New talk series tackles 21st century medicine

13 August 2012

How to avoid the health risk of sitting down all day, what to eat to prolong your life, the best ways to tackle teenage depression, an overview of vaccination and what our progress is on tackling cancer are just some of the topics to be covered in a new series of talks presented by Sydney Medical School.

21st Century Medicine: today's research, tomorrow's healthcare starts this Wednesday, 15 August, and presents some of the University's leading medical researchers.

In the inaugural lecture, 'Drinking for two: stopping the harm from alcohol in pregnancy', Professor Elizabeth Elliott discusses the challenges of Foetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder, a condition seen in both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous communities.

Foetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder (FASD) can cause a range of birth defects and lifelong problems with learning, development, and behaviour.

"FASD is a preventable tragedy that in some high-risk communities could be described as a humanitarian crisis," said Professor Elliott, a paediatrician at the Sydney Children's Hospitals Network, Westmead, and Professor of Paediatrics and Child Health at the University of Sydney.

"Our children are our greatest asset yet many children suffer brain damage even before they are born, through exposure to alcohol in the womb."

Professor Elliott will speak about how to identify and assist children with FASD, how to support their parents and carers and the efforts currently being made around Australia to prevent alcohol use in pregnancy and FASD.

She will highlight the need to restrict access to alcohol through legislative changes and to change drinking behaviours in Australian communities.

The other talks in the series are:

Don't just sit there - stand up! 

22 August

It is vital that people who sit most of the day put extra physical activity into their daily routines, says Professor Adrian Bauman, a public health specialist in activity. His talk will focus on the evidence behind his claims and explain why prolonged sitting is a global health concern.

Adolescent pathways to depression: interventions, choice, and treatments 

5 September

Mental health expert Professor Ian Hickie says youth, parents, and practitioners ask common questions about adolescent depression. He will discuss the most controversial - which treatments are best suited to which young people.

Vaccine scares and successes 

12 September

Vaccines for all kinds of ailments will be the key to preventing a massive global pandemic argues Professor Robert Booy. This presentation talks through how vaccines are designed, produced, and distributed, and is unmissable for students of global health.

Older but wiser: the science of healthy ageing 

19 September

This co-presentation by Professors Steven Simpson and David Le Couteur will cover two major issues facing Australia's baby boomers, 'Ageing and nutrition' and 'What modern science tells us about the ageing process'.

Curing Cancer: Are we nearly there yet? 

26 September

Despite the huge effort by many countries throughout the world, a cure for cancer remains elusive. How much longer will it take? In this lecture, Professor Roger Reddel will describe some of the advances made in understanding and treating cancer, and what still needs to be done.

Event details

What: 21st Century Medicine: today's research, tomorrow's healthcare, a new lecture series presented by Sydney Medical School. Inaugural lecture is Drinking for two: stopping the harm from alcohol in pregnancy

When: 6 to 7.30pm Wednesdays, starting 15 August. See above for specific lecture dates

Where: Lecture Theatre 101, New Law Building, Camperdown Campus. See map 

Cost: Free

RSVP: Follow the links above to register for specific lectures. To register for all six lectures, email Sydney Ideas.

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