment for human scabies by answering several unresolved questions around the in-vitro sensitivity of scabies mites to moxidectin and pharmacokinetic profiles in scabies infested skin.

Dr Kate Mounsey

Tel: +61 7 5456 5108

Early diagnosis of scabies is hindered by delayed immune recognition and low mite numbers, complicating management and control.

High levels of acute phase proteins have been observed in scabies infected animals, opening up the possibility of a biomarker based diagnostic assay. This study will measure levels of key acute phase proteins in sera collected from infected subjects over the time course of experimental scabies infection.

Dr Kate Mounsey

Tel: +61 7 5456 5108

Crusted scabies is a severely debilitating form of scabies

Interleukin-17 is a cytokine increasingly associated with a range of allergic, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. We have exciting data that shows the association of IL-17 with severe crusted scabies. This project will use techniques in immunohistochemistry and flow cytometry to further characterise levels of IL-17 and associated molecules in different tissues in scabies infected subjects.

Dr Kate Mounsey

Tel: +61 7 5456 5108





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