Monday, 29 February 2016

Monash research reveals aspirin is safe for heart surgery patients

SCS Head of Surgery and study
co-author Professor Julian Smith
A world-first study led by Monash University clinician-researchers shows that patients who take aspirin before heart surgery are at no greater risk of bleeding or complications. 

Published last week in The New England Journal of Medicine, the collaborative research study led by Professor Paul Myles from the Central Clinical School investigated whether stopping or continuing aspirin before coronary artery surgery posed more risks or benefits.

Most patients with coronary artery disease receive aspirin for prevention of heart attack, stroke, and death. However aspirin poses a bleeding risk for patients undergoing surgery, and prior to this study it was unclear whether aspirin should be stopped before coronary artery surgery.

Professor Myles, Chair of Anaesthesia and Perioperative Medicine, Alfred Hospital, said until recently, ceasing aspirin five to seven days before surgery has been traditional practice in most cardiac surgical centres.

“Until now, conflicting guidelines from expert professional organisations highlight the lack of evidence to determine if the increased risk of surgical bleeding could be outweighed by a beneficial effect of aspirin,” said Professor Myles.

Study co-author and Head of Surgery at the School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health Professor Julian Smith said “The study found the use of aspirin, as compared with placebo, before coronary artery surgery did not reduce the risk of death and thrombotic complications.

“Preoperative aspirin exposure did not increase surgical bleeding, transfusion requirements or need for re-operation and there is therefore no reason to stop aspirin before coronary artery surgery,” Professor Smith added.

The researchers evaluated the benefits and bleeding risks of aspirin at a dose of 100mg, the dose deemed to have the strongest evidence of efficacy balanced against a low risk of bleeding complications.

“We wanted to determine whether it was best to stop or continue aspirin in patients undergoing heart surgery,” said co-author and Head of School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine Professor John McNeil.

Professor McNeil is also Co- Principal Investigator to the ASPirin in Reducing Events in the Elderly (ASPREE) trial,  investigating whether daily low-dose aspirin prevents or delays the onset of disease, such as coronary artery disease, and if the potential benefits outweigh the risks in healthy older people.  

“Stopping aspirin five to seven days before surgery increases thrombotic risk before the benefits of bypass grafting can be achieved and sometimes surgery is cancelled or delayed exposing the patient to increased thrombotic risk,” added Professor Myles.  

“Withdrawal of aspirin in patients scheduled for surgery to reduce bleeding risk could be harmful.”

2100 patients across five countries in 19 participating hospitals were enrolled and randomly assigned to the research project.

PhD student Dr James Aridas receives research scholarship

School of Clinical Sciences / Hudson Institute PhD student, Dr James Aridas, has been awarded an Avant Mutual Group Doctors in Training research scholarship.

The $15,000 research scholarship in the Advancement of Medicine category is designed to promote better patient outcomes and advance the careers of promising medical researchers.

Dr Aridas is currently completing his PhD, titled “Protecting the newborn following asphyxia at birth”, at The Ritchie Centre at Hudson Institute and Monash University, whilst working full-time as a clinician at Monash Health’s Dandenong Campus.

“I’ve always had a keen interest in understanding fetal and neonatal physiology, and The Ritchie Centre is a world class research facility in these areas,” Dr Aridas said.

Dr Aridas commenced his Honours degree then a PhD in medical research at Hudson/ Monash University whilst studying a Bachelor of Medicine/ Bachelor of Surgery at Monash University, to combine the two qualifications.

He discovered an “insatiable interest” in medical research, fuelled by the support of his mentors.
“Since commencing my honours degree in 2011, I developed an insatiable interest in further research helped by my amazing research supervisors, Associate Professor Suzie Miller, Professor Graham Jenkin and Dr Tamara Yawno, and the whole lab group,” Dr Aridas said.

Dr Aridas says the support of the scholarship will assist him in forging a career as a clinician-scientist.

“This scholarship will provide me with support wile I undertake research activities, and it will also open doors to further research funding in the future,” he said.

