Monday, 21 March 2016

Photo of the week - lights, camera, action!

SCS Senior Research Officer Patricia Bukczynska and Department of Medicine PhD student Louisa Yeung generously gave their time recently to help produce a video about translational research at Monash University.

Cancer patients to benefit from Victorian Cancer Agency funded research at MHTP

Associate Professor Jake Shortt
Monash Health Translation Precinct (MHTP) researchers received close to $4.5 million in grants in the latest Victorian Cancer Agency (VCA) funding round, announced last Friday.

Of the eleven projects supported through the VCA, four will be led by Monash University’s School of Clinical Science researchers.

MHTP Head of Haematology Research, Associate Professor Jake Shortt received nearly $2 million to lead a clinical trial in collaboration with the Alfred's Myeloma Research Group investigating a new cancer treatment for Victorian myeloma patients.

“Our patients will receive a unique therapeutic antibody called MDX1097 that recognises a molecule only present on the surface of myeloma cells, and not normal cells,” said Associate Professor Shortt.

“The most exciting recent advance in myeloma treatment is the introduction of immune therapies targeting myeloma cells—and we’re hoping our immune therapy MDX1097 will also make a significant impact.”

Monash University Senior Research Fellow Dr Arun Azad and Hudson Institute’s Associate Professor Ron Firestein also received $2 million to determine whether particular prostate and colorectal cancer patients will respond to a new class of cancer drug known as BET inhibitors.

“Our clinical trial, to be undertaken at the newly opened Clinical Trials Unit at MHTP, is the first in the world to look at the association between patients with a particular biomarker known as long non-coding RNA and the potential benefit of BET inhibitors,” said Dr Azad who is also a Consultant Medical Oncologist at Monash Health.

Professor Terry Haines and Professor Helen Truby, Head of Department of Nutrition and Dietetics were awarded $300,000 to examine different approaches for delivering an accelerated nutrition support program for patients with stomach or oesophageal cancer.

Director of Research at Southern Physiotherapy Clinical School, Professor Haines said he hopes to deliver programs to improve body weight and quality of life for those newly diagnosed with stomach or oesophageal cancer.

Regional and rural Australian cancer patients will also benefit from MHTP research aiming to improve palliative care expertise outside metropolitan cities.

Director of Supportive and Palliative Care at Monash Health, Associate Professor Peter Poon received $141,000 to lead a telehealth project to deliver earlier specialist palliative care to rural cancer patients, especially those with difficult-to-manage symptoms.

“Working together with rural medical practitioners, our project will lead to improved care planning, carer support and multidisciplinary management,” said Associate Professor Poon.

VCA grant brings personalised cancer therapy one step closer

Dr Arun Azad
A world-first clinical trial at Monash Health Translation Precinct, funded by a Victorian Cancer Agency (VCA) grant, will determine if a new class of drug is effective in prostate and colorectal cancer patients.

Prostate and colorectal cancers are two of the most commonly diagnosed cancers in Australia.  More than 3000 men die of prostate cancer and over 4100 lives are claimed by colorectal cancer every year in Australia.

Researchers at Monash University and the Hudson Institute of Medical Research have received a highly competitive VCA grant worth $2 million to determine whether particular prostate and colorectal cancer patients will respond to a new class of cancer drug known as BET inhibitors.

“BET inhibitors are a new type of therapy that can slow down the growth of cancers by switching off cancer genes,” said lead researcher Dr Arun Azad, Senior Research Fellow at Monash University and Consultant Medical Oncologist at Monash Health. 

Unlike chemotherapy which indiscriminately attacks ‘good’ and ‘bad’ cells, BET inhibitors—a type of epigenetic therapy—work on a genetic level to turn off the growth of cancer cells.

“We believe that patients who have a particular biomarker known as long non-coding RNAs may respond best to BET inhibitor therapy.”

“Importantly, we can easily identify which patients have these long non-coding RNA biomarkers through examining their tissue sample,” added Dr Azad.

Dr Azad believes around 50% of prostate and colorectal cancer patients have the RNA biomarker and predicts these patients will respond well to the new class of drug.

