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Brain structure, brain dynamics and brain initiatives: Cross-currents in neuroscience

Wednesday, 2 April 2014
6.00pm – 7.00pm

Neuroscience has seen exponential growth in the last half century, driven in part by the development of new measurement technologies, including a variety of brain imaging methods. However, until recently, this growth has taken the form of an increase in the number of individual investigators with quasi-independent research programs. The complexity and richness of nervous system phenomena has provided fertile grounds for such growth. However, in the last few years, motivated in part by the Genome projects and large scale Physics projects, there has been a push towards “big neuroscience”, in the form of Brain Initiatives in Europe and in the US.

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The Next Technology Wave:  Biologically Inspired Engineering

Dr IngberDonald E. Ingber, M.D., Ph.D.

Founding Director, Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University Judah Folkman Professor of Vascular Biology, Harvard Medical School & Boston Children’s Hospital Professor of Bioengineering, Harvard School of Engineering & Applied Sciences.

The Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University that he leads was founded in 2009 to develop new engineering innovations by emulating the way nature builds. Over the past 5 years, the Institute has pioneered a new model for innovation, trans-disciplinary collaboration and technology translation, while developing an exciting pipeline of new bioinspired technologies, including two that have entered human clinical trials. A few examples include therapeutic cancer vaccines that act as artificial lymph nodes; nanotherapeutics that target to vascular occlusion sites like artificial platelets; self-assembling DNA-based nanorobots that can be programmed to travel to cancer sites and kill tumor cells; and a microfluidic device that cleanses blood of pathogens and toxins in septic patients like the human spleen.

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Thursday, 5 June
Melbourne Convention Centre
6.15pm – 7.15pm

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Forum supports Victorian technology entrepreneur challenge

The ICT for Life Sciences Forum is pleased to support an initiative to support young Victorian entrepreneurs develop their business and commercialisation skills with a focus on medical technology. An initiative of the Small Technology Cluster and supported by the Victorian Government, the MedTech’s Got Talent challenge aims to develop a more entrepreneurial culture which is driven by promising young entrepreneurs. The challenge is open to Victorian undergraduate, Masters, PhD, post-docs and recent graduates (within 5 years) with prizes of $20,000 vouchers and other support available for challenge winners. Applications are now being accepted and close on 22nd October 2013.

For details about this exciting initiative, please visit the challenge website here.

You are encouraged to tell friends, colleagues and family about this opportunity to support Victoria’s future entrepreneurial talent. The Forum is proud to be a Marketing and Media Partner of the MedTech’s Got Talent challenge.


ICT Highlights

Never Say Never – The Graeme Clark Story

A new video, launched at this year’s Graeme Clark Oration, outlines the remarkable story of Graeme Clark as he battles against the odds to achieve his goal.

Graeme Clark was inspired by the deafness of his father to pursue a life of inquiry that would see him lead the development of the world’s first multi-channel cochlear implant, or Bionic Ear. Today, the device has been implanted in over 250,000 patients around the world, bringing sound to many of them for the first time and touching the lives of many family, friends and colleagues around them, perhaps in the millions. For the first time, a film biography is now available that tells the remarkable personal story of Graeme Clark’s quest to build a bionic ear.

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This production was only made possible through the generous financial support of The Cochlear Foundation, the Melbourne School of Engineering (The University of Melbourne), NICTA and the ICT for Life Sciences Forum.

Click the link here to view this remarkable story, now available with closed captioning, enabling subtitles in over 40 languages.

WATCH VIDEO

If you would like to receive a free a copy of the DVD, please click here to request your copy.

 


ICT and Life Sciences Convergence in Melbourne Publication

The ICT for Life Sciences Forum is pleased to make available online a booklet it produced last year – Applying ICT to the life sciences challenges of the 21st Century – which explores how ICT and life sciences are converging in Victoria in many areas from bionics to immunology; from motion sensing to cancer detection.Melbourne’s life sciences community has helped make the world a healthier place. Our contributions include: the world’s first drug for a mental illness; the bionic ear; identifying the killer of millions of babies; commercialising the first vaccine against a cancer; the first anti-flu drug; and fundamental immunology discoveries that have underpinned global research.

In the 21st Century we are digging still deeper into the complexity of life. We’re building on past discoveries to build a bionic eye; create and interact with virtual viruses; redefine cancer diagnosis; understand the immune system; and make hearing aids much more accessible.We’re building bridges with physicists, engineers, mathematicians and computer scientists. Information and communications technology (ICT) is now central to managing and interpreting the results of life sciences research.

ICT is enabling life scientists to tackle deeper and more complex questions and to interpret millions or billions of results. It’s allowing us to model real-life—from a polio virus to the fate of immune cells. It’s allowing us to explore complete living systems.

Download the booklet [pdf 2.9Mb]


 

Professor Graeme Clark AC receives prestigious US award

Australia’s bionic ear pioneer, Laureate Professor Graeme Clark AC, today was announced as a recipient of the prestigious Lasker-DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award for contributions that have improved the clinical treatment of patients. Professor Clark was awarded the prize for the development of the modern cochlear implant — a device that bestows hearing to individuals with profound deafness.

Professor Clark will accept the award at a ceremony in New York on 20 September. Visit The Lasker Foundation website to learn more about the awards, view a video featuring the award recipients, and read Professor Clark’s essay that appears in October 2013 issue of Nature Medicine.

Other Australians who have been recognised by The Lasker Awards include Sir McFarlane Burnett (1952), Professor Don Metcalf (1993), Professor Barry Marshall (1995) and Professor Elizabeth Blackburn (2006).


 

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Watch all our videos on the Forum channel, click on the link below.