Nephrology Grand Rounds 2 March 2016

Unit: Nephrology               
Presenter: Assistant Clinical Professor Joel M Topf, MD Detroit, USA
Topic: "The use of social media in health"
Date: Wednesday 2 March 2016
Time: 12.30pm to 1.30pm

Venue: Main Lecture Theatre, Monash Medical Centre, Clayton

URGENT: NHMRC Project Grant 'Grant Proposal' Template Margins

The Monash Research Office recently sought advice from the NHMRC in relation to the margins of the Grant Proposal template. The current version of the template that is available from the NHMRC website does not meet the formatting requirements stipulated in in section 10.3.3 of the NHMRC Funding Rules 2016, as the top and bottom page margins of this template are set to 1cm instead of the required 2cm. 

The previous version of the template that was available from the NHMRC website in December when the funding rules were released for this scheme was compliant with the 2cm margin formatting requirement.
The Monash Research Office received the following instructions from the NHMRC in relation to this issue:

"I can confirm that the NHMRC will accept applications submitted on either of the two grants proposal templates, which have been available on the NHMRC web page for NHMRC Project Grant applications in 2016. Please also note, applicants who use the Grant Proposal template in its current format will not be disadvantaged. Applicants are advised that they should not alter the Grant Proposal template as by doing so may make their application ineligible."

The Monash Research Office is cognisant that these two version of the template are available and being used and our compliance check is checking for both cases. As NHMRC are accepting both templates, please use either and we will check compliance on both, however as per standard NHMRC rules do not make any other changes to the template as these may make the proposal ineligible. If you have used the first 2cm margin template it is fine to keep your proposal in this - especially if you have embedded figures etc that may take considerable time to reformat or change.

Please contact us if you have any questions.

2016 BGRF Young Researcher of the Year Award - CALL FOR NOMINATIONS

Nominations for the Bethlehem Griffiths Research Foundation (BGRF) Young Researcher of the Year are now open for 2016. This prize is awarded annually to an outstanding researcher in the fields of neuroscience, stroke or palliative care. It is intended to provide recognition and encouragement to mid-career scientists within five years of receiving a PhD

The winner will be announced at the BGRF annual function to be scheduled mid-year.  The prize includes a plaque and a cheque for $5,000 for research related travel.

Past winners including Dr Bradley Turner (2010) and Dr David Nisbet (2011), Dr Bruce Campbell (2012),  Dr Adam Vogel (2013), Dr Bernadette Fitzgibbon (2014) and Dr Janet Bray (2015) emphasize how this award has given their careers a significant boost and opened up many opportunities. 

Monash University has been invited to nominate two outstanding candidates for the award, and there will be a faculty ranking process to select the final nominees. Please submit electronic copies (PDF) of the following documents to the Faculty Research Office ( by no later than 5pm on Friday 11 March 2016.
· Full CV including grants and publications,
· NHMRC fellowship application or similar,
· Letter of support from a supervisor
· One-page summary on proposed future research directions
NOTE: Monash University's nominations must be submitted by MRO to the BGRF before 5pm on Friday 1 April 2016.

For further information about the scheme, please contact Julienne Lewis, BGRF Executive Director Julienne Lewis on 0409 513 443 or by email at

Confirmation of Candidature - Nadia Bellofiore, 7 March

Time:  2-4 pm, Mon 07 March, TRF seminar room, ground floor
Location:  TRF Seminar Room, Ground Floor
Supervisors: Hayley Dickinson, Peter-Temple Smith

My SAC/Panel chair: Craig Harrison
Two independent assessors:  Ann Drummond (Hudson), Beverley Vollenhoven (Monash), Mark Green (UniMelb)

The aim of my PhD is to accurately and thoroughly characterise the menstrual cycle of the spiny mouse, and examine the effects of age, parity, male influence and other external factors on the length and quality of the menstrual cycle in these animals. I will also be determining the degree of trophoblastic invasion and exploring the possibilites of related placental disorders in the spiny mouse.

All welcome to attend.

Fresh Science: getting your research out there

Do you know any early-career researchers who have peer-reviewed results, a discovery or invention that has received little or no media attention?

