Freemasons Foundation Research Fellows and Scholars
Dr Grant Buchanan
Freemasons Foundation Research Fellow
Dr Buchanan received his PhD in 2002 from the Flinders University of South Australia in prostate cancer research. He undertook postdoctoral training at the University of Adelaide and the Norris Comprehensive Cancer Centre at the University of Southern California, and has received mentoring from internationally renowned leaders in the prostate cancer field. During this training, he has held a postdoctoral fellowship from the Cancer Council of South Australia, a Young Investigator Award from the United States Department of Defense, and the prestigious CJ Martin Biomedical Fellowship (awarded by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) of Australia. In addition, he was a recipient of a Proof of Commercial Concept grant from Bio Innovation SA, and in 2008 was awarded a Young Investigator Award from the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia.
Dr Buchanan has published more than 26 research papers and review articles in prestigious international journals including Cancer Research, PNAS, Human Molecular Genetics, Clinical Cancer Research, the Journal of Biological Chemistry, has presented his research at local, national and international meetings, and acts as an Expert Assessor of NHMRC project grants. In 2008, Dr Buchanan returned to Adelaide to take up the position of Freemasons Foundation Research Fellow within the Freemasons Foundation Centre for Mens Health. Combining molecular, preclinical and clinical research with contemporary genomic technology and drug discovery, Dr Buchanan's current research is aimed at: (i) defining how testosterone acts to promote and control prostate cancer, and how we might better treat or prevent this disease; and (ii) identifying and testing new drugs with the potential to mitigate or repair the decline of muscle mass and cognitive function associated with ageing.
Scholarly articles by "Grant Buchanan" on Google Scholar
Dr Kate Fairweather-Schmidt
Freemasons Foundation Research Fellow
Dr Fairweather-Schmidt returned to study at The Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra in 2000 having been an Australian Institute of Sport Athlete Scholarship holder from 1997 until 2000, and a Sydney 2000 Olympian. She completed a Bachelor of Science with first class Honours in Psychology in 2003, then in 2004, commenced her PhD in Psychology at the Centre for Mental Health Research (CMHR) at the ANU, investigating suicidality in an Australian community-based sample from an age and gender perspective. During her candidature she was awarded best-published research paper by a PhD candidate (2006), and an Australian Foundation for Mental Health Research scholarship (2006). She was awarded her PhD in December 2008.
In 2009, Dr Fairweather-Schmidt took up a Research Fellowship at the Freemason Foundation Centre for Men's Health. Relative to opportunity, Dr Fairweather-Schmidt has published and presented widely, including high impact international journals, such as Psychological Medicine, and at peak body conferences. In May 2010, Dr Fairweather-Schmidt's expertise was recognised by appearing as an expert witness representing the FFCMH at the Senate and Community Affairs Inquiry into Suicide in Australia, and also appointed Adjunct Fellow at the CMHR, at the ANU. Recently she was a recipient of a 2011 Fay Gale Centre for Gender Studies ‘Article Fellowship'.
Dr Fairweather-Schmidt's research focuses on identification of differences in factors impacting mental health across the life span. Current projects involve investigating (i) the relationship between infertility and mental health, (ii) the impact of transitioning into fatherhood on men's mental health, (iii) variations in predictors of suicidality across the life-course for men and women. Methodologically, her approach aligns with the perspective of the Prime Minister's Science, Engineering, and Innovation Council working group on data for science, regarding existing data as inherently valuable for the purposes of sharing, analyzing and cost effectiveness. Data, such as those derived from The PATH Through Life Project (the ANU, Canberra) provide the foundation for much of her psychiatric epidemiological research.
The significance of Dr Fairweather-Schmidt's research is founded upon a capacity to inform mental health policy, service providers, and intervention and prevention strategies about the importance and benefits of adopting a life-stage- and gender-targeted approach to mental health issues.
Scholarly articles by "AK Fairweather-Schmidt" on Google Scholar
Dr Luke Selth
Centre for Men's Health Research Fellow
Dr Selth received his PhD in molecular virology from the University of Adelaide in 2005. He then undertook postdoctoral training at Cancer Research UK's London Research Institute, widely considered to be one of the premier cancer research institutes in the world. As a recipient of a prestigious European Molecular Biology Organization Long-term Fellowship, he investigated how defects in transcription elongation contribute to disease.
