Tuesday, 30 June 2015

SCS researcher discovers how sensing danger signals in the kidney may help acute kidney disease

Dr Alikhan
Latest research from the Centre for Inflammatory Diseases at the School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health provides novel insights into how the body’s danger signals work to protect against inflammation, potentially paving the way to improved outcomes for people with acute kidney injury.

Published this week in the internationally top-ranking Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, postdoctoral scientist Dr Maliha Alikhan’s study helps us understand how toll-like receptors (TLRs) work in inflammation and in acute kidney injury (AKI).

AKI is a major cause of morbidity and mortality for hospitalised patients throughout the world.
In a world-first, Dr Alikhan has characterised and defined an unexpected protective role of the protein Toll-like receptor 9 (TLR9) in inflammation that results in AKI.

 “Our research used a model of a very common form of kidney disease, where disease onset is often predictable and develops after medical procedures and therapies,” said Dr Alikhan.

 “We found that TLR9, that senses danger signals, limits kidney injury by helping protective cells called regulatory T cells move to the kidney to limit damage.”

Helping regulatory cells move to sites of inflammation could be a more specific way of treating inflammatory diseases and AKI.

“Our findings were new and quite unexpected,” added Dr Alikhan.

 “The thinking has been these toll-like receptors sense danger in the body and tend to promote inflammation to increase tissue injury. We have found that for TLR9, the opposite occurs in AKI.”
This improved understanding and novel insight into both how TLR9 works in the body and the mechanisms of AKI could lead to new therapeutic applications that improve patient outcomes.

“This project was built on the work of the late Dr Shaun Summers, an esteemed Monash University clinician researcher and it has been gratifying to publish it in a high impact journal,” said Dr Alikhan.

Congratulations Associate Professor Henry Ma

Congratulations Stroke Neurologist Dr Henry Ma who has been promoted to Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine at the School of Clinical Sciences.

With substantial clinical and research expertise, Henry is highly skilled in the application of multimodality brain imaging in clinical treatment of acute stroke, particularly in the area of thrombolysis and endovascular thrombectomy.

Henry is also an investigator and principal coordinator of several large scale international trials in stroke thrombolysis.

"This promotion is a great honour to me and a recognition of the research I have conducted with the support of Monash University," said Henry. "It will drive me to work harder."

Henry has published in top clinical journals including NEJM and Lancet Neurology, and has developed significant international collaborations in stroke research.

In addition to his clinical and research expertise in stroke neurology, Henry has established an excellent track record in coordinating and supervising the physician training program at Monash Health, achieving >90% pass rate in the FRACP first part written examination this year.

"Henry is a most worthy recipient of Adjunct Associate Professor," said Professor Peter Ebeling AO, Head, Department of Medicine. 

"Henry's dedication to research and teaching at the highest level provides a perfect model for the next generation of Clinician Scientists we aim to train in the School of Clinical Sciences and we are very fortunate to have him working here with us.” 

Monday, 29 June 2015

Browns Road Incident - Safety Reminder

Please be advised that there was an attempted mugging on Browns Road at 5.45pm last Wednesday, towards the Browns Road South car park. Thankfully no one was injured during the incident.

Please take care when walking outside our buildings, especially at night. The following precautions can be taken to ensure your safety: 
·  walk to the car park in pairs/groups
·  leave work before dark OR pick up your car from the car park at 5pm and park it closer to the building
·  use internal walk-ways between buildings where possible
·  use the MMC Shuttle Bus service to get to and from the car park - timetable can be found on our intranet or here

A reminder of the security phone numbers (which can also be found on our intranet home page):
·  Hudson Institute/ MHRP Buildings (Monash Uni Security)
o 990 53059
o Emergency x333
·  B&E Block, MMC Buildings (Monash Health Security)
o 959 42139
o Emergency x999
If you do see anything suspicious, please notify Security immediately.

