Tuesday, 10 March 2015

New international partnership leads to collaborative translational research in pregnancy health

Prof Euan Wallace
Improved pregnancy health is the aim of an international translational research collaboration at The Ritchie Centre.

The Ritchie Centre has received a grant for the development of a Pregnancy Research Synergy between Monash and Manchester Maternal and Fetal Health Research Centre (MFHRC).   This follows the 2014 launch of the joint Monash Partners and Manchester Academic Health Science Centre Seed funding round.

The Ritchie Centre and MFHRC will explore their current research programmes overlap to determine potential for collaborative translational research with the goal of improving pregnancy health for mothers in Victoria, Greater Manchester and beyond.

Professor Euan Wallace, Head of Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Director of The Ritchie Centre said, “We are very excited about this two-way collaboration, with our complimentary expertise we can accelerate clinical application of discovery science.”

The first synergy project will involve both parties exploring a clinical trial into preeclampsia. This collaborative study is an extension of the pre-existing research into preeclampsia but looking for new treatments and fast tracking research insights.

 “Once the pilot study is complete we will have developed a streamlined pathway that will allow translational animal studies in pregnancy disease to be carried out jointly at both sites.”

The funding will enable both groups to come together for a series of face-to-face meetings, with the first to take place later this year in Brisbane.

“Both The Ritchie Centre and MFHRC have a similar structure, with a dynamic research group integrated into a major hospital,” added Professor Wallace. 

“By working together in close collaboration we can expand the number of our experimental trials and accelerate their translation to the patients beside, helping us to achieve a reduction in preventable stillbirth.”

Inaugural SCS Head of School's PhD Excellence Award

Arising from the very high standard of theses submitted to the SCS Postgraduate Committee for consideration for the Mollie Holman Medal this year, it has been decided to set up a school-level equivalent of this award for the most outstanding PhDs submitted in a given year.

Head of School of Clinical Sciences, Professor Eric Morand is proud to announce the inaugural SCS Head of School’s PhD Excellence Award, accompanied by $500 in prize money.

Congratulations Daniela Ulrich, David Oehme, Karinna Fyfe and Lauren Sanders who are the four recipients of this inaugural award in recognition of the outstanding quality of their PhD thesis and publications generated in their fields of research. 

Their dedication and perseverance, and the support of their supervisors and colleagues has led them to this achievement and the School is extremely proud of their contributions to their disciplines.

MMCAF(Monash Medical Centre Animal Facilities) NEWS

Welcome to MMCAF NEWS -  a newsletter to keep researchers up to date with any relevant news, new procedures, staff changes, reminders and any other information we would like to pass on.

If you have any items that you wish to be included in the newsletter please contact either Jo Howden or Jess Gaze.

Read newsletter here.

Visitor Sign-In Book at Reception

To ensure that all visitors to SCS receive the appropriate induction when in the School, they will now be required to sign-in at Reception on Level 5. 

Visitors will receive a Visitor's Pass and Lanyard to wear whilst they are at SCS, which are to be returned upon signing-out. This will also allow us to more effectively monitor all personnel on Level 5 in the event of an emergency or evacuation. Please advise your visitors to sign-in upon arrival.

Staff Development Updates and Opportunities - March / April / May 2015

The School has an obligation to ensure that all staff and students who undertake research as part of their employment or study receive the appropriate OHS training in order to work in a safe environment. Consequently, Heads of Departments and heads of research groups and supervisors must ensure that their staff and students hold current OHS training. I will work with the Heads and SCS and Faculty OHS staff to promote training opportunities during the course of the year.

Many of the training modules can be done on-line, whilst others require a face-to-face course. Most of the OHS training course are valid for a period of three years.  

The University OHS training guide clearly shows the mandatory and recommended courses for staff and students:  http://monash.edu/ohs/training/training-guide.pdf   You can cross-check this with your own training records in ESS: Under the 'Employee Services' tab, select 'My Monash Training Qualifications', which downloads a PDF of your current training.

Forwarded below is a list of upcoming OHS training opportunities over the next three months.

OHS Training

OHS training is an important aspect of a safe working environment. Monash University offers a wide range of courses in all areas of OHS. Supervisors and Managers must ensure that their staff and/or students participate in approved OHS training. Some OHS courses are mandatory where the work and/or study includes exposure to the hazard, whereas others are recommended where relevant to work and/or study.

