Population Health and Neuroimmunology Unit (PHANU)
The Public Health and Neuroimmunology Unit (PHANU) is the only facility in Australia specifically established to examine how an immune response impacts on neuro-degenerative diseases related to ageing/indigenous health and fatigue-related conditions such as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
PHANU, a collaborative initiative between the Gold Coast Population Health Unit and Bond’s Faculty of Health Sciences and Medicine, is one of only a few in the world focused on this niche area of research. The PHANU laboratory has already found an association between changes in immune cells and chronic fatigue syndrome patients, signifying the importance of this ongoing research and its contribution to scientific knowledge. This research work has already been accepted for conference presentations and publication in peer- reviewed scientific journals.
“The direction of PHANU’s research is consistent with a recent WHO publication drawing attention to the need for greater investment in research into neurological diseases of public health importance,” said Dr Don Staines, Public Health Physician at the Gold Coast Public Health Unit and joint manager of PHANU.
The other joint manager is Dr Sonya Marshall, Associate Professor of Biochemistry. PHANU operates under the guidance of a steering committee chaired by Mr Ross Humphreys, a highly respected international authority in ageing, consumer representation and aged care service provision.
“PHANU’s research may bring new hope to patients suffering from some of these conditions,” said Dr Staines,“that a biologically plausible basis for their illness exists and that treatment, based on these research findings, may be just a short step away.”
PHANU has received funding grants of $95,000 from Queensland Health’s Population Health Services, $30,000 from the Ramicotti Foundation, $533,000 from the Queensland Smart State Grant and $90,000 from the Mason Foundation for research conducted in the above areas.
PHANU has received further funding in 2010 for $100,000 and 2011 $95,000 from the Mason Foundation for Immunological and genetic investigations in CFS/ME.
PHANU has been able to continue immunological and genetic investigations into ME/CFS through the generous funding provided by the following organisations:
QLD Smart State Grant- $533,000.00
Mason Foundation (2009-2011) - $285,000.00
Queensland Health’s Population Health Services - $95,000.00
Alison Hunter Memorial Foundation - $55,500.00
Ramicotti Foundation- $30,000.00
PHANU Steering Committee Members
Chair - Mr Ross Humphreys
Dr Sonya Marshall-Gradisnik - Associate Professor of Biochemistry, Faculty of Health Sciences and Medicine
Dr Don Staines - Adjunct Associate Professor, Faculty of Health Sciences and Medicine and Public Health Medical Officer, Gold Coast Public Health Unit
Professor Mieke van Driel - Professor of General Practice (PhD) & Director of Research, Bond University
Dr Daniel Peterson - Adjunct Professor, Faculty of Health Sciences and Medicine
Christine J. Hunter AM - Alison Hunter Memorial Foundation