Welcome to the December 2020 edition of the Raine Study Newsletter.
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News from the Raine Study: December 2020

Welcome to the December 2020 edition of the Raine Study Newsletter. As the year draws to a close, it’s fair to say that the phrase “what a year it’s been” really was written with 2020 in mind. Without ignoring the immense amount of change, uncertainty and hardship that the pandemic has wrought in Australia and around the world, we’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of YOU, our Raine Study participants, for letting us be part of your family over the last 30 years. If 2020 is the year of being grateful for what we have, then we at the Raine Study are so very thankful to have each and every one of you involved with us in this endeavour. 
In that spirit, in this issue we extend a warm welcome to new Raine Study director Professor Romola Bucks at the same time as we bid adieu to outgoing director Professor Peter Eastwood. We look ahead to the 30 year reunion morning tea for the original Raine Study staff (separate from the larger 30 year celebrations still to come in 2021), and recap our 13th Annual Scientific Meeting, held for the first time as a virtual event. Plus, the Raine Study’s Sue Green shares a favourite festive season recipe (you’re welcome!). 
Please keep in touch and if you have changed contact details recently, please reply to this email to let us know or update your details here.
Farewell Peter Eastwood

By now you will likely have heard the news of the departure of Raine Study director Professor Peter Eastwood to take up his new role as director of the Flinders Health and Medical Research Institute in South Australia. Peter’s last official day with the Raine Study will be Friday 18 December. All of us at the Raine Study wish him well. Keep checking the website and social media for updates on how the team will celebrate all that he has helped the Raine Study achieve over the last eight years.
Welcome Romola Bucks

Peter was delighted to introduce his successor, Professor Romola Bucks, to the Raine Study community at the Annual Scientific Meeting on 30 October. 
Romola is no stranger to the Raine Study having been involved in Raine Study-based research over the last 10 years. You can read the official details of her background and appointment on the website, but we thought it might be fun to get a little more up close and personal with Romola with a quick Q&A:

If you could work with 3 of the world’s greatest ever scientists (living or dead), who would they be and why? 
I am terrible at these sorts of questions, as I have never been good at a ‘scientific crush’! Now, if you had asked me about non-scientists, I’d have said I would have loved to have met William Shakespeare, Nelson Mandela, and Hedy Lamarr. Why those three? William Shakespeare because he had such a lively and creative mind and could swear more roundly than almost any other author I’ve ever read (he was also a fan of science). Nelson Mandela because I’d like to learn from his humility and get his advice on leadership, and Hedy Lamarr because if ever I need a role model, she’d be perfect as she excelled in both the arts and the sciences. She really did appear to be able to do it all: international film star and designer of secure Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS. 
If national and international travel restrictions were no barrier, what would you spend the Christmas break doing? 
I would be flying to the UK to see my father (who is 85) in Dorset. I have not seen him all year as I can’t leave Australia. Fortunately, we are able to talk and see each other via videocall. But, 2020 has been a tough year because of the tyranny of distance between us made larger by COVID.
What data set or potential research topic has fascinated you most about the Raine Study, and influenced your decision to apply for the director role?
I’ve spent my career focussing on risk factors for dementia. Thus far, the scientific and medical worlds have considered risk factors that arise in middle-age. The thinking is that what we do in our 40s and 50s influences how healthy our brains are in our 70s, 80s and 90s. To an extent, this is true. But, I have always thought that what affects our well-being in older age is likely to be things we have done (or not done) much earlier in life, perhaps even factors that impacted us before we were born. Generation 2 of the Raine Study are now in their early 30s. The Raine Study has the potential (particularly if we can collect new data before they are 40) to address my hunch. Our Raine participants have been with us since before they were born. There is no other longitudinal health study that offers the potential to explore risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias from before birth, across the entire life course, but particularly in childhood, adolescence and early adulthood. Yes, that does mean that the Raine Study needs to maintain contact with our participants and find funding for another 40 or 50 years!is is a text block, edit the text here.
Coming Up: Original Raine Study Staff Morning Tea

We’re excited to be hosting a number of the original Raine Study team of ultrasound technicians, nurses, midwives and statisticians for morning tea at the University Club, UWA on Friday 11 December. This event is one of a series of 30 year celebrations originally scheduled to take place in April this year but postponed due to COVID. We plan on recreating this photo of the original 1989 staff with a 2020 version – how many of the original Raine Study staff members will you recognise in the “after” shot? Stay tuned!
30 Year Celebration Event update

