Monday, 3 August 2015

Monash is leading the way in advanced diagnostic imaging

Dr John McKay, former Director of Nuclear Medicine
at Monash Health and Dr Shakher Ramdave 
New imaging techniques using a radiotracer for prostate cancer will lead to significantly better outcomes for patients at Monash Health.

Moorabbin Hospital is one of a select few sites in Victoria offering the cutting-edge Ga68 PSMA (Prostate Specific Monoclonal Antiget) PET scan, the most sensitive and specific test to detect aggressive prostate cancer.

“Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scans have been widely used in the last decade to detect cancers using a glucose tracer, said Clinical Head of Nuclear Medicine and PET, Dr Shakher Ramdave.

“This emerging imaging technique uses a prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) inhibitor to target the enzyme on the surface of prostate cancer cells.”

In April this year, Moorabbin Hospital performed their first Gallium 68-PSMA PET scan, a new tracer they can now produce ‘in-house’ thanks to the establishment of their own laboratory. 

Since purchasing a Gallium 68 generator and employing their own radio-pharmacist, Moorabbin Hospital can produce Ga68 labelled isotopes 2 to 3 times a day; with a half-life of only 68minutes, gallium needs to be produced frequently and as close as possible to the patient.

“Using Ga68-PSMA as a tracer, we can identify even a small amount of disease,” said Moorabbin Hospital Charge Technologist Mr Jason Bradley.

“Following a prostatectomy or other treatment for prostate cancer, the Ga68 PSMA PET scan can detect early recurrence of disease even at very low prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels—no other test is as accurate.”

The accuracy of this scan enables earlier and more targeted treatments for prostate cancer patients.
“We have scanned more than 50 patients in the last three months with astounding results,” added Mr Bradley.

“Clinical Ga68 PSMA PET scans are only available in a very limited number of sites in Australia and around the world,” said Dr Ramdave.

“We are very excited to be involved in this emerging imaging technique and contributing to the research.”

Dr Ramdave and Mr Bradley look forward to collaborating with Monash University researchers to advance research into prostate and other cancers.

“With the new Translational Research Facility at Monash Health Translation Precinct (MHTP) and future collaborative opportunities it will provide, we are in a unique position to undertake further clinical research into new tracers and treatment options within PET and nuclear medicine,” said Dr Ramdave.

In Australia, prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men with more than 3,000 deaths every year.

Image courtesy of the Australian and New Zealand Society of Nuclear Medicine.

Monash Medical Orchestra Saturday 8 August - featuring Professors Morand and Rosenfeld

The Monash Medical Orchestra chamber concert next Saturday 8 August will feature Professor Eric Morand (playing saxaphone) and Professor Jeffrey V. Rosenfeld (playing clarinet).

Saturday 8 August, 6pm, Trinity College Chapel, University of Melbourne, Royal Parade, Parkville

Professor Eric Morand
Professor Morand is the Head of the School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health and the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences at Monash University. He is a Professor of Medicine and Rheumatic Diseases and the Director of Rheumatology at Monash Health. On Saturday evening, he will be playing the saxophone in a newly formed jazz band with other players from MMO. We are excited to welcome a fresh new genre to our Chamber Concert!

Professor Jeffrey Rosenfeld
Professor Rosenfeld is the Head of the Department of Surgery at the Central Clinical School and the Director of the Department of Neurosurgery at the Alfred Hospital. He is one of Australia's leading academic neurosurgeons and senior military surgeons and is internationally recognised for his neurotrauma research and teaching. On Saturday evening, he will be playing the clarinet in Brahms' well-known and very beautiful Clarinet Quintet in B minor

  • All proceeds from the concert will go towards MMO partner charity, the Hush Music Foundation. Hush commissions and distributes music to relieve stress and anxiety for children, families and staff in hospitals.
Please also note that the date for our semester 2 concert has changed from Sunday 27th September to Sunday the 4th of October. The venue (James Tatoulis Auditorium, MLC) will remain the same.

Rachel Koelmeyer joins lupus research group

We welcome new staff member Rachel Koelmeyer, who joins the School of Clinical Sciences as a Research Fellow, assisting with the establishment of the Australian Lupus Registry. 

