Medical Alumni Association - , Novem

Medical Alumni Association
e-Newsletter, November 2012
Dear Colleagues
Welcome to the newsletter for November 2012. Please send any suggestions you
have for the content of future monthly newsletters.
The sections are:
1. Forthcoming events - Memorial Service for Emeritus Professor Paul Korner; book
launch by Michael Kirby of the biography of Norman Haire (note change of date and
2. Alumni news - internship crisis; Book Club of women alumni; birthday
celebrations; memorials for medical alumni
3. University and Sydney Medical School (SMS) news - research findings; public
health; philanthropy
4. History of medicine - First Tuesday History of Medicine Club (4 November);
International Society for the History of Neurosciences, Sydney, June 2013; history of
medicine books by Milton Lewis
5. Reunions
6. Death notices and obituaries
7. Updating your University records.
1. Forthcoming events
1.1 Memorial Ceremony, Emeritus Professor Paul Korner AO - Tuesday, 27
November, 10am, The Great Hall, The University of Sydney
Friends and colleagues are invited to celebrate the life of Emeritus Professor Paul
Korner AO at a Memorial Ceremony at 10am on Tuesday 27th November 2012 in
the Great Hall, The University of Sydney. Please RSVP at
Emeritus Professor Paul Korner AO (1925-2012) graduated from Sydney Medical
School in 1951 and gained his MD in 1956. He was a Senior Lecturer in the
Department of Physiology in the 1950s and was later Professor of Cardiology at the
University of Sydney. He went on to become Director of the Baker Research Institute
in Melbourne from 1975 to 1990, during which time the Baker became the first
institute in Australia dedicated entirely to cardiovascular research. Paul Korner had
an enormous role in establishing Australia as a leading country in this field. He
conducted pioneering research into the regulation of blood pressure, including the
mechanisms that cause high blood pressure, with a particular focus on the central
neurogenic mechanisms. Paul was widely regarded as an inspirational leader and
scientist, and is attributed with fostering the careers of many esteemed scientists and
academics. He was a Visiting Professor in Physiology at the University of Sydney
until his death.
1.2 Book launch by Hon. Michael Kirby AC, CMG - Norman Haire and the study
of sex - Monday, 3 December, 6 for 6.30pm (note change of date)
Norman Haire and the study of sex by Diana Wyndham will be launched by the Hon.
Michael Kirby AC, CMG
Date: Monday 3 December 2012 at 6 for 6.30 pm
Venue: University of Sydney, SciTech Library, City Rd (next to the Wentworth
Please RSVP by Fri 30 November 2012 - or
call 9036 9958.
1.3 Sydney Ideas
See program for November and December:
2. Alumni news
2.1 National Internship Crisis Updates - see
See also AMSA -;; and
2.2 Medical women readers
Dianne Campbell (now Head of Discipline of Paediatrics and Child Health, Children's
Hospital at Westmead) has sent some notes about her Book Club. 'Our “alumni”
book club consists of four women from the 1989 graduating year of Sydney Medical
School, one from the graduating year 1990, and one from the University of Adelaide,
who is now a clinical academic at the University of Sydney - so she has honorary
USyd rights! We comprise three paediatricians (Immunology, Nephrology, Eating
disorders), one oncologist, one histopathologist and one ophthalmologist. Our last
book discussed was The dinner by Herman Koch, and we are currently reading The
street sweeper by Elliot Perlman.'
Dianne also kindly informed me that Professor Kathryn North (1985) will be the new
Director of the Murdoch Children's Research Institute at the Royal Children's
Hospital in Melbourne see:
2.3 Birthday celebrations
Peter (1946) and Maureen (1966) Rogers recently celebrated their 90th and 70th
birthdays with their large extended family and friends. Peter's father, Eugene,
graduated from Sydney Medical School in 1918. Other medical alumni in their
extended family include Peter's brother, James Stuart Rogers (1951); his brothers-inlaw, Allan Frederick Dwyer (1942) and (Brian) Michael Dwyer (1953); his son, Chris
Rogers (1971), and Chris' wife, Christine Rogers (nee Norrie) (1971); and another
son, James (Jim) Rogers (1979), and his wife, Cecily Forsyth (1986). Peter's
granddaughter, Caroline Flynn graduated in medicine from UNSW in 2002, as did
her husband, Peter Flynn (2003). The attached photos show Peter and Maureen and
most of their great-grandchildren!
Ferry Grunseit (1945) and his wife, Hannah, also recently enjoyed a celebration of
his 90th birthday with his son, Marc (UNSW, 1977), now a renowned glass artist
(see: and, and his daughter-in-law, Barbara (UNSW, 1977),
and with his paediatric friends and their partners.
2.4 Memorials for medical alumni
Stephen Leeder (1966) reminded me that a jacaranda tree on the western side of the
Anderson Stuart Building is a memorial to Ben Teh (1966). The plaque reads simply
'In memory of Dr Ben Teh 1941-1998' (see photo).
I have also attached a recent photo of the brilliant jacaranda in the Quadrangle!
