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UNSW wins international COVID-19 data science competition

UNSW Sydney academics have been recognised for their open-source COVOID software built to model COVID-19 transmission and intervention strategies.

A team of UNSW academics from the Centre for Big Data Research in Health (CBDRH) in collaboration with the South Western Sydney Clinic School (SWSCS) have won CovidR, a global competition assessing the contributions of the R software platform to the COVID-19 pandemic.

CBDRH industry PhD Scholar Oisin Fitzgerald and Lecturer Dr Mark Hanly, joined by Senior Research Fellow at SWSCS Dr Tim Churches were awarded for their open-source COVOID software built to model COVID-19 transmission and intervention strategies.

COVOID stands for COVID-19 Opensource Infection Dynamics, and the software provides advanced simulation modelling capabilities for COVID-19 spread and control, focusing particularly on intervention scenarios to enable exploration of post-lockdown ‘exit strategies’ which are now so important in Australia and other countries.

Dr Mark Hanly presented an invited talk on the COVOID R package at the European R Users Meeting (eRUM) 2020.

A video of Dr Mark’s talk is available at this link: https://youtu.be/yHJ7RSv6nio?t=5757

First 2000 Days Care Connect - Grant Success for ELDoH CAG

Congratulations to Maridulu Budyari Gumal Early Life Determinants of Health Clinical Academic Group ((ELDoH CAG) members Ms Tania Rimes and Associate Professor Sue Woolfenden (Chief Investigators) who were awarded $840,547 through the Translational Research Grants Scheme by the New South Wales Health for their project entitled 'First 2000 Days Care Connect'.

Early/mid-career cancer researchers awarded Cancer Clinical Academic Group seed grants

Maridulu Budyari Gumal (SPHERE) Cancer Clinical Academic Group has committed $100,000 in new seed grants for two interdisciplinary projects led by early/mid-career researchers (EMCRs) to be undertaken in 2021.

Congratulations to the successful awardees and their teams.

New liquid biopsies could provide hope for brain cancer patients

Increasing the efficacy of brain cancer treatment traditionally requires access to tissue samples that can shed light on a tumour’s genetic makeup. But, with many malignancies buried deep inside essential areas of the brain, this tissue is often impossible to reach.

A new research project led by Associate Professor Therese Becker of the Ingham Institute is aiming to solve this problem. Using ‘liquid biopsies’ – that is, blood tests – the researchers hope to reveal critical information about individual patient tumours.