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MeettheScientisthelping PregnantMums Welcome to the Perkins laboratories Bloodpressure researchsavinglives Cometoour OpenDay Immunity boostingrecipes Honoured bytheQueen Magazine of the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research Issue22015 2 PERKINS Issue 2 Ourcover New research by Perkins Professor Ruth Ganss could have a major impact on the condition pre-eclampsia which threatens the lives of both Mum and Baby. Gemma Fowler wishes that thered been more research into the condition when she was pregnant with her twins as she was forced to deliver them prematurely. Meet Gemma and her beautiful girls on page 7. PERKINS Magazine Issue 2 2015 Editor Carolyn Monaghan Perkins Communications Manager Email Phone 08 6151 0721 Design Print Fineline Print Copy Connect with us at the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research 8 Contents How a deep sea shrimp could change medicine 3 Honoured by the Queen 4 Your invitation to Perkins Open Day 5 Research into deadly pregnancy condition 6 Happy ending for premmie twins 7 Winter immunity-boosting recipes 8 Hands-on experience of medical research 9 Support for cancer imaging 10 Driving discovery delivering hope 4 5 We are very grateful to all our supporters whose contributions make our medical research possible. Majorsupporters McCusker Charitable Foundation Issue 2 PERKINS 3 Research How a deep sea shrimp could change medicine Associate Professor Kevin Pfleger and colleagues from the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research The University of Nottingham and Promega Corporation tested a derivative of the bioluminescent protein and found it was a game-changer for monitoring the way hormones and pharmaceuticals bind to receptors on the surface of living cells. Associate Professor Pfleger says that understanding how medicines bind to receptors on the cell is incredibly important for discovering and developing new therapies to help patients. The key to future breakthroughs is through understanding the nuances of how medicines need to work. If cell function is like playing the piano most medicines slam the keys or close the lid. The idea is to get back to the tune the body is trying to play he says. This work was funded by an Australian Research Council Linkage Grant and the results have been published in the July edition of the very high impact scientific journal Nature Methods. Anenzyme squirtedoutofdeep seashrimpcausinga brightbluebursttoscare awaypredatorsisthekeyto innovativescientificwork todevelopnew therapiesforserious humandiseases. A receptor shown in purple in the cell membrane is fused to the luminescent enzyme derived from that found in a deep sea shrimp. When a small molecule pharmaceutical attached to a fluorescent molecule binds to the receptor energy from the enzymes activity excites the fluorescent molecule and makes it glow red like turning on a tiny red fluorescent light bulb. Image courtesy of Promega. 4 PERKINS Issue 2 Apparently at that age I asked my Mother how I could move my fingers whenever I wanted to. Ive spent my research career since then asking questions that are easier to answer. Professor Laing is the head of the Neurogenetic Diseases laboratory at the Perkins and his gene discovery research has included the identification of more than 20 human disease genes. The Director of the Perkins Professor Peter Leedman applauded Herbert Smith Freehills commitment to innovation in the health and medical research sector that will see them undertake pro bono work for the Perkins. Support from both the corporate and community sectors is vital if we are to achieve our vision of delivering global improvements in human health said Professor Leedman. Research HonouredbytheQueen LeadinglawfirmpartnerswiththePerkins Its not every day that a Perkins researcher is given a Queens Birthday Honour and Professor Nigel Laing AO says that the recognition would have made his late father particularly proud. The Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research is pleased to announce a partnership with law firm Herbert Smith Freehills. Most recently Professor Laings Group has identified five genes associated with recessive foetal akinesia that is diseases where the unborn baby becomes paralysed in utero. The Governor-General has appointed him as an Officer in the General Division of the Order of Australia for his distinguished service to medicine in the field of neuromuscular disorders as an academic and researcher to medical education and through contributions to professional associations. Dadwasachemistry teacherandhestarted tocallmeProfessor fromtheageof3. Issue 2 PERKINS 5 Visitorspaidparking Carpark3A77BoffMonashAvenue. Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research within the QEII Medical Centre Nedlands. EurekaExperiencethewondersofmedicalsciencewhen theHarryPerkinsInstituteofMedicalResearch opensitsdoorstothecommunityforthefirsttime. Saturday 22 August 10am to 3pm PerkinsOpenDay Free event Caf open Updates Enhanceyourunderstanding Exploreourworld Experimentinthelaboratory Talksoncancerandotherdiseases Behind-the-scenestours Hands-onactivities 6 PERKINS Issue 2 Research There is currently no cure except delivering the baby which can cause health problems for the child if the birth is pre- term. Most traditional medications for high blood pressure or hypertension are harmful for the foetus. Pregnant women produce more blood and fluid and therefore their blood vessels need to relax and expand to meet the babys demands explains Professor Ruth Ganss head of the Vascular Biology and Stromal Targeting Laboratory at the Perkins. When the vessels stay constricted and the mother experiences hypertension the mother and the placenta cant provide enough nutrients for the foetus. Now our research on a regulator called RGS5 has led to a new understanding about the somewhat mysterious process which makes blood vessels constrict or relax during pregnancy she says. It also shows that that a women with no previous experience of high blood pressure can become hypertensive during pregnancy which then can cause preeclampsia. Research intodeadlypregnancycondition Professor Ganss says the research has opened the door for a potential treatment using an existing drug which is currently being utilised to help female infertility. The drug works to relax abnormally constricted blood vessels and allows more blood to supply the demands of the foetus. Most importantly work in the laboratory suggests that it would not be toxic for the foetus like other blood pressure medication. If this medication was used during pregnancy this would allow women at risk to keep their blood pressure under control until they reach full term which would have huge benefits for the child she says. The drug would need to be tested in clinical trials. The new research by Professor Gansss laboratory ties in with her work on cancer and the way blood vessels remodel themselves to feed tumours. The paper RegulatorofGproteinsignalling5isadeterminant ofgestationalhypertensionandpreeclampsia has been published in the high impact factor journalScience TranslationalMedicine. It was a national interdisciplinary collaboration with groups from Perth Canberra Melbourne and Sydney. Researchers from the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research have made a ground breaking discovery that could help pregnant women with high blood pressure which is also a characteristic of the serious condition preeclampsia. Preeclampsiais aproblemin 5to10ofall pregnanciesinAustralia andcanthreatenthe livesofthemother andunborn child. Left to Right Dr Anna Johansson Jacky Li Woodside Professor Ruth Ganss and Yee Seng Chong in the laboratory. Issue 2 PERKINS 7 What is preeclampsia Preeclampsia is the most common serious medical disorder of human pregnancy. Particularly in their first pregnancy pregnant women can suffer from high blood pressure kidney dysfunction leading to leakage of protein into the urine swelling of hands feet and face and in severe cases dizziness headaches and difficulties with vision. If left untreated it can lead to convulsions and other life-threatening problems for both mother and baby. Preeclampsia only occurs when a woman is pregnant and currently the only cure for it is to end the pregnancy even if the baby is not yet ready for birth. Source The Royal Womens Hospital Victoria. Prevention She was forced to give birth 10 weeks early after she was suddenly diagnosed with dangerously high blood pressure at 28 weeks. Id had a dream run in the first half of my pregnancy then my blood pressure went through the roof and all of a sudden I was fighting for my life in hospital she says. It was the scariest thing Ive ever experienced. While the doctors had no choice but to deliver the girls we all knew it was too soon. Alice was a little premmie baby who needed fattening up but it was touch and go for Olivia. We werent sure if shed survive. Mrs Fowler says the family was extremely fortunate that the girls are now healthy six years with no ongoing health issues. Mrs Fowler and her husband have decided against having any more children but are happy that medical research is moving towards possible treatments for other pregnant women in the future. Happyendingforpremmietwins Gemma Fowler wishes that more options for treatment of preeclampsia had been available six years ago when she was pregnant