BMedSc information night 14 July at MMC

Give yourself career options!  Speak to our friendly researchers/supervisors while you enjoy pizza and refreshments.

Tuesday 14 July, 5.30-7.30pm
Lecture Theatre 3, Monash Medical Centre.

Please register your attendance here.

Search available research projects here.


CiiiD Tuesday seminar 30 June: Natalie Bitto and Kimberley D'Costa

Natalie Bitto
Natalie Bitto and Kimberley D'Costa, two PhD students from A/Prof Richard Ferrero's lab, will be speaking at Tuesday's CiiiD seminar, 30 June.

Natalie's talk will be on The transport and innate immune effects of DNA in bacterial membrane vesicles.

Kimberley's talk will be on Modifications of Helicobacter pylori peptidoglycan and impact on NOD-1 dependent host responses.

Kimberley D'Costa
Natalie is a 3rd year PhD student in CIIID. She completed her undergrad at Monash University with the Department of Microbiology and worked at CSIRO before embarking on her PhD with Assoc. Professor Richard Ferrero at Hudson Institute. Natalie will be presenting work from her PhD, which investigates the DNA carried by bacterial outer membrane vesicles (OMVs) and its role in host-pathogen interaction.

Kim is a 2nd year PhD student supervised by A/Prof. Richard Ferrero in the Gastrointestinal Infection and Inflammation laboratory. Her project aims to further investigate the role for NOD1 signalling during Helicobacter pylori infection. 

The seminar will commence at 1.05pm in the Level 3 Boardrooms.

State of the Art Presentation- Rheumatology 01/07/15

Presented by Dr Anna Antony, Rheumatology
"Patient-reported outcomes in Lupus"           

Wednesday 1 July
12.30-1.30pm
Main Lecture Theatre, Monash Medical Centre

Hudson Technical Seminar Thursday 2 July: "Small animal imaging using near-infrared fluorescence and bioluminescent optical imaging system".

2 July, 12.30-1.30pm, Boardrooms A&B

Dr John Imgrund (Millenium Science) will be presenting: "Small animal imaging using near-infrared fluorescence and bioluminescent optical imaging system".

Hudson seminar 2 July, "Identifying the worst of the worst prostate cancers: lessons from the BRCA gene mutation carriers"

Professor Gail Risbridger, Head, Prostate Cancer Research Cancer, Monash University will present "Identifying the worst of the worst prostate cancers: lessons from the BRCA gene mutation carriers".

Thursday 2 July, 4pm-5pm, Lecture Theatre 1, Monash Medical Centre

Flyer with details here.

Precision Oncology based on the Avatar Precision Medical System, 15 July

Prof Do-Hyun Nam
Wednesday 15 July, 10-11am, Level 2, Innovation Walk (Building 77), Clayton campus
Presented by Professor Do-Hyun Nam, Department of Neurosurgery and the Institute for Refractory Cancer Research, Samsung Medical Center, South Korea

Flyer here with details.



Addressing the key challenges of healthy ageing

The Falls and Bone Health Team are excited to announce two upcoming seminars developed by researchers and clinicians from the Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine at Monash University alongside colleagues from other leading Australian academic institutions.

Seminar 1.
Hot topics in healthy ageing: Research evidence, clinical skills and tools to manage an ageing population
Monday 21st September 2015
Melbourne, Australia
Program flyer and registration information: http://goo.gl/w3YhTe

Seminar 2.
Optimising exercise programs for older people to improve balance and prevent falls
Friday 9th October 2015
Melbourne, Australia
Program flyer and registration information: http://goo.gl/zNcHEk

A limited number of early bird passes are available until July 31st 2015.
For any queries, please contact a member of the team on falls6pack.depm@monash.edu or 9903 03199. 