Please send me any details of other memorials to our medical alumni.
2.5 Sydney University Medical Society Executive for 2013
Zac Turner, Immediate Past President, has kindly introduced us to the incoming
MedSoc Executive for 2013: President – Simon Reid
([email protected]); Vice President (Education) – Audrey Menzies
([email protected]); Vice President (Social) – Harriet Caterson
([email protected]); Treasurer – Welan Dionela
([email protected]); and Secretary – Andrew Ying
([email protected]).
We wish Zac and his graduating year every success in their chosen careers. It has
been a harrowing time for many as they await news of internships!
2.6 Sydney Medical School Alumni Awards
Nominations are now open for the 2013 Alumni Awards.
Please see all details at the link:
3. University and Sydney Medical School news
3.1 Centre researcher secures rare funding grant from US health body
Researcher Professor Tony Weiss from the University of Sydney's Charles Perkins
Centre has received a prestigious USA National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding
grant - one of the few awarded to an Australian researcher in recent years.
The NIH grant - $1.3 million towards further work on multi-functional tropoelastin-silk
biomaterial systems - acknowledges Professor Weiss's research and international
leadership in the fields of human tropoelastin and synthetic human elastin
biomaterials, which have been found to augment and repair human tissues.
The grant will allow Professor Weiss to develop more sophisticated blends of elastin
and silk, which have also been found to direct tissue growth. Professor Weiss will
continue to work with principal collaborator Professor David Kaplan at Tufts
University in the US.
3.2 Australians double their antidepressants
The use of antidepressants doubled in Australia between 2000 and 2011 and they
now account for two out of every three psychotropic medications prescribed, a new
study by the University of Sydney reveals.
It also shows that over the last decade there has been a dramatic 58 percent
increase in the use of psychotropic medications by the Australian population, which
has only increased by 13 percent over that time.
"Australians are increasingly relying on the use of psychotropic meds to treat their
mental health problems," said Professor Iain McGregor, from the University's School
of Psychology and senior author of the study published this week in the Australian
and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry.
"These results are surprising, somewhat worrying, and raise the question of why so
many of us need drugs to be able to cope with modern life.
"The heavy use of antidepressants may reflect their increasing use in conditions
other than depression: everything from anxiety disorders to treating pain.
3.3 The case for creating a smoker's licence
A smoker's licence designed to limit access to tobacco products and encourage
quitting has been proposed by Professor Simon Chapman, from the University of
Professor Chapman, from the School of Public Health, outlines his idea for a smart
card licence in PLOS One Medicine.
It would allow smokers to set daily limits, would give financial incentives for
permanent licence surrender and test knowledge of smoking health risks.
"A smoker's licence may seem like a radical step toward ending the epidemic of
disease caused by tobacco, but it is far less radical than prohibiting the sale of
tobacco, which is not a strategy that has yet been supported by any international
expert report or political forum," said Professor Chapman.
"A smoker's licence allows smokers the choice to continue smoking within a
regulatory framework that promises new disincentives to smoke and a major
financial incentive to quit."
3.4 Hard labour under investigation
With as many as a 30 percent of pregnant women in Australia experiencing a
caesarean birth, a study led by researchers from the University of Sydney aims to
determine if there is a link between high levels of lactate in amniotic fluid and difficult
labours which may end with a caesarean section.
Lead investigator Sally Tracy, Professor of Midwifery at the Faculty of Nursing and
Midwifery at the University of Sydney, says like any other muscle in our body, it
appears that the female uterus produces lactic acid when it is tired. There is
compelling evidence that a raised lactate level in the uterine muscle leads to
inhibition of muscle contractions, resulting in poor or uncoordinated contractions and
a lack of progress in labour or dysfunctional labour.
By monitoring the amniotic fluid lactate levels during labour, it may be possible to
determine which women are likely to experience a dysfunctional labour due to
uterine muscle fatigue, says Professor Tracy.
A study based at the Royal Hospital for Women in Randwick aims to investigate the
relationship between higher concentrations of amniotic fluid lactate and the diagnosis
of labour dystocia. The research will build on the pioneering work recently
undertaken in this area in the UK and Sweden.
3.5 Spring giving means brighter smiles for Bourke
Brighter smiles are becoming more common in Bourke thanks to the dental work
performed by final-year students from the University of Sydney's Faculty of Dentistry.
A regular dental clinic established in conjunction with the Poche Centre and the
Aboriginal Medical Service (AMS) is providing much needed oral health services to
the people of the region, helped in part by generous donors to the University of
Funding projects such as the Bourke clinic is one of the key focuses of the
University's spring fundraising appeal, to ensure it can continue to make a difference
in reversing the trend of poor dental health in the NSW township.
3.6 Vaccines can have major impact on bacterial meningitis worldwide
More widespread use of the vaccines currently available to treat bacterial meningitis
could have a major impact on the disease, according to a global research review led
by the University of Sydney.
"Substantial challenges remain, but the good news is that the use of targeted
vaccines, especially in parts of the world where the burden of this terrible disease is
the heaviest, can have a major effect," said Professor Peter McIntyre, lead author of
the review published in The Lancet on Friday.