“While there are other trials investigating BET inhibitors, our clinical trial is the first in the world to look at the association between patients with RNA molecules and BET inhibitors.”

“We’re ultimately hoping to increase the range of therapeutic options available to prostate and colorectal cancer patients,” added Dr Azad.  “This is all about personalised medicine; we want to be able to use the right drug for the right patient.”

The collaborative research project builds on the previous work of Hudson Institute’s Associate Professor Ron Firestein, who identified the RNA biomarker and potential benefit of BET inhibitors in pre-clinical models in his previous laboratory at Genentech Inc.

 “Ensuring the effectiveness of targeted cancer therapies not only improves survival rates but provides another option to patients who invariably develop resistance to chemotherapy,” said Associate Professor Firestein who is also co-lead investigator on the study.

Undertaken at Monash Health, the trial will recruit twenty five patients with advanced prostate or colorectal cancer and for whom other treatments options have failed. 

Dr Azad said that while there is a range of drugs that work well in prostate and colorectal cancer, patients eventually become resistant so more options are needed.

“We need to use these treatment options the smartest way we can and not use the scattergun chemotherapy approach where we give all patients the same treatment, and if 20% respond, that’s great.”

“What about the other 80% of patients for whom chemo was never going to work, who suffered unnecessary toxicity, and wasted time, effort and a lot of money?”
Dr Azad and Associate Professor Firestein are very optimistic about the potential for epigenetic therapies like BET inhibitors.

“If we can define which patients will respond best to treatment, we’re genuinely personalising cancer care,” said Dr Azad. 

“Personalised cancer care is the Holy Grail—everyone wins but most importantly the patients.”

Co-collaborators on this study include Monash University’s Professor Gail Risbridger, Associate Professor Helen Abud, colorectal surgeon Associate Professor Paul McMurrick and Cabrini’s Dr Simon Wilkins. 

MHTP-Monash bioinformatics recognised internationally

Ms Roxane Legaie in
Rio de Janeiro
MHTP-Monash senior bioinformatician Roxane Legaie was recognised for her ouststanding data modelling at a premier international bioinformatics forum in Brazil recently.

Ms Legaie received the Best Presentation Award at the International Conference on Bioinformatics, Computational and Systems Biology (ICBCSB 2016) in Rio de Janeiro in February where she presented her work, "The importance of including all data in a linear model for the analysis of RNAseq data".

The ICBCSB is the premier interdisciplinary forum for researchers, practitioners and educators to present and discuss innovations, trends, challenges and solutions in bioinformatics, computational and systems biology.

“My abstract, in collaboration with The Ritchie Centre’s Kijiana Schwab and Associate Professor Caroline Gargett, showed the importance of including all observations in the modelling process to better estimate variance parameters, even when the samples included are not directly used in the comparison under test,” said Ms Legaie.

Studies looking at the changes in gene expression from RNAseq data often make use of linear models, and it is also common practice to focus on a subset of data for a comparison of interest, leaving aside the samples not involved in a particular comparison. This work demonstrated that such an approach does not provide the best results.”

The data used for Ms Legaie’s study came from patients with endometriosis, a common medical condition affecting the lower abdomen in women in which the endometrial tissue grows outside the womb. 

The human endometrium is a dynamic tissue, which undergoes cycles of growth and regression with each menstrual cycle. The mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) present in the endometrium are likely responsible for this remarkable regenerative capacity, however recent studies suggested that MSCs also plays a role in the pathogenesis of endometriosis” said Head, Endometrial Stem Cell Biology Lab Associate Professor Gargett.

RNA sequencing was used to compare gene expression profiles between MSCs and non-MSC counterparts obtained from women with or without endometriosis in the study. 

“The results obtained when using only the subset of samples being tested were quite poor, with a limited number of significant differentially expressed (DE) genes identified. Performing the exact same statistical analysis but using all samples available in our dataset provided many more significant DE genes,” said Ms Legaie. 

Those were key genes known to be involved in either endometriosis or stem cell differentiation (including the stem cell marker used in the experiment itself) and allowed for pathway analysis and further investigation in the lab.

