Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Professor Mark Frydenberg awarded Member (AM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia

Clinical Professor Mark Frydenberg was recognised for significant service to medicine as a clinician, educator and author in the speciality of urology, and to professional medical organisations in the 2016 Australia Day Honours List.

Professor Frydenberg is President of the Urological Society of Australia and New Zealand, an author and co-author of over 130 peer reviewed journal articles, lecturer, active researcher and public speaker.  He is an advocate of raising awareness for men's health issues, in particular, prostate cancer.

"It is my career and passion to look after men with serious illnesses such as prostate cancer, as well as a variety of other potential health issues such as depression and diabetes to name a few."

"It is immensely satisfying curing men of serious diseases such as prostate cancer, however even more satisfying if one can educate men to ensure they look after themselves, get regular check ups and detect any issues as early as possible to obtain the best outcomes," said Professor Frydenberg. 

Professor Frydenberg said that working with charitable organisations, seeing them fund and promote research into prostate cancer education and treatments has been rewarding. 

"It is humbling to have received the award when there are so many talented clinicians, researchers and consumers totally devoted to the cause."

"I honour them with the award, as well as all the patients who have trusted their care to me."

Grant success enables study of the impact of disease on the family unit in progressive neurological diseases

Dr Chua (centre) with collaborators Dr Susan Mathers
and Dr Katya Kotschet from
Calvary Healthcare Bethlehem
SCS psychiatrist Dr Phyllis Chua has received a Bethlehem Griffiths Foundation grant to study the impact of disease on the family unit in progressive neurological diseases.

Chief investigator Dr Chua with Head of Department of Psychiatry Professor David Kissane and collaborators from Monash Health and Calvary Healthcare Bethlehem will assess the quality of family communication and relationships in patients with progressive neurological diseases and how this relates to the individual’s disease stage, disability and quality of life.

Progressive neurological diseases (PND) encompass a broad and complex group of diseases such as Motor Neuron Disease (MND), Huntington’s disease (HD), Parkinson’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis (MS).

“All PND are currently incurable and fatal, some within a few years from initial diagnosis,” said Dr Chua. “However, they have different aetiologies, symptoms and trajectories and some diseases such as HD have a clearly familial link.”

Dr Chua said that all these diseases lead to significant physical disability and many are associated with cognitive decline.  

Families of individuals with a PND play an essential supportive role from diagnosis to the terminal stage.

“Research has shown that individuals who draw on social support to deal with their neurological illnesses adjust better than those who are reliant on external supports,” added Dr Chua.

“Family relationships, roles and responsibilities can change as a result of and with disease progression and a more proactive family-centred approach in the management of PND can potentially minimise family burden and burnout and maximise social support for the individual.”

Dr Chua and her colleagues aim to identify patient, family members and disease variables that are highly correlated to family dysfunction and to also determine whether the patient health status and quality of life and family member experience are linked.

“Knowledge of variables which can impact on family relationships can assist in the identification of high risk families.”

The results of this study will help inform which families of individuals with PND have higher levels of family dysfunction and could potentially benefit from family focused interventions such as family assessments, family education and family therapy and also inform further research into appropriate family focused interventions.

SCS Bone and Muscle Research has global reach - Department of Medicine researchers receive grant to attend WCO-IOF-ESCEO conference

Dr David Scott
Congratulations senior post-doctoral researcher Dr David Scott and PhD student Alexander Rodriguez who have been awarded competitive grants to attend the world's largest conference on osteoporosis and musculoskeletal disease.

The ESCEO-AgNovos Healthcare Young Investigator Awards, each valued at €2500, will enable the Bone and Muscle Health group researchers to attend the the 2016 World Congress on Osteoporosis, Osteopenia and Musculoskeletal Research (WCO-IOF-ESCEO) in Malaga, Spain in April.
Alexander Rodriguez

Dr Scott is investigating associations of sarcopenic-obesity with bone mineral density and incident falls and fractures among older men while Alexander is undertaking a systematic review and meta-analysis of the effect of vitamin D on measures of arterial stiffness.  

