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On the cusp of a new world order?

An examination of what's happening in the world around us and how UniSA researchers are addressing key issues of our time

STORIES Winter 2021

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News Bites

  • star-favourite Highlights minus-thin plus-thin
    • More flexibility for students through plan to bring together research and teaching minus-thick plus-thick
      Professor Allan Evans discusses the Academic Enterprise Plan (2021-2025).

      Students will be able to more easily switch between on-campus and online studies as part of a new plan that brings together UniSA’s ambitions for teaching and research.

      The UniSA Academic Enterprise Plan (2021-2025) aims for UniSA’s flagship academic programs to be ranked among the world’s best by 2025.

      UniSA Provost & Chief Academic Officer Professor Allan Evans says many universities have separate plans for teaching and research, but bringing them together will ultimately benefit students.

      “This is about ensuring our students get the best possible experience and are being well prepared for their future careers,” he says.

      Read more in UniSA News.

    • Bradley Building dedicated in celebration of champion of education minus-thick plus-thick
      Emeritus Professor Denise Bradley AC on the LED screen of the Bradley Building
      Emeritus Professor Denise Bradley AC on the LED screen of the Bradley Building

      UniSA has honoured the life and contribution of former Vice Chancellor, Emeritus Professor Denise Bradley AC, by dedicating its flagship health research and public engagement building in her name.

      Family, friends and colleagues gathered at a ceremony in March where the building, formerly known as the UniSA Cancer Research Institute, officially became the Bradley Building.

      As part of the celebration, UniSA Chancellor Pauline Carr unveiled a portrait of Prof Bradley in the building foyer. In addition, a plaque at the entrance quotes the late Prof Bradley’s farewell address to the UniSA community where she remarked that “The days of a successful university must all be first days”.

      UniSA Vice Chancellor Professor David Lloyd said Prof Bradley was one of Australia’s greatest educators and educational leaders.

      “From her earliest days as an educator, Denise was a fierce advocate for the vital role of education in transforming lives,” he said at the event. “She fiercely believed in the equality of access to opportunity that education provides.”

      Read more in UniSA News.


    • Potential new biomarker for depression and bipolar disorder minus-thick plus-thick

      UniSA scientists have developed the world’s first test to accurately predict mood disorders in people, based on the levels of a specific protein found in the brain.

      Links between low levels of mature brain-derived neurotrophic factor (mBDNF) and depression are well known but until now it hasn’t been possible to distinguish between the three forms of the BDNF protein in blood samples.

      The mature form promotes the growth of neurons and protects the brain, but the other two BDNF forms – its precursor and the prodomain of BDNF – bind to different receptors, causing nerve degeneration and inflammation.

      An assay kit developed by researchers from UniSA can now precisely distinguish between these proteins, unlike other commercial kits in the market.

      The finding, in collaboration with the University of Adelaide and Kunming Medical University in China, has been published in a new paper in the Journal of Psychiatric Research led by UniSA PhD student Liying Lin.

      Read the full story in UniSA News.

  • photo-image In Pictures minus-thin plus-thin
    • LED screen lights up the city minus-thick plus-thick
      Bradley Building photos by Chris Oaten
      Bradley Building photos by Chris Oaten

      Adelaide has a new city landmark – a huge LED screen on the eastern façade of UniSA’s Bradley Building.

      The LED screen is an exciting new feature of the city landscape and is designed to celebrate education, research, culture and the rhythm of life in South Australia.

      The screen comprises three long display panels each 28.8m long and 2.6m wide (separated by 3.8m gaps). This makes it the tallest digital billboard in Australia and the first of its type and scale in Adelaide.

      It was installed and switched on for testing in late 2020 and is visible from multiple locations in the CBD, including from North Terrace, the Riverbank Footbridge, King William Road bridge, Adelaide Oval and the new SkyCity Hotel.

      The LED screen features prominently on UniSA’s Bradley Building, previously known as the UniSA Cancer Research Institute building but which was rededicated as the Bradley Building in March 2021.

      Anyone interested in finding more information about the images displayed on the screen should follow the hashtag #unisaLED on UniSA’s Twitter account or visit the UniSA website.

      It was planned and purchased more than two years ago but like many things, its installation was delayed by COVID-19 restrictions. 

      The panels begin at Level 8 of the building and traverse all the upper levels including its crown, making the screen equivalent to the height of a seven-storey building.

      Bradley Building photos by Chris Oaten

  • graduate-cap Honorary Awards minus-thin plus-thin
    • Honours for arts icon Robyn Archer and innovative leader Paul Flynn minus-thick plus-thick
      Robyn Archer. Photo credit Claudio Raschella
      Robyn Archer. Photo credit Claudio Raschella

      Renowned singer, writer, artistic director and public advocate for the arts, Robyn Archer AO was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from UniSA during the April/May graduations while Chief Executive Officer of the Hospital Research Foundation (THRF) Group, Paul Flynn, became a University Fellow.

      Archer was honoured for her distinguished service to the community, acknowledging her extensive contribution to the arts as both a creative and a mentor, dedicated to developing the next generation of arts and cultural leaders.

      In awarding the Honorary Doctorate, UniSA Vice Chancellor Professor David Lloyd said Archer’s creativity has touched audiences around the world while her passion and drive have had a significant influence on the arts and culture scene in Australia.  

      “On behalf of the University, I would like to acknowledge Robyn’s role in shaping the contemporary arts sector in Australia,” Prof Lloyd said.

      “Considered by many as a national treasure, we are honoured to have Robyn join the UniSA community.”

      Flynn was named a University Fellow in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the growth and the development of UniSA.

      An accomplished board director and executive in both the finance and not-for-profit sectors, Flynn has been the CEO of THRF Group since 2009. During this period, he has regularly collaborated with UniSA to drive research projects that benefit the wider community.

      Prof Lloyd said that under Flynn’s leadership, THRF Group has helped the University expand its research reach and impact.

      “Paul has an impressive track record of leadership in the non-for-profit sector, delivering real outcomes for the community,” Prof Lloyd said.

      For more information, see the related media release.


    • UniSA professor named South Australian Scientist of the Year minus-thick plus-thick
      2020 SA Scientist of the Year Professor Sharad Kumar.

      UniSA Chair of Cancer Biology Professor Sharad Kumar AM has been named the South Australian Scientist of the Year.

      Prof Kumar, who is also a Research Professor of Cell Biology and a co-founder of Centre for Cancer Biology, was named a joint winner with Professor Colin Raston from Flinders University.

      The South Australian Scientist of the Year is awarded for eminence in science as part of the SA Science Excellence and Innovation Awards, which showcase the critical importance of science, research and innovation to the development of industry and society as a whole.

      Prof Kumar is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health Medical Sciences. He has pioneered many discoveries in biomedical sciences through the study of "programmed cell death" and cellular maintenance, critical determinants of health and disease. His work has led to major advances in identifying the causes of cancer, hypertension, inflammation, and kidney disease, paving the way for better treatments.

      Read more in UniSA News.