Welcome to the ANZAAS Website

Almost every aspect of our life is touched by science. Without science our way of life would be almost unimaginable and sustainability of life in the future will be impossible. Despite this there is great public suspicion of science. Much of this is based on lack of understanding, but past failures of science to recognise public concerns about the nature and direction of progress contribute to distrust. The future is too important for such attitudes to continue. ANZAAS exists to promote dialogue and understanding between the public, science and government and to advance science and its utilisation for maximum benefit.

next ANZAAS Science Talk, Melbourne

Thursday 14th September 2023, 6:30 pm

All welcome, free, tell your friends!

Free pizza and drink after the talk

At GTAC, in the grounds of University High School, corner Royal Parade and Story Street, Parkville (enter off Story Street or Royal Parade)

Professor David Komander FAA

Ubiquitin Signaling Division, The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute

“Playing Tag with Ubiquitin”

Proteins are the machines within our cells, and provide cells with structure, communication, and energy. As for all our household machines, proteins can become damaged or be surplus to requirement, in which case they are broken down and recycled. In our cells, damaged proteins are tagged with another protein called ‘ubiquitin’, and the ‘ubiquitinated’ protein is quickly destroyed. The process of tagging proteins with ubiquitin, however, is vastly more complex. Research over the last two decades has shown that many different ubiquitin tags exist. It is also becoming clear that ubiquitin, and its power to remove proteins from cells, is important in many diseases, but can also be harnessed to prevent disease.
At WEHI, his division studies how cells utilise ubiquitin as a signal, and how defects in ubiquitin signals cause diseases such as cancer or Parkinson’s disease.
Professor Komander is a biochemist and cell biologist who trained in Germany and the UK. He established his first lab in Cambridge, where he worked until moving to WEHI in 2018. His is a world leader in the field of ubiquitylation, and has generated new tools to unveil the complexity and specificity of the ubiquitin code. He determined the molecular basis for PINK1/Parkin-mediated mitophagy, a key ubiquitylation pathway derailed in inherited Parkinson’s disease. His ultimate aim is the development of the first disease-modifying therapies for Parkinson’s and other ubiquitin-based disorders.


Next Talk: Wednesday 18th October  Dr Beth Ebert Senior Principal Research Scientist and Team Leader, Forecast Quality Research, Bureau of Meteorology Forecasting Thunderstorm Asthma


We are pleased to acknowledge the support by CSL and GTAC for the ANZAAS Melbourne science talks series
Further Info: David Vaux   davidlaurencevaux@gmail.com



 Click HERE to see past ANZAAS Science Talks

David Komander September 2023
Playing Tag with Ubiquitin

David Vaux August 2023
A short history of cancer genes

Chris Greening May 2023
The atmosphere as a hidden energy source for life

Jim Goding March 2023
Transistors, the Microchip & the Second Industrial Revolution

Paul Lasky November 2022
A new window on the Universe

Peter Currie October 2022
Regeneration: Myths and monsters and modern medicine

Heather Mack September 2022
Injecting eyes with antibodies to treat problems of the retina

Helen Green August 2022
Dating Australia’s Rock Art

Mahdi Jalali July 2022
Transport electrification and integration of EVs within the electricity grid

Grant McArthur June 2022
Science led inroads into melanoma – Australia and New Zealand’s disease

Alan Duffy May 2022
Darkness visible down-under

Timothy Clark April 2022
The importance of reproducibility and integrity in science: a fishy perspective

Tilman Ruff March 2022
Ending the nuclear weapons era evidence, challenges and pathways

Brian Abbey November 2021
The colour of cancer: could ‘smart’ microscope slides transform tissue diagnostics?

Cameron Simmons October 2021
Creating stop signs in mosquitoes; is this the end-game for Dengue?

Madhu Bhaskaran September 2021
Unbreakable sensors the future is here

Anne Marie Tosolini August 2021
Fossil Leaves from Cretaceous and Paleogene Polar Environments

Geoff Brooks July 2021
Green Steel: Can we decarburise steel production?


Message from Nobel Laureate Professor Barry Marshall

I would like to congratulate ANZAAS on its reinvigoration and an exciting new website.  ANZAAS was born to help launch scientific endeavour in Australia and New Zealand in the late 19th century and has since maintained a powerful advocate for public engagement with science. The new ANZAAS seeks to support and enliven a new phase of public involvement in science – we might call it mobilisation – in support of a sustainable culture for scientific literacy and a solid foundation for international competitiveness. The new path of action for ANZAAS is to stir the community at large into motivating more of our youth to explore the world of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. There are many issues facing our society as we move into the 21st century – new challenges and exciting opportunities in medicine and health, critical decisions to be made with respect to the planet and engineering innovations of which we can only dream in the present. ANZAAS seeks to engage you in vibrant and productive exchanges as together we tackle these future challenges.

I urge you all to join me in actively supporting ANZAAS in its new endeavours.


From the Archives

Douglas Mawson ANZAAS has a long, proud and prestigious history with many eminent scientists as its President. Here from the archives is the 1935 Presidential Address by the great Antarctic explorer Sir Douglas Mawson.

We invite you to wonder at Mawson’s suggestions for Prospects for Economic Development on pages 36-37 – from whaling and fur-farming to “As a winter sports ground for diversion in summer, Antarctica would be a thrill to Australians… I see no reason to delay the despatch from our ports of modern liners for summer pleasure cruises amongst the pack-ice.” View PDF

Do we need more government spending on public education in science?

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If you are interested in the pharmaceutical industry listen to ABC Radio National Background Briefing on “A Noble Cause”. A former industry insider gives a unique insight into the selling techniques of big pharma. Click here to listen: A noble cause

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