Tuesday, 28 July 2015

New fellowship scheme will enable young clinicians to become established investigators of the future

Dr Alex Hodge
Medical research at the Monash Health Translation Precinct (MHTP) will benefit from a new fellowship initiative by the School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health.

The Early Career Practitioner Fellowship will give young physicians protected time, enabling physician scientists to continue their clinical duties while remaining active in research.
The first recipients of the fellowship are Monash Health consultants gastroenterologist Dr Alex Hodge and geriatrician Dr Chris Moran.

Dr Chris Moran
Alex completed his PhD in last month at the School of Clinical Sciences under the supervision of Director of Gastroenterology and Hepatology Professor William Sievert.  Alex’s research addressed the two foremost concerns in clinical hepatology today: finding a treatment for patients with cirrhosis and treating the emerging epidemic of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).

“Thanks to this fellowship, I can continue my research in stem cell-based therapy for potential liver regeneration while continuing my clinical work,” said Alex. 

“Another research area I plan to explore is the association of coffee consumption and liver disease.”

Meanwhile under the supervision of Associate Professor Velandai Srikanth and Professor Thanh Phan from the Stroke and Ageing Research Group, fellowship recipient Dr Chris Moran recently submitted his PhD thesis, having investigated the links between type 2 diabetes and dementia.

In a study published in the leading journal Diabetes Care in 2014, Chris reported that the relationship between type 2 diabetes and cognition was predominantly due to brain shrinkage and not stroke, as previously thought.

“The pattern of this shrinkage was similar to that seen in Alzheimer’s disease and led to a follow up study, to be published later this year in Neurology,” said Chris.

“This new fellowship scheme will enable clinical insights to be the basis for developing new research questions, and early career practitioners will have dedicated time to devote to answering such questions, ultimately translating to better patient outcomes,” said Professor Sievert.

“While Alex will be busy clinically seeing patients with advanced liver disease, he can continue to be actively involved in the lab, finding out how the cells work in animal models of liver disease and how best to transform this knowledge into a clinically useful therapy.”

“The Early Career Practitioner Fellowship is an excellent initiative that allows talented early career researchers to build on their PhD work,” said Associate Professor Srikanth.

“Combining productive and rewarding post-doctoral research with a strong clinical career are essential components of future clinical-academic leaders.”

Read more here about Alex and Chris.

Euan Wallace to receive VCRN Career Recognition Award - Friday 14 August

Congratulations Professor Euan Wallace on receiving the VCRN Career Recognition Award for his outstanding record in patient-based research and clinical work.

Established by leading health and medical organisation Biomedical Research Victoria, the Victorian Clinician Researcher Network (VCRN) supports clinician researchers in medicine, nursing and allied health.

Professor Wallace, Head of Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Monash University and Director of Obstetric Services, Monash Health has dedicated his professional life to excellence in obstetrics and improving the quality of care for women and babies.

He has personally cared for 7,000-8,000 women during their pregnancies at Monash Health, as well as authoring more than 230 published research papers and holding numerous leadership portfolios across Monash Health, the Victorian Government and Monash University. Under his leadership, Monash Health is now home to Victoria's largest maternity service.

Professor Wallace is committed to keeping researchers focused on meaningful clinical care improvements. He challenges himself and others with the question: ‘How has your work changed women's health this year?'.  He has particular clinical interests in recurrent miscarriage, multiple pregnancy, hypertension and fetal growth problems. His research has been extensively funded both by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and by international funding agencies.

Please join us on Friday 14 August at 11.30am in Lecture Theatre 3 when Professor Wallace will be presented with his award.   Invitation is attached here.

SCS doctoral student recognised for outstanding research

Shireen with ISSS president
Dr Jennifer Muehlenkamp
Congratulations Shireen Mahtani who was awarded a highly competitive travel grant by the International Society for the Study of Self-Injury (ISSS) last month, in recognition for her outstanding research.

A doctoral student with the Centre for Developmental Psychiatry and Psychology in the School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health, Shireen's research investigates the developmental trajectory towards engaging in non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) through maladaptive shame-related cognitive and behavioural processes.

"I am looking both at how distal and proximal risk factors of shame-proneness and non-suicidal self-injury relate, and how the various ways people cope with shame are associated with why a person begins and continues to engage in NSSI, a complex and multi-functional behaviour," said Shireen.

"My hope is that this research will not only assist in our understanding, prevention and intervention of NSSI, but also in our awareness and understanding of toxic shame processes that pervade the lives of many."

"I feel very honoured and grateful to have received this award and would like to acknowledge and thank my supervisors Dr Glenn Melvin and Dr Penelope Hasking for their utmost guidance and support."

Shireen presented her research at the ISSS 10th annual meeting in Heidelberg, Germany.  

Thank you Sanja Vojkovic for donation to lupus research

Ms Sanja Vojkovic
The School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health sincerely thanks Sanja Vojkovic for her generous donation to the Kim Jolly Lupus Research Fund.   Last Saturday, Sanja arranged a local trivia night and raised $1525 for lupus research at SCS.

Sanja has a close friend living with lupus and is keen to advance research into the debilitating disease.

Expressions of interest sought for electronic medical record research steering committee

As Monash Health moves towards building its electronic medical record (EMR), Monash Health and Monash University recognise the significant potential of this future asset for our research capabilities.

The EMR Council has formed a research and education steering committee, chaired by Professor Eric Morand. It is vital that this group includes clinical researchers and people with interest in 'all things electronic' so that the best possible outcomes can be built into the system. 

Expressions of interest in joining this group are now being sought.  
No computer expertise required!

The group will meet regularly over the next two years to develop the most research-friendly electronic medical record in Australia. 

Please consider nominating yourself to this group by contacting Jin Graham at jinleng.graham@monash.edu.

SCS research fellow recognised by Orthoptics Australia for innovation in service delivery

Congratulations Linda Santamaria on receiving the prestigious 2014 Zoran Georgievski Medal.

Commemorating the life, professional career and outstanding commitment to the profession of orthoptics by Zoran Georgievski, the award recognises a member of Orthoptics Australia for their substantial contribution to furthering the profession of orthoptics.

Linda is the senior orthoptist and manager of the Monash Health Ophthalmology Department and an adjunct research fellow in the Department of Surgery at Monash University.

In winning this medal, Linda is recognised for promoting the practice of orthoptics through professional service and demonstrating excellence in mentoring orthoptic students in education and training, professional and personal development and career guidance.

“Receiving this medal has particular significance to me, knowing Zoran initially as a student, then as a colleague and friend,” said Linda.

“It is an honour to be recognised by the profession, many of whom I have mentored as students, as ‘early writers’ on the journal and whose careers I have seen flourish.

“This achievement has reminded me yet again of the importance of mentoring younger colleagues both to encourage their personal development and to ensure that our health professions thrive in the future."

SCS staff meeting 14 August 10.30am

CID presentation- TODAY: "The role of GILZ in the context of resolution of acute inflammation”.

Invited speaker PhD student Juliana Vago will be presenting: "The role of GILZ in the context of resolution of acute inflammation”.

12pm, Tuesday 28 July in the Medicine Seminar Room, Level 5, Block E, MMC

Nephrology - Cutting Edge Research Presentation - 29 July

Grand Rounds:  "Emerging Prospects from the Renal Lab" presented by Associate Professor David Nikolic-Paterson and Dr Greg Tesch, Nephrology.

Wednesday 29 July, 12.30 - 1.30pm, Main Lecture Theatre, Monash Medical Centre, Clayton


Hudson Seminar and Student Pizza lunch Thursday 30 July "A gene for speed: ACTN3, athletes, evolution and impact on human health"

This Thursday 30 July the Hudson Institute is hosting Professor Kathryn North, Director Murdoch Childrens Research Institute.

There are two events associated with her visit:
  • Student Pizza lunch: 1pm-2pm, de Kretser concourse, level 3, Hudson Institute (all students welcome)
  • Seminar: 4-5pm, Lecture Theatre 1, Monash Medical Centre
Talk title:  " A gene for speed: ACTN3, athletes, evolution and impact on human health".
Light refreshments to follow presentation outside the Lecture Theatre.

Please see attached flyer.


Please join us for the launch of the School of Clinical Sciences Women in Medicine & Science Program established to foster an academic culture which supports the professional and personal development of women at SCS including students, and postdoctoral and clinical fellows.

Monday 10 August, 4-5pm, Medicine Seminar Room, Level 5, Block E, MMC Clayton

Resources for ECRs

Dear ECRs,

Some resources that have come out of the mentoring program this year: 

Don't forget the ECR symposium is on Mon 9th Nov, at Caulfield, and the topic is "Selling Yourself". 

Monday, 27 July 2015

2016-2017 Fulbright Scholar Program: Only 1 week to Apply

The Fulbright Scholar Program offers teaching, research or combination teaching/research awards in over 125 countries for the 2016-2017 academic year. Opportunities are available for college and university faculty and administrators as well as for professionals, artists, journalists, scientists, lawyers, independent scholars and many others. In addition to several new program models designed to meet the changing needs of U.S. academics and professionals, Fulbright is offering more opportunities for flexible, multi-country grants through enhanced global and regional awards.

Interested faculty and professionals are encouraged to learn more about the nearly 600 core Fulbright U.S. Scholar opportunities in a wide range of disciplines by visiting the online Catalog of Awards, browsing the regional or discipline highlights, or by participating in one our webinars.

Application Deadline: 3 August, 2015Learn More | Contact

Australia-China Joint Research Centres - Information Session details

An information session has been scheduled for the Australia-China Science and Research Fund - Joint Research Centres scheme.  