Please refer to this link 'Guide to OHS training' for the OHS courses that are a requirement for your work. 

Any OHS training that staff have undertaken are recorded in SAP. If you have SAP HR access, see  how to access training records in SAP

Click on this Course List and the related links to access the OHS courses, the training calendar and enroll online. 

Annual Inspection of PC1 and PC2 facilities

An annual inspection and reporting to OGTR are requirements of the PC1 and PC2 facilities certification and compliance. This annual inspection is undertaken by the Research Compliance Officer, Monash Research Office.

All PC1 and PC2 facilities in the School of Clinical Sciences, MMC campus is scheduled for the Annual inspection before the end of March 2015.

For information on standard operating procedures, annual reporting, certification of facilities etc. please visit our website.

2015 NHMRC Ethics Award and NHMRC Outstanding Achievement Award - call for nominations

Monash University researchers are invited put forward nominations for two NHMRC Awards:

The nominations are online and close at 5pm on 27 March. Please note the letter says “2014” but we will work on 27 March 2015 as being the deadline.

The Nominator will be the Dean so please advise Mark Potter ASAP of potential nominees so they can be endorsed by the Dean before submission.

Grant Opportunities from the Gates Foundation and its Grand Challenges Partners

The Gates foundation and its Grand Challenges Partners are now accepting applications for the following grant programs – for more information please visit the grant opportunities page at www.grandchallenges.org

1.             Grand Challenges Explorations, an initiative to encourage innovative and unconventional global health and development solutions, is now accepting grant proposals for its latest application round.  Applicants can be at any experience level; in any discipline; and from any organization, including colleges and universities, government laboratories, research institutions, non-profit organizations and for profit companies.

Proposals are being accepted online until May 13, 2015 on the following topics:

Australia-APEC Women in Research Fellowship - Applications Now Open

The Australian Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Study Centre,  is pleased to announce the launch of the ‘Australia-APEC Women in Research Fellowship’. This new initiative will support high-achieving female researchers from developing APEC economies to pursue research opportunities in partnership with Australian education and research institutions. 
The Fellowship will support the hosting of female post-graduate researchers by an Australian institution for a period of one to four months to build and deepen institutional linkages, create professional networks, support professional development and exchange expertise with Australian researchers.  Funded by the Australian Government Department of Education and Training, the ‘Australia-APEC Women in Research Fellowship’ will offer up to 10 fellowships per year. A maximum of $23,300 is available for each fellowship.
To be eligible to receive the fellowship, applicants must:

2015 Ramaciotti Awards

Ramaciotti Health Investment Grants - now open

Ramaciotti Health Investment grants of up to $150,000 are awarded to individuals in universities, public hospitals or institutes for a contribution towards the undertaking of health or medical research with the potential path to clinical application within five years. A Health Investment grant is intended to provide enabling research support for an autonomous early career investigator who is taking, or has recently taken, a substantive position.

Applications close 5pm (AEST) on Friday 29 May 2015

Ramaciotti Medal for Excellence in Biomedical Research - now open

The Ramaciotti Medal is an annual award of $50,000. The Medal honours an individual who has made an outstanding discovery (or discoveries) in clinical or experimental biomedical research that has had an important impact on biomedical science, clinical science, or the way in which healthcare is delivered.

Applications close 5pm (AEST) on Friday 29 May 2015

Applications for the 2015 Ramaciotti Biomedical Research Award – still open

Applications are still open for the 2015 Ramaciotti Biomedical Research Award. This $1 million grant is awarded every two years to a group or individual undertaking biomedical research within universities, public hospitals, medical research institutes or other similar organisations. Applicants for the 2015 Award must be based outside of NSW.

Applications close 5pm (AEDT) on Friday 13 March 2015

For more information on the Awards, conditions, and how to apply, please visit the Ramaciotti website.

All queries about this scheme should be directed to the Medical and Health Sciences Team at MRO (mhs@monash.edu).

AGM and free lunch 17 March, 12.30-1.30pm

ATTENTION all PhD, Masters and Honours Students,

It is that time of year again for the first student event of the year, the Annual General Meeting...

We would like to invite you all to a free lunch and to nominate the new up and coming Student Society members.

The Annual General Meeting will be held in the MIMR Building, Level 3, boardroom, 12:30-13:30, on the 17th March 2015.