with her twin girls Alice and Olivia. MODERATE RISK Age 40 years or more First pregnancy Multiple pregnancy Interval since last pregnancy of more than 10 years Body mass index of 35 or more at presentation HIGH RISK Chronic hypertension Chronic kidney disease Hypertensive disease during a previous pregnancy Diabetes Autoimmune disease Risk Factors for preeclampsia Source King Edward Memorial Hospital WA. 8 PERKINS Issue 2 Fightwintercoldswiththese immunity-boostingdishes Barleycontainsbeta-glucanatypeoffibrewith antimicrobialandantioxidantcapabilities.Itisthought toboostimmunityspeedupthehealingprocess ofwoundsandmayhelpantibioticsworkbetter. Regardlessthisdishisarichandtastywintermeal. Chickensouphaslongbeenknownasacomforting waytofightacold.Forthebestresultsmakeyourown chickenstockbecausecookingthechickenreleases theaminoacidcysteinewhichischemicallysimilarto thedrugacetylcysteinewhichcanclearmucus.Dont skiptheonionsgarlicandturmericastheycanincrease thesoupsimmune-boostingpower. LAMB SHANKS WITH BARLEY CHICKENSOUP METHOD Preparethestockbyplacingthewholechickeninalargestockpot withtheherbssaltandvegetables.Coverwithcoldwater. Cookatastrongsimmerpartiallycoveredforroughlyanhour. The chickenwillbereadywhenthemeatseparateseasilyfromthebone. Removethechickenfromthecookingpotandsetasidetocool. Discardthecookedvegetablesanddraintheliquidthroughasieve intoameasuringjug.Youshouldhavejustover2litresofchickenstock. Wipethepotcleanwithpapertowelandheattheoliveoil.Addthe finelychoppedonionandgarlicandcookstirringfor2minutes.Add thecelerycarrotsturmericandcookforabout5minutesoruntilthe vegetablesstarttosoften. Addthestocktothecookingpotandsimmeruntilvegetablesare softabout10minutes. Meanwhileseparatethechickenmeatfromtheskinandbonesand pullapartintochunkypieces. Addthechickentothesoupandheat through. Seasonwithsaltandpeppertotastesprinklewithfreshparsley andservesteaminghot. METHOD Heattheoilina largesaucepanover medium-highheat. Addthelambshanks andcookturning occasionallyfor 5minutesoruntil browned. Transfertoaplate. Addtheonion followedbythefennel carrotandceleryandcookstirringfor5minutesoruntil onionsoftens.Addthegarlicandstirtocombine. Scrapeanybrownedbitsofmeatandvegetablefromthe bottomofthepanandpourinthewinebeefstockand tomatopaste.Addthebarleyandstirtocombine. Returnthelambshankstothesaucepanandbringtotheboil. Reduceheattolowandcookpartlycoveredfor2hoursor untillambisfallingoffthebone.Transferlambshankstoaplate. Removethemeatanddiscardthebones.Cutinto2centimetre pieces.Returntothepot.Thedishshouldbeverymoistbut withtheconsistencyofastewratherthanasoup. Tasteandseasonwithsaltandpepper. Serveinshallowbowls. FOR THE STOCK 1 whole chicken 1 large onion roughly chopped 1 bay leaf 1 tbsp dried thyme 2 tsp salt 1 large carrot roughly chopped 1 large stick of celery roughly chopped For the soup FOR THE SOUP 1 tbsp olive oil 1 12 cups celery finely chopped 1 12 cups carrots finely chopped 1 large onion finely chopped 4 cloves crushed garlic 1 teaspoon turmeric 12 cup chopped fresh parsley to serve Salt white pepper to taste 1 tbsp olive oil 2 lamb shanks 1 fennel bulb finely chopped 1 brown onion finely chopped1 carrot finely chopped 2 celery sticks finely chopped2 garlic cloves crushed 1 cup dry white wine 4 cups 1 litre beef stock cup pearl barley 3 tablespoons tomato paste Salt and pepper to taste Ingredients Ingredients Prevention Experiencewhatits liketobeaMedical ResearchScientistunder ourexpertguidance. Itsyourturn NEWS FLASH We are finalists in the 2015 Premiers Science Awards for our Community Engagement programs. 10 PERKINS Issue 2 Research in Western Australia is set to benefit from an exciting new collaboration between the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research and Perth Radiological Clinics charity the PerthRadClinic Foundation. Together they have established the Perth Radiological Clinic Associate in Translational Imaging - a three year clinical research position at the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research in Nedlands. The Associate in Translational Imaging will be involved in the investigation of tumours in preclinical models of disease a critical bridge between discoveries in the laboratory and their translation into new treatments for cancer patients. L to R Perkins Director Professor Peter Leedman Perkins Chairman Larry Iffla Perth Radiological Clinic Chairman Dr Martin Blake Radiologist Dr Stephen Davis at the launch. Perkins Director Professor Peter Leedman unveils a plaque naming the new facility with the Acting Chairman of the ACRF Mr Stephen Rix. SupportforcancerImaging Community The 2.4 million facility which uses specialised imaging equipment has been funded by the Australian Cancer Research Foundation thanks to a bequest from a strong advocate of cancer research. The Acting Chairman of the ACRF Stephen Rix said that the donation in the will of Mr Kevin McCusker had provided the ability to significantly expand the cancer imaging capability in WA. Mr McCusker was a quiet and unassuming man of strong principles and deep feelings and his family told the ACRF that he made this bequest because people he loved died from cancer. His lasting legacy is the provision of a world- class imaging hub for cancer diagnosis and management in Western Australia. Much of his own money was acquired through inheritance and we believe he felt it was the best way he could recognise those who had provided so well for him Mr Rix said. A ground-breaking State Cancer Imaging Facility has officially opened at the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research in Perth. ACRF funds equipment Collaboration supports expertise Issue 2 PERKINS 11 CONQUERCANCER.ORG.AU This event will reach capacity and registration will close. GET YOUR SPOT TODAY. Join The MACA Ride to Conquer Cancer benefiting Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research and experience a life-changing event. Ride side by side with people of all cycling abilities on this groundbreaking 2-day cycling quest through the picturesque landscapes of Western Australia to the triumphant finish lineone Ride closer to a cancer-free future. Funds raised through the MACA Ride to Conquer Cancer support ground-breaking cancer research at the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research Western Australias premier adult medical research institute. All you need is motivation a bike and a helmet. Join us 1300 99 RIDE EPIC RIDE. EPIC IMPACT. 12 PERKINS Issue 2 Phone 61 8 6151 0700 Fax 61 8 6151 0701 Perth Campus QQ Block QE11 Medical Centre 6 Verdun St Nedlands WA 6009 PO Box 7214 Shenton Park Western Australia 6008 Credit card payment - please debit my Amex Security No CVV Code No Card No Card Holders Name Signature Expiry Date I would like to make a donation today of Cheque or money orders - Please make payable to the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research and post to the PO Box address listed above. To see our Privacy Policy please go to 1. click Donate Here 2. Phone 08 6151 0720 3. Post this form to the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research PO Box 7214 Shenton Park WA 6008 or fax to 08 6151 0701 Please send me information about helping the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research through my will. Donations over 2 are tax deductible and a receipt will be issued. Title First name Surname Company Address Suburb Postcode Phone Mobile Email YES I would like to donate to the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research and make a difference Thereare3waysyoucandonateAllcontributionstothePerkinsgodirectlytoadvancing medicalresearch.Ifyouwouldliketosupportaspecificarea ofresearchpleasetellus. CHEQUECREDITCARD Please tick the box if you do not wish to receive information from us. AboutthePerkins Stayintouch The Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research is Western Australiaspremieradultmedicalresearchinstitutewithstrong collaborative links to life-saving research around the world. If youd like to receive this free magazine in your letter box please email us your name and postal address at We can also email our monthly e-newsletters keeping you up to date with our latest medical research on a regular basis. For more information call Carolyn on 6151 0721 or visit our website Using cutting-edge technologies our researchers work on many types of cancer heart disease and stroke diabetes kidney and liver neurogenetic diseases and mitochondrial disease. We are located in two brand new state-of-the-art research hubs at the QEII Medical Centre in Nedlands and at the Fiona Stanley Hospital in Murdoch. Both buildings are strong Perth landmarks with the distinctive Perkins signature on display. The new facilities include laboratories where our researchers make their discoveries clinical areas for patient trials and office space. We also work from Royal Perth Hospital. Our teams collaborate to make new discoveries in the laboratory then translate this knowledge into more effective cures and treatments. Due to the Perkins close links with major teaching hospitals we are also uniquely positioned to fast track new ways to diagnose diseases leading to a quicker response time and more individualised treatments for patients. We are named after our inaugural Chairman the inspirational Harry Perkins. Our logo is based on his signature. Connect with us at the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research