Monday, 19 October 2015

SCS cares!.....Fundraising lunch and raffle for Medecines Sans Frontieres. 13 November

On Friday 13th November the School of Clinical Sciences will host a charity lunch involving a raffle for staff and students (and visitors) in order to raise awareness and much needed funds for the leading international non-governmental organisation for medical aid “Medecines Sans Frontiers” (or Doctors Without Borders).

MSF created a world-wide network providing fast medical assistance, information and effective action to help hundreds of thousands of people affected by conflict, natural disaster and disease each year. In 1999, MSF received the Peace Nobel Prize in recognition for the continued efforts of its members to provide medical care, and for raising awareness of potential humanitarian disasters, and thereby insisting on political responsibility in conflict zones. To date, over 24,000 field staff including about 100 Australians and New Zealanders volunteer their time and skills on the field for humanity, despite the risks and danger this work brings along.
To support MSF means also to support the fundamental human right of medical care for all people! If you want to help as well, please join us for a lunch with delicious treats, drinks, raffle, and socialize while helping to raise money. All proceeds raised at the event will be donated to MSF!
The organisers are looking forward to see lots of you at the lunch!

What:  Raffle and buffet-style lunch (incl. drinks), where attendees can either bring food for sharing or will be asked for a small donation. Raffle tickets can be purchased from now and will be drawn during the lunch. Prizes to win will be announced soon.
When: Friday, 13th November, 12-2pm
Where: Medicine Seminar Room, Block E, Level 5 (close to SCS reception)
Prices: $8 lunch incl. drinks (or bring and eat free, in which case please contact:
$2 for 1 or $5 for 3 raffle tickets (get tickets at SCS reception, Block E, level 5 or from Michaela Finsterbusch)

Allergy drug may be effective in kidney disease

Dr Poh-Yi Gan
A current treatment for asthma may benefit patients with kidney disease, according to latest research at Monash University.

Published in the prestigious Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, Dr Poh-Yi Gan and Kim O’Sullivan from the Centre for Inflammatory Diseases showed in animal models that allergy drug disodium cromoglycate can be used as an effective treatment for vasculitis. 

Kim O'Sullivan
Vasculitis, or inflammation of the blood vessels, is an autoimmune disease that can lead to serious organ damage, especially in the kidneys.

“For the first time, our research has uncovered a new role for mast cells and their effect in non-allergic inflammatory kidney disease,” said lead study author Dr Gan.

“Mast cells are immune cells that are traditionally thought to be responsible for allergic diseases such as asthma, hay fever, and food allergy including anaphylaxis.”

While mast cells are important in suppressing autoimmunity, they can also make autoimmune diseases such as vasculitis worse.

“Using disodium cromoglycate in a mouse model of vasculitis stabilises the harmful effects of mast cells and leaves their immune modifying effect intact,” said lead co-author Ms O’Sullivan.

 “I also studied kidney biopsies from patients with vasculitis and found that activated mast cells were prominent, suggesting they play an injurious role in the human disease.”

Disodium cromoglycate, commonly used in Europe for allergic conditions including asthma, is relatively cheap and has very few side effects.

“This research shows we may be able to repurpose an existing drug for different forms of inflammation,” said Head of the Centre for Inflammatory Diseases, Professor Richard Kitching.

 “Current treatments for vasculitis suppress the immune system and have many nasty side-effects, however, disodium cromoglycate is a non-toxic medication that may dampen acute flares of vasculitis.”

Importantly, this breakthrough research may lead to a treatment for vasculitis that effectively manages inflammation and symptoms while not suppressing the immune system. 

Congratulations Associate Professors Flora Wong and Suzie Miller

Assoc. Prof Flora Wong
Two leading Monash staff working to improve the health of newborn babies have been recognised with academic promotions: Dr Flora Wong and Dr Suzie Miller are now Associate Professors.

A Consultant Neonatologist at Monash Newborn, MonashHealth, Associate Professor Flora Wong also holds a NHMRC Career Development Fellowship through the Department of Paediatrics, Monash University and The Ritchie Centre, Hudson Institute of Medical Research.

Associate Professor Wong’s research interests are in newborn cerebral pathophysiology, cerebral blood flow and oxygenation in relation to brain injury in newborn infants undergoing intensive care.  Her projects aim at investigations of the mechanisms of newborn brain injury, development of cotside monitoring and neuroprotective strategies.

