Monday, 19 December 2016

3MT presentation - Heba Zahid presents her research into the link between obesity and breast cancer


Early career practitioner fellowships enabling research

Dr Kirsten Palmer
Two Monash Health doctors have received Early Career Practitioner Fellowships from the School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health to enable their research into cardiovascular disease and improving outcomes in complicated pregnancies.

MonashHeart Cardiology Fellow Dr Adam Brown and Monash Health Senior Registrar in Obstetrics and Gynaecology Dr Kirsten Palmer received the competitive fellowships, allowing them protected research time.

Dr Adam Brown
Dr Brown’s research investigates the physical mechanisms that underlie coronary plaque growth, which frequently causes heart attacks.


“There is increasing data to suggest that physical forces (mechanical stresses or biomechanical forces) are involved in this process, but until recently is has been impossible to estimate these forces in humans,” said Dr Brown.

“My research project aims to quantify these physical forces at baseline and see whether plaque growth can be better predicted.”

If successful, Dr Brown’s research will bring cardiologists a step towards personalised medicine, where the risk of a heart attack can be calculated for each patient in the clinic—rather than from population data, where the results may not apply to any one individual.

“This study will also provide valuable mechanistic information for future research to assess whether plaque growth can be halted (or even regressed) through manipulation of the physical environment of the plaque,” said Dr Brown.

Fellowship recipient Dr Palmer hopes to improve pregnancy outcomes for both women and their babies affected by pre-eclampsia which affects about 5% of pregnancies.
“Pre-eclampsia can cause women to develop high blood pressure and problems with a number of organs, which ultimately can require her to be delivered early in the pregnancy to reduce the risks of disability and death to the mother,” said Dr Palmer.
“This results in significant risks to the baby due to prematurity. The growth of the baby can also be affected in pre-eclampsia, increasing the risk of having a small baby.”
Dr Palmer said doctors are currently limited in their ability to predict which women will develop pre-eclampsia.
“Pre-eclampsia results from the placenta releasing factors into the mother’s bloodstream and one of these factors, known as sFLT-1 e15a, is only made by the placenta.”
“We have shown that sFLT-1 e15a is greatly increased in the blood of women who have pre-eclampsia,” said Dr Palmer.
“The goal of my research is to explore whether we can use this placental specific pre-eclamptic factor to either predict which women will develop pre-eclampsia or more accurately diagnose those women with pre-eclampsia earlier in the disease process.”
Both Dr Palmer and Dr Brown said they are incredibly honoured to receive their fellowships from SCS and are grateful to have protected research time to enable their research.


SCS researchers working to improve health outcomes for obese children and older adults

Dr Michelle Blumfield and Dr David Scott
Two School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health (SCS) researchers have been acknowledged by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NH&MRC) through Career Development and Early Career Fellowships.  

Dr David Scott from the Department of Medicine received a Career Development Fellowship to reduce risk factors for falls and fractures in obese older Australians while Department of Nutrition and Dietetics’ Dr Michelle Blumfield will study the impact of sleep in pregnancy on maternal and child weight-related outcomes.

Dr Scott’s Fellowship, worth $425,000 over four years will address two of Australia’s significant public health issues: our ageing population and obesity epidemic.

“40% of Australia’s older adult population will soon be obese—while this population generally have normal life expectancy, they can develop functional disability at a much younger age than non-obese older adults,” said Dr Scott.

As an exercise scientist, Dr Scott is particularly interested in how exercise can reduce disability, and the increasing number of falls and fractures now occurring in our growing obese older adult population.

“My research to date has demonstrated that low muscle mass and function (sarcopenia) and high levels of fat inside our muscles (IMAT) are important risk factors for falls, osteoporosis and fractures in obese older adults,” said Dr Scott.

“Over the next four years, I will conduct exercise studies targeting improvements in muscle and bone health in older adults with obesity, and investigate strategies to ensure exercise programs are achievable and provide optimal outcomes in this population.”  

By improving physical function and preventing falls and fractures, Dr Scott believes his research can help reduce health costs and improve the quality of life of older adults.

Dr Blumfield’s research is tackling another serious public health problem, childhood obesity.  

“Strong evidence supports the tracking of overweight and obesity from infancy to adult life and reduced sleep is a strong risk factor for obesity in infants, children and adults,” said Dr Blumfield.

Sleep disruption has been linked to increased energy intake, poorer food choices, decreased signals to stop eating and a lowered metabolism.

“In pregnancy, sleep deprivation has been associated with higher rates of caesarean section, preterm birth, risk of gestational diabetes mellitus and postnatal depression, however, no research has examined the relationship between sleep, diet and maternal-child adiposity using reference measures.”

Dr Blumfield has developed a research program to optimise maternal and child weight-related outcomes by improving sleeping practices in pregnancy.

Dr Blumfield’s projects include several ‘world firsts’— the use of reference methods for sleep measurement in pregnancy with longitudinal assessment of maternal-child outcomes, and a randomised controlled trial to test the effect of increased sleep opportunity in pregnancy on prenatal predictors of childhood obesity.

Drs Scott and Blumfield thank their supervisors and collaborators, including Professor Peter Ebeling, Professor Helen Truby, Dr Sean Cain, Professor Euan Wallace and Associate Professor Arul Earnest.


Monash research brings hope to asthma, COPD and other patients with chronic inflammatory diseases

Professor Phil Bardin
Recently announced National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) funding will enable Monash Health Translation Precinct researchers and clinicians to investigate new therapies for patients with asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and other chronic inflammatory lung diseases.

Asthma and COPD are the most prevalent diseases of the respiratory system, and impose a significant burden on the Australian health care system. 

In addition to being a chronic burden, these diseases predispose affected individuals to frequent viral and bacterial infections, often requiring emergency department treatment.

The NHMRC-funded collaborative research project at Monash University, Monash Health and the Hudson Institute of Medical Research will investigate potential therapies to reduce the impact of virus infections in patients with COPD and asthma.

“Virus infections trigger asthma attacks, leading to lung deterioration and a gradual decline in lung function,” said lead researcher and Director, Monash Lung and Sleep, Professor Phil Bardin.

“People with asthma have increased levels of a molecule called transforming growth factor-beta (TGFB), and our team has previously shown that TGFB increases virus infection by suppressing the innate immune response, the body’s first line of defence.”

Professor Bardin’s project will determine the therapeutic potential of TGFB inhibitors that are already approved for use in humans as well as other novel compounds, to reduce the impact of virus infections in patients with COPD and asthma.

“Modulating TGFB levels may have a substantial impact in preventing organ dysfunction, improving quality of life and reducing the burden on the Australian health care system,” said Professor Bardin.

“Importantly, these findings are translatable to other chronic inflammatory conditions in which TGFB is over-expressed, including chronic lung diseases, as well as diseases involving the joints, liver, pancreas and kidneys.”

Professor Bardin said this research has the potential to significantly improve the quality of life of these patients, while reducing the burden of chronic diseases on the Australian Health Care system.”


Professor Bardin’s collaborators include Drs Belinda Thomas and Michael Gantier from the Hudson Institute of Medical Research, Monash University’s Professor Kate Loveland and Professor Jack Elias from Brown University, New York.

Professor Eric Morand reappointed as Head, School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health (SCS)

Professor Eric Morand
Professor Eric Morand has accepted the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences' offer to be reappointed as Head, School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health (SCS) for a second five-year term, effective January 2017.

“I very much look forward to working with everyone in the coming years as we continue together to advance Monash as a leading academic medical centre, and as the home of translational research for Monash University,” said Professor Morand.

Monash Haematology research recognised at HAA

Associate Professor Wood
delivering the Ruth Sanger Oration
Research at Monash Haematology was recognised and awarded at the HAA Annual Scientific Meeting in Melbourne last month, attended by around 1500 national and international delegates.

The event is the combined scientific meeting of the Haematology Society of Australia and New Zealand (HSANZ), Australian and New Zealand Society of Blood Transfusion (ANZSBT) and the Australasian Society of Thrombosis and Haemostasis.

The prestigious Ruth Sanger Oration was awarded to Associate Professor Erica Wood, Monash Health haematologist and Head of Monash University’s Transfusion Research Unit. The award is the highest honour of the ANZSBT made in recognition of a significant contribution to the field of transfusion medicine.

Associate Professor Wood was recognised for her research, teaching, service to the ANZSBT and international work.

“It was a great honour to receive the award and deliver the Ruth Sanger Oration,” said Associate Professor Wood.  “My oration focussed on the role of haemovigilance systems in improving the safety of clinical transfusion in our region and internationally.”

“While our blood supplies in Australia and New Zealand are very safe, we still have a lot of work to do about how we use blood in our hospitals – human error is responsible for many of the serious adverse events related to transfusion,” said Associate Professor Wood.

Associate Professor Wood is a member of the World Health Organization expert advisory panel on transfusion medicine, Vice-President of the International Society of Blood Transfusion, and President of the International Haemovigilance Network. In these roles she has worked for more than 20 years to improve blood safety nationally and internationally. 

“We are privileged to have a transfusion expert of Associate Professor Wood’s calibre and international reputation championing patient blood management at Monash Health,” said Associate Professor Jake Shortt, Group leader at the Monash Health Translation Precinct.

Monash Health haematologist and Monash University PhD student Dr Ashwini Bennett received the HSANZ New Investigator scholarship. This highly competitive award of $60,000 enables Dr Bennett to continue her PhD at Monash Health and Monash University, where she is investigating novel markers of thrombosis.

Other recognition included an oral presentation by Monash Health haematologist Dr Sumita Ratnasingam, whose research focuses on mantle cell lymphoma (MCL).

Dr Ratnasingam’s study compared the safety and efficacy of first line immunochemotherapy (ICT) regimens in treating elderly patients with MCL.

“MCL accounts for 6% of all non-Hodgkin lymphoma and is a fairly aggressive disease with an expected survival of less than five years,” said Dr Ratnasingam.

“Despite the median age of diagnosis being 60-70 years, there is a paucity of treatment guidelines or clinical trials for elderly MCL to guide our management, resulting in varied treatment strategies and outcomes.”

Dr Ratnasingam undertook a retrospective audit of elderly MCL (elderly defined as age 60 or above) patients in four Victorian tertiary hospitals. The results confirm that typical older patients with MCL benefit from the same therapies normally reserved for younger patients.

Monash clinicians and researchers had 20 abstracts accepted for oral and poster presentations at the Annual Scientific Meeting.    

Monash University’s Adjunct Clinical Associate Professor Stephen Opat is the current President of the HSANZ and was the convenor of the meeting and chair of the local organising committee with many other Monash Haematology staff members, including Associate Professor Shortt, Associate Professor Wood and Dr Zane Kaplan.

An overview of Associate Professor Wood’s lecture can be found here: http://thelimbic.com/haematology/clinical-transfusion-practice-in-australia-could-be-safer-sanger-oration


13th Annual Kaarene Fitzgerald Public Forum

Latest research on sudden unexpected infant death was highlighted at the 13th annual Fitzgerald Public Forum hosted by the Ritchie Centre earlier this month.

Established in 2004, the annual public lecture honours the outstanding contributions Kaarene Fitzgerald made in over 25 years of service to medical research into the unsolved problem of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

“This year we heard talks from three outstanding young women who have focused their research on understanding the factors which contribute to stillbirth and sudden unexpected death in infancy so that we can reduce these unexplained deaths that claim so many young lives,” said Professor Rosemary Horne, Deputy Director of the Ritchie Centre.

NHMRC Early Career Fellow Dr Miranda Davie-Tuck spoke on ‘Setting the placental alarm clock: a way to prevent stillbirth’  while Dr Emily Cohen, a final year PhD student in The Ritchie Centre and the current the Kaarene Fitzgerald Scholarship awardee spoke on ‘Being born too small and too early: effects on the brain and the heart’.

Dr Rita Machaalani, a postdoctoral research fellow from the Department of Medicine and the Bosch Institute, University of Sydney and Department of Paediatrics, Children’s Hospital at Westmead, Sydney spoke about smoking risks for SIDS.

Professor Horne said Kaarene was passionate in her belief that research will find a solution for SIDS and that research findings be translated into clinical practise.


SCS Christmas Party 2016

The SCS Christmas Party was a great success last Friday.  See your favourite pop stars at their best HERE.

SCS researcher receives Achievement and Career Development Award

Dr Connie Wong
Congratulations Dr Connie Wong, winner of the Australian Vascular Biology Society’s “Achievement and Career Development” Award.
The competitive award worth $10,000 is a prestigious prize for early-mid career researchers in recognition of significant achievements and promotes potential future success.

Dr Wong from the Centre for Inflammatory Diseases, School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health (SCS) will use the award to conduct a pilot study to collaborate with Monash Health stroke clinicians to understand how a brain injury like stroke can trigger changes in the gut in such a way that increases the risk of infections in patients.

“The pilot will give us a first look to see whether the pathways we examined in the experimental settings can be applied in the clinics,” said Dr Wong.

“If the results are positive, it will be a very significant step closer to developing powerful and targeted treatment regimens for stroke patients, ultimately improving patient outcomes.”

Dr Wong said it was a great honour to receive recognition from her peers, especially from the people who she has admired and drawn inspiration from over the years.

“This award will facilitate the development of new collaborations and provide support to generate data, important for upcoming competitive funding opportunities.”

The award will also help fund Dr Wong’s research group to travel and attend the next Australian Vascular Biology Society’s meeting in Mooloolaba.

PhD candidate at SCS recognised for stem cell research to help patients with liver disease

Majid Alhomrani
Congratulations SCS PhD candidate Majid Alhomrani who was selected as one of the six best poster presentations and was awarded a travel grant at the Australasian Society for Stem Cell Research (ASSCR) Annual Scientific Meeting in Western Australia earlier this month.

Mr Alhomrani’s research focuses on liver cirrhosis, the long-term outcome of persistent and unregulated hepatic wound healing in the setting of ongoing liver injury.

 “For many patients who progress to cirrhosis, a lack of response to existing therapy or the absence of any effective treatment means that their only prospect for survival is liver transplantation and there is a clear need for alternatives to whole organ transplantation for these patients.” Said Mr Alhomrani.

Mr Alhomrani is investigating the efficacy of human amnion epithelial cells exosome (hAEC-Ev) which is secreted nanosized (70-200 nm) membrane vesicles that may act as a novel cell-cell communicator.

Mr Alhomrani’s research suggests hAEC EV based therapy may be a potential candidate for treating liver fibrosis.  

Mr Alhomrani thanks and acknowledges the support of his supervisors Professor William Sievert, Dr Rebecca Lim and all lab members.



SCS BMedSc(Hons) student wins highest Faculty prize

Sasha Skinner
School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health (SCS) student Ms Sasha Skinner is the highest achieving BMedSc(Hons) student in the entire 2016 cohort.

Supervised by Dr Ryan Hodges, The Ritchie Centre, Hudson Institute of Medical Research and the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Monash University, Sasha’s project investigated experimental intra-amniotic carbon dioxide insufflation for fetal surgery to improve outcomes of babies with spina bifida.

“Prenatal repair of spina bifida improves neurological outcomes and prevents intracranial complications at birth,” said Sasha.

“To reduce significant maternal morbidity and high rates of preterm birth associated with open fetal surgery, fetoscopic spina bifida repair is proposed as a minimally invasive alternative.”

“Partial amniotic carbon dioxide insufflation (PACI) is one method to overcome the technical challenges of operating endoscopically in amniotic fluid.”

PACI involves partially draining amniotic fluid and insufflating the uterus with carbon dioxide—PACI increases space, improves visualisation and allows the use of surgical glues.

Sasha said that evidence of fetal safety during PACI is not well established and in sheep models, PACI causes fetal hypercapnia and acidosis.

“The effects of PACI on fetal-placental circulation or the developing fetal brain are unknown,” said Sasha.

“My project assessed the effect of PACI, at clinically used insufflation pressures, on the fetal-placental circulation, fetal and maternal acid base status and on the developing fetal brain in a sheep model.”

“We found PACI has detrimental implications for fetal physiology including large reductions in uterine blood flow, severe fetal hypercapnia, acidosis, hypoxia and lactic acidosis, increased fetal heart rate and blood pressure.”

Sasha’s study found that PACI leads to cerebrovascular changes on fetal brain histology and should not be performed in human fetuses until further studies have addressed these safety concerns in animal models.

Sasha said her BMedSc(Hons) year had sparked a passion and research will undoubtedly be something she remains involved in for many years to come.
“I have learnt so much, not just about science and the laboratory, but also an unexpectedly large amount about my personal ambitions and capabilities.”


“I have had a fantastic year and thoroughly enjoyed working with such passionate and dedicated people.”

SCS student graduates with MBBS and PhD

Dr Alison Browning and
Professor Michelle Leech
Congratulations Dr Alison Browning who graduated last week with a double degree.  

A student at the School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health (SCS) and the Hudson Institute of Medical Research, Alison was the only student who graduated last Tuesday with her MBBS and PhD.

Alison's thesis examined the link between stomach inflammation (gastritis) and gastric cancer, the second-most lethal cancer in the world.

"Using a preclinical mouse model which develops gastritis and tumours, we identified the role of a protein complex in the stomach called the inflammasome in triggering the growth of stomach tumours," said Alison.

"Increased expression of these inflammasomes is also observed in human gastric cancer tissue biopsies, suggesting that they may serve as a potential therapeutic target in the future."

Alison was supervised by Associate Professor Brendan Jenkins and Professor William Sievert.

PhD Confirmation of Candidature - Dr Hanh Nguyen, 22 December

All staff and students are invited to Dr Hanh Nguyen's PhD confirmation of candidature.

Wednesday 22 December, 11:30am - 12:30pm
Surgical Seminar Room, Level 5 Block E, Monash Medical Centre

Thesis title: Determinants of skeletal fragility in under-served populations

Synopsis: Women with premature ovarian insufficiency and populations with atypical femoral fractures represent two underserved groups with complex bone disease and high fracture risk. The aim of my PhD is to characterise the clinical, genetic and structural determinants of skeletal fragility in these two populations, and identify opportunities for targeted intervention in order to optimise bone health.

Supervisors: Professor Peter R Ebeling, Clinical A/Professor Frances Milat, Clinical A/Professor Amanda Vincent, A/Professor Carola Zillikens
Panel Chair: A/Professor Elizabeth Algar
Independent assessors: Professor Peter Fuller and Dr David Scott



ARC Linkage Projects 2017 (LP17) - OPEN SOON in RMS

Applications for ARC Linkage Projects 2017 will open for continuous submission in RMS on Friday 23 December 2016.

1. Please find attached the Funding Rules (2016 edition), FAQs and changes from last round Instructions to Applicants will be available for download from the ARC website: http://www.arc.gov.au/linkage-projects on Friday 23 December 2017.

2.
For an MRO compliance check, please submit your proposal in RMS. A Pure Application Record will also need to be created and submitted to pre-approval in myResearch/Pure (for guidance refer to: Creating an Application Record) 

If you have any queries, please contact mro-arc@monash.edu.

Call for applications - 2017 Faculty Travel Grant

Under the Faculty Travel Grant Scheme 2017, the School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health has been allocated funds sufficient for 11 travel grants of $1000 each.  This grant is to be used to support early to mid-career researchers (Levels A-C) for their international conference travel, and allocation is contingent upon abstract acceptance.  We now wish to invite applications from eligible SCS staff via the attached form HERE.   Please read the attached guidelines HERE, and submit your application by Monday 23rd January 2017 to jinleng.graham@monash.edu

Applications will be jointly assessed by the SCS Executive and you will be notified of the result of your application.

Note: Only salaried staff of School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health (SCS) are eligible to apply.

Platform Access Grants 2017 (Round 2) - APPLICATIONS NOW OPEN

The Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences is pleased to announce a call for applications for a second round of Platform Access Grants (PAG) for funding commencing in 2017. The timing of this round has been offset by 6 months from the PAG (Round 1) scheme administered under the Strategic Grants Scheme 2017 (SGS 2017).

We invite proposals from individuals or small teams (max. 3 members) requesting Service Fees to access FMNHS Technology Research Platforms (including Biostatistics and Bioinformatics), or to purchase Products of these platforms.  Grants of up to $15,000 will be available for this purpose.  Please note that the “Service Provider” does not have to be a collaborator on the grant, and if they are not, they must not be listed as a Chief Investigator.  
Registrations and applications for the PAG 2017 (R2) scheme are NOW OPEN via the Faculty Grants, Fellowships and Prizes online portal at:   

PAG Applicants may find it useful to print out and refer to the attached PAG 2017 (R2)  - Guidelines HERE and PAG 2017 (R2) - Instructions to Applicants HERE, prior to and whilst completing the online application form.

Application Closing Date:  Thursday 30 March 2017 at 5:00PM (AEDT)


All queries related to the PAG 2017 (R2) scheme and the online application form should be directed to the Faculty Research Office by email to medicine.research@monash.edu, or phone (03) 990 58409.

ARC LIEF (LE18) - EOI Process Now Open

The EOI process for ARC LIEF grants is now open, and will close at 5pm on Wednesday 8 February 2017.  All EOI's submitted State-wide from Victoria-based universities will be discussed at a meeting in mid-February which is attended by the DVCR's or their delegates.  Only those EOI teams who receive approval from this meeting will be supported to submit a full ARC LE18 application.

To start and EOI, please access the VicLIEF Portal here: https://monashuniversity.smartygrants.com.au.  Attached is a help sheet HERE for the online portal.

Monash-led Bids - Internal Cash Commitment
For Monash-led bids, we would expect that the overall cash contribution from the university would total between 40% and 60% of the total request for funds and that this would likely comprise one third from the faculty, one third from the relevant School/Department and one third from Central.
To secure this internal funding, it is important that School/Department/Faculty signs off on their commitment (thus confirming the strategic importance of the request) before any EoI can be lodged and importantly, before any potential partners are asked to support the application.  

Externally-led Bids - Monash Cash Commitment
For non-led bids there needs to be signed approval by the lead Institution before sign off by the relevant School/Department and Faculty regardless of contributions.

Internal Cash Contribution Sign-Off
Sign-off on internal funding sources is achieved via the LE18 Monash Cash Contribution form (attached HERE).

Key Dates
Activity
Date
VicLIEF Portal Opens for EOIs
Thursday 15 December 2016
VicLIEF Portal Closes
Wednesday 8 February 2017, 5pm
DVCR’s Meeting
w/c 13 February 2017
EOI Outcome Notifications
17 February 2017
RMS Opens
Wednesday 8 February 2017
RMS Closes
Wednesday 5 April 2017, 5pm

If you have any queries, please contact mro-arc@monash.edu.


MRO Seminar: Early Career Fellowship Information Session, 18 Jan

The Monash Research Office (MRO) will be holding an information session on Wednesday 18th January 2017 for those considering applying for an Early Career Fellowship (ECF) in 2017.

This session will discuss matters relating to eligibility and compliance with NHMRC funding rules for these schemes. We will also cover new MRO compliance checking and faculty approval processes using the new online system, Pure.

There will be the opportunity for questions at the end of the presentation.

Date: Wednesday 18th January 2017
Time: 1.30pm - 2.30pm
Location: Central 1 (C1) Lecture Theatre, Clayton campus

Please register your attendance: here
If you are unable to attend, the session will be recorded for later viewing. 

The session will be video-conferenced to the following locations:
Parkville: Dean's Meeting Room, Lvl G, Bldg 404
Alfred: Board Room 1, Level 6, The Alfred Centre
Hudson Institute: Level 7, Board Room, Translational Research Facility (TRF) building

If you require any further information regarding these sessions, please do not hesitate to contact us on mhs@monash.edu or 9902 4427.


MRO Seminar: Career Development Fellowship Information Session, 25 Jan

The Monash Research Office (MRO) will be holding an information session on Wednesday 25th January 2017 for those considering applying for a Career Development Fellowship (CDF) in 2017.

This session will discuss matters relating to eligibility and compliance with NHMRC funding rules for these schemes. We will also cover new MRO compliance checking and faculty approval processes using the new online system, Pure.

There will be the opportunity for questions at the end of the presentation.

Date: Wednesday 25th January 2017
Time: 2pm - 3pm
Location: Central 1 (C1) Lecture Theatre, Clayton campus

Please register your attendance: here
If you are unable to attend, the session will be recorded for later viewing. 

The session will be video-conferenced to the following locations:
Parkville: Large Meeting Rm, Lvl 5, Bldg 404
AMREP: Board Room 1, Level 6, The Alfred Centre
MHTP: Level 2 Seminar Rm 3 TRF building

If you require any further information regarding these sessions, please do not hesitate to contact us on mhs@monash.edu or 9902 4427.


We look forward to seeing you all there!

veski bulletin: 2017 Premier's Award for Health & Medical Research / applications NOW OPEN

veski is pleased to announce the call for applications for the 2017 Premier's Award for Health and Medical Research is now open.

Please help ensure that any young, up and coming postgraduate health or medical research scholars you know apply for this year's Premier's Award for Health and Medical Research [PAHMR].  

Since 1995, the Premier’s Award for Health & Medical Research (Premier’s Award) has been awarded annually to recognise the exceptional contributions made by early career health and medical researchers in their PhD studies.

How to apply?
Visit : www.veski.org.au/pahmr   

Applications will close 2pm [AEDT] - Wednesday, 25 January 2017.

Important Information for Applicants Submitting to ARC or NHMRC in 2017

Please see the attached information HERE provided by the MRO regarding Important Information for Applicants Submitting to ARC or NHMRC in 2017.

If you intend to submit a grant application to the ARC and/or NHMRC in 2017 please read and keep the attached document which contains important instructions about how to submit your application in Pure.


Please contact the MRO or MyResearch support team should you require further assistance.

EXTENDED DEADLINE - FMNHS LabArchives Competition - Win an Apple iPad!

The deadline for the LabArchives Poster Competition has now been extended to Friday 20th January 2017 at 11:55pm.

** For those who have submitted a poster already, if you would like to work on it further until the closing date, please email me (jackie.how@monash.edu) to let Jackie know and resubmit it before the deadline.

What do I have to do?

Submit a creative poster on some cool future development to the LabArchives platform that you would like to see implemented in 2017! 
Possible developments may include:
·  Potential integrations (i.e., systems, platforms)
·  Inventive Widgets
·  Solutions for better efficiency
·  Important problems/bugs that require work
·  Possible solutions to any issues
·  New features

Eligibility
·  You must be an active LabArchives User (at least 2 months)
·  You must be a current graduate research student within FMNHS

Poster specifications
·  A2 size
·  Can be portrait or landscape
·  Readable font style and size
·  Relevant pictures/diagrams/designs are welcome
·  Final poster must be submitted in PDF format

Closing date

Friday 20 January 2017, 11:55pm


Email your poster in PDF format to jackie.how@monash.edu

Changes to Hudson Institute Graphic Services in 2017

In 2017 there will be changes to the support provided by Graphic Services at the Hudson Institute.

Poster printing will be available to our partners at Monash Health and Monash University but there will be a longer turn-around time.  Please see changes below.


Poster Printing (External)
2016
2017
Cost
$55 + GST
$100 + GST
Timeline
1 business day
3 business days
Express cost (1-2 business days)
$110 + GST
$150 + GST

Please continue to log your jobs for posters via the Graphic Services Jobdesk.
https://fs8.formsite.com/mimr-phi/graphic_services/index.html

You can also continue to email any queries to graphics@hudson.org.au.

After many years of loyal and excellent service to Prince Henry’s and the Hudson Institute, Sue Panckridge will be ending her time with us.  Sue was integral to a huge number of changes at the Hudson Institute during and since the merger including two changes to our name. I am sure many of you will continue to keep in contact with her. 

Linda Peake will be joining the Hudson Communications Office in 2017 and will be taking on support for poster printing as well as other Institute activities.


If you have any queries about these changes please do not hesitate to contact Ann.scott@hudson.org.au.

A request to please complete the 2016 White Ribbon Survey

White Ribbon is the world’s largest movement of men and boys working to end men’s violence against women and girls.

Monash University's Executive Director, Campus Community Vladimir A. Prpich is a White Ribbon Ambassador and a member of the team that saw Monash University become one of the first Australian employers to be a White Ribbon accredited workplace.

Monash University is once again part of a pilot group applying for re-accreditation and all staff are requested to complete a brief 10 minute White Ribbon survey.

Your participation and the participation of members of your team is a critical part of our re-accreditation process, and your responses will inform how we can remain a pioneer in achieving a zero tolerance to violence against women.

Further information on the campaign and the University’s commitment to a safe workplace for all staff can be found at our White Ribbon website.  Thank you in advance for your participation.

What's in a name? Everything.

Stacy Goergen published in Ultrasound Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Read article here.

Induction and suppression of antiviral RNA interference by influenza A virus in mammalian cells

Paul Hertzog et al. published in Nature Microbiology.

Read article here.

RESPECT-ED: Rates of Pulmonary Emboli (PE) and Sub-Segmental PE with Modern Computed Tomographic Pulmonary Angiograms in Emergency Departments: A Multi-Center Observational Study Finds Significant Yield Variation, Uncorrelated with Use or Small PE Rates

Gabriel Blecher et al. published in PLoS One.

Read article here.

Post-term surveillance and birth outcomes in South Asian-born compared with Australian-born women.

Miranda Davies-Tuck et al. published in the Journal of Perinatology.

Read article here.

Accelerated Gray and White Matter Deterioration With Age in Schizophrenia

Suresh Sundram et al. published in the American Journal of Psychiatry.

Read article here.

Refining anti-inflammatory therapy strategies for bronchopulmonary dysplasia

Claudia Nold-Petry et al. published in the Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine.

Read article here.

Haemoglobin discordances in twins: due to differences in timing of cord clamping?

Stuart Hooper et al. published in ADC Fetal & Neonatal.

Read article here.

Monday, 12 December 2016

3MT: Harriet Fitzgerald presents her research into infertility


Monash doctors give back life

Monash Health patient Grace Day
Until July this year, Grace Day had never had a sick day in her life.  The 85-year-old swam 3km three times a week and regularly won gold medals in her age group at Masters swimming competitions.

It came as a total shock when Grace was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer.  A non-smoker and teetotaller, Grace’s cancer was caused by passive smoking—she had worked at Australia Post her entire life surrounded by colleagues who smoked.
After several months of chemotherapy at Monash Health, Grace’s lung cancer was contained and stabilised, however, as is often the case for many cancer patients, the cancer spread into her bones.

“I’d been mowing the lawns, doing all the gardening and housework, and then out of the blue I had intense and sudden pain in my back,” said Grace.  “Until then I’d had absolutely no pain at all.”

Grace said the pain was so severe she couldn’t walk or see properly.
“I couldn’t put two sentences together because of the pain,” said Grace.

Dr William, Dr Yoong and
A/Prof Chandra at McCulloch House
Due to the severity of her pain, oncologist Dr Peter Briggs referred Grace to McCulloch House, the specialist inpatient unit of the Supportive and Palliative Care service of Monash Health. However, less severe symptoms may have led Grace to the OncoPain clinic, also run by the palliative care service. 

“Monash Health provides a unique cancer pain clinic, not available at other
health services,” said palliative care physician Dr Leeroy William.

“Moreover, patients with cancer pain can also rapidly access procedures to reduce pain though a recently developed multidisciplinary clinical collaboration.”  

The multidisciplinary team includes the palliative care physicians, interventional radiologists and neurosurgeons.

“We aim to get patients into palliative care as early as possible—not because they’re dying but rather to manage their pain and prevent them having treatment breaks,” said Dr William.

Dr William said that evidence shows patients who start palliative care earlier have a significantly improved quality of life and also live longer.

In order to best manage her pain, Grace was referred to Associate Professor Ronil Chandra, an interventional neuroradiologist with expertise in the minimally invasive procedures of vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty.

“When I heard about Grace, the back pain from her fractures was so severe that it was causing her to become virtually bed-bound,” said Associate Professor Chandra.

“I organised further imaging and reviewed Grace at McCulloch House, which confirmed that her fractures were amenable to treatment by kyphoplasty.”

“Kyphoplasty is an interventional radiological procedure where we navigate a small needle through the skin of the back under x-ray guidance directly into the bone, inflate a balloon to create a small space and inject medical cement to stabilise the fracture which reduces the pain.”

New evidence shows that patients with severe pain from a recent spinal fracture have significantly less pain after vertebroplasty or kyphoplasty.  

Associate Professor Chandra said the procedure takes under an hour to perform and is generally done under conscious sedation.

“Until the procedure, I couldn’t stand, I couldn’t walk, and the pain just stopped me dead in my tracks,” said Grace. 

“Immediately after the operation, I felt no pain—for the first time in two months I had no pain and I could walk straight away.”

“What Associate Professor Chandra did is unbelievable—he gave me back my legs and also my life.   I can drive again, and am living independently and doing everything I used to.”

“I’m so grateful to all the staff at Monash Health and I just want to tell everybody what a positive and wonderful experience I’ve had at Dandenong Hospital, Moorabbin Hospital and Monash Medical Centre.  McCulloch House was just the icing on the cake,” said Grace.

Grace plans to be back in the pool early in the New Year.

A Monash University case report highlighting the benefits of sacroplasty (another type of vertebroplasty) for cancer pain, was published last week in Pain Practice.  The lead author is palliative care physician Dr Jaclyn Yoong, in collaboration with Associate Professor Ronil Chandra, Dr Leeroy William, Associate Professor Michael Franco, Associate Professor Tony Goldschlager, Dr Fiona Runacres and Associate Professor Peter Poon.