Noisy Guts researcher receives CSIRO’s Breakout Female Scientist Award for work on stomach disorders

Dr Mary Webberley (left back), Dr Gary Allwood, Dr Robert Wan, Dr Andrisha Inderjeeth, Dr Peter Du, Dr Josephine Muir (front left), Prof Barry Marshall and Assoc. Prof Adam Osseiran.
Dr Mary Webberley (left back), Dr Gary Allwood, Dr Robert Wan, Dr Andrisha Inderjeeth, Dr Peter Du, Dr Josephine Muir (front left), Prof Barry Marshall and Assoc. Prof Adam Osseiran.

THOSE that suffer with gut disorders like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) may be one step closer to non-invasive diagnosis and monitoring after. Mary Webberley received the CSIRO’s Breakout Female Scientist Award this month.

Dr Webberley is part of a team of researchers from UWA and Edith Cowan University taking part in the latest round of the CSIRO’s ON Accelerate project.

She and her team began researching stomach sounds using a wearable acoustic belt in an attempt to realise a persons specific triggers and responses to particular foods.

“There is no easy way to test for IBS, meaning doctors often put their patients through screening measures such as colonoscopies with no definitive results,” Dr Webberley said.

“Our team developed and built the Noisy Guts belt inspired by acoustic sensing technology designed to pick up the munching sounds of termites as a means to curb this trend and are now able to confidently identify IBS using these sounds.

“We have trialled the belt with 300 volunteers and with the expert advice that comes with winning the Breakout Female Scientist award, we plan to have a prototype complete by the end of the year.”

The Noisy Guts team still need more recordings from patients to improve the performance of the belt.

Adults aged 65 year or under that have been diagnosed with IBS are encouraged to get in touch.

Visit http://www.marshallcentre.uwa.edu.au/research/the-noisy-guts-project.

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