News and Events in Physiology



Honours Boards for Physiology Prize-winners
A function was held on 23 July 2015 in the Common Room of the Anderson Stuary building, for the unveiling of Honours Boards (see picture below), that list the names of former winners of the major undergraduate Physiology prizes: the Colin Dunlop Prize, Frank Cotton Prize, PO Bishop Medal and the Claude Bernard Prize. The function was attended by approximately 40 former winners of these prizes, and members of their families. The Honours Boards will be hung in the Anderson Stuart Common Room. The Honours Boards project was initiated by the Heritage Committee of the Anderson Stuart building, and was funded by the Discipline of Physiology. Photographs of people attending the unveiling function were taken by Clive Jeffery, and can be seen here.


University to launch Brain and Mind Centre
The BMRI has received the wonderful accolade of being chosen by the University Executive to be a Strategic Priority Area for Collaboration (SPARC) in the future strategic planning of the University. The BMRI is about to transition to become the hub of a Brain and Mind Centre of the University. The Brain and Mind Centre will bring together all of the University’s various disciplines in health and medical research, science, psychology, engineering, and information technology, and also its expertise in ethics, law, philosophy, economics, education, workplace structure and social organisation. Now, as the Brain and Mind Centre, it will significantly expand the breadth and depth of our multidisciplinary research to set new standards in brain and mind sciences both in Australia and internationally.

For more information and the Brain & Mind Research Institute history can be found here.


Professor John Hearn conferred a Doctor of Science (Honoris causa)
In July, 2015, Professor John Hearn was conferred Doctor of Science (Honoris causa) by University College, Dublin, on 16 June 2015. The citation noted his research and teaching in fertility, stem cell science, international policy in regenerative medicine, and in higher education reform. Also cited was his leadership in international universities, agencies and networks. The occasion was also a personal celebration of the 50th anniversary of the meeting of John and his now wife, Margaret, when undergraduates sharing a lab at UCD.

Hearn in Dublin Photo shows UCD Vice Chancellor Andrew Deeks, Professor John Hearn, Professor Thomas Bolger – head of the school of biological and environmental sciences, UCD.


Movember Foundation and the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia Grant
An International, multidisciplinary team has been awarded $3.25M over 3 years from the Movember Foundation and the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia (PCFA). Led by A/Prof Lisa Butler in Adelaide and including Dr Andrew Hoy, the project will address one of the most urgent needs in prostate cancer management – the ability to distinguish, at the time of diagnosis, between patients with significant life-threatening cancer, and those with organ-confined cancer that may not need to be treated at all. The project will focus on lipids in prostate tumours as a completely new way of predicting the cancer’s future behaviour. The aim is to identify a specific signature of lipids that can be readily detected in the tumour tissue, using state-of-the-art imaging, to help determine which tumours are more likely to spread aggressively through the body.

Dr Hoy will be leading the investigation into the link between obesity and prostate cancer. Currently, a link exists between obesity and the incidence of prostate cancer. Additionally, obesity influences lipid metabolism in prostate cancer. This project will also help to better understand the role of altered lipid metabolism and prostate cancer biology and disease progression, the role of exogenous fatty acids (dietary and from fat stores), and therefore the potential modifying role of obesity in disease and treatment.

  Movember Foundation
  Movember Revolutionary Team Chief Investigators L to R: Dr Andrew Hoy, Prof Gary Wittert, A/Prof Lisa Butler, Prof Andrew Scott, Prof Wayne Tilley, Prof Johannes Swinnen

Associate Professor Lisa Butler (Team Leader) from the Uni of Adelaide’s Prostate Cancer Research Group, SAHMRI – Freemasons Foundation Centre for Men’s Health

Professor Wayne Tilley from the Uni of Adelaide’s Adelaide Prostate Cancer Research Centre, Dame Roma Mitchell Cancer Research Laboratories, Freemasons Foundation Centre for Men’s Health

Professor Gary Wittert, University of Adelaide, Freemasons Foundation Centre for Men’s Health

Professor Andrew Scott, The Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research in Melbourne

Dr Andrew Hoy, the University of Sydney

Professor Johannes Swinnen, the University of Leuven, Belgium

Arthur V. Everitt, 1924–2014
Arthur Everitt passed away on 30 Dec 2014 at age 90. After his retirement in 1983 Arthur maintained a close association with Physiology. He graduated BSc First Class Honours and University Medal in 1953 and was made a Teaching Fellow, then temporary Lecturer in 1955, Lecturer in 1960 and Associate Professor from 1972. In 2008 he received the Distinguished Achievement award from the American Aging Association.


Brian Morris awarded Irvine Page - Alva Bradley Lifetime Achievement Award
Congratulations to Professor Emeritus Brian Morris who received the prestigious Irvine Page-Alva Bradley Lifetime Achievement Award for 2014 at the American Heart Association Council for High Blood Pressure Research annual scientific meeting in San Francisco held from 8-12 September. The Council noted that this important honour is bestowed only on outstanding cardiovascular investigators and leaders. The accompanying photo shows the President of the Council (left) presenting the plaque to Professor Emeritus Morris (right) following his award Lecture at the conference.

  Brian Morris

Call for Circumcision Gets a Boost
In an important new study published in advance in Mayo Clinic Proceedings on April 2, Professor Emeritus Brian Morris and his colleagues showed that the benefits of infant male circumcision to health exceed the risks by over 100 to 1. The study showed that over their lifetime half of uncircumcised males contract an adverse medical condition caused by their foreskin. Further analyses showed an alarming six percentage points fall in circumcision prevalence in the United States from a high of 83% in the 1960s. Whereas prevalence is currently 91% in whites, it is 76% in blacks and only 44% in Hispanics. The overall fall was mostly due to the rise in the Hispanic population and the lack of Medicaid coverage for circumcision in public hospitals in 18 states. The findings add considerable weight to the latest American Academy of Pediatrics policy that supports education and access for infant male circumcision as a desirable public health policy. The Editor reported that the article attracted unprecedented news media coverage internationally, including the New York Times and American TV broadcasters NBC and CBS. For an overview see the accompanying youtube