The Monash Bioinformatics Platform provides expertise in biological research fields requiring cutting edge computational techniques such as genomics, proteomics and structural biology.   Researchers are encouraged to meet with a bioinformatician before commencing a project to ensure the best experimental design is implemented.

Please contact Roxane Legaie for further information or read more here.

Monash represented at American College of Medical Toxicology Scientific Meeting

Prof Graudins and Dr Cooper
Monash emergency and toxicology were represented at the American College of Medical Toxicology Scientific Meeting at Huntington Beach, California last week.

Two recent Monash Emergency Medicine Trainees participated at the meeting presenting their toxicology research projects supervised by Professor Andis Graudins.

Dr Gone and Prof Graudins
Dr Isabelle Cooper presented her pharmacokinetic study on the bioavailability of intranasally administered droperidol. This research will help guide clinical trials using this route of administration for conditions such as nausea, vomiting and migraine in the ED.

And Dr Santosh Gone presented a case of intentional severe poisoning with pentobarbital with documented serum drug concentrations.

World Critical Care Congress 2019 to be hosted in Melbourne

Dr David Ku
Melbourne is fast becoming a city that attracts premier international medical conferences.

With high regard for Australian critical care globally, as well as a strong bid by the Australia and New Zealand Intensive Care Society (ANZICS) and the Australasian College of Critical Care Nurses (ACCCN), Melbourne has won the bid to host the 2019 World Federation of Societies of Intensive and Critical Care Medicine Congress (WFSICCM), the premier education and research forum globally.

“Held every 2 years, this event allows critical care leaders from its 80 critical care societies from around the world, both in developed and developing countries, to collaborate on research, education and other meaningful projects,” said WFSICCM Congress deputy convenor Dr David Ku, an Intensive Care Consultant at Monash Health and Monash University Senior Lecturer. 

“The 2019 Congress in Melbourne is unique as around a third of the delegates and speakers will be from developing countries,” added Dr Ku. 

“And just like the World Congress of Nephrology (WCN), this is the equivalent of the World Cup or Olympic Games of Critical Care.”

More than 4000 international delegates will participate in the event over six days.  Planning has already started for the event, and Dr Ku hopes to showcase both the class of Australian Intensive Care, as well as the hospitality and inclusiveness of our city and people.

“This is likely to be the largest gathering of critical care clinicians and researchers Australia has ever seen,” said Dr Ku.

“We are very excited that our junior medical staff and medical students will also have the opportunity to be involved in this truly global event.”

MHTP Footy Tipping 2016

Well you work to earn a living, but on weekends comes the time...
It's the start of the 2016 AFL season and the MHTP Footy Tipping Competition is back!  $20 is all it takes to reserve your place in history.

This year we have a base prize pool of $1500 graciously sponsored by the good people at Sarstedt and VWR.  The top 3 tipsters will win 50% (1st), 30% (2nd) and 20% (3rd) of the remaining prize pool at the end of the season.
Last place tipster will get the Wooden Spoon (Refund of entry fee).

As before, there will be a weekly $5 jackpot to be shared by any members who tip a perfect round.
This year, after feedback, we will drop the joker rounds so everyone can bring their A Game.
Do you think you have what it takes to out-tip last years winner Rod Gillett?
Sign up and pay your entry fee in Stores before the siren!  Password: MHTP2016

Invitation - Smile for Mental Health Comedy Night TONIGHT

As part of the newly launched Mental Health Champions student leadership initiative, you are invited to the Smile for Mental Health comedy night.

Taking place during Summerfest, on Tuesday 22nd of March from 7:30 to 9pm at the Central 1 Lecture Theatre, Clayton Campus, the event will provide a scorching selection of stand-up comedy with a unique twist from some of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival’s finest acts.

Our headline performers will be the much loved Sammy J (with his good friend Randy), and Damien Power as MC, with support from award winning comedians Laura Davis, David Rose, Jonathan Schuster and Naomi Higgins, this is an evening spectacle that is simply not to be missed. Curated by Monash University’s Mental Health Champions, the purpose of this event is to have a meaningful conversation about mental health, and have a smile doing so.