In late 2009, Dr Selth returned to Adelaide to commence a Research Fellowship with the Freemasons Foundation Centre for Men's Health and the Dame Roma Mitchell Cancer Research Laboratories at the University of Adelaide. His work is focused on two aspects of prostate cancer development and progression, with an emphasis on translational research that is likely to impact on clinical practice. The first, for which he was recently awarded a Young Investigator Grant from the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia, involves research into the role of microRNAs in prostate carcinogenesis and metastasis and their use as potential biomarkers of disease. The second is aimed at investigating how the androgen receptor (AR) exerts both oncogenic and tumour suppressive effects in prostate cancer and utilises the latest genomic and proteomic techniques to better understand AR function at the molecular level.
Dr Selth has published more than 15 articles, many in high-impact international journals including Journal of Biological Chemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology, International Journal of Cancer and Annual Review of Biochemistry, and has been invited to present his work at several meetings. He has received numerous awards and prizes, including the esteemed Millennium Award at the Lorne Genome Conference in 2011.
Scholarly articles by "LA Selth" on Google Scholar
Dr Eleanor Need
Freemasons Foundation Post-doctoral Research Fellow
Dr Need completed her PhD at the University of Adelaide which examined the role and actions of testosterone in prostate cancer and male ageing. She received her Bachelor of Science with Honours also from the University of Adelaide in genetics. In 2001-2003, while working as a research assistant in the USA, including Columbia University in New York, she investigated the evolution of the proteins responsible for the actions of the sex hormones testosterone and estrogen which resulted in a publication in the prestigious journal, Science.
During her PhD studies, Dr Need was the recipient of two prizes for presentations of her research - one at an international meeting and another at a local meeting. In January 2008, Dr Need was appointed as Freemasons Foundation Postdoctoral Research Fellow within the Freemasons Foundation Centre for Mens Health. Her current scientific interests focus on how the actions of testosterone may be disturbed during male ageing or in the development and progression of prostate cancer. This research is essential to developing new strategies to treat prostate cancer and to determine the consequences of testosterone decline in males during ageing.
Scholarly articles by "EF Need" on Google Scholar
Mr Sean Martin
Freemasons Foundation PhD Scholar
Mr Sean Martin completed his Bachelor of Science with Honours in physiology and pharmacology in 2003. He then joined the University of Adelaide’s Discipline of Medicine to work with Professor Gary Wittert’s clinical trials team working with a novel obesity compound. Shortly thereafter, he took up the role of Co-ordinator of the newly formed Florey Adelaide Male Ageing Study (FAMAS), a role he maintains to this date. As part of this position, he oversaw the expansion of the cohort into 1195 participants, making it one of the largest studies of its type.
Sean’s particular focus for his PhD project will be to investigate the changes in male hormonal status (particularly testosterone) that occur through age. Whilst it is generally accepted that plasma testosterone levels decline gradually with ageing, there nevertheless remains significant variability in plasma T levels in men. Indeed, many elderly men possess concentrations well within normal ranges. The precise interaction between androgen status and related biological, physical and behavioural confounders will be examined in the FAMAS cohort.
Scholarly articles by "S Martin and FAMAS" on Google Scholar
Ms Nicole Palmer
Ms Nicole Palmer completed her Bachelor of Health Science majoring in Reproduction and Genetics in 2007. In 2009 she joined the Gamete and Embryo Biology group headed by Dr Michelle Lane as a research assistant focusing on the detrimental effects of male obesity on reproductive and subsequent child health. Inspired by this research, Nicole investigated molecular mechanisms underpinning these detrimental effects for her Honours thesis and was awarded a First Class degree in 2010.
Nicole's PhD project is an extension of her earlier research experience examining how the detrimental effects of male obesity on reproductive and subsequent child health may be reversed through lifestyle factors such as diet and exercise. This research will provide valuable information pertaining to the influence of paternal factors at fertilisation and the importance of a healthy lifestyle for the male partner around the time of conception in relation to: 1) their own health; 2) the chances of successful pregnancy; 3) the health and development of their subsequent child. Nicole's other research interesats include male infertility, improving the selection of sperm used during IVF cycles, and improving methods of sperm storage in relation to the conservation of animal species.
In addition to receiving and Australian Postgraduate Award for her PhD studies, Nicole is the recipient of the Freemasons Prospective Lodge Medical Scholarship.