Monday, 10 April 2017

Improving care for patients with stroke impacts health outcomes and the economy

Associate Professor Cadilhac
Monash University researchers from Stroke and Ageing Research, School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health, have shown that if acute stroke care was improved to that of Australian benchmarks, more than 9300 disability-adjusted life years could be avoided every year, at minimal cost to the health system.

Stroke is a leading cause of death and disability in Australia, and the associated economic burden is significant.

 “The average lifetime costs of first-ever stroke in Australia is approximately $100,000, comprising health costs and loss of productivity,” said senior researcher Associate Professor Dominique Cadilhac.

“While acute stroke treatment guidelines include stroke unit care, intravenous thrombolysis for patients with ischemic stroke and medication for secondary prevention, evidence suggests that eligible patients may not always receive these therapies—even in well-resourced settings.”

The research team estimated the health and economic benefits from improving standards of care, and converted their results to disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) avoided.  A DALY is a year of life lost due to illness, disability, or early death.

“Using 2013 patient data, we estimated that if hospitals had achieved the benchmark acute stroke care standards, 285 recurrent strokes and 977 deaths or disabilities would have been prevented,” said Dr Joosup Kim who did the modelling analysis.

“This translates to 9329 DALYs avoided; and these health benefits could be delivered at an additional cost of $30.8 million or approximately $3304 per DALY avoided.”

Dr Kim explained that considerable gains in health may be achieved at relatively low costs by improving the average standard of acute stroke care in Australia to the standard of top performing hospitals.

“The estimate of $3304 per DALY avoided is considered to be highly cost effective since the willingness to pay for an additional year of healthy life is generally accepted as less than the national annual gross domestic project per capita (approximately $50,000 in Australia).”

The evidence-based therapies included in the research team’s analysis are already recommended in guidelines, further emphasising the potential benefits of implementing current knowledge.

“These are benefits that could be achieved with investment in clinician behaviour change, health service redesign, and support structures within the clinical setting to attain achievable benchmarks,” said Associate Professor Cadilhac.


China visit opens research and student exchange opportunities

Professor Segelov and Mr Michael Wang,
Director of Exchange and Cooperation,
Shanghai Renji Hospital
Director of Oncology at Monash University and Monash Health Professor Eva Segelov has recently returned from a successful visit to Renji Hospital and Shanghai Jia-Tong School of Medicine in China, where she was invited as a guest lecturer and discussed future opportunities for research collaborations and student exchange.

Founded in 1844, Renji Hospital was the first hospital to practice western medicine in Shanghai, and is affiliated with one of China’s leading universities, the Shanghai Jia-Tong School of Medicine.

“To understand the scale of the Chinese health system, Renji Hospital employs more than 4000 medical staff, has 2000 beds and had 4.26 million episodes of outpatient and Emergency Department attendances in 2016,” said Professor Segelov.

“Renji Hospital has an enormous tissue bank, multiple other resources and potential opportunities relating to their huge patient base.”

“They also have a different distribution of disease so see many more patients with various conditions than we do here in Australia.”

Professor Segelov said the purpose of her visit was to establish research collaborations and potential medical, research and nursing student exchanges between Monash University and Renji Hospital / Shanghai Jia-Tong School of Medicine.

“I was invited by their International Office to deliver a lecture on ‘Cancer Epidemiology, Prevention and Control’ to the students doing the all-English combined Canadian/Chinese medical degree at the Ottowa Shanghai Jia-Tong School of Medicine, from which successful students will graduate with dual Canadian/Chinese full medical qualifications,” said Professor Segelov.

“After my lecture we had a particularly interesting philosophical discussion regarding public policy decisions faced by China’s rapid industrialisation and modernisation.”

“I also toured the huge campus and met with the Vice-President of Renji Hospital, and the research group of Professor Chen with whom we hope to establish a collaboration studying the role of the HPV virus in squamous cancer of the oesophagus,” said Professor Segelov.

Professor Segelov’s visit included a meeting with Renji Hospital’s Head Nurse and a discussion about nursing exchanges opportunities as well as research into issues such as cultural change in attitudes to nursing.  Currently there are almost no male nurses in China.

“Monash Nursing academics have been approached and at this early stage are enthusiastic for progressing opportunities; a teleconference for all interested parties will be set up in the near future,” said Professor Segelov.

If you are interested in joining this or discussing opportunities, please contact Professor Segelov (eva.segelov@monash.edu).


The Ritchie Centre's research recognised at PSANZ

(L-R) Jonathon Morris, PSANZ President,
Dr Erin McGillick, Azu Aminath,
Aidan Kashyap, Fiona Stemming
Monash University and Hudson Institute researchers were recognised at the Perinatal Society of Australia and New Zealand (PSANZ) Annual Congress in Canberra last week.


The Ritchie Centre's Deputy Director Professor Rosemary said a number of staff and students were invited to give presentations, run workshops and practical skills sessions, and presented their research in both oral and poster presentations covering a variety of topics related to "a healthy start to life". 

"Our students and ECRs all gave great presentations, including Aidan Kashyap, who had to step in and give his supervisor's invited presentation after Qantas cancelled the Monday early morning flight," said Professor Horne.

The following students from The Ritchie Centre received awards at the meeting:

PSANZ New Investigator Award for Best Oral Basic Science 
Fiona Stenning

PSANZ President's New Investigator Award for Best Overall Oral Presentation
Aidan Kashyap

PSANZ Ritchie Centre Award for Translational Research
Azu Azhan

PSANZ David Henderson-Smart Scholarship
Dr Erin McGillick
$10,000 over 2 years
To undertake clinical research project focussed on improving the cardiorespiratory transition and respiratory outcomes in preterm babies in collaboration with A/Prof Arjan te Pas at the Leiden University Medical Centre in The Netherlands

Travel awards
Azu Azhan
Aidan Kashyap

SCS student awarded MCRI Honours Scholarship

Joanna Huang
Congratulations Monash medical student Joanna Huang who has been awarded the prestigious Murdoch Children's Research Institute Honours Award Scholarship for her research into ventricular assist devices.

A BMedSc(Hons) student at the School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health (SCS), Joanna is investigating the bleeding and clotting rates in children on ventricular assist devices—a form of mechanical circulatory support—for children with end-stage heart failure.

Joanna said these devices are used to help bridge children to heart transplantation, given the long waiting times and low rates of organ donation in Australia.

“Bleeding and clotting are common adverse events but have not been studied extensively in the paediatric population,” Joanna said.

“Hopefully this research will provide information to reduce the rates of bleeding and clotting and improve outcomes of the children on these devices.”

Joanna is based at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute for her project while being co-supervised by Head of Haematology at Monash Health and Monash University, Professor Stephen Opat.

Department of Medicine's Ruth Fantozzi completes Canberra marathon

Congratulations Ruth Fantozzi, who completed the Canberra Marathon yesterday.   Ruth finished 5th in her category, crossing the 42km line in 4 hours 22 minutes - in very wet and cold conditions.


2017 FMNHS & SCS Women's Research Support Opportunities

In promoting the pilot of the Athena SWAN Charter, the FMNHS Diversity and Inclusion Committee are delighted to offer a limited number of FMNHS Advancing Women's Research Success Grants (AWRSG) this year. In addition, the School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health is pleased to invite calls for applications for the SCS Career Development Fellowship.

(1A) 2017 FMNHS Advancing Women's Research Success Grants [AWRSG] (Applications close 13th April)

The guidelines for the FMNHS AWRSG program are HERE and the link to the online application form can be found at:

Closing date is 5pm on Thursday 13 April 2017.

Please direct enquiries about this program to dunja.licina@monash.edu


(1B) SCS Career Development Fellowship Scheme (applications close 12th May)
The School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health strives to undertake high-quality, high-impact research. You will be expected to have a strong research background in a relevant field (e.g. within the research themes of the departments within the School: Medicine, Surgery, Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Paediatrics, Psychiatry, Nutrition, Food & Dietetics, and Imaging) and demonstrated capability to contribute to our broad research agenda.

The successful candidate will conduct research in the relevant areas as listed above. Such duties may include:
·         Conducting research
·         Producing research publications
·         Supervision of research support staff
This position is designed to be adaptable to fit with your career - it is part-time and flexible, supporting a work-life balance to ensure that you can build on your research career in the School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health.
If you are highly motivated and would enjoy being part of a supportive team of research staff, apply now.

The Position Description is on the SCS intranet HERE:  Application form will be available after Easter.
Applications are due by 5:00 pm on Friday 12th May 2017.

SCS Early Career Research Practitioner Fellowship scheme (applications close 12 May)

2016 Fellowship recipient Dr Sarah Zaman
Applications are now open for the SCS Early-Career Clinical Practitioner Fellowship scheme. Up to two awards will be made at 0.5 FTE, Academic Level B.  

Recognising the difficult transition from PhD student to independent clinician scientist, in 2015 the School established the Early-Career Clinical Practitioner Fellowship scheme to further the aims of the School in training tomorrow’s clinical academic workforce and of consolidating Monash Health as leading academic health service. The Fellowships are offered on a competitive basis, to clinician scientists who have recently been awarded a PhD or MD to provide protected research time to allow them to further develop their clinical or basic science research portfolio while also undertaking clinical duties at Monash Health. It is envisaged that successful applicants will apply for external funding, such as through NHMRC schemes (e.g. Project Grants, Early-Career Fellowships, Career Development Fellowships, or Translational Research Fellowships) during the period of the Fellowship, such that the Fellowship acts as a bridge to independent, sustainable research funding.

The Position Description (HERE) and Application form can be found on the SCS intranet HERE
Applications are due by 5:00 pm on Friday 12th May 2017.


VIIN Careers Evening, 3 May

Registration for the 2017 VIIN Careers Evening is now open!  This is a great opportunity for Postgraduate Students and Postdoctoral Researchers to hear about alternative career paths.

Registration is free and open to all Victorian Infection and Immunity Researchers and Postgraduate Students. Drinks and finger food will be provided.




Joint Science-Medicine Affinity Workshop (Tuesday 2 May) - REGISTRATIONS CLOSING SOON

The Faculty of Science and the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences (MNHS) are pleased to launch a new joint seed funding scheme to promote interdisciplinary collaborations across both Faculties.

The Science-Medicine Interdisciplinary Research (IDR) Seed Funding scheme will be offered as a pilot in 2017.  The scheme will be promoted by both Faculties and managed by the Faculty of Science. It is designed to support, on a competitive basis, interdisciplinary research collaborations and engagement across both Faculties.  The scheme aims to form significant collaborations that can be developed into external grant applications and awards.

This new scheme will be launched at an Affinity Workshop on Tuesday 2 May 2107.  The program will include an Introduction by Associate Professor Coral Warr and Professor Ross Coppel, and showcase successful partnerships between the Faculty of Science and the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences.  The Workshop will allow researchers an informal opportunity to present current projects and new ideas and explore the potential for collaboration.

Date:             Tuesday 2 May 2017
Time:            12.00pm - 3.00pm (Lunch and afternoon tea will be provided)

Venue:          Monash University Staff Club
Registration: Please click here to register by Wednesday 12 April 2017 


We look forward to welcoming you at the event.

2017 Prizes & Awards Calendar (April to June)

The Prizes and Awards calendar for April to June 2017 is available HERE.
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.

ARMS 2017 – Poster Abstract Submissions: Closing 17 April – Don’t miss out!

This year’s ARMS Conference theme is ‘Funding Research – Drawing on the Power of Collaboration’, and submissions are now open for Poster Abstracts. Submissions must include:
  • A short title - up to twenty (20) words
  • Presenter’s name(s) (please identify which presenter is nominated for contact)
  • Presenters contact details including institution, address, email address and telephone number
  • Abstract to clearly outline the topic being covered (max 250 wds)
  • Indication of preferred presentation format (theme leader, oral presenter, poster presenter or pre-conference workshop presenter).
As the 2017 Poster Session ARMS Partner, we are keen to encourage and support all Monash staff interested in submitting a poster for display. All applicants accepted will be provided with a private group session to help fine tune their posters for display at the Conference in September. Additionally one successful applicant will have their 2017 ARMS Conference registration paid for in full.

The 2017 ARMS Conference is being held in Wellington, New Zealand from 26 – 29 September.

Information on how to submit a poster abstract can be found on the ARMS website here

CID Weekly Seminar Series - Tuesday 11 April - Dr Alex Hodge

12 - 1pm, Tuesday 11 April, Seminar Room 1, TRF


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]

CiiiD Tuesday seminar, 18 April: Sultan Alhayyani and Dr Jelena Bezbradica

1 - 2pm, Tuesday 18 April, Seminar Room 1, TRF

"Coincidence detection tailors macrophage responses to inflammatory signals"

Dr Jelena Bezbradica
Senior Research Fellow of the Kennedy Trust of Rheumatology Research (KTRR) at the University of Oxford, UK

Dr Bezbradica’s research focus is to understand innate immune responses to sterile versus microbe-induced tissue injury. Her work investigates how tissue resident immune cells, such as macrophages, integrate signals from cytokines (soluble mediators that report on tissue injury) with signals from microbial and tissue-damage sensors to direct a response that is best tailored to a specific pathophysiologic situation.

Dr Bezbradica was awarded her Ph.D. degree from Vanderbilt University, USA. She continued her research training as a Howard Hughes Medical Institute postdoctoral fellow with Professor Ruslan Medzhitov at Yale University, USA, and with Professor Kate Schroder at The University of Queensland, Australia. In 2016, she joined the Kennedy Institute at University of Oxford.
To meet with Dr Bezbradica, please contact Rebecca.Smith@hudson.org.au for appointments.

MCHRI Biostatistical Education Series "Sample size calculations for a successful grant application" - Tuesday, 11 April 2017

The Monash Centre for Health Research and Implementation (MCHRI)  Research Team Meeting on Tuesday, 11 April will be the Biostatistical Education Series.

Eldho Paul will present "Sample size calculations for a successful grant application".

1 - 2pm, Tuesday 11 April, Seminar Room 3, TRF building


Safety At Work - site alert

ATTENTION ALL CLAYTON SITE STAFF
Our security team has recently responded to two incidents of suspicious or concerning behaviour around the perimeter of our Clayton site.

We are committed to your safety at work and request that you are always vigilant about your personal safety, and continue to report any suspicious activity observed on or near our Clayton site to security.

To help us keep you safe at work, please:

  • Ensure you are always aware of the people around you and your surroundings.
  • Consider leaving work (e.g. walking to the train station or your car) with other Monash Health employees, particularly out of daylight hours.
  • Always ensure your valuables are secured.
  • Add our security contact number (9594 2139) to your mobile phone.
  • Always report suspicious or concerning behaviour to security on 9594 2139.
  • Please share this communication with all team members who work at Clayton including those travelling from other sites.


Animal facility refurbishment works in E+ laboratory

From the 19th April, refurbishment of Lab 6 in the E+ animal facility (E block level 1) will begin. This lab is located at the end of the corridor on the right. Although no animal holding rooms are immediately adjacent to this lab there may be some vibration and noise which could impact on mice housed in our SPF areas.  

Please note that due to the works the PC2 certification for this lab and associated corridor will be suspended until works are complete (estimated until end of June). Certification for the other labs in the E+ facility will not be affected however we ask that all users of these labs be mindful of any signs and additional hazards in the area.

If you have any concerns regarding your animals please contact Monika Generowicz in the first instance. Please email clare.westhorpe@monash.edu for any further information.

Googling Service Boundaries for Endovascular Clot Retrieval Hub Hospitals in a Metropolitan Setting: Proof-of-Concept Study

Thanh Phan et al. published in Stroke.

Read article here.

Changing epidemiology of candidaemia in Australia

Tony Korman et al. published in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy.

Read article here.

Comparison of preterm and term equivalent age MRI for the evaluation of preterm brain injury

Atul Malhotra et al. published in the Journal of Perinatology.

Read article here.

Oligo-evidence for antiemetic efficacy in the emergency department

Robert Meek, Diana Egerton-Warburton et al. published in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine.

Read article here.

Tactile Stimulation to Stimulate Spontaneous Breathing during Stabilization of Preterm Infants at Birth: A Retrospective Analysis

Stuart Hooper et al. published in Frontiers in Pediatrics.

Read article here.

Diffusion Tensor Imaging Colour Mapping Threshold for Identification of Ventilation-Induced Brain Injury after Intrauterine Inflammation in Preterm Lambs

Graeme Polglase et al. published in Frontiers in Pediatrics.

Read article here.