Prior to joining Monash University, Rachel worked as a Research Fellow at The University of Melbourne, where she assisted with the establishment of Ten to Men: The Australian Longitudinal Study on Male Health. 

Rachel’s professional qualifications include a Bachelor of Science with Honours in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and a Masters of Public Health with a major in Epidemiology and Biostatistics. Rachel’s professional career to date includes a number of research roles across basic, clinical and social research.

Ten stellar stories of health and medical research

Ten Australian research grants that led to ground-breaking medical discoveries and important changes to health care have been highlighted in this year’s Ten of the Best Research Projects.

The Minister for Health Sussan Ley said the stories were further evidence of Australia’s world-leading standing in medical research.

“These research stories give us a glimpse into the next generation of treatments and medical devices that will make a difference to people’s lives,” Ms Ley said.

“It is exciting, pioneering work and this publication serves to highlight only a few of the many innovative discoveries being made by Australian researchers,” Ms Ley said.

“Importantly, many of these projects are now in clinical trials or in the process of being commercialised. They offer hope not only for better health for Australians, but new jobs and new industries for our country.

“For all these reasons, the Australian Government is very proud to support our talented and hard-working researchers, who are among the best in the world, and why we have committed to the establishment of the Medical Research Future Fund.”

The stories include the development of an exciting new technique to train the immune system to identify and attack cancer cells, a new device that can detect and stop epileptic seizures as they happen and the development of a new naturally-occurring acid to suppress appetite.

The spotlighted National Health and Medical Research Committee research was chosen for its innovativeness and potential to make a difference to the lives of Australians and people worldwide. The researchers are from universities and institutions across the country, reflecting the breadth of talent throughout the nation.

Read about the best here.

Ten of the Best 2014 highlights:

Centre of Inflammatory Diseases (CID) Seminar Tuesday 4 August

Invited speaker Professor Andrew Lew will be presenting: "Dendritic cell subsets: life, death, disease”.

12:00-13:00 in the Medicine Seminar Room Located on Level 5, Block E MMC.

Infectious Diseases- Cutting Edge Research Presentation - 5 August 2015

Unit: Infectious Diseases                         

Presenters:    Dr Tony Korman and Dr Maryza Graham               

Topic:   " Urinary Tract Infections: Diagnosis & Management "                

12.30pm to 1.30pm,  Wednesday 5th August 2015

Main Lecture Theatre, Monash Medical Centre, Clayton

Hudson seminar " "Ruffles - membrane organisers of receptor signaling and phagocytosis in inflammation " and student pizza lunch Thursday 6 August

Professor Stow
Thursday 6 August, the Hudson Institute is hosting Professor Jennifer Stow, Deputy Director, Institute for Molecular Bioscience, The University of Queensland.

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:  "Ruffles - membrane organisers of receptor signaling and phagocytosis in inflammation ".

Light refreshments to follow presentation outside the Lecture Theatre.

Flyer with details here.

CERA / ALCON Visiting Professor Lectures - Professor Bob Casson - Monday 10 August (University of Melbourne)

The next CERA / ALCON Visiting Professor lecture will be held on Monday 10 August 2015.

Professor Robert (Bob) Casson AM MBBS (Hons), DPhil, FRANZCO is the Head of the Discipline of Ophthalmology and Visual Science at Adelaide University. He is an internationally recognised ophthalmic clinician/scientist with special interests in glaucoma, neuroprotection, ophthalmic epidemiology and translational ophthalmic research.

He graduated with Honours from Adelaide Medical School in 1992 and undertook ophthalmology specialty training in South Australia. He completed subspecialty training in glaucoma at the Oxford Eye Hospital. Following the completion of clinical training, he was awarded a highly competitive scholarship to undertake a Doctor of Philosophy (DPhil) at Oxford University in the Nuffield Laboratory of Ophthalmology. He studied aspects of ocular neuroscience, with particular relevance to glaucoma, ischaemic retinopathies and bioenergertic neuroprotection.