Professor McIntyre is Director of the National Centre for Immunisation Research and
Surveillance of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases at the University's School of Public
"It is a justly feared disease which almost always causes death if untreated and long
term disabilities such as hearing loss or brain damage in survivors, especially in the
poorest countries."
There are three main species of bacteria responsible for most cases of bacterial
meningitis worldwide - haemophilus, pneumococcus and meningococcus.
All three infections can be prevented by vaccines that are highly effective against
specific types of each bacterium, but the percentage of total cases which can be
prevented differs.
"In countries such as Australia and America where the three vaccines have been in
use for some years, the number of meningitis cases for all ages has reduced to only
about a third of what it was before the first of the vaccines was introduced," said
Professor McIntyre.
3.7 Shortage of national health complaints data a problem for health system
A lack of national data on health care complaints is a major obstacle to making
improvements to the health care system, a study led by the University of Sydney
"It is time to agree upon a national data set for complaints," said Professor Merrilyn
Walton from Sydney Medical School, lead author of the study published today in the
Australian Review of Public Affairs (PDF, 197KB). Professor Walton is a former head
of the NSW Health Care Complaints Commission.
"All states and territories collect data on health complaints but there is no
consistency about what is collected and how the terms are defined. Any meaningful
comparison and national analysis about health care complaints, a highly valuable
source of information, is currently impossible," said Professor Walton.
3.8 Better access to specialist neurological care for regional NSW
People in regional NSW will have remote access to multiple sclerosis clinics in
Sydney thanks to a new telemedicine facility in Dubbo.
The facility will improve the quality of life for people with multiple sclerosis (MS) and
other neurological diseases, who often find travel to be physically and mentally
exhausting and, for some, unaffordable.
"It is logistically impossible for many patients with multiple sclerosis to travel to our
clinic on a regular basis, potentially compromising their medical care," said Dr
Michael Barnett, leading MS neurologist and researcher at the University of Sydney's
Brain and Mind Research Institute (BMRI).
The new clinic uses teleconference audiovisual technology to put patients in contact
with Sydney specialists.
Patients attend their telemedicine appointments at the University of Sydney's School
of Rural Health in Dubbo, with the consulting specialist located in a dedicated
telemedicine room at the BMRI in Sydney. The consultations are facilitated by a
rurally based and specially trained MS nurse.
The facility was established by Dr Barnett and colleagues at the BMRI in association
with the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and Multiple Sclerosis Australia, and with
support from the School of Rural Health.
3.9 Disco bacteria
Disease-causing bacteria will light up like a fluorescent shirt on a nightclub dance
floor in a new rapid detection technique currently under development at the
University of Sydney's Faculty of Pharmacy.
Preventing the spread of resistant bacteria in hospitals or healthcare facilities is the
focus of a project recently awarded a National Health and Medical Research Council
project grant.
Over the last couple of decades multi-resistant bacteria, such as methicillin resistant
Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA for short, have become a serious global public
health concern.
Professor of Medicinal Chemistry in the Faculty of Pharmacy, Paul Groundwater,
who will lead the project titled 'Novel Fluorogenic Probes for the Selective Detection
of Pathogenic Bacteria', says that his team will use fluorogenic substrates to identify
specific bacterial enzymes.
3.10 History of the University nominated for Premier's Award
A book about the history of the University of Sydney has been shortlisted for the
NSW Premier's Award in the Community and Regional History Prize category.
Sydney: The Making of a Public University (Miegunyah Press) by University of
Sydney researchers Julia Horne and Geoffrey Sherington, examines the University's
evolving role as a public institution since it was founded in 1852.
The book tells a tale of how Australian public institutions have evolved in the last 160
year and traverses the different views of what 'public' meant in the history of NSW.
Philanthropy at the University serves as an excellent example.
3.11 Equity Fellowships benefit the University and community
Obesity, memory, neuroplasticity, development banks and children's language are
among the research areas to benefit from this year's University of Sydney Equity
Nine academics have been awarded Brown, Thompson and Laffan Fellowships,
which provide academic staff with relief from routine teaching and administrative
responsibilities to concentrate on research.
Recipients this year are from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Faculty of
Agriculture and Environment, Faculty of Health Sciences, Sydney Conservatorium of
Music, Faculty of Pharmacy and Sydney Medical School.
A joint initiative of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) and the Staff and Student
Equal Opportunity Unit, each Fellow will receive $60,000 over two semesters.
"These programs support talented researchers who have encountered various
obstacles to developing their ideas and careers," said Professor Jill Trewhella,
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research).
3.12 Epigenetics a factor in Tasmanian devil disease
Genes in the tumours of Devil Facial Tumour Disease gradually 'switch off' over time,
say researchers at the University of Sydney.
The finding, published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B journal today, has
important implications for the disease and could also help us to understand how
human cancer evolves.
"This is the first time that the role of epigenetics has been shown to play a role in this
devastating disease which has already killed 85 percent of the Tasmanian devil
population," said lead author Associate Professor Kathy Belov, from the Faculty of
Veterinary Science.
