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Trait Secret 特征秘密

Professor Kathryn North AM

Director of the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute


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One of the most superior Australian minds, Professor Kathryn North is the director of Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and the David Danks Professor of Child Health Research at the University of Melbourne.  She is also Chair of Research Committee to the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia and a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for service to medicine in the field of neuromuscular and neurogenetics research.

“Now we can take blood or skin cells from you and recreate your kidneys in the laboratory. We’re starting to recreate cartilage cells as well.”

Trainedasapaediatric physician, neurologist and clinical geneticist,  Professor North is also an international leading expert in genomic medicine.

Brilliant and beautiful, Professor Kathryn North is devoid of amour propre, with no apparent air or condescendence. There is self-value and pride at the right doses as well as a healthy sense of humour and wit to complement her intellectual prowess. And then there is also that inimitable sense of style and sassiness in her dressing and impish choir-boy haircut. People love Kathryn North.    

In 1994 Professor North was awarded a doctorate for research in neurogenetics. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Harvard Genetics Program.

Interest in genetics developed from her training in neurology where her focus was on children with severe intellectual disabilities and muscular dystrophies. Most of these disorders have a genetic or inherited basis. “When I started practising medicine the human genome haven’t been sequenced. I could not give the parents an answer as to why their children aren’t developing normally. It’s literally those simple questions every parent deserves to know that really drives me,” she shares.

Her research in genetic diagnosis produced ground-breaking results. “By using the latest genomic technologies, we’ve increased the diagnostic rate by four times at a fifth of the cost. Genomic medicine is set revolutionising clinical care.  We are moving towards prevention and early intervention, instead of waiting for the problem to occur and then treat it, a method which is often costly and ineffective. In some cases, we can even prevent intellectual disability and start treatment before the brain gets damaged. That’s the dream.”

“Genomic medicine is set revolutionise clinical care. We are moving towards prevention and early intervention”

With genetics, there is always the proverbial argument of ‘playing god’. “Everything we do goes through ethics approval and family consent to make sure we are respecting the patient’s beliefs and wishes. Genomic testing is not so different. It’s just much better with a lot more sensitivity and accurate results,” she reveals.

Essentially this guru of genetics is passionate about child health. The Murdoch Children’s Research Institute is by far the best in Australia and one of the top five child health facilities in the world. “We are able to attract funding because of our excellence. We work very actively with peer-reviewed funding agencies and philanthropists where we commercialise and drive innovation within the industry to make our discoveries and inventions available.”

“I still have big plans for this place, I can tell you. With genomic medicine, we are working out some of the big problems in food allergies. We are rolling out life-saving vaccines in Asia and Africa. Stem cell medicine and therapy is our latest initiative. Now we can take blood or skin cells from you and recreate your kidneys in the laboratory. We’re starting to recreate cartilage cells as well,” she beams.

I’m immensely proud of it and it’s just wonderful to be able to do something like that. I look forward to coming to work every day.”   

1-cover2.jpg身为澳大利亚医学翘楚之一,KathrynNorth教授是Murdoch儿童研究所总监及墨尔本大学儿童保健研究DavidDanks教授。她同时是澳大利亚国家卫生和医学研究委员会主席,并荣获澳大利亚政府颁发勋章
(AM),表彰她于神经肌肉和神经系统医学研究领域的贡献。

此外,作为训练有素的儿科医生、神经病学家和临床遗传学家,Kathryn North教授也是国际基因组医学领先专家。

集才华与美丽于一身,Kathryn North教授却没有自傲自负气息,显得不卑不亢。表现适度的自我价值和自豪感,擅长以健康的幽默和机智点缀她的强大智慧。再加上独特的衣着风格和顽皮唱诗班男孩一般的发型,人们都爱她。

“在可通过抽取你的血液或皮肤细胞,并在实验室重建你的肾脏。而我们也开始再造软骨细胞。”

1994年,她被授予神经遗传学研究博士学位,并且接续完成哈佛遗传学计划的博士后研究。至于她对于遗传学的兴趣是在神经病学的培训中所引发,着重点是儿童重度智力障碍和肌肉萎缩。这些疾病大多数来自遗传或基因。“在我实习医学时,人类基因组还未被测序。对于那些父母提出为何他们的孩子没有正常发育,我无法给出一个确切答案。但这个所有家长都理应知道的简单问题,也是让我走向探索答案的驱动力。”

目前她的遗传诊断研究有了突破性的成果。“通过使用最新的基因组技术,我们只耗五分之一成本就将诊断率提高了4倍。基因组医学设置革命性的临床护理。我们正在开展预防和早期干预行动,并非等待问题发生再应对,这明显加剧成本和无效。在一些情况下,甚至可以防范智障问题,并在大脑受损前开始治疗,这就是梦想。”

关于遗传学,总是环绕着“扮演上帝”的争议声音。“我们所做的一切都通过伦理审批和家庭同意,并确保尊重患者的信念和愿望。基因组测试没有任何不同,只是增加灵敏度和让结果更准确。”

“基因组医学设置革命性的临床护理。我们正在开展预防和早期干预行动。”