Tickets ($10 for students and $15 for adults) can be purchased here.

Monash Medical Orchestra performance Saturday 16 April

It is with great pleasure that the Monash Medical Orchestra invites you to their first concert of the year, The Chamber of Music! They would love to share this concert, featuring various solo and group performances of vocal as well as instrumental pieces.

Saturday April 16th at 5pm
The Armadale Uniting Church, 86A Kooyong Road, Armadale

Tickets: $15 (purchase at the door or online at

Friends and family are most welcome to attend!
They hope to see you there for an evening of merry music making!

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: ( 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 (22-28 Mar)

Forthcoming events (29 Mar-12Apr)

CID Weekly Seminar: TODAY

Dr Keren Grynberg
Tuesday 22 March, 12pm, Seminar room 1, Level 2, TRF

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 [

1.       Dr Keren Grynberg
Blockade of JNK signalling in tubular epithelial cells prevents acute kidney injury 
Dr Keren Grynberg is a clinical nephrologist completing the first year of her Phd.

2.       Mr Sj Shen
Investigating the role of dietary fibre in the modulation of immune function and leukocyte recruitment during colitis

Sj Shen is currently a PhD candidate at Monash Medical Centre (Clayton), supervised by Dr. Connie Wong and Prof. Michael Hickey, with a research interest in the effect of dietary fibre in a mouse model of Inflammatory Bowel Disease. He completed Bachelor of Biomedical Sciences at Monash University (Clayton), which included a unit of third year research examining the role of fibre in a mouse model of asthma, taken under the supervision of Dr. Alison Thorburn. Sj then undertook an Honours year with the Department of Immunology (Clayton) at Monash University in the same lab, with research focus on the effect of diet in experimental eosinophilic oesophagitis.

Grand Rounds 23 March “A Tricky Case of ITP”

Unit: Haematology             
Presenter: Dr Sanjeev Chunilal and Dr Allison Mo
Topic: “A Tricky Case of ITP”
Date: Wednesday 23 March 2016
Time: 12.30pm to 1.30pm

Venue: Main Lecture Theatre, Monash Medical Centre, Clayton

CiiiD Special Seminar: "Novel regulators of innate immune signalling" Dr Endre Kiss-toth, 23 March

On Wednesday 23 March at 12pm, a special seminar will be presented by Dr Endre Kiss-toth from the University of Sheffield.

The seminar will be held in the Level 2 seminar rooms of the Hudson building.  More information here.

Hudson Seminar: "Role and regulation of the epigenome during vertebrate development" 31 March

Next week's  Hudson Seminar (Thurs 31st of March) will be held from 12-1 pm, Lecture Theatre 1, Monash Medical Centre.

The speaker will be: Prof Ryan Lister, Research Group Head, The Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research and The University of Western Australia.

Talk title: "Role and regulation of the epigenome during vertebrate development".

Light refreshments to follow presentation outside the Lecture Theatre.

Flyer with details here.

Monash BASE Facility Seminar Series: "Utilising the power of technology: Recruiting, retaining and engaging young adults in nutrition interventions" 5 April

Visiting postdoctoral research fellow and dietitian Dr Melinda Hutchesson from the University of Newcastle, will present at the Monash BASE Faculty seminar series on Tuesday 5th April at 3pm.

Dr Hutchesson's presentation is titled: Utilising the power of technology: Recruiting, retaining and engaging young adults in nutrition interventions

Dr Melinda Hutchesson is a dietitian and Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Priority Research Centre in Physical Activity and Nutrition (PRC-PAN) at the University of Newcastle, Australia. Her research focuses on the development, delivery and evaluation of lifestyle interventions (nutrition and physical activity) to reduce the risk of chronic disease risk factors (e.g. obesity). Her primary focus has been on the use of eHealth technologies to deliver interventions, and the development of targeted interventions for high-risk groups (e.g. young adults). Since PhD completion (August 2011) she has held a variety of research positions, including 3 competitive postdoctoral fellowships (Penn Foundation Obesity Fellowship; PRC-PAN Postdoctoral Fellowship; and National Heart Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship) and a senior research position to manage an ARC Linkage grant. Melinda has published 46 peer reviewed manuscripts and been awarded over ½ million dollars in research funding.

