Monday, 17 August 2015

Physician training success at Monash one of the best in Australia

Dr Henry Ma with some of the successful trainees
Monash Health trainee physicians, the majority being Monash University MBBS graduates, have achieved a record pass rate in the recent Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) clinical examinations.

With 32 successful trainees out of 35, the remarkable 92% pass rate at Monash Health well exceeds the national pass rate of 74%. 

“We had the largest cohort of trainees this year at 35,” said Associate Professor Darren Mansfield, Consortia Director of physician training South East Sector.

“Our success compared to the Victorian average pass rate of 81% makes Monash Health a very attractive place to do physician training.”

“Over the last few years, Monash Health has consistently achieved some of the best results in Australia in the RACP examinations, with average pass rates above 90%,” added Associate Professor Mansfield.

“Physician training at Monash Health has exceeded my expectations,” said successful trainee Dr Ai Li Yeo.

“The support and encouragement from everyone in the network has been unwavering and I have to make special mention to the BPT3 cohort as well as the Monash DPTs - Henry Ma, Darren Mansfield, Andy Lim and Chris Daley.”

“The long case preparation program and an intensive timetable with two long cases scheduled with consultants each week is unique to Monash Health,” added Dr Yeo.

“Furthermore, the mentor program meant that if anyone was struggling there was someone we could approach immediately.”
The physician training programme at Monash Health is both comprehensive and intensive,” said Head of Division of Medicine, Professor Peter Ebeling.
 “The high number of trainees places a large burden of 1000 long cases on Monash Health physicians who enthusiastically give their time.”

Monash Health physicians, led by Associate Professors Henry Ma and Darren Mansfield, are very experienced in the examination with about seven physicians serving on the RACP National Examiners Panel.

“Beyond Medical Grand Rounds, we run specialty short cases such as neurology, cardiology and rheumatology days to provide the best clinical exposure to our candidates,” said Associate Professor Henry Ma.

“In addition, we provide personalised presentation workshops, a mentorship program and career development programs.”

“I’m exceptionally privileged and grateful to have been able to complete the final year of my basic training at Monash Health,” said Dr Leigh Beveridge, another successful trainee.

Dr Beveridge was newer to Monash than many of the other trainees, having started his physician training elsewhere.

“Having an individual mentor, ready access to National Examiners, a vast array of short case tutorials and an exceptionally robust long case program—the whole network and program really are geared to ensuring each trainee, and the group as a whole, are well prepared for both the task of the exams and success in advanced training.”

“I’ve never seen a workplace where senior staff offer their time, advice and teaching without any reservation or any further thought of reward.”

“If you found a patient for a long case, there was someone at any hour of the day, night or weekend that would hear it!” added Dr Beveridge.

“Monash Health is now a national and state leader in physician training with the number of successful candidates here being greater than at the Royal Melbourne or Alfred Hospitals,” said Professor Ebeling.  

“The values of Monash Health and the supportive teaching environment make it a great place to train - it is all about clinical excellence.”

“Having been around town, I can honestly say that physician training at Monash Health is where you not only get a world-class training experience, and the best opportunities to build lifelong success - you also get to supported to be the most successful version of yourself that you can be,” said Dr Beveridge.

“If you’re even leaning slightly towards a career as a physician, and you want a supported path towards the advanced training discipline of your choosing, this is the place to do it!”

Professor Euan Wallace honoured with VCRN Career Recognition Award

Dr Ryan Hodges, Prof Stuart Hooper,
Prof Euan Wallace, Prof Eric Morand
Professor Euan Wallace AM has been honoured for his outstanding record in clinical research and research training in perinatal medicine with a Career Recognition Award by the Victorian Clinician Researcher Network (VCRN).

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.

The VCRN award recognises individuals who have had substantial influence over their peers and colleagues as a supervisor and mentor and Professor Wallace was acknowledged as an outstanding clinician, researcher and peer.

Professor Wallace has dedicated his career to excellence in obstetrics and improving the quality of care for women and babies, as director of Obstetric Services at Monash Health, Head of Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Monash University and co-head of The Ritchie Centre at the Hudson Institute.