Fresh Science is a national competition that helps early-career researchers find, and then share, their stories of discovery. Scientists get a day of media training and the chance to share their work with the media, general public and school students.
I’d appreciate it if you could circulate this to early-career researchers in your organisation.
Fresh Science is looking for:
·         early-career researchers (from honours students to no more than five years post-PhD)
·         a peer-reviewed discovery that has had little or no media coverage
·         some ability to present ideas in everyday English.

Fresh Science 2016 will run in South Australia, Western Australia, New South Wales and Victoria. We’ll also run it in other states and territories where we can secure local support.

How to nominate
Check out the selection criteria, read ahead and see what questions will be asked, then go online and nominate via the short, easy and non-painful online application form.
Nominations close 23 March. Events May through July. Check out your state here.
What’s involved?
In each state we will select the top ten applicants. If selected, you will get:
·         A day of media training where you will: hear from working journalists about what makes science news for them; find the story in your research with guidance from two experienced science communicators; and practice being interviewed in front of camera and on radio.
·         A short profile about your work written in a media-friendly way, published online and via social media.
·         The chance to step on stage and present your science to a friendly audience down at the pub. In some states you will also present to school students.
One story per state will be written up as a press release and issued to the media.
Brought to you by:
Fresh Science South Australia is supported by: the South Australian Museum, Flinders University, the University of Adelaide and the University of South Australia.
Fresh Science Western Australia is supported by: the Western Australian Museum, Curtin University, Edith Cowan University, Murdoch University and the University of Western Australia.
Fresh Science Victoria is supported by Museum Victoria.
Fresh Science New South Wales is supported by the University of New South Wales.
Now in its 19th year, Fresh Science has trained over 300 scientists to share their science, and generated hundreds of news stories via TV, print, radio and online. You can read past Fresh Scientists’ stories online at
Read more online at or contact either myself or Errol Hunt on (03) 9398 1416.

International Women's Day luncheons

You're invited to celebrate International Women's Day, and to consider registering for the International Women's Day luncheons being held at the Caulfield Racecourse and the Glen Waverley Novotel.
Pledge for Parity is the theme for International Women's Day 2016, calling for gender-balanced leadership, helping women achieve their ambitions and valuing diversity.
Monash has an ongoing commitment to achieve gender equality and to increasing the number of women in senior roles.  We celebrate the diversity of our staff and continue to strive to create an inclusive community, in which all staff participate equally at all levels.
This year we have high profile Australian journalist and TV newsreader, Jennifer Hansen as Master of Ceremonies, and two inspiring guest speakers:
Caulfield Racecourse: Monday 7 March, 12 - 2pm
Guest speaker Captain Georgina Sutton, Chief Pilot and Head of Flying Operations, Jetstar Australia.
Georgina was the first female chief pilot in Australia.
Novotel Glen Waverley: Tuesday 8 March, 12 - 2pm
Guest speaker Meghan B. Hopper, member of Monash University Council and former Mayor of Moreland City Council.
Meghan is the youngest woman to have been elected Mayor in Moreland's history and one of just a handful of women under the age of thirty to have been elected Mayor Australia-wide
A free shuttle bus is available from Clayton campus, to take you to and from the event.  The bus departs from Robert Blackwood Hall at 11.30am.
Cost: $55 per person
RSVP: To attend, please register online by 26 February.  Bookings can be made individually or for a table of 10.  Places are limited so please register quickly to secure your place.

For any enquiries, please contact Kim McVarnock on 9902 9914 or

Staff Development Updates and Opportunities - March / April / May 2016

To register, complete an on-line application form located on the relevant program web page.

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.