“This promotion is a great acknowledgement of the work over the years and is of course shared with all my collaborators and members of my research group,” said Associate Professor Wong.

“It's also an encouragement for me to continue doing what I love, and I hope to take on more responsibilities in mentoring junior researchers and clinicians who are interested in pursuing research.”

As a lead research neonatologist, Associate Professor Wong has led an international multi-disciplinary team of scientists and clinicians from neonatology, obstetrics, paediatric cardiology and paediatric pathology, to conduct translational research using the fetal lamb model.  The team has now also performed the world’s first transhepatic fetal pulmonary valvuloplasty and also atrial septal stenting in the fetal lamb, as a potential treatment for hypoplastic right and left heart disease.

Assoc Prof Suzie Miller

Also at The Ritchie Centre, Hudson Institute of Medical Research, Associate Professor Suzie Miller is a theme leader in the field of Neurodevelopment and Neuroprotection.

Associate Professor Miller is a fetal physiologist who gained specialist expertise in neurodevelopment during postdoctoral training with the Centre for Perinatal Brain Protection and Repair at University College London.

In 2010 she was recruited as a Senior Scientist to The Ritchie Centre to lead a perinatal brain research program.

“I think this promotion will provide me with increased opportunities to pursue my research goals and advance the research of my group, hopefully also to bring in further funding,” said Associate Professor Miller, who holds an ARC Future Fellowship.

Associate Professor Miller’s research is focused on experimental and clinical studies that aim to understand, and inhibit, the mechanisms that contribute to newborn brain injury and functional deficits associated with cerebral palsy. This approach has led to the recent commencement of a world first human clinical trial at Monash Health to examine melatonin therapy to protect the developing brain in pregnancies compromised by fetal growth restriction.

“I hope that my promotion might also motivate young women researchers who are looking to advance their careers while juggling family commitments,” added Associate Professor Miller, a keen advocate for the role of women in science, and founding member of the NHMRC’s Women in Health Science Committee.

SCS Nutrition and Dietetics researcher and senior lecturer receives academic promotion

Assoc Professor Bonham
Congratulations to nutrition scientist Associate Professor Maxine Bonham whose work in research and clinical education was recognised in the latest round of academic promotions.

A registered nutritionist, Associate Professor Bonham’s early research career at the University of Ulster focused on the risk-benefits of fish consumption during pregnancy on neurocognitive outcome; collaborative work that has resulted in a change to World Health Organisation advice regarding fish consumption during pregnancy.

Since starting at Monash as a Senior Lecturer in 2010, Associate Professor Bonham has successfully established an undergraduate program in Nutrition Science and in 2015 the course was granted specialist course status under the new Monash Course Architecture. 

Associate Professor Bonham’s current role in the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics is spilt between a commitment to education and pursuing her research interests.  

“I always thought I would remain in a 100% research role but the opportunity to work with undergraduate students, see them get excited about research, and progress into PhD and post-doctoral careers is extremely rewarding,” said Associate Professor Bonham. 

Associate Professor Bonham’s research interests are focused on the role diet plays in metabolic health outcomes.  Recent projects include the evaluation of a commercial weight loss program in overweight adolescents and investigating the effect dietary manipulation can have on appetite.  Current research examining the effect of meal timing on glucose and lipid metabolism has implications for people in occupations that require them to eat late into the night.

“We have shown that a meal consumed late at night compared to the morning greatly impacts on glucose metabolism.  This may have implications for the 16% of the Australian population in shift work roles.”

Associate Professor Bonham said that her promotion provides an opportunity not only to continue expanding and strengthening the nutrition science program at Monash but to promote the field of Nutrition Science in Australia.

Please update your email signature to include your new phone number

Many SCS staff have received new phones and phone numbers.  Please don't forget to update your email signature and make arrangements for new business cards (if necessary).

You will also need to set up your voicemail (instructions were left with your new handset).   If you have any questions, please contact Monash Health IT Services & Telecommunications (call 9594 7255 and press option 2).

SCS calendar news - subscribe now!!

Did you know that SCS events, lectures, seminars and more are scheduled in the SCS calendar?  You can subscribe to our calendar, ensuring you will receive invitations and never miss another event or meeting.

Just click on any of the scheduled events and you can easily add it to your own calendar.

The SCS calendar is on the front page of SCS eNews: ( You can also add the SCS calendar to your list of calendars by clicking on the +Google calendar button.

Please ask Katherine ( or Vithya ( if you have any questions.

Click on the events listed below, to find more details about each event.
What's on for the week (19-23 Oct)

Tue 20/10/2015 12:30 PM Mentoring seminar
01:00 PM CiiiD Seminar Series
Wed 21/10/2015 08:30 AM 2015 Ritchie Centre Colloquium
12:30 PM Grand Rounds:  : Victorian Data Linkages Program – a resource for clinical researchers  to access National health Related Data Sets

Thu 22/10/2015 08:30 AM 2015 Ritchie Centre Colloquium
11:00 AM Department of Medicine Staff Meeting
06:00 PM 2015 Ritchie Centre Colloquium Public Forum

Forthcoming events (24 Oct - 7 Nov)
Tue 27/10/2015 01:00 PM CiiiD Seminar Series
02:00 PM Postgraduate Student Open Forum #3
03:00 PM  Workshop - Developing your CV
Wed 28/10/2015 12:00 PM Accepting and Managing Your NHMRC Funding - MRO Webpage and Information Session
Thu 29/10/2015 10:00 AM Animal Use in Research & Teaching
10:30 AM SCS Staff Meeting
01:30 PM ANZAC Nurses Exhibition 
Sat 31/10/2015 05:00 PM Deadline: Monash University Scholarship Applications
Tue 03/11/2015 01:00 PM CiiiD Seminar Series
Wed 04/11/2015 11:00 AM SCS Postgraduate Student Open Forum #3
Thu 05/11/2015 09:00 AM FRLP Module 8 - Project Closeout (ECRs)


The next CID Seminar will be held on Tuesday 20th October from 12:00-13:00 in the Medicine Seminar Room Located on Level 5, Block E MMC.


Grand Rounds- Wed 21 Oct: "Victorian Data Linkages: a valuable resource for medical and health research"

"Victorian Data Linkages: a valuable resource for medical and health research"

Presented by Peter Carver, Director of the Victorian Data Linkages Unit, Department of Health and Human Services.

Wednesday 21 October, 12.30pm - 1.30pm
Lecture Theatre 1, MMC

Bioinformatics Ingenuity Workshop next Monday 26/10

The Hudson Institute is hosting an MHTP Bioinformatics Ingenuity Pathway Analysis Workshop next MONDAY 26 OCTOBER, 11.30am - 12.30pm at the Level 3 Hudson Boardrooms.

Presented by Dr Rupert Yip, Director - Ingenuity Variant Analysis Product Line, Qiagen Ingenuity.

For further enquiries, please contact the host: Miss Roxane Legaie, Senior Bioinformatician, Monash Bioinformatics Platform, Monash University: (

Refreshments afterwards on the de Kretser Concourse, from 12.30-1pm.

Flyer attached here with more details.

PhD Student Showcase Symposium 20 November

Please join us for the inaugural PhD Student Symposium showcasing the best of SCS-Hudson 2nd/3rd year PhD students from different disciplines in 15 minute talks.

Friday 20 November, 12.15 - 5.00pm, Lecture Theatre 1, MMC

Register your attendance here.

Enquiries to:

Evacuation Drill this Wednesday 21 October - E Block, Level 5

On Wednesday October 21 we will be having our required annual evacuation drill for E-Block 5th floor. This will occur sometime between 9.00 and 11.00am

The aim is to evacuate everyone smoothly and quickly with minimal disruption to work. The process should take around 15 minutes.

As a reminder, the evacuation meeting point is the car park opposite the level 1 E-Block main entry door(car park G). The floor wardens (Dale, Jin, Michael, Mira and Katherine) will be running the drill and we will be wearing orange hi-vis vests.

Congratulations Dr Asvini Subasinghe and Dr Chris Moran on the award of their PhD

Dr Asvini Subasinghe
The Monash Institute of Graduate Research is pleased to report that Asvini Subasinghe and Chris Moran have been awarded the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. 

Asvini's thesis titled: "Malnutrition and the risk of Hypertension in a disadvantaged rural Indian population" was ratified by the Graduate Research Steering Committee on Tuesday 13th October 2015 and will be conferred upon graduation. 

Dr Chris Moran is a geriatrician at Monash Health  His thesis ""A study of mechanisms linking Type 2 diabetes mellitus and dementia" was also ratified by the Graduate Research Steering Committee on  Tuesday 13th October 2015 and will be conferred upon graduation. 

