Monday, 22 June 2015

MHTP Student Open Day 2015

MHTP Open Day is an opportunity for all researchers to present their projects to prospective Honours, BMedSc, Masters and PhD students.

We are keen to attract as many prospective students as possible to this event.  If you have an opportunity to promote our Open Day at lectures you deliver, here is a powerpoint slide you can show and a flyer you can hand out.

If you have any questions about Open Day, please contact Lisa Walter or Janet Chang.

Improved outcomes for patients with prostate cancer at Monash Health

Dr Arun Azad
Medical oncologist and researcher Dr Arun Azad is the recipient of a prestigious Victorian Cancer Agency Clinical Research Fellowship, announced last week by Minister for Health, the Hon Jill Hennessy MP.

The highly competitive Fellowship worth $800,000 over four years will enable to Dr Azad to characterise the effects of docetaxel chemotherapy on castration-sensitive prostate cancer.

 “In collaboration with Professor Gail Risbridger in the School of Biomedical Sciences, I will investigate whether docetaxel targets a population of ‘pre-existing’ castration-resistant cells,” said Dr Azad.

“This work may identity novel ways of making docetaxel more effective in castration-sensitive prostate cancer, paving the way for future clinical trials and better patient outcomes.”

An early-career medical oncologist and translational researcher in genitourinary malignancies, Dr Azad led cutting-edge work investigating mechanisms of therapeutic resistance and response in advanced prostate cancer patients through genomic analysis of circulating cell-free DNA (cfDNA) at the British Columbia Cancer Agency, Vancouver, Canada.

Dr Azad has played an active role in the development of 5 investigator-initiated clinical trials and been the recipient of over $1.5M in competitive funding including a prestigious CJ Martin Fellowship from the NH&MRC. His clinical and research activities have resulted in publications in high-impact journals including Journal of Clinical Oncology, European Urology and Lancet Oncology. He has also been the recipient of 15 competitive prizes and awards including Merit Awards at the American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Scientific Meeting and Genitourinary Cancers Symposium.

Dr Azad will take up appointments at Monash Health and Monash University’s School of Clinical Sciences (SCS) later this year to focus on pre-clinical and clinical translational research in genitourinary cancers.

"Only two Australian unis make top 100 of Global Nature Index", reported in The Australian

Australia has only two universities in the top 100 of an influential global ranking that measures scientific discoveries, placing it as the 12th in the world.

The Global Nature Index, which measures the number of academic papers published in Nature’s stable of 70 journals, put the University of Queensland as Australia’s highest placed institution at 92 followed by Monash at 100. Six institutions made the top 200.

In its critique of the Australian research system, Nature said despite funding cuts and uncertainty around science policy, scientific publications had increased marginally on 2014.

“This improvement came during a year of uncertainty over science policy, for much of which the country did not have a science minister and government spending on R&D fell to its level as a proportion of total spending since the early 1980s,” Nature said.

Read article here.

ONLINE PROGRAM - Mindfulness for Wellbeing and Peak Performance

Monash Mindfulness Consultants, Dr Richard Chambers and Dr Craig Hassed have been busily working on a FREE online mindfulness program.  It is hosted on an external platform called, which means it is available to everyone, from anywhere in the world!

  • FREE online course
  • Duration: 6 weeks
  • 2 hours pw
  • Certificates available
  • Begins on 14 September, 2015

Check out the intro video on the website here.

Centre of Inflammatory Diseases (CID) Seminar TODAY: Strategies for Treating Inflammation and Fibrosis in Kidney Disease

Dr David Nikolic Paterson will be presenting:  "Strategies for Treating Inflammation and Fibrosis in Kidney Disease"

12pm  Medicine Seminar Room Located on Level 5, Block E MMC.

Lunch will be provided.  All welcome.

CiiiD Tuesday seminar 23 June: Prof Simon Jones, "IL-6 as a keystone cytokine in inflammation"

Prof Simon Jones from Cardiff University will be speaking at today's CiiiD seminar, 23 June, on "IL-6 as a keystone cytokine in inflammation".  Prof Jones has a Personal Chair at the Cardiff Institute of Infection and Immunity and his research programs incorporate arthritis and peritoneal immunity.

The seminar will commence at 1.05pm in the Level 3 Boardrooms.

Grand Round- Wed 24 June: "Integrated care: A glimpse into medicine’s future"

Presented by Professor Don Campbell, General Medicine  

Wednesday 24th June, 12.30pm to 1.30pm

Main Lecture Theatre, Monash Medical Centre, Clayton

Polyunsaturated fatty acids and epigenetics: a reciprocal relationship, 29 June

Prof Burdge
29 June, 3-5pm, Lecture theatre, Level 5, The Alfred Centre, 99 Commercial Roa, Prahran.