这名遗传学权威对孩子的健康充满关注与热情。Murdoch儿童研究所不仅是澳大利亚最佳,也是世界五大儿童保健设施之一。“我们的卓越性导致能够不断吸引资金。我们非常积极地与同行审议资金机构和慈善家共同努力,实行商业化和推动行业创新,让我们的发现与发明成果派上
用场。”

“我还有相关的庞大计划,这与基因组医学有关,我们正在解决食品过敏的关键问题,也在亚洲和非洲延伸出救生疫苗。另外,干细胞医学和治疗是最新的倡议。现在可通过抽取你的血液或皮肤细胞,并在实验室重建你的肾脏。而我们也开始再造软骨细胞。我对此感到无限自豪,能够进行类似事情真的太美好,所以每天工作都令人感到期待。”


by Billie Ooi – Ng Lean Gaik

Festival of Food Galore 丰盛多彩美食节

Penang is no doubt one of South-East Asia’s centre for wondrous delicacies. This year, the island will see the inauguration of The Penang International Food Festival 2017, a 16-day event from 15 – 30 April that celebrates the humble authenticity of world-famous food. Food in Penang has long been extolled by many who have visited, including world-renowned chef and TV personality Anthony Bourdain and pastry chef Anna Olsen. From smoky Char Koay Teow to ice-cold Cendol, spicy and tangy Laksa to crispy Roti Canai, they all have a special spot in the hearts of those who have visited Penang.

The festival will highlight its motto – “Savour the Past”, “Enjoy the Present” and “Relish the Future” – through various events at different parts of George Town including Street Food Festival (SFF) at Lebuh Pantai that brings the best in Penang’s hawker fare, taking you back in time. Taste of Penang (TOP) celebrates Penang food of today presenting the most local gastronomic experience any tourist can see, and lastly, one of the more experiential part of the festival will see Fringe Food Festival (FFF) explores the cutting edge of food where chefs, baristas and mixologists collaborate, exchange ideas and innovate food of the future.

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作为东南亚奇妙美食中心之一,槟城从来当仁不让。随着2017年的“槟城国际美食节”启动,自4月15日至30日,长达16天的美食狂欢会,欢庆世界著名美食品尝盛典。槟城的美食长久以来有口皆碑,其中包括国际知名的厨师和电视名人 Anthony Bourdain 和著名糕点师 Anna Olsen 也对于槟城食物赞誉有加。从热气腾腾的炒粿条到沁凉人心的煎蕊,辛辣强烈的拉沙到脆香非凡的印度煎饼,分别都是槟城旅客难以割舍的心头爱。

盛会将突出其主旨:“典藏过去”,“享受现在”和“品味未来”,并通过乔治市不同区域的各种活动:土库街(LebuhPantai)的“街头美食节”(SFF)呈现最经典的槟城小吃,带你回到过去。“槟城的味道”(TOP)展示槟城现在最道地的美食与餐饮体验,如旅客所见所闻。最后一项是超越未来的“非主流美食节”(FFF),探索时代前沿的食品,各家厨师,咖啡师与调酒师合作交流,以创新思维打造未来的美食。

The Big Reveal for the Smallest Automobile 最小汽车的盛大推展

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has unveiled a seminal new concept in luxury, crafted for one very special customer. The St Richard’s Hospital Pediatric Day Surgery Unit in the marque’s home town of Chichester, West Sussex, England is presented with one of the automobile company’s most bespoke luxury design.

The Rolls-Royce SRH allows children awaiting surgery to drive themselves to the operating theatre, through the Pediatric Unit corridors which are lined with ‘traffic signs’. The experience of ‘self-drive to theatre’ aims to reduce child patient stress.

Molly Matthews and Hari Rajyaguru, test drivers from the Pediatric Unit, were welcomed to the Home of Rolls-Royce to see the car being unveiled in style at the company’s Goodwood Studio in the same manner for all Rolls-Royces VIP customers. This exclusive event served as final validation and pre-delivery inspection of the Rolls-Royce SRH ahead of the official handover to the patients, their families and the devoted day surgery team at St Richard’s Hospital.

Rolls-Royces1.jpg劳斯莱斯(Rolls-Royce)汽车公司为一个非常特别的客户推展了开创性的新概念豪华产品。而定制这项豪车设计产品的是汽车品牌的家乡-英国西苏塞克斯郡首府奇切斯特的St Richard医院的儿科单位。

这项劳斯莱斯SRH(Rolls-Royce SRH)设计项目让正在等待手术的儿童坐上配有“交通标志”的小汽车从儿科病房走廊前往手术室。“自行驾车到剧院”的体验是为了减少儿童患者的压力。

2名儿科患者Molly Matthews和Hari Rajyaguru作为试驾员也被迎接到劳斯莱斯总部,而这辆小汽车也在Goodwood工作室正式推展,小试驾员获得如同劳斯莱斯尊贵VIP客户般的款待。劳斯莱斯SRH独家设计项目在正式移交给患者、他们的家人和St Richard医院的儿科团队之前,也进行车辆验证和出厂前检查。