PhD Awarded to Dr. Alison Bembrick and Dr. David Mor (Keay Lab)

9th of December, 2010

Graduation cap and testamur

Congratulations go out to Dr. Alison Bembrick (Keay Laboratory) for being awarded the degree of Doctor of Philosophy as well as Dr. David Mor (Keay laboratory), also for being awarded the degree of Doctor of Philosophy

They are due to graduate next week, more information and pictures will available soon.

Anatomy Students On Top

9th of December, 2010

bullseye with arrow shot into the center

Congratulations go out from the Discipline of Anatomy and Histology on the successes of our Young Investigators, taking out 3 of the 6 awards on offer for the event.

  • Agilent Technologies Prize for Best Oral Presentation by a Postgraduate Research Student
    Eun Hye Hailey Shin
  • Sapphire Prize for Best Oral Presentation by a Postgraduate Research Student
    Yui Kaneko
  • Lastek Prize for Outstanding Poster Presentation
    Emily Don

  • Assessors' Acknowledgements - Best Poster selection process
    Ineka Whiteamn
    Jonathan Hakim
    Samson Dowland
    Shawna Foo

University Medal Awarded to Jonathan Hakim

11th of November, 2010

university medal jonathan hakim

Congratulations go out to Jonathan Hakim for earning the University Medal.

It should be noted that the University Medal is a result, not a scholarship or prize. It is awarded on graduation to a student enrolled under a graded assessment system (ie not a pass/fail system such as the BDent) who has merited first class honours and whose work is of outstanding merit in the opinion of the faculty.

The University, The Faculty of Medicine and the Discipline of Anatomy and Histology recognise Jonathan's hard work, this is a prestigious and worthy achievement, one that undoubtedly signals a bright future.

Jonathan was also awarded the McAvoy Prize for his Honours efforts and was presented with his prize in the Anderson Stuart Common Room by Head of Department Kevin Keay (more below).

Honours Prize Presentation

11th of November, 2010

The Discipline of Anatomy & Histology hosted a Morning Tea where our completing Honours students for 2010 were awarded Student Prizes. Head of Department Kevin Keay handed out Awards in recognition of the hard work of our students. The following students received prizes for their efforts:

Jose Filipe Gonsalves - Dreher Prize (pictured below - left)

Alexandra Stathis - Stone Prize (pictured below - middle)

Jonathan Hakim - McAvoy Prize (pictured below - right)

Image - honours awards recipients recieving awards and shaking Kevin Keay

Prof. Cristobal Remedios awarded Silver Medal for 40 years of service

14th of October, 2010

Photo portrait of Professor Cris Dos Remedios

Cristobal G. dos Remedios, Professor of Anatomy and Biophysics will be awarded a Silver Medal for 40 years of service to the University in a ceremony that is being held on Tuesday, 16 November 2010. The event will be held in the Great Hall (6pm-8pm) to recognise staff who have completed 15, 25, 40 and 50 years of service as at 31 December 2009.

Prof. Remedios was first employed as a Teaching Fellow in 1966 before being appointed as a Temporary Lecturer in 1969. A wide range of themes are researched in his laboratory - the Muscle Research Unit (MRU).

The Discipline offers its congratulations to Professor Remedios for his long service and the contribution he has made to the University as well as his ongoing contribution to Biophysics and Heart Research.

2010 Prosectors Workshop and Competition now open

05th of October, 2010

Applications for the 2010 Prosectors Competition and Prosection Workshop have just opened and will close on October 29. For further information head to the All Students section of the Opportunities for Dissection webpage and contact Marcus Robinson.

Marcus Robinson
+61 2 9351 2816 - Phone
+61 2 9351 2817 - Fax
- email
Room S421, Anderson Stuart Building - Office (upstairs)

2008-2009 Annual Prosectors Competition - Certificate Presentation

23rd of September, 2010

Prizes and certificates were presented to entrants of the 2008 & 2009 Annual Prosectors' Competition in the Anderson Stuart Common Room at 3pm. The competition is open to all students who have attended the Prosectors workshop or can demonstrate equivalent knowledge.

The aim for entrants is to dissect a specimen worthy of inclusion in the Wilson Museum of Human Anatomy. Anatomy staff adjudicate the prizes and award the sought after title of ‘Prosector’.