Epigenetics refers to changes in genetic tags - modifications to the DNA which are
able to be inherited but are not caused by changing the DNA sequence. Changes in
these tags can affect the way different genes are switched on or off and can be
caused by external factors such as stress, diet and nutrition.
3.13 Success across the board in latest round of ARC grants
The planet's most powerful survey telescope is among the 100-plus University of
Sydney projects to receive funding in the latest round of Australian Research Council
(ARC) Grants.
When built, the Hawaiian-based PanSTARRS-2 telescope will constantly survey the
northern half of the sky, says Professor Bryan Gaensler from the University's Sydney
Institute for Astronomy.
"We have a similar telescope in Australia that sees the southern half of the sky," he
says. "But the biggest problems in cosmology can be answered only by seeing the
whole sky. The new telescope is the missing half of the equation."
PanSTARRS-2 is one of 102 successful Discovery Projects, Discovery Early Career
Research and Linkage Infrastructure successful grants received by the University
worth total of $37.6 million in this latest round.
Other recipients from the University of Sydney include:
Dr Yazi Ke from the Brain and Mind Research Institute has been awarded $375,000
to better understand the role of the protein tau in dementia. Tau is present in
abnormal deposits in brains of individuals with dementia. The main aim of this project
is to unravel and understand in detail new roles of tau in neurons, thus shedding light
on normal brain function.
3.14 Inequality faced by parents with intellectual disabilities
The federal government and five state governments in Australia have now
apologised for forced adoption of babies from mothers in the 1950s, 60s and 70s.
During those times there was a belief that young and unmarried women were and
'incapable' of parenting.
Today, it is parents with intellectual disability who face the consequences associated
with being labelled 'unfit' and 'incapable' of parenting.
Researchers from the University of Sydney's Faculty of Health Sciences, along with
the Parenting Research Centre, have conducted research and highlighted the needs
of parents with intellectual disabilities for many years. Together, they coordinate
Healthy Start, the world's only national strategy for children of parents with learning
difficulties, which is funded by the Australian Government Department of Families,
Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs.
In a recent submission to the New South Wales government, the Intellectual
Disability Rights Service (IDRS) made recommendations aimed at avoiding the need
for future governments to again apologise for treating another group of birth parents
without compassion when they most need care and support.
"Parenting remains the last taboo for people with intellectual disability," says
Professor Gwynnyth Llewellyn, Director of the University's Centre for Disability
Research and Policy and Co-Director of Healthy Start.
3.15 Aspirin a viable treatment for serious blood clots, study shows
Low-dose aspirin is a cheap and effective way to prevent potentially deadly blood
clots in the leg or the lungs in patients who have had a previous blood clot, a new
study shows.
The study, conducted by the National Health and Medical Research Council's
Clinical Trials Centre at the University of Sydney, and a team of international
investigators, is published today in The New England Journal of Medicine.
The study has found that people who have suffered blood clots in the veins of the leg
(deep vein thrombosis or DVT) or the lungs (pulmonary embolism or PE) are less
likely to suffer a recurrence of the serious blood clots or a cardiac event if they take
low-dose aspirin. These conditions affect approximately one in 1000 people in
Australia each year.
"The results of this study suggest the simple, inexpensive treatment of low-dose
aspirin could prevent thousands of patients from experiencing recurrent clots each
year and may make substantial healthcare savings in Australia and worldwide,"
Professor John Simes, Director of the NHMRC Clinical Trials Centre at the University
of Sydney and chair of the study said.
"These results suggest that aspirin prevents about one third of recurrent blood clot
events. For every 1000 patients treated for one year, aspirin can be expected to
prevent about 20 to 30 episodes of recurrent major thrombotic events at the cost of
about three significant bleeding episodes."
3.16 Standing tall - University honoured in science prizes
Searching for the afterglows of gamma-ray bursts and understanding how the
'vacuum cleaners' of our brains work are the research goals that have seen two
University of Sydney scientists honoured for their work.
Last week Dr Tara Murphy, from the School of Physics and School of Information
Technologies, won the NSW Young Tall Poppy of the Year Award and Associate
Professor Renae Ryan, from the Bosch Institute and Sydney Medical School won a
NSW Young Tall Poppy Science Award.
Run by the Australian Institute of Policy and Science, the Young Tall Poppy Science
Awards recognise young scientists who are doing outstanding work in their field and
actively engaging and educating the community. This year nine scientists from NSW
were acknowledged.
Associate Professor Renae Ryan was recognised for the work she does on proteins
in the brain called neurotransmitter transporters.
"Neurotransmitters are the chemical messengers that allow the cells in our brain to
communicate with each other. Neurotransmitter transporters are the 'vacuum
cleaners of the brain' because they suck neurotransmitters back into cells after they
have sent their message," said Associate Professor Ryan.
When these vacuum cleaners break down or become blocked, they stop clearing
these messengers which leads to confusion and ultimately cell death in the brain.
These processes underlie the damage in many brain diseases including Alzheimer's
disease, epilepsy, stroke and schizophrenia.