Head of the Bone and Muscle Research Group Professor Peter Ebeling will deliver a plenary lecture on vitamin D, the immune response and infection at the conference.

The conference represents a combined meeting between The International Osteoporosis Federation and The European Society for Clinical and Economic Aspects of Osteoporosis and Osteoarthritis making this conference the largest osteoporosis meeting in the world.

SCS researcher receives Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA) Young Achievers Award

Congratulations Dr Zoe Davidson, lecturer and researcher in the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, recipient of the Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA) Young Achievers Award.

Having completed her PhD at Monash University in 2012, Dr Davidson has demonstrated her leadership in nutrition and dietetics through her research program in neuromuscular disorders.  She is the only specialist dietitian in neuromuscular disorders in Australia and continually advocates for the role of nutrition in this area.

"I was thrilled to receive this award as it is recognition from our peak professional body of my research in a niche area of nutrition," said Dr Davidson. 

"I hope the award may shed some light on the nutrition issues these families face on top of the multiple challenges that come with living with a neuromuscular disorder." 

Dr Davidson has published nine peer-reviewed papers, a book chapter and received nearly $200,000 in research grants.  She currently leads two national research projects, including one to develop evidence-based guidelines for allied health and nursing management of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). Beyond her research, she teaches Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics and Bachelor of Nutrition Science students and is supervising two PhD and two Honours students.

Groundbreaking study into weight gain in rural women

On average Australian women gain about one kilo in weight every year, so a 20 year old woman has a high risk of becoming obese before she reaches 50. This weight gain can be even greater in women in rural areas, who may not have access to gyms, personal trainers or even support groups.

A groundbreaking study by researchers at Monash Centre Health Research and Implementation (MCHRI), Monash University, looking at ways to provide low cost, attractive interventions to prevent excess weight gain in Australian rural women has just been published in PLOS Medicine.

The researchers, led by Associate Professor Cate Lombard, (Head Prevention and Population Health, Dept of Nutrition and Dietetics), conducted the trial across 41 Australian towns. From October 2012 to April 2014 almost 650 women aged between 18 and 50 years were recruited into the one year self management lifestyle intervention (HeLP-her) trial.

Those allocated to the group receiving the HeLP-her program received one group session, monthly SMS text message, one phone coaching session and a program manual. The control group received one general women’s health education session.

The study found that each of the women who participated in the HeLP-her program lost on average half a kilogram over the 12 month period. In comparison, the control group, on average, gained half a kilo over the year. This almost 1kg difference between the two groups is important as this was a large study conducted in young healthy women who are generally unaware of small annual weight gain and the impact this has on increasing their risk for obesity.

According to Associate Professor Lombard, secondary outcomes of the HeLP-her program included improved diet quality and participants were more likely to change to healthier lifestyle behaviours such as regular monitoring of weight, setting realistic goals and managing their food intake and physical activity.

Associate Professor Lombard said one of the standout results of the study was the importance of monthly text messages. “These were simple reminders to eat more vegetables and fruit, to be more active etc and the feedback we got was that these were highly effective in making sure that rural women stayed healthy and on track,” she said.

“There are significant long term health benefits if we can slow weight gain in all age groups in Australia particularly in young women. These benefits include reduced type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancers and fewer complications associated with pregnancy and childbirth“.

The study and control groups will be revisited by the researchers after another 12 month period, to determine how many women maintained the healthy behaviours of the HeLP-her program, and whether doing so resulted in weight maintenance/gain or loss compared to the control group.

Associate Professor Lombard would like to acknowledge the team at MCHRI where she undertook the research.

Read article at The Conversation here.

Introduction to Monash Infectious Diseases Research Program Dr Tony Korman, TODAY at 12pm

The Centre for Inflammatory Diseases Weekly Seminar Series starts again this week with a brief update from Prof Richard Kitching, Director of the CID, followed by a presentation by the Director of Monash Infectious Diseases.

