The Early-Mid Career Funding Crisis in Australian Research

The Cell Division Lab

Its no secrete that Funding for Science in Australia, and around the world (see refs below), is in decline. The result is lower and lower success rates. While we wait for the #NHMRC to release the outcomes for 2015, the word on the street is that we can expect only 10-12% of grants to be successful. In other words, for 90% of Australia’s researchers they are wasting ~3 months of the year for nothing. Consequently as the funding pool decreases, funds naturally flow towards ‘sure bet’ senior researchers. This means that this wasted time is felt the hardest by early- and mid- career researchers (#EMCRs) who cannot compete with the long CVs of their senior peers, and are seen as a potential risky investment. Below is a graph I put together from the 2013 data, which is the most up to date information currently at hand. This trend of funding more…

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AntiOxidants and Cancer: A complicated story

The Cell Division Lab

A recent high profile publication in Science Translational Medicine proposed that antioxidants might increase the rate of metastasis in mice models of melanoma.

NAC and the soluble vitamin E analog Trolox markedly increased the migration and invasive properties of human malignant melanoma cells but did not affect their proliferation. Both antioxidants increased the ratio between reduced and oxidized glutathione in melanoma cells and in lymph node metastases, and the increased migration depended on new glutathione synthesis. Furthermore, both NAC and Trolox increased the activation of the small guanosine triphosphatase (GTPase) RHOA, and blocking downstream RHOA signaling abolished antioxidant-induced migration. These results demonstrate that antioxidants and the  system play a previously unappreciated role in malignant melanoma progression.

This goes against the common idea that anti-oxidants are cancer fighters!

So what is going on?

The answer, much like a Facebook relationship status, is “its complicated”. In fact anti-oxidants can have a…

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Using Thresholds to Measure and Quantify Cells in Image J

Originally posted on The Cell Division Lab:
I often get asked how to uses Thresholds to measure things in Image J. There are some great guides on the web explaining how to use Thresholds in Image J, and here are a few that are well worth checking out [Link1][Link2]. Below are some of the Basic Steps…

Please help ASMR convince the government to urgently inject funding into Medical Research

The Cell Division Lab

Hi everyone,
I am honoured to have recently joined the National board of directors of the Australian Society for Medical Research (#ASMR). This is a fantastic society that has for decades fought for a better working environment and more sustainable investment in Medical research. We recently launched a campaigned to help restore much needed funding to the sector, which as many of you know this year is facing its worst level of grant success rates in years. Please read the information below, and using the template letter lobby your local, state and national MPs to help convince them of the urgent need and benefits of Medical Research.

In 2014, NHMRC project grant success rates were below 15% and are the lowest in our history. These funding rates mark a significant drop of over 8% since 2011. This year our sector faces its toughest challenge yet, with NHMRC project grant success rates…

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Registration Now Open for 15th Australian Cell Cycle Meeting


Abstract submissions and registration are now open.

Oral Abstract:  12th December, 2014
Poster Abstract:  16th January, 2015
Conference Attendance:  6th February, 2015

To register for the conference and submit your Abstract,
Please click here and follow the on-screen prompts.

Conference Registration Pricing
Post-Doc’s   $295
Students      $195

Our Latest Review Article “Stressing Mitosis to Death” is now online !

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Open Access Article on how stress affects mitosis and the response the the mitotic chemotherapy drug Taxol.

The Cell Division Lab

Great news, our latest review article “Stressing Mitosis to Death” has been accepted for publication by Frontiers in Oncology. You can access the provisional pre-press version here.

The review is about how common stresses affect mitosis, and the impact these stresses can have on the blockbuster mitotic chemotherapy drug Taxol (paclitaxel)

Finally here is one of the beautiful figures drawn by our own Sam Rogers for the Review!  Hope you enjoy the read !

Fig. v4

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iBiology Microscopy Course

Optical Nanoscopy Blog

Light microscopy has become one of the most useful tools in the life sciences. Following the traditions of great courses on light microscopy, such as those offered by the Marine Biological Laboratory, EMBO, and the NCBS in Bangalore, this free online comprehensive course begins with the basics of optics, proceeds through transmitted light microscopy, covers the various methods of imaging fluorescent samples, describes how cameras work and image processing, and concludes with some of the latest advances in light microscopy. In addition to lectures, they also provide labs (filmed at a microscope) and short tips, so as to cover pragmatics of how to use microscopes. Assessments are provided for each lecture. Enjoy learning microscopy!


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