“My experience in clinical research as an undergraduate at Edinburgh University was the inspiration for my career in obstetrics and gynaecology,” said Professor Wallace at the award ceremony last Friday at Monash Medical Centre.

“The important links between clinical care and research are exemplified by the model in place at the Monash Health Translational Precinct (MHTP).”

Professor Wallace emphasised the importance of ushering more trainee doctors towards clinical research, in order to broaden their practice.

“Clinicians who undertake research come back to us in the health service as better doctors even if they don’t pursue a career in research,” he said.

“The most rewarding part of my career has been growing the next generation of clinician-researchers and seeing them experience the joy that clinical research has been for me.”

Professor Wallace 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.

“As former Head of The Ritchie Centre, Euan oversaw the Centre grow from a $1.2m dollar per year enterprise with 38 staff to a $9.5m enterprise with over 150 staff,” said Professor Stuart Hooper, current Executive Head of The Ritchie Centre. 

“In anybody’s words, that’s an outstanding achievement.”

The recipient of more than $22 million in research grants, Professor Wallace’s research has been extensively funded both by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and international funding agencies. He has particular clinical interests in recurrent miscarriage, multiple pregnancy, hypertension and fetal growth problems.

“Work is my life, it’s who I am. I love my work and it’s a privilege to come here to work every day.”

Professor Wallace dedicated the award to his wife, Karen who he said has been the most important person in his career.

3MT winners

3MT winner Zoe Marks
Congratulations to all 3MT thesis participants for their extremely interesting (and entertaining) presentations last Friday.
The winners were:
1st place - Zoe Marks
2nd place - Harriet Fitzgerald
3rd place - Carly Cuman

Ineligible students (ineligible to progress to faculty final)
1st prize - Jesse Balic
2nd prize - James Ong
People's choice award
Winner - James Ong
Supervised by Professor Paul Hertzog at the Hudson Institute, Zoe's PhD thesis is about novel type I IFN signalling in breast and ovarian cancer.  An MBBS student, Zoe hopes to utilise her experience in basic research in her future career.
She has an interest in oncology and aspires to continue working on cancers such as breast cancer as a clinician/researcher.

Zoe and Harriet will compete in the next 3MT round at the Faculty competition.

Australian medical researchers overjoyed as MRFF Bills pass Senate

Last week’s passing of the legislation for the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) in the Senate has brought hope not just to the Australian health and medical research sector but also to the entire country, according to the Association of Australian Medical Research Institutes (AAMRI).

“As we have noted throughout this process, we need to act today to ensure Australia’s future health and wealth through research that saves and improves lives and, at the same time, delivers an economic return for the nation,” said AAMRI President Professor Doug Hilton.

“The passage of the MRFF bill paves the way for greater security of funding for medical research across Australia,” said Head, School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health Professor Eric Morand.

“Questions remain about the source of long term funding, and the status of peer review in the process of funding, and Monash will continue to monitor this space carefully but this is a vital first step."

The MRFF is expected to deliver more than $400 million in disbursements to researchers over the next four years, building to $1 billion per year within the decade. This funding is in addition to that allocated to the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).

Helen Truby appointed to Chair of the Monash University Health and Wellbeing Sub-Committee

Professor Truby
Congratulations Professor Helen Truby on her appointment to the Chair of the Monash University Health and Wellbeing Sub-Committee, which has oversight of staff wellbeing programs.

The committee will focus this year on developing healthy eating initiatives including creating and supporting eating environments and making healthy food choices easier for university staff.

TRF in the final stages of construction

Excitement is building with only a few months to go until the completion of our new $84m Translational Research Facility (TRF).

Builder Lend Lease is ahead of schedule in completing the state-of-the-art building, with all internal works almost finished and the building now at lock-up stage.

"The completion of the TRF will not only provide access to an impressive translational research asset for our clinical and scientific staff, it will also signal the start of a new era in translational research for Victoria," said MHTP Business Director Michael Wright.

The Monash Health Translation Precinct (MHTP) is the name that has been given to the entity linking the TRF and the three existing research buildings and partners.

"For the first time in Australia, a research precinct will be structured around clinical research themes," added Michael.

"This means that clinician researchers and scientific staff, regardless of their employing entity - Monash Health, Hudson Institute or Monash University - will be co-located within the Precinct as mixed groups with similar clinical and scientific interests."