Prof. Burdge, Editor-in-Chief of the British Journal of Nutrition & the Journal of Nutritional Science, has expressed the goals of his visit to be, “share my group’s work and to meet as many people as possible to see if any links can be generated”. With Prof. Burdge’s spirit of collaboration in mind, other than his seminar, NSA Melbourne will host a lunch on June 28th (venue in Carlton TBA) to allow for more relaxed networking conversations with him. Prof. Burdge is also open to invitations to meet with Melbourne based research groups/present during his visit. If you would like to organize an activity involving Prof. Burdge and your research group or institution during his stay please contact Paul Lewandowski,

RSVP: By June 25th, to

Hudson Seminar, Thursday 25 June "MYST histone acetyltransferases in healthy development, congenital disease and cancer"

4pm-5pm, Lecture Theatre 1, Monash Medical Centre

The speaker will be  A/Professor Anne Voss- Head, Development and Cancer Division, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute.

Light refreshments to follow presentation outside the Lecture Theatre.

Flyer with details here.

Immunology Group of Victoria Winter Seminar, 26 June

Alan Baxter from James Cook University will present ‘A transcriptional network approach to immune regulation and autimmunity’

Friday 26 June, 4.00  – 5.00pm, The Castle, North Melbourne

Free registration

Prof Baxter will be able to meet with scientists for 1/2 hour sessions during the day.  He will be based at the Doherty Institute with ASI members from other institutes able to make use of a meeting room at the Doherty if necessary.  If you would like to meet with Prof Baxter contact Nicole La Gruta (  Appointments will be allocated on a first in first served basis.

Infectious Diseases Research Symposium - hosted by the Burnet Institute 26 August

Wednesday, 26 August, 2015, 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM - AMREP Lecture Theatre, 75 Commercial Road, Alfred Centre, Prahran
Come and hear from Australia’s leading researchers about their latest advances in the fields of HIV, malaria, tuberculosis and hepatitis.
With recent significant progress towards better prevention, treatment and cure of these conditions, these are exciting times for researchers and the broader community.
Speakers will share their latest advances from basic science, epidemiology, population health and translational science towards vaccine, diagnostic and therapeutic development.
Online registration will open soon!  More information here.

Small, medium, large, extra-large or supersize…too much choice or not enough?

Increased portion size of foods is contributing to the rise in obesity prevalence and subsequent health risks.  When adults and children are served larger portions they consume more energy, and we believe that educating consumers about what to eat or not eat is clearly not enough.

Researchers in the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics are conducting a study about consumer knowledge, attitudes and behaviours to portion size, modelled on the Irish and USA Portion Size Distortion Quizzes.

If you would like to participate in our study, please go to the survey here.  It will only take 10-15 minutes of your time and will test your current knowledge and practices around portion control.

Thank you!  Please contact Tracy McCaffrey if you have any questions about this research.

Become a STM Digest research ambassador for Elsevier

STM Digest is a collection of lay summaries that are published next to original research articles. Elsevier are seeking the help of early- and mid-career researchers to write these summaries, which have the potential to make research more accessible, improve engagement in science and benefit wider society. You can find out more and apply to become a research ambassador on the Elsevier website.

SCS ECRs - Faculty Travel Grant 2015 mid-year round - deadline extended

All eligible staff are STRONLY encouraged to apply.  There is one grant left, worth $1000!! Deadline for applications has been extended to 31 July.

This grant is to be used to support early to mid-career researchers (Levels A-C) for their international conference travel, and allocation is contingent upon abstract acceptance.

Please read the attached guidelines, and submit your application by 31 July to
(The SCS travel grant report form is also attached, if required by last year's travel grant recipients.)

Applications will be jointly assessed by the SCS Executive and you will be notified of the result of your application.

Note: Hudson Institute employees are not eligible to apply.

Nominate your best early-career researchers for Fresh Science

Fresh Science are looking for the best and brightest early-career researchers who have made a peer-reviewed discovery and as-yet received little or no media attention for it.

Successful applicants will participate in Fresh Science NSW: First, a day of media and communication training, learning how to find the key, compelling ‘story’ in their research, and how to tell that story. Then, in the following pub night, the challenge of explaining their research in the time it takes a party sparkler to burn out.

Applicants can be researching in any field of science – from medicine to mathematics, from environmental science to computer science.

Nominations are now open and close 25 June.

Fresh Science are looking for:
·         early-career researchers (from honours students to no more than five years post-PhD)
·         a peer-reviewed discovery that has had little or no media coverage
·         some ability to present ideas in everyday English.

Mitsui & Co., Ltd. Environment Fund

The Mitsui & Co., Ltd. Environment Fund (“the Fund”) is a grant program which aims to realise sustainable development by supporting various activities and research projects that contribute to solving global environmental problems. The grant programs consist of:-
  • Activity Grants which support activities by NPOs and other organisations to contribute to the environment; and
  • Research Grants which support environmental research by universities, research institutions, and other organisations.
Please refer to more information here.

Since its launch in 2005, the Fund has provided a total amount of 5,169 million yen (about AU$52 million) to a total of 492 environmental activity/research projects.

Unfortunately, no grant has been provided to a project undertaken by Australian organisation so far. Therefore, we at Mitsui & Co. Australia are very keen to partner with an Australian university to identify/develop a suitable research project for which we could put forward an grant application.

Attached is the 2014 applicationguidelines for research grants for your information.

NHMRC Targeted Call for Research into Engaging and Retaining Young Adults in Interventions to Improve Eating Behaviours and Health Outcomes (Preventing Obesity in 18-24 year olds)

This is a reminder that the NHMRC Targeted Call for Research into Engaging and Retaining Young Adults in Interventions to Improve Eating Behaviours and Health Outcomes (Preventing Obesity in 18-24 year olds) is open for application in RGMS.

This Targeted Call aims to support research that addresses the following research question:
How can young adults be engaged and retained in successful interventions that lead to healthy eating and a reduced risk of obesity for Australians?

Funding Rules and application requirements for the call are on the NHMRC
​w​ebsite here

Key Dates:
Minimum Data Due in RGMS
1 July 2015
MRO internal close for compliance check
8 July 2015
Close of Submissions in RGMS
22 July 2015

​All queries about this scheme should be directed to the Medical and Health Sciences Team at MRO (​

ARC Discovery Project (DP16) Rejoinders now open in RMS

The ARC has released the Assessor reports for DP16 and the Rejoinder Process is now open in RMS.
All applicants are strongly urged to submit a rejoinder. This is your final opportunity to engage with the ARC College and advance your case for funding. If you require advice or assistance, please contact us.

If you would like to receive feedback from MRO on your response, please submit your written rejoinder draft as a Word document (maximum 5000 characters, including spaces) to no later than 9am, Wednesday 24 June.

Invitation to Nominate - Australian Harkness Fellowships in Health Policy and Practice

The Commonwealth Fund is pleased to invite you to nominate a candidate for the 2016-17 Australian Harkness Fellowship in Health Care Policy and Practice. Established in 1925, the Harkness Fellowships were modeled after the Rhodes Scholarships and aim to produce the next generation of health policy leaders in participating countries.

Please complete and email the nomination information below to Robin Osborn, director of the Harkness Fellowships in Health Care Policy and Practice, at as soon as possible, and application materials will be emailed directly to your nominee.    The deadline for receipt of applications from Australia is 8 September 2015.

Fulbright Specialist Grants - Applications Opening in Two Weeks

The Fulbright Specialist Program (FSP) supports Australian universities and other educational and research institutions to host U.S. Specialists for 2-6 week visits as guest speakers, lecturers and/or collaborative researchers. FSP aims at the development of curriculum, the building of research links and the establishment of ongoing cooperation between Australian and U.S. educational and research institutions.

The FSP grants fund an international economy airfare and a US$200 per diem honorarium. Accommodation, meals and in-country travel are provided by the host institution. Universities with projects comprehending a vast variety of disciplines are eligible for this grant. 

Applications will open 1 July and close 30 September 2015.

For more details on this program click here

Note: The FSP grant is awarded to Australian educational institutions (not to U.S. Specialists directly). U.S. Specialists must register with the Council for International Exchange of Scholars (CIES) on the CIES roster to become eligible for a potential invitation from a FSP grantee (an Australian educational institution). 

Sore back? This Australian smart office chair could soon fix that

Monash Institute of Medical Engineering (MIME) and Monash Health research developing 'smart chair' technology.

Read The Sydney Morning Herald article here.

Comparison of Self-Expanding and Mechanically Expanded Transcatheter Aortic Valve Prostheses

Ian Meredith et al. published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology Cardiovascular Interventions

Read article here.

Posttranslational removal of α-dystroglycan N terminus by PC5/6 cleavage is important for uterine preparation for embryo implantation in women

Guiying Nie et al. published in the FASEB Journal.

Read article here.

Aldosterone-mediated renal sodium transport requires intact mineralocorticoid receptor DNA-binding in the mouse.

Peter Fuller published in Endocrinology.

Read article here.

Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors as Potential Therapeutic Agents in the Treatment of Granulosa Cell Tumors of the Ovary.

Peter Fuller et al. published in the International Journal of Gynecological Cancer.

Read article here.

A review of the burden of hepatitis C virus infection in China, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.

William Sievert et al. published in Hepatology International.

Read article here.

GILZ regulates Th17 responses and restrains IL-17-mediated skin inflammation

Sarah Jones et al. published in the Journal of Autoimmunity.

Read article here.