Monday, 18 May 2015

Monash Children's Hospital and Monash University - Partners in training ...

Congratulations outstanding MBBS students at SCS

Siblings Zhen Jiang and Jia Hui with Professor  Michelle Leech
Congratulations to the following SCS students who received prizes last week at the Faculty's Student Award Ceremony, celebrating outstanding student academic achievement.

Hannah Wallace
Jia Hui Lee
Diva Baggio
Zhen Jiang Lee
Lewis Fry
Andrew Pham

SCS students and sibilngs Zhen Jian Lee (Year 3) and Jia Hui Lee (Year 5) both received prizes.

"It was actually quite a surprise when I found out that I had received an award," said Jia Hui. "Year 4 was a quite a challenging and demanding year, and I feel very privileged to have been rewarded for all my efforts. 

"I especially enjoyed and was quite inspired by my experiences during my Women's Health rotation last year, and I feel extremely honoured to have been the recipient of the RANZCOG Women's Health Award."

Jia Jui is very proud of her brother and said it was quite a special occasion to celebrate both their of achievements at the same ceremony.

"I'm very excited to receive the Chris Silagy Prize for Community Partnership with my partner Liang Qu," said Zhen Jiang.

"It came as a pleasant surprise for us, and the recognition for our efforts has been motivation to do well in clinical years too.

"To have my sister also win an award is humbling, and I'm very happy for her - and makes me even more grateful for the support at home," added Zhen Jiang. 

"Perhaps it wasn't a coincidence that the award ceremony was held so close to Mother's Day; as that is where the true recognition should lie!" 

Monash-led research team implores government to subsidise hepatitis C drugs

Professor Sievert
In a letter to the Medical Journal of Australia published today, a leading Monash researcher is asking for hepatitis C virus patients to gain improved access to drugs to avert liver related deaths.

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is a major public health burden in Australia, with estimates of 230,000 people chronically infected.

HCV is a significant cause of advanced liver diseases including progressive liver fibrosis, cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (liver cancer).

Fortunately, there is a revolution in HCV treatment with the advent of new drugs, known as direct acting antiviral (DAA) therapy.

“During this decade, simple (oral tablets rather than injections), tolerable, short duration (6-12 weeks) therapy with extremely high efficacy (cure rates above 90%) should become the norm for the  HCV-infected population,” said lead author and Director, Gastroenterology and Hepatology Unit at Monash Health and Monash University Professor of Medicine William Sievert.

“However, the high cost of DAA regimens and competing public health priorities may limit the potential impact of new HCV therapies.”

New Institute name honours the late Bryan Hudson

Professors David de Kretser, Bryan Hudson 
and Henry Burger
Last Thursday, the MIMR-PHI Institute of Medical Research was renamed ‘Hudson Institute of Medical Research’ to honour the late Professor Bryan Hudson.

Hudson Institute Director, Professor Bryan Williams says Professor Hudson was a world-class medical researcher, innovator and a visionary leader.

“As both a physician and a scientist,
Professor Hudson's legacy exemplifies the values of the Institute – excellence in cutting-edge research and ensuring its positive impact on the health of the community,” he said.

The MIMR-PHI Institute came about as the result of a 2014 merger between two of Melbourne’s most trusted names in medical research, Monash Institute of Medical Research (MIMR) and Prince Henry’s Institute (PHI).

Now, with a combined 75 years of research experience, more than 450 leading researchers and postgraduate students, an annual budget of more than $45m, and state-of-the-art research facilities, the merged Institute has taken its place as a leader in medical research and its translation into the clinic.

“The diversity of our research is our strength. Our multidisciplinary research environment fosters collaboration and creates opportunities for unique insights and innovation to improve health and prevent and treat diseases across the entire lifespan,” said Professor Williams.

The Institute’s new name recognises the shared histories of its two founding partners.

Dr Jim Harris receives competitive Faculty Platform Access Grant

Dr Jim Harris
Congratulations Dr Jim Harris, postdoctoral scientist in the lupus and arthritis research group.  Jim has received a $6000 Monash Faculty Platform Access Grant for his project, Developing new tools to study IL-38.

Jim and his Hudson Institute research collaborators Associate Professor Marcel Nold and Dr Claudia Nold will use the grant to fund production of a new antibody against human IL-38, which has applications for a wide range of studies into this cytokine.

