Professor Nicolle Packer is helping in the fight against every disease in humans. Data from all over the world come together in her team’s project, UniCarbKB, to understand how sugars attach to the surface of cells and interact to bring about diseases. With the innovative technologies and the informatics needed to analyse data, the project makes it possible to develop new targets and diagnostics for these diseases.
“I truly believe these molecules are important in the way our bodies function and how they stop functioning,” Packer says. “As one of my post-docs has said to me, ‘It’s all about sugars. It always was and always will be.’”
Safeguarding our oyster industry
Professor David Raftos is working to future-proof Australia’s oyster industry. Besides being New South Wales’ largest aquaculture industry, oysters are instrumental in forming estuarine ecosystems such as that in Sydney Harbour and the Hawkesbury River. Working with the Australian oyster industry, Raftos’ team discovered a set of genes in oysters that allows them to survive disease and tolerate environmental changes.
“So far our results are remarkable,” Raftos says. “In just a single generation of breeding using this new technology, we’ve had a 30 per cent improvement in the number of oysters that survive disease outbreaks.”
Our innovative technologies future-shaping research priority focuses on advancing our interconnected world with frontier technologies, systems, designs and creative practice.
Science and engineering technologies for the 21st century
Our cross-disciplinary research teams engage in breakthrough science to invent and explore the consequences of tomorrow’s technologies. Through our discoveries we develop smart, integrated and complex technologies that provide competitive advantages to our industry partners while offering sustainable, equitable, and ethical solutions to global citizens in a rapidly changing world.
Big data: acquisition, analysis, application and assurance
We explore how we can assimilate, analyse and scientifically evaluate massive datasets (so-called 'big data') for the benefit of more effective research across multiple fields. We develop common solutions to generic data problems via our big data support centre, offering high-impact opportunities for the University, our collaborative partners and the wider community.