After completion of the DPhil in 2004 he returned to Australia and established the South Australian Institute of Ophthalmology (SAIO), including the Ophthalmic Research Laboratory co-located with Neuropathology in the Hanson Institute.  In 2011 he received a meritorious promotion to full professor at Adelaide University. In 2012, he completed a Masters of Biostatics at Adelaide University.

During the visit ​B​ob will be giving 2 lectures :
1)    Lunchtime lecture: 1.00pm, Lucy Jones Hall, ​, Eye & Ear Hospital​
(Light lunch from 12.30pm) Topic: Metabolic Neuroprotection

2)    Twilight lecture: 6.00pm, Ringland Anderson Seminar Room​, Eye & Ear Hospital​
(Drinks & nibbles from 5.15pm) Topic: The Cancer-like Metabolism of the Mammalian Retina

​Please RSVP attendance only to Ms Val Scaf (​.  Flyer with details here.

The Melbourne AINSE (Australian Institute of Nuclear Science and Engineering) Roadshow, 20 August

Thursday 20th August 2015 - 8am - 6pm at Monash Biomedical Imaging (MBI) Research Centre.  762-772 Blackburn Road, Clayton
Highlights of the important role and substantial benefits AINSE brings to its members, including an overview of the facilities offered to members in the following areas: Accelerator Science; Materials Science and Engineering; Bragg Institute; Environmental, Archeology and Geoscience; and Biotechnology and Biomedical Science.

Lab Tracks training

MARP will be conducting training sessions on the new LabTracks database at MMC. Dates and times for these sessions are displayed on the MARP Intranet. To book in for a session please use the following link to register

If you would like more information or have questions about the new database please contact Michelle McMurtrie (

Faculty Strategic Grants Scheme 2016 (SGS 2016) - APPLICATIONS NOW OPEN

The Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences (FMNHS) Strategic Grants Scheme (SGS), consisting of approximately $2M per year, is an essential resource for research development.
Under SGS, the Faculty aims to strengthen the capability and international competitiveness of its researchers by supporting high quality proposals. Other objectives include the identification and development of young research leaders, engagement with the FMNHS research platforms, and collaboration with Monash University Malaysia.

The SGS grant application process is tailored to enhance strategic gains to the Faculty research portfolio. To ensure a central focus on strategic enhancement of research, funding will be awarded to applicants whose projects best demonstrate a combination of scientific quality and the potential for strategic gain for the Faculty.

Registrations and applications for SGS 2016 are NOW OPEN at

It is imperative that applicants refer to the attached SGS 2016 Guidelines and Instructions toApplicants documents prior to, and whilst completing, the online application form.

All queries related to the scheme and the application form should be directed to the Faculty Research Office at  

Further information and resources are available on the faculty intranet at

Submission Closing Date:  Thursday 10 September, 2015 (5:00PM AEST)

The FMNHS looks forward to receiving your SGS applications for funding commencing in 2016.

AINSE Research Awards 2016 - NOW OPEN

Applicants should apply through the AINSE website by 31 August 2015, and send a coversheet to MRO (

AINSE website link

2015 Victorian Cancer Agency Funding Round - Translational Research Project Funding Scheme Opening

We are pleased to announce the Victorian Cancer Agency Translational Research Project Funding Scheme is open and will close at 2pm on 27 October 2015.

More information on this funding opportunity can be found at:

Invitation to attend - 2015 Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Faculty Final Competition 21 August

Friday 21 August, 1 - 2.30pm
Science Lecture Theatre S3, 16 Rainforest Walk (previously Building 25), Clayton Campus

To be a part of the audience register at:

Flyer with information here.

Nomination Requests: Global Young Scientists Summit (GYSS) 2016

Please find information below regarding a request for nominations for the Global Young Scientists Summit (GYSS) being held in Singapore, 17-22 January 2016.  

The Global Young Scientists Summit@one-north (GYSS) is a gathering of young researchers (primarily PhD students and post-docs) from all over the world, to interact with internationally eminent science and technology leaders (‘speakers’) in Singapore. The Summit will discuss the latest advances in science & technology, and how research and innovation can be harnessed to address major global challenges. It is a multi-disciplinary Summit, covering topics ranging from chemistry, physics and medicine to mathematics, computer science and engineering. 