Tuesday 5th of April at 3 PM
Meeting Room 4
Building 1, 270 Ferntree Gully Road, Notting Hill

World Health Summit 2016: Save the Date (9-11 October, Berlin)

3 Days – 40 Sessions – 250 Speakers   (including Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences' Dean Professor Christina Mitchell)
From October 09-11, 2016, more than 1,500 experts from about 90 countries will be meeting up to develop novel solutions to the world’s most pressing health challenges.
This year’s central topics are:
• Migration and Refugee Health
• Technological Innovation for Health
• Women, Empowerment and Health
• Translational Research
• Infectious Diseases
• Sustainable Development Goals
Among the speakers (in alphabetical order):
• Hélène Boisjoly (Dean, Faculty of Medicine, Université de Montréal, Canada)
• Erwin Böttinger (CEO, Berlin Institute of Health, Germany)
• Christian Bréchot (President, Institut Pasteur, France)
• Emmanuelle Charpentier (Director, Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology, Germany)
• Philippe Douste-Blazy (Chairman of the Executive Board, UNITAID, France)
• Hermann Gröhe (Federal Minister of Health, Germany)
• Wolfgang Ischinger (Chairman, Munich Security Conference, Germany)
• Hon. Suresh Kumar (Executive Vice President External Affairs, Sanofi, France)
Christina Mitchell (Dean, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia)
• Marisol Touraine (Minister of Social Affairs and Health, France)
Registration for the World Health Summit will open in early May 2016. A special Early Bird Ticket will be available until July 31.
The World Health Summit (WHS) brings together stakeholders and decision makers from every field in the healthcare spectrum, providing the perfect forum for exchange with experts from academia, politics, industry, and civil society. The world’s foremost strategic forum for global health is organized by the M8 Alliance of Academic Health Centers, Universities and National Academies.

Program overview and further information here.

VRCN 2016 Project Grants Funding Round - applications now OPEN

Applications are currently being sought for project proposals from suitably qualified applicants to undertake research and improvement projects that focus on the delivery of care for renal patients, improving patient outcomes and the patient experience. 

The grants will be funded by the VRCN and will be guided by current objectives and priorities including: enhancing access to care, reducing unwarranted variation in care, new ways of working, supporting patient choice and facilitating kidney transplantation where possible.
We are specifically seeking to fund multidisciplinary, collaborative projects with a focus on quality improvement, implementation and which have the potential for state-wide applicability.

Unless otherwise state, applications must adhere to the VRCN 2016 Project Grants Application Guidelines (Attached here)

All applications must be submitted on the VRCN 2016 Project Grants Application Form (Attached here)

Applications or questions can be submitted via email on the application form to the following email address:

Funding round timetable

Expressions of interest open
Friday 18 March 2016
Closing date for expression of interest
15 April 2016, 2:00pm
Endorsement by VRCN Leadership Group
2 May 2016
Advice to applicants
9 May 2016

Applications must be received by 2:00pm Friday 8 April 2016
Please note that incomplete or late applications will not be accepted

Flyer attached here.

Monash Warwick Alliance - 2016 Funding Schemes

The Monash Warwick Alliance Funding Schemes for 2016 have been announced. The Funding Streams are:

For Students:

Alliance Student-Led Activity Scheme round closing 11 April 2016.

The strategic alliance aims to enhance the experiences of students at both universities through the development of new models of education, research collaboration. The Student-led Activity Scheme provides a mechanism for students to get directly involved in activities that contribute to these aims. A maximum of AUD15,000 (for expenses incurred by Monash students) plus GBP10,000 (for expenses incurred by Warwick students). Projects which bring sponsorship or third-party funding or in-kind support are encouraged.

For Academic Staff:

Alliance Seed Fund round closing 11 April 2016.

