Monday, 14 November 2016

3MT presentation - PhD student Aminath Azhan presents her work on fetal growth restriction


MHTP Research Week is next week - please REGISTER NOW

Updated program HERE.   

Please register HERE (for catering purposes).


Creating next generation medicines: new industry collaboration announced

Dr Claudia Nold
At today’s launch of the Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute (BDI), Monash University and the Hudson Institute of Medical Research announced a new research collaboration with the Swiss-based healthcare company Roche (F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd and Hoffmann-La Roche Inc.) The collaboration aims to develop next generation treatments for autoimmune diseases, focused on proteins targeting novel molecular pathways.

The partnership will enable the multi-disciplinary research team and Roche to work together to advance and translate existing and new intellectual property into novel treatments.

The collaboration has arisen from work performed by Marcel Nold and Claudia Nold from the Hudson Institute and Monash University’s Department of Paediatrics and James Whisstock and Andrew Ellisdon from the Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute. All four scientists are part of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Advanced Molecular Imaging. 

The research collaboration team will combine skills in clinical immunology, cytokine research and drug development approaches to translate their research outcomes into transformational treatments. The program will further take advantage of new structural biology technology available at Monash including nanocrystallisation robotics and the FEI Titan KRIOS. The latter instrument is a multi-million dollar electron microscope that will be used to guide the design of new biologic drugs.

Based on results from the research collaboration, Roche has the option right to exclusively licence the intellectual property for development and commercialisation of proteins targeting novel molecular pathways in return for significant development and commercial milestones payments and royalties on product sales.

“We are delighted to partner with a world leader in new biologic development and commercialisation – this enhances and accelerates the path to market of Monash-Hudson intellectual property,” says Dr Alastair Hick, Director of Commercialisation at Monash Innovation, who brokered the deal on behalf of Monash and Hudson.

Professor Bryan Williams, Hudson Institute Director, said that many scientists dedicate their lives to pursuing discoveries that improve and save lives.

“It is a medical research scientist’s ultimate goal to see their laboratory work translated into patient treatments, but it requires strong partnerships and funding like this to move research beyond the laboratory,” said Professor Williams.

Professor John Carroll, Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute Director, said the partnership between all stakeholders is highly aligned with the goals of the National Innovation and Science Agenda.

“Building collaborations with the best researchers, clinicians and international industry partners will enable us to better solve complex biomedical challenges and optimise the ability to translate research outcomes into improved treatments, a major policy item for the current federal government,” Professor Carroll said.

Further details:

Claudia Nold is a National Heart Foundation of Australia – Future Leader Fellow.

Monash clinician-researcher recognised for work on prostate cancer

Associate Professor Arun Azad
Congratulations Associate Professor Arun Azad on his recent academic promotion in the Department of Medicine, School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health, Monash University. 

A Consultant Medical Oncologist at Monash Health, Associate Professor Azad’s clinical and research work is focused on urological malignancies, especially prostate cancer.

Associate Professor Azad completed his medical oncology training and a PhD in Melbourne before embarking on a fellowship at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, where he led cutting-edge work investigating mechanisms of therapeutic resistance and response in advanced prostate cancer patients through genomic analysis of circulating cell-free DNA (cfDNA) at the British Columbia Cancer Agency. 

Since taking up his position at the Monash Health Translation Precinct (MHTP) in 2015, Associate Professor has been actively involved in clinical trials with novel drug treatments and translational biomarker studies. 

Associate Professor Azad’s clinical and research activities have resulted in a strong academic record with numerous high-impact publications and over $4.5M in competitive funding. 

Since returning from Canada, he has also taken a key leadership role in the Australian uro-oncology community as Chair, Translational Research Committee of the ANZUP Clinical Trials Group. 

Associate Professor Azad said he is very pleased to receive this promotion, which is a nice recognition for his clinical and academic endeavours over recent years. 

“I am especially grateful to my family especially my wife and parents, and my mentors both in Canada and Australia,” he said.

Working towards prevention of acute kidney injury in patients undergoing cardiac surgery

Michael Zhu
Congratulations to School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health (SCS) student Michael Zhu, the recipient of the Young Achiever's Award at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the Australian and New Zealand Society of Cardiac and Thoracic Surgeons (ANZSCTS) in Cairns last week for his research into acute kidney injury. 
A Surgery BMedSc(Hons) student in 2016, Michael’s research study may help prevent acute kidney injury in patients undergoing cardiac surgery.
“Acute kidney injury (AKI) after cardiac surgery is a common, yet difficult problem to tackle,” said Head of Department of Surgery Professor Julian Smith, one of Michael’s supervisors.

“Michael’s research may allow clinicians to detect the real-time risk of AKI intraoperatively, offering an opportunity to predict AKI up to 1-2 days earlier than current methods of diagnosis.”

The prospective study undertaken at Monash Medical Centre and Monash University used a clinically translatable and minimally invasive technique, involving a fibre optic oximetry probe deployed in the urinary catheter, to evaluate the relationship between urinary oxygen tension (PO2) and the development of AKI after cardiac surgery requiring cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB).

“The data indicate that patients who later developed AKI experienced significantly longer and more severe periods of urinary hypoxia intraoperatively; with a median of 14 min per hour of surgery in the AKI group, compared to just 30 seconds per hour of surgery in the non-AKI group,” said Michael.

The promising study has shown that real-time monitoring of risk of AKI during cardiac surgery is feasible and may be prognostically useful. This may in-turn offer clinicians the opportunity to intervene in the operating theatre to minimise the risk of AKI.

Michael said the next step will be to investigate, in a large animal model, whether intraoperative interventions (e.g. during CPB) can result in changes in renal and urinary oxygenation.

“This may translate to strategies to reduce the risk of AKI in patients having open-heart surgery,” added Michael.

Michael thanks his dedicated supervisors, Professor Smith, Associate Professor Roger Evans and Associate Professor Andrew Cochrane for their tremendous support throughout his Honours year.




Monash project to improve Chinese Australians’ type 2 diabetes self-management

Tammie Choi
A Monash University research project will help older Chinese Australians with type 2 diabetes better manage the condition following a $60,000 grant from the ADEA Diabetes Research Foundation.

Type 2 diabetes affects 80 per cent of Chinese Australians aged over 60, significantly higher than the general population, but many don’t access health management programs due to cultural reasons.

Monash dietitian researcher and lead investigator, Ms Tammie Choi, said  lifestyle factors such as diet and exercise could reduce the disease’s impact on individuals and the healthcare system, pointing to  a need for a structured diabetes education program for this group.

“Currently there is a lack of culturally appropriate diabetes education for Chinese Australians to support them manage their blood sugar levels.”

To address this, the pilot project, ‘不再慌糖講座 Not Scared of Sugar’ will focus on Chinese Australians currently missing out on structured diabetes education services.

Studies have shown that Chinese Australians don’t like the translated diabetes care model and miss out on health professionals’ support and care.

 “They tend to rely on unstructured and potentially misleading diabetes management information and many of my Chinese patients expressed feeling lost and overwhelmed,” said Ms Choi.

After being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes a few years ago, a Hong Kong Melbourne couple attended translated consultations with a diabetes educator and a dietitian.

“The individual consultations with professionals were good but we’re not used to being at the centre of attention so we felt very uncomfortable and didn’t return to the review appointments,” said Mr Lee.

Ms Choi said the Not Scared of Sugar pilot project will enable Chinese Australians with diabetes to live well every day by providing culturally-tailored diabetes education programs in a format that matches their expectations while measuring its effectiveness.

“Through this study we hope to use the diabetes education program as a forum to reconnect the affected Chinese people with health services and support them better in their diabetes self-management.”

Chair of the ADEA Diabetes Research Foundation Council, Professor Trisha Dunning, said the study would lead to significant health benefits.

“This culturally tailored Chinese diabetes education program has the potential to improve clinical outcomes for participants and has implications for other populations in Australia,” said Professor Dunning. 

The ADEA Diabetes Research Foundation are funding three universities in Australia and their partners to conduct research projects that help Australians with diabetes to live well every day.

Watch a video about Tammie's project HERE.

Ms Choi's project will be undertaken in partnership with Carrington Health, Box Hill.




CID Weekly Seminar: "Targeting HLA to Treat Anti-GBM Disease" Tuesday 15 November

Tuesday 15 November, 12:00 - 1:00pm, Seminar Room 1, Level 2, TRF Building

Ms Megan Huynh, Postgraduate Student
Centre for Inflammatory Diseases, Monash University

Associations between HLA and autoimmune disease are often linked with an increased susceptibility to disease. Such is the case in anti-glomerular basement membrane (GBM) disease, a form of rapidly progressive glomerulonephritis strongly associated with the HLA-DR15 allele. Though these associations are not well understood, they provide ideal targets for specific therapy that may improve current, broadly immunosuppressive treatments for autoimmune disease. Blocking the DR15 MHC with a small molecule inhibitor in anti-GBM disease demonstrates the potential for this type of therapy.

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 [http://www.med.monash.edu.au/scs/medicine/cid/seminar-series.html]

Grand Round Presentation-Rheumatology "Gout – new diagnosis and treatment options”, 16 November

Unit: Rheumatology           
Presenters: Dr Lynden Roberts and A/Prof John Troupis
Topic:  "Gout – new diagnosis and treatment options”
Date: Wednesday 16 November 2016
Time: 12.30pm to 1.30pm

Venue: Main Lecture Theatre, Monash Medical Centre, Clayton.

"Immune modulation by bacterial pathogens" Friday 18 Nov

This week's Hudson Seminar will be held from 18 November, 12-1 pm, Lecture Theatre 1, Monash Medical Centre.

Our speaker will be Dr Maria Liaskos, Laboratory Head, Centre for Innate Immunity and Infectious Diseases, Hudson Institute of Medical Research.

Light refreshments to follow presentation outside the Lecture Theatre.

Dr Maria Kaparakis-Liaskos obtained her Ph.D from the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Melbourne in 2005, under the supervision of Professor Richard Strugnell. Since graduating, Dr Liaskos research interests have focused on understanding the mechanisms underlying the induction of inflammation and pathology in response to bacterial infection, and in particular, to the gastric pathogen Helicobacter pylori.

Dr Liaskos undertook her post-doctoral studies in the laboratory of Associate Professor Richard Ferrero at Monash University, where she examined innate immune responses to Helicobacter pylori. During this time, she and her colleagues identified bacterial outer membrane vesicles as a novel mechanism whereby all Gram negative bacteria, irrespective of their mode of infection, could be detected by the intracellular pathogen recognition receptor, NOD1.

12th Annual Kaarene Fitzgerald Public Forum Monday 5th December

All staff and students are invited to attend the 12th Annual Kaarene Fitzgerald Public Forum which will be held on Monday 5th December 2016 from 7-9pm in Lecture Theatre 1 Monash Medical Centre.

This year we have three young SIDS and stillbirth researchers speaking:

Dr Miranda Davies-Tuck, The Ritchie Centre, Hudson Institute of Medical Research and Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Monash University, Melbourne
Setting the placental alarm clock: a way to prevent stillbirth.

Dr Emily Cohen, The Ritchie Centre, Hudson Institute of Medical Research and Department of Paediatrics,
Monash University, Melbourne
Being born too small and too early: effects on the brain and the heart.

Dr Rita Machaalani, Department of Medicine and the Bosch Institute, University of Sydney and Department of Paediatrics, Children’s Hospital at Westmead, Sydney
Why smoking is a risk for SIDS.


Release of the Australian Medical Research and Innovation Strategy and related Priorities

The Australian Medical Research Advisory Board (Advisory Board) has announced the release of the Australian Medical Research and Innovation Strategy 2016-2021 (the Strategy) and the Australian Medical Research and Innovation Priorities 2016-2018 (the Priorities).

The Strategy provides a five year vision for the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) and the Priorities identify a reference list for investments over the next two years. The Government will take both documents into account when establishing funding programs to be agreed through Budget processes.

The release of the Strategy and Priorities allows the Government to commence the disbursements from the MRFF this financial year.

The Advisory Board consulted with more than 1,000 stakeholders to ensure these documents put forward an approach that will meet the needs of consumers, the research community, and the broader health system. The Advisory Board would like to thank those who took the time to be engaged and contribute.


The Strategy and Priorities, along with further information on the MRFF, are available from health.gov.au/mrff.

LUPUS 2017 & ACA 2017 - abstracts due 19 November

The abstract submission deadline is fast approaching.

 The 12th International Congress on Systemic Lupus Erythematosus & the 7th Asian Congress on Autoimmunity
26-29 March 2017, Melbourne, Australia
Abstract Deadline: 19 November 2016
Early Registration Deadline: 19 December 2016​
The 12th International Congress on Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (LUPUS 2017) & the 7th Asian Congress on Autoimmunity (ACA 2017) are proud to invite you to Melbourne, Australia, 26-29 March 2017. This exciting joint SLE Congress and Autoimmunity Congress will be a platform for building bridges between clinicians and basic researchers, focusing on global progress in translational research in SLE and autoimmunity. The main theme of ACA will be "Microbiome, nutrition and autoimmunity".
Join colleagues from multiple disciplines, including rheumatology, immunology, dermatology, nephrology and autoimmunity to explore the latest findings and practices at this highly anticipated joint congress.​

LUPUS 2017 Chair: Prof. Eric F. Morand
ACA 2017 Chair: Prof. Yehuda Shoenfeld



Call for applicants - PhD Scholarships for Indigenous students at SCS

The School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health is pleased to offer full scholarships for up to 2 Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander students annually to undertake a PhD program in a discipline covered by SCS. This can include clinical or basic science projects.

More information HERE.

For applications, please contact:
Dr Jim Harris
Tel: 03 8572 2579
Email: jim.harris@monash.edu

Reporting Injuries and Hazards

Monash University needs to know if you are injured in the workplace or on-site; which includes the Hudson Institute or at Monash Health.

What Do I Report?
Any work-related injury, whether it is a cut on your hand that requires first aid, or a serious injury for which you need medical treatment, they all need to be reported! Allegations of staff being subjected to unacceptable behaviour is also considered an OHS incident that should be reported.
The University also requires us to report hazards and near-misses. Does something look dangerous? Is someone doing something that may be unsafe? Has something changed that may be cause greater risk to you or your colleagues? Was someone nearly injured? Anything that may pose a risk to a person’s health or safety or to the environment, then we need to hear about all of these.

Your Responsibilities
It is very important that you understand your responsibilities to report incidents and hazards.
Employees, students, visitors and contractors: If you are injured at work, or nearby, you must report it in the University Safety And Risk Analysis Hub (S.A.R.A.H.) within 24 hours. This online reporting tool provides staff and students with a user-friendly way to report OHS-related hazards, incidents, and near-misses so that they are investigated and recorded in accordance with Victorian OHS legislation.
Supervisors: If your employee or student is injured, but is unable to report it immediately, you must do so instead.

How Do I Report An Incident?
Incidents are reported on-line via SARAH, which is available on the University OHS webpage: http://www.monash.edu/ohs/report-incident-hazard
If you need any help, please speak to your supervisor, your Safety Officer or your HSR.

For more information, please contact Dr Clare Westhorpe (clare.westhorpe@monash.edu).
With thanks, from the SCS OHS team. Stay safe!


Change your settings to access the wireless network

Monash University's esolutions is making improvements to Eduroam, our secure wireless network service by consolidating to a common authentication platform.
Moving our Network Policy Services to the new infrastructure is required.

Important settings and wireless access
Network Policy Services controls access to our wireless network, its primary function is to authenticate users trying to access Monash's Eduroam wireless network. For the authentication to work a user must have a specific user name format.

Impact to users
You have been identified as possibly having an incompatible user name format. If your user name format is not changed before 21 November, 2016 wireless network access will not be possible.

What you need to do
Please go into your mobile device settings (such as smartphone, laptop or tablet etc.) and ensure that your username is changed to look like: username@monash.edu.

Help and support
A user guide specific to your device is available on the intranet providing step by step instructions on how to change your user name (https://monash.edu/esolutions/wireless-and-network/connecting-eduroam-wifi).   If you require additional support please contact your local Service Desk.  

Accessing the wireless network at other universities
  • As a Monash University student or staff member you can access the Eduroam wireless network at other Universities
  • For a list of participating Eduroam institutions please visit the Eduroam intranet page https://monash.edu/esolutions/wireless-and-network/connecting-eduroam-wifi
  • When you go to connect to the Eduroam network at a participating eduroam institution, their wireless network will recognise that you are from Monash
  • Students or staff from participating Eduroam institutions can utilise Monash's wireless network
Migration locations and dates
  • Participating Eduroam institutions & The Monash Centre in Prato (Italy)
    • Tuesday 15th November, 5-9pm
  • Remote VPN service & Hospitals sites (Alfred Health, Southern Health, Eastern Health)
    • Wednesday 16th November, 5-9pm
  • Melbourne campus wireless infrastructure
    • Monday 21st November, 5-9pm

For more information and support please contact your local Service Desk.

Amnion Epithelial Cells Promote Lung Repair via Lipoxin A4

Rebecca Lim et al. published in Stem Cells Translational Medicine.

Read article here.

Impact of a public awareness campaign on out-of-hospital cardiac arrest incidence and mortality rates

Ian Meredith et al. published in the European Heart Journal.

Read article here.

Betamethasone-exposed preterm birth does not impair insulin action in adult sheep

Beth Allison, Graeme Polglase et al. published in the Journal of Endocrinology.

Read article here.

Genetics and Genomics of Ovarian Sex Cord-Stromal Tumors

Peter Fuller et al. published in Clinical Genetics.

Read article here.

Acute monocytic leukemia masked by hemolytic anemia and sclerotic lesions.

George Grigoriadis et al. published in Annals of Hematology.

Read article here.

IFNAR1-Signalling Obstructs ICOS-mediated Humoral Immunity during Non-lethal Blood-Stage Plasmodium Infection

Paul Hertzog et al. published in PLoS Pathogens.

Read article here.

Analysis of vertebral augmentation practice patterns: a 2016 update

Ronil Chandra et al. published in the Journal of Neurointerventional Surgery.

Read article here.

Cerebral haemodynamic response to somatosensory stimulation in near-term fetal sheep

Flora Wong et al. published in the Journal of Physiology.

Read article here.