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The University of Adelaide was founded on principles of excellence and accessibility, and from the beginning its professors were recruited internationally. 140 years on, a staff of international distinction is still one of the hallmarks of the University. Inaugural Lectures by newly appointed or promoted Professors celebrate the finest of our academic leaders.

There is global demand for affordable and sustainable energy to meet the challenges of dwindling fossil fuel reserves and increasing levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide. Every year the amount of solar radiation that falls on our sunburnt land is more than 100 times the annual primary energy demand of the entire world. Current research at the University of Adelaide is aimed at developing new technologies to capture and store solar energy in the form of sustainable transport fuels that could then be exported to the world. In this Inaugural Lecture, on Tuesday 25 November at 5.30 pm, Professor Ashman will share this exciting work, some of which is already being commercialised within South Australia.

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Professor Alastair Burt’s research deals with diseases that interfere with the normal functioning of the liver and can lead to cirrhosis and an early death – the so called fatty liver diseases.

Professor Burt will describe the broad spectrum of fatty liver disease and the importance of accurate diagnosis both for individual patients and in epidemiological studies and clinical trials. He will consider some of the factors that may influence individual susceptibility to advanced disease. In addition he will look at the mechanisms of liver scarring in fatty liver disease including translational studies that have identified novel approaches to treatment and monitoring.

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Inaugural Lecture by Professor Rachel Ankeny, Tuesday 23 September 2014

Professor Rachel Ankeny from the School of History and Politics will present an Inaugural Lecture that argues that translational approaches to research in the humanities can be of benefit to the general public and significantly contribute to the research itself.

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Work, workers and workplaces in Australia are changing. We spend more time seated in chairs, more time viewing display screens of various sizes, and working longer hours in less secure jobs. What are the health implications of these changes for an increasingly diverse workforce? Drawing on examples from recent research at the University of Adelaide, Professor Dino Pisaniello will profile current risks and highlight the need for a better understanding of emerging, and interacting, risk factors, and discuss strategies for prevention and adaptation in the workplace.

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Professor Samer Akkach revisits the city of Damascus with fresh eyes to shed light on three significant moments of her remarkably rich history, moments of immortality, as it were, which had an enduring impact on human civilization in architecture, science, and social life. It will present aspects of the leading research on the cultural construction of the environment currently being undertaken at the School of Architecture through three ARC discovery projects.

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Professor Alan Collins, ARC Future Fellow and Director, Centre for Tectonics Resources and Exploration (TRaX), looks at how we can reconstruct the past geography of the planet by using the evidence in the roots of ancient mountain ranges, and start piecing together the past planet puzzle.

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Poor nutrition is a major threat to healthy ageing in Australia and worldwide. Weight loss as a result of poor nutrition is about more than losing fat, it leads to muscle loss which in turn leads to frailty, reduced mobility, and falls. On the other hand, good nutrition and exercise together with other strategies may prevent loss of muscle and strength. Employed early, these strategies will help older Australians achieve the goal of ‘Healthy Ageing’. This lecture will review the important research being undertaken at the University of Adelaide on this vital national research priority.

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This lecture by Professor Robert Saint presented a personal perspective on the development of genetics, highlighting the role that the search for the light of new knowledge at the University of Adelaide has played in this revolution. The impact of genetics into the future was also discussed.

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