Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Monash led partnership awarded $1.1 m to deal with the unique healthcare needs of refugees

Professor Grant Russell
A team of internationally renowned researchers and refugee health industry experts, led by Monash University, has been awarded a $1.1 million NHMRC Partnership grant to improve primary health care delivery to refugees living in Australia.

Over 75,000 permanent resident visas were granted to refugees and asylum seekers between 2010 and 2015. The majority of these refugees have significant health issues, which have never been addressed in their homeland or en route to Australia. In addition, the lack of a national system for reviewing health needs of refugees and ensuring adequate follow up often means these new Australians end up in the hospital emergency departments with serious conditions that could have been alleviated by early intervention.

The project, called the OPTIMISE Partnership Project, brings together academics from Monash University, the University of New South Wales, La Trobe University and the University of Ottawa with 11 leading Victorian, NSW and national partner organizations*.

According to lead researcher, Monash Universitys Professor Grant Russell, refugees have complex health needs arising from past trauma and sub-optimal care prior to arrival.  While all states and territories accept refugees for resettlement, the majority settle in NSW and Victoria.

Compared to the wider population, refugees are at greater risk of:
  •      mental health conditions
  •      infectious disease
  •      nutritional deficiencies
  •      obstetric complications
  •      poor dental health
  •     and disability
According to Professor Russell, complex physical and psychological problems are often addressed only for the first time in Australia. While specialist services provide initial care for refugees on arrival, their long term care is less assured with many refugees struggling to access mainstream general practitioners, specialists, community health services and hospitals due to language and cultural differences, limited understanding of the Australian health system and socioeconomic disadvantage.”

Health providers are also under strain. Despite best efforts, GPs and other service providers can struggle to provide appropriate care to refugees because of limited knowledge of refugee health needs and difficulties with providing interpreters and culturally responsive care,he added.

While different states have different systems to integrate refugees into the mainstream health system, it is becoming increasingly clear that refugees struggle to access appropriate, high quality primary care.  Often the first point of call for new, often preventable problems, is the hospital emergency department, which adds to the burden on Commonwealth health budgets.

The OPTIMISE Partnership Project will focus on three Australian regions with high refugee resettlement: South East Melbourne, North West Melbourne and South West Sydney.

In the last 10 years alone, these regions received 51,000 humanitarian entrants equivalent to 36% of national intake.

Over the next four years (2016-2020), the OPTIMISE Partnership Project will identify pressure points in the current system of care relating to the accessibility of, transition between and quality within services caring for refugees and asylum seekers. Researchers and industry experts will work in close collaboration to design interventions to address these system gaps in an effective and sustainable way.

The vision of the OPTIMISE Partnership Project is to build health system capacity for ensuring that refugees and asylum seekers receive the primary care they need when they need it, thus reducing inappropriate use of hospital emergency departments.

MHTP collaborators include Professor Andrew Block, Professor Helena Teede, Professor Graham Meadows, Dr Joanne Enticott and Dr Sayed Wahidi.

* The national partner organizations are: Monash Health, cohealth, NSW Refugee Health Service, South Eastern Health Providers Association, North Western Melbourne PHN, South Western Sydney PHN, AMES Australia, Settlement Services International, Victorian Department of Health and Human Services, Victorian Refugee Health Network, Refugee Health Network of Australia and Royal Australian College of General Practitioners.

The price of a healthy diet for all Victorians: divide between rural and metro

Dr Claire Palermo
Victoria is probably Australia’s most populated state, with the least number of areas that could be regarded as remote. Yet a new study reveals that Victorians living in non urban environments pay more for healthy food than their urban counterparts.

Nutritious diets are more expensive and the costs of a healthy diet can increase further for those Victorians who live in rural areas, according to a new study that has broken down the cost of a “basket” of healthy food available to four different types of Victorian families. Interestingly the study found that “eating healthily” was more a factor of proximity to towns and cities than socioeconomic status.

The groundbreaking study, led by Dr Claire Palermo, from the Monash Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, has studied how much a basket of nutritious food (fruit, vegetables, meat and meat products, breads and cereals, costs across 26 metro and 76 rural areas, a total of 115 stores  in winter and summer of 2012, 2013 and 2014.

The study – published last week in The Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health  – looked at the cost of food for four different families for a fortnight (a family of four; single parents; female over 65 years and male 18-50 years). The research team took a random sample of stores in rural and metro areas, collecting data on the price of each item.

The study found that the cost of a “healthy food basket” for a family of four increased by $27 to a total of $451 from July 2012 to December 2014. According to Dr Palermo, this cost is 32% of for those on the lowest income. “A healthy diet costs around 30% of government benefits income.  Anything over 30% is classified as unaffordable,” she said.

