Higher degrees recognise achievements in science, health

Friday, 12 April 2013

Two prominent University of Adelaide staff members will graduate from the University next week when they receive higher doctorates for their groundbreaking health science research.

More than 3100 students will attend graduation ceremonies in the University of Adelaide's historic Bonython Hall from 16-23 April.

Among those receiving their degrees will be Professor Shaun McColl and Professor Robert Vink, who will both be awarded the Degree of Doctor of Science in the Faculty of Sciences - a doctorate that recognises the highest standard of research.

Shaun McColl is Professor of Immunology and Director of the Centre for Molecular Pathology in the School of Molecular and Biomedical Science. His Doctor of Science thesis is titled Regulation of Cell Activation and Migration by Chemotactic Factors.

Professor McColl's research is aimed at understanding how the movement of cells in the body are controlled by a large family of molecules called chemokines. His laboratory has a particular emphasis on understanding the roles played by chemokines in providing the body with resistance to infection, and in the development of cancer and autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis.

Robert Vink is Chair of Neurosurgical Research and Head of the School of Medical Sciences. His Doctor of Science thesis is titled Uncovering the critical roles of magnesium and substance P in central nervous system injury.

His work was the first to identify magnesium as a critical factor in central nervous system injury, with magnesium playing a protective role in various conditions of the brain and spinal cord. His research into substance P has identified the neuropeptide's central role in brain swelling following traumatic brain injury and stroke, and shown that substance P antagonists can be used to reduce brain swelling following acute brain injuries.

Also among the new graduates are 18 winners of the University Medal (for undergraduate and honours students) and 13 winners of the University Doctoral Research Medal. These prestigious awards represent the very best academic achievements by University of Adelaide students and will be presented at the ceremonies.

Philipp Allgeuer (Bachelor of Engineering (Mechatronic) with Bachelor of Mathematical and Computer Sciences), has won the Honours Alumni University Medal, while Dr Omid Kavehei (PhD, Electrical and Electronic Engineering), has won the Postgraduate University Alumni Medal.


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