1992 BSc (Hons I) School of Pathology, UNSW
1997 PhD, Garvan Institute of Medical Research, UNSW
Fellowships and Appointments
1997-1999 Alexander von Humboldt Fellow, Heinrich Heine Universitaet, Germany
2000-2002 NHMRC Howard Florey Fellow, Children’s Medical Research Institute, Sydney
2002 JSPS Short Term Visiting Fellow, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, Japan
2003-2004 Senior Research Scientist, Children’s Medical Research Institute, Sydney
2004-2009 Lecturer, Department of Pathology, School of Medical Sciences, UNSW
2007- Present Senior Research Fellow Conjoint; USyd, NSW
2007- Present Group Leader, Cancer Cachexia Mechanisms Research Group, Department of Pathology, SoMS UNSW Australia
2009-2015 Senior Lecturer, Department of Pathology, School of Medical Sciences, UNSW Australia
2012-2015 Associate Professor (Conjoint), School of Medical Science, Griffith University, Queensland, Australia
2015-Present Associate Professor, Department of Pathology, School of Medical Sciences, UNSW Medicine, UNSW Australia
2015-Present Deputy Head, Department of Pathology, School of Medical Sciences, UNSW Medicine, UNSW Australia
2016 UNSW Teaching Fellow
Medical Research Expertise
I am a Associate Professor (Department of Pathology) and Group Leader (Cancer Cachexia Mechanisms Research Group, Inflammation and Infection Research Centre) within SoMS with particular expertise in underlying gene regulatory mechanisms in muscle wasting due to cancer cachexia. I have developed gene and proteomic approaches for identifying biomarkers in skeletal muscle wasting and have extensive experience with molecular and cellular techniques required to study the molecular mechanisms of transcription factor-mediated gene regulation. My specific expertise is in unravelling molecular mechanisms that involve DNA-protein interactions using electrophorectic mobility shift assays and protein-protein interactions using GST-pull down assays. I have previously established research programs on molecular mechanisms of nuclear receptor and myogenic transcription factor action.
Basic Science Research Projects
Suitable for: Honours, Masters and Postgraduate studies
Overall Muscle Wasting-Cachexia Research Program Outline:
Cancer cachexia occurs in 50-80% of cancer patients involves severe muscle wasting in cancer patients and is directly responsible for 30% of all cancer mortality. At present there is no means of early diagnosis or effective therapy. Research projects on offer include biomarker discovery and assessing transcriptional mechanisms that underlie muscle wasting, and include intervention strategies that target muscle specific transcription factors in addition to nuclear hormone receptors for the purposes of in preventing muscle loss. Study outcomes will provide novel ways of treating muscle wasting in cancer patients.
Transcription factor analysis: Electrophoretic Mobility Shift , GST-pull down, Reporter Gene assays
Gene expression: qPCR, Affymetrix gene analysis
Protein Expression: Western blotting, iTRAQ Proteomics analysis
Histomorphology: Electron microscopy, Immunohistochemistry, Histochemistry
Models: Mouse models of Cancer Cachexia, Skeletal Muscle, Cardiomyocyte and Bone cell culture models
MEDICAL Research Outputs: Published journal/reviews/book chapters and abstracts: 59 (1993-2015).
2005-2007: $165,000 /annum-NHMRC Project Grant ID: 352419, P.Polly; CID
2006-2009: $196,000 /annum-NHMRC Project Grant ID 428237, P.Polly; CIB
2008: $75,000/3yrs Cancer Institute NSW Research Scholar Award. A.Corradin; P.Polly; CIA
2008: $30,000 FRG, Faculty of Medicine-P.Polly; CIA
2010: $18,000-UNSW FRG, Faculty of Medicine-P.Polly; CIA
2010-2011: US$170,000-USA Muscular Dystrophy Association P. Polly CIC
2012: $40,000 Goldstar P. Polly CIA
2012: $42,795 MREII Ionoptix C-Pace and Contractility System P. Polly CIA
2013-2014: Illumina RNA Hi Seq development grant P. Polly CI
Learning and Teaching Expertise
I am the Co-Convenor of 2nd year Pathology (PATH2201/PATH2202) and Convenor of 3rd yr Pathology (PATH3205) and SoMS Research Internship Co-ordinator (SOMS3001)
I have a national and international profile as an inspirational teacher who is an innovator in higher education. I have championed scholarly activities by creating multiple collaborative communities of practice that engage colleagues, tutors and students to enhance the learning and teaching experience at UNSW and beyond.
Education Research Projects:
Development of Academic Literacies in Scientific Writing and Oral Research Communication
Adaptive e-learning: Virtual Laboratories (v-Labs), Gene Suite vLabs; BEST Network Phase 1 Practical Project
ePortfolios for Science Students
HIGHER EDUCATION Research Outputs: Since 2008, I have generated 23 peer-reviewed journal articles (+ 6 pending acceptance), book chapters, abstracts, and online resources on my scholarly approaches. I have produced 6 course manuals, with ISBNs.
