News / 20 November 2016
Finnish visitors from the University of Oulu

The EMBL Australia South Australia Node hosted a delegation from the University of Oulu in Finland, including Professor Mika Ala-Korpela, Dr Mari Karsikas and Ms Qin Wang at the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI). The visitors, all members in the Computational Medicine Research Team, specialise in population-based large-scale metabolomics and genetics of common human diseases.

The EMBL Australia research groups at SAHMRI are already collaborating with the Computational Medicine team on two projects on post-prandial metabolic responses to high-fat meals, and the genetics of circulating metabolites. The visit served to strengthen their ties and further develop collaborative programs.

Qin Wang at Cleland Wildlife Park

The SA Node also hosted Prof Peter Meikle from Baker IDI during the inaugural academic event of the year at the Eden Hills Science Node (at SAHMRI). Stimulating discussion were had on epidemiology and the role of circulating metabolites in human health and clinical practice. It was a great opportunity to exchange ideas and develop relationships.

Ville explains, “I think we all saw great potential in joining forces across continents to uncover novel mechanisms that explain the links between metabolism and chronic diseases such as diabetes and atherosclerosis, and more visits between Finland and Australia are already being planned.” Ville also commented “Oh, and most important of all, we got to feed the kangaroos at the Cleland Wildlife Park!”. 

Song Gao at ABACBS

It’s been a very busy time in Adelaide. The team also presented at the ABACBS conference, a veritable festival of bioinformatics in Brisbane hosted by Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute (AMSI), where Dr Song Gao and Dr Aaron Casey presented their work. The team said “we were impressed by the Cube, which was a cool way of showing posters on interactive screens” - and also commented, “it was lovely to shake the persisting winter cold in Adelaide for the gentle warmth of Queensland.”

The bioscience bonanza continued in SA this month with the EMBL Australia PhD Symposium at SAHMRI, and BioInfoSummer at the end of the month.