Tuesday 2 February, 12:00 - 1:00pm, Seminar Room 2, TRF Building

The Speaker will be Dr Tony Korman, Director of Monash Infectious Diseases

A light lunch is served prior to the seminar at 11:45am in the seminar room foyer, level 2, TRF Building.

Further information available from CID Weekly Seminar Series website [http://www.med.monash.edu.au/scs/medicine/cid/seminar-series.html]

Grand Rounds- MonashHeart - 3 Feb

Unit: MonashHeart                        
Presenter: Dr Emily Kotschet
Topic: "AF and heart failure: new therapies and devices, to break the vicious circle, for young and old."
Wednesday 3rd February, 12.30pm to 1.30pm

Main Lecture Theatre, Monash Medical Centre, Clayton

'Exhausted foxes and genetic fizzlers: a distinct biology of prognosis in inflammatory disease?' CID special seminar 4 Feb, Prof Ken Smith

On Thursday 4 February 2016, there will be a Centre for Inflammatory Diseases Special Seminar presented by Professor Ken Smith. 

Thursday 4 February, 12:00 - 1:00pm
Seminar Room 1, Level 2, TRF Building

Ken Smith is a practising nephrologist who heads the Department of Medicine at the University of Cambridge, and among other things is establishing the Cambridge Institute for Therapeutic Immunology and Infectious Diseases (due to open in 2018). Smith’s own laboratory runs a translational programme in autoimmune disease (particularly SLE, vasculitis and inflammatory bowel disease) that has led to the discovery of a novel prognosis-predicting biomarker now entering clinical trials, and the identification of genes and pathways involved in disease pathogenesis. Its major focus is on determining the biology that underpins differential long-term outcome in patients with immune-mediated disease. In parallel he studies basic immunological mechanisms, and how defects in regulatory control of the immune system can lead to autoimmunity and alter defence against infection. In 2006 he was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences, in 2007 was awarded the Lister Institute Research Prize, and in 2013 the Distinguished Innovator Award of the Lupus research Institute.

A light lunch is served prior to the seminar at 11:45am in the seminar room foyer, level 2, TRF Building.

Further details can be found on the CID Special Seminars website

“Innovation with Impact: Unrecognised Opportunities in Global Health” - 16th February

When:       Tuesday, 16th February 2016

Time:        Registration at 3:45pm 
Presentation 4:00pm to 5:15pm                   (followed by a Networking session until 6:15pm)
Where:      Seminar Room 1,
                  Level 7, Walter & Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research,
                  1G Royal Parade, Parkville, VIC, 3052

                  Level 7, Walter & Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research,                   1G Royal Parade, Parkville, VIC, 3052
RSVP:      Thursday, 11th February 2016

The global infectious disease product pipeline has been revolutionised over the past decade, with increased investment and R&D activity worldwide. Innovative collaborations between the public and private sectors are driving product development with investment flowing from corporate venture funds, NGOs, philanthropy and Governments – How is Melbourne positioned as a global R&D hub to make the most of arising opportunities? With underserved markets in India, China and Brazil, there is significant commercial potential and interest in the development of candidate products to address unmet need and deliver global public health outcomes.  
On the eve of the Lorne Infection and Immunity conference, this event will highlight unrecognised commercial opportunities, showcase local innovation and identify areas for international partnership and collaboration. The networking reception will connect leaders from the Melbourne business community with guests including the invited speakers and international VIPs who have travelled to be at the internationally acclaimed Lorne Infection and Immunity conference. 

“Oestrogen and pulmonary hypertension – sex matters!” - Professor Mandy MacLean 18 February

The Centre for Endocrinology and Metabolism presents Professor Mandy MacLean, University of Glasgow, Scotland

Thursday February 18, 12.30pm, Level 3 Hudson Board Rooms

More information here.

Lorne Infection and Immunity Conference 2016

Join microbiologists, immunologists, clinicians and industry for 3 days of networking and science to address problems in infectious diseases and immunity.
For more information, download the flyer or visit http://lorneinfectionimmunity.org

Walk for Monash Children's Hospital - Sunday 6 March

Sunday 6 March, 9.30am Jells Park, Wheelers Hill

Enjoy a 1, 5 or 10 km walk with friends and family and raise funds in support of Victoria’s new dedicated Children’s Hospital.  For more information call 9594 2700 or email foundation@monashhealth.org

Register at mchwalk.com.au
Flyer attached here.

