In 2015 the Jacka Foundation awarded three postgraduate scholarships. All students are enrolled in the School of Health Sciences at RMIT University, which generously offered a 50:50 funding arrangement with JFNT. The recipients and their projects are:

  1. The Judy Jacka Scholarship for Doctoral Research was awarded to Dr Joy Hussein MD for a PhD project titled Repeated Sauna Therapy – investigating the benefits, risks, and potential mechanisms of action in terms of health, wellness, and its effects on bioaccumulated levels of environmental toxicants/ xenobiotics in humans using metabolomics analysis
  2. The Alf Jacka Postgraduate Research Scholarship was awarded to Ms Nicole Bijlsma for a Masters degree project titled Environmental Chemical Assessment in Clinical Practice: Uncloaking the elephant in the room.
  3. The Jacka Foundation Research Training Scholarship was awarded to Ms Lauren Burns for her project Investigating the effects of pesticides on human neurocognitive function and physiological performance. 

2018 Update:


Dr Joy Hussein

Title of Research Project
Study of Whole Body Thermotherapy (Dry Sauna) in Human Health and Wellness

PhD Abstract

Worldwide many people sauna-bathe routinely for reported health benefits but the medical evidence to support these practices has not been well established. Repeated sauna bathing, or whole-body thermotherapy, involving short-term exposures to elevated environmental temperatures with or without increased humidity levels leads to physiologic responses that involve increased sweating and likely hormetic stress-related metabolic responses that may be developed for clinical applications.

Publications derived from the project

1. Hussain, J. N., Mantri, N., & Cohen, M. M. (2017). Working Up a Good Sweat – The Challenges of Standardising Sweat Collection for Metabolomics Analysis. The Clinical Biochemist Reviews, 38(1), 13–34. Full text available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5548369/
2. Hussain, J.N., Cohen, M.M. (2018). Clinical Effects of Regular Dry Sauna Bathing: A Systematic Review. Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Full text available at: https://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/aip/1857413/

 

Nicole Bijlsma – PhD Candidate (Masters converted to PhD 2017)

Title of Research Project
Environmental Chemical Assessment in Clinical Practice


PhD Abstract

Previous environmental exposure methodology will be reviewed and, in conjunction with the knowledge gained from interviews with expert environmental clinicians, an exposure history tool will be developed that will enable clinicians to obtain a standardised exposure history assessment. This tool will then be implemented in different clinical populations to determine if environmental exposures that are detected by the tool correlate with any disease outcomes. The tool will involve questions relating to occupation, place (e.g. residential exposures), lifestyle (e.g. diet and hobbies), and dental history.

Publications derived from the Project

Bijlsma, N and Cohen MM. (2016). Environmental chemical assessment in clinical practice – Unveiling the elephant in the room. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 13(2):181. Available at: http://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/13/2/181

 


Lauren Burns – PhD Candidate (Masters converted to PhD 2017)

Title of Research Project
Lifestyle Strategies and Elite Performance


Overview of Research Project

The project consists of two major components:

  1. Lifestyle Practices of Elite Athletes (completed interviews)
    Ten world, olympic and paralympic champions were interviewed about their lifestyle practices. The results have shown emergent themes in 3 main areas:
    Psychological Aspects (intrinsic motivation, work ethic, dominance and visualisation), Lifestyle and Performance Strategies, and Interpersonal Relationships.

  2. Clinical research on the effect of organic food and herbal beverages on human neurocognitive function, performance and metabolism.

The following story about Lauren and her project appeared in the 2017 edition of RMIT’s donor magazine Impact:

The Power of Organic Living: https://www.rmit.edu.au/about/giving-to-rmit/how-giving-makes-a-difference/student-stories/the-power-of-organic-living

 

 

Applications for JFNT scholarships are currently closed. The next round of scholarships will be advised on this website when open for application.