"I am trying to understand exactly how these vacuum cleaners work and what goes
wrong when they stop working. The outcomes of my research will provide the basic
information for the development of new medications to treat debilitating brain
diseases," said Associate Professor Ryan.
"Winning a Tall Poppy award is a real honour as they not only recognise scientific
achievement, but also community engagement. I am looking forward to working with
high school students over the coming year and hope to inspire some to consider a
career in science. I am especially interested in attracting more girls into studying
science and am passionate about trying to support women to continue in their
scientific careers."
3.17 Sydney's men and Melbourne's women take victory in Australian Boat
Sydney and Melbourne universities divided the spoils of victory for the third year
running on Sunday morning (4 November) as the Australian Boat Race returned to
Sydney Harbour.
The University of Melbourne's women's eight repeated last year's comprehensive
victory over their University of Sydney counterparts, while in the men's race Sydney
weathered some early skirmishes to move clear in the second half of the 4.3kilometre course and win by 5.3 seconds.
The four crews featured an incredible eight Olympians, seven of whom rowed for
Australia at the recent London 2012 Olympic Games.
3.18 Australia's reputation at risk over medical intern crisis
Some 150 international medical students don't have intern placements for next year.
The situation is critical, for students and the healthcare sector, writes Sydney
Medical School Dean Bruce Robinson.
About 150 international medical students graduating from Australian universities do
not have an intern position for next year due to funding shortfalls. We are at a critical
If graduates cannot secure an internship locally they will have no option but to take
their chances in the competitive matching programs in their home countries. In some
home countries, there are no opportunities. In Canada, US and European Union, the
odds are against them.
The damage to the reputation of Australia as a higher education destination is one
thing. Future international student numbers will be affected; students will continue to
use both the local and international media to tell their stories.
In my view, though, reputational damage is less important than the personal
consequences for the students, young people who have come here in good faith,
worked hard, passed their exams, become alumni of our universities but now may
potentially find the whole exercise was a waste because they have limited
opportunities to get their registration.
3.19 We're behind some Sculpture by the Sea scenes
Two works by students, staff and graduates from the Faculty of Architecture, Design
and Planning have been showcased in this year's Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi
Faculty alumna Ivana Kuzmonovska and current PhD student Rachel Couper joined
forces to create the work Mirador stands, which takes a commanding position in an
old lookout tower.
The artistically stunning and technically masterful Mirador is a 3.5 metre high dome
lined internally with mirrors. The shifting reflections created by the mirrors represent
places that cannot be visited. The work asks us to consider the nature of looking and
reflection, man and nature. See stunning photo on website link!
3.20 Graduate medals recognise outstanding alumni
Some of the University of Sydney's most outstanding alumni have been recognised
with graduate medals, awarded to exceptional students who have graduated or
completed requirements for their degrees in the previous year.
The graduate medals include recognition of undergraduate and postgraduate
excellence and community achievement, as well as awards for Aboriginal and Torres
Strait Islander student achievement, sporting achievement, and international student
Rita and John Cornforth Medal for PhD Achievement
The Rita and John Cornforth medal was established in 2011 to commend the
academic and community achievements of PhD graduates. The medal is named in
honour of Sir John Warcup 'Kappa' Cornforth AC CBE FRS (BSc '38, MSc '39, DSc
'77) and Lady Rita Cornforth (BSc '37, MSc '38), who were among the most
outstanding students in their respective years. John went on to win the Nobel Prize
in Chemistry in 1975 for his work on the stereochemistry of enzyme-catalysed
reactions. He has been deaf since his teens, and Rita has relayed speech to him by
lip-reading throughout their life together. Rita and John both accepted postgraduate
scholarships in 1938 to work at the University of Oxford, and had a profound
influence on the study of penicillin during World War II.
Jodie Ingles (PhD (Medicine), 2011) is an outstanding researcher in the field of
genetic heart disease, and has made significant contributions to the discipline. She
has published 20 high quality peer-reviewed papers, 14 of which arose from her PhD
research into the psychosocial aspects of genetic heart disease in the young. Jodie
also established the world's first National Genetic Heart Disease Registry in Australia
and Australia's first Genetic Heart Disease Clinic, which is being used as a model for
similar centres in Australia and overseas. Most recently, she was awarded the
NHMRC early Career Scholarship, co-funded by the National Heart Foundation of
3.21 Including people with intellectual disability at university
A new program at the University of Sydney has opened the door to university study
for five students with intellectual disabilities.
The students are taking undergraduate courses at the University this semester in an
Inclusive Education Program (IEP) pilot, an initiative where they have selected to go
to lectures in Greek and Roman Myth, Film Studies, Mathematics and Numeracy,
Painting and Renaissance and Reformation.
With the guidance of student mentors and additional support from academics, the
students are attending lectures and tutorials throughout the semester. Danielle Gild
(Dan) receives personalised fortnightly tutorials on Greek and Roman Myth from
Classics and Ancient History senior tutor Fran Keeling. Together, they discuss
various websites, books and course materials. Fran has set a tailored assignment for
Dan; students at this stage aren't required to complete formal course work.
