What is the Bush Medicine Project?

The Bush Medicine Project is a cross-course multidisciplinary research project aimed at discovering medicinal compounds in native Australian plants. The project is guided by indigenous Australian traditional medicine and is run in collaboration with the Aboriginal Education Centre. Secibd and third year level science students at Federation University Australia participate in the project within their prescribed courses. Australian flora students (SCENV2100) collect, identify and preserve plants of interest. Medicinal chemistry students (SCCHM3001) will prepare plant extracts, create a chemical fingerprint and initially screen the plant material for activity. Microbiology (SCMOL2001, SCMIC3003) and pharmacology and toxicology students (SCMED3010) then screen the plant extracts for antimicrobial activity and toxicity. Students can also elect to participate further through a third year research project (SCCOR3001) or honours to perform more detailed studies on the extracts that have shown activity.

What is the aim of the Bush Medicine Project?

To discover new antimicrobial or anticancer compounds present in native Australian plants, as well as provide students a way to actively engage in world-class research and be exposed to indigenous Australian culture whilst obtaining the laboratory skills needed for their degree.

What programs/courses can I enrol in to participate in the Bush Medicine Project?

As part of an undergraduate science degree in the School of Science, Psychology and Sport you have the chance to participate in the project. You will likely encounter the Bush Medicine Project in the following programs:

  • Bachelor of Biomedical Science
  • Bachelor of Veterinary and Wildlife Science
  • Bachelor of Environmental and Conservation Science
  • Bachelor of Biotechnology
  • Bachelor of Science

You can enrol in any of the following courses to participate:

  • Australian Flora (SCENV2001)
  • Medicinal Chemistry (SCCHM3001)
  • Biotechnology Laboratory Techniques (SCMOL2001)
  • Clinical Microbiology (SCMIC3003)
  • Pharmacology and Toxicology (SCMED3010)
  • Research Project (SCCOR3001)

Honours level projects in a range of disciplines are also available upon discussion with the academic staff involved with the project.

Will the results of the bush medicine project be published?

Yes. The results collected over a number of years will be compiled and published in an appropriate open access peer reviewed journal. All students who work on the project will be acknowledged at the time of publication. We will also ask you to voluntarily fill out a short survey about the project when you complete a practical aspect. The surveys will go towards a research project on the educational outcomes of the Bush Medicine Project.

Can I view the data collected?

Yes, all our data is open access. You can find summaries of the data in our news and announcements page. You can also view the raw data by going to our fig share site. This raw data is exported at the end of each semester.