Pending feedback from our board and institutional partners and based on the latest official advice, we’re hoping that our 30 year celebration event will be able to go ahead on 30 April next year. We’ll provide further details as soon as we can.
Webinar series celebrating 30 years of Raine Study research underway

In the meantime, have you joined one of the new 30 year webinar series yet? Developed as a way of celebrating the many life-changing findings that your participation in the Raine Study’s research has enabled, the first two events covered Mental Health (August) and Physical Activity (September), and featured researchers that many of you will be familiar with – Dr Monique Robinson and Associate Professor Ashleigh Lin (Telethon Kids Institute), Dr Paola Chivers and Professor Beth Hands (University of Notre Dame Australia). Replays of each of the one hour sessions will be available on our website. We’ll be resuming the webinars in early 2021 with planned topics including Diet and Sleep. 
The Raine Study wins UWA Green Impact award

We know that the environment and combatting climate change is a key concern for many of our Raine Study community. We’re proud to announce that the Raine Study team is a 2020 winner of UWA’s Green Impact program, which was developed to help UWA staff take meaningful action to make UWA a healthy and sustainable campus. The Raine Study’s Heather Campbell received the award on behalf of the whole team, including the Raine Study’s former Green Impact co-ordinator (and Gen 2 28 year follow up administrator) Jess Andrews, who was an early champion of the team’s involvement in this program. 

In case you missed it...

#RaineStudyASM2020 goes virtual
The 13th Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM 2020) took place on Friday 30 October. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the event was held online via Zoom for the first time. Our team decided to take this challenge and make this a hybrid event by inviting our Perth-based researchers and guest speakers to present from the Raine Study offices while hosting other speakers and streaming to attendees across Australia and around the world.
On the day, 16 early career researchers from across our academic and institutional partners, around Australia and internationally, presented in 8 minute timeslots on topics ranging from mental health and sleep to fertility and pain, all based on research using Raine Study data.
More than 80 attendees logged into the ASM online, and we hosted another 40 guests in person at the Raine Study throughout the day including our session chairs, guest speakers, session markers, staff and friends of the Raine Study. 
An edited recording of the 5 hour event, divided up into shorter blocks, will be posted to the website and shared via social media. We urge you to check out as many of the presentations as you can to learn more about the way in which your Raine Study data is furthering health and medical research on a global level.
Best Early Career Research Presentation Award Winners
A big thank you to our marking panel at the ASM who had the challenging task of picking which of the early career researcher presentations was best on the day. Judging criteria included presentation style, effective use of time (8 minutes to present with 2 minutes for Q&A) as well as conclusions and research findings.

Two winners were each awarded a $750 prize from the Raine Medical Research Foundation - Dr Chau Jillian Thien Tay from Monash University (below left) and Dr Samantha Lee from Lions Eye Institute (below right) for their presentations on polycystic ovary syndrome and ocular epidemiology respectively. 
Samantha has since gone on to win the 2021 Strachan Memorial Prize for the best published research by an early-career clinical researcher at the annual Raine Medical Research Foundation Awards Ceremony. Her publication Associations between optic disc measures and obstructive sleep apnea in young adults (Ophthalmology, 2019 May 17) formed the basis of her ASM presentation, utilising Raine Study data. Click through for more details.
Congratulations to Samantha, Jillian and all our early career researchers for such a high standard of research and presentations. 
The new Update Your Details page went live on our website earlier this year. Please keep us updated about changes to contact information, family circumstances, marriage and births so that we can keep our databases current. We’d also love to hear from you on social media – whatever your preferred platform, find us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter

Staff updates

Communications Manager
Kate Rowlands has joined the Raine Study as Communications Manager, taking over from Liz Rehfeldt who has taken on a new full-time position with St John of God Healthcare.
Kate brings 25 years of experience as a media and communications advisor in Australia and internationally to the role, working with organisations as diverse as Microsoft and Thermomix, as well as medical start-ups and non-profits based in Perth and around Australia. Kate believes passionately in the power of storytelling to help any organisation have impact, and looks forward to sharing more of the Raine Study’s incredible story with as many people as possible in 2021 and beyond.
New Scientific Director to be announced soon
Interviews are now taking place for the position of Scientific Director – we’ll share the good news of our new appointment just as soon as we can. 
And finally...
Sue Green’s Christmas present to you all
Like us, you might be quite partial to Sue’s baking efforts. Sue’s been out of the office for the last few weeks on well-earned leave, which means that, like you, we’ve been missing our regular intake of homemade sweet treats.
To help us stave off these cravings, Sue has graciously shared her favourite, easiest Christmas bake ever – the Four Ingredient Bailey’s Christmas Cake – enjoy!
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