Prevent, diagnose
and treat disease

Read about our health science research that’s not only revealing the origins of diseases like cancer, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, but finding ways to stop them before they begin.

The key issue: Poor health and disease is a costly, universal problem.

Diseases don’t discriminate. Health issues don’t respect borders.

According to the World Health Organisation, in 2012 alone, 8.2 million people worldwide died from cancer. It’s also estimated that 35.6 million people are currently living with dementia.

8,200,000 worldwide died from cancer in 2012

35,600,000 currently living with dementia

These are just some of the big health issues that cost countries billions of dollars – issues that cost sufferers and their loved ones even more dearly.

What is UWA doing about
this global issue

From prevention and diagnosis to treatment and cure, our health and medical research is as diverse as it is dynamic.

The World Health Organisation says that about 70% of all cancer deaths occur
in low and middle income countries.

We’ve embarked on a number of exciting projects with enormous potential to improve the health and wellbeing of millions of people in myriad ways, including:

  • Tailoring the genome to create novel cures for aggressive forms of tumours/cancers.
  • Investigating the early origins of health and disease.
  • Studying brain structure and function to aid functional recovery from neurological conditions, including developmental brain disorders, traumatic injuries and neurodegenerative diseases.
  • Improving the respiratory outcomes of preterm infants through the development of novel approaches to mechanical ventilation and postnatal care.
  • Developing a repeatable, non-invasive, safe and painless method of measuring damaging iron deposits in the liver caused by diseases such as thalassemia (iron overload).
  • Commercialising nanoparticle technology for drug delivery applications, enabling the precise delivery of drugs to diseased cells for the treatment of cancer and other diseases through ‘loaded’ nanoparticles.
  • Researching the best combination of exercise and medications in the management of patients with hypercholesterolemia, diabetes and coronary disease.
  • Optimising physical and mental functioning through nutrition.
  • Using our understanding of how the mind works to foster resilience and improve mental health and wellbeing.

More Health projects


Nanobiotechnology is a branch of nanotechnology with biological and biochemical applications. Professor Iyer’s research explores the design and development of multimodal nanoparticles which seek to expand upon the benefits of the first- generation, clinically tested nanoparticles by adding functionalities intended to improve delivery, therapeutic efficacy, and ultimately patient outcome. This…

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Psychological health in obstructive sleep apnoea

Obstructive sleep apnoea is diagnosed in 5% of Australians with as many as 8 in 10 unaware of their condition.  In older age, rates rise as high as 62%. OSA contributes to days lost from work, ill health, low mood, and accidents at work and in the car. Yet, the…

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The molecular structure, function and regulation of pyruvate carboxylase.

Pyruvate carboxylase is a key metabolic enzyme that is a member of the family of biotin-dependent enzymes. The enzyme is regulated allosterically, primarily by acetyl CoA. Allosteric regulation of many enzymes is a common, but often poorly defined phenomenon, however, there is growing interest in the design of drugs that…

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