At the Curtin Health Innovation Research Institute (CHIRI), researchers, doctors, nutritionists and pharmaceutical scientists are advancing new treatments for major chronic diseases including Alzheimer’s disease, inflammatory disorders, heart disease and traumatic brain injuries. Cancer is a key focus, with Curtin a founding co-leader in the A$10.8 million Liver Cancer Research Centre.
We’re researching interventions for age-associated cancers such as breast, pancreas and prostate cancer and melanoma, with a focus on how the immune system influences cancer risk and disease progression.
In addition, Curtin scientists in CHIRI’s Liver Cancer Research Centre are investigating how liver cells ‘talk’ to each other and stopping them from becoming cancerous. We aim to give oncologists more precision to create personalised treatment plans, matching each patient with a medication that targets specific tumour types.
We’re investigating ways to improve patient outcomes in a broad range of clinical areas, diseases and medical conditions, including maternal and children’s health, paediatric critical and intensive care, mental health, rural health, chronic disease management and pre-hospital emergency care.
This work has led to the development of a new paediatric early warning system for recognising and responding to paediatric clinical deterioration: the ESCALATION Project. Tested at multiple sites across WA, this system is now fully implemented at Perth Children’s Hospital and Broome Hospital, with implementation at other sites across WA planned.
Inflammation and infectious disease
In this space, we are developing ways to stop the decline in immune system function with ageing, using the immune system itself to treat arthritis and adult cancers. We’re improving immune function for the treatment of infection and muscle repair, and working with the Telethon Kids Institute on global malaria epidemiology.
We’re also working to improve clinical practice and healthcare outcomes in the area of wound healing, which often affects the elderly. Our research has provided a rich source of data and made significant economic and therapeutic impacts on skin tear prevention and management.
Researchers are exploring new approaches for the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, where we’re hoping to significantly slow cognitive decline. We’re also mapping the journey of brain injury patients, from incident to integration back into the community, and taking a world-first approach to attenuate the burden associated with chronic migraine.
Vascular and metabolic disorders
Scientists at CHIRI are identifying new treatments for blood vessel disorders including bleeding and clotting disorders, heart disease and stroke, and investigating blood vessel growth and function to treat age-associated cancers, blood-vessel inflammatory disorders, energy disorders, liver disorders and infectious diseases.
One example is a collaborative team of bio-nanotechnology and drug development researchers within CHIRI who are identifying new therapies and drug delivery methods for the treatment of diabetes and other age-related diseases. The team uses nano-micro encapsulation technology to design innovative formulations capable of delivering drugs or pancreatic cells to treat diabetic patients.
Professor John Mamo
Public health and Life sciences.
Professor Oliver Rackham
Gene therapy and editing, Genetic engineering, Protein engineering, Synthetic biology, Systems biology.
Professor Ben Mullins
Aerosols, Air pollutants, Droplets, Environmental health, Filters, Fluids, Occupational health, Particles, Respiratory health, Safety science.
Associate Professor Ryusuke Takechi
Blood-brain barrier, Dementia, Diabetes, Inflammation, Neuroscience, Nutrition, Oxidative stress, Physiology, Vascular biology.
Professor Moira O’Connor
Cancer, Palliative care, Psychology.
In the news
Curtin University’s Exchange precinct secured the prestigious Masterplanned Communities award at the 2023 Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA) WA…
World renowned astrobiologist and geologist, Professor Martin Van Kranendonk has been appointed Curtin University’s new Head of School of Earth…
Global Ethics and Human Rights Scholar, Anthony J. Langlois, has been appointed Curtin University’s inaugural Stan Perron Dean of Applied…
Curtin University researchers studying diamond-rich rocks from Western Australia’s Argyle volcano have identified the missing third key ingredient needed to…