Organisers

Convenor 

Associate Professor Victoria Cogger

Associate Professor, Concord Clinical School of Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney Australia Ageing and Alzheimers Institute and ANZAC Research Institute

Victoria completed a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in 1999 and completed a PhD on the ultrastructure of the ageing liver graduating from the University of Sydney in 2003. She was awarded an Australian Government Healthy Ageing Postdoctoral Fellowship and travelled to the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda MD USA (2005-2006) to complete postdoctoral studies on confocal and live cell imaging in the laboratories of Professor Irwin Arias and Dr. Jennifer Lippincott-Schwarz.

Since her return to Australia Victoria has been in the Biogerontology laboratory at the ANZAC Research Institute investigating the biology of the liver in health, ageing and disease; with particular focus on the endothelial cell and their fenestrae. In 2009 she completed a sabbatical at UC Davis with Professor Thomas Huser to undertake work on the prototypic super resolution Structured Illumination Microscope and for the first time using this technique, visualized fenestrae in the liver endothelial cells. This work led to the discovery of the role of lipid rafts in regulating fenestrae in the liver endothelial cell and the development of the “sieve-raft theory”.

Victoria’s research is focussed on uncovering the underlying biology of the ageing process and how ageing changes in the body impact upon health. We now understand that ageing is a programmed and modifiable process which creates opportunities for the development of disease and disability and that external factors like diet and activity levels can be manipulated to increase health into older age. Much of Victoria’s research focusses on the liver and the central role it plays in maintaining health into older age. In particular, her research characterises ageing changes in the blood vessels of organs like the liver and brain. These seemingly tiny age-related changes significantly affect the way the body processes insulin, lipids and drugs, leading to disease and disability such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cognitive impairment. Victoria’s goal is to understand these and other ageing changes so we can better guide lifestyle and develop interventions to prevent age-related disease and disability.

Victoria is presently Sub Dean of Research for the Concord Clinical School of Sydney Medical School, and Deputy Chair of the Combined Board of Postgraduate Studies for the Sydney Medical School.  In 2017 Victoria will commence her Presidency of the International Society of Hepatic Sinusoidal Research.

Professor David Le Couteur AO

David Le Couteur is Professor of Geriatric Medicine at the University of Sydney, Director of the Centre for Education and Research on Ageing (CERA), Director of the Biogerontology Laboratory of the ANZAC Medical Research Institute and Senior Staff Specialist Physician in Geriatric Medicine at the Concord Repatriation General Hospital in Sydney.

His research is translational gerontology, spanning from biogerontology (nutrition, liver pharmacology and physiology); clinical research (geriatric pharmacology and the application of evidence based medicine to older people) and epidemiology (chief investigator and pharmacoepidemiologist on the Concord Health and Ageing Male Project CHAMP, a multidisciplinary prospective epidemiological study of 1705 older men now in its eighth year).

Academic record includes over 230 publications (including Lancet, British Medical Journal, Nature, Nature Reviews in Drug Discovery, Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics), 15 Australian NHMRC research grants ($7.6 million) and 31 post-graduate research students (21 PhD, 7 current). He has directed CERA since 2000 which is a large multidisciplinary ageing research organization affiliated with the University of Sydney and a collaborative centre of the IAGG. He is president of the Australasian Society for Clinical and Experimental Pharmacologists and Toxicologists (ASCEPT 2012-2013). He is on the International Advisory Panel of the British journal ‘Age and Ageing’, deputy editor of the Journal of Gerontology Biological Sciences and a member of the Council of the International Union for Basic and Clinical Pharmacology (IUPHAR) and chairs the Sub-Committee of Geriatric Clinical Pharmacology, Clinical Division of IUPHAR. He is recipient of the American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics 2013 William B Abrams award for contribution to geriatric clinical pharmacology. He served on several Australian Federal medicines committees: the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (2009-2013) and chaired its Drug Utilization Subcommittee; and the Australian Drug Evaluation Committee (1998-2005) and chaired its Pharmaceutical Subcommittee. He has served on several education and training committees in the Royal Australasian College of Physicians.

Dr Lindsay Wu 

Wu-L

Lindsay Wu has run the Laboratory for Ageing Research at UNSW Australia with Professor David Sinclair since 2011, after completing his PhD in the diabetes and obesity program at the Garvan Institute. A major theme of the lab is the role of NAD+ metabolism in ageing, and its role in cellular senescence, fertility, muscle function, mitochondrial function diabetes and cancer, as well as accelerated ageing caused by chemotherapy. The lab is also interested in understanding how epigenetic dysregulation occurs during ageing, and how this is influenced by metabolism. The lab uses mice, cell lines and C. elegans as model organisms, and has grown into an active group of 11 researchers, and is funded by a Cancer Institute NSW Early Career Fellowship, and NHMRC project grants.

Dr Samantha Solon-Biet

Samantha Solon-Biet is an NHMRC Early Career Fellow at the Charles Perkins Centre at the University of Sydney. Using principles from nutritional ecology and physiology, her work is centered on understanding the complex role nutrition plays in mediating various aspects of metabolic health, reproduction and ageing. A major focus of Samantha’s research is to investigate how macronutrients influence the underlying nutrient signaling pathways that drive various behavioural and metabolic responses in mouse models.

Professor Stephen Simpson

Stephen Simpson AC FAA FRS

Stephen Simpson is Academic Director of the Charles Perkins Centre and Professor in the School of Life and Environmental Sciences at the University of Sydney.

After graduating as a biologist from the University of Queensland, Steve undertook his PhD at the University of London, then spent 22 years at Oxford before returning to Australia in 2005 as an Australian Research Council Federation Fellow, then ARC Laureate Fellow.

In 2007 Steve was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, in 2008 he won the Eureka Prize for Scientific Research, in 2009 he was NSW Scientist of the Year, in 2013 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of London, and in 2015 was made a Companion of the Order of Australia.

Steve has also been prominent in the media, including presenting a four-part documentary series for ABC TV, “Great Southern Land”.

Assoc/Professor Gunbjorg Svineng

Gunbjorg Svineng is an Associate Professor at the Arctic University of Norway-UiT, Tromso, Norway, and an affiliate at the University of Sydney since 2016. Gunbjorg has a PhD in 1999 from Uppsala University, Sweden, where she was studying integrins in cellular adhesion. She is presently head of the Tumor Biology Research group at the Arctic University of Norway-UiT where they focus on the role of the tumor microenvironment and in particular proteolytic enzymes and extracellular matrix molecules in cancer cell invasion and metastasis. A recent interest of the group is the effects of nutrition on metastasis, work that is performed in close collaboration with the Biogerontolgy Group at the ANZAC Medical Research Institute and Charles Perkins Centre, Sydney.

Assoc/Professor Peter McCourt

Peter McCourt is an Associate Professor at the Vascular Biology Research Group, Department of Medical Biology, University of Tromsø, Norway. He has been studying the liver sinusoid since 1990, and the effects of ageing on liver sinusoidal endothelial cell (LSEC) morphology and scavenger function. His lab is particularly interested in the use of super-resolution optical microscopy (SIM and dSTORM) to resolve LSEC structures below the 250nm optical diffraction limit. He is currently (2016-17) on sabbatical at the Cogger/Le Couteur Biogerontology Group at the ANZAC Medical Research Institute. He is funded by the Tromsø Research Foundation, the North Norwegian Health Commission (HelseNord) and the EU Horizon 2020 program.