"IL-38 is a recently discovered member of the IL-1 family of cytokines, but appears to be anti-inflammatory," said Jim.

"Together with Marcel and Claudia, we have recently shown that it is also up-regulated in patients with lupus (manuscript in revision).

"There are few quality reagents available for studying IL-38, so new antibodies will give us a real advantage in uncovering the cell biology and clinical potential of IL-38," added Jim.

MHTP welcomes new Senior Bioinformatician

Roxane Legaie
We are very pleased to welcome Miss Roxane Legaie who has recently taken up the exciting position of Senior Bioinformatician at the Monash Health Translation Precinct (MHTP).

Her main role will be to collaborate with the MHTP’s Medical Genomics Facility and its associated research groups in order to provide them with bioinformatics support from the experimental design phase through to publication. This will primarily include the creation of data analysis pipelines for next generation sequencing and microarray data from internal and external scientists.

Roxane will be working closely with the Monash Bioinformatics Platform, a core facility that provides bioinformatics support to the University and which has a wide range of expertise in biological research fields requiring cutting edge computational techniques such as genomics, proteomics and structural biology.

Previously Roxane was working at the Queensland Facility for Advanced Bioinformatics (QFAB) in Brisbane where she was leading various projects in genomics and transcriptomics. Over seven years of experience Roxane has developed broad data analysis skills as well as high standard customer service skills and a strong interest in translational research.

Call for 2016 Research Projects

Sent on behalf of Prof Kate Loveland
Dear School of Clinical Sciences potential 2016 research supervisors
If you are hoping to recruit a research student for 2016, I would thoroughly recommend that you upload your proposed project(s) to the following searchable online database.  You will need your Monash Uni authcate username and password to login as 'supervisor'.
All staff are asked to update and/or submit research project offerings via the Faculty MNHS project database - click on:

Fresh young research stories wanted

Fresh Science 2015
We’re looking for early-career researchers with peer reviewed results who are ready to share their discovery with the world.

Fresh Science is a national competition that selects researchers with research results, an invention, or a discovery, trains them in how to tell their story, and helps them share their findings with the media and the public.

Ten Fresh Scientists will be chosen in each state where we’re holding an event. They’ll take part in a day of media training followed by a night down at the pub, where the spotlight shines on them. In some states there will be additional events as well, including school talks.

We’ll also publish short profiles on each Freshie, and pitch the best stories in each state to the media. 

Media and communication training dates

Conveying the complexity of your research into a 30-second grab for the media can be hard, and sometimes daunting.   The solution is to shape the essence of your science into a story.   Our full-day media and communication training course will help you with all your non-scientific communication with stakeholders, customers and the media. It will help you feel comfortable with the media and give your media advisors confidence that you will be a good performer when media opportunities arise. 
  • Melbourne: Wednesday 3 June
  • Melbourne: mid-July (date TBC)
  • Melbourne: Tuesday 15 September
We can also hold courses in other locations or on other dates if there’s sufficient demand, and we welcome expressions of interest for possible future courses.   If you have at least four participants, we can probably find others in your area to make a course viable. Or if you want a brief introduction to the media for a larger group, talk to us about our meet the press sessions. 

Call for Ramaciotti Foundations Health Investment Grant applications

The Ramaciotti Foundations Health Investment Grants are now open.  See details here.  And guidelines are here.

The grants support individuals in undertaking health or medical research with a potential path to clinical application within five years.  Grants are aimed at autonomous early-career investigators, who are taking or have recently taken a substantive position. 

Under the guidelines, Monash may submit a maximum of three applications and no more than one from any given department. Therefore there will be an internal ranking process.

In order to facilitate the ranking process all intending applicants will need to:
  • Confirm matching university support with HoS/HoD (this is a condition of application)
  • Complete (but don't submit) an application in Perpetual Trustee's online application system
  • Create a PDF of the application and send this to the Medical and Health Sciences Team by COB 19 May.  

2015 NHMRC Grant Review Panels: Invitation to Nominate ECR Observers, and an Assistant Chair

NHMRC are calling for Early Career Researchers (ECRs) to sit as observers on the 2015 Project Grants Grant Review Panels (GRP) and for a candidate to participate as an Assistant Chair on a GRP.
ECR GRP Observers will:

·         Receive insights into the Project Grants scheme peer review process which could be advantageous in their future Project Grant applications;
·         Be provided with an opportunity to observe the discussion of applications; and
·         Assist NMHRC to expand the pool of potential GRP members for the future.