Celebrating 2015 SCS medical student success

L-R Diva Baggio, Sean Harrop, Cindy Bach,
Charis Tan, Felix Anderson, Olivia Nicholson,
Ragani Valusamy, Anna Power, Yi-Wei Baey
Outstanding student achievement was celebrated at the Faculty’s Student Awards Ceremony in December 2015.
The annual event recognises and rewards the Faculty’s brightest students for their success in the previous academic year.  Congratulations to the following students from the School of Clinical Sciences.

MBBS Prizes
Miss Diva Baggio Prince Henry's Prize in Surgery
Mr Sean Harrop Bryan Hudson Prize in Medicine
Miss Charis Tan Ellice Jane Hammond Prize for Excellence in Student Internship within Monash Health
Miss Ragani Valusamy SCS Student Internship Excellence Award
Miss Anna Power SCS Student Internship Excellence Award
Mr Andrew Toh Monash Senior Medical Staff Prize
Miss Evie Yeap MH Board of Management Prize
Miss Cindy Bach MH Emergency Medicine Prize
Miss Diva Baggio Arthur Clarke (Paed's Prize)
Mr Felix John Anderson Graeme Smith Psychiatry Prize
Miss Olivia Nicholson Queen Victoria Prize in Women's Health
Miss Natalie Gwyneth & Tsun Wong  RANZCOG Women's Health Award, Terence Connors Prize in Clinical Dermatology
SCS Research Prizes
Mr Andrew Toh Stephen Holdsworth Prize for Medical Student Research
Miss Asha Jois/Miss Shu Ki Tsoi Shaun Summers Award

 Other MBBS Prizes:
Dr Matthew Jee Yun Kang MUMUS President Award
Dr Nichita Gavrilescu MUMUS Vice-President Award
Dr Yi-Wei Baey Royal Australasian College of Physicians, Vic State Committee Prize in Clinical Medicine

AINSE Winter School 2016 - opportunity for undergraduate students

AINSE offers scholarships to each of its member universities to enable a nominated student to attend Winter Schools on applications of nuclear techniques. The Schools are held at the Lucas Heights Science and Technology Centre (ANSTO), about 30km south of Sydney.

Students interested in the use of nuclear techniques, across a range of disciplines, such as archaeology, biology, chemistry, engineering, geology, materials science, medicine, nanotechnology, and physics are encouraged to apply. 

Applications close on 31 March 2016, please refer to attached flyer for more details.

Students interested must contact Professor Ian Smith's office (AINSE councillor at Monash) via pvcrri@monash.edu by Thursday 24 March 2016 to fill in a nomination form.

Funding Opportunity - CRC and CRC-Project Applications

Following a review of the Cooperative Research Centre Programme, there have been some changes, notably the addition of CRC Projects, or CRC-Ps for short.  CRC-Ps will open for applications on Monday 1st February, as will the new CRC selection round.  As yet, the instructions for submission are not known, and so the Programme Guidelines are attached here.

MRO would like to offer proposal development support to applicants intending to apply.  Applicants interested in this service should contact Luke McAvaney on 99059790 orluke.mcavaney@monash.edu.  MRO can also offer compliance and eligibility reviews through the ARC Team.  Please contact Helen Partridge on 99059895 or helen.partridge@monash.edu

Key Points:

Research Development for NHMRC ECFs - Additional Support for those who complete the enclosed request by COB 2 Feb 2016

Monash Research Office offers Research Development support for our NHMRC ECF applicants via an Incubator Program. This support is now open. Strategic reviews are available to all ECF applicants who submit drafts by 10 Feb 2016. [Instructions to submit drafts for review are available on our monash intranet page and also attached here.

Thanks to those of you who have sent us a review request already. We have begun reviews and are looking forward to working with you.

Additional support available:
As part of the ECF Incubator Program, we are seeking to identify applicants in need of mentorship beyond our strategic review to enhance the competitiveness of their applications. We will then contact those applicants with individualised offers of support. This may include pairing with senior Monash academic mentors.

This service is limited and will be completed for applicants who have entered drafts of the following ECF application sections by COB 2 Feb 2016 (or who have submitted us a draft for strategic review):

ARC Linkage Project - Submission from 1st July 2016

Professor Aiden Bryne, CEO of the ARC has given an early advice as to how the Linkage Project scheme will work from 1 July 2016.  He writes:  
The changes to the Linkage Projects scheme result from feedback from industry and researchers that the annual cycle does not support collaboration opportunities as they arise. With the move to a continuous cycle, funding will be able to be sought at the right time for the partners and the project and facilitate more enduring partnerships between universities and business. It will also allow researchers and industry partners more time to develop proposals rather than being tied to the need to lodge an application by a set time-frame.
With the continuous application process the ARC will also be moving away from annual decision-making for the Linkage Projects scheme to ensure that decisions are made within six months of application. There also exists an opportunity to make positive decisions on very high quality applications within an even shorter time frame.
A move to a continuous cycle will be a very different way of operating for the ARC and implementing this in a major scheme presents a number of challenges. The NISA announcement requires the ARC to implement a continuous round from 1 July 2016.
As you would be aware, the ARC is currently assessing proposals under the Linkage Projects scheme for funding to commence in the financial year 2016-17, concurrent with the start of the new continuous round. It is imperative for the ARC to effectively manage the transition from the current round to the continuous round. The ARC has been giving some consideration to how to manage the transition and I have set out below our current thinking.
To ensure that there is some funding to support highly competitive proposals that occur as soon as the continuous round commences I am proposing that a small portion of the funding allocated for the current round of Linkage Projects be quarantined.  I anticipate that this would be around 10-15% of the proposed allocation. As the success rate for the Linkage Projects scheme is currently around 35%, this will have little impact on high quality proposals that are being currently being assessed in the present round. In the selection meetings planned for April this year I am proposing to identify grants to be funded from 1 July, and a set of grants that we will reserve for funding. In the event we do not receive grant applications of sufficient merit as part of the continuous round process in the latter half of 2016 we will allocate funding to these reserve grants.
In either situation there will be no difference in the total allocation in this scheme for the 2016- 17 financial year. As we move into 2017 funding will be made from 2017-18 allocation.
To ensure that the transition to the continuous process is smooth and equitable, I am also proposing that the Linkage Projects funding rules remain the same for the start of the continuous round, with one change -funding will only start from when the funding agreement is signed rather than from the date identified in the current rules. We will be developing the next round of funding rules that will become available later this year and they will apply to proposals submitted into the system from January 2017.

 We will be consulting with the sector on these rules and the changes in the process that are required to run a continuous round in the coming months.
MRO will keep you informed as further information becomes available.

Staff meetings for LabArchives rollout for all graduate students 2016

ATTN: Graduate Research Supervisors, Coordinators and Lab Heads

The Faculty are rolling-out LabArchives Electronic Laboratory Notebook (ELN) as an electronic replacement of traditional paper notebooks for all graduate research students commencing from 1 January 2016 and their respective supervisors will be required to adopt the use of LabArchives.  Given that this is a new program to the School we have arranged the following meetings for staff with Jackie How (ELN Coordinator for FMNHS) to discuss the roll out and talk about LabArchives and what your expectations are with regards to this program.
LabArchives meetings for staff only have been arranged as follows:
Tuesday 9th February 2016 @ 11.00am meeting intended for RC/Hudson Centre and Lab Heads
Venue: TRF Level 2, Seminar Room 3
Monday 22nd February 2016 @ 11.00am meeting for MHTP Coordinators / Heads
Venue: Medicine Seminar Room, Level 5 Block E MMC
Thursday 3rd March 2016 @ 11.30am meeting for ALL MHTP SUPERVISORS

Venue: TRF Level 2, Seminar Room 1

The Faculty will arrange student information sessions and kits sometime in March 2016.

