Dr Soumya Nair

Title: Good things come in small packages: Extracellular vesicles in gestational diabetes mellitus

Soumya NairBio: Dr. Soumya Nair is a post-doctoral fellow from the Exosome Biology Lab at UQCCR. In 2021, Soumya completed her PhD in extracellular vesicle signalling in Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM), investigating the mechanism by which small extracellular vesicles called ‘exosomes’ contribute to the regulation of insulin sensitivity in pregnancy.  During her PhD, she published 12 papers, presented in over 20 national and international conferences, and received prestigious awards from the Society of Reductive Investigation and Australian Society for Extracellular Vesicles. Her research focusses on molecular mechanism by which exosomes mediate the pathophysiology of metabolic diseases such as diabetes and obesity with a focus on harnessing the biomarker and therapeutic potential of these vesicles.

Overview: GDM is the hyperglycaemia that develops during pregnancy and is currently the most common medical complication of pregnancy. Exosomes are tiny vesicles released from the cells and they transfer molecular cargo between cells. Exosomes are critical mediators in cell communication and disease pathology through reprogramming target cells in nearby and/or distant organs. The characteristics of exosomes, such as the selectivity of molecular cargo, abundance in blood and specific targeting and uptake by cells, make them promising tools for clinical applications as diagnostic/prognostic biomarkers, therapeutic targets, and drug delivery systems. This presentation is dedicated to investigation of exosome signalling in the regulation of insulin sensitivity in GDM. 

Dr Kym Lowry

Title: Understanding the Disrupted Seasonality of Paediatric Respiratory Viruses in Queensland to Predict Future Clusters of these Infections.

Kym LowryBio: Kym Lowry is an infectious diseases researcher in the Microbial Diagnostics and Characterisation Group at UQCCR. As a molecular virologist, Kym is interested in RNA virus evolution and transmission and is currently involved in SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic development. Current research also involves genotyping STIs in Queensland and in the South Pacific to determine transmission dynamics and improve patient outcomes to mitigate antimicrobial resistance and long-term infections.

Overview: Non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) (e.g. social distancing, mask-wearing, hand sanitisers, border closures, lockdowns, working and schooling from home) effectively reduced SARS-CoV-2 transmission in Qld but also disrupted the seasonal transmission of other respiratory viruses during 2020. These non-SARS-CoV-2 infections resulted in additional economic burden to the individual and increased testing costs for respiratory viruses. This ongoing study seeks to characterise respiratory viruses circulating in Qld children during the COVID-19 pandemic (2020).

About CCR Seminars

The UQ Centre of Clinical Research Seminars (CCR) are held fortnightly on Wednesdays from 12pm - 1pm (except during school holidays) currently on Zoom. The series features topics in multiple fields of research, presented by invited international, interstate and local researchers.

Venue

Via Zoom: https://uqz.zoom.us/j/87198801358