19 May 1998

One of Australia's most distinguished plant scientists Dr Marshall Davidson (Hal) Hatch, AM, will address nearly 200 graduates at a University of Queensland ceremony in Mayne Hall on Wednesday, May 20 at 6pm.

Students from the faculties of Biological and Chemical Sciences, Engineering, Physical Sciences and Architecture, Health Sciences and Natural Resources, Agriculture and Veterinary Science will graduate.

- Dr Hatch will also receive an honorary Doctor of Science degree at the ceremony. Chief research scientist with the CSIRO, Division of Plant Industry, Canberra, since 1970, Dr Hatch is best known for his work establishing the existence of an alternative process of photosynthetic carbon dioxide assimilation now known as C4 photosynthesis and subsequent studies on the mechanism and function of this process. A former reader in the University's Botany Department, he has published more than 200 papers in scientific journals and books in the field of photosynthesis and other areas of plant biochemistry. His name is associated with the photosynthetic pathway he discovered together with his colleague Roger Slack so that in many textbooks, it is still referred to as the Hatch-Slack pathway of photosynthesis. Dr Hatch has received the highest honours for his work: he won the Clarke Medal of the Royal Society of New South Wales in 1973, the Lemberg medal of the Australian Biochemical Society in 1974, the Charles F. Kettering Award for Photosynthesis of the American Society of Plant Physiologists in 1980 and the Rank Prize for Nutrition of the J. Arthur Rank Group, UK, in 1981. He was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science in 1975, of the Royal Society in 1980 and became a Member of the Order of Australia in 1981. More recently, he was awarded the Japanese Emperor's International Prize for Biology (1991). For further information contact Associate Professor Christa Critchley, Botany Department, telephone 07 3365 3470.

- Associate Professor Lawrence Walsh from the School of Dentistry will be presented with an Award for Excellence in Teaching. Dr Walsh is well-regarded for his contribution to curriculum and staff development with the School, the University and the wider community. He has attracted numerous teaching grants to introduce innovative approaches to teaching dentistry such as problem-based learning methods and computer-based teaching tools. He was one of five academics to win an award in 1997. Contact telephone 07 3365 8106.

- Leading clinical pharmacologist Professor Susan Pond, AM, will receive a doctor of science degree at the ceremony. Professor Pond, Director of Pharmaceutical Research with Johnson Research Pty Ltd, was recently appointed an adjunct professor with the University's Physiology and Pharmacology Department. The DSc is being awarded for her work on probing the function of the liver using pharmacological tools. She is a leading researcher in this field, in the development of antibodies to treat poisoning and in the area of the side effects of drug therapy for schizophrenia. She is a former professor of medicine and clinical pharmacology at the University of Queensland and Director of the University's Clinical and Experimental Therapeutics Unit based at Princess Alexandra Hospital. Professor Pond has had a distinguished medical career since graduating with a bachelor of medicine, bachelor of surgery, first class honours from the University of Sydney in 1969. Significant awards began when the University of Sydney's Medical School named her Outstanding Woman Graduate (Dagmar Berne Prize), Outstanding Graduate in Surgery (Glaxo Allenburys Prize) and Outstanding Graduate in Obstetrics (Mabel Elizabeth Leaver Prize). In 1977 she received a Doctorate of Medicine degree from the University of New South Wales. In 1992, Professor Pond won the Wellcome Australia Medal and in 1994, she was made a Member in the General Division of the Order of Australia (AM) and in 1996 a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering. In 1991, Professor Pond and colleagues in the University's Veterinary Pathology Department, the Queensland Health Department and the Government Chemical Laboratory were selected to develop a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) National Centre in Environmental Toxicology with an annual budget of $800,000. Professor Pond is a member of many professional societies including the Australasian Society of Clinical and Experimental Pharmacologists and Toxicologists, the American Academy of Clinical Toxicology and the American Association for the Study of Liver Disease. She has written 148 scientific papers and 23 book chapters and has been a member or chair of several national committees including the Australian Drug Evaluation Committee and sub-committees of the NHMRC. Contact telephone 02 94398911, email: spond@jjr.com.au

- Back pain researcher and former winner of the prestigious Menzies Research Scholarship in the Allied Health Sciences Dr Paul Hodges of the Physiotherapy Department will be awarded his PhD. His study examined the way the body's abdominal muscles act to protect the body from lower back injury. According to Dr Hodges, one of the main aims of the PhD, was to provide physiotherapists with basic evidence so treatment methods for lower back pain could be extended and improved. Dr Hodges' study was supervised by Dr Carolyn Richardson from the Department. Back pain afflicts 80 percent of the population at some point in their lives. Born in Benalla in Victoria, Dr Hodges' family live in Toowoomba where he attended Toowoomba State High School, receiving a TE score of 990 (the maximum). Dr Hodges completed his bachelor of physiotherapy at the University of Queensland, winning all four available academic prizes for his year and the 1991 University Medal. He has published extensively in scientific journals and was invited to present keynote addresses at several national and international conferences. A talented photographer, Dr Hodges has also staged photographic exhibitions He is now working as a postdoctoral National Health and Medical Research Council researcher at the Prince of Wales Medical Research Institute at the University of New South Wales in Sydney. He was the first physiotherapist to win this prestigious four-year research scholarship. For more information, contact Dr Hodges on telephone 029 3822 677, email p.hodges@unsw.edu.au

- Dr Paul D'Urso will receive his PhD from the Surgery Department. For his thesis, Dr D'Urso examined stereolithographic biomodelling in surgery. Biomodelling involves the construction of three-dimensional plastic models from ultrasound images of body parts and other matter including unborn babies. Surgeons from hospitals in Brisbane and others interstate have used the biomodels as diagnostic tools, to plan surgical procedures on patients and as visual references during operations. Biomodels are also used for making customised prosthetics. State-of-the-art technology including a laser is employed to contour and solidify layers of liquid plastic. Hundreds of ultra-thin, 0.25 millimetre-thick plastic layers are built-up - papier-mache-like - to produce the finished biomodel. Dr D'Urso has now used the technology to produce hundreds of biomodels for surgical patients. These include replicas of skulls, brain and pelvic tumours, spinal structures and surgical implants. Dr D'Urso said Queensland Museum scientists were also using the technology to make biomodels of Australian fossils. The replica fossils could then be sent to museums and universities throughout the world without fear of loss or damage to the real thing, he said. He can be contacted on telephone 07 3253 1800 (pager number 64195) or 07 3397 6310 (home).

- Two sets of husbands and wives will receive their degrees at the 6pm ceremony. Dr Patrick Silvey and his wife, Dr Anna Sartor will both receive a PhD in microbiology while Daven Naiker and his wife, Nanormana (telephone 0749 394 706), will both receive masters of applied science. Dr Silvey is a postdoctoral research fellow in the University's Chemical Engineering Department (telephone 07 3365 9061).

For further information, contact Donna Gauld, University Graduations officer, telephone 07 336 52898.