IITB Monash Research Academy call for new projects June 2016 intake

The June 2016 intake process for the IITB-Monash Research Academy has now commenced. Every year, we start this process by defining new collaborative projects between faculty members at Monash University and IITB.

Collaborative projects, once defined, will be advertised on our website, in order to attract good students.  We will be releasing advertisements in major Indian newspapers as well, and are confident that this will lead to a large amount of traffic to the Academy website.

If you have any new project proposal ideas, the time to submit them is now. If you know who you would like to collaborate with at IITB, we request you to please commence a discussion with them immediately.

If you require any assistance regarding collaborations, kindly get in touch with Adrian Gertler (adrian.gertler@monash.edu) with a cc to Prof. Murali Sastry (murali.sastry@iitbmonash.org) and (beenap@iitbmonash,org). We will be happy to make introductions with the relevant faculty at IITB.

Projects received between now and 05 March 2016 will then be advertised on the Academy website, and be offered to candidates in the June 2016 intake round.  

If you have any further queries about The Academy please contact Prof. Murali Sastry (murali.sastry@iitbmonash.org), Adrian Gertler (adrian.gertler@monash.edu) or Beena Pillai (beenap@iitbmonash.org).

PhD Confirmation of Candidature, Paris Papagianis, 8 February: "Human Amnion Epithelial Cells Therapy for Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia"

All staff and students are invited to Paris Papagianis' Confirmation of Candidature on 8 February at 10.30am, TRF seminar room 1.

Synopsis: Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) is a potentially fatal chronic lung disease that represents the principal cause of morbidity in infants born before 28 weeks of gestation. Survivors of BPD suffer higher-than-normal rates of chronic respiratory illness and adverse neurological outcomes. Human amnion epithelial cells (hAECs) show promise in mitigating the pathological processes associated with BPD development. Long-term mechanical ventilation of preterm lambs causes lung injury and alterations in lung development consistent with the pathology of BPD. The only preclinical intensive care research unit in the southern hemisphere was recently established for long-term care of preterm lambs, which allows us to manage lambs for a period of weeks, in a way that mimics human neonatal care. We are now in a unique position to perform definitive preclinical studies required to demonstrate efficacy of hAECs to treat and prevent BPD, and to inform design of future RCTs.

Supervisors: Ass/Prof Tim Moss, Prof Jane Pillow, Dr. Graeme Polglase 
SAC/Panel chair: Prof Michael Hickey
Two independent assessors: Megan Wallace, Flora Wong


Congratulations Jorja Collins on the award of her PhD

Jorja's thesis titled: "Malnutrition in subacute care"  was ratified by the Graduate Research Steering Committee on Tuesday 26th January 2016.

A lecturer in the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Jorja's research provided a comprehensive overview of malnutrition, its causes and impact, sub-acute care and a review of some relevant interventions.

Jorja addressed an important public health issue in Australia, namely identification of factors related to malnutrition in subacute care (also
known as rehabilitation hospitals) and an investigation of how changes to the food service in hospitals can influence dietary intake in this high risk group.

We offer our sincere thanks to all the academic and professional staff involved in assisting Jorja achieve this wonderful result. 

Congratulations Phuong-Tu Prowse on the award of her PhD

A clinical psychologist, Phuong-Tu's thesis titled: "Assessment of treatment fidelity considered in relation to mindfulness based cognitive therapy and Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander mental health initiative motivational care planning" was ratified by the Graduate Research Steering Committee on Tuesday 26th January 2016.

Phuong-Tu covered issues that make an original contribution to this field of research by providing an overview of the status of the use treatment fidelity in psychological research and developing two treatment fidelity measures.

We offer our sincere thanks to all the academic and professional staff involved in assisting Phuong-Tu achieve this wonderful result. 

Monday, 1 February 2016

PhD confirmation Vera Golder (8 February), "Determinants of outcomes in SLE: addressing the modifiable factors"

All staff and students are invited to attend Vera Golder's PhD Confirmation on 8 February at 1pm in the Medicine Seminar Room, Block E, MMC.

