Biomedical Science News

Biomedical Science staff involvement in brain awareness week at Condell Park High School

pictures of BAW activity grouped

As Dr Jin Huang’s “Scientists in Schools’’ partnership continues with the teachers of Condell Park High School (, brain awareness outreach activities were organised again this year. Our outreach program aims to promote public awareness of the benefits and progress of brain research through a variety of fun and hands-on activities. This year, Year 8 kids from Condell Park High School ( obviously enjoyed the day by providing positive feedback (4.6/5). Favourite activities were the battle between their brain waves using a Mindflex Duel machine ( and maintaining balance using massagers. They loved to have a go at lamb brain dissections. They also discovered some amazing body sensations such as how smell and taste work together!

We want to thank Australasian Neuroscience Society ( for funding these activities. Note most scientists are members of the Australasian Neuroscience Society and Sydney Chapter of The American Society for Neuroscience (

Outreach activities occur March (Brain Awareness Week) and August (Science Week). If you have studied Neuroscience, love to talk to kids and are willing to volunteer, please email Jin (). If you are interested in organising a similar event, fell free to contact Jin. She is happy to forward you the program.

Team members:

Discipline of Biomedical Science: Dr Jin Huang (leader), A/Prof Kay Double, Dr Alan Freeman, Dr Damian Holsinger, An Truong, Kathryn Mathews, Gloria Luo-Li
Discipline of Physiology: Dr Dario Protti, Charles Yates
BMC: Dr Eryn Werry
ACU: Dr Paul Tawadros

Permission were obtained from team members and school to publish photos on school bulletin and/or websites.

Brain Awareness Activities Evaluation 07/08/2015 organised by Dr Jin Huang (The University of Sydney)

Class: Year 8 (46/50 in total, 92% response rate), Condell Park High School

BAW evaluation table

Dr Darren Reed's disaster relief voluntary work in Nepal

collage of photos of Darren

Dr Darren Reed from the Discipline of Biomedical Science offered his skills as a physiotherapist in disaster relief work in Nepal. Following the World Confederation for Physical Therapy (WCPT) conference in Singapore Darren travelled directly to Nepal. He arrived a week after the 7.9 earthquake that devastated the country and has resulted in 10000 deaths, over 20000 injuries and 2.8 million people displaced. Having worked previously in Nepal for 7 years as a physiotherapist and training physios, he returned to Dhulikhel Hospital (40km north east of Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal), to help the dedicated team of national physios treat the enormous number of patients and to begin the process of organising the medium to long term rehab response to the disaster under the leadership of the Nepal Ministry of Health.

“I found it quite overwhelming… the sheer number of patients at the hospital. Over the first 4 weeks the hospital saw around 2000 earthquake victims and the physiotherapy team were treating over 200 patients per day with most requiring long term rehab services. Many of these were spinal cord injuries (30+), multiple fractures (100s), amputees, crush injuries, head injuries and neuropraxias. This was many times the ‘usual’ hospital capacity and wards were created in makeshift spaces that had not seen patients before. One ‘new’ orthopaedic ward had 72 beds and it wasn’t even a room before. The Nepali staff were doing a remarkable job under the circumstances and everyone who needed treatment was receiving it. The physio team also provided treatment at a nearby temporary medical camp set up by the Chinese. Besides the number of patients, a recurring problem was the discharge strategy. The hospital provided each patient with food and bedding to take with them but many patients had no home to return to."

"I was also there during the second 7.3 earthquake and we evacuated all the patients again, treating them outside for two days. Everyone is very fearful of further earthquakes and they’re ready to run at the slightest noise. The psychological trauma is immense with most patients having lost close family members. But while the stories of despair are many, there are also stories of hope. Nepalis are helping each other irrespective of caste, crops are being planted, communities are feeding each other and temporary buildings are appearing out of tin and bamboo."

"There is still a long way to go, so if you would like to contribute, the International Nepal Fellowship (INF – the organisation I worked for) has been involved in medical work in Nepal for over 60 years and has been providing immediate relief to the areas near the epicentre. It has also committed to provide 50 beds for medium to long term rehab in their Green Pastures hospital, Pokhara.

Shoulder Laboratory researchers at the World Confederation for Physical Therapy Congress 2015

photo of two Bio researchers at the WCPT congress

Four members of the Shoulder Research Laboratory in the Discipline of Biomedical Science presented their recent research findings at the World Confederation for Physical Therapy Congress 2015 held at the Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre in May. These presentations ranged from:

  • Differences in muscle activation patterns associated with open & closed chain shoulder exercises (Dr Darren Reed);
  • Validation of a shoulder-specific left-right judgement task tool as an implicit measure of motor imagery (John Breckenridge - PhD candidate);
  • The contribution of active muscle stiffness to range of motion deficits in patients with frozen shoulder (Luise Hollmann - Masters candidate);
  • An international Symposium exploring whether opinion regarding the aetiology of shoulder impingement syndrome influences physiotherapy treatment (Associate Professor Karen Ginn).

A/Professor Karen Ginn gave invited presentation at the British Society of Rheumatology & British Health Professionals in Rheumatology

Photo of Karen Ginn

Associate Professor Karen Ginn was invited to present a paper entitled "Shoulder pain - the dilemma of diagnosis" at the annual conference of the British Society of Rheumatology & British Health Professionals in Rheumatology held in Manchester UK in April. Her conclusions that the current diagnostic labelling system for shoulder pain is not valid nor reliable, does not aid communication between health professionals or with patients and is hindering clinical research aimed at evaluating treatment effectiveness generated robust discussion.

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: