Monday, 16 October 2017

Simple blood test reduces antibiotic use in patients with acute respiratory infections

Professor Yahya Shehabi
Patients with acute respiratory infections should be tested for a blood marker for bacterial infection to determine antibiotic treatment, according to a large international study including researchers at Monash University.

Published yesterday in The Lancet ID, an individual patient data analysis from 26 randomised controlled trials across 12 countries was used to investigate the use of procalcitonin—a biomarker for bacterial infections—as a tool to improve decisions about antibiotic therapy.

Acute respiratory infections (ARIs) comprise a large group of infections including bacterial, viral and from other causes, accounting for over 10% of global disease burden. 

In these patients, “despite their mainly viral cause, unnecessary antibiotics significantly contribute to bacterial resistance, medical costs and the risk of drug-related side effects”, said co-author Professor Yahya Shehabi from Monash University who is also a critical care physician at Monash Health.  

“Blood levels of Procalcitonin (PCT) is negligible in normal people but rises substantially within hours of bacterial infection and decreases as patients recovers with appropriate antibiotic therapy.”

Randomised trials evaluated the use of procalcitonin based algorithms, to guide decision making for antibiotics prescription in acute respiratory infection. 

“Our individual patient meta-analysis, combining high quality trials using data from 6708 patients showed that the use of procalcitonin guided algorithms significantly reduced the risk of death by 17% and treatment failure by 12%.

“It also reduced antibiotic consumption and antibiotic-related side effects (16.3% versus 22.1%).”
“Our analysis also demonstrated that the benefits for sicker patients, like those needing intensive care treatment, is more pronounced.”  

 “Procalcitonin can be measured in the blood of patients at point of care providing clinicians with on the spot decision making for individual patients,” said Professor Shehabi, the only Australian author on the study.



Are Australian women being ‘left out in the cold’ over policies governing egg freezing?

SCS graduate research student Molly Johnston 
Australia is experiencing the growing global trend of women freezing their eggs for fertility preservation providing the option for thawing and IVF treatment in future to have children.

However, a major medical conference in Adelaide today heard there was no consistent cross border regulation about who should be able to access egg freezing with a call to review policies that encompass “changing societal opinions and community needs.”

Speaking at the annual scientific meeting of the Fertility Society of Australia, Monash University researcher Molly Johnston said: “While across border differences in health care are to be expected, they raise questions about whether the principles that underpin various policies on egg freezing are ethically justified and transparent.

“The variety of egg freezing policies seen worldwide suggest they lack evidence, are outdated and require serious review.  The distinction between medical and non-medical infertility underpins Australian policies, and it is open to challenge.”

Ms Johnston said another driving factor for a review was the advent of commercial or employer funding of elective egg freezing to keep young women in the workforce while delaying motherhood.

Australian women seeking elective or social egg freezing to preserve their fertility face a costly disadvantage compared to those seeking the treatment for medical reasons, including the prospect of being left infertile from cancer treatments or conditions such as severe endometriosis.

Women choosing elective egg freezing must pay for the treatment at around $10,000 per cycle, while those seeking it for medical reasons are eligible for Medicare rebates of around $5,000 per cycle.

“All women in Australia can seek egg freezing treatment regardless of their reasons,” Ms Johnston said.  “However, in the absence of common regulation, individual clinics govern access to the treatment and can impose their own restrictions such as an age limit. 

“What is contentious is whether reasons for seeking fertility preservation should matter.

“In medical or elective circumstances, women are seeking to prevent infertility and they are not infertile at the time they seek egg freezing.

“Similarly, it can be argued that there is no difference between medical and non-medical egg freezing as in both cases women are freezing their eggs with the same motive  – the hope of securing their reproductive future and protecting the chance of having their own biological offspring.”

Ms Johnston said company sponsored egg freezing began in the United States about three years ago with major companies including Microsoft, Google, Facebook and Apple now offering to cover the costs of egg freezing for their female employees as part of their medical benefits package.

“This trend is now emerging in Australia, but I am not aware of any employees who have yet taken up this option,” she said.

“While some hail company sponsored egg freezing as promoting a woman’s reproductive rights and choices, other argue that it is disempowering to women as they may feel pressured to take up the option or risk not being competitive in the workforce.”

National and world leaders in assisted reproductive technology are attending the Fertility Society meeting at the Adelaide Convention Centre providing compelling insights into new ways of assisting couples struggling to conceive naturally.

Story courtesy of Trevor Gill, Fertility Society of Australia.


MHTP Research Week poster competition - call for abstracts NOW. Submissions close 20 October.

MHTP Research Week is an exciting opportunity to acknowledge the achievements and showcase the ground-breaking research being conducted at the Monash Health Translation Precinct.

Poster competition and Early Career Researchers Awards.

A key element of Research Week is the poster competition and display.  The poster competition includes awards for Best Posters and Early Career Researchers. 

There will be a $500 prize for the Best Poster in each research category.  

The best Early Career Researcher will be chosen from the abstracts and the top four will be invited to present their research at an oral presentation. The first prize winner will receive $1,000.  

Please submit your entries online by clicking on the link below and following the instructions.  You will need to create a Currinda account (instructions on the link below).

https://mhtp.currinda.com/register/event/7 

Please note that the closing date for poster submissions is Friday 20 October.

For further information, please contact Annette.McClellan@monashhealth.org  or jinleng.graham@monash.edu



MHTP Research Week draft program available






















Draft program now available HERE.

SCS trivia quiz



Save the Date: Centre for Cancer Research Childhood Cancer Research Symposium, 7 February 2018

Objective: Improving outcomes in children diagnosed with cancer through innovative research into the development and progression of these diseases and identification of new and more effective therapeutic strategies.

Description: On 7 February 2018, the Centre for Cancer Research at the Hudson Institute of Medical Research will be hosting a Childhood Cancer Research Symposium.  This is a scientific event, targeted at paediatric cancer researchers and clinicians.  The Symposium will include prestigious guest speakers from local and international organisations, such as the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (USA), the SickKids Hospital (Canada), KK Women's and Children's Hospital (Singapore), the Queensland Brain Institute, the Royal Children's Hospital, Monash University, Monash Children's Hospital and the Hudson Institute of Medical Research.


Symposium attendees will learn first-hand about the latest developments and advancements in paediatric cancer research.  They will hear about cutting-edge strategies, technologies and solutions for basic and translational research, including clinical implications.  Specific themes include: latest developments and discoveries in paediatric brain tumours; translational research highlights and paediatric precision medicine.

CID special seminar: "The HMGB1-RAGE axis in chronic inflammatory airways disease", 17 October

17 October, 12-1pm, seminar room 1, TRF

Presented by Dr Maria Sukkar, Graduate School of Health, University of Technology Sydney

Dr Sukkar’s work focusses on the role of the protein high-mobility group box-1 and its receptor RAGE in chronic inflammatory airways disease. Dr Sukkar was the first to show that soluble RAGE, an endogenous inhibitor of RAGE signaling, is deficient in sub-phenotypes of asthma/COPD in which neutrophilic inflammation plays a key role. Subsequent mechanistic investigations in mouse models identified a crucial role for HMGB1 and RAGE in driving distinct endotypes of asthma. Studies in mouse models of cigarette smoke exposure also revealed the important role of this inflammatory axis in COPD pathogenesis. In this seminar, Dr Sukkar will discuss current understanding of the HMGB1-RAGE axis in chronic inflammatory airways disease, and its potential as a therapeutic target.

Having completed her PhD at the University of Sydney in 2002, Dr Sukkar undertook postdoctoral research on a Wellcome Trust programme grant at the National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London; one of the top-ranked universities in the world. There, she worked with Prof Kian Fan Chung, a world leader in respiratory medicine. She returned to Australia in 2008 to take up a Lectureship at the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Sydney. In 2012, she moved to the Graduate School of Health, University of Technology Sydney, where she is currently Senior Lecturer in the Discipline of Pharmacy. Upon returning to Australia, Dr Sukkar established her own laboratory for respiratory research. She has maintained her international links, and has built an extensive network of national and international collaborations. Her current research is focused on innate immune mechanisms that drive the abnormal airway inflammatory response to environmental allergens, pollutants and pathogens in people with asthma and COPD.

Monash Haematology Journal Club, 18 Oct

7.30am Breakfast      7.45am Presentation
Monash Medical Centre, Level 2
Lecture Theatre 3
HAA Practice Presentations:
Outpatient-based immunochemotherapy is associated with favourable survival for patients with primary mediastinal large B-cell lymphoma – Dr Faye Liu
The role of platelets in increased Thrombogenicity following Splenectomy: Key Platelet-specific receptors and activation markers – Ms Sarah Luu


“Mechanisms of Cellular Dysmaturation in Preterm Brain Injury”, 19 October

This week's Hudson seminar will be held Thursday 19th October 12pm-1pm in Seminar Rooms 1 & 2, Level 2, TRF Building. 
Our speaker will be Dr Justin Dean, PhD, University of Auckland, New Zealand.

He will be presenting “Mechanisms of Cellular Dysmaturation in Preterm Brain Injury”

 Justin Dean is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Physiology, the University of Auckland.

He received his PhD in Physiology in 2006 from the University of Auckland, New Zealand.

The long-term objectives of the studies in his laboratory are to understand the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in brain injury arising from complications of prematurity, and to develop interventions to restore normal brain development in these infants.
A light lunch and refreshments will follow this presentation. 

Grand Rounds: “Rebuilding the kidney using stem cells”, 18 October

12.30-1.30pm, 18 October
Main Lecture Theatre, MMC

Presented by Professor Melissa Little

Professor Melissa Little is the Theme Director of Cell Biology at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute in Melbourne, Australia, Program Leader of Stem Cells Australia, University of Melbourne and President of the Australasian Society for Stem Cell Research. She is internationally recognised for her work on the systems biology of kidney development and also her pioneering studies into potential regenerative therapies for kidney disease. This has resulted in the identification of factors capable of reprogramming to kidney and protocols for the directed differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells to kidney organoids.

Appetite hormones and weight management seminar, 2 November

Thursday 2nd November  3.30pm to 6pm
Location : Monash University CAULFIELD Campus
Building H (Level 1)- Lecture Theatre H125

The increase in overweight and obesity is a major concern with almost 2 in 3 (63%) of Australian adults now suffering from these debilitating conditions. Physical activity and food intake are the primary regulators of energy balance. The brain plays an important role in the regulation of food intake, thus increasing interest has been directed at unravelling the interplay between appetite regulating gut hormones and the central nervous system and weight management.  This special seminar will provide participants with an overview of the latest research and clinical applications of the role of gut hormones in appetite regulation and weight management. 

This seminar is sponsored by the Nutrition Society of Australia.
   

Unravelling the role of exosomes as conduits for sperm-soma communication, 29 November

Please register HERE.

OPTIMISING EXERCISE PROGRAMS FOR OLDER PEOPLE TO IMPROVE BALANCE AND PREVENT FALLS, June 2018

Registrations are now open for the short course: Optimising Exercise Programs for Older People to Improve Balance and Prevent Falls. This course has been developed by leading falls prevention researchers and health professionals to provide evidence-based information on how to design and deliver falls prevention exercise programs. It is suitable for everyone from physiotherapists and occupational therapists, to researchers, educators, and academics.

ABOUT THIS SHORT COURSE
Engaging and sustaining older people’s participation in falls prevention exercise programs is a continual challenge for health and fitness professionals.
This course has been developed by leading falls prevention researchers and health professionals to address these challenges. It will provide participants with evidence-based practical tools and information on how to design and deliver effective falls prevention exercise programs.


Short course details:

Date: Friday, 15th June 2018
Time:  9:00am—3:00pm
Venue: School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Ground Floor, Conference Rooms 1, 2 & 3, 553 St Kilda Road, Melbourne VIC 3004 
Cost: $350 pp (includin catering)
Who should attend: Fitness professionals, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, health educators, fitness educators, health promotion practitioners, researchers, academics.


For any queries about this event, please contact us at shortcourses.depm@monash.edu or 9903 0693.

ECR Prizes & Awards Calendar - October to December 2017

Please refer to the attached Prizes & Awards Calendar HERE for opportunities closing in October to December 2017Of particular note is the 2018 Victorian Young Achiever Awards for which nominations close on 18 December.

A comprehensive list of world-wide prestigious prizes and awards eligible to Australian researchers is also available at Research Professional.

If you are a Monash member of staff and intend to apply for any of the listed prizes or awards, please contact Mind Your Way, an academic consultancy engaged on the Monash Prizes & Awards Strategy on behalf of the Office of the Provost and Senior Vice-President. Only Monash staff are eligible to access Mind Your Way services paid by the Office of the Provost and Senior Vice-President. Adjuncts and affiliates wishing to engage Mind Your Way will have to enter into a contract and pay directly for services offered by Mind Your Way.

If, as part of the eligibility criteria, there are limits on numbers of applications that can be submitted by Monash, approval must be sought and obtained by the appropriate delegated individual.

eSolutions update - Zoom

We have recently had an increase in queries regarding Audio and Video conferencing and recording options available, and you may be interested to know about one of our most popular conferencing offerings, Zoom.
If you were not already aware, all staff can use Zoom to communicate and collaborate with multiple parties, both internal and external to Monash. This can be done from the office, home or remotely. Zoom offers good video, audio and screen-sharing quality across Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, high-end conferencing room systems and telephone.
All Monash staff can log in with their Monash email address and password. This now provides full access to Zoom functions and the hosting of meetings of any duration. Login to Zoom.

There are some staggering facts and figures that go with the ease of use and functionality of Zoom. For the month of September alone we had a total of 4557 meetings created with a total of 17025 participants. This is a 5 fold increase in meetings and participants over a 24 month period!

For video demonstrations on using Zoom, please click on the Youtube links below:

Scheduling a meeting
Joining a meeting
Sharing your screen
Recording a Zoom meeting
Privacy Information

Quick blood test can help doctors decide if patients need antibiotics

Yahya Shehabi in the Herald Sun.

Read article here.

Obinutuzumab for the First-Line Treatment of Follicular Lymphoma

Stephen Opat et al. published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Read article here.

Widespread Volumetric Reductions in Schizophrenia and Schizoaffective Patients Displaying Compromised Cognitive Abilities

Suresh Sundram et al. published in Schizophrenia bulletin.

Read article here.

Concurrence of the strengths and difficulties questionnaire and developmental behaviour checklist among children with an intellectual disability

Kylie Gray et al. published in the Journal of Intellectual Disability Research.

Read article here.

Contextualizing post-traumatic stress disorder within culturally diverse groups: a comparison of Holocaust survivors and Sudanese refugees

Jarrod White, Glenn Melvin et al. published in the International Journal of Culture and Mental Health.

Read article here.

Topoisomerase 1 Inhibition Promotes Cyclic GMP-AMP Synthase-Dependent Antiviral Responses

Michael Gantier et al. published in mBio.

Read article here.

Clinical Simulation Training in Geriatric Medicine: A Review of the Evidence and Lessons for Training in Psychiatry of Old Age

Chris Plakiotis published in Advances in experimental medicine and biology.

Read article here.

Heart Failure and Exercise: A Narrative Review of the Role of Self-Efficacy

Francis Ha, James Cameron et al. published in Heart, Lung & Circulation.

Read article here.

The impact of sleep disordered breathing on cardiovascular health in overweight children

Rosemary Horne, Lisa Walter et al. published in Sleep Medicine.

Read article here.

The future of interventional & neurointerventional radiology: learning lessons from the past

Ronil Chandra et al. published in the British Journal of Radiology.

Read article here.

Screening investigations in small-for-gestational-age near-term and term infants

Atul Malhotra et al. published in the European Journal of Paediatrics.

Read article here.

Monday, 9 October 2017

3MT video: Christine Bennett discusses her research into pregnancy weight gain

Watch SCS PhD student Christine Bennett  discuss her research into weight gain during pregnancy.  Christine says that up to 70% of women in Australia gain above the recommended guideline for pregnancy weight gain.  Christine also discusses the risks associated with this weight gain for the mother and the baby.

Christine won 2nd place in the 2017 SCS 3MT competition, junior category.

World’s largest clinical trial in follicular lymphoma gives hope to patients

Professor Stephen Opat
An international collaborative study, including researchers at Monash University, has shown that follicular lymphoma patients treated with a therapy known as obinutuzumab in combination with chemotherapy leads to significant improvements in how the disease is controlled.

Published last week in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine, the results from the largest ever follicular lymphoma clinical trial revealed that patients treated with a combination of chemotherapy and obinutuzumab had their disease under control for one and a half times longer than the standard treatment with chemotherapy and rituximab.

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) is the sixth most common form of cancer, affecting 1 in 40 people.  NHL is categorised into two main types: aggressive and indolent.

“In aggressive NHL, the lymphoma cells divide quickly and patients die within months if untreated, however, most have a high chance of cure with chemotherapy,” Head of Haematology at Monash University and Monash Health, Professor Stephen Opat said.

“Follicular Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is the main subtype of indolent NHL, a disease where lymphocytes (the immune cells that cause lymphoma) don’t die and gradually accumulate in the lymph nodes, bone marrow and tissues,” Professor Opat, senior author on the study said.

While indolent NHL patients can live for many years untreated, the disease is considered incurable with chemotherapy, and treatment is generally reserved for patients with symptoms.

Professor Opat said these patients often have an extended period of disease control with chemotherapy, however the majority will eventually relapse needing further therapy.

The Gallium study was the largest clinical trial ever conducted in follicular lymphoma, comparing the safety and effectiveness of two different anti-lymphoma antibodies (rituximab and obinutuzumab) in combination with chemotherapy for patients with previously untreated follicular lymphoma.

1202 patients—including 30 at Monash Health, the largest recruitment site in Australia—were randomly selected to receive chemotherapy with rituximab or chemotherapy with obinutuzumab.

“Those patients who responded could have up to two years of maintenance treatment with rituximab or obinutuzumab to keep their disease in remission for as long as possible,” Professor Opat said.

After three years of follow up, more patients are still alive with their lymphoma under control in the obinutuzumab group (80 of every 100) than the rituximab group (73 of every 100).

“This translates into a 1.5-times longer time that their lymphoma is in remission with obinutuzumab compared with the rituximab—perhaps offering an additional three years before needing to be treated again,” Professor Opat said.

While the obinutuzumab-treated patients had a longer period of lymphoma control they also reported more frequent adverse effects of therapy including infections (20% versus 16% with Rituximab) and reactions to the antibody infusion (12% versus 7% with rituximab).


“Chemotherapy with obinutuzumab resulted in a meaningful improvement in the duration of disease control and is an important addition to the treatment options for patients with follicular lymphoma.”

Partnership promotes new treatments for men’s reproductive health disorders

A visit to Monash University has highlighted how academic partnerships between countries can create innovation with global benefits.

On October 3, and coinciding with German Unity Day, Monash hosted members of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) to highlight opportunities for academic exchanges between Australia and Germany.

Hosted by Monash Global Engagement and Graduate Education, Monash staff and students attended presentations by Professor Joybrato Mukherjee, President of Justus-Liebig University and Vice-President of DAAD, Mr Stefan Bienefeld, Director of Development Co-operations and Supra-Regional programs at DAAD and Dr Judith Reinhard, Head of Science and Innovation at the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany.

The event highlighted the partnership between Monash University and Justus-Liebig University (JLU) and commenced with a welcome meeting with Monash Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Margaret Gardner, and Senior Pro Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Professor Zlatko Skrbis. 
This partnership is funded as an International Research Training Group (IRTG) by a German Government research funding agency, which facilitates a collaborative research program in men’s reproductive health.
Described by Prof Mukherjee as a “flagship” partnership of successful German-Australian scientific exchange, the Monash-JLU IRTG draws together postgraduate students and scientists at both universities to discover new diagnoses and treatments for common men’s reproductive health disorders.
As well as enabling a global research effort, the Monash-JLU IRTG provides the next generation of scientists with the tools and training to address crucial issues relating to men’s reproductive health.
Doctoral students receive a specialised translational training program and access to leading technology platforms.  They are jointly supervised by teams of clinical and basic scientists at both Monash and JLU, and have the opportunity to receive a joint PhD award from both Universities.
IRTG students presented their work on male reproductive disorders relating to the development of testicular cancer, the underlying causes of infertility, and the treatment of prostate disease. Each gave a personal account of how their training within the global IRTG partnership provided both personal and professional benefits.
The Monash IRTG spokesperson, Professor Kate Loveland, spoke about the evolution of the Monash-JLU IRTG, from its beginnings in the 1990s, when German scientist Prof Dr. Andreas Meinhardt undertook his postdoctoral studies with Professor David de Kretser at Monash.
This resulted in a long history of collaborative research between the two countries which culminated in the award of the Monash-JLU IRTG in 2013, now funded until 2022.
Professor Loveland spoke about the benefits of the global research effort, highlighting how the program capitalises on the unique skills and technologies at each University, producing a collaborative gain that is much greater than would be achieved by individual research projects.
Professor Loveland also discussed the practical logistics of operating a global research program, highlighting how this program has produced many tangible benefits for both Universities, including successful PhD graduates, student awards, joint research publications and further competitive research support from the NHMRC.
Professor Loveland also explained that this IRTG was the first of three IRTGs between Australia and Germany, and is leading the way in PhD student exchange between the two countries.
Mr Bienefeld also gave a presentation explaining how the German government has optimised and streamlined many aspects of its scientific exchange processes, highlighting the many opportunities for both students and academics to work in Germany and to participate in global research efforts.

For more information on the Monash-JLU IRTG see: https://www.monash.edu/medicine/scs/research/irtg-phd-program

Cardiac Rhythm Management team wins international award, recognising best practice in atrial fibrillation

The Cardiac Rhythm Management (CRM) team at MonashHeart was one of just four winners world-wide of the international Atrial Fibrillation Association - Healthcare Pioneers 2018 Award, showcasing best practice in atrial fibrillation (AF) last week.
The award was presented to CRM clinical nurse consultant Melissa Harvey at the prestigious Heart Rhythm Congress in Birmingham, UK for her submission "The establishment of a dedicated atrial fibrillation clinic at a large healthcare service: multidisciplinary care".
The initiative is the brainchild of the cardiac rhythm management service, led by Dr Jeff Alison, and the nurse coordinator role is led by Melissa Harvey.
MonashHeart is incredibly grateful for the very generous donation of $100,000 from a former patient which funded the inception of Melissa's role and the clinic.
Hundreds of patients each year are now receiving leading heart care through this service.

Tom Jobling promoted to Professor

Congratulations Tom Jobling on his recent academic promotion to full Professor.  Professor Jobling's research interests include establishing a proteomic platform for biomarker and screening test development for ovarian cancer.

"Our clinical and tissue banking program has enabled the establishment of a well-integrated research unit with the Hudson Institute of Medical Research," Professor Jobling said.

Professor Jobling acknowledges Andrew Stephens and his team at Hudson for their terrific scientific endeavours.

"We hope to get a screening test for early detection of ovarian cancer which would of course translate into improved survival."

Head of Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Professor Euan Wallace said the Department is indebted to Professor Jobling for his clinical research leadership and expertise.

"Professor Jobling has led gynaecology oncology services at Monash Health and the gynaecology cancer research group at the University for many years," Professor Wallace said.

"His contributions to the University and research more broadly are central to the academic success and growth of the gynaecology oncology group."





Dr Kay Nguo awarded ECR Publication Prize

Dr Kay Nguo from the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics was recently awarded the Jenny Keating Early Career Researcher Publication Prize for Nursing and Allied Health Research for her systematic review and meta-analysis of the effect of meal intake on postprandial appetite-related gastrointestinal hormones in obese children. Her paper was published in the International Journal of Obesity .

Dr Nguo said she was honoured and delighted to be the recipient of the 2017 Jenny Keating Early Career Researcher Publication Prize for Nursing and Allied Health. 

"I am grateful to the Faculty for this award and thank my co-authors for their contributions," Dr Nguo said. 

Dr Nguo will use the prize money to attend the 4th International Conference on Recent Advances and Controversies in Measuring Energy Metabolism (RACMEM) in Switzerland later this year.


Grant writing program for women - limited places available

A writing skills program to support female researchers in developing their proposals for competitive research grants and fellowships: "Nail the story, win that grant: Six rules for writing a compelling proposal."  is now available.

The program (facilitated by Mind Your Way) consists of three half day workshops between October and December 2017 + one on one feedback. It is best suited to sole applicants or chief investigators who have a limited experience in research grant writing and who are currently starting to develop a proposal or fellowship application.

ORCID for ERA 2018 Submission

As part of the ERA 2018 submission all Monash researchers will need to have an Open Researcher and Contributor ID (ORCID), which is an internationally recognised unique identifier. 

Researchers who already have an ORCID should add it to their personal profile in Pure. Researchers who do not have one can create one via Pure. This will add the ORCID to the Pure profile automatically. There are instructions available on managing Pure profiles and the ORCID creation process.


The Research Outputs Collection Service or the Library are able to provide further assistance. There is also a Library Guide on author IDs and profiles.

Changes to ARC ITRP Hubs and Centres

Please note that the ARC have made several changes to the application for the ITRP Hubs and Training Centres application for the 2018 round. Changes of note include:
  • ROPEs assessment will be limited to 5 key personnel 
  • The structure/questions within the ROPEs section has changed
  • The page limit for the project description has increased from 10 to 15 pages
  • The subheadings within the project description have changed to incorporate information removed from other sections of the application.  

Please note: Although full ROPEs sections will only be required for the 5 key personnel, you will still need to obtain information on participants’ expertise and experience as it pertains to relevant industry or end-user focussed research for inclusion in the project description. 

Key personnel intending to re-purpose ROPEs sections from other proposals will need to allow additional time to re-format this information to meet the new requirements. A small plus is that this new format is expected to be replicated through the other ARC grants for 2018/2019.

Please refer to the attached Instructions to Applicants documents (HERE and HERE) for further information.


If you have any questions, please contact the MRO Research Development team (mro.researchdevelopment@monash.edu). 

Register now for the Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences CEED Faculty Module: Engaging learners in online discussions

The Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences is offering a new CEED module called Engaging learners in online discussions

This module is ideal for any staff that have previously attempted to engage with students through online discussions and have come across difficulties, or staff who regularly engage with online discussion forums and are seeking ways to improve student engagement. Increased student engagement can also result in an increase in academic workload, so the module will also introduce workload management strategies for online teaching. 
By the end of this module, participants will have developed strategies to enhance student engagement in online forums, including facilitation and moderation, cohort management, student and teacher expectations, assessment strategies and evaluation.  
Please register here by Monday 20 November 2017:

More information:
Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences 2017 CEED Module: Engaging learners in online discussions
Moodle open date:
 Monday 23 October 2017
Moodle close date:
 Friday 15 December 2017
Face-to-face workshop (compulsory, lunch provided): 
 Wednesday 22 November 20179am to 12pm, M4, 10 Chancellors Walk, Clayton Campus. 
Facilitators: Dana Bui, Silvia Vogel and Kirsten Schliephake


Open Forum with the Head of School Prof Eric Morand, 20 October

Attn all students:


You are invited to an Open Forum with the Head of the School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health, Prof Eric Morand. This will be a round table discussion about how clinical and basic scientific interactions propel high impact outcomes in biomedical research.

Date :      Friday October 20th from 12.30 pm - 1.30 pm
Venue:    MMC-Medici​ne Seminar Room Block E Level 5 Monash Medical Centre


CID seminar: "Targeted Treatment in Experimental Autoimmune anti-GBM disease" & "Cyclophilins in Renal Disease", 10 October

Tuesday 10 October, 12-1pm, Seminar Room 1, TRF  


Targeted Treatment in Experimental Autoimmune anti-GBM disease
Presented by Megan Huynh, Postgraduate Student, CID

Anti-glomerular basement membrane (GBM) disease is an autoimmune form of rapidly progressive glomerulonephritis. The standard treatment for anti-GBM disease uses toxic immunosuppressants that can have detrimental effects. To address the need for more specific treatment options, the potential of two targeted treatment methods has been explored using a mouse model of experimental autoimmune anti-GBM disease. One method takes advantage of the strong association between anti-GBM disease and HLA-DR15, an allele that carries an increased disease risk and is highly prevalent in patients. Selectively blocking DR15 MHC using a small molecule inhibitor prevents activation of autoreactive T cells by inhibiting presentation of the autoepitope. A different approach aims to induce antigen-specific immune suppression, by using liposomes to target antigen presenting cells and generate regulatory T cells. By inhibiting effector T cells or inducing regulatory T cells, development of an autoimmune response and subsequent disease may be avoided.

Cyclophilins in Renal Disease
Presented by Dr Khai Gene Leong, Postgraduate Student, CID


Inflammation and apoptosis are important underlying causes of renal injury/ dysfunction, and progressive renal fibrosis leading to chronic kidney disease. However, despite the large burden of acute kidney injury (AKI) and chronic kidney disease (CKD), there is no current successful clinical therapeutics that halts the process of AKI, and progression of AKI to CKD. Cyclophilins are ubiquitously expressed proteins that are physiologically involved in protein folding. Of these, Cyclophilin A (CypA) has a key role in regulating the inflammatory process, and Cyclophlin D (CypD) is an essential component of the mitochondrial permeability membrane pore opening leading to cell death. I will explore the roles of CypA and CypD in contributing to renal disease to aid in future development of therapeutics that may lessen the incidence and prevalence of AKI and CKD.

Dr Leong is a Clinical Nephrologist currently undertaking her PhD studies at the Nephrology lab, Department of Nephrology, Monash Health. 


Lunch is served at 11.45am.


Monash Ageing Research Centre (MONARC) Advanced Trainees' Research Presentations, 11 October

Research Presentations from 2017 Advanced Trainees
Wednesday 11th October, 12:30-1:30pm (lunch from 12:15pm)
Education Centre – Room A
(Kingston Centre, Warrigal Road, Cheltenham)
All welcome

Dr Thinn Thinn Khine:
Physiological levels of IL-1β increase islet amyloid deposition in vitro  









Dr Chamalie Wimalagunasekera:
Systematic review of the validity and clinical utility of Geriatric Depression Scale as a screening tool to assess depressive symptoms in patients with dementia.





 
Dr Sabei Shwe:
Frailty, oral health and nutrition in geriatric inpatients.








 
Dr Anika Kibria:
A Retrospective Cohort Study on the use of Video Urodynamic Studies in Geriatric Patients. 








For more information/RSVP:
Dr Rosa Gualano, Acting MONARC Manager