Monday, 31 August 2015

Translational Research Symposium and Department of Medicine 50th Anniversary- 30 September at AMREP

How do we speed up the basic findings of medical research into clinical practice, without any compromise of research quality? 

You are invited to attend our inaugural Translational Research in Medicine Symposium - an outstanding scientific program featuring leading translational medical researchers from Monash 
University and Melbourne’s premier research institutes.

This day's program features speakers from across the continuum, giving case studies on what has worked best to expedite discovery to application.

The symposium will include the celebration of 50 years since the founding of the Monash University Department of Medicine at the Alfred Hospital. 

The Head of School and the Department of Medicine’s third Head, Professor Stephen Jane invites you to join us in commemorating this milestone, with other past and present members of the Department. The symposium will be followed by drinks and canapés.

Date: Wednesday 30 September 2015
Time: Symposium: 8am for 9am start to 6pm; Drinks and canapés:  6pm to 8pm
Download flier

Alfred Medical Research and Education Precinct Lecture Theatre

Cost: Free but registration essential for catering purposes

Register now For more information on the event visit our website, email Julia Veitch or call 03 9903 0026.

New therapy offers hope for halting the progression of diabetic kidney disease

Dr Greg Tesch
Monash University and Monash Health researchers have identified a possible new therapy for diabetic kidney disease, the major cause of chronic kidney failure in Australia and many other countries.  

Researchers Dr Greg Tesch and Associate Professor David Nikolic-Paterson from the Chronic Kidney Disease and Transplantation Group at the Monash Centre for Inflammatory Diseases have shown that a novel drug  inhibiting ASK-1 can halt the progression of diabetic kidney disease.

The world-first study was published last month in the prestigious journal Diabetes.

“We tested a selective inhibitor of apoptosis signal-regulating kinase-1 (ASK1) in mice with pre-existing diabetic kidney disease and discovered it completely halted the progression of the disease,” said Dr Tesch.  

“And in some cases the disease actually improved.”

Significantly, studies by our group and others have shown that ASK-1 drives multiple mechanisms of kidney injury including inflammation, cell injury and fibrosis, which are all important factors in the progression of diabetic kidney disease.

“Unlike current therapies that target hypertension and glycemic control and generally slow down the progression of disease, blockade of ASK-1 appears to stop the progression of diabetic kidney disease,” said Dr Tesch.

“Interestingly, ASK-1 blockade does not target hypertension so it’s possible that combining this novel drug with hypertension drugs may lead to even better outcomes for patients.”

Diabetes is the single biggest cause of end-stage renal failure in most countries—and over a million Australians have some level of chronic kidney disease.

“If we can halt the progression of diabetic kidney disease, we may avert millions of people from requiring dialysis or kidney transplantation to survive,” said Dr Tesch.

Based on Dr Tesch’s findings, a phase 2 clinical trial has now been established to examine the safety and efficacy of an ASK-1 inhibitor in patients with diabetic kidney disease.

World-first simulation training improves management of home birth emergencies

Dr Kumar
While home births are a safe and appropriate choice for healthy women with low-risk pregnancies, the small risk of an emergency requires immediate and skilled management by midwives.

A home birth simulation workshop developed by Monash University and Monash Health has shown to enhance the clinical skills of midwives and paramedic staff to support home birth practice with hospital back up.

Results of the world-first training program were published last week in the Australian College of Midwives’ journal, Women and Birth.

When a publicly funded home birth program was introduced at Casey Hospital in 2011, in collaboration with Monash Women’s at Monash Health, the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology designed an in situ home birth workshop to upskill midwives.

“With limited resources available to clinicians who aim to enhance the management of home birth complications, we developed the home based Practical Obstetric Multi-Professional Training (PROMPT) workshop,” said lead study author Dr Arunaz Kumar, a Monash Senior Lecturer and an Obstetrician and Gynaecologist at Monash Health.

“Midwives and emergency paramedic staff who participated in the simulation workshops had to manage birth emergencies in real time with limited availability of resources in a home based setting.”

To enhance the realism of the simulation, workshops were delivered in a community home (in situ) and the equipment used for training was the home birth kit used by midwives in a real home birth.

Workshop participants included home birth midwives, paramedic staff from Mobile Intensive Care Ambulance (MICA) Victoria and an obstetrician (available on phone).

“A simulated patient, a birthing model for pelvic examination, and a SimBaby newborn model were used in training scenarios that involved intrapartum, 
postpartum or neonatal complications,” said Head, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Monash University and Director, Obstetric Services at Monash Health, Professor Euan Wallace.

“Workshop tasks required participants to identify and manage the emergency and stabilise the mother or baby in real time, using the equipment provided in the home birth kit.”

Most scenarios culminated with the transfer of the mother and/or baby to the hospital in the ambulance.

“Our analysis, based on six workshops conducted from 2012 to 2014, assessed the participants’ perceptions of usefulness of a home birth emergency training workshop,” said Dr Kumar.

“The workshops enabled participants to practice and reflect on a simulated home birth, making direct links to real practice.”

Although technical skills were important, participants reported value in the opportunity to communicate effectively with colleagues and the support person at home, as well as being prepared with a back-up plan if complications occurred.

Professor Wallace said it was important to optimise psychological fidelity in the workshops such that participants needed to communicate effectively and use available resources efficiently, as required in real home birth practice where home birth emergencies occur.

“Even if the absolute numbers of women requesting home birth are small, an effort should be made to ensure the safety of women with adequate training, education and provision of a back-up support system,” added Professor Wallace.

“The joy of childbirth often goes hand in hand with its unpredictability,” said study co-author and Professor of Midwifery at Monash University, Christine East.

“We have shown how midwives and paramedics working together to anticipate the intricacies of such situations reinforce the safety of home birth and help maintain this option for women.”

“Our study shows these workshops benefit midwives and paramedic staff in enhancing their clinical skills and in training together as a team, with a common objective of improving maternal and perinatal outcomes of home birth,” said Dr Kumar.

Dr Kumar acknowledges the assistance and contributions of Ms Colleen White, midwifery lead in this project.

“The complex roles of estrogens in breast cancer” TODAY at 2pm

Monday 31 August @ 2-3pm, level 3 Boardrooms, Hudson Institute, Professor Richard Santen 
Head: Dept of Internal Medicine, University of Virginia Health System, Charlotsville, Virginia 
Dr.Richard  Santenisa Professor of Medicine at the University of Virginia. His research interests have focused on the development of aromatase inhibitors for treatment of breast cancer, mechanisms relating estrogens to breast cancer and the biology and natural history of endocrine-dependent breast cancer. He has published over 400 manuscripts and chapters, predominantly related to the role of estrogen in breast cancer development and treatment.
For his work in the development of aromatase inhibitors, he received the Susan Komen Foundation Brinker International Award for breast cancer clinical research in 1993. Other awards include the Clinical Chemistry Distinguished Science Award, the Robert H.Williams Distinguished Leadership Award of the Endocrine Society, and the William L. McGuire Memorial Lectureship Award for breast cancer. He has recently completed a term as the President of the Endocrine Society of the USA.
As the guest of the Endocrine Society of Australia, he gave the Plenary Lecture at the Society’s Annual Meeting in Adelaide

“Commitment of the gonad to ovary or testis fate” TOMORROW 2pm

Tuesday 1 September Pizza lunch 12-1pm and Seminar @ 2-3pm, level 3 Boardrooms Hudson Institute
Prof Blanche Capel (Duke Univ. Med Centre, USA)
Professor Blanche Capel, PhD, is a James B. Duke Professor of Cell Biology at Duke University Medical Center. Her graduate training was in mouse genetics and stem cell biology with Beatrice Mintz at Fox Chase Cancer Center Robin Lovell-Badge at the National Institute for Medical Research, Mill Hill, London.
Prof Capel is prominent in the field of sex determination and the cell fate and patterning decisions that underlie the development of the early bipotential mammalian gonad into either testis or ovary. She is an editor of Developmental Biology, and serves on the editorial boards of Developmental Dynamics and Sexual Development. She was a founding member of the DEV1 study section at NIH, and has served on numerous other NIH and NSF panels. She is a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a representative to FASEB from the Society for Developmental Biology.

Grand Rounds- MonashHeart - 2 September 2015

Unit: MonashHeart                        
Presenter: Ian T. Meredith AM                                     
Topic: "The Victorian Heart Hospital; Insights and Opportunities"   
Date: Wednesday 2nd September 2015
Time: 12.30pm to 1.30pm

Venue: Main Lecture Theatre, Monash Medical Centre, Clayton

“Immune Regulation of Blood-Brain Barrier Integrity after Perinatal Stroke” Thursday 3 September

Thursday 3 September @ 1-2 pm, Lecture Theatre 1, MMC
Prof Zena Vexler Director of Research, Neonatal Brain Disorders Center
Dept of Neurology, UCSF, USA   (NB. different time to usual)

Selling stem cells: the need to reconcile, hype, hope and evidence, 10 September

If you are in Melbourne on 10 September, please join us for a FREE public forum to hear leading international researchers discuss community expectations in stem cell science and the complex role hope, hype, risk and evidence play in influencing patient’s choice to pursue unproven ‘stem cell’ treatments.