With the New Year and a plethora of new students from both MIMR-PHI and SCS there is an exciting opportunity for new students to become an integral part of the Institute and leaders among the student community.

There are 4 office bearer positions to be filled; President, Vice President, Treasurer and Secretary (role description below) and a number of centre rep positions. So get to thinking and talking to your colleagues because we would like nominations emailed to the Student Society between now and the 17th March 2015 (email to phiss@monashclubs.org).

I encourage all of you to attend to meet you peers and plan for future events. So bring your student ID, your opinion and an empty stomach.

Invitation: Monash 3MT Information Session, 19 March

Three Minute Thesis Information Session   What is the 3MT? 

Monash University Institute of Graduate Research invites you to come along to the 3MT information session to find out:

  • What's new in 2015  and how the competition works
  • What the judges are looking for
  • The inside story from previous 3MT contestants, and much much more...                            
Join us for afternoon tea to meet your 3MT faculty coordinator and chat with other students.
Thursday 19 March 2015
West Cellar Room, Campus Centre, Clayton
2.00 pm to 3.30 pm
Register your attendance here.    

For more information please visit the 3MT intranet site.

FOCUS Series - Faculty HDR Workshops

Focus Series is a set of workshops especially designed for Higher Degree Research students in the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences. Its aim is to assist with the development of advanced information research skills, including researching and composing Literature Reviews, using EndNote, managing research data and maximising research profiles. The series will be run at the Hargrave-Andrew Library at Clayton campus, on 23-24 March and 21 April 2015.Please see attached poster for further details. 

Participants can attend the entire series or select individual workshops, to suit their individual requirements. The workshops can be booked through the Library Booking System, using the search term ‘focus series’: http://lib.monash.edu.au/classes/.

For further information, please contact AnneYoung or Tomas Zahora 

Meet our ECRs - Dr Lisa Ryan

Can you explain your research? And what results / outcomes do you hope to achieve in the long term?
Being Irish, I was brought up on tea and later on in life developed a love for coffee, chocolate and red wine.  I often joke that my research career developed out of trying to justify some of my dietary habits. My area of research predominantly focuses on the potential health beneficial effects of chemicals in plants known as polyphenols (found in all fruits and vegetables; also readily available in chocolate, tea/coffee and red wine). I am particularly interested in their ability to affect the blood glucose response and insulin sensitivity. I hope that this research will lead to the discovery of natural compounds that may be useful in protecting against the development of type 2 diabetes.  My research also includes examining the potential of these compounds as functional ingredients to aid in the development of novel functional foods.

When you were young, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I really wanted to be a lawyer however I followed the OJ Simpson trial religiously which completely put me off.

What do you enjoy doing outside work?
I love spending time with my family ‘discovering Australia’ as we are still relatively new here, playing hockey or running along the beach with my dog in toe. 

Something your work colleagues probably don’t know about you?
I hold a black belt in kickboxing…I tend to keep that information to myself until I need to mention it! 

ECR latest news

Mentoring 2015: There is still time to register for the SCS Mentoring program - please let Clare Westhorpe know by Fri 13th if you're interested in participating, or if you'd like to know more.

SCS ECR committee: Volunteers are needed for the SCS ECR committee - relatively informal, to organise a couple of events here at MMC throughout the year. The school is really getting behind the ECRs, so we need to drive the programs we need. Please let Clare know if you're interested.

ECR symposium: this will be held on Mon 9th Nov at Caulfield campus - Save the date! It will be jam-packed with career development workshops and the publication awards.

2015 L'Oréal Australia & New Zealand For Women in Science Fellowships - CALL FOR APPLICATIONS

Applications are now open for the 2015 L'Oréal Australia & New Zealand For Women in Science Fellowships.

This year, the program has been expanded.  The Fellowships will still be awarded to outstanding early-career female scientists to help them consolidate their careers and rise to leadership positions in science, with the addition of a Fellowship specifically for New Zealand. 

In 2015 there are four Fellowships:

  • Three $25,000 L'Oréal Australia For Women in Science Fellowships
  • The inaugural $25,000 L'Oréal New Zealand For Women in Science Fellowship

The Fellowships are are available to female researchers who are within five years post-PhD and have shown excellence in their career to date.

Save the Date - ECR Symposium - Monday 9th November

The 2015 ECR Symposium is aimed at ECRs with an interest in developing and strengthening their research careers, with a particular focus on 'selling yourself'.

Monday 9 November at Monash University's Caulfield campus. 
Please save the date in your calendar.  Further details and registration will follow later this year.

2015 Victorian Premier's Award for Health & Medical Research

The 21st Victorian Premier’s Award for Health & Medical Research [PAHMR] recognises and celebrates the outstanding achievements of Victoria’s early-career health and medical researchers.

The recipient of the Award receives a trophy and certificate plus $16,000 to further develop their career in health or medical research. Three additional prizes, worth $8,000 each, are presented to applicants who are highly commended by the judging panel.Applications close at 2pm, Thurs 16 April.

Please visit the veski website for further information.

Assistance with preparation and editing of applications is available by contacting Christina Majoinen, Portfolio Manager, Prizes and Awards at Mind Your Way (christina@mindyourway.com.au).

Hypoglycemia in Hospitals

Prof Frier
All staff and students are invited to attend a special lecture, "Hypoglycemia in Hospitals", delivered by Professor Brian M. Frier, Honorary Professor of Diabetes, The Queen's Medical Research Institute, University of Edinburgh.  

VENUE:              Lecture Theatre 2, Monash Medical Centre
DATE / TIME:    March 26th, 8am-9am
Breakfast will be provided!

Professor Frier's principal research interest is the pathophysiology of hypoglycemia in
humans with particular relevance to diabetes. He has published extensively, particularly in
this field, and has co-edited two multi-author international textbooks on hypoglycemia and
diabetes. He co-authored the chapter on diabetes for five editions of "Davidson's
Principles and Practice in Medicine," and was editor-in-chief of an international, open
access, on-line journal called "Diabetic Hypoglycemia." Other research interests include
insulin therapy, cognitive function, and driving and diabetes.

Perspective on Pivotal Trial Designs in SLE — Lessons Learned, Monday 30 March at 1pm

Professor Vibeke Strand, Stanford University School of Medicine, will be the guest speaker at the Monash Rheumatology weekly meeting on Monday March 30 at 1 pm in the Medicine Seminar Room. 

Her topic will be:  Perspective on Pivotal Trial Designs in SLE — Lessons Learned

Vibeke is a leader in clinical research in SLE and RA and we are fortunate to have her join us. She is also keen to learn more about our programs.

School of Personalised Immunology 2015, 2-3 May in Canberra

The Centre of Personalised Immunology located in The John Curtin School of Medical Research, Canberra, is pleased to announce the upcoming inaugural School of Personalised Immunology.

This one and half day program is aimed at educating clinicians, GPs, registrars and medical students (with no prior knowledge assumed) on the latest technologies in phenotyping and genomic medicine for understanding and treating immune diseases.

The advent of genomics is revolutionising our understanding of disease pathogenesis, and will bring within our grasp the possibility of diagnostics based on understanding the cause of disease, not just its end-organ manifestations. This possibility, which is rapidly becoming a reality, has the potential to allow individualisation of therapeutic intervention to each patient. The personalised medicine revolution is occurring now, and will impact greatly on the lives of every physician practising over the coming decades.

CALL FOR NOMINATION: MNHS Academic Promotions SL Committee

This is a call for nominations from academic staff for vacancies on the Faculty Senior Lecturer Academic Promotions Committee. (Nominations close 12pm Thursday 12 March).
There is vacancy on the Senior Lecturer Academic Promotions Committee for two elected members with an appointment at Level C through to Level E. Membership is for a 3 year term commencing from July 2015.

The Committee is scheduled to meet on Friday 11 September, commencing at 9:00am (and at this stage is anticipated to run for the majority of the day).

For 2015 the Senior Lecturer Committee will be Chaired by Professor Wayne Hodgson.

Please note the following membership requirements.

Harmony Day celebration - 21 March

The Social Justice Unit is hosting a Taste of Harmony - Monash virtual cookbook competition to celebrate Harmony Day 2015.

Your chance to win a Village Cinemas Gold Class Experience!

Harmony Day is held every year on 21 March to coincide with the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. The message of Harmony Day is everyone belongs. It’s a day to celebrate Australia’s diversity – a day of cultural respect for everyone who calls Australia home.
To celebrate Harmony Day 2015 Monash is hosting a Taste of Harmony - Virtual Cookbook competition.