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Erica on Channel 10 News First promoting Extrasensory

The 10 News First weather is coming to you from the Legislative Assembly chamber today, where Mike Larkan is talking to Dr Renee Beale fromRoyal Society of Victoria and Dr Erica Tandori from Rossjohn Lab about Extrasensory, the National Science Week special event being held at Parliament House this Saturday 10 August from 6pm-10pm. Go to www.facebook.com/events/1611275639004559 for details.
(Photo: Dr Renee Beale, Mike Larkan, Erica Tandori)

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Join us at Extrasensory on August 10th

See, hear, smell, taste, feel, more at this cornucopia for the senses.

Augment your reality. AI, bionics and smart devices are here to extend and enhance your senses. So what are the possible futures of human perception? At this event combining performance, storytelling, and experimentation, make sense of the world of the senses, and find the limits to your own.

See the unseen, and walk on the surface of a cell. Find your way with your fingers, and collaborate with an AI to create a musical masterpiece.

Tell a story about the patterns hidden in the night sky, and imagine what trees might have to say. Ponder the concept of common sense, and what animals can perceive that humans can’t. Listen to the music of the elephants, the last moments of the Mars Rover, and the unfolding of the evolution of species.

Parliament of VictoriaChallenge your senses to work together, and become aware of senses such as kinaesthesia. Learn about how our senses mingle in synesthetic experiences, and sometimes fool us with hallucinations.

Can you maintain your appetite in the face of distinctly un-appetising pictures? Or avoid being tricked in our food sensory testing lab? Congratulate yourself with a drink from our bar, and discover why champagne is so bubblicious.

The world is full of new phenomena to explore, hiding just beyond the reach of your senses. So tune your ears, engage your nose, ready your tastebuds, and flex your fingers in preparation for an evening sure to be extra sensory at the beautiful Parliament of Victoria.

This event is recommended for a 16+ audience.
Food and beverages will be available for purchase at the event.

Extrasensory is presented by the Victorian Coordinating Committee for National Science Week, The Royal Society of Victoria, and the Parliament of Victoria.

Original article

A touch of Extrasensory

Art meets science at Parliament House on Saturday 10 August for Extrasensory, Victoria’s major National Science Week event. Among the many fascinating sensory experiences, Dr Erica Tandori from Rossjohn Lab at Monash University will be showing how science can be accessible to all. Presented by the Royal Society of Victoria and the Victorian Parliament, event and ticket information is at www.facebook.com/events/1611275639004559

Posted by Parliament of Victoria on Friday, 2 August 2019

Art meets science at Parliament House on Saturday 10 August for Extrasensory, Victoria’s major National Science Week event. Among the many fascinating sensory experiences, Dr Erica Tandori from Rossjohn Lab at Monash University will be showing how science can be accessible to all. Presented by the Royal Society of Victoria and the Victorian Parliament, event and ticket information is at www.facebook.com/events/1611275639004559

Congrats to Jamie, Gabby, Erica & David -Finalists of Eureka Prize for STEM Inclusion

Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute (BDI) researchers have been announced as finalists in three separate 2019 Eureka Prize award categories! Congratulations to Professor Mariapia Degli-Esposti and her team, Professor Jamie Rossjohn and his team, and Professor Paul Wood AO on this incredible achievement.

ARC Laureate Fellow, Professor Jamie Rossjohn, and his team are finalists for the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science Eureka Prize for STEM Inclusion. The team, including Dr Gabby Watson and Dr Erica Tandori from the Monash BDI and Dr David Jacques from the University of New South Wales (UNSW), developed an innovative program that aims to engage members of the blind and low vision community with science.

Often when science is conveyed to the public, the audience is assumed to be able-bodied. Members of the community with disabilities are frequently overlooked when the method to communicate the scientific discovery is not specifically tailored to their needs. A prime example is the blind and low vision community of more than half a million Australians.

Conceiving the idea for the Sensory Scientific Exhibition and Discovery Day, Professor Rossjohn joined forces with project leader Dr Watson, and legally-blind artist-in-residence Dr Tandori, who transformed scientific concepts into tactile models and artistic displays that were specifically tailored to this community.

“As the artist working with this amazing team, I can open up a world of scientific discovery to the low vision and blind communities – finally, we can all be part of the wonder of science, and share  this  in a way that is accessible to everybody,” Dr Tandori said.

Following the overwhelmingly positive feedback from the first exhibition held at Monash in May 2018, the team engaged with Dr Jacques at UNSW, who spearheaded the second Sensory Scientific Exhibition held in Sydney in December the same year.

The winners will be announced on Wednesday 28 August at Sydney Town Hall. For more information on the Eureka Prize, visit the Australian Museum website.

Original article

Photo: Professor Jamie Rossjohn, Dr Erica Tandori and Dr Gabby Watson. Absent: Dr David Jacques.

Day of Immunology at the Monash BDI with lab tours and mini sensory science art exhibition

The International Day of Immunology offers an opportunity to celebrate the immune system and share our love of science with the general public. This year, the Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute (BDI) invited more than 50 Year 11 students from Mac.Robertson Girls’ High School and John Monash Science School to celebrate the Day of Immunology with us on Wednesday 8 May.

The students were introduced to the Monash BDI by Associate Professor Stephanie Gras, who offered insight into the work her lab does and the importance of the immune system. Associate Professor Gras explained the importance and role of the immune cells that help us remain healthy and fight off infections on a daily basis, using references from The Avengers and Game of Thrones to explain the immune system.

“Cancer cells are like the White Walkers. They refuse to die and multiply to take over,” Associate Professor Gras said.

The group also visited Monash Micro Imaging, exploring the latest advances in microscopy. The students were shown how these technologies provide biomedical researchers with an unprecedented level of detail within cells and tissues.

The Sensory Science Interactive Art Exhibition was put on display in the foyer of the Monash BDI. Led by our artist-in-residence, Dr Erica Tandori, the activity was designed for students to learn about the immune system and to raise awareness of how members of the blind and low vision community have limited access to science. The students created their own posters of immune cells to be showcased at future sensory science exhibitions.

After morning tea, the students were broken into groups for tours of several Monash BDI labs. Students had the chance to put on lab coats and perform various lab experiments including: running DNA gels, counting cells under the microscope, growing microbes on plates and fishing crystals. They also heard from their lab tour guides about the work done in their labs and how they got into science.

The Day of Immunology event was wrapped up with a round of immunology trivia. The students were highly engaged in the game, with the winning four teams taking home giant toy microbes as prizes.

Thank you to the following labs for organising the lab tours and talks: Gras lab, Rossjohn lab, O’Keeffe lab, Jacobson lab, La Gruta lab and Turner lab. Also thank you to the volunteers that presented at the sensory scientific art exhibition.

The international Day of Immunology is celebrated annually on 29 April to raise public awareness of the immune system. In Australia, events are organised by the Australian and New Zealand Society for Immunology (ASI) including laboratory discovery tours hosted by research institutes. We’d like to acknowledge the support from the ASI and the Victoria/Tasmania ASI branch’s Day of Immunology organising committee.

Original article

Biochemistry Fellowships for ECRS including our own Gabby Watson

Two early career researchers (ECRs) from the Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute (BDI) have received Fellowships from the Australian Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB), in recognition of their outstanding work in their field.

Congratulations to Dr Gabby Watson from the Rossjohn lab and Dr Chris Stubenrauch from the Lithgow lab.

Dr Gabby Watson’s postgraduate research utilised structural biology to design and characterise cyclic peptides targeted to an intracellular breast cancer protein, Grb7. This resulted in six publications, many as first-author, including two in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry.

She is currently investigating the complexities and specificities of ligand recognition by the inhibitory receptor CD96, an emerging target for cancer immunotherapy, with some of this research recently published in Structure.

This ASBMB Fellowship will enable Dr Watson to travel to Vienna, Austria, to present her latest research at the 32nd European Crystallographic Meeting.

“I am honoured to receive an ASBMB Fellowship, and grateful to have the opportunity to discuss our recent discoveries on CD96 ligand recognition with experts in the European crystallographic community,” Dr Watson said.

Original article