Monday, 20 February 2017

3MT presentation - Ruth Walker

                                                                Ruth Walker presents her research on the effects of weight gain during pregancy.

Victorian low and middle income households experiencing food insecurity

Sue Kleve
It is not only very low-income families in Australia who experience food insecurity but low to middle-income families as well, according to latest research at Monash University.

Published in the Australian Journal of Primary Health, the study led by Sue Kleve from the Monash Department of Nutrition, Dietetics and Food reveals food insecurity exists in low to middle income Victorian households.  

“Food insecurity is the limited or uncertain availability of individuals’ and households’ physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food,” said Accredited Practising Dietitian Ms Kleve, who is also a lecturer and PhD candidate at Monash University.  

“Food insecurity affects health and wellbeing and our study shows that up to five per cent of the Victorian population is affected.”

Using data from the 2006-2009 Victorian Population Health Survey, the research team categorised respondents as food insecure if in the last 12 months they had run out of food and were unable to buy more.

Ms Kleve said the study found that between 4.9 and 5.5 per cent of the total survey population and 3.9 to 4.8 per cent of low to middle income households ($40,000-$80,000 per year) were food insecure.

“It’s concerning that food insecurity exists in households beyond those on a very low income, and for some, this is a weekly or fortnightly experience. Food insecurity is associated with negative health outcomes, including obesity, chronic disease, mental illness and social isolation in adults. However there is also the effect on children including poor general health and behavioural and academic issues.”

Ms Kleve said that food insecurity in low to middle income households was associated with limited help from friends, home ownership status, inability to raise money in an emergency and cost of some foods.

 “This research highlights that there are some low to middle income Australians who do not have enough nutritious food to eat. There is a need for a range of responses to improve people’s access to nutritious food,” Ms Kleve said.

School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health (SCS) researcher receives Young Investigator Award

Dr David Scott
Department of Medicine postdoctoral research fellow Dr David Scott has received the prestigious 2017 ESCEO-AgNovos Healthcare Young Investigator Award, and will be presented with his prize at the World Congress on Osteoporosis, Osteoarthritis and Musculoskeletal Diseases (WCO) next month in Florence, Italy.

A partnership of the WCO, the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) and the European Society for Clinical and Economic Aspects of Osteoporosis, Osteoarthritis and Musculoskeletal Diseases (ESCEO), the annual Congress is the world’s leading clinical conference on bone, joint and muscle health.

At the conference, Dr Scott will present his latest research on sarcopenic obesity.
"We have previously demonstrated that older adults with sarcopenia (low muscle mass and strength), combined with obesity, have increased fracture risk but surprisingly this was not explained by greater falls rates,” said Dr Scott.

Dr Scott’s current research is exploring whether the relationship is explained by weaker bones.
“Indeed, we have found that sarcopenic obese older adults have low bone density and quality, and this appears to be related to their low relative muscle mass and also higher amounts of fat infiltration within their muscles."

Dr Scott said the next steps are to seek funding to trial a multi-component exercise program for sarcopenic obese older adults, including a range of activities designed to reduce fat mass, while improving muscle mass and function, as well as and bone quality.

Call for entries for Day of Immunology photography exhibition

2016 L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Fellowships - applications now OPEN

Four fellowships will be awarded to outstanding early career post-doctoral female scientists.
Field(s) of research funded:  Variety of fields including life sciences, clinical and health sciences, material sciences, physical sciences, mathematics or engineering.
Funder closing date:  Monday 3 April 2017.
Funding available:  Each fellowship will be awarded $25,000.
Funder information:
Submit application to:  Applications can be submitted through under the “Apply” tab.
Application form at:  The application form (available from 20 February) and more information about the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Australian & New Zealand program can be found at
Eligibility:  Candidates must be within five years of completing their PhD and an Australian or New Zealand citizen or permanent resident.

Further information is available at

CID Weekly Seminar Series Tuesday 21 Feb

CID Weekly Seminar Series Tuesday 21 February 2017: Mrs Champa Nataraja (Postgraduate student milestone review seminar)

12:00 - 12:30pm, Tuesday 21 February 
Seminar Room 1, TRF Building

Mrs Champa Nataraja
Postgraduate student, Milestone Review - confirmation

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a clinically diverse autoimmune disease characterized by the loss of tolerance to nuclear self-antigens and autoantibody production, and type 1 Interferon play a critical role in SLE pathogenesis. The majority of patients with SLE are typically treated with Glucocorticoids (GCs) due to their broad anti-inflammatory effect but result in significant metabolic adverse effects that contribute to increased morbidity and mortality in SLE.There is a critical need for alternative therapies to glucocorticoids that can exert similar anti-inflammatory effects, such as inhibition of type I interferon production, but without causing the metabolic adverse effects of GC. GILZ (Glucocorticoid-induced leucine zipper), a GC-inducible protein, may represent such an alternative. Thus, I aim to determine that GILZ regulates type 1 IFN production and is metabolically inert distinct from GCs. This work will validate GILZ as a therapeutic target in SLE and potentially lead to a therapy reducing dependence on GC in SLE treatment.

A light lunch is served prior to the seminar at 11:45am in the seminar room foyer, level 2, TRF Building.

Further information, including the link to add the seminar series to your google calendar, is available from CID Weekly Seminar Series website []

MHTP Infectious and Inflammatory Diseases Theme Special Seminar: "Antibodies and Change Agents in HIV: Good News for Vaccines" 21 February

  • Presenter: Prof Nancy Haigwood
  • Topic: Antibodies and Change Agents in HIV: Good News for Vaccines
  • Date: Tuesday 21 February 2017
  • Seminar Time: 12:30 - 1:30pm
  • Light lunch: 11:45am in the seminar room foyer, level 2, TRF Building
  • Venue: Seminar Room 1, Level 2, TRF Building, Monash Medical Centre
  • Flyer
  • To book a time to meet with Prof Haigwood: email
  • Further information: visit the CID Weekly Seminar Series website
Speaker profile: 
Prof Nancy HaigwoodDirector, Oregon National Primate Research Center (ONPRC), Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU), Professor, Pathobiology & Immunology Division, ONPRC, OHSU, Adjunct Professor, Molecular Microbiology & Immunology, School of Medicine, OHSU

For the last 30 years Prof Haigwood has been actively engaged in vaccine discovery and immunotherapy research for in nonhuman primate (NHP) models for HIV/AIDS. Prof Haigwood co-developed one of the first HIV vaccines, gp120 produced in CHO cells, while at Chiron Corporation (now Novartis) and has maintained a continuously funded laboratory that is focused on antibody-based therapies and Envelope-based vaccines to elicit protective antibodies. Since leaving industry in 1997, Prof Haigwood has led numerous and continuing individual and collaborative program grants as Principal Investigator, including serving as PI of a P01 “HIVRAD” vaccine grant to discover novel HIV Envelope immunogens. Expertise in the laboratory extends to DNA-based and viral vaccines, as well as recombinant monomeric and trimeric antigen design and production in 293 cells (and purification) for use in vaccine studies. Prof Haigwood's laboratory has recently shown that potent human neutralizing monoclonal antibodies can change the course of SHIV infection in infant macaques, directly killing newly established infected cells in vivo and preventing the establishment of a permanent viral reservoir.