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Twenty of Australia’s finest health and medical researchers have been honoured at the National Health and Medical Research Council’s (NHMRC) annual Research Excellence Awards in Canberra. The prestigious awards recognise recent outstanding performance in the health and medical research field. Among those honoured are Dr Lisa Whop receiving the Rising Star Award and Associate Professor James Bourne receiving the Marshall and Warren Award.

A new publication in Nature Communications from the Merson group at ARMI has further defined the relationship between neuronal activity and the process of myelination, a critical step in the development of the central nervous system and in the maintenance of healthy brain function.

A discovery from the Currie Group at the Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute (ARMI), recently published in the high-impact journal Cell Reports, has shown a crucial role for TCP-1 ring complex (TRiC) in the formation of skeletal muscle and the hereditary neuromuscular disorder, nemaline myopathy. This work, led by Senior Research Fellow Dr Joachim Berger, provides novel insights into the genetic and molecular intricacies of muscle development.

A discovery led by Australian scientists at the Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute at Monash University published today, confirms the importance of the transient visual pathway in supporting the reach and grasp response commonly seen in newborn primates within the first few hours or days after birth.

In a first-time discovery (shocking doctors and researchers alike) a young Australian boy has retained his vision despite missing the visual cortex of his brain. Due to a rare metabolic disorder, the seven year old boy - referred to as ‘BI’ - showed no flaws in his vision other than that of nearsightedness. Following the initial discovery and an MRI scan, the Bourne Group at ARMI found an area of the boy's brain compensating for the lack of vision, leading to the hypothesis that the brain had adapted to the lack of visual cortex. This discovery and subsequent research was published recently in “Neuropsychologia  

A newly published paper in the prominent science journal ‘Nature Methods’ revealed that human pluripotent stem cells have distinct functional and molecular features when generated through various methods. This discovery, realised by the Australian Regenerative Medicine Institutes (ARMI) Polo Group, offers a new comprehensive study in the field of stem cell research. The findings were led by PhD student Ethan Liu and senior Postdoc Christian Nefzger.