Tuesday, 1 December 2015

SCS researcher wins Monash Micro Imaging competition

Michaela Finsterbusch's winning photo
in the 2015 MMI photo competition
Congratulations Dr Michaela Finsterbusch, winner of the Monash Micro Imaging (MMI) annual photo competition.

Not new to photography, Michaela was also a finalist in the 2014 MMI competition--her photograph was the feature for October in the 2015 MMI calendar.

Images must be taken on an MMI microscope and are judged on their artistic merit.

Michaela's winning photo shows a 3D reconstructed image of a mouse stomach, where immune cells (macrophages) in green are located along a network of collagen fibres in blue.

Michaela is a postdoctoral research fellow in the Leukocyte Trafficking Group, Centre for Inflammatory Diseases.

Head of Monash CT Unit receives academic promotion

Professor Ken Lau
Head of Thoracic Imaging and the CT Unit at Monash Health, Kenneth Lau has been promoted to Clinical Professor.

With responsibility for the Monash Health CT unit, Professor Lau oversees the most advanced CT hardware and software in the field, enabling new scanning techniques and clinical applications.

Professor Lau has particular interests in all new and advanced CT and dose reduction techniques.  He has been involved in many research studies and projects, including the use of wide area detector in 4-dimensional assessment of upper and middle airways; model-based and knowledge-based iterative reconstruction in radiation dose reduction and image quality improvement; fine focal spot CT scanning; use of liver detection algorithm in enhancing low subject contrast detectability;  ECG-gated chest imaging; vascular calcifications in chronic kidney disease; and dual energy investigation of renal calculi in Thalassemia.

“In close collaboration with Professor Phil Bardin, Director of Respiratory and Sleep Medicine at Monash Health, our use of 4-dimensional CT in diagnosing, evaluating and monitoring laryngeal dyskinesia and expiratory functional disorders has been ground-breaking, and Monash Health is the world-leading site in this clinical area,” said Professor Lau. 

“Professor Bardin and I have also been working closely with Imperial College London in developing an aerodynamic model of airway from the CT data set.”

Professor Lau has been an invited speaker at local, national and international meetings and conferences on 35 occasions.  He has authored 57 peer-reviewed publications and presented 92 posters and 28 oral proffered scientific papers in local, national and internal conferences.  

His 11 prestigious awards and prizes include the Toshiba prize for the outstanding scientific exhibits at RANZCR ASM in 2005, 2009 and 2013, the Wiley-Blackwell best exhibit award in 2012, 2013 and 2015, the Philips prize at RANZCR ASM in 2011 for the best European abstract, and the best scientific paper presentation in the joint Royal college of Radiologists and Hong Kong college of Radiologists in 2011. 

Beyond his research and clinical work, Professor Lau lectures radiography students at Monash University, prepares chest imaging tutorials for medical students, and has successfully supervised four Masters students.

“I am very thankful to Monash Health and the Diagnostic Imaging Department for supporting my role, and at the same time I am appreciative of the excellent skill set and dedication of my radiology colleagues and the medical imaging technologists to make the CT unit one of the best in the world.”

Professor Lau also thanks Head, Department of Imaging at Monash Health and Monash University, Professor Stephen Stuckey for his ongoing guidance, support and encouragement and Head, Department of Surgery, Professor Julian Smith for his support in his academic promotion application.

Monash leading diabetes research project in India

Assoc Prof Lombard, Prof Zoungas
and Prof Teede
Professors Sophia Zoungas and Helena Teede and Assoc Professor Lombard from the Monash Centre for Health Research and Implementation (MCHRI) were recently in India at the initial meeting for the NHMRC Global Alliance funded project ($2.25M) on lifestyle intervention for prevention of conversion from gestational diabetes to diabetes in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. 

These MCHRI Chief Investigators are collaborating with the George Institute to provide content expertise in GDM, diabetes and lifestyle intervention on this large scale implementation research project.

Monash University allied health students recognised at insurance industry awards

Margaret Murray (centre) with
 industry mentors Stephanie Catalucci
 and Fiona Robinson.
Department of Nutrition and Dietetics student Margaret Murray was the joint first prize winner at the recent Monash University – MLC ALUCA scholarships awards event.

Insurance company MLC and the Australasian Life Underwriting & Claims Association (ALUCA) offer Monash University students an opportunity to be recognised and rewarded for their work in an insurance industry collaboration award.

