Monday, 24 October 2016

Kelly Sorby's 3MT presentation about her IVF research

Monash research could save thousands of lives

Dr Sarah Zaman
An Early Career Practitioner Fellowship is enabling MonashHEART interventional cardiologist Dr Sarah Zaman to conduct research that will potentially save thousands of Australians from sudden cardiac death.

Sudden cardiac death is the most common cause of death in Australia—affecting up to 20,000 adults every year. The majority of cases occur in patients with heart disease who’ve had a heart attack.

Dr Zaman is one of the lead researchers on a randomised control trial to determine the best way of selecting which patients should receive a defibrillator to prevent sudden cardiac death.

The project follows on from Dr Zaman’s PhD thesis which pioneered the use of electrophysiology to select patients following a heart attack who benefit from an implantable defibrillator.

 “Our study (the largest medical defibrillator device trial in Australia) recruits patients who have reduced heart function after a heart attack,” said Dr Zaman.
 “We are investigating electrophysiology, which analyses electrical activity in the heart, as it can determine if a life-threatening arrhythmia can be stimulated in patients who have a scar in their heart following a heart attack.”

“We can test patients by inserting a catheter into the heart and stimulating it,” said Dr Zaman.  “If we trigger an arrhythmia, we know that patient is potentially at risk of dying suddenly.”

On the clinical trial, patients found to be at-risk are eligible to receive a defibrillator, a medical device implanted under the skin that delivers an electric current to the heart when triggered by an arrhythmia.

Dr Zaman said that currently, patients have to wait at least 40 days to receive a defibrillator based purely on their heart function after a heart attack.

“The problem is that the risk of sudden cardiac death is much higher in the first 40 days, which is why we’re also trying to determine how we best select patients early.”

“If the results of the trial are positive, it will have a major impact on clinical cardiology guidelines and potentially save a large number of lives.”

Dr Zaman is able to carry out her research thanks to an Early Career Practitioner Fellowship at the School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health (SCS).

“The fellowship enables me to have dedicated research time to progress this very large Australian-based trial,” said Dr Zaman.

“As well as this clinical trial, the fellowship allows me to pursue my other research interests including cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in post-heart attack patients and my involvement in the structural heart disease program at MonashHEART.”

Director of MonashHeart to join Boston Scientific

Professor Ian Meredith
After 30 years of outstanding public health service, Director of MonashHeart Professor Ian Meredith, announced his resignation this month. Ian has accepted an exciting position as the executive vice president and global chief medical officer with a Fortune 500 company, Boston Scientific, which develops, manufactures and markets medical products worldwide. 

Ian has been a passionate advocate for excellence in clinical cardiac care, leading clinical research that improves patient outcomes and the very best training of our future healthcare clinicians and leaders – his impact both in MonashHeart, across Monash Health, Victoria, Australia and internationally has been profound. 

We sincerely congratulate Ian on his success in achieving this role, one that will place him at the heart of medical device innovation into the future. Ian will leave for his new role in the US at the end of this year. 

World Osteoperosis Day - Dr Frances Milat

Dr Fran Milat
Fractures due to osteoporosis have a devastating impact on millions of people worldwide and result in enormous socio-economic costs to society and healthcare systems. Yet, despite effective medical advances to reduce fractures, a minority of men and women actually receive treatment.

For Fran Milat, Head of Metabolic Bone Services at Monash Health and Head of the Metabolic Bone Research Group at Hudson Institute, protecting bone and muscle health is paramount to good quality of life and independence in the future.

Fran has dedicated her career to addressing current gaps in osteoporosis. She understands the importance of prioritising osteoporosis and fracture prevention by ensuring that people at high-risk are assessed and appropriately treated.

Having graduated from Monash University in 1996, Fran did much of her physician training at Monash Health. After further clinical and research experience elsewhere, Fran returned to Monash Health in 2009 and established the Metabolic Bone Clinic with the Paediatric Endocrinology Dpartment, in order to address the increasing demand for delivery of specialised care to young adults with bone disorders.

The clinic reviews adolescents and young adults with osteoporosis in the setting of including neurological disease, haematological conditions, renal disease, liver disease, malignancy and other conditions.

In recent years, the service was expanded to include an Osteoporosis Clinic at Dandenong Hospital, to assist with secondary fracture prevent in conjunction with the Orthopaedic Department. This Osteoporosis Clinic continues to expand and now has a team of endocrinologists and training specialists. They have recently had clinical nurse specialist Grace Man join the team, to provide assessment of patients on the orthopaedic ward and education about secondary fracture prevention.

Fran supervises several PhD students in projects to improve bone health in neurological disability, thalassemia, renal disease and women’s health. She is also a Adjunct Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine, School of Clinical Sciences at Monash University. Fran wishes to thank all Monash staff involved with the Metabolic Bone and Osteoporosis Service for their contribution and commitment to improving the care of patients.

World Osteoporosis Day was on Thursday 20 October.

This year’s theme for World Osteoporosis Day was ‘Love your bones’. Visit the website for information on easy steps you can take to prevent and control osteoporosis.

Monash graduate and former trainee to deliver keynote presentation at Forbes Week, 7-9 November

Professor Adeeba Kamarulzaman, Forbes Fellow 2016
Renowned infectious diseases physician and former Monash trainee Professor Adeeba Kamarulzaman will visit Monash Infectious Diseases and present at Forbes Week next month.
Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Professor of Medicine and Infectious Diseases at the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur, Professor Kamarulzaman has dedicated her career to the prevention, treatment and research of infectious diseases and HIV/AIDS.  She is also a strong advocate for HIV prevention, treatment and care programs in marginalised communities.
Professor Kamarulzaman graduated in medicine from Monash University before training in infectious diseases in Melbourne.  Upon returning to Malaysia, she established one of the first Infectious Diseases Units in the country which has become a leading tertiary referral centre for infectious diseases and HIV/AIDS. 
In 2007, Dr Kamarulzaman established the Centre of Excellence for Research in AIDS (CERiA) at the University of Malaya, one of the few dedicated HIV research centres in the region.
In addition her academic and clinical work has included descriptions of emerging infectious diseases in Malaysia such as the Nipah virus outbreak, and experience with dengue and multiresistant gram negative infections.

Professor Kamarulzaman will present at Forbes Week, 7-9 November in Melbourne.  Program information and registration is HERE.  

MHTP Research Week 21-25 November

 For more information:

Register HERE:

SCS Melbourne Cup Day lunch