2014 SRB ECR Collaborative Research Travel Award


Dr Brandon Menzies (University of Melbourne) and Dr John Schjenken (Robinson Research Institute, The University of Adelaide)

The SRB ECR Collaborative Travel Award is going to be used to fund the travel of Dr Menzies to Adelaide in July 2015. The objective of the visit is for Dr Menzies to receive training in techniques used to analyse the female tract response to seminal fluid with the ultimate aim to collaborate and generate an in vitro model examining the signalling properties of tammar wallaby and other species seminal fluid using mouse uterine epithelial cells. These experiments may allow us to understand seminal fluid signalling biology in species where it is challenging to obtain appropriate tissues. Further, these studies will give an increased understanding of the evolutionary importance of seminal fluid signaling. Our initial experiments during this visit will examine the signalling properties seminal fluid of closely related rodent species, rat, on mouse uterine epithelial cells to establish our model. We aim to generate preliminary data from this visit which will contribute towards a manuscript and potentially, future grant applications. Most importantly, this visit will allow face to face contact and the opportunity for Dr Menzies and Schjenkento consolidate an invaluable, collaborative relationship. We would like to thank SRB for opportunity and look forward to reporting about the outcomes of the trip.



Dr Demelza Ireland (University of Western Australia) and Dr Ellen Menkhorst (Hudson Institute of Medical Research)

The SRB Early Career Collaborative Travel Award was used to fund the travel of Dr Ireland to Melbourne in April 2015. The objective of the visit was for Dr Ireland to use the xCELLigencecell culture platform to perform pilot studies of a novel TAK1 inhibitor in several endometrial carcinoma cell lines. Furthermore, this visit was to enable scientific discussion of the use of flow cytometryto enhance new immunology studies being developed by Dr Menkhorst. During the visit, training and advice were provided in planning, execution and analysis of xCELLigencebased cell culture studies. Pilot data were generated demonstrating the ability of the TAK1 inhibitor to inhibit adhesion, invasion and proliferation by two endometrial carcinoma cell lines. Pilot studies were also performed to assess the ability of the TAK1 inhibit to enhance the cytotoxicityof doxorubicin in the two cancer cell lines. Whilst in Melbourne, Dr Ireland attended the Fetaland Neonatal Workshop satellite to annual meeting of the PerinatalSociety of Australia and New Zealand and presented research seminars to the Translational Obstetric Group at Mercy Women’s Hospital and to the Hudson Institute (formally MIMR-PHI Institute). Overall this visit provided an opportunity to learn new techniques, generate new data, and enabled much scientific discussion and planning. We thank SRB for this opportunity to formalise our collaborative relationship.