"The best part about uni is Fran, who has been amazing and is always happy and
helping me," says Dan. "And she makes me laugh."
Australians with intellectual disability who complete high school typically go on to
TAFE courses oriented towards daily living skills and vocational training. Professor
Patricia O'Brien, who leads the IEP pilot from the Sydney Medical School's Centre
for Disability Studies, says the program helps Australia meet its UN obligations in
relation to disabled people and provides participants an opportunity to fully
participate in society.
3.22 Rhodes Scholar Jacob Taylor bound for Oxford
Jacob Taylor, the vice-captain of the Australian Rugby Union Sevens squad, is the
winner of the NSW Rhodes scholarship for 2013.
Already a fluent Chinese speaker, Jacob is well ahead in the Asian Century. Prior to
completing his BA Languages honours degree at the University of Sydney in 2010,
he studied at Peking and Liaoning universities in China.
He will take up his scholarship at University of Oxford next year to study for a
Master's in Neuroanthropology in the Centre for Anthropology and Mind.
In keeping with his long-standing engagement with Australia and China, Jacob aims
for his innovative fusion of interests to assist in the forging of a healthy economic and
political dialogue between the two countries.
His field of study - the emerging area of neuroanthropology - is the way the human
brain and body interact within its physical, social and cultural environments.
3.23 Image of a virus caught in the act
A dramatic image of a virus replicating and spreading through cells, destroying them
as it goes, has been captured by University of Sydney researchers.
As featured in the prestigious Cell magazine as part of their Cell Picture Show the
technique used to create the image also helps calculate the level of infectious virus
present in cells.
"The image shows vaccinia virus, the live-virus vaccine used to eradicate smallpox,
spreading from a single infected cell through an entire layer of monkey kidney cells,"
said Dr Timothy Newsome. Dr Newsome and Dean Procter, a PhD student from his
laboratory at the University's School of Molecular Bioscience, collaborated with
colleagues from the Australian National University to create the image.
This is part of Dr Newsome's research on understanding the role of viral genes in
viral biology and the effect that mutating these genes has on the viruses' ability to
cause disease.
3.24 A coal economy has multiple health and social risks, says major review
A major review of evidence on the impact of coal mining has highlighted serious,
ongoing health and social problems and an urgent need for improvements in
government coal mining policy.
The research by the University of Sydney has also revealed a critical lack of local
studies investigating the effect coal mining has on Australian communities.
The report, which analyses 50 peer-reviewed research papers from 10 countries, will
be launched at the University today.
"This comprehensive review of Australian and international health and medical
literature underlines the pressing need for Australia to re-evaluate whether the
overall health and social costs of Australia's reliance on a coal economy will
ultimately outweigh its economic benefits," said lead author Associate Professor
Ruth Colagiuri, from Sydney Medical School.
The purpose of the report (PDF, 1.8MB), commissioned by Beyond Zero Emissions,
is to provide an overview of the available evidence on the health effects and social
justice impacts of coal mining on local communities and relate these issues to the
Hunter Region of New South Wales. The Hunter region has more than 30 mostly
open-cut coal mines and six active coal-fired power stations.
3.25 Our alumni shine in 2012
University of Sydney alumni shine in almost every conceivable area, with an
impressive range of prime ministers, chief justices, astronauts, surgeons, artists,
scientists and Nobel laureates graduating in the University's 162-year history.
Each year, the University recognises its outstanding graduates with the Alumni
Awards, which recognise innovation, stimulation of new ideas and services,
dedication, creativity, leadership and community spirit.
Now in their 20th year, the awards are divided into two categories: alumni
achievement awards for graduates already established in their careers, and graduate
medals, announced on the night, which recognise younger achievers who graduated
or completed their degree requirements in the previous year.
This year's recipients of Alumni Awards include David Hunter, recipient of the
International Alumni Award for his pioneering leadership in researching the variety of
factors that cause cancer.
Epidemiologist Dr David Hunter is recognised for his pioneering leadership and
research into the variety of factors that cause cancer, in particular through global
studies that have built huge databases of information. David has led two major
studies: the Nurses' Health Studies (and a similar sized follow-up study of nurses);
and the Breast and Prostate Cancer Cohort Consortium, encompassing major world
epidemiological cohort studies of 750,000 participants. He is also the principal
investigator of a four-year grant from the US National Cancer Institute to study the
genetic and biological mechanisms that contribute to breast cancer. Dr Hunter also
collaborates with researchers in Tanzania to investigate the relationship between
nutrition and HIV.
After graduating from the University of Sydney with a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor
of Surgery in 1982, David went on to Harvard University, where he is now Vincent L
Gregory Professor in Cancer Prevention and Dean for Academic Affairs.
