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Campus News : July 2010
4 Campus News July 2010 University of Wollongong www.uow.edu.au Wholegrains hold key to good health Ahumble sandwich and morning bowl of cereal may be the best way to reduce heart disease and a host of other health problems -- as long as they're made from wholegrain. This is one of the key findings in The Grains & Legumes Health Report published in April. The report is a review of the latest evidence on the health benefits of grains and legumes, and was co- authored by Associate Professor Peter Williams from UOW's Smart Foods Centre and grain industry body Go Grains Health & Nutrition. Professor Williams said it was clear that wholegrain foods could make a significant contribution to preventing Australia's most serious and costly diseases. He said if every Australian ate the equivalent of three slices of wholemeal bread a day, the resulting health benefits could theoretically cut the nation's yearly health bill by $1.2 billion. "Studies in this report show eating just two to three serves of wholegrain foods a day - the equivalent to two to three slices of wholegrain bread - could reduce the risk of developing chronic disease such as heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers by 20-30 per cent," Professor Williams said. "Importantly, it's a preventative health measure that is affordable and includes foods that are readily available at the supermarket." Wholegrains contain fibre, protein, vitamins (particularly B-group vitamins including folate, and vitamin E), minerals (notably iron, zinc and magnesium), and antioxidants to help protect against disease. Wholegrain foods include wholemeal and multigrain breads and crispbreads, wheat-flake and wholegrain breakfast cereals, natural muesli, oats, brown rice, wholegrain pasta, rice cakes, popcorn, and muesli bars. KM FOCUS ON RESEARCH The Federal Government has established an Energy Pipelines Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) with headquarters at the University of Wollongong. Parliamentary Secretary for Innovation and Industry Richard Marles launched the CRC at UOW's Innovation Campus in June. He said the centre would receive $17.48 million of CRC Program funding over 10 years complemented by CRC partner cash and in- kind contributions of around $70.6 million. "The new Energy Pipelines Cooperative Research Centre will help deliver long-term safety and security for Australia's energy sector," Mr Marles said. There are 30,000km of high pressure natural gas transmission pipelines in Australia with a replacement cost of about $40 billion but new technologies are needed to extend the life of the existing ageing network and meet the challenges of a transition to a cleaner, renewable future. The CRC will undertake research and provide education and training in four programs covering more productive materials, life extension and asset management, design, and public safety and security of supply. The CRC is led by the Australian Pipeline Industry Association Research and Standards Committee (APIA RSC) and involves UOW, the University of Adelaide, Australian National University and Monash University. BG UOW home for Pipelines CRC Parliamentary Secretary for Innovation and Industry Richard Marles pictured at the Energy Pipelines CRC launch with the CRC's Chief Executive Officer Professor Valerie Linton (left) and Member for Cunningham Sharon Bird. The Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute (IHMRI) has won a $2.5 million three-year tender to operate the state's first specialist service for people with a personality disorder. IHMRI is a partnership between the University of Wollongong and the South Eastern Sydney and Illawarra Area Health Service (SESIAHS). The NSW Minister Assisting on Health (Mental Health) Barbara Perry visited UOW in May to announce IHMRI as the successful tenderer for the innovative project which officially starts in July. "The IHMRI team will develop evidence-based clinical guidelines for the treatment of personality disorders -- a type of mental illness that can be highly traumatising," Ms Perry said. "These guidelines, in conjunction with a training package and a website developed during the project, will be rolled out to mental health clinicians throughout NSW." The project will begin within SESIAHS and Justice Health. Mental health clinicians in these services will be trained in ways to work more effectively with people with personality disorders. IHMRI's Neuroscience and Mental Health Scientific Director Professor Brin Grenyer said the institute plans to develop innovative treatments for patients with personality disorders based on best research evidence. "Such support is significant because it will allow us to make these new integrative collaborative treatments widely available to a group in the community that have often been overlooked or misunderstood," Professor Grenyer said. "These patients often present to emergency departments with self-harm or suicidal threats, and understanding and responding to their call for help with proper treatment leads to what one patient has called 'a life worth living'." The institute's experts will conduct a survey of existing personality disorder services around the state as they develop the new treatment plan. BG Personality disorder service State's first NSW Minister Assisting on Health (Mental Health) Barbara Perry at UOW for the announcement of IHMRI's successful bid to run a personality disorder service. She is pictured with SESIAHS CEO Terry Clout (left) and Professor Brin Grenyer.