Wednesday, 18 February 2015

New name for MIMR-PHI Institute

Professors David de Kretser, Bryan Hudson and Henry Burger
MIMR-PHI Institute of Medical Research will officially be known as Hudson Institute of Medical Research, Director and CEO Professor Bryan Williams announced yesterday.

The name Hudson was chosen to recognise the shared history of both MIMR and PHI. The late Professor Bryan Hudson was the first Professor of Medicine at Monash University and the Founding Chair of the University’s Department of Medicine. He then became Founding Director of Prince Henry’s Hospital Medical Research Centre (MRC, subsequently Prince Henry’s Institute). In this role he established Prince Henry’s Hospital as the key Monash University academic teaching hospital with the first Monash MBBS medical cohort of 29 students graduating in 1966.

Monash researchers and clinicians improving outcomes for stroke patients

Professor Phan
In a landmark randomised control trial published in The New England Journal of Medicine and presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Conference last week, researchers from Royal Melbourne Hospital and their collaborators at Monash University and Monash Health have shown significantly improved outcomes for stroke patients.

Stroke is the second single greatest killer and one of the leading causes of disability amongst adults in Australia and worldwide. Eighty per cent of all strokes are caused by a blood clot blocking a blood vessel in the brain, known as an ischaemic stroke.

“We know that ischaemic stroke patients have improved outcomes when treated with a clot busting drug given intravenously within 4.5 hours of stroke onset,” said Monash University researcher and Head of Stroke at Monash Health, Professor Thanh Phan.

“However, intravenous clot-busting drugs alone may not be effective enough if there is a very large clot blocking a major brain artery,” added Professor Phan.  “And bigger clots cause bigger damage.”

“Our study has shown for the first time that an intervention known as stent-thrombectomy in addition to an intravenous clot-busting drug leads to significantly better outcomes for patients with large clot blockages.”

Hertzog receives Gates funding to investigate link between contraceptives and HIV susceptibility

MIMR-PHI Institute's Centre for Innate Immunity and Infectious Diseases Head, Professor Paul Herztog has received a $1M AUD grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to investigate the relationship between some oral contraceptives and an increased susceptibility to sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV.
In 2013, his team characterised an important, naturally occurring immune cytokine in the female reproductive tract which regulates immunity to sexually transmitted infections. They had previously discovered and named it Interferon Epsilon (IFN-epsilon). This world-first discovery was published in the prestigious journal Science and it has many implications for future studies into the prevention of diseases of the female reproductive tract, including STIs.

Congratulations Dominique Cadilhac, first prize winner, Stroke Progress and Innovation Award

Dominique Cadilhac with
Marc Fischer (Editor of Stroke)
 and Professor Chris Levi
 (co-author, Uni Newcastle
and John Hunter Hospital).

Associate Professor Cadilhac awarded first prize at the 2015 International Stroke Conference of the American Heart Association in Nashville for her novel research evaluating rural stroke services.   

Full story here.

MoDERN Research Network - Seminar on 19 February

The recently formed MoDERN research network are delighted to have Assoc Prof Bonnie Sawatsky visiting from the iCORD centre and the University of British Colombia (Institute of Orthopaedics) visiting at present.  A seminar has been organised for this week.

Date: Thursday 19 February 2015
Time:  4:00pm
Venue:  Meeting Room 1, 43 Rainforest Walk (Building 64), Clayton campus

Bonnie is a biomechanist, who has done some fantastic work around wheelchair propulsion biomechanics, development of physiological measurements as well as the best mechanisms to teach children wheelchair skills so that they are able to improve participation as well as maintain their physical skills as they develop through adolescence and transition to adulthood. 

Future Scientific Leaders – The best and brightest young scientists for ARMI/Monash University

EMBL Australia’s flagship program is its research program, which follows the EMBL model in providing talented young scientists with up to nine years of secure and generous funding.

An international recruitment program to select and appoint two Group Leaders to this prestigious initiative is currently underway. Interviews will take place at ARMI over a three day period from Wednesday 25 February.

The short-listed applicants will be presenting their research and research interests on Wednesday 25 February, in G19, Ground Floor, STRIP 1, 15 Innovation Walk. The speakers are listed in the attached flyer.

Invitation: International Women's Day Friday 6 March

The Social Inclusion committee are delighted to be sponsoring 10 staff to attend the International Women's Day luncheons to be held on the 6th March at Clayton and 13th March at Caulfield (see attached flyer). If interested staff could please send an email to Melanie Koo by Friday 20th Feb indicating your preferred date 6th or 13th . Names will be randomly drawn if more than 10 individuals have expressed an interest. Please note preferences will be given to staff who have not previously been sponsored.

'Make it Happen' is the 2015 theme encouraging effective action for advancing and recognising women and we are delighted to have two of Monash's most inspiring alumni presenting:

Clayton Campus: Friday 6 March, 12 - 2pm

Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences Dean’s Award for Excellence

Nominations are now open for the following categories:

Closing date for nominations is Friday 1 May 2015. Please submit your application to

For further information, please see the link below:

CALL FOR APPLICATIONS: Cancer Council Victoria - 2015 Postdoctoral Cancer Research Fellowships

The Cancer Council Victoria invites applications for the 2015 Postdoctoral Cancer Research Fellowships scheme.

Applications close Wednesday 22 April 2015 at 4.30pm (AEST)

Further information and the application form are available at

ECR profile - David Scott

Dr David Scott
Can you explain your research? 

