5 December 2000

A researcher whose team has developed a surgical technique to improve heart bypass operations will be guest speaker at a University of Queensland graduation ceremony on December 6.

o Professor Julie Campbell, who is Director of UQ's Centre for Research in Vascular Biology, will speak at the 6.15pm ceremony at Mayne Hall, St Lucia.

Professor Campbell is also Director of the Wesley Research Institute, was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science this year, and is a member of the Cardiovascular Health Advisory Committee of the National Heart Foundation of Australia.

She is the chief researcher behind a major medical discovery announced earlier this year relating to heart bypass operations.

The 17,000 Australians who undergo heart bypass surgery every year need to have arteries or veins removed from a part of their bodies and transferred to their heart. As this is not always possible, some form of artificial artery is a major advance.

The new technique may eventually allow surgeons to grow artificial arteries inside the patients' body. These "grow-your-own" arteries mimic the functioning of actual arteries and will not be rejected by the body's immune system like other artificial arteries. They can be grown ready for use within weeks.

Professor Campbell can be contacted at telephone 3365 4658.

Graduands from the Biological and Chemical Sciences, and Engineering, Physical Sciences and Architecture Faculties will attend The University of Queensland's 4pm and 6.15pm ceremonies on December 6.

o Speaker at the 4pm ceremony is Professor Michael Good, recently appointed Director of the Queensland Institute of Medical Research. His previous role was Director of the CRC for Vaccine Technology. Professor Good is interested in malaria and group A/streptococcus/rheumatic fever, immunity, immunopathogenesis and vaccines. Contact telephone 3362 0202.

o Excellence in Teaching Award winners Dr Craig Franklin, senior lecturer in the Department of Zoology and Entomology, and Dr Peter O'Donoghue, senior lecturer in the Department of Microbiology and Parasitology will be presented at the 4pm ceremony.

Dr Franklin recently published a paper in the prestigious scientific journal Nature describing a unique set of teeth-like heart valves in crocodiles which enable them to stay underwater for long periods. He is also conducting research on the Fitzroy River tortoise which have the unusual ability to breathe both through lungs, and through gills in its rear passage. Contact telephone 3365 2355.

Dr O'Donoghue is a protozoologist who is interested in protozoan parasites of Australia's unique wildlife (mammals, birds, reptiles and fish). With Associate Professor Joan Whittier, he has discovered a group of blood parasites with potential as biological control agents for a snake plague on Guam.

Biological control, the researchers say, would be a far more effective eradication method than the present $2.6 million eradication program on Guam involving workers decapitating snakes with machetes. Guam has an estimated population of 5000 snakes per square kilometre of introduced Brown Snakes.

Dr O'Donoghue has been a consultant to Sydney water authorities following several incidents in which the parasite Cryptosporidium was detected in Sydney drinking water supplies. Contact telephone 3365 2584.

o Graduands will include lecturer Dr Olivia Jenkins, whose PhD thesis with the Geographical Sciences and Planning Department included interviews with backpackers before, during and after their visits to Australia to explore whether the actual images of the country lived up to pre-trip expectations. Contact email: olivia_jenkins@hotmail.com

o Bachelor of Science graduand (6.15pm ceremony) Megan Poppi is the third generation member of her family to study French subjects at The University of Queensland. Her mother Deborah Poppi studied French while obtaining a Bachelor of Arts (1973) which she followed with a Diploma of Education and a Diploma of TESOL (1974 and 1998 respectively). Grandmother Patricia Hawthorne also studied French subjects to graduate BA from UQ in the late 1940s. Contact Dr Dennis Poppi telephone 3365 2573.

Media: Further information, Jan King at UQ Communications, telephone 0413 601 248.