Thursday 6 August, 2-4pm, University of Melbourne Parkville campus (Biosciences 2-124 - Turner Theatre)

Monash personnel who wish to attend should register their attendance by emailing acsrf@science.gov.au (please cc: arc@monash.edu). 

DoD Peer Reveiwed Alzheimer's Research Program Funding Opportunities

The FY15 Defense Appropriations Act provides $12 million (M) to the Department of Defense Peer Reviewed Alzheimer’s Research Program (PRARP) to support innovative, high-impact Alzheimer’s disease research.  As directed by the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, the Defense Health Agency, Research, Development, and Acquisition (DHA RDA) Directorate manages and executes the Defense Health Program (DHP) Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation (RDT&E) appropriation. The executing agent for the anticipated Program Announcements/Funding Opportunities is the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP). FY15 PRARP Program Announcements and General Application Instructions for the following award mechanisms are posted on the Grants.gov website

2015 Victorian Cancer Agency Funding Round - Now Open!

We are pleased to announce the following workforce funding schemes, to be offered as part of the 2015 Victorian Cancer Agency Funding Round, are now open and will close at 2pm on 6 October 2015:
  • Early Career Seed Grants
  • Clinical Research Fellowships
  • Mid-Career Research Fellowships
More information on these grants can be found at: http://www.victoriancanceragency.org.au/index.php/current-funding-opportunities-2015

Further funding opportunities will be made available in the coming weeks.

Crowdfunding boost for burns victims: Your vote counts!

You can help medical research at Monash win a cash prize by voting for it in the Thinkable 'Inspire Australia' competition.

New skin substitutes tailor-made for severe burns victims could become a reality through the work of a group of scientists led by Dr Shiva Akbarzadeh, and a boost from crowdfunding site, Thinkable.

Dr Akbarzadeh, a skin biologist at The Alfred hospital and Monash University, researches growing artificial skin in the laboratory using patients’ own cells that can be applied instead of skin grafts.

Read more here.  

(To support the work of Dr Azbarkadeh and her team, visit their Thinkable ‘Tissue engineering for burns treatment’ video page to vote and contribute (you'll need to create a login). Voting ends 30 July 2015.  To find out more about how Thinkable works, visit the Thinkable.org website.)

FMNHS Diversity and Inclusion week photo competition

The 2015 Diversity and Inclusion Week, with the theme of Inclusion works, will be held from 31 August 2015 to 4 September 2015. 

This week provides an opportunity for Monash staff, students and visitors to engage with and celebrate its commitment to social justice

The FMNHS Diversity and Inclusion Committee is planning activities and events to celebrate this special week within the faculty.

The photo competition is a key initiative organised by Associate Professor Karen Adams and Associate Professor Jennifer Newton.

Student Carparking at Monash Health

Following a review of student car parking at all of its campuses, Monash Health is standardising parking costs for students on all of its sites. Monash Health advised that parking rates had not increased for many years, and that there was inequity not only in regards to rates across campuses, but also rates across student cohorts (e.g.some student groups paying markedly more than others on the same campus). New applications for student car parking submitted between now and the end of the year will be charged an interim rate of $2.50 per day for the remainder of 2015. This rate will increase to $5 per day as of 1st January 2016, to align with the rates at other Monash Health sites.

Persistent type III cavity-spilling coronary perforation due to covered stent malapposition

Ian Meredith et al. published in Cardiovascular Interventions and Therapeutics.

Read article here.

Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Comorbid Migraine and/or Tension-type Headache and Major Depressive Disorder: An Exploratory Randomized Controlled Trial

Graham Meadows et al. published in Behaviour Research and Therapy.

Read article here.

Evaluation of the safety and tolerability of a high-dose intravenous infusion of allogeneic mesenchymal precursor cells

Graham Jenkin et al. published in Cytotherapy.

Read article here.

PAX5-expressing ALK-negative anaplastic large cell lymphoma with extensive extranodal and nodal involvement

George Grigoriadis et al. published in BMJ Case Reports.

Read article here.

Effectivity of ventilation by measuring expired CO2 and RIP during stabilisation of preterm infants at birth

Stuart Hooper et al. published in ADC Fetal & Neonatal.

Read article here.

Renal participation of myeloperoxidase in antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA)–associated glomerulonephritis

Kim O'Sullivan et al. published in Kidney International.

Read article here.

Mild Deficits of Cortical Bone And Increased Adiposity In Young Adults With Klinefelter Syndrome Or Anorchia Treated With Testosterone From Adolescence

David Scott et al. published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism

Read article here.

Associations of low muscle mass and the metabolic syndrome in Caucasian and Asian middle-aged and older adults

David Scott et al published in the Journal of Nutrition, Health & Ageing.

Read article here.