Biomedical Science News

Biomedical Science staff involvement in brain awareness week at International Grammar School Sydney

some photos from brain awareness week

Brain Awareness Week (BAW) is held in March every year. This global campaign aims to increase public awareness of the benefits and progress of brain research. Fun activities and seminars happen around the world during BAW. Dr Jin Huang organised a variety of fun and hands-on BAW activities again. This year, on Monday 16th March 2015, Dr Huang, her team (see below) and Mr Toby Booth – Dr Huang’s “Scientists in Schools’’ ( teacher partner celebrated BAW with the Year 9 kids from International Grammar School Sydney ( From the positive feedback students provided (4.6/5), it was clear the kids loved the battle between their brain waves using the Mindflex Duel machine ( They loved to get their hands dirty during lamb brain dissections. They also discovered some amazing body sensations and found out how the brain works! Below are a few comments the kids provided:

  • We loved it!
  • It was good! xx
  • Keep up the good work :); come back again!

We would like to thank Australasian Neuroscience Society ( for funding these activities. These activities are also part of the activities organised by members of the Australasian Neuroscience Society and members of the Sydney Chapter of The American Society for Neuroscience.

If you are interested in organising a similar event, fell free to contact Dr Jin Huang (). She is happy to forward you the program.

Team members:
Discipline of Biomedical Science: Dr Jin Huang (leader), A/Prof Kay Double, Miranda Mathews, An Truong, Victoria Tung, Sophie Virachit, and Gloria Luo-Li
Discipline of Physiology: Dr Dario Protti, Dr Cathy Leamey, Dr Haydn Allbutt, Josef Daroczy
BMRI: Dr Eryn Werry, Ben Trist

Permission were obtained from team members and parents of students to publish photos on newspaper, school bulletin and/or websites.

Congratulations to Matt McCrary on getting his first paper published in a highly prestigious journal

photo of Matt McCrary

Congratulations to Matt McCrary, Dr Bronwen Ackermann's Master student who got his first paper published in the highly prestigious British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Matt's research involves analysis of the effects of cardiovascular, core muscle, and on-instrument warm-up on muscle activity and performance in elite violinists in conjunction with the ARC Sound Practice Project. Surface EMG and anonymously-judged sound recordings have been used, with a special focus on the implications of results on prevention of repetitive strain injury.

Matt's article is - "A systematic review of the effects of upper body warm-up on performance and injury" and can be accessed at:

Congratulations to three Bio postgraduate students who graduated with PhD recently

graduations photos of students

Congratulations to Dr Verity Pacey, Dr Laila Arzuman and Dr Darren Reed who graduated with PhD recently.

Verity Pacey, a senior paediatric Physiotherapist from The Children's Hospital at Westmead, was awarded a Menzies Foundation Scholarship in the last 2 years of her candidature. She worked clinically part time, got married, had 2 children, took up an academic position and graduated with PhD in December 2014. Her thesis, entitled Joint Hypermobility Syndrome in Children, comprised 5 studies from which she has published 5 papers to date with more in the pipeline! She is a star.

For her PhD, Laila Arzuman worked on mono functional platinum (II) complexes designing a number of highly tumour active potential drugs. She also carried out studies on combination of designed platinum with phytochemicals towards overcoming drug resistance in ovarian cancer including characterization of proteins associated with the resistance.

Darren’s PhD involved analysis of normal shoulder muscle activation during exercises, performed in an abduction/ adduction plane of movement and commonly prescribed in the assessment and rehabilitation of shoulders.
Experiments included:

  • timing of shoulder muscle activation during the initiation of abduction
  • recording normative baseline data of shoulder muscle activation patterns during abduction and adduction
  • the effect of load and plane of movement on muscle activation patterns during abduction and adduction
  • comparison of shoulder muscle activation patterns during open and closed chain abduction exercises

Media reports research findings of Bio PhD student, Ian O'Brien

picture of Ian O

Congratulations to Ian O'Brien, a PhD student in the Discipline who was reported and interviewed in the media following recent publication of his research on hearing loss and hearing conservation amongst Australia's professional orchestras.

Ian is also a clinical audiologist and a professional musician. He has been researching hearing loss and hearing conservation amongst Australia's professional orchestras as part of the ARC Sound Practice Project. Ian's PhD supervisors are Dr Bronwen Ackermann and A/Prof Tim Driscoll.

He was interviewed on the ABC News Radio's Drive program and the ABC Radio National's Body Sphere program following reporting of their latest article (published in the Annals of Occupational Hygiene) which was picked up by Reuters (follow link below to read the artricle):