It is common knowledge that the worldwide prevalence of type II diabetes is increasing at an unprecedented rate. Increased bone fragility and high fracture risk are under-recognised complications of long-term hyperglycemia in type II diabetes. As a result, patients have an increased risk of falls, fractures, reduced quality of life and increased mortality rates. Neither anti-diabetic medications, that aim to lower blood glucose, nor anti-osteoporotic medications, that aim to increase bone turnover, work to improve the risks and rates of bone fractures in these patients. Dr Tara Brennan-Speranza from the University of Sydney and Dr Nicolas Bonnet from UNIGE have devised a project that aims to test the innovative approach of combining anti-diabetic medications already on the market for the maintenance of blood glucose levels, with novel molecules that act on the calcium-sensing receptor at the bone forming osteoblasts to increase bone formation and stimulate new bone turnover. This project directly creates new target options for treating these patients and improving the fracture risk and quality of life. The proposal is based on clear preliminary data on the effects of diabetes in mice and the activation of the calcium-sensing receptor in the bone forming cells. This project requires the extended visitation of Dr Bonnet to the Brennan-Speranza laboratory at the University of Sydney, during which time, the two investigators will also run an inaugural, and much-needed, up-to-date bone histomorphometry workshop for Australian musculoskeletal scientists. Funding for this travel and the running of the workshop is currently lacking.
Fluorescent sensors capable of binding selectively and strongly to anions in water will provide innovative technologies for the detection of anionic species in a range of areas including environmental (e.g. monitoring of sulfate levels in wastewater) and biomedical applications (e.g. detection of chloride concentrations in blood). Currently available receptors are either limited to organic solvents or can not discriminate between anions. New hydrogen bonding motifs with proven ability to bind to ions anions in aqueous solution will be appended to water soluble dyes to provide fluorescent sensors. The molecular scaffolds will be tailored to match the size and shape of sulfate and chloride anions and their ability to selectively sense these anions will be evaluated. We will develop novel designs and methodologies to create sensors for anion binding in water that will underpin future applications.
Obesity is a major contributor to disease, but interventions to reduce obesity markedly reduce morbidity and mortality. Some obesity treatments are more effective than others, with some centers achieving clinically significant weight losses maintained for up to 5 years after treatment in over 50% of users, compared to others reporting minimal long-term weight loss. Despite current availability of reasonably effective obesity treatments, they are underutilized by health professionals around the world, partly due to lack of knowledge about implementation. This project will combine the expertise of the world-leading centers of obesity research and clinical practice at the Universities of Geneva and Sydney, to consolidate methods for implementation of the most effective obesity treatments, and disseminate this knowledge to health professionals around the world. Research in the Geneva obesity center is led by Dr Zoltan Pataky and Professor Alain Golay (the Geneva Clinic Director), and research in the Sydney team is led by Associate Professor Amanda Salis and Associate Professor Tania Markovic (the Sydney Clinic Director). Both teams are well resourced with competitive grants, infrastructure, staff and students to move collaboration forwards. However, what is lacking is funding for the necessary travel for face to face visits between teams to compare and exchange information and plan translational activities and future research. This seed funding will enable the Geneva and Sydney obesity centers to combine forces to not only increase their own effectiveness in Geneva and Sydney, but to also gain greater global visibility to facilitate translation into clinical practice of effective obesity treatments.
2019 marks the hundredth anniversary of the international order that radically reshaped the 20th century and became the benchmark against which changes in international politics in the 21st century are measured. 1919 saw the creation of the League of Nations and its economic and social counterpart, the International Labour Organization, all headquartered in Geneva. This is the context in which we have conceived this project: On one side the University of Geneva, working with the Graduate Institute (HEID), and building on its optimal location and privileged links to international organizations, the hub of a new network for historical studies of international organizations [HION] (https://www.hion.ch) with plans to commemorate the 1919 centenary. On the other side, the University of Sydney, home to the Laureate Research Program in International History funded by the Australian Research Council, which has launched its sites of international memory initiative, and is scoping a new methodological inquiry into the present and future of international history. Together, lead investigators Sluga (Sydney) and Kott (Geneva) will link these programs to draw historical attention to the twentieth century, when international thinking and institutions were consistently the first port of call at moments of greatest crisis, when international economic and social governance was not limited to trade and finance. This is a breakthrough point of departure for the field, setting new frameworks for international history, its interdisciplinary potential and its geopolitical prospects, and timed to coincide with the centenary of 1919.