Sincere thanks to all the academic and professional staff involved in assisting Asvini and Chris achieve this wonderful result.  

Read more about Asvini and Chris.

Honours students final seminar this Thursday 22 October

SCS and Hudson Bachelor of Biomedical Science Honours students will be presenting their final seminar this Thursday, October 22.

When: Thursday, October 22, from 9am onwards
Where: Hudson Level 3 Board Rooms
What: Hudson Institute/ SCS Bachelor of Biomedical Science Honours students final seminar

Students are required to give a 15 minute presentation with 5 minutes question time.  

This seminar will be followed by the BMS Hons mid-year intake students Seminar 1 at 3.20 pm.  

All staff and students are asked to attend at least part of either seminar during the day to support our Honours students, and to assist in assessing their presentations. 

A copy of the program is attached here.  

REGISTRATION CLOSING SOON: 2015 ECR Symposium - Monday 9 November, Caulfield Campus

A reminder that the Faculty of Medicine Nursing and Health Sciences (FMNHS) will be holding their biannual Early Career Researcher (ECR) Symposium on Monday 9 November 2015 at the Caulfield campus. 
Registration is now open and will close on Monday 26 October 2015.  Registration cost for the event is $50.  Schools and Departments are encouraged to support the cost of attendance from their Professional Development budgets.
The 2015 ECR Symposium is aimed at ECRs with an interest in developing and strengthening their research careers, with a particular focus on “Selling Yourself” and will feature:

New date and time for ECR workshop - Developing your CV, 27 October 3pm

Unfortunately we have had to change the DATE and TIME of the upcoming ECR workshop - Developing your CV due to a clash. 

All ECRs are welcome to attend the upcoming event: CV Workshop - Developing your CV. In this workshop we will hear from special guests about how best to sell yourself for upcoming grant and fellowship applications. We will focus on how you can make the most of your previous achievements and experiences to tick all the boxes!

What: CV Workshop - Developing your CV
When: Tuesday 27th October
Time: 3-4pm
*Please note updated date and time*
Where: Level 3 Boardrooms, 'MIMR' building (nibbles to follow on De Krester Concourse)

UPDATE: ARC Linkage Programme Consultation - Industry Partner Input

Re: Industry partner input into ARC Linkage survey / working group discussions.

We realise that there may be some reluctance to forward this survey to industry partners when it is associated with such a short deadline. 

Given the importance of industry feedback into this process, in order to maximise the response from industry, we have received agreement from the Chair of the working party that feedback from industry partners will be accepted up until 4 November 2015.  Survey is attached here.

An earlier response is still preferable, as this will allow collation of responses and more time for the ARC to consider the feedback before the meeting at which these matters will be discussed. 

Please advise researchers and partner organisations that industry sector input should be sent to by 4 November 2015 (or ASAP)

We still request that researchers and research administrators kindly submit their input by Tuesday 20 October 2015 (3pm).

We hope that this alteration will increase industry partner input into the future of the ARC Linkage Programme. 

ARC Linkage Programme Consultation - Please respond by 20 October

The ARC are seeking feedback on what needs to be done to make the Linkage Programme more attractive to researchers, partner organisations and research administrators.
The attached questionnaire has separate sections aimed at ​each of the three target audiences.  

​We would appreciate your comment​s ​on how each area can be improved.
​We​ also urge you to disseminate the survey as widely as possible in your
​areas,​ as well as to your industry colleagues and encourage them to take the time to complete this survey as it is a great opportunity to influence on what improvements could be made to the Linkage Programme.

​The timeline for capturing responses to this survey is very tight. Please send responses to ​Halina Oswald, Director, Monash Research Office ​
​(h​​)​ by ​Tuesday ​20 October  2015.

Accepting and Managing Your NHMRC Funding - MRO Webpage and Information Session

As we prepare for the upcoming NHMRC outcome announcement, the MRO Medical and Health Sciences team has created a webpage to cover all of the information that you need to know from accepting to managing your NHMRC funding.  The MRO NHMRC Post Award Processes page can be accessed here:

​MRO​  will be running an information session targeted to research administrators and first-time recipients of NHMRC grant and fellowship funding.