To be considered for the prize, health students prepare responses to key questions facing underwriting and claims professionals in the insurance industry.

PhD student Margaret Murray submitted a 2000 word essay and presented to National Australia Bank (NAB) senior leaders and ALUCA board members about GP and allied health professionals’ training and educational support from insurance companies when their patient is making an insurance claim.

“I found the experience very enjoyable and I learnt a lot about the insurance industry and how under-recognised it is among health professionals as a source of support for patients,” said Margaret, who received $2500 for equal first prize.

“Through my research, I found there is very little support, training, and education for health professionals and students, so my essay and presentation focussed on my recommendations to improve the situation.”

“The strategies I developed included increasing collaboration and communication between insurance companies and health professionals and incorporating some life insurance curriculum into the relevant undergraduate health degrees,” added Margaret.

Associate Dean of Allied Health at Monash University Professor Jenny Keating said the awards program was set up to promote the importance of industry engagement between health care professionals and the insurance sector.

“This initiative invites one student from each professional discipline in our Faculty to learn about issues affecting the insurance industry,” said Professor Keating.

“Our students’ presentations at the awards event were truly incredible—the team of executive managers from NAB and ALUCA marvelled at the innovation, endeavour, capability and enthusiasm of our students.”

SCS calendar - what's on

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: (scsenews.blogspot.com.au). You can also add the SCS calendar to your list of calendars by clicking on the +Google calendar button.

What's on for the week (1-4 Dec)

Tue 01/12/2015  1:00 PM CiiiD Seminar Series
 4:00 PM The adventurous and challenging 
pathways in medical research –what does
 the future hold?
Thu 03/12/2015  12:30 PM Hudson seminar:  Prof Jan Brosens, 
University of Warwick, Coventry, UK
 12:30 PM “Loss of endometrial plasticity in 
recurrent pregnancy loss”

Forthcoming events (7-21 Dec)

Mon 07/12/2015  7:00 PM 2015 Kaarene Fitzgerald Annual Public Lecture
Tue 08/12/2015  11:00 AM NHMRC presentation
 1:00 PM CiiiD Seminar Series
Fri 11/12/2015  11:45 AM SCS Meeting & Trivia Lunch
Tue 15/12/2015  8:30 AM Clinical Grantsmanship workshop
 1:00 PM CiiiD Seminar Series
Wed 16/12/2015  10:00 AM PhD Confirmation of Candidature 
 Seminar - Catherine Cochrane 
Thu 17/12/2015  11:00 AM Department of Medicine Staff Meeting

CID seminar today: "Immunotherapeutic Strategies for Autoimmune MPO-ANCA Glomerulonephritis"

The next CID Seminar will be held on Tuesday 1st December from 12:00-13:00 in the Medicine Seminar Room Located on Level 5, Block E MMC.

Dr Poh Yi Gan will be presenting:  "Immunotherapeutic Strategies for Autoimmune MPO-ANCA Glomerulonephritis"

Lunch will be provided.  All welcome.

Hudson seminars TODAY and 3 December

Prof Anderson
You are invited to two Hudson Special Seminars this week

The speakers are:
  • Prof Warwick Anderson AM, Secretary-General, International Human Frontier Science Program Organisation, TUESDAY DECEMBER 1, 4-5 pm, LEVEL 2, SEMINAR ROOMS 1 & 2, NEW TRF BUILDING.  Flyer attached here.
  • Prof Jan Brosens, University of Warwick, Coventry, UK, THURSDAY DECEMBER 3, 12.30 -1.30 pm LECTURE THEATRE 1, MMC.   Flyer attached here.
Light refreshments to follow presentations outside the Lecture Theatres.

Presentation by the NHMRC - Tuesday 8th December

Dr Saraid Billiards, Director of the Research Grants team at the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), will be visiting Monash University on Tuesday 8th December to present to our research community. With many NHMRC schemes opening January 2016 this is an excellent opportunity to learn more about NHMRC and their processes, as well as ask any questions.

Date: Tuesday 8th December 2016
Time: 11am - 12noon
Location: C1 Lecture Theatre, 25 Exhibition Walk, Building 63, Clayton campus
Presenter: Dr Saraid Billiards

The topics that will be covered include:
  • Grantsmanship
  • Hints and Tips for your Applications
  • New Peer Review Processes

There will be the opportunity for questions at the end of the presentation.

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: Pharmacy Deans Meeting Room 404.G.19
Alfred: Boardroom 1, Level 6 Alfred Centre

Dr Saraid Billiards is the Director of the Research Grants team of the NHMRC, overseeing several schemes including Project Grants, Development Grants, Targeted Calls for Research and International Collaborations, with an annual budget of approximately $500 million. Saraid is responsible for ensuring that all applications are peer-reviewed to the highest international standards. She is also responsible for the NHMRC’s Women in Health Science Working Committee – established to identify barriers and enablers to the progression and retention of women in health and medical research – and is an active participant in the peer review of a number of other research support schemes.

Saraid has a PhD in neurophysiology from Monash University. After completing her PhD in 2003, Saraid worked for five years in the Department of Neuropathology at the Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA. Her research focused on the underlying neuropathology of perinatal brain injury, in particular, cerebral palsy and stillbirth. Upon returning to Australia, Saraid continued her research at The University of Melbourne before taking up a position at the NHMRC.

​All queries about the session should be directed to mhs@monash.edu.​

We look forward to seeing you there!

MMC Site Alert: Christmas BBQ Invitation To All Staff - 17 Dec

Join us for lunch as we say Thank You for all your hard work this year

Monday, 30 November 2015

Results of the SGS 2016 Grant Application Round

Applicants will be notified of the submission outcomes for the Strategic Project Grant (SPG) and Early Career Development (ECD) grants today.

The outcomes of the Platform Access Grants (PAG) and Joint Medicine-Pharmacy (JMP) grants will be announced before mid-December.

NHMRC Project Grants: 2016 New Investigator eligibility form available for viewing in RGMS

Please note that the NHMRC has allowed early viewing of the Project Grant 2016 New Investigator Eligibility Form. The form is available for viewing via the Applicants portal in RGMS, see link under the Applying for grants heading. Submissions commence on 13 January 2016 when Project Grants applications open in RGMS.

​For further information, please contact mhs@monash.edu.​

Reminder - VIIN Career Development Awards

Career Development Awards - Applications Close Friday 4 December

The VIIN is once again offering two Career Development Awards to Victorian postdoctoral researchers. The purpose of these awards is to assist early career researchers who have contributed to their discipline further their careers by attending the Lorne Infection and Immunity Conference in February 2016. Successful applicants will receive full registration (priced at $630 each) at this major annual event on the infection and immunity calendar.

Antarctic Circumnavigation Expedition (ACE) - CALL FOR PROPOSALS

Please find attached an opportunity to apply to be part of a project entitled Antarctic Circumnavigation Expedition (ACE).

This call for proposals is a joint call between Ecole Polytechnique Federal of Lausanne (EPFL) as coordinator, and the partnering polar institutes (Australia/ France/ Norway/ Russia/ South Africa/ UK) under the patronage of Mr Frederik Paulsen.

The call will be open between 23 November 2015 and 31 January 2016. 

The goal of the ACE Project is to offer to international teams of distinguished scientists an outstanding and unique opportunity to study the marine and terrestrial environment of the sub-Antarctic ecosystem, based on the following components: 
· A round trip of Antarctica in a single expedition (see Annex 1 Travel plan) of a 3-month duration. Project teams can participate in the whole expedition or only in one or two of the scheduled legs. Please see the Travel plan set out in Annex 1 (“Travel plan”), which shows the anticipated route along with a tentative time line for the three-month expedition, including proposed timing for island landings and cruising timelines between the islands. It should be noted that this map is purely provisional and will be adjusted, within the time frame, as required in light of the selected scientific projects.
· A polar vessel proposed by the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute of St Petersburg will be made available for the Project, offering research labs and other facilities such as helicopters and other means of transport (see Annex 2 - Vessel description and research facilities). 
· A high level International Panel composed of distinguished scientific experts from polar institutions located in ACE partner countries including South Africa, Australia, Norway, the United Kingdom, France, Switzerland and the Russian Federation, with participation by external experts, will be established. The Panel will play a strategic role in selecting the scientific projects that will participate in the ACE project;

Two kinds of projects are expected: 1) Projects which are going to use the vessel and the research platform without any requested funding; and 2) Projects which require additional funding. For the latter, funding will be provided by a sponsor with anticipated grant levels of up to 200 thousand Euros per project. 
Research projects should address scientific questions related to either the sub-Antarctic islands or the Antarctic Ocean (or the linkages between them). The important science questions relating to these areas are already outlined in the strategic plans of many Antarctic institutes and the SCAR Horizon Scan document, and are readily available to the scientific community. Particular areas of interest within these topics include:
  • Understanding the physics, chemistry and biology of the Antarctic ocean;
  • Biology, biodiversity and the impact of climate change on the sub-Antarctic islands;
  • Geosciences of the islands;
  • Health and remote medicine in extreme environments.
The ACE project seeks to enhance international relations and collaboration amongst countries as well as to promote the interest of a new generation of young explorers in polar research. Therefore, we expect research projects submitted to the Panel to be open to any country or institution. Applicants should pay attention to the strict conditions and rules allowed by countries to conduct research projects in the islands and their environs. Annex 3 provides an overview of the key elements applicable to research projects seeking access to the islands and their environs. Applicants are requested to confirm that their project will comply with the rules presented in the annex and to read the complete Island Management Plan if necessary.
For further information please contact planning@aad.gov.au.

The Australian Government's Research Map for industry-research collaborations

The Department of Industry, Innovation and Science has asked Monash University to bring https://researchmap.com.au to the attention of researchers who are seeking to engage with businesses for industry-research collaborations.

The Research Map is an initiative of the Australian Government to make it easier to find Australian researchers with capabilities relevant to business research needs.  The Research Map is administered by the Entrepreneurs’ Programme - Research Connections team of the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science. Their dedicated network of Research Facilitators work with businesses to connect them to Australia's leading research capability. 

Capturing the research capabilities and expertise of researchers from Monash University in the Research Map database will enable ​their ​Research Facilitators to identify the relevant research capability matching the needs of businesses and present opportunities for industry-research collaborations.

The researcher profiles in the Research Map will not be made publicly accessible and it will be primarily used by the Research Facilitators for the purpose of delivering the department’s programs and initiatives.

We would greatly appreciate if you could promote the Research Map within your School/Department and encourage your researchers to join and create profiles. The Research Map can be accessed at https://researchmap.com.au/

If you have any questions, please contact:
Dr Nirmal Lorensuhewa
Operations Manager – Research Connections
Tel: (08) 8406 4774

Feedback on Academic Performance Standards for 2016-2018

The continued improvement in the international rankings of Monash University and FMNHS is due in no small part to the attention paid to the quality of our academic staff. Policies such as academic strengthening and talent enhancement have emphasised research quality and performance. Research standards in the Faculty are reviewed on a biennial basis and we are due to announce new ones at the beginning of the academic year in 2016.

Accordingly, I and staff in my office have reviewed current standards and developed new ones as starting points for discussion and review by heads of academic units. You will recall that there are 6 discipline streams that cover the breadth of research in the faculty:-
Laboratory-based research
Clinical research
Public health research
Nursing and allied health research
Psychology research
Social and educational research

In the attached document, there is both a Minimum and Aspirational target for each performance measure. ​The proposed new targets are shown in red (and will be the same as the current targets where no change is recommended), while the current targets are shown in black (inside parentheses) where applicable.

As Heads it may be that there are two or three disciplines present in your Unit and if so, I would ask you to review all relevant disciplines and provide your comments on the proposed standards. 

General comments on the new standards

Research outputs
Weighted publication points - This has been dropped from the standard. Because of the increasing prevalence of multi-author and multi-disciplinary teams in many disciplines, this measure appeared to act as a disincentive to collaborate appropriately. 
ERA A/A* Publications - This has been dropped and replaced with a top quartile measure of journal quality. A score is given for the percentage of publications published in the top 25% of discipline specific journals. Where a journal may appear in several disciplines then appearance in the top 25% of journals for any field is viewed as satisfying this standard. 

The faculty recognises the increasing difficulty of obtaining Category 1 funding with the freezing of ARC and NHMRC funding. Accordingly, targets for some of the disciplines such as laboratory-based, clinical, public health and psychology have been kept at the previous level. The two other disciplines which had extremely low target levels have had some increases reflecting the need for an improving standard of performance in these disciplines.

HDR targets
​​Given that the total number of HDR students has not increased for the faculty as a whole, there have been only minor adjustments to these targets​ for most disciplines. 