Institution and National Awards:
Dec 2005: SoMS Teaching Award ‘Innovations in Course Convening’
Dec 2007: SoMS Teaching Award ‘Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning’
Dec 2007: Faculty of Medicine Teaching Award, Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning
Dec 2010: SoMS Teaching Award ‘Enhancing the Student Experience’
Sept 2012: OLT Citation: ‘Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning’
Dec 2012: SoMS Teaching Award ‘Community Engagement’
Dec 2012: UNSW Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Initiatives that Enhance Learning
Dec 2013: SoMS Teaching Award ‘Teacher of the Year'
Dec 2014: Faculty of Medicine Teaching Award, ‘Teaching Excellence’
Dec 2015: UNSW Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence
Invited Speaker, Teaching Education Research, National and International Recognition: since 2008 16 institutional, 11 national and 4 international.
Funding - Impact related to Learning and Teaching. I have attracted funding to the value of $4.904 million to support development of eLearning resources.
2012 $10,000 OLT Citation P. Polly CIA and G. Jones
2012 $1.2 million. Health Workforce Australia. T. Campbell, R. Kumar, B. Barry, G. Velan, P. Polly, R. Thompson – industry partner ‘Smart Sparrow’.
2012-2013 $3.3 million, NBNNESS BEST Network, Lead investigator N. Hawkins, Committee member and Phase I Practical Project in Medicine at UNSW lead P. Polly, - industry partner ‘Smart Sparrow’.
2013 $40,000 Rural Health Continuing Education Round 2-RHCE2. Specialised continuing education program on the role of exercise in cancer management, to Accredited Exercise Physiologists, living and working in rural areas of NSW using ePortfolios and Adaptive eLearning. F. Naumann, P. Polly CIB, J-L. Yang and C. Ford.
2014 $27,900 OLT Extension Grant: Strengthening IT assisted teaching: ePortfolio use for teaching staff in higher education. J. Rowley, J. Munday, P. Polly, A. Collins
UNSW Learning and Teaching Seed Funding
2012 $2,000 Graduate capabilities and personal achievement recording in medical research based assessment in Stage 2 and 3 Pathology and Stage 4 Honours Undergraduate Science Courses: A program based approach to developing graduate employability skills. P. Polly-CIA,J. Cox, J-L. Yang, K. Coleman, M. Das and N. Hawkins
2012 $2,000 Development of professional perspective and practice through use of an ePortfolio assessment across SCIF courses and the Medical Science Program. J. Cox, P. Polly, K. Coleman, J.-L. Yang
2012 $2,000 Career development learning in a Cancer Sciences Course. J-L Yang, P. Polly, K. Coleman, M. Das and N.Hawkins
2012 $2,500 UNSW Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Initiatives that Enhance Learning P. Polly CIA and G. Jones
2015…$7,000 UNSW Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence
UNSW SEF#4 LNT Funding
2014 $25,000 Aligning assessment to track development of graduate capabilities, professional skills and life-long learning in the biomedical sciences. Polly CIA, Vickery, Cox, Finch, Herbert, Jones, Lewis, Pather, Thai, Yang.
2014 $25,000 Virtual Laboratories for Program-wide Use in Developing Analytical Skills for Medicine and Science Students. Polly CIA, Lutze-Mann, Thai
2015 $20,000 Assessment, analytics and personalised feedback for building undergraduate technical and analytical skills using virtual laboratories. Polly CIA, Lutze-Mann. Thai, Wijenayake Gamachchige
2015…$20,000 Integration of Real and Virtual Experiences in Undergraduate Laboratories. Kornfeld, Lutze-Mann, Polly, Wijenayake Gamachchige, LeBard
2015…$20,000 Creating an online resource to enhance student learning in science and medicine using state-of-the-art technology. Ferrari, Dowdell, Tedla, Brownlee, Lutze-Mann, Polly
2015…$20,000 Online knowledge maps: automated assessment and feedback to enhance learning in biomedical sciences. Velan, Vickery, Pather, Polly, Harris.
UNSW SEF#3 LNT Funding
2015/16..$199,492 “Building and Recognising Graduate Professional Skills and Identity for Graduate Employability using Standards-based Assessment, ePortfolios and Badges” Polly, UNSW Teaching Fellow
- SoMS Teaching Committee, Faculty of Medicine, 2004-Present
- BMedSc Committee, Faculty of Medicine/Faculty of Science, 2006-Present
- UNSW Institutional Biosafety Committee, UNSW, 2008-Present
- Department of Pathology Representative, SoMS Honours Committee, Faculty of Medicine, 2008-Present
- SoMS Research Committee, Faculty of Medicine, 2010-2013
- SoMS Honours Committee, Faculty of Medicine 2008-Present member; 2010-2013, Chair
- Department of Pathology Representative, SoMS OHS Committee, Faculty of Medicine, June 2011-2015
- UNSW Academic Board, Faculty of Medicine Representative, Dec 2014-Present