3.26 Sydney alumni and the media
Tony Joseph (1977), Richard Paoloni (1994) and Andrew McDonald (1978): casualty
crisis -
Helen Redmond (1993): coal seam gas
Jamie Vandenberg (1988): inherited cardiomyopathy
Deme Karikios (2006): cancer drugs
Christina Steffen (1982): puzzling infections
Colin Sullivan (1970): sleep sensor mat
AAPS/RACP: circumcision -
Andrew Rochford (2005): 'doctor prescribes beach life'
Stephen Robson (MMed, 2003): breech births
Stephen Robson (MMed, 2003): breech births
Peter Collignon (1978): antibiotics -
Alexis St George (School of Public Health): obesity
Chris Scott (1993): military healthcare -
Stephen Leeder (I966): hospital administration
Andrew McDonald (1978): internships -
Mark Bowman (1984): Medicare payments for IVF
Longevity -
Ben Veness (SMP3): internships
Ben Veness (SMP3): students on Senate
Brian Morris (Physiology, SMS) - Professor Brian Morris was an invited speaker and
panelist at the popular 'Festival of Dangerous Ideas', Sydney Opera House, 30 Sep
2012 in the 'Is genital cutting normal?' session with Germaine Greer. See also: (Brian Morris' website) and
4. History of medicine
4.1 First Tuesday History of Medicine Club - Tuesday, 4 December, 5.30 to 7pm
We will be discussing the medical alumni involvement in WWI and keen to hear from
anyone with any information, any memorabilia etc, or if you are working on related
Venue: Edward Ford Building, University of Sydney (the usual venue of the Burkitt
Ford Lounge, may be changed – please check the notice board in the foyer)
There will no meeting in January 2013.
To receive notes of previous meetings or to book, contact Cate Storey - email:
[email protected]
4.2 International Society for the History of Neurosciences - 18-22 June 2013
'Next June the annual conference of the International Society for the History of the
Neurosciences will be held in Sydney, in one of the new lecture theatres of the Law
Building at Sydney University. I’m writing in the hope that I can enthuse many of you
about coming to that conference and especially to consider seriously presenting a
talk at the conference. The scope of the society – and, hence, of the conference – is
the entire gamut of neuroscience: from the history of the basic neurosciences
(anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, neurochemistry), through pathology (in every
respect that touches upon the nervous system), clinical medicine (psychiatry as well
as neurology), anaesthesia, public health, politics, epidemiology and so on.
We want to show our international visitors the range of research and scholarship in
the fields which are cognate to the scope of the society. In particular, because 2013
is the 50th anniversary of the award of a Nobel Prize to Sir John Eccles, we’re
hoping to have enough submissions to allow an entire day (probably on the
Saturday, and perhaps holding those sessions in the historic Sydney Hospital, where
(together with Stephen Kuffler and Bernhard Katz) Eccles worked (at the Kanematsu
Memorial Institute) before World War II and for most of the war years.
So please give serious thought to my suggestion – even if you don’t normally think of
yourself as a scientific or medical historian.
Dr Cate Storey ([email protected]) is the President of ISHN and will, of
course, be President of this Conference. Others on the committee include Dr Paul
Foley ([email protected]) and Dr Hans Pols ([email protected]).
Looking forward to your deluge of submissions.'
John Carmody
Watch for more information soon.
4.3 Books on history of medicine and related themes
Milton Lewis is an Honorary Senior Research Fellow at the Menzies Centre for
Health Policy in the Sydney School of Public Health. Many readers may be unaware
of the broad range of themes in books he has written or edited!
MJ Lewis, Managing Madness: Psychiatry and Society in Australia, 1788-1980
(1988); MJ Lewis, A Rum State: Alcohol and State Policy in Australia, 1788-1988
(1992); MJ Lewis, Thorns on the Rose: The History of Sexually Transmitted
Diseases in Australia in International Perspective (1998); MJ Lewis, The People’s
Health: Public Health in Australia, 1788-1950 (2003); MJ Lewis, The People’s
Health: Public Health in Australia, 1950 to the Present (2003); MJ Lewis, Medicine
and Care of the Dying: A Modern History (2007) (Hardback and E-Book); MJ Lewis,
Where To From Here? The Need to Construct a Comprehensive National Health
Policy (2001) (with SR Leeder); MJ Lewis, ed, Disease, Medicine and Empire:
Perspectives on Western Medicine and the Experience of European Expansion
(1988) (with RM MacLeod); Introduced and edited JHL Cumpston, Health and
Disease in Australia: A History (1989); MJ Lewis, ed, New Perspectives on the
History of Medicine (1990) (with H Attwood and R Gillespie); MJ Lewis, ed, Sex,
Disease and Society: A Comparative History of Sexually Transmitted Diseases and
HIV/AIDS in Asia and the Pacific (1997) (with S Bamber and M Waugh); MJ Lewis,
ed, Histories of Sexually Transmitted Diseases and HIV/AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa
(1999) (with P Setel and M Lyons); MJ Lewis, ed, Public Health in Asia and the
Pacific: Historical and Comparative Perspectives (Hardback and E-Book 2008;
Softcover 2011) (with KL MacPherson); MJ Lewis, ed, Health Transitions and the
Double Disease Burden in Asia and the Pacific: Histories of Responses to
Noncommunicable and Communicable Diseases (2013) (with KL
MacPherson). Work is in progress on: MJ Lewis and H Minas, eds, Mental Health in
Asia and the Pacific.