Possible other measures
There are some other measures that have been suggested as useful measures of quality, impact and performance. In particular, citation numbers and completion rates have been suggested and I am interested in how these could possibly be used. The problem as I see it is that our performance measures are used to assess recent performance (last 1-3 years typically) but citations relate back to articles published some years ago and completion rates relate to students recruited 4 or more years previously. If you have suggestions please let me know. 

Request for f​eedback
Different heads may approach this in different ways, reviewing with small working groups in your discipline or in staff meetings. I would be interested in your feedback by 14 December 2015 at the latest.

Senior Deputy Dean and Director of Research Professor Ross Coppel is happy to discuss in the interim by phone (99029147​) or in person.

Senior Women's Shadowing Program and Advancing Women's Research Success Grant Program

The Monash University Senior Women’s Shadowing Program aims to develop the leadership capacity of high potential female staff and to support the University in attaining a greater representation of women in leadership roles.

The Senior Women’s Shadowing Program will be offered in 2016.  The program provides participants with critical access to the executive leadership team at Monash and a unique opportunity for leadership development. Since commencing in 2006, many of the participants have utilised the opportunities provided by the Senior Women’s Shadowing Program to take on more senior leadership positions within the University. Other participants have learnt to exercise their leadership skills in more powerful and effective ways within their current roles.

Program aims
  • To enhance understanding of the structure of Monash University, including its management structure;
  • To increase knowledge of the broader environment within which Monash University operates and the strategic management issues addressed by senior management;
  • To develop leadership capabilities by exposure to senior management personnel and their decision-making processes;
  • To raise the profile of participants amongst senior management;
  • To increase the confidence of participants in operating at senior decision-making levels;
  • To provide enhanced and sustained networking opportunities between participants, and between participants and members of the senior management team. 

Program target group

Women from the following levels are invited to apply for one of the 12 positions available in the 2014 program:
  • Academic Level E (Professor)
  • Academic Level D (Associate Professor)
  • Above HEW Level 10
  • HEW Level 10
  • HEW Level 9*

Advancing Women's Research Success Grant Program

These grants form part of the University's Gender Equity Strategy 2011-2015 and support the University's commitment to improving the representation of women in senior academic roles.
The grants are targeted at female academic staff at Level B and Level C with primary caring responsibilities (child/dependant/elder) and aim to support women to enhance or maintain their research productivity at a critical time in their careers.
Each grant is valued at $13,000 and has been used to reduce the impact of career breaks and/or intense caring responsibilities on an academic career. Recipients have also participated in career development coaching.

More details of the Senior Women’s Shadowing Program and the Advancing Women's Research Success Grant Program will be published in eNews as soon as information becomes available next year.

End of TRF tours

Now that the TRF is officially open, Friday tours through the building will no longer run.

Monash Uni software on Monash Health computers

For all staff who hold appointments at the University and at Monash Health, AND who have Monash Health computers – there are some software packages such as Endnote that are provided to University staff, but are currently inaccessible on the Monash Health machines. 

If you fall into this category of staff and request installation of Endnote on your Monash Health computer, please send your location details to Eugene Fredericks (eugene.fredericks@monash.edu). If there are other software packages required for installation on the Monash Health computers, please also advise, as we will follow-up with IT to see what can be installed.

Introducing Zycus

Dietary Interventions Designed to Protect the Perinatal Brain from Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy - Creatine Prophylaxis and The Need for Multi-Organ Protection

Hayley Dickinson et al. published in Neurochemistry International.

Read article here.

Inequities in access to rehabilitation: exploring how acute stroke unit clinicians decide who to refer to rehabilitation

Dominique Cadilhac et al. published in Disability and Rehabilitation.

Read article here.

Cathepsin S-Dependent Protease-Activated Receptor-2 Activation: A New Mechanism of Endothelial Dysfunction

David Nikolic-Paterson published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

Read article here.

Injection frequency of botulinum toxin A for spastic equinus: a randomized clinical trial

Michael Fahey et al. published in Developmental medicine and child neurology.

Read article here.

Health Anxiety and Its Relationship to Disability and Service Use: Findings From a Large Epidemiological Survey

Graham Meadows et al. published in Psychosomatic Medicine.

Read article here.

Simplification of the standard three-bag intravenous acetylcysteine regimen for paracetamol poisoning results in a lower incidence of adverse drug reactions

Andis Graudins et al. published in Clinical Toxicology.

Read article here.