Synopsis:  Outcomes in SLE, whether measured as morbidity, mortality or patient reported burdens of disease, are a result of a complex interplay between genetic, biologic, socioeconomic and health system variables. Of these, biologic variables, such as cytokines and molecular treatment targets, as well as health system variables, such as health care quality, are potentially amenable to change. In my PhD I will explore a new way to define treatment response for clinical trials and assess the impact of quality of care on patient outcomes, as two potentially modifiable factors in SLE.

Main supervisors: Dr Alberta Hoi
Associate supervisors: Prof Eric Morand, Dr Mandana Nikpour, A.Prof Russell Buchanan 
Panel chair: Prof Michael Hickey

Independent supervisors: Prof Geoffrey Littlejohn and Dr Sarah Jones


Nok Srirattana's Mid-candidature review (16 February) "Manipulating the mitochondrial genome to generate more economically viable livestock".

All staff and students are invited to attend Nok Srirattana's Mid-candidature review.  Nok's research is focusing on using somatic cell nuclear transfer to resolve the impact of heat stress in cattle by manipulating the mitochondrial genome.

16 February, 10am-12pm, Hudson meeting room, Level 2

Supervisors: Justin St. John 
SAC/Panel chair: Craig Harrison

Independent assessors: David Walker and Peter Temple-Smith


PhD Confirmation Milestone, Margaret Murray (11 February), "Investigation of the anti-obesity effects of polyphenol-rich extracts"

All staff and students are invited to attend Margaret Murray's PhD Confirmation.

Thursday 11 February, 1pm, Consult Rooms, BASE Facility, Notting Hill

Margaret's synopsis:  Discover the anti-diabetic, anti-hyperlipidaemic, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects of marine polyphenols; results from a systematic literature review and narrative review.  Followed by an outline of two clinical studies to assess the anti-obesity effects of a polyphenol-rich seaweed extract in humans.

Supervisors: Maxine Bonham, Aimee Dordevic, Lisa Ryan
Panel chair: Rebecca Lim

Two independent assessors: David Kannar, Paul Lewandowski


Confirmation of candidature, Sarah Meiklejohn (11 February), "Nutrition education in Victorian secondary schools - a spotlight on curriculum and preventative community models"

All staff and students are invited to attend Sarah Meiklejohn's Confirmation of Candidature

Thursday 11 February, 9.30am, BASE Facility, Level 1, 264 Ferntree Gully Road, Notting Hill. Consult Rooms A and B

Project synopsis: Evidence of effective prevention of overweight and obesity specifically in adolescences remains unclear. There is a lack of evidence to identify current practices in relation to nutrition education and health promotion in Victorian Secondary Schools, particularly in regards to its implementation within the Healthy Together Victoria Achievement Program, the state-wide initiative recently funded by the Victorian government. This research therefore aims to investigate the process through which policy and curriculum decisions are made and implemented in relation to nutrition education of Victorian secondary school students, with particular interest in the Healthy Together Victoria Achievement Program and its implementation and sustainability in Victorian secondary schools. 

SUPERVISORS: Dr Claire Palermo, Dr Lisa Ryan
Independent panel members are Associate Professor Cate Lombard from Monash University and Professor Alan Shiell from La Trobe University.


PhD Confirmation of Candidature Seminar - Madison Paton (3 February) "Stem cell therapies for preterm brain inflammation"

All students and staff are invited to Madison Paton's PhD Confirmation of Candidature Seminar, "Stem cell therapies for preterm brain inflammation" 

Wednesday 3 February, 1-2pm, Level 3 Boardrooms, Hudson Institute 

Seminar synopsis:  Many babies are born preterm every year, complicated with inflammation of the amniotic sac or fetal membranes, termed chorioamnionitis. Exposure to infection in utero can result in brain injury and with no current methods of prevention, Cerebral Palsy is a common outcome in these infants. 

This study aims to investigate the role of stem cell therapies as a treatment for brain injury using a large animal model of preterm chorioamnionitis. We believe that administering umbilical cord and cord blood stem cells early in infection, will prevent brain injury and rescue the premature brain. 