The Alliance Seed Fund has been established with the specific intention to contribute to the support of new initiatives with high potential that combine complementary aspects of each institution towards novel research and educational outcomes. The Fund can contribute support of up to a maximum of AUD30,000 (for expenses incurred by Monash) plus GBP15,000 (for expenses incurred by Warwick) for new initiatives.These grants are awarded through a competitive selection process.

Alliance Visiting Scholars Program round closing 8 May 2016​.​

The purpose is to encourage exchange expertise in learning and teaching and to advance collaboration in areas of strategic priority. Selection Criteria will be based on technical and strategic merit & joint capacity. The duration is for 2-4 weeks and funds are up to $10,000.

Please refer to the web site for more information at:              
Queries should be directed to the ​ Monash Warwick Alliance Project Coordinator, ​Mr Allan Mahler (

ARC Future Fellowships 2016 (FT16) - APPLICATIONS NOW OPEN

Applications for ARC Future Fellowships 2016 are now open in RMS and close 5pm on Tuesday 10 May 2016.

Please note that an earlier close date applies for requests not to assess - see table below.  
2.     Please start your proposal in RMS as soon as possible so we know that you intend to apply.
3.     Please visit the MRO intranet page for Future Fellowships ( We will be posting any updates, certification and coversheet forms, as well as templates to assist you with completing your application on this page.
4.     Updates will also be sent to the FT mailing list - sign-up here: or posted via the MRO ARC Team App.
5.     Due to the DECRA round being open currently, please direct any questions that you have to the ARC team email account where we will respond as quickly as we can:  
Key Dates:

MRO close date
ARC close date
Open in RMS 15 March 2016
Request Not to Assess
19 Apr 2016
5pm 26 Apr 2016
Proposal closing date
19 Apr 2016
5pm 10 May 2016
Strategic statement
19 Apr 2016
Rejoinder Process
July 2016

SCS Dragons Den 20 April

The School of Clinical Sciences is hosting a Dragons’ Den style competition on Wednesday 20th April, 5-7pm, in the new Translational Research Facility (TRF) at the Monash Health Translation Precinct.

The Dragons Den competition was open to all current MBBS students at the School of Clinical Sciences (SCS). Students were asked to submit viable project ideas they believed would lead to innovations in curriculum delivery for the MBBS program at SCS.

Nine finalists were chosen by a panel of SCS Academic and Professional staff and these finalists will be pitching their ideas to a panel of ‘Dragons’ – Professor Eric Morand, Professor Michelle Leech, Professor Julian Smith, Professor Erwin Loh and Dr Eugene Fredericks. 

The Dragons will question the finalists on their ideas at the conclusion of the pitch.

Register here to attend and support your peers as they pitch their fantastic project ideas.  Please note that space is limited so register your attendance ASAP!!

Refreshments will be served at the conclusion of the event.

PRIZES & AWARDS BULLETIN: A new Prime Minister’s Prize; Fresh Science and $50,000 stem cell prizes extended

Fresh Science - deadline extended to 30 March

Still thinking about nominating? We're giving you the Easter break to complete your nominations - get it in by Wednesday, 30 March.

Fresh Science is a national competition that selects researchers with research results, an invention, or a discovery, trains them how to find and tell the story of their science, and helps them share their findings with the media and the public.

We’re looking for:
  • early-career researchers (from honours students to no more than five years’ post-PhD)
  • with a discovery that has had little or no media coverage
  • and with some ability to present their ideas in everyday English (something we can build on).
Nominate now at It’s (relatively) pain-free.

Or, come and share a beer with this year’s Fresh Scientists and hear about their discoveries. We’re bringing Fresh Science to pubs in Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide and Sydney. Details at

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, the University of Western Australia and The University of Notre Dame.

Fresh Science Victoria is supported by Museum Victoria, Swinburne University and CSIRO.

Fresh Science New South Wales is supported by the University of New South Wales and the Australian Museum.

Fresh Science Queensland is presented by eConnect and supported by the University of Queensland.

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

Prizes, prizes, prizes

$50,000 prizes for early-career stem cell researchers

The deadline for applications for the Metcalf Prizes for Stem Cell Research has been extended until Wednesday 30 March 2016.

The $50,000 prizes are open to mid-career researchers who are five to 10 years past their PhD or MD (research-based) and working in stem cell research in Australia. Applicants could be working in medicine or agriculture, government or a university, or anything in between.

To apply online, and for a full list of criteria and conditions, head to the National Stem Cell Foundation of Australia’s website:
Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science

Australia’s most prestigious and highly regarded awards for outstanding achievements in scientific research, research-based innovation and excellence in science teaching.

This year there’s a new prize for early career researchers – the $50,000 Prize for New Innovators.

Nominations close on 28 April 2016. More information
BioMelbourne Network’s Women in Leadership Awards

Celebrating outstanding women in biotech, medical tech and health innovation, the BioMelbourne Network Awards recognise strong leaders and innovators serving as role models and mentors in the Melbourne biomedical community.

Applications close 31 March. More at

Calling Tall Poppies

The Young Tall Poppy Science Awards recognise excellent up-and-coming researchers, alongside a proven ability and passion to engage the wider community with science.

Run by the Australian Institute for Policy & Science, these awards are often a stepping stone to other science awards.

Nominations close 11 April. More at:
L’Oréal For Women in Science Fellowships

The Fellowships recognise outstanding early-career, female scientists and assist them in consolidating their careers and rising to leadership positions in science. We’re not currently assisting with the Fellowships this year.

Nominations for the four $25,000 Fellowships close 12 April.

Visit for more.
Academy of Science Awards recognising science leaders

The Academy’s honorific awards are open to scientists of all levels of experience across physical and biological science. They’re also offering funds for research, conferences funding, and travel.

The closing date for the award nominations is 30 April and the closing date to apply for research, conference, and travel support is 15 June.

For details see
Australia’s most comprehensive science prizes – the Eureka Prizes

The $160,000 Australian Museum Eureka Prizes, recognise research, science communication and journalism, leadership, and students.

This year there are two new prizes: innovation in medical research and innovation in citizen science.

Nominations close 6 May. More at

Media training workshop for scientists

Conveying the complexity of your research, your life’s work, into a 30-second grab for the media can be hard. The solution is to shape the essence of your science into a story.

Join Science in Public for their one day media training workshop and get some help.

Two experienced science communicators will work with you to find the story in your research. Over the years we’ve helped Monash launch the world’s first printed jet engine, revealed the loss of half the coral on the Great Barrier Reef, helped CERN announce the Higgs boson, and revealed the link between CSIRO’s Wi-Fi patent and Aussie astronomy.

We will help you find the right words to explain your research in a way that works for the media, as well as for government, industry and other stakeholders.

Working journalists from television, print and radio will join us over the course of the day to explain what makes news for them. And you’ll get the chance to practice being interviewed in front of a camera and on tape.

The day’s insights and training will help you feel more comfortable in dealing with journalists when media opportunities arise.

Upcoming courses:
  • Sydney: Tuesday 12 April, Business Events Sydney, 100 William Street
  • Melbourne: Tuesday 19 April, Royal Society of Victoria, 8 La Trobe Street
  • Sydney: Wednesday 4 May
  • Melbourne: Thursday 12 May and Tuesday 21 June
  • Adelaide: date TBC
Courses run 8.30am to 5pm. Cost is $800+GST and includes lunch, morning and afternoon tea, with lattes on demand.

Read more about the media training workshop online.

Science in Public – planning, mentoring, communicating
Contact me to find out more about our services to train, mentor, plan and deliver media and communication strategies for science.  We offer:

Communication plans, mentoring and training
We can review your stakeholders, messages and tools and help you and your communication team refine your plans. We offer this service for individual announcements or for a whole program or institute.

Media releases, launches, and campaigns
We can help you develop an outreach program, from a simple media release through to a launch, a summit, a conference, or a film.

Publications and copy-writing
From a tweet to a newsletter; from a brochure to a Nature supplement, we can write compelling and accurate science-driven copy which captures the essence of your story and purpose.