Research Seminar Series

04 December 2017

University Hall (UniHall) is home to some incredibly talented researchers and students.

Three UniHaller residents and guest speakers during UWA's Research Week

The academic team came together to create a Research Series Week to showcase some of this talent and to provide support to residents in need.

One of the academic nights was packed with residents and UWA students who were eager to learn more about their fellow resident’s research; and rest assured, every person in the room left with a new piece of valuable knowledge by the end of the night!

We were privileged to hear some of our own residents Dzikamai Hove, Danica Lamb and Rasa Islam share about their experiences.

Dzikamai, who is a third-year Dentistry student, described the process of root canal therapy. Initially, bacteria attack the teeth and enter through any weaknesses present. It can invade the pulp (containing the vessels and nerves), or it can travel further to the periapical tissues or, in the rare circumstances, move systemically. He described the diagnostic tests for detecting the presence of bacteria and ways to treat this, which included drilling a hole into the infected tooth and clearing out the decay before adding anti-biotics to inhibit bacterial growth. A filling is then added to help cover the teeth and protect it from further microbial entry. 

“I thoroughly enjoy subjects that involve reading, especially biology and like that dentistry involves a lot of practical hands-on work. I can combine theory with practice, where I get the chance to deliver actual treatments to patients as part of this degree program,” says Dzikamai, current UniHall resident.

Both his parents work as family GPs and he hopes to have his own practice one day as well.

With the countless, innovative technological advancements we have in our society, the threat of cyber-breaches become an increasing real threat. It not only affects us as individuals, but it has a massive impact on companies as well, many of which hold our personal information (such as our bank details). Imagine the possible ramifications of such information being leaked out to third parties! Danica’s presentation revolved around the use of insurance to help companies cover the costs associated with data leakage (including telling us, the customers about it), in the case that it does happen. Throughout her presentation, UniHallers learnt about how a single word in the law can be subject to various interpretations, which can lead to disagreements and huge costs involved in trying to resolve misunderstandings.

UniHaller Danica, who is in her second year doing the Juris Doctor (JD) course says, “I chose law because I enjoy problem solving. You take a fact and a piece of law, and interpret, define, rationalise and mould it into an argument that supports your case.”

She thoroughly enjoys the challenges that are involved with her law studies, and she hopes to be Judge Judy one day.

Rasa, who is in her third-year of Biomedical Sciences elaborated on her experience during her research placement regarding macrophages, along with their role in tumour control during her second year. Not only does it engulfs disease-causing micro-organisms and breaks it down using toxic chemicals in a process known as phagocytosis; it can also release cytokines (toxic substances) against tumour cells!

“I was always very interested in biomedical research, as it has an outcome that directly affects our lives. With the increasing number and causes of cancer, I wanted to know more about cancer therapy, and potentially work on something that could help manage this better in the future. Fiona Pixley’s lab targeted the signal transduction pathway of a cell, and with my interest lying in pharmacology, I found this project very enlightening.”

She hopes to continue her research with her honours, and post-graduate after. She is intrigued with the vast field involving cancer pharmaceuticals and oncotherapy, as there is and will always be so much to discover.

With so many things in our world still yet to be discovered, countless research opportunities remain available for us, as aspiring individuals, to grasp. Seeing the passion these individuals displayed throughout the night, along with the other guest speakers makes UniHall proud of the contribution and knowledge our residents are sharing and contributing to society.