I’m an exercise scientist and I conduct clinical research on “sarcopenia”, which is the term we use to describe the decline in skeletal muscle mass and function that occurs during ageing. Loss of muscle quality is a concern because it can contribute to many poor health outcomes in older adults, and I’m particularly interested in associations with disability, fractures, and obesity. Prof. Peter Ebeling and I are currently focusing on a specific component of muscle quality that has been under-investigated; inter- and intra-muscular adipose tissue (IMAT). As we age, our muscles develop a “Wagyu beef” appearance and this significantly compromises the ability of the muscle to produce force, and also causes inflammation and insulin resistance. We are investigating the role of vitamin D supplementation and exercise training for reducing IMAT and improving physical function and cardiometabolic health in older adults. It’s my aim to develop interventions which improve body composition and muscle function in older adults, allowing them to maintain their independence and quality of life.

When you were young, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I always dreamt of being a football player but realised in my early teen’s that the ambition outweighed the ability! At that point, exercise science seemed like a good alternative.

What do you enjoy doing outside work?

I’m a huge sports fan so I spend too much time watching AFL, cricket, basketball, soccer, ice hockey etc. I no longer play any sports but enjoy running and cycling as often as possible. The time available for these activities has been curbed considerably with the arrival of our first child (Sophie, age 10 months) but playing with her is hugely enjoyable and I’m also using this time to work on developing her into a sporting prodigy. We’ve made great progress with her throwing technique although this makes for a lot of mess at dinner time.

Something your work colleagues probably don’t know about you?

I’m a proud Tasmanian (and I’ve heard all the jokes). 

Young Tall Poppy Science Awards for 2015 - Information Session on 25 February

Nominations for the annual Young Tall Poppy Science Awards for 2015 will open at 9am on Monday 23 February and close a midnight on Sunday 5 April.
These awards recognise excellence in early career research across all the sciences including biomedical, engineering, mathematics, technology; alongside a passion and capacity to communicate science to the community.  Further details are available at
Eligibility Criteria are available at  Please note that nominees must be no more than 35 years of age as at the nomination closing date.

Upcoming Workshops - Writing and Communications

Workshops in Academic Writing and How to Structure your PhD Thesis are available - bookings are essential.
If you have any questions please contact Dr Zhila Bahman, a lecturer of communication and writing programs in the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences.

  • Audience/reader
  • Length
  • Comprehensiveness/complexity
  • Purpose

2015 resources for PhD candidates

The following support is available to help plan and manage your milestones:

(1) Overview of the new Monash Doctoral Program:

(2) A handy synopsis for PhD students:

(3) What you need to know about Milestone Management and

(4) Faculty training resources available at:

Bachelor of Medical Science (Honours) - why is research important?

BMedSc coordinator Dr Tony White
at last week's information session
Why should you undertake a BMedSci Honours year  at the School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health (SCS)?
  • broaden your career options
  • ignite your passion for a career in medical research - medicine is the science-based healthcare profession
  • make discoveries that will directly help patients - in a unique translational research environment in Victoria's LARGEST health system - every medical speciality 'under one roof' at Monash Health
  • we have the broadest range of clinical departments anywhere in the University
  • work with the best - our supervisors have international reputations for excellence in a huge range of fields 
  • a chance to get published, or present your work at major national events
  • SCS offers a unique clinical bridging program including weekly seminars - plus weekly bedside tutes to keep up your skills
  • it looks great on your CV!! 
If you're an MBBS student and want to stand out from the crowd, read more about the BMedSci here

Improved outcomes for stroke patients

A landmark trial has shown significantly improved outcomes for stroke patients with the use of a clot busting drug and clot removal.

Stroke is the second single greatest killer and one of the leading causes of disability amongst adults in Australia and worldwide. Eighty per cent of all strokes are caused by a blood clot blocking a blood vessel in the brain, known as an ischaemic stroke.   Full story here.


The AUSA Executive and the 2015 Conference Committee are excited to announce the dates and location of the 2015 conference.

The New Zealand Universities will host delegates in beautiful Queenstown, New Zealand and the conference will run for 3 days from Tuesday 23rd - Thursday 25th June 2015.
Themed " University Safety Adventurers", the conference committee welcomes and encourages proposals for papers focussing on the following key topics:
  • Fieldwork
  • Emergency Management
  • Legislation 
Two optional pre-conference workshops will be offered on the morning of Tuesday 23rd of June:
  • Building a Prepared Community and Campus Resiliency to Better Tackle Emergency Situations, with Chris Hawker
  • Applying the USHA higher education fieldwork and offsite safety guidance, with Andrew Knight
Further information is available from the conference homepage 

OHS AROUND THE GLOBE Sharing OHS best practice

Chuah Chong Boon and
Professor Sek Chow visit
from Monash Malaysia
In the latter half of 2014, Professor Sek Chow and Chuah Chong Boon, from the Monash Malaysia School of Sciences visited the Clayton campus on an exciting fact finding mission to identify what constitutes a good OHS management system and positive safety culture.
The visit was supported by their Head of School, Professor David Young and the Monash Malaysia OHS Manager, Mr Pram Kumar Nair.
The Monash Malaysia campus is located in Bandar Sunway, Malaysia, approximately 20 kilometres from Kuala Lumpur. The Malaysia School of Sciences runs the Bachelor of Science, BSc. Medical Bioscience, BSc. Food Science and Technology and Honours Degree of Bachelor of Science teaching programs. The School has recently occupied new state of the art research and teaching laboratories and thought it an opportune time to review their OHS practices.