“There’s been a lot of collaborative work occuring behind the scenes with all of our stakeholders, partners, Lend Lease and the consultant team to deliver a high-quality building, on time and on budget,” said Monash Health Director of Major Capital Projects and Planning, Sylvia Hadjiantoniou

“Buildings can be great enablers for the delivery of healthcare and research and the new TRF is going to herald a new chapter for Monash Health and its partners,” Sylvia said.

Read the latest MHTP updates here, including information about relocation.

Powerpoint slides presented by Steve B at the SCS staff meeting last Friday about the transition to the TRF are here.

SCS intranet officially launched TODAY

As presented at last Friday's School meeting, we are pleased to announce the launch of the re-vamped SCS intranet, found here:

Please bookmark this site, or better still, make it the default home page for your browser. The intranet will always be a fluid site with links and documents continually refreshed, but will always remain the first point-of-call for staff and students of the School who are looking for information, for links to relevant websites, or for various forms and documents.

Navigation through the website is via the tabs that the top of the page, or the links along the left-hand side. Currently, the main topics include: School FAQs, Clinical Teaching, Early Career Researchers, Education, OHS, Communications, HR, P2P, R&R, and Women In Medicine.

Our intranet can also be accessed from our School home page ( via the intranet link under "About us".

If you would like to add or update content for our intranet, please contact Vithya Premkumar or Katherine Greenberg.

Centre of Inflammatory Diseases (CID) Seminar TODAY

Invited speaker Dr. Seth Masters will present: "New mechanisms of autoinflammation”.

TODAY, 12:00-1:00pm in the Medicine Seminar Room Located on Level 5, Block E MMC.

Lunch will be provided.  All welcome.

Dept of Psychiatry Academic Day - Tuesday 18 August

This Academic Day will showcase the multidisciplinary research activities across the discipline of Pyshiatry and be of benefit to all mental health clinicians employed with the University's affiliated health institutions.

Tuesday 18 August, 8.30am - 5pm
G-29/30 New Horizons, 20 Research Way, Clayton campus

More details and program here.

2015 ACMD Research Week Public Lecture (19 August)

Dr Gael Gennings
The inaugural ACMD Research Week Public Lecture, MedTech Innovation in Australia: Expensive game or essential industry?” will be opened by the Hon Frank McGuire, Parliamentary Secretary for Medical Research, and facilitated as a panel discussion by Dr Gael Jennings, former ABC journalist.

Panel members include:
Hon Frank McGuire, Parliamentary Secretary for Medical Research
Laureate Professor Peter Doherty AC, Nobel Prize Winner in Physiology or Medicine 1996
Dr Andrew Cuthbertson, CSO and Director of R&D, CSL
Ms Brigitte Smith, Co-founder and Managing Partner, GBS Venture Capital
Mr Gary Johns, Fellow Australian Institute for Progress and former Keating Govt Minister

​Date: Wednesday 19 August 2015, 5:30 - 7:00pm , St Vincent's Hospital Chamberlin Lecture Theatre (Building E)
RSVP:  ​Dr Tam Nguyen (   Flyer with details here.

Grand Rounds- Wed 19th August: "Navigating goals of care: often a journey through uncharted waters

Dr Ralph Junckerstorff presents   "Navigating goals of care: often a journey through uncharted waters

Wednesday 19th August 2015, 12.30pm to 1.30pm, Main Lecture Theatre, Monash Medical Centre, Clayton

Hudson Seminar and Student Pizza lunch FRIDAY 21 August

This FRIDAY (21 August) the Institute is hosting Professor Ken Korach, Chief: Reproductive and Developmental Biology Laborator, NIEHS/NIH, USA.
(NB. This is a different day to our usual seminars).
There are two events associated with his 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: "Mouse Models to Understand the Biological Actions of Functional Domains of the Estrogen Receptor"

Light refreshments to follow presentation outside the Lecture Theatre.

Arab Cultural Competence workshop 1 September 2015

Tuesday 1 September, 1.00 - 5.00 pm 
Strip Meeting Room, G19, 15 Innovation Walk (Building 75)
Clayton campus

Dr Fiona Hill is a Cultural Anthropologist & Educator with 30 years commercial, educational, cultural and philanthropic Arab Region experience.