Panel chair: Prof Richard Kitching
Supervisors: Suzie Miller, Graham Jenkin, Courtney McDonald, Beth Allison and Michael Fahey. 
Independent panel members: Mary Tolcos and Rob Bischof. 


2016 Advancing Women's Research Success Grant Program - CALL FOR APPLICATIONS

The Equal Opportunity for Women Committee is pleased to announce that applications are now being sought for the 2016 Advancing Women’s Research Success Grant program. The program supports the career progression of early to mid-career high potential female academic staff with significant carer responsibilities.

High performing female academics employed at Level B or Level C with primary carer responsibilities are encouraged to apply. Application form and guidelines are attached, and are also available at http://adm.monash.edu/human-resources/staff-equity/grants/awrsp.html.  Please note that while the extent of an applicant’s carer responsibilities will be taken into account in selection, the first criterion for the award is research excellence and research potential.

Grant applicants can seek up to $11,000 that can be used flexibly to enhance their research productivity and reduce the impact of career breaks and/or primary carer responsibilities on research outcomes. The program also offers an optional professional career coaching service, valued at $2,000 per person.

Recipients of a 2015 Advancing Women's Research Success Grant are not eligible to apply for a grant this year. However, recipients of a 2012, 2013 or 2014 grant may reapply in 2016.
Applications (and supporting material) should be submitted to awrs-grant@monash.edu by Monday 22 February 2016 at 5pm.

Seeking children/teens between 3 and 18 years for sleep research

The Ritchie Centre (TRC) is looking for children/teens between the ages of 3 and 18 years to participate as controls in research sleep studies.

The Centre is carrying out studies on the effect of sleep disordered breathing on blood flow to the brain and its relationship with learning and behaviour. We are looking for non snoring 3–12 year old volunteers to serve as controls. Participants will have an overnight sleep study at the Melbourne Children’s Sleep Centre in the Monash Medical Centre.
We are also looking for 8–18 year old non snoring, normal-weight volunteers to serve as controls in another study on the effects of being overweight in childhood and snoring during sleep on brain structure, academic performance and the cardiovascular system. The participants will firstly have an MRI scan at the brand new Monash BioImaging Facility located in Wellington Road opposite Monash University Clayton Campus. This will take about an hour and afterwards have an overnight sleep study at the Melbourne Children’s Sleep Centre in the Monash Medical Centre. Both of these procedures will be performed on the same night.

TRF- Level 4 Southern Corridor

Can all staff accessing level 4 of the TRF refrain from using the the Southern corridor as the ceiling has collapsed on part of that floor. The area has been cordened off and sign posted.

Staff needing to access the MHRP building via the link bridge or Biomarkers and Micro-Imaging can use the Northern Corridor for access egress.

 The builders have been made aware of the collapse and will be responding as a matter of priority.

 Apologies for the inconvenience

MHTP Histology update - January 2016

Dear Histology users,

Previous communications have detailed plans for a consolidated MHTP Histology Facility operating as a node of the Monash Histology Platform (MHP).
The new model will bring significant advancements for researchers as well as much needed infrastructure and new equipment.
It was anticipated that the new MHP-MHTP node would be operational by the beginning of this year, however, delays have occurred.
The new model will commence as soon as laboratory space is made available and seminars and communications to all Hudson and SCS staff will be undertaken in preparation.
In the interim, we take this opportunity to introduce Angela Vais who will be running the MHP- MHTP Histology node under the leadership of Camilla Cohen (MHP Manager). Angela comes to us from the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, with 12 years’ experience in Histology. She has previously supervised both the Florey Histology Core Facility and Florey Advanced Microscopy and Immunohistochemistry Services.

During this transition period Angela will be co-ordinating any requirements within the current Histology Facility. Please contact her via email (Angela.vais@monash.edu) with any queries or to discuss your research and Histology requirements.

Please do not hesitate to contact Vivien Vasic (Vivien.Vasic@hudson.org.au) should you have any queries.

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