The Hunter Prize for dissection in 2008 was jointly awarded to James Robinson, for his dissection of the ear, and Emily Davidson for her dissection of the trigeminal nerve. In 2009 the Hunter prize for dissection was also jointly awarded to Louise Waterhouse for her dissection of the facial nerve and Ibrahim Al Salti for his dissection of the oral cavity and floor of mouth. Ibrahim was also awarded the Lowenthal Prize for the best contribution to the Wilson Museum. All recipients worked hard for this great result and were at the Disciplines award ceremony to receive their certificates.

Many of the other participants in the prosectors competition and prosection workshop for 2008 and 2009 were present to receive their certificates. Congratulations to everyone, your efforts have finally been recognised and your dissections have joined the ranks in our vast teaching collection.

The Head of Anatomy and Histology, Associate Professor Kevin Keay presented the prizes and certificates.

2008 and 2009 recepients
James Robinson and Kevin Keay Emily Davidson and Kevin Keay
Louise Waterhouse and Kevin KeayIbrahim Al Salti and Kevin Keay

Open Day 2010

28th of August, 2010

The University of Sydney will be holding its annual Open Day on Saturday 28 August 2010 from 9.30am until 4pm.

Open Day

The day is organised to give all prospective students the opportunity to visit the University and seek academic advice as well as find out about the other exciting opportunities and support services available to students who study at Sydney. Major course advice centres will operate on the Camperdown Campus in the Great Hall, Ante Room and MacLaurin Hall and from fete stalls within the Quadrangle.

Parking will be free on the day, however visitors have been advised that it is very limited, and are encouraged to travel to the University by public transport or on the free buses provided from Railway Square. These buses will operate all day from Railway Square, George Street to the Camperdown Campus. Free shuttle buses will also transport visitors to the Rozelle Campus (Sydney College of the Arts), Macquarie St Campus (Sydney Conservatorium of Music) and Mallett St Campus (Nursing and Midwifery). Check the website for information on bus timetables.

Details about activities, faculty tours and mini lectures and all other event information can be found online at

Please feel free to come along and if you have any family or friends who are considering study at the University of Sydney please forward them this email.

For enquiries about Anatomy and Histology please call (02) 9351 2497 or email us .

Bosch Young Investigators

20th of August, 2010

The Bosch Young Investigators seminar was held as the first of the biennial seminar series at 3pm in room N248 in the Anderson Stuart Building.

Young Investigators

"As usual, nibbles and drinks will be provided…. So plan your experiments around it, and we look forward to seeing you for some excellent presentations by some of our young investigators."

The presenters were (in no particular order):

  • Hailey Shin (Anatomy): “Sprouty prevents TGFβ-induced cataractogenesis”
  • Dr. Jie Liu (Physiology): “Calcium and cardiac pacemaking”
  • Dr. Thamara Abou Antoun (International speaker): “A proteomics approach to the molecular characterization of murine neuroblastoma stem-like cells”
  • Dr. Katherine Locock (Pharmacology): Novel GABAC Receptor Antagonists: Design, Synthesis and Activity

Photograph: Tom Rolf - Creative Commons.

School of Medical Sciences meeting

School of Medical Sciences

20th of August, 2010

The School meeting was held on Friday from 3pm in the Professorial Board Room, Main Quad, followed by drinks in the Anderson Stuart Courtyard from 4pm. Attendees were invited to come along and find out what was happening in their Disciplines, the School's other Disciplines, and what is coming up School-wide in the near and not so near future.

Paul Nash (Henderson Laboratory) awarded PhD

14th of July, 2010

The Discipline of Anatomy & Histology Postgraduate Committee and Luke Henderson (PhD Supervisor) pass on their congratulations to Dr. Paul Nash (Neural Imaging Laboratory), who has recently been awarded the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.

Paul Nash

I first began in the department as a graduate diploma student in Luke's lab in 2005.

After completing that, I started my PhD, also with Luke, studying the central nervous system representation of acute and chronic orofacial pain. The results of which showed that deep and superficial pain have differential representation within the trigeminal system in the brainstem. Furthermore, pain from the face has a bilateral representation within trigeminothalamic tract as well as resulting in a long term depression of the primary motor cortex. The results from the acute pain study were then compared to the pattern of baseline activation in a population of chronic pain patients. The results showed that a similar set of brain structures were active in chronic pain patients, however these areas seemed to be behaving differently.

Since submitting my PhD I've taken up a post doctoral fellowship studying chronic pain in the spinal cord with fMRI in the Systems Neuroscience and Pain Lab at Stanford University. This is with the long term aim of returning to Australia one day and taking up an academic position.

Hons candidate Shawna Foo (Byrne Lab) wins national award and research grant

21st of May, 2010

Shawna Foo is currently completing her Honours in the Byrne Lab and has recently been awarded a research grant and has been the recipient of a national Honours award.

Shawna Foo portrait

Research Grant
Shawna has been successful in her application for the Marine Adaptation Network Honours Research Support Grant. This will support her research investigating the interactive effects of climate change stressors on echinoderm development and their adaptive capacity.

Honours Award
Shawna also has been selected as the recipient of the 2010 NSW AMSA Honours Student Award. This is awarded from the Australian Marine Sciences Association to support honours research.

Frank Lovicu (Postgraduate Coordinator): "This is a great achievement especially for such a junior member of our discipline".

PhD candidate Hailey Shin (Lens Research Laboratory) granted prestigious travel award

18th of May, 2010

Ms Hailey Shin (PhD candidate) from the Lens Research Laboratory was granted a prestigious travel award by the International Society for Eye Research to attend and present her work at the International Congress for Eye Research to be held in Montreal, Canada, in July, 2010.

Hailey portrait

The presentation
Our laboratory has shown that proteins in the eye belonging to the Sprouty gene family play a role in maintenance of the integrity of lens cells. These proteins are not only strongly expressed in the lens but we have recently shown them to effectively influence the ability of lens cells to respond to cytokines such as TGFß. As TGFß has the ability to induce cataract in our lines of transgenic mice, we can effectively block this ocular pathology by overexpressing Sprouty in lenses of these mice. Taken together, anatogonists such as Sprouty may have in role in tightly regulating the growth factor signaling in the lens, in effect maintaining the structure and function of this tissue.

Desired outcomes from travel
Hailey: "I would like to form further acquaintances with other fellow researchers in the vision research field. I would like to not only obtain feedback on my current research, but also expand my interest in vision research. I believe that it will provide an invaluable opportunity to obtain deeper insights for my PhD project and also further my career in scientific research."

Ellas Nanitsos (Balcar laboratory) awarded PhD

12th of May, 2010

The Discipline of Anatomy & Histology Postgraduate Committee and Vladimir Balcar (PhD Supervisor) pass on their congratulations to Ellas Nanitsos (Balcar laboratory), who has recently been awarded the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.

Ellas portrait

Ellas studied Neuroscience at The University of Sydney and graduated in 2001 with a Bachelor of Science degree. Ellas returned to her studies in 2002 and obtained Graduate Diploma in Science for her thesis "The role of Na+-dependent Glutamate Transporters and the (Na+,K+)-ATPase in the CNS" while she developed a novel method (uptake of Rb+ estimated by atomic absorption spectrometry) for studying the activity of (Na+,K+)-ATPase in fresh brain tissue in vitro.

Ellas then extended her interests towards the biochemistry and pharmacology of mental disease. In her PhD thesis "Impact of pharmacological manipulation of neurotransmitter systems on brain metabolism" Ellas focused on actions of neuroleptic haloperidol and other drugs such as dopamine agonists, antagonists and re-uptake inhibitors as well as purinergic agonists and an endocannabinoid anandamide on (Na+,K+)-ATPase, glutamate transporters and brain metabolom studied by 13C-NMR spectroscopy. The latter part of the work was done in collaboration with Professor Caroline (Lindy) Rae at POWMRI. The principal finding was that chronic haloperidol reduced levels of both GLAST and GLT (the two most important glutamate transporters accounting for about 3% of total brain protein) and this was accompanied by significant changes in brain metabolom. Other observations included reversal of ouabain effects (oubain is a (Na+,K+)-ATPase inhibitor and known neurotoxin) by anandamide, possibly providing early glimpses of a previously unexplored mechanism underlying aetiology of schizophrenia.

Future directions
Ellas: "The field of neurochemistry is a fascinating area as it provides clues to some of the processes underlying the functions of the nervous system. I particularly enjoy the challenge in attempting to unravel the mechanisms with which the various neurotransmitter systems interlink with each other. As such I am looking forward to pursuing a career in neurochemical research in the area of either schizophrenia, food intolerances or perhaps addiction. I currently enjoy conveying to students my passion for the nervous system through my teaching."

Supervisors message
Vladimir Balcar: "It was a great pleasure to work with Ellas. After her visit in Prague Centre of Psychiatry, the deputy director remarked to me 'for a PhD student, Ellas is such a gentle and polite person'. He was absolutely right, yet Ellas always managed to get her way. She was rewarded for her persistence with a wonderful set of findings that may help us to understand why the brain sometimes does not function as it should."