This briefing-workshop covers common cultural issues for international Arab Gulf students and provides practical methods for positive engagement for both professional and academic staff. Discussion includes:
·         Arab heritage world view
·         Islamic faith in action
·         Arabic language
·         Pedigree, status, hierarchy and avoidance
·         Gender issues
·         Styles of learning and academic aspirations

Postgraduate Statistical Assistance

Graduate Research students may apply to the Monash Academy for Cross & Interdisciplinary Mathematical Applications (MAXIMA) for up to 5 hours FREE statistical assistance over the course of their candidature.

If more than 5 hours is required an hourly fee will be charged.  Students are advised to contact the Director of MAXIMA, Professor Kate Smith-Miles, to discuss the best mechanisms for engaging with MAXIMA mathematicians. 

It is recommended that students send an email including a short description of the statistical needs in order for their problems to be directed to the appropriate team member.


Summer Research Scholarship Program

Are you interested in a summer vacation research project? If you'd like to undertake a short research project before embarking on Honours, BMedSc or a PhD, this is a great opportunity to find out what research is like.

The University offers research scholarships that aim to provide you with:
  • experience in an area of research
  • an insight into future opportunities within research
  • encouragement to pursue a career in research or academia.
If successful, you will take part in research-related activities.

Round two of Summer Research Scholarships will open on Monday 14 September.

For eligibility and applications, please visit the University's scholarships unit here.

Do you want to recruit a summer vacation research student?

Would you like to offer a research project to an undergraduate student this Summer? Many students are keen to do a 'Summer vacation project' before signing up for Honours or a PhD.

If you're interested in offering a Monash Summer Vacation Scholarship research project, you'll need to advertise this through the University's scholarships office here. Applications to advertise open on 28 August and close 11 September.

All Monash students will be given the opportunity to apply for these, so you'll reach a big pool of potential applicants.  You get to set your own selection criteria (e.g. year level, background training) as well as determine whether you offer a position to any applicants.

Student projects run between Monday 23 November 2015 and Monday 29 February 2016.

Please note you'll have to meet the cost of your research student's salary (between $200 - $500 per week; you set this and/or negotiate with your student).

Processing of student applications is administered through the University's scholarship office.  

CASS Medicine and Science Grants - 2015

CASS Foundation seeks to reduce the large number of applications received each year and to achieve an acceptable ratio of successful applications to the total received. Accordingly, CASS is trialling a two-year plan to achieve these outcomes.

In 2015, CASS will only accept applications from Applicants (the Chief Researcher) employed at the research centres listed in their guidelines.
Monash University has not been listed this year and therefore there will not be any submissions from Monash University for 2015. Please refer to the guidelines on the Foundation’s website for detailed information.

Applicants from Monash University will have the opportunity to apply in the 2016 Grant round.

MRO have now updated the information in Research Professional which is located at

Australian Friends of Tel Aviv University - Monash University ('AFTAM') Research Collaboration Awards - Deadline 25 September 2015

Applications are currently being invited for the Australian Friends of Tel Aviv University - Monash University (‘AFTAM’) Research Collaboration Awards 2015/2016.

Applications are welcome within these broad priority areas:  
  • Health and Wellbeing (including Biomedical Research)
  • Future Technologies (including Renewable Energy)
  • Sustainable Environments
  • Resilient Cultures & Communities
  • Business Administration
  • Humanities & Social Sciences
  • Law

Cancer Council Victoria Postdoctoral Cancer Research Fellowships NOW OPEN

Cancer Council Victoria is an independent volunteer based charity, which was established in 1936. ​Their ​mission is to lead the fight against cancer. ​Their ​core business is cancer control. ​​They conduct and support research as well as delivering state-wide support and prevention programs and advocating regulation and other interventions to reduce the physical and emotional burden of cancer.

Cancer Council Victoria offers postdoctoral fellowships as a way of providing research assistance to Victorian PhD candidates at the time of thesis submission. There are two rounds each year. In applying, a strong case must be made to continue in the present research group for a further year.