5. Reunions
Reunions for graduating year of:
1958 - Saturday, 9 February 2013 – contact: Brian Parker: [email protected]
1978 - (January Graduation), Saturday, 23 February 2013 - contact: Andrew Byrne:
[email protected]
1993 - Saturday, 9 March 2013 – contact: Chris Jones: [email protected]
1963 - Saturday, 16 March 2013 - contact: Sydney Nade:
[email protected]
1973 - Saturday, 6 April 2013 - contact: Phil Cocks: [email protected]
1983 - Saturday, 6 April 2013 - contact: Diana Lovegrove (see email below)
1955 - Saturday, 13 April 2013 - contact: John Wright: [email protected]
1978 - (October Graduation), Saturday, 9 November 2013 – contact: Chris Ingall:
[email protected]
Please contact Diana Lovegrove ([email protected]) if your
graduating year is due for a reunion and this has yet to be organised.
See also:
Reunion reports (for 1992, 1967, 1952 and 1950) - see:
6. Death notices and obituaries (year of graduation in brackets)
6.1 Recent obituaries published in 2012 in the Sydney Morning Herald, the Medical
Journal of Australia and elsewhere included:
Edward Donnall Thomas (Harvard, 1946), written by John Rasko (1986)
Gordon Ada (BSc, 1943) -, written by Gus Nossal (1955) and
Bob Ravich (MB, ChB, Otago, 1962), written by Bruce Robinson (1980) and Fran Boyle (PhD, 1999; RNSH)
Denise Lonergan (MMedEd, 2009)
Glen ('Herb') John Coorey (1957)
Sara Williams OAM (Welsh National School of Medicine)
John Greenwell (1946) -, written by Stephen Steigrad (1964)
Dorothy Grace ('Billie') Greening (1956)
Struan Birrell Robertson (1952) -, written by Jim Roche (1956)
David Charles Morton (1952) -, written by Alan Hewson (1952)
John Maxwell Brown (1957) -
Wallace Gladstone Grigor (1953)
6.2 Martin John (Tim) Talty (1972)
'My husband, Dr Martin John Talty (Tim) died in hospital on 9 September 2012 (aged
67) following a brief but determined battle with cancer. Our daughter, Amy, and I
were by his side, and in death we saw the Tim we all knew, free of pain and at
peace. Tim graduated from the University of Sydney in January 1972. He retired
from General Practice at Mortdale in late 2011 and was diagnosed with renal cancer
in February 2012. His funeral service on 14 September was attended by family,
friends, colleagues and patients. Tim had time for everyone, loved a joke and his
recent loss is deeply felt by all.'
I thank Jill Talty for these notes about her husband, Tim (see attached photo).
For other obituaries of our alumni, see:
6.3 Death notices of alumni
Vale to other medical friends and colleagues. Death notices of medical alumni in
the Sydney Morning Herald or elsewhere included (most recent first): (Richard) Lloyd
Cahill MBE (1939); David George Fox (1964); D'arcy Anthony (Tony) Cutcliffe
(1962); John Warwick Newman (1956); Peter John Heery (1947); Philip Leonard Lye
(1985); Brian Goodwin Lucas (1953); William (Bill) Andrew Distin Morgan (1952);
Denise Margaret McGuigan/Lonergan (MMedEd, 2009); John Egan Moulton (1954);
Gordon Charles Pettitt (1948); James Henry Field (1957); Paul Ivan Korner (1951);
Harry Mossman Pringle (1951); Richard Willcocks (1952); Barry Clive Pearson
(1952); Jane Ainslie Hallpike (nee Page) (1968); Keith Douglas Okey (1963); Martin
John (Tim) Talty (1972); Joan Anderson (1953); Robert Bohdan Mikolaj Ravich
(Otago, 1962; RNSH); Michael James Donlan (1977); Stuart Henry Bartle (1965);
Warwick Laurent Williams (1946); Wilfred Hezlet Cary (1946); Dennis Howard White
(1950); Roger John Massie Dunlop (1944); John Patrick Keneally AM (1967);
Veronica Joan Muller (1953); Aubrey Lawrence Slater (DPM, 1961); Ian Barnewall
Hales (1950); Ralph Lindsay Garner (1951); Catherine Mary Ralston (1947); James
Sedman Gibson (1959); John Ernest Goldie (1945); Peter Coats (1977); and Henry
Ellard Hart (1944).
I thank Jim Roche (1956) for informing me about the death of Warwick Newman
For other obituaries of our alumni, see:
The link to previous MAA e-Newsletters is:
7. Updating your University records
A link has been set up where alumni can make changes to emails and addresses:
Please let me know about alumni news and activities that would be of wider interest.
We would much appreciate your efforts in encouraging other alumni who do not
receive the newsletters to register their email addresses (see above in section 7).
Paul Lancaster
Medical Alumni Association Council and Alumni Council, University of Sydney
Email: [email protected]
Tel. 02 9660 0576
20 November 2012