For the same period of time the food basket increased in price by $21 to $310 for a single parent family; $7 to $109 for a female over 65 years and $6 to $141 for a male 18-50. All three groups kept the cost of their basket under 30% of the average income for that group.

The data also revealed that the distance of stores from the state capital city predicts differences in food costs, making healthy food options unaffordable for some Victorians.

Significantly, the research team also showed that the further the store is from the city centre, the higher the total cost of the healthy food basket, despite much of Victoria not being considered very remote.

Dr Palermo, an Accredited Practising Dietitian, added that there was no association found between basket cost and the socio-economic index of the town in which the store was located.

“These findings provide new and unique insights into the cost of food as a key determinant of health in a populated state such as Victoria.”

The mean cost of the healthy basket for a typical family represents approximately 31% of household income, and given the rising costs of living pressures and related ‘food stress’, eating a healthy diet may be less attainable for those on lower incomes, Dr Palermo added.

The study also found that:
  • ·        The cost of fruit and vegetables varied over time more than meats, breads/cereals, dairy foods and non core foods such as margarine.
  • ·        The farther a store is from the city centre the higher the total cost of a healthy basket of food
  • ·        No association was found between basket cost and the socio-economic index of the town in which store tested was located

The findings support research just published by Dr Palermo in the Dietitians Association of Australia’s journal Nutrition & Dietetics, which highlights that the average cost of a basket of fruit and vegetables is 23 per cent cheaper from green grocers, compared with supermarkets.

"Knowing that fruits and vegetables can be purchased from green grocers for around 23% less than at the supermarket may positively influence the buying habits and subsequent intake patterns of Melburnians," said Dr Palermo.

FREE online course, "Food as Medicine"

Professor Helen Truby and her team in the department of Nutrition and Dietetics at Monash University have developed a free online course addressing the question- can we use food as medicine?

Food has traditionally been used as medicine and this course looks to explore its current role in health and disease; take a closer look at nutrition science and how it guides us on what and how much to eat for health;  and how to apply evidenced-based nutrition knowledge to guide food choices.

This course is designed for anyone with an interest in food, nutrition and health and does not require previous knowledge or experience in science or health studies.

This course will also be of interest to medical and healthcare professionals looking to upskill their knowledge in food and nutrition, and see what the current evidence is for using foods to improve health.

There are two Food as Medicine courses running in 2016, starting:

·        Monday 2 May
·        Monday 23 October

Congratulations Jim Harris - winner of the ASI Quarterly Newsletter Prize for 2015

Congratulations Jim for winning $200 for best contribution to the 2015 Australasian Society of Immunology Newsletter. 

See Jim’s article here on page 15 and oiginal article is here on page 26.   (Party at Jim's house.)

Ritchie Centre scientists visit John Monash Science School

Two Ritchie Centre researchers have given the next generation of high school graduates a taste of life as a career scientist.

Dr Stacey Ellery and PhD student Mikee Inocencio spoke with a group of 100 year 10 to 12 students at John Monash Science School in Clayton recently.

Dr Stacey Ellery, who has recently completed her PhD in the Ritchie Centre, told students what it’s like to be an early career researcher, while PhD student Mikee Innocencio said he wanted to broaden the students’ perspective on what a university science degree can offer, by showing them videos of both scientific experiments and surgeries.

“I spoke about the subjects I did in high school, and how that led to what I did at university,” Mikee said.

“Science is not just about staring down a microscope, there is so much more that you can do.

“Research is something we’re passionate about doing. I wanted to show the students what a science degree can lead to,” he said.

Mikee said addressing the students was a way of giving back to the community by encouraging increased participation in science.

“It’s cool to speak to a group of students you might someday be working with.”

Health and Wellbeing Week 11-15 April

The ”One Monash Health Survey’ results indicated the importance of our wellbeing strategy and the need to continue our efforts of support for staff in this area.

So as part of our health and wellbeing offerings to staff, we are holding a health and wellbeing week 11-15 April.  During the week there will be Expo’s, various activities, Seminars and daily challenges.

Specifically, events at Clayton on Wednesday 13th April include:

  • An Expo from 2.30-4.30pm outside Lecture Theatre 1 where you can talk to partner organisations.  There will also be a cooking demonstration, competitions, interactive activities, you can even ride a bike and blend your own juice or you might get a chance to have a massage. There will also be a variety of health and wellbeing information.

  • Professor Don Campbell will be presenting at 2.30 in Lecture Theatre 1.  His presentation is titled “Improving health and wellbeing – “Doctor, first heal thyself” .

You are encouraged to have fun and participate in the week by attending events occurring at the Clayton site and complete the daily challenges.

Please find attached the flyer for the week and the specificevents for Clayton or you can access the specific Healthy Opportunities page.

