Welcome to the Otago School of Medical Sciences
OSMS Prestigious Summer Scholarships
18 June 2014
The Otago School of Medical Sciences is offering a small number of summer scholarships to high-achieving 3rd or 4th year BSc or BBiomedSc students. The Scholarships provide return air travel to Dunedin, accommodation and a $5,000 stipend and are available for a 10-week period between 1 November 2014 and 6 February 2015 for study in one of the departments (Anatomy, Biochemistry, Microbiology & Immunology, Pharmacology & Toxicology, Physiology) in the Otago School of Medical Sciences. Closing Date is 15 August 2014.
Click here for the Application form: Application_Form2014.pdf
Topics of Study include:
infection and immunity
membrane and ion transport
genomics, proteomics and bioinformatics
circulation, integrative physiology and inflammation
regulation of gene expression (human, plant, virus, bacteria)
genetics of disease, reproduction, development (human, livestock, microbial, insect)
protein structure, function and evolution (protein:protein interactions, drug targets)
environmental and health microbiology & immunology
interactions between nervous & endocrine systems
human anatomy (dissection based projects)
drug discovery and free radical biology
molecular and cellular neuroscience
microbial ecology and energetics
AKTA Pure Protein Purification System
29 July 2014
The Lotteries Health Equipment Grant led by Dr. Peter Mace allows the purchase of an AKTA Pure protein purification system to support several research projects in the Biochemistry Department and other OSMS groups. This next-generation protein purification system will allow efficient, semi-automated purification of proteins on both small and large scales for a variety of downstream experiments. Purified protein is essential for many aspects of modern biomedical research, including biochemical assays to test protein activity, measurements of the physical size and shape of proteins and determining the three-dimensional structure of proteins. This system will be heavily used in Dr. Mace’s work studying signalling proteins that govern how cells respond to stress, as well as other groups studying proteins that influence the aetiology and treatment of cancer, heart disease and infectious diseases.
Appropriate responses to cellular stress are vital for health and survival of multicellular organisms. This may involve recognising when a cell has become severely damaged and committing to altruistic cell suicide, or sensing inflammatory signals from surrounding cells. These responses are generally managed by complex networks of signalling proteins, which interact with one another to connect upstream signals to suitable downstream responses. Dr. Mace’s research aims to understand the three-dimensional structure of these signalling proteins and how they switch between their active and inactive states. This switch is often regulated by ‘post-translational’ modifications such as attachment of phosphate onto specific parts of signalling proteins. Post-translational modifications are rapid, reversible and can influence protein behaviour in a large variety of ways. Understanding the precise three-dimensional structure of these switches will provide insight into how these signals become disjointed in diseases such as cancer and inflammatory disorders. Additionally, knowing how signalling proteins are controlled by their natural partners will provide clues as to the best locations on proteins to target potential therapeutic agents towards.