The following topics will be covered:
  • Accepting your award
  • Ethics clearance and the release of NHMRC funds
  • The use of NHMRC funds
  • Multi-Institutional Agreements
  • Grant variations and reporting
Date: Wednesday 28 October 2015
Time: 12.00 – 12.30pm
Location: C1 Lecture Theatre, 25 Exhibition Walk, Building 63, Clayton campus
Presenters: Kylie May (15 min presentation) and MHS team (15 min Q&A session)

Please register your attendance here.
If you are unable to attend, the session will be recorded for later viewing.

The session will be video-conferenced to the following locations:
Parkville: Pharm-Deans Meeting Room 404.G.19
Alfred: Boardroom 1, Level 6, Alfred Centre

​Please direct all queries to the Medical and Health Sciences team at MRO (​

2015 Grant for Adult Stem Cell Research

The Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney invites applications from Australian-​based researchers for a grant of $100,000 to support and foster research on the therapeutic potential of adult stem cells.

This is the seventh occasion on which this grant has been offered. Research supported previously has explored the potential of stem cells from non​-​embryonic sources to assist in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease (2003), the regeneration of skin after severe burns (2005), the treatment of stroke victims (2007), the regeneration of normal blood functioning for cancer sufferers (2009), improving the success of tissue transplantation (2011), and the use of umbilical cord blood stem cell transplants for patients with blood cell diseases (2013). The Archdiocese of Sydney is seeking to continue this support of internationally-competitive science with its 2015 grant. 

The grant is awarded on the recommendation of an independent panel according to the following criteria: 

Clinical Trial Funding Initiative - National Stem Cell Foundation of Australia (NSCFA)

The ​National Stem Cell Foundation of Australia (​NSCF​A)​
is exploring ways to initiate and support properly constituted clinical trials of stem cell-based treatments in Australia. The NSCFA recognises the challenges facing researchers in mounting appropriate clinical trials. It may be possible to promote more direct links between donors with identified interest in the target illness and research groups planning to transition potential Stem Cell based therapies from pre-clinical to clinical trial status.
​NSCFA​ would like to hear from stem cell research groups who believe their project has human therapeutic potential and are ready to enter a clinical trial. If you have data that fall into this category and would like to join us in assessing whether the approach might work, please complete the brief proforma attached and return to the NSCFA by Friday 6 ​November, 2015. Alternatively please visit the NSCFA website for a copy of the proforma.

ARC Future Fellowships (FT15) Rejoinders now open in RMS

The ARC has released the Assessor reports for FT15 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.

MRO staff are available to review your rejoinder.  
If you would like an internal review, please email your written rejoinder draft as a Word document attachment (maximum 5000 characters, including spaces) to by no later than 9am, MONDAY 19 OCTOBER. 
Due the high volume of work for the current Linkage Projects round, rejoinders received after this time cannot be reviewed.

To find your assessor comments for your FT15 proposal in RMS (detailed instructions attached):

Early postnatal demoralisation among primiparous women in the community: measurement, prevalence and associated factors

David Clarke et al. published in BMC Pregnancy & Childbirth.

Read article here.

Definition and initial validation of a Lupus Low Disease Activity State (LLDAS)

Eric Morand et al. published in Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.

Read article here.

Diagnostic Performance of Transluminal Attenuation Gradient and Noninvasive Fractional Flow Reserve Derived from 320-Detector Row CT Angiography to Diagnose Hemodynamically Significant Coronary Stenosis: An NXT Substudy

Ian Meredith et al. published in Radiology.

Read article here.

Aldosterone-Mediated Renal Sodium Transport Requires Intact Mineralocorticoid Receptor DNA-Binding in the Mouse

Peter Fuller et al. published in Endocrinology.

Read article here.

White Matter Lesion Progression: Genome-Wide Search for Genetic Influences

Velandai Srikanth et al. published in Stroke.

Read article here.

Comparison of Commercial Wrist-Based and Smartphone Accelerometers, Actigraphy, and PSG in a Clinical Cohort of Children and Adolescents

Sarah Biggs et al. published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.

Read article here.

Longitudinal Impact of Resolution of Snoring in Young Children on Psychosocial Functioning

Sarah Biggs et al. published in the Journal of Paediatrics.

Read article here.

Nitric therapy in preterm infants: Rationalised approach based on functional neonatal echocardiography

Arvind Sehgal et al. published in Acta Paediatrica.

Read article here.