Come and hear about the new MACSQuant Tyto - the cell sorting revolution has begun! 12 April

April 12th, 10.30-11.30, Seminar Room 2, TRF Level 1
Morning Tea provided

Why purity and recovery won't help you publish...

Do you need a reliable and robust method for cell separation?
Is your time waiting for cell separations better spent else where?
Is automation of your protocols desirable?
Do you have animal studies that require multiple samples separated in parallel?
Is the viability of your cells important?
Is the activation of your cells a concern after sorting?
Do you perform functional assays with your sorted cells?
Are NGS or single cell genomics part of your downstream work flow?
Ever wondered how column and column-free technologies work?

If you answer yes to any of these questions come along and discover
all about MACS technology and why it's the best method for magnetic
bead based cell separation.

CID Weekly Seminar TODAY at 12pm: Ischemia, immunosuppression and infection - Tackling the predicaments of post-stroke complications

Today's seminar is a combined MHTP Infectious and Inflammatory Diseases Theme Seminar

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]

Ischemia, immunosuppression and infection - Tackling the predicaments of post-stroke complications

Dr Connie Wong
Heart Foundation Future Leader Fellow
Centre for Inflammatory Diseases

The incidence of stroke has risen over the past decade and will continue to be one of the leading causes of death and disability worldwide. While a large portion of immediate death following stroke is due to cerebral infarction and neurological complications, the most common medical complication in stroke patients is infection. Recent evidence suggests that the disrupted interplay between the central nervous system and immune system contributes to the development of infection after stroke. The suppression of systemic immunity by the nervous system is thought to protect the brain from further inflammatory insult, yet this comes at the cost of increased susceptibility to infection after stroke. In the talk, I will be outlining our recent work in this field, including identification of the source of infection and potential targets for therapy. 

Connie completed her Honours and PhD studies at MIMR (now Hudson Institute) and graduated in 2008. Her postdoctoral training was at University of Calgary, under Prof. Paul Kubes, a prominent figure in intravascular immunity research. During this time, she made important discoveries that resulted in a number of high-impact publications. Upon her return to Australia, she was awarded ARC DECRA fellowship. She is currently funded by the Heart Foundation Future Leader Fellowship and the leader of the Neuroinflammation Research Group at the Centre for Inflammatory Diseases (CID), where she runs her own independently funded research team.

Flyer attached here.

Monday, 4 April 2016

Invitation to all Faculty of MNHS Graduate Research Supervisor & Staff Forum, 4 May

·         Date: Wednesday 4 May 2016

·         Time: 9.30am – 12.00pm (registrations from 9.15am)
·         Venue: Monash Club, 32 Exhibition Walk (previously building 50), Clayton Campus
·         Registrations essential at https://my.monash.edu.au/news-and-events/bookings/fmnhsrdo/view/167147/

The Associate Dean (Graduate Research), Professor Nellie Georgiou-Karistianis, warmly invites you to attend the Faculty’s Annual Graduate Research Supervisor and Staff Forum.

The Forum aims to cover important topics, including:
·         Why do our completions matter?
·         What does our graduate research landscape look like?
·         Supervisor accreditation
·         How to select high quality students and why does this matter?
·         Our Doctoral Programs
·         LabArchives

Supervisors of graduate research students are strongly encouraged to attend. 

The forum provides an opportunity to learn more and become familiar with these important matters, and hear directly from the experts on how they affect your role. Come along to learn this valuable information and network with your colleagues.

Morning tea provided – please advise when registering if you have any dietary requirements.

Please note that as the forum will be held during semester, parking is limited at the Clayton Campus. The campus has a number of paid parking zones including all day paid parking near the main entrance. Red permits from any campus can be used in blue zones at Clayton. Please ask your academic unit if they can supply a yellow permit for you (if needed).  A map of the Clayton campus including parking areas is available at https://www.monash.edu.au/pubs/maps/3-Claytoncolour.pdf

Important information
Although this forum is free for Faculty staff, those who register and fail to attend will be charged $50 to cover costs. Hence, account details are requested when registering. It should also be noted that this event is not designed for students and their registrations will not be accepted.

If you have any difficulties accessing the registration site or have any queries, please contact us at med-research.degrees@monash.edu or 990 54313. Unfortunately video conferencing facilities are not available (we are limited as during semester) however, we aim to circulate presentations to those who are unable to attend.

myResearch: New Gene Technology application form

You may be aware that we will be implementing a new online application form for requests to work with genetically modified organisms (GMOs). This form will be available in April and will replace the current forms.

This is part of the myResearch project, which is implementing new IT systems and processes in 2016 to enhance research management support.

What is being replaced?

