Monday, 27 April 2015

Invitation to Monash Medical Orchestra's Autumn Concert

The Monash Medical Orchestra invites you to their first concert for the year, entitled "Revolutions", on Sunday May 17th at 5pm 
in the James Tatoulis Auditorium of Methodist Ladies' College in Kew. 

This concert will feature Schubert's 'Unfinished Symphony', Wagner's 'Die Meistersinger', music from Les MisĂ©rables and other exciting works under the direction of our conductor, Robert Dora. 

Tickets are priced at $20 for adults and $15 at our concession rate and may be purchased online here or at the door. Friends and family are most welcome.

We hope to see you for what will be a wonderful evening of music making!

World’s largest study of stroke rehabilitation to change clinical practice guidelines

Professor Thrift
Monash University researchers have contributed to the largest-ever study to work out the most effective rehabilitation treatment for stroke patients.

Published in The Lancet this month, the multicentre randomised controlled AVERT trial reveals the effects of very early patient mobilisation following a stroke, with results that surprised the study authors.

Early patient mobilisation, comprising out-of-bed sitting, standing and walking after a stroke is currently recommended in many patient care guidelines and adopted in most stroke units.  Such mobilisation contributes to the positive effects of stroke-unit care, where patients receive organised care from a variety of clinicians including doctors, therapists and nurses.

To date there have been only a few small studies providing preliminary evidence of the benefit of early patient mobilisation. Importantly, it was unknown whether mobilising stroke patients more frequently than usual in the very early phase (within the first 24 hours) was beneficial and safe.

“To overcome the previous lack of evidence we conducted a large, multicentre randomised trial to determine the safety and efficacy of very early and frequent mobilisation,” said one of the main investigators, Professor Amanda Thrift, Head of Epidemiology and Prevention, Stroke and Ageing Research Group at the School of Clinical Sciences.

“We based this on our previous pilot study which seemed to indicate an early, frequent, higher dose very early mobilisation (VEM) protocol may increase the odds of a favourable outcome compared with usual stroke unit care.”

Low vitamin D levels linked to lupus

Dr Kristy Yap
Monash-led research has shown for the first time that low vitamin D levels are associated with higher disease activity in Australian systematic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients.

Published earlier this month in Lupus Science & Medicine, lead researcher Dr Kristy Yap, MBBS from the Centre for Inflammatory Diseases in the School of Clinical Sciences reported her findings in the first study to examine SLE disease in the Southern Hemisphere.

SLE, also known as lupus, is a severe, incurable and debilitating multisystem autoimmune disease.  It is the most common autoimmune disease, affecting at least 5 million people worldwide, and is predominantly diagnosed in young women.

The longitudinal study examined the disease activity and vitamin D levels of lupus patients who attended the Monash Medical Centre Lupus Clinic between 2007 and 2013.

“We found a high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in our cohort,” said lead author Dr Kristy Yap.
“Significantly, over a quarter of our patients recorded low vitamin D levels, keeping with reports from other parts of the world, including Asia and Europe.”

Demonstrating an inverse association between vitamin D levels and lupus disease activity, the research shows that increasing vitamin D levels correlates with lower disease activity in lupus patients.

“Future studies should include randomised trials which focus on the clinical effect of vitamin D supplementation in lupus,” said Head of the Monash Lupus Clinic and chief investigator in the Lupus and Arthritis Research Group, Dr Alberta Hoi.

World Day of Immunology on 29th April 2015

To celebrate World Day of Immunology on 29th April 2015, a number of informative and enjoyable events are being held in Melbourne.  


Free Public Lecture
Immunology Myth Busters! Listen to three of Melbourne’s top scientists talk about myths and realities surrounding cancer, allergies and bacteria and how research in immunology helps correct common health misconceptions.
6:00-8:30pm at the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, Melbourne  More information here.

Entries close soon: 2015 Australian Museum Eureka Prizes

Entries for the 2015 Australian Museum Eureka Prizes, Australia’s premier national science awards, close 7pm (AEST) Friday 1 May 2015.

Please click here for the full listing of prizes.

Other important dates for your diary:
24 July – Finalists announced online
26 August – Winners announced at the Award Dinner in Sydney

All queries should be directed to Ingrid Potts or (02) 9320 6483.

"Age Related Macular Degeneration: An eye to the future": CID presentation tomorrow.

Presented by Dr. Kirstan Vessey from Melbourne University.

Medicine Seminar Room, 12pm, Tuesday 28 April
Level 5, Block E, MMC

CiiiD Tuesday Seminar tomorrow at MIMR-PHI, 1pm

The CiiiD seminar on Tuesday 28 April will be presented by Dr San Lin and Dr Jamie Gearing.  All welcome.

Dr Lin will speak on fragment-based inhibitor design against malaria AMA1.

Dr Gearing will speak about screening for epigenetic modifiers of X chromosome inactivation.

In 2015, CiiiD Tueday seminars will start at 1.05pm and be held in the Level 3 Boardrooms of building 261 (MIMR).