Monash Comprehensive Cancer Consortium update

1.  MPCCC Consumer Resources for Cancer Researchers 

Tuesday 21 July, 4:00 - 5:30, G19 15 Innovation Walk (building 75) Monash University Clayton

An essential event for all scientific cancer researchers this seminar will cover:
  • How to access consumer advocates for cancer research projects
  • How consumers can participate in pre-clinical cancer research projects
  • What are the benefits of involving consumers in pre-clinical cancer research
  • How scientists can involve and engage consumers
  • What are the protocols and key steps to success

For speaker details see attached flier. Register to attend by emailing info@mccc.edu.au 

2.  Save the date 2015 Cancer Forum 


Monash Partners Comprehensive Cancer Consortium (SMICS and MCCC) warmly invites all cancer researchers, clinicians and allied health professionals to join us at the 2015 Cancer Forum.
Date:   Tuesday 27 October 2015
Time:   5.30-8.30pm (dinner provided)
Venue:  Huntingdale Golf Club, Windsor Avenue, Oakleigh South
Register here or phone 9928 8602

3.  MPCCC Research Travel Grants APPLICATIONS NOW OPEN 

Monash Partners Comprehensive Cancer Consortium is pleased to offer eligible cancer researchers up to $2,000 to travel interstate or overseas to present quality cancer research projects to a cancer audience, enhance their research profile and build research networks. To find out more about MPCCC's Research Travel Grant program download the flyer and guidelines. Applications close 5pm on 3 July 2015


2015 Research Australia Awards - Discovery Award Nominations Now Open

Nominations are now open for the 2015 Research Australia Awards!

These prestigious Awards, now in their 13th year, recognise and celebrate leaders who have made significant contributions to health and medical research in Australia. Awards are presented across the categories of discovery, health services research, advocacy, philanthropy and lifetime achievement.

The Griffith University Discovery Award recognises an early career researcher (anytime from qualification but no more than 5 years past PhD or research higher degree) whose paper/patent/discovery has already demonstrated its importance or impact.

For the first time in 2015, the winner of this Award will also receive a $2,000 travel scholarship from Research Australia to support the winner’s attendance at conferences and other events relevant to their field.

A copy of the nomination form is attached here for easy reference.

The Call For Nominations closes on Monday 6 July 2015. The Research Australia Board will consider all nominations and select winners at its meeting in August 2015.

Further information about the 2015 Research Australia Awards is available in the advertisement below. Questions about the scheme should be directed to admin@researchaustralia.org or (02) 9295 8545.


Please promote the Griffith University Discovery Award in your respective areas, and encourage early career researchers to apply.


The Science & SciLifeLab Prize for Young Scientists

The Prize is awarded annually to one young scientist for outstanding life science research for which he/she was awarded a doctoral degree in the previous two years. The topic of the entrant's thesis research must be in one of the following categories: Cell and Molecular Biology, Genomics and Proteomics, Ecology and Environment, Translational Medicine. Eligible entrants must have been awarded their doctoral degree in 2013 or 2014, and the subject of their thesis should match one of the Subject Tracks below. The winners from each category will compete for the grand prize.

Prize money: US$30,000 for the grand prize winner, US$10,000 for each of the category winners.

Publication: The grand prize winning essay will be published in Science and essays from the each of the category winners will be published online.

Application deadline: August 1, 2015

More information here.

VESKI Inspiring Women Fellowships for 2015 - APPLICATIONS NOW OPEN

VESKI, supported by the Office of the Lead Scientist, is calling for applications for the 2015 Inspiring Women Fellowships. This scheme, funded by the State Government of Victoria, is designed to support female leaders who are planning for, experiencing, or returning from a career break. 

The inspiring women fellowships will provide the opportunity to allow these female leaders to remain competitive in their field; enhancing the current talent pool and affecting cultural change.   
Applications are sought from early to mid-career female researchers in STEM disciplines within a Victorian academic or research institution who are experiencing or anticipating difficulties juggling their career and family or carer commitments, or have other compounding reasons for requiring the support of a fellowship.

During 2015/16 three fellowships will be made available and successful individuals may receive up to AUD150,000 distributed over a period of three years. 

Monash/Newcastle Enabling Fund Applications

A reminder that applications for 2015 Monash-Newcastle Enabling Funds are now open. The application form is attached here

Enabling Funding provides travel funds (airfare and accommodation expenses) to enable academics to explore potential collaborations (or further existing collaborations) between Monash University and Newcastle University. The awards are for a maximum of £2500 or AUS$5000 and any investigator within Monash or Newcastle Universities whose area of research is broadly within the Biomedical Sciences is eligible to apply. 

Enabling funding applications must:

Australia-China Science and Research Fund (ACSRF) Young Scientists Exchange Programme (YSEP) 2015

The Australia-China Young Scientists Exchange Programme (YSEP) is a joint initiative funded by the Australian Department of Industry and Science and the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST). It is supported by the Commonwealth of Australia under the Australia-China Science and Research Fund (science and research knowledge exchange).  

The YSEP is a two week long exchange to China designed to offer early or mid-career Australian scientists a platform from which to develop or enhance both scientific and industry linkages with colleagues in China.  Successful applicants will receive a return economy airfare to Beijing, visa fees, accommodation, domestic travel within China, meals and incidentals. 

A group of up to 20 high quality early to mid-career researchers will be selected and must be available to travel to China during 1-13 November 2015.

To be eligible the applicant must:

Avner Pancreatic Cancer Foundation $1.9M Grant Funding Round

Avner Pancreatic Cancer Foundation announces Call for Applications to the 2015 Funding Round.

In its inaugural funding round, Avner Pancreatic Cancer Foundation is making available $1.9M in grant funding in the form of two types of grants:
Accelerator Grants

Grants of up to $500,000 (GST exclusive) per annum are being made available for two to three years duration (a maximum of $1.5M over the next 3 years) to support specific projects and/or infrastructure for research into pancreatic cancer.

The objective of the Avner Pancreatic Cancer Foundation Accelerator Grants is to: Fund high quality projects that can clearly demonstrate support for the Foundation’s vision ‘To break through 40 years of no progress by doubling the number of people who survive pancreatic cancer by 2020’.

Woolies on Wheels’ Innovation Grants
The Woolies on Wheels Innovation Grants (x4 available) are in recognition of the efforts of the Woolworths' business leaders who cycled the 2014 ‘Woolies on Wheels’ charity cycle to raise funds in support of Avner Pancreatic Cancer Foundation.

Effects of chest compressions on cardiovascular and cerebral haemodynamics in asphyxiated near-term lambs.

Stuart Hooper et al. published in Paediatric Research.

Read article here.

Long-Term Improvements in Sleep and Respiratory Parameters in Preschool Children Following Treatment of Sleep Disordered Breathing.

Lisa Walter et al. published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.

Read article here.

Quantification of normative ranges and baseline predictors of aortoventricular interface dimensions using multi-detector computed tomographic imaging in patients without aortic valve disease.

Ian Meredith published in the European Journal of Radiology.

Read article here.

Study protocol: evaluation of ‘JenMe’, a commercially-delivered weight management program for adolescents: a randomised controlled trial

Helen Truby et al. published in BMC Public Health.

Read article here.

Are dietetics educators' attitudes to assessment a barrier to expanding placement opportunities? Results of a Delphi study

Claire Palermo et al. published in Nutrition & Dietetics.

Read article here.

Association between serum concentration of 25-hydroxyvitamin D and the risk of hip arthroplasty for osteoarthritis: Result from a prospective cohort study

Peter Ebeling et al. published in Osteoarthritis and Cartilage.

Read article here.

Inhibition of activin A signalling in a mouse model of pre-eclampsia

Euan Wallace et al. published in Placenta.

Read article here.

Longitudinal changes in cerebellar and subcortical volumes in adult-onset Niemann–Pick disease type C patients treated with miglustat

Michael Fahey et al. published in the Journal of Neurology.

Read article here.