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Three members of the Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition Research (C-PAN) have been awarded Heart Foundation Research Program Fellowships. Anna Timperio and Kylie Hesketh have recently been awarded Heart Foundation Future Leadership Fellowships. These prestigious fellowships provide salary and project funding to support researchers who are becoming leaders of cardiovascular research groups.
Congratulations also goes to Carley Grimes who has been awarded a Heart Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship.
These is an excellent outcome for Anna, Kylie and Carley and for C-PAN. Only 24 Fellowship were awarded nationally across all fields (biomedical, clinical and public health).
The Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition Research (C-PAN) had great success at the 2013 Victorian Health Promotion Foundation (VicHealth) Awards held on Tuesday 3 December. C-PAN were finalists in two of the nine award categories, and won one of the awards.
Professor Kylie Ball, Professor David Crawford and Dr Sarah McNaughton, in partnership with the National Heart Foundation and Coles Supermarkets, received the VicHealth award for Promoting Healthy Eating. The award was presented by the Minister for Health, the Hon David Davis.
In addition, Professor Tony Worsley was a member of a team led by RMIT that was a finalist for the VicHealth award for Preventing Harm from Alcohol.
Deakin University researchers, as well as members of the local Geelong community, have played a key role in developing a novel approach for detecting coeliac disease.
More than 2500 men and women enrolled in the Geelong Osteoporosis Study provided blood samples for traditional antibody testing and identification of specific genetic risk markers.
‘The randomly-selected participants in the Geelong Osteoporosis Study are ideal for this project because they represent the broader population and were not selected on the basis of disease’, said lead investigator and epidemiologist, Professor Julie Pasco from Deakin University’s School of Medicine.
Coeliac disease is a digestive condition caused by eating gluten in foods made from wheat, barley, rye and oats and can be found in people of any age.
The Geelong-based research team involved endocrinologist Associate Professor Mark Kotowicz and gastroenterologist Dr Ross Knight. Other key players included Dr Jason Tye-Din from the Immunology division of the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, Dr Bob Anderson, chief scientific officer at US biotechnology company ImmusanT and researchers from The University of Queensland Diamantina Institute.
Dr Tye-Din said the new approach of combining the genetic test with a panel of antibody tests would increase the accuracy of testing, decrease overall medical costs by reducing invasive diagnostic tests, and avoid medically unnecessary use of a gluten-free diet.
‘Currently, bowel biopsies are recommended for anybody with positive antibody tests’, he said.
‘In this study the inclusion of a genetic test helped identify a substantial number of people whose antibody tests were falsely positive and who did not actually require a bowel biopsy to test for the possibility of coeliac disease.’
The new testing strategy reveals that coeliac disease is more common in Australia than previously thought, affecting at least one in 60 women and one in 80 men.
The research was funded by INOVA Diagnostics Inc, Nexpep Pty. Ltd, the NHMRC, the Victorian Health Promotion Foundation, the Geelong Region Medical Research Foundation, and the Victorian government.