State of the Art Presentation "Cancer Stem Cells and strategies to overcome chemo-resistance"- Wed 29 April 2015

Presented by Dr Muhammad Alamgeer                                

Date: Wednesday 29th April 2015
Time: 12.30pm to 1.30pm

Venue: Main Lecture Theatre, Monash Medical Centre, Clayton

Flyer attached here.

MIMR-PHI seminar: Regulatory Circuits in Innate Immune Signalling

Presented by Professor Bryan Williams
Wednesday 29 April, 4-5pm
Lecture Theatre 1, Monash Medical Centre

More information here.

Biomedicine Discovery Lecture: "Drugging the undruggable-Targeting PTP1B for novel therapeutics"

The Vallee Foundation Lecture, presented by Professor Nick Tonks
Thursday 14 May 12-1pm, New Horizons building, Clayton campus.

Details here.

Have you ever wondered what makes a successful pitch to a philanthropic organisation?

The Million Dollar Pitch - an ARMI Special Event

Thursday May 7 - 3.30 to 4.30pm, Clayton campus

Read more information here.

Launch of Online Professional Development Program for ECRs

Monash University has launched an online professional development program called Professional Skills for Research Leaders which is now available in Moodle.

It was developed by Epigeum, and has been designed to provide early career researchers with professional skills relevant to their current and future work.

The training unit is organised into 6 learning modules with each module consisting of learning materials and a quiz.  You may choose to undertake one, some or all of the modules available.

The modules are titled;
Welcome and Introduction
Developing and Consolidating your Research
Funding your Research
Managing your Research Team
Research Collaboration
Communicating your Research

Professor Mary O’Kane optimistic for young researchers

In February, outgoing NHMRC CEO Professor Warwick Anderson AM outlined a number of challenges facing researchers. In particular, the growing numbers of PhD graduates relative to the limited research-funding budget is going to put growing pressure on young researchers. This is a challenge facing researchers internationally (for example, see The future of postdoc and Rescuing US biomedical research from its systemic flaws), not just in Australia.

At a recent EMCR Forum engagement event, held in conjunction with the NSW EMCR Network, Professor Mary O’Kane, NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer, argued that PhD graduates and post-doctoral researchers will need to look outside of the traditional university model if they are to develop successful and ongoing research careers.  Read more here.

EMBL Australia PhD Course - find out how your PhD fits into the world of science

Please find attached details of the EMBL Australia PhD Course that will be held at the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research in Perth between June 22 and July 3.
Join 60 outstanding first and second year PhD students from around Australia at our two week residential course.  See how your PhD fits into the bigger world of science.  Our course is modelled on the annual pre-doc training course which is compulsory for first year students the EMBL.

Once you get to Perth, your accommodation and most meals will be covered.

It is a great way to learn about the latest science from Australian and International speakers plus spend time with like-minded students. Create the networks of the future!   The deadline is May 1.
Go online and apply at:  See attached flyer for more details 

Careers Evening Wondering what to do next?

Presented by the Victorian Infection & Immunity Network
Thursday 28 May, 2015 – 6:30pm Woodward Conference Centre, Carlton

An opportunity for Postgraduate Students and Postdoctoral Researchers to hear about alternative career paths

More information here.

Graduate Research Student News update

MIGR Candidature Documentation
A reminder to Graduate Research students and supervisors that documentation for any candidature variations must be forwarded to the MIGR Office at least two weeks prior to the date when the proposed change/s take effect as MIGR are unable to backdate.​

Monash University Mid‐Year Scholarship Round
Applications are open for Mid-year scholarships, closing Sunday 31 May at 5pm AEST.  Instructions and online application at:

Postgraduate Publication Awards
PPA provide a living allowance for up to 12 weeks for research students whose theses are under examination and need time to write articles or books, based upon their work.
The next PPA round closes on 30 June 2015 for thesis submissions between 1 June and 31 August.

Monash University Student Email accounts
Graduate research students are required to check their Monash student email account as all correspondence from the university is sent to this address.  Students can arrange to forward their email to another nominated address.  This automatic forwarding was ‘broken’ last year during the migration of google accounts and students who previously arranged this should do so again.

The Role and Effects of Glucocorticoid-Induced Leucine Zipper in the Context of Inflammation Resolution

Eric Morand published in the Journal of Immunology.

Read article here.

Central aortic reservoir-wave analysis improves prediction of cardiovascular events in elderly hypertensives

Jim Cameron published in Hypertension.

Read article here.

Maternal creatine homeostasis is altered during gestation in the spiny mouse: is this a metabolic adaptation to pregnancy?

Stacey Ellery, Domenic LaRosa, Michelle Kett, David Walker, Hayley Dickinson published in BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth.

Read article here.

Great ‘app-eal’ but not there yet: A review of iPhone nutrition applications relevant to child weight management

Professor Helen Truby published in Nutrition & Dietetics.

Read article here.

Maternal Asian ethnicity and the risk of anal sphincter injury

Miranda Davies-Tuck, Euan Wallace published in ACTA Obstetricia et Gynecologica 

Read article here.

Optimizing the use of existing therapies in lupus

Lucy Croyle, Eric Morand published in the International Journal of Rheumatic Disease.

Read article here.

Vitamin D Tracks Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Activity

Kirsty Yap in MedPage Today.

Read article here.