Assistant Chairs play an important role in ensuring the peer review process for project grant applications is fair and equitable. NHMRC expects to provide Assistant Chairs with insights into the Project Grants peer review process which could be advantageous in their future Project Grant applications.
The Acting Deputy Dean (Research), Professor Matthew Gillespie, therefore requires Heads of School or Department to nominate ECRs who meet the parameters outlined by NHMRC (seeAttachment A) and are available in the nominated timeframe outlined below.

We need your photos - Promotion of Graduate Research students in the new TRF building

Prof Kate Loveland has a plan to promote all graduate research students in the new TRF building at the Monash Health Translational Precint (MHTP) through profiling PhD and Masters students on electronic notice boards.

In preparation for this, we have organised a professional photographer for several sessions as follows:
Thursday 21st May 1.30pm-2.30pm - Hudson Institute (previously MIMR-PHI) Level 3 - de Kretser Concourse
Monday 25th May 5.00-6.00pm - BASE Facility Level 1, 264 Ferntree Gully Road, Notting Hill*
Tuesday 26th May 1.00pm-2.00pm - Surgery Seminar Room, Level 5 Block E MMC
Tuesday 26th May 2.30-3.30pm - Surgery Seminar Room Level 5 Block E MMC

*Reserved for Psychiatry and Nutrition and Dietetics students.

Please book into a session by Thursday 21st May as each session can only have up to 25 students. 

Go to the following link and select a time that you would like to have your photo taken.

Thank you!

MU Library - Interest for Focus Series workshops to be held at MMC

The Monash Library runs a set of information research and academics skills workshops for higher degree research students in the Faculty called the "Focus Series".

They have offered to run some of these workshops at MMC in June, 2015.

The current program for this series outlining the workshops in more detail is here.

If you are interetsed, please complete the attached poll by Friday 22nd May so that we can get an indication of the level of interest in having these workshops run at MMC:

AXM Logo Competition

AXM, the clinical e-learning tool for medical students was launched last year, but it doesn’t have a logo yet…how embarrassing!

Can you help AXM?

If you are a medical student (preferably one who has used AXM), we want you to put your creative hats on and design a logo that embodies AXM.

It could be a sketch, done on computer, involve a picture or a tag line - unleash your creativity!!!

We will review all of the submissions and the CHOSEN ONE will be used as the AXM logo! 

Not only that, but the creative genius behind the chosen entry will receive an iPad mini as a reward!!!

Please submit your entries via email to by 29th June 2015. The "choosing" will happen by 24th July 2015.

There are some terms of entry, so here they are...

For more information about AXM go to:   

CID meeting tomorrow: Visualising adaptive immunity in the glomerulus

Dr Clare Westhorpe
Dr Clare Westhorpe will deliver this week's CID presentation.

12pm, Tuesday 19 May in the Medicine Seminar Room, Level 5, Block E, MMC.

Biomedicine Discovery Lectures at Monash University TOMORROW

Monash University is hosting the following free lectures, please register to attend:

Tuesday 19th May 2015

2:00pm Professor Benjamin G. Neel, Laura and Isaac Perlmutter Cancer Center at NYU Langone
"Emergent Vulnerabilities in Breast Cancer"  More information here.

3:30pm Professor Philippe Bastiaens, Max Planck Institute of Molecular Physiology Dortmund, Germany
"Ras moves to stay in place"  More information here.
Afernoon tea will be served between 3:00-3:30pm.

RACS Grand Round 20 May; "Aspirin- Age old problems, and an even older remedy"

Presented by Dr Stephanie Ward, RACS / Geriatrics

Wednesday 20 May
12.30 -1.30pm
Main Lecture Theatre, MMC, Clayton

See flyer here.

International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOTB) event invitation

Friday 22 May, 3.00 pm - 4.30 pm, Japanese Studies Centre, Clayton
Panel discussion on LGBTIQ Youth, with special guest speakers

Join us for a rich discussion about supporting LGBTIQ students in all levels of education, particularly in their transition from high school to tertiary studies.  Wine and light refreshments will be available after the event. 

Tuesday 19 May, 12.00 pm - 1.00 pm, Hump Lawn, Clayton
Come and send a positive message to your younger self in the photo booth, with a pancake barbeque. Hosted in collaboration with Monash Student Association (MSA) and Monash Postgraduate Association (MPA).
Wednesday 20 May, 1.00 pm - 2.00 pm, Caulfield
Come and join the MonSU Queer department on their Stress Less Day.
Thursday 21 May, 8.00 am - 10.00 am, Building A, Peninsula
Come and join the free pancake breakfast (with rainbow sprinkles).

Please visit the IDAHOTB website for more information. 

2015 Victoria Prize for Science & Innovation and Victoria Fellowships NOW OPEN

The Minister for Small Business, Innovation and Trade, Adem Somyurek has opened two of Victoria’s most prestigious science and innovation programs in the life and physical sciences.

2015 Victoria Prize for Science & Innovation
The Victoria Prize for Science & Innovation celebrates leadership, determination, endeavour and creativity. These prestigious prizes are for a scientific discovery or technological innovation, or a series of such achievements that significantly advances knowledge.  The clear potential to produce a commercial outcome or other substantial benefit to the community will be highly regarded.

Download the nomination guide, nomination form and referee report here.

2015 Victoria Fellowships
Victoria Fellowships provide a travel grant of up to $18,000 to undertake a short-term overseas study mission to assist in developing a commercial idea; undertaking specialist training; or career development not available in Australia. Additionally, Fellows can apply for the Australian French Association for Science and Technology (AFAS) Associate Award valued at up to $5,000.

Download the application guide, application form and referee report here.

Applications and nominations must be received by 2:00PM on Thursday 25 June 2015 via the veski website.

ARC Call for College of Experts Nominees

The Monash Research Office is calling for nominations from researchers who are interested in playing a role in identifying research excellence through membership of the ARC College of Experts. This year, the ARC is particularly seeking nominations from individuals with multi-disciplinary and cross-disciplinary expertise. The ARC encourages nominations from women, from people of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander origin, and from end-users across the private, public and not-for profit sectors.

The ARC will not accept nominations directly from nominees. Nominations should be submitted to by 5pm, Tuesday 9 June.  Nomination kit here.
To submit a nomination, the following documents are required:
·  ARC College Nomination Form - complete all questions (form here)
·  Monash University Nomination Cover Sheet - completed and signed copy (form here)

Competitive nominations will be endorsed by the Deputy Dean (Research) and forwarded to MRO by 9am, Tuesday 16 June 2015.

Ingrid Scheffer, Jenny Graves, Suzanne Cory, Liz Blackburn and …?

Do you know a suitable candidate for a L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Award?

Three Australians and one New Zealander have become L’Oréal Laureates for the Asia-Pacific region; Ingrid Scheffer, Margaret Brimble, Jennifer Graves and Suzanne Cory.   And two Australian-born scientists have won L’Oréal Laureates in the North America region, Jillian Banfield and Elizabeth Blackburn.

The 2016 edition of the awards will designate five outstanding scientific researchers in the life sciences working in one of each of the following regions: Africa & the Arab States, Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America and North America. 

Eminent scientists are invited to submit candidates before 16 June 2015. 
Final selection of the Laureates is made by an international jury of eminent members of the scientific community.   More information at: 

$1 million in grants for future leaders

AMP is offering $1 million in grants to Australian innovators, inventors, artists and musicians. And they’re keen to get more applications from scientists from all fields of science.
They’re looking for individual Australians who are working hard to make a difference in their chosen field.
Grants of between $10,000 and $100,000 will be awarded for a range of activities, including training, travel and equipment costs, research and rent.
To apply you’ll need to outline what you want to achieve, how you plan to get there and what you’ve done to move towards your goal. You’ll also need to include two referees and a budget.
Applications are open now, until 4pm 14 May 2015.
More at:

Research Australia Awards —do you know a hero of medical research?

Research Australia are looking for people who are:

  • great advocates for health and medical research
  • making an impact early in their research career
  • philanthropic heroes
  • exceptional leaders and pioneers in health and medical research.
Nominations for their annual awards are now open and close 6 July  

The awards will be presented at the Research Australia Dinner in Melbourne on 18 November.
More at:

Melatonin for preventing pre-eclampsia

Sebastian Hobson and Euan Wallace published a Cochrane Review.

Read article here.