Thursday, September 10 from 5:00PM to 6:30PM Parkville

All welcome - starts 5PM at the Melbourne Brain Centre, The University of Melbourne. RSVP essential via EVENTBRITE.

Free Seminar: NSA Melbourne Group Seminar 9 September

INTAKE24 – development of and on line dietary assessment system by Professor Ashley Adamson, Newcastle University, UK

When: 9th September 9am to 11am
Where: AMREP Education Centre, Alfred Hospital, 55 Commercial Road, Melbourne
Programme Outline:
9am: Registration with tea/coffee
9.30am: Dr Tracy McCaffrey, Monash University - Nutrition knowledge and estimation of kilojoules: who is getting it right?
9.50am: Dr Michelle Blumfield, Monash University – “WATCH” the portions in pregnancy
10.10am: Keynote speaker: Professor Ashley Adamson, Newcastle University, United Kingdom - INTAKE24 – development of and on line dietary assessment system

Register here or copy and paste this URL

APAC Women in Leadership and Management Summits

APAC Women in Leadership and Management Summits are leadership development platforms and networking opportunities designed to address challenges and provide practical solutions for existing and emerging female leaders. Held in both Melbourne and Sydney.

Online agenda and registration details for the Melbourne Summit (7- 10 December) are here.

Women in Project Management Summit (14-16 September) in Melbourne information is here.

SGS 2016: New Joint Medicine-Pharmacy Grants - APPLICATIONS NOW OPEN

The Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences (FMNHS) under its Strategic Grants Scheme (SGS) and the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (FPPS) under its Grantsmanship Program, aim to strengthen the capability and international competitiveness of its researchers by supporting high quality proposals.
In a new initiative commencing this year, targeted funds are reserved for joint proposals from researchers in FMNHS and FPPS, where priority will be given to significant new collaborations between the two faculties.
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 Faculties. 

Australia-India Strategic Research Fund - Round 9 Information Session

The Australia-India Strategic Research Fund (AISRF) team is holding information sessions to assist with applying for AISRF 2015 collaborative research projects.
Details of the session in Melbourne:  Friday 11 September, 10am-12pm, Melbourne House, AusIndustry, Level 5 Australia Post House, 111 Bourke Street

To attend the session please RSVP via email to the AISRF team at by Tuesday 8 September (please cc:
There will be a representative from MRO at this information session and can provide you with information following the session if you are unable to attend.

For further details (including venues in other states) please visit the AISRF website

Copyright Law - Difficulties for Universities [Please respond by 2 September]

The Go8 office has been involved in making representations to the Government about anomalies and outdated provisions in copyright law which disadvantage universities in their teaching, research and community engagement activities.  Problems and hindrances potentially arise across a very broad range of universities’ activities in teaching, research, research collaboration, and storing and dissemination of materials (for research, teaching, community engagement and other purposes) in electronic form. 

They have advised that it would be really useful to have some concrete and specific examples of impediments to research activities, including international research collaboration, and research collaboration with industry due to restrictions imposed by copyright law. In particular, it would be great to have some examples of impediments to data mining and data sharing that have hindered Go8 universities’ research.

Monash University has been asked to provide a response to the Go8 office.  As such, we are requesting that you please provide comments and specific examples of impediments to research activities due to restrictions imposed by copyright law to by COB Wednesday 2 September, for inclusion in the University’s response.

Staff Development Updates and Opportunities

The following staff development and training opportunities are available through Monash University Staff Development.

Customised Learning Solutions - You can make a request for customised workshops suited to your group or area by filling out Customised Learning Solutions (CLS) Request Form.

Career Planning & Development

Career planning - 9 SeptemberManaging your work, yourself & your time - 10 NovemberOptimise your Career Progression - 26 & 28 October

Communication and TeamworkAre you being heard - 26 & 27 OctoberBusiness writing - 1 OctoberCommunicating effectively at work - 21 OctoberDeveloping Mental Toughness - 12 NovemberEmotional intelligence at work - 20 OctoberEnglish Grammar (Writing Clearly) - 17 SeptemberMyers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) - 22 SeptemberPresenting for impact - 19 & 26 OctoberTaming the Email Tiger - 9 SeptemberWorking in teams - 16 September

Leadership, Management & SupervisionFinancial Management within Monash - 8 OctoberSpringboard Women's Development Program - 2 September, 7 October, 11 November & 4 December 2015Turning Challenge into Opportunity - 25 November