All previous application forms for Dealings are being combined into one simple form.

The new form is a simple, saveable online form that pre-populates with basic details, including your name and your school/department/ institute. The form is a ‘smart form’ that adjusts to provide you with the sections relating to your specific dealing request, based on your answers to questions.

The form is part of our new ethics and compliance management system, Ethics Review Manager (ERM), by Infonetica, which is being implemented progressively from April – August 2016.  ERM will be used by researchers and Ethics and Biosafety Committees to apply for approval, review applications and to track approved requests, all in one easy-to-use interface. 

Human and animal ethics applications will also be managed through this system in mid-2016.

Why is this change being made?

myResearch is being implemented to provide a single point of access to systems and information about your grants, contracts, outputs and ethics applications. It can be accessed directly by researchers as well as professional staff and will replace the current ROPES system and the MRO coversheet, as well as other forms.

The ethics and compliance component, ERM, will give you greater visibility of your past and live applications and the status of clearances and approvals.

Where can I access the new form?

The new form will be accessible from the myResearch website on the Monash intranet. We will share the URL with you prior to the changeover.

All applicants will require a Monash authcate to access the system.

When will the form be available?

On 15 April the form will be available. The current forms will be retired on this date. 

Will my current information be in the new system?

Information related to your current dealings will be imported into the new system over the coming months.  Once imported you will be able to view a basic outline of that record.

What support is available for me with these new forms and processes?

Quick reference guides and short videos will be available to assist you when the online forms are released. We will inform you of the dates and venues of information sessions.

Please contact Eleni Filippidis in the Monash Research Office with questions: phone 990 51118 or eleni.filippidis@monash.edu

National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) - Request for Research Proposals

National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) - National Vocational Education and Training Research Program (NVETR) - Request for Research Proposals

NCVER, on behalf of the Australian Government and state and territory governments, seeks experienced researchers to conduct high quality research relevant to the contemporary tertiary education and training environment. Research partnerships appropriate to projects are welcome.

This funding round is seeking proposals under three specific topic areas pertinent to policy and the operations of the vocational education sector identified in NCVER’s Research Prospectus:

1.       Meeting skill demand for the future

2.       New delivery and assessment modes (emerging technology)

3.       Future-proofing the VET workforce

This is a HERDC Category 1 scheme. Funding for research projects is available through a competitive selection process.

NCVER will be funding multiple projects across the topic areas identified. Research projects must be costed appropriately and reasonably according to the methodology proposed and overall size. Research projects of a modest scale (typically under $100,000 excluding GST) are preferred.

Please note: Research funds cannot be used to undertake extensive literature reviews, develop teaching tools or programs, to evaluate courses, to purchase equipment such as computers or to pay for attendance at conferences and overseas trips.

Proposals to be submitted by 5pm Wednesday 13 April 2016.

Instructions for applicants can be obtained from the NCVER Portal at http://www.ncver.edu.au/newsevents/tenders.html or by contacting Tabatha Griffin on (08) 8230 8431 or email funding.round@ncver.edu.au.

Medical and Health Science Grant Schemes Closing Soon

The table below lists medical and health science related grant opportunities with submission closing dates between March and June 2016. More details on each scheme are available at the relevant web links. 

MRO have advised that they will provide support to applicants wishing to apply to these schemes, and intending applicants should contact the Medical & Health Sciences Team (mhs@monash.edu) for assistance. 

MRO Close Date
Scheme Close Date
Link to Scheme Details
MS Research Australia
-       Postdoctoral Fellowships
-       Project Grants

23 Mar
8 Apr

29 Mar
22 Apr
CCV Lyall Watts Mesothelioma Research Grants
24 Mar
31 Mar (2pm)
National Blood Authority
-       Project Grants and Seed Grants
-       EC Research Grants
30 Mar
8 Apr (10am)
Heart Foundation
-       Future Leader Fellowships
-       Postdoctoral Fellowships
-       Vanguard Grants

30 Mar
8 Apr
20 April

13 Apr
22 Apr
4 May
National Breast Cancer Foundation
-       Career Development Fellowships EOI
-       Postdoctoral Fellowships EOI
support on request

15 Apr
15 Apr
National Foundation for Medical Research and Innovation (NFMRI) EOI
8 Apr
22 Apr
Diabetes Australia Research Program
-       General Grant
-       Millennium Award

22 Apr
6 May
-       Partnership Centre Health Services Sustainability
-       Program Grants
-       TRIP Fellowships
-       Partnership Projects Round 1

23 Mar
11 May
11 May
15 Jun

6 Apr
25 May
25 May
29 Jun

2016 Faculty Bridging Postdoctoral Fellowships (Round 2) - CALL FOR APPLICATIONS

Applