Monday, 22 May 2017

Monash medical student’s research may change IVF practice

Shimona Lai
Monash medical student Ms Shimona Lai has been accepted to present her research into the safety of double embryo transfers at the prestigious European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) in Switzerland.

Currently a Bachelor of Medical Science (Hons) student at the School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health (SCS), Shimona’s research project aims to compare clinical outcomes following single and double embryo transfer, with a focus on embryo quality.

“Historically, double embryo transfers have been used to maximise rates of implantation and pregnancy in IVF, however, its use has subsequently led to an unacceptably high risk of multiple pregnancy and its associated complications,” Shimona said.

“Although current recommendations are that only a single embryo be transferred per cycle, there are still many patients and clinicians who prefer double embryo transfer due to its assumed benefits.”

Shimona’s study is examining the quality of embryos used in single and double embryo transfer to see how this affects outcomes—with a particular interest in how embryonic interactions between differing quality embryos in double-embryo transfers impact success.

Shimona said her project’s results challenge the precedent that transferring multiple embryos compensates for low implantation and pregnancy rates, and instead suggest they may cause worse outcomes and even harm.

“The attitudes towards single and double embryo transfer are slowly changing, but our work has the potential to spur this on a little quicker - which is very exciting from a clinical perspective.”

ESHRE will be Shimona’s first scientific conference experience.

“I feel so honoured that my very first poster presentation will be at the ESHRE annual meeting, the leading society in the field of reproduction and reproductive health, which will be attended by more than 10,000 delegates,” Shimona said.

Shimona will present her poster at the 33rd Annual Meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology in Geneva, Switzerland, which will be held from the 2nd to 5th July 2017.

Shimona acknowledges the ongoing support and encouragement of her supervisors Dr Tiki Osianlis, Professor Beverley Vollenhoven and Associate Professor Martin Healy.

Monash researcher acknowledged for her outstanding contribution to the dietetic profession

Associate Professor Judi Porter from Monash University’s Department of Nutrition, Dietetics and Food has received an Outstanding Contribution Award from the Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA).

The prestigious award acknowledges Associate Professor Porter’s role in advancing the profession, particularly in the areas of research, publication and continuing professional development.

Associate Professor Porter’s research combines her interests in hospital food service and malnutrition, where she recently led a clinical trial implementing Protected Mealtimes (including increasing interactions that assist patients at meals whilst decreasing unnecessary interruptions) as part of her NHMRC TRIP fellowship.  This clinical trial was the first internationally to utilise a high-quality study design, with results revealing limited effect for the implementation of Protected Mealtimes.

Associate Professor Porter’s current projects include the systematic review and primary data analysis of data where total energy expenditure has been determined using doubly labelled water in the elderly, and an investigation of the professional identity of allied health staff at Eastern Health before and after a large organisational restructure.

“This award came as a great surprise, it really is an honour to be recognised by my peers,” Associate Professor Porter said.

DAA Public Relations Manager Ms Sally Moloney said that as Chair of the Melbourne 2016 national conference Scientific and Social Program Committee, Associate Professor Porter led the development of an outstanding scientific program which resulted in the largest and highly successful national conference.

“Her longstanding commitment to the Journal as an Associate Editor and more recently as the Systematic Review Editor on the Editorial Board and member of the Journal Strategic Planning Committee has been outstanding,” Ms Moloney said.

Associate Professor Porter received her Award at the DAA National Conference last week.  

As well has holding conjoint roles in the Department of Nutrition, Dietetics and Food, School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health (SCS), and in the Allied Health Clinical Research Office at Eastern Health, Associate Professor Porter has recently taken on the role of Editor of Nutrition & Dietetics and is also an Associate Editor for BMC Nutrition

“Peer-reviewed journals right now have unprecedented opportunities to engage with authors and readers; it is an exciting but challenging time to be involved in any editorial role,” said Associate Professor Porter.

Associate Professor Peter Holmes awarded prestigious Thoracic Society medal

L-R: the Hon Greg Hunt MP Federal Minister for Health; 
A/Prof Peter Holmes; Prof Allan Glanville,
 President Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand.
Associate Professor Peter Holmes, former Deputy Director of Monash Lung and Sleep, was recently awarded the prestigious Society Medal by the Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand at their 2017 Annual Scientific Meeting held in Canberra. 
The medal recognises the outstanding contribution A/Prof Holmes has made to respiratory medicine throughout his long and distinguished career. 
A/Prof Holmes has worked as a respiratory physician in Melbourne for over forty years, holding leadership positions in various Melbourne hospitals. He has served as Deputy Director at Monash Lung and Sleep for over twenty years and in private practice as Director of the Southern Region Respiratory Service. 
He has held leading roles in the Lung Foundation Australia, Asthma Victoria, WorkCover and advising the Victorian State government. 
Director Monash Lung and Sleep Professor Phil Bardin said that A/Prof Holmes’ is well known for his commitment to mentoring and teaching the next generation. 
“He demonstrates exceptional leadership in training medical students, RACP trainees, general practitioners, and respiratory physician colleagues,” Prof Bardin said. 
“Scores of respiratory physicians in Australia now model their clinical practice on the example mentored to them by Peter Holmes when they were trainees and junior physicians.
“He is well regarded for providing entertaining, practical and extremely well-received lectures and workshops about respiratory medicine topics to successive generations of general practitioners in Melbourne,” Prof Bardin said.
A/Prof Holmes early training and experience was eventful. He graduated from Monash University in 1968 with MBBS and spent his early years as a graduate at Prince Henry’s Hospital in Melbourne.
In 1970 he was conscripted into the army and served in the Royal Australian Army Medical Corps as Area Medical Officer, Pacific Islands Regiment, Lae in Papua New Guinea. On his return to Australia in 1972 he again worked at Prince Henry’s Hospital and also at the Queen Victoria Hospital. 
A/Prof Holmes initial training in respiratory medicine was at the Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital in Melbourne for two years. As a bright young registrar Peter secured a position as senior house officer in the Professorial Unit at the Brompton Hospital in London where he was awarded a prestigious Wellcome Traveling Scholarship.
Returning to Melbourne in 1979 A/Prof Holmes held appointments as a respiratory physician at the Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital, Prince Henry’s Hospital and the Alfred Hospital. As hospitals in Melbourne were demolished, moved and amalgamated, Peter consolidated his respiratory practice in the southern suburbs. 
In 2001 he was appointed as an Adjunct Clinical Associate Professor at Monash University.
A/Prof Holmes was a board member of Asthma Victoria and provided important leadership through his membership of their Medical and Scientific Sub-committee from 1977 to 1988.
Following a disturbing peak in asthma deaths in Victoria due to ambulance delays in the late 1980s, A/Prof Holmes and others were invited by the Health Minister at the time, the Hon Marie Tehan MP, to form the Victorian Government Ministerial Asthma Working Party to advise the minister about asthma management in Victoria.
Peter was the inaugural Victorian Branch Chair of the Australian Lung Foundation from 1990 until 2013 and was a member of the Federal Council during this period.

Save the date! Translational Research symposium at Monash University 31 July

Translational Research skills have become an important part of life at Monash's three metropolitan clinical schools. Significant findings and discoveries made in the lab can often get lost in their conversion to clinical practice and everyday medical treatments.

Central Clinical School is hosting a Translational Research symposium on 31 July 2017. All welcome to hear from top Melbourne-based researchers with national and international collaborations in clinical areas. See speaker program and RSVP at:
See more about what we have to offer in Translational Research:

Call for participants in the Translational Research Young Investigator poster competition

The 3rd annual Monash University Translational Research (TR) Symposium will be held 31 July 2017. The event is hosted by the three Monash clinical schools and will showcase the diverse research from these schools.

A Young Investigator poster competition will be held, with a winning prize of $500. The competition is open to graduate student and early career researchers, who are within 5 years of completing their PhD. Entries now invited.

If you would like to participate in the poster competition, please RSVP here. Please provide a title for your poster and a 250 word abstract before 3 July 2017.

More information:
The Translational Research Symposium will host a variety of medical researchers and medical alumni, presenting their translational research.

Date: Monday 31 July, 2017
Time: 8:30 for 9:00am start - 7:00pm close
To find out more about the symposium and our speaker program, please visit the website.
Please register your attendance, for catering purposes.

Translational Research Symposium Speaker Spotlight: Professor Kathryn North, 31 July

Monash University's 3rd annual Translational Research Symposium is being hosted by its three metropolitan clinical schools on 31 July 2017. The symposium will host a diverse group of medical researchers presenting their work into translational research.

The Keynote speaker for the event is Professor Kathryn North AM, Director of the Murdoch Children's Research Institute, Director of the Victorian Clinical Genetics Service and the David Danks Professor of Child Health Research at the University of Melbourne.

Prof North's presentation will be "Genomics and the Brave New World of Personalised Medicine: A Global and Local Perspective".

Genomics is already having a huge impact on our ability to diagnose and understand a range of disorders, and to target therapies to the individual. However, effective integration of this “disruptive technology” into everyday clinical practice will require a “whole-of-system” approach that builds on existing expertise. In Australia, we also need to overcome the “state/federal divide” in the funding of genetic testing to develop a cohesive national approach that is cost effective and provides equitable access.

The Australian Genomics Health Alliance (AGHA) is an NHMRC-funded national collaborative network committed to implementing genomic medicine within Australia and providing evidence to inform policy and practice. AGHA comprises over 50 partner organisations including the diagnostic pathology and clinical genetics services of all Australian States and Territories, along with the major research and academic institutions and peak professional bodies. By approaching clinical genomics at a national rather than state-based level, we increase our critical mass and offer a single point of contact for government and for national and international consortia.

Our approach – starting with the patient and developing a system that is focussed on improving patient care and outcomes – provides us with a unique opportunity to lead internationally in the integration of genomics into healthcare.

AGHA is also a leading member of the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health (GA4GH), an organisation of over 470 of the world’s leading biomedical research institutions, healthcare providers, information technology and life science companies, funders of research, and disease and patient advocacy organizations. The Global Alliance aims to accelerate the world-wide effort to responsibly aggregate, analyse and share large amounts of genomic and clinical information to advance the understanding, diagnosis, and treatment for cancer, inherited diseases, infectious diseases, and drug responses.

We look forward to welcoming Professor North for the Symposium!

More information:
Translational Research Symposium
  • Date: Monday 31 July, 2017
  • Time: 8:30 for 9:00am start - 7:00pm close
  • RSVP here

Find out more about the symposium and our speaker program.

If you are a graduate student or early career researcher, you may be interested in the Young Investigator poster competition. See here for more details and to RSVP.

Impact7 Opportunity, 1 August 2017

IMPACT7 is a new, national event amplifying the impact that Australian scientists have on our world. Over one day, researchers will showcase their innovative solutions to 7 major challenges facing this generation. This is research that matters, and could impact the way we think, work, and live. Impact7 is a Launchpad for public outreach. The event is being offered in partnership with CSIRO. 
The event Flyer has been attached to this email.

Through this scheme, a variety of prizes are available. Presenters travelling from outside Melbourne will be eligible to receive one of ten Travel Grants. One successful team will receive entry to the ‘Selection Bootcamp’
-a two day event/competition to vie for a position in the next round of the national accelerator, ON Accelerate4. Other prizes and opportunities are also available.

Application Process
The on-line application form can be found here. A panel of external science, technology and impact leaders will evaluate the applications and select the successful applicants to present at IMPACT7.

Key Dates 
Fast-Track Applications
31 May 2017
All Applications
16 June 2017

​If you have any questions, please contact​