Performance ManagementCan we talk - 2 OctoberCareer Development Plans & Goal Setting - 4 NovemberFeedback for improved performance - 16 OctoberPerformance Development for Professional staff (supervisor training) - 16 NovemberWriting a Performance Development Plan - 9 November

Quality & Customer ServiceCustomer service across cultures - 13 November
Welcome to Monash - 29 September
Welcome to Student Administration - 18 November
Cultural Safety - Indigenous: Introduction - 1 September, 5 October, 10 November
Cultural competency training - 27 October
Managing Committees and Minute Taking - 18 September
Mindfulness for supervisors - 17 November
safeTALK - 18 September, 5 October

ICT Skills Training
Access 2010 Module 1 - 7 & 8 October
Access 2010 module 2 - 30 November & 1 December
Designing questionnaires and surveys - 16 November
Excel 2010 Level 1 - 30 September, 28 October
Excel 2010 Level 2 - 20 October, 5 November
Excel 2010 Level 3 - 10 September, 17 November
Further analysis in NVivo - 24 November
Microsoft Project 2010 - 22 & 23 September
NVivo Essentials - 19 November
Presenting the results of stat analyses - 23 September
SPSS module 1 - 29 October
SPSS module 2 - 10 November
SPSS module 3 - 8 September, 25 November
Taking the mystery out of stat analyses - 23 September
Web based
Google Master Series 1 - 26 October
Google Master Series 2 - 18 November
Google Master Series 3 - 24 September, 26 November
Writing for the web - 19 November
Biosafety Level 1 - 12 October
Biosafety Level 2 - 12 October
Breathing Apparatus skills maintenance - 25 September
CPR Refresher Course - 2 October, 14 October, 23 October, 26 October, 9 November, 20 November, 30 November
Emergency Warden Training - 11 September, 28 September, 28 October, 27 November
Essential OHS (OHS for Managers & Supervisors) - 27 November
Fire Safety - 28 October
First Aid Level 2 - 19 & 20 October, 29 & 30 October, 23 & 24 November
Hazard & Incident Investigation - 22 September, 10 November, 26 November
Hazardous Substances & Dangerous Goods Awareness - 12 October
Mental Health First Aid - 8 & 9 October, 23 & 30 November
Radiation Safety Officer refresher - 30 October
Radiation Safety Officer training - 29 & 30 October
Workplace Safety Inspections - 22 September, 10 November, 26 November

ResearchMaster Training
As per dates on website
Staff Development would like to advise that 2015 workshop dates are available on the website.
We are here to support your work and welcome your feedback (

Staff Selection & Induction
Working at Monash
Occupational Health & Safety

OHS update

A reminder about Hazard Substances and Dangerous Goods Awareness training
Wednesday September 16, 1-3pm  E-Block 5th floor Medicine Seminar Room
Maximum number of registrants: 20
Note: This is a compulsory course for all laboratory based staff/students

How to book: Contact Dale Cary( with your name and Monash University ID number

Also, please find the university's August/September OHS newsletter here.

Kidney hope - Monash breakthrough

Greg Tesch's latest research reported in the Herald Sun, 29 August 2015.

Article attached here.

Risk factors for maternal morbidity in Victoria, Australia: a population-based study

Euan Wallace et al. published in BMJ Open.

Read article here.

Treatment of Symptomatic Severe Aortic Stenosis With a Novel Resheathable Supra-Annular Self-Expanding Transcatheter Aortic Valve System

Ian Meredith et al. published in JACC Cardiovascular Imterventions.

Read article here.

Initial Experience With Gallium-68 DOTA-Octreotate PET/CT and Peptide Receptor Radionuclide Therapy for Pediatric Patients With Refractory Metastatic Neuroblastoma.

Peter Downie et al. published in the Journal of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology.

Read article here.

Characteristics of azathioprine use and cessation in a longitudinal lupus cohort

Eric Morand et al. published in Lupus Science and Medicine.

Read article here.

Exploring threats to generalisability in a large international rehabilitation trial (AVERT).

Amanda Thrift et al. published in BMJ Open.

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.

Increase in Pulmonary blood flow at birth; role of oxygen and lung aeration.

Stuart Hooper et al. published in the Journal of Physiology.

Read article here.

Disseminated Enteroviral Infection Associated with Obinutuzumab.

Claire Dendle et al. published in Emerging Infectious Diseases.

Read article here.

Are identity badges and lanyards in pediatrics potentially contaminated with viral pathogens?

Jim Buttery et al. published in the American Journal of Infection Control.

Read article here.