This project builds on the 1st and 2nd joint research conferences, hosted in January 2013 at UNIGE (focusing on concepts of "property", supported by a USydney IPDF grant) and in July 2014 at Renmin University in Beijing ("corporate governance and social responsibility"). Each partner Law School plans to host one such conference, so the aim is for USydney to host the 3rd conference in July 2015 and for Harvard later to host the 4th event. The overarching aim is for our legal academics from these leading university Law Schools to compare developments abroad, opening up scope for joint publications or research grant applications and teaching initiatives.
The conference themes are designed to engage a broad and diverse group of legal academics from each Law School, bringing different perspectives on a general problem common across borders that is also relevant for policy makers and the wider community. The theme for the 3rd conference is Dispute Resolution (DR), a hot topic which will allow contributions from legal academics who have net yet been able to participate in the two earlier joint conferences. Specifically, the conference will encourage speakers to focus on (a) the perennial "informalisation" tension, between formalisation (often generating delays and costs) and informalisation in court and alternative dispute resolution (ADR) procedures, which increasingly intersects with (b) a "glocalisation" tension, between local legal traditions (even parochialism) and internationalisation.
We plan to compare these tensions across multiple contexts, including:
Australia has a rich biodiversity and also has the World’s oldest culture alive today which blends the land, its people and their traditions. For centuries Aboriginal people have used available natural resources such as clay, fungi, insects, and plants, to treat their illnesses, ncluding burns, pain, infections, infertility, and diabetes. Medicinal remedies were prepared by specific techniques involving smoking,
grounding, infusing one or more natural products; eventually creating the practice of the bush medicine. Unfortunately, some of this knowledge has been lost, for example, due to poor recording or the changing nature of diseases. While uncapping the medicinal otential of Aboriginal plants is still ongoing, this study proposes to build a centralised chemical database of the plant extracts according to the techniques used for their medicinal preparations (i.e. infusion, smoking, etc.). Such a library will be a databank of extracts with chemical metabolomic profiles for dereplication and will serve as a ’conserved chemical‘ catalogue for Aboriginal people to pass down through generations. The Hibbertia scandens (Willd.) Gilg, recently catalogued Aboriginal medicinal plant (TGA) will be used as a case study to prove the concept. Such uncapped Aboriginal natural product as the Hibbertia scandens (Willd.) Gilg, could find prominent application in fighting diseases such as MRSA (Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus). Overall, this proposal aims to validate the concept of a centralised phytochemical library within the capacity of the present grant using the Hibbertia scandens (Willd.) Gilg as a model and will be the backbone for the further grant applications for the establishment of a much wider library based on the expertise of the Australian and Swiss teams involved.
Microparticles (MPs) are small plasma membrane derived vesicles, released by many cell types and known to be involved in cell-cell communication. Because of their formation process, MPs keep part of the content of their cell of origin such as proteins, nucleic acids lipids. MPs have been shown to play an important role in human cerebral malaria (CM), a syndrome causing 1 million deaths/year. The aim of this project is to characterize the proteomics content of MPs isolated from a well-established murine model of CM. A quantitative proteomics workflow will be established and used to compare MPs proteins obtained from infected and non-‐infected mice as well as mice genetically susceptible or resistant to the neurological syndrome.
Proteomics results will be then analysed to highlight new potential mechanisms associated to MPs in CM and will be further investigated in human CM clinical plasma samples. Based on the evidences already collected on CM and the rising interest of MPs in many pathological conditions, we also hypothesize that MPs may play a role in the pathogenesis of human African trypanosomiasis – HAT or sleeping sickness – a neglected tropical disease characterized by the progression from a blood (S1) to a brain stage (S2) of infection. To assess this hypothesis, MPs will be investigated in the plasma from HAT patients (S1 and S2), through a first characterization by flow cytometry and then through quantitative proteomics analyses. As for CM, the results obtained will hopefully help to better understand the mechanisms of disease progression from the blood to the brain stage and might reveal new potential plasma biomarkers for HAT staging.