Speakers invited to the GYSS are globally recognised scientific leaders, who are recipients of the Fields Medal, Millennium Technology Prize, Nobel Prize, and Turing Award.

Invitation to attend "Beyond Academia: Career Pathways after the PhD" 19 August

You are warmly invited to attend the Faculty Research Office careers evening, “Beyond Academia: Career Pathways after the PhD”.  This exciting event will showcase alternative career options and pathways for research graduates with presentations from a number of speakers, followed by a panel discussion.  The evening is aimed at current graduate research students, honours students and early career researchers.

Promotional flyer attached here with details as follows:

·         Date: Wednesday 19 August 2015
·         Time: 6 – 8pm
·         Venue: South 1 Lecture Theatre, 43 Rainforest Walk (previously Building 64), Clayton Campus
·         Cost: Free
·         Pizza and drinks will be provided – please advise of any dietary restrictions in the registration process

We look forward to welcoming you to what should be a fantastic evening!
Faculty Research Office

Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Important changes to the Clinical Trial Notifications (CTN) submission process

As of the 1st July 2015, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has introduced a new online system for submitting Clinical Trial Notification (CTN) forms, and hard copy applications will no longer be accepted. The TGA also advised that any paper based forms that they receive after the 30th of June 2015 must be also submitted online via the new portal. In an attempt to streamline the submission process, the online system no longer requires signatures but rather a declaration by the sponsor upon submission of the CTN.

While this may ultimately enhance the efficiency of governance aspects of clinical trials in Australia, the change was not widely consulted and was released without warning. To date, users have been experiencing significant problems with the system and as such, access to the TGA online portal at Monash is currently restricted to the staff in the Human Ethics Office who will be the key contact point between you, the researchers, and the TGA.

We have prepared the MUHREC Clinical Trial Details form (CTD), a dynamic PDF version of the new CTN form to capture the required information, which we will then enter and submit on your behalf. We will forward relevant information from the TGA to you. We will also process the required payment online and we will credit the amount to your nominated cost centre and fund number.

The form and submission requirements are now available at the MUHREC clinical trials webpage.

If you have any queries about the new process, please email or call me on 99052052.

Mandatory Compliance Training

The Faculty's Diversity and Inclusion Committee wishes to draw your attention to the most recent statistics for the FMNHS compliance across four training modules (see scannedattachment). 

It is mandatory that all staff have an understanding of the University legal obligations and responsibilities relating to Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) , Equal opportunity (EO), Privacy and Ethical Behaviour. 

Could you please remind all staff in your Department / School / Institute to complete the online training using the links given below at the earliest opportunity as a matter of urgency.

Monash Medical Orchestra calendar update

MMO calendar update - change of date for final concert

  • Chamber Concert - Saturday 8th August 6:00pm, Trinity College Chapel, University of Melbourne, Royal Parade, Parkville
  • Churchill Concert Tour - Saturday 22nd August 4:30pm, Federation University Churchill Campus Auditorium, Gippsland
  • Spring Concert (5th Anniversary) - (Change of date to 4 October, James Tatoulis Auditorium, Methodist Ladies' College, Kew)
For more information on our upcoming concerts, please see our website.

Our concerts will continue to support the Hush Music Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation that commissions and produces music by Australian composers to reduce stress and anxiety for children, families and others in hospital.

Holding Back, Intimacy, and Psychological and Relationship Outcomes Among Couples Coping With Prostate Cancer.

David Kissane et al. published in the Journal of Family Psychology.

Read article here.

Regulatory T cells in Immune Mediated Renal Disease

Joanna Ghali et al. published in Nephrology.

Read article here.

Loss of host type-I IFN signaling accelerates metastasis and impairs NK cell anti-tumor function in multiple models of breast cancer.

Paul Hertzog et al. published in Cancer Immunology Research.

Read article here.

Effect of vitamin D supplementation on selected inflammatory biomarkers in older adults: a secondary analysis of data from a randomised, placebo-controlled trial.

Peter Ebeling et al. published in the British Journal of Nutrition.

Read article here.

Fenofibrate effects on arterial endothelial function in adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus: a FIELD substudy

Ian Meredith et al. published in Atheroscelerosis.

Read article here.