Staff Development Updates and Opportunities - March / April / May 2016
Career Planning & Development
Building Career Resilience - 1 April
Managing your work, yourself & your time - 17 May

Communication and Teamwork
Are you being heard - 2 & 3 May
Business Writing - 4 May
Emotional intelligence at work - 23 May
English Grammar - 5 & 8 April
Managing Meetings - 6 April
Negotiation and Influencing Skills - 11 & 12 May
The Accidental Counsellor - 6 May
Working in teams - 15 March

Leadership, Management & Supervision
Coaching Skills - 9 & 23 May
Financial Management within Monash - 31 May
Invigorate - 16, 17 May & 7 June
It's a Matter of Respect - 7 April
Leadership & Management Development (Level 1) - 30, 31 March & 19 April
Leadership & Management Development (Level 2) - 30, 31 May & 1 June
Managing up - 5 May
Springboard Women's Development Program - 27 April, 24 May, 21 June & 13 July
The 7 Modes of Modern Management (Professional staff HEW 7 - HEW 8, Academic staff Level A - B) - 5, 6 & 19 May
The 7 Modes of Modern Management (Professional staff HEW 9+, Academic staff Level C) - 28, 29 April & 12 May

Performance Management
Can we talk - 29 April
Feedback for improved performance - 25 May
PD Professional (supervisor training) - 18 May
Performance Conversations - 22 March
Writing a Performance Development Plan - 14 April

Quality & Customer Service
Customer service across cultures - 30 May

Self-care and Wellbeing
Manager Training for Flexible Workforces - 11 April

Staff Selection & Induction

Director Fundamentals - 5 May
Interviewing Success - 24 March
Welcome to Student Administration - 16 March

Working at Monash
Cultural Safety - Indigenous: Introduction - 24 March, 12 April, 11 May
ESOS Level 1 - 17 March
Mindfulness for staff - 26 April
Mindfulness for supervisors - 12 April

ICT Skills Training
Designing questionnaires and surveys - 2 May
Further analysis in NVivo - 26 April
Microsoft Access 2013 Module 1 - 9 & 10 May
Microsoft Excel 2013 Level 1 - 1 March, 31 May
Microsoft Excel 2013 Level 2 - 5 April
Microsoft Excel 2013 Level 3 - 16 May
Microsoft Project - 13 & 14 April
NVivo Essentials - 18 April
SPSS module 1 - 3 March, 11 May
SPSS module 2 - 9 March
SPSS module 3 - 5 May
Using NVivo for literature review - 20 April
Web based
Google Master Series 1 - 16 March, 2 May
Google Master Series 2 - 11 April
Google Master Series 3 - 28 April

Occupational Health & Safety
Biosafety Level 1 - 9 March
Biosafety Level 2 - 9 March
CPR Refresher - 4 March, 4 April, 2 May, 12 May
Chemwatch MSDS - 11 March
Emergency Warden Training - 21 March, 15 April, 9 May, 24 May
Ergonomics & Manual Handling - 5 April, 4 May
Essential OHS (OHS for Managers & Supervisors) - 22 April, 24 May
Fire Safety - 15 April
First Aid Level 2 - 18 & 19 April, 19 & 20 May
Hazard & Incident Investigation - 10 March, 15 March, 18 May
Hazardous Substances & Dangerous Goods Awareness - 24 March
Laser Safety Training - 15 March
Radiation Safety Officer refresher - 11 March
Radiation Safety Officer training - 10 & 11 March
Risk Management & Risk Management Specialised - 7 March, 21 March, 11 May
Workplace Safety Inspections - 10 March, 15 March, 18 May

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 (

Alcohol Consumption in Vietnam, and the Use of 'Standard Drinks' to Measure Alcohol Intake

Velandai Srikanth et al. published in Alcohol and Alcoholism.

Read article here.

Evaluating the Impact of Human Amnion Epithelial Cells on Angiogenesis

Rebecca Lim et al. published in Stem Cells International.

Read article here.

Prespecified dose-response analysis for A Very Early Rehabilitation Trial (AVERT)

Amanda Thrift et al. published in Neurology.

Read article here.

Long term, continuous exposure to panobinostat induces terminal differentiation and long term survival in the TH-MYCN neuroblastoma mouse model

Jake Shortt et al. published in the International Journal of Cancer.

Read article here.

Identifying late onset fetal growth restriction by measuring circulating placental RNA in the maternal blood at 28 weeks gestation

Peter Fuller et al. published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Read article here.

Transcriptomic analysis of stage 1 versus advanced adult granulosa cell tumors

Peter Fuller et al. published in Oncotarget.

Read article here.