Applications open - 8th HOPE Meeting with Nobel Laureates, in the areas of Physics, Chemistry,in the areas of Physiology/Medicine and related fields

The Australian Academy of Science (AAS) has released a call for applications from Australian-based early career researchers to attend the 8th HOPE Meeting with Nobel Laureates, in the areas of Physics, Chemistry, Physiology/Medicine and related fields, to be held in Tsukuba, Japan, 7-11 March 2016.  For further information including eligibility requirements and how to apply please visit

Women in medicine launch - minutes from meeting

Further to the launch of the Women in Medicine initiative, please find the minutes of the first meeting held last week.

Link to minutes here.

Hazardous Substances and Dangerous Goods training

You are invited to enrol in an in-house training session:  "Hazardous Substances and Dangerous Goods Awareness". 

This will be held in the 5th floor Medicine Seminar Room on Wednesday September 16 from 1.00-3.00pm

Please note that this is mandatory for lab based staff/students.

To register, please e-mail with your name and Monash Uni ID number.

New dates for LabTracks training sessions

New training dates for LabTracks training sessions at MMC have been added to the Monash Animal Research Platform intranet.

Please go to the following link and submit a request to be added to one of the sessions.

All researchers with animals housed at MMCAF will need to complete this training as the database is currently being rolled out throughout the facilities.

Secure printing

Are you using the correct printer for your documents? Secure print is better for printing to your local printer, as the confidentiality of your documents is assured, and using secure print reduces paper waste in The School as your documents wont lie on the printer being sad and forgotten!

You can find Instructions for setting up secure print here for all your printing. 

Or find the link on our intranet here.

MS Office upgrade from 2010 version to 2013 for Monash University windows users

Microsoft Office will be upgraded from the 2010 version to the 2013 version, across all Monash staff and student Windows workstations.
Upgrades will occur over a four week period, beginning on the following dates:

Neonatal menstruation explains epidemiological links between fetomaternal conditions and adolescent endometriosis

Caroline Gargett et al. published in the Journal of Endometriosis.

Read article here.

Pre - Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation Workup in the Cardiac Catheterisation Laboratory

Ian Meredith et al. published in Heart, Lung and Circulation.

Read article here.

Paclitaxel-eluting balloon and everolimus-eluting stent for provisional stenting of coronary bifurcations: 12-month results of the multicenter BIOLUX-I study

Ian Meredith et al. published in Cardiovascular Revascularization Medicine

Read article here.

Stem Cells in Endometrial Physiology

Caroline Gargett et al. published in Seminars in Reproductive Medicine.

Read article here.

The Role of Adrenal Vein Sampling in Primary Aldosteronism: the Monash Health Experience

Peter Fuller et al. published in Internal Medicine Journal.

Read article here.

Challenges to Providing Fetal Anomaly Testing in a Cross-Cultural Environment: Experiences of Practitioners Caring for Aboriginal Women

Euan Wallace et al. published in Birth.

Read article here.

Placenta-derived angiogenic proteins and their contribution to the pathogenesis of preeclampsia.

Padma Murthi et al published in Angiogenesis.

Read article here.

Decreased STAT3 in human idiopathic fetal growth restriction contributes to trophoblast dysfunction

Padma Murthi et al published in Reproduction.

Read article here.

Placental vitamin D receptor expression is decreased in human idiopathic fetal growth restriction

Padma Murthi et al. published in the Journal of Molecular Medicine.

Read article here.

Genome-wide transcriptome directed pathway analysis of maternal pre-eclampsia susceptibility genes

Padma Murthi et al. published in PLoS One.

Read article here.

An EG-VEGF-dependent decrease in homeobox gene NKX3.1 contributes to cytotrophoblast dysfunction: a possible mechanism in human fetal growth restriction

Padma Murthi et al. published in Molecular Medicine.

Read article here.

Isolation and Characterisation of a Novel Trophoblast Side-Population from First Trimester Placentae.

Padma Murthi et al. published in Reproduction.

Read article here.

Catheter–Based Renal Denervation for Resistant Hypertension: Twenty-Four Month Results of the EnligHTN I First-in-Human Study Using a Multi-electrode Ablation System™

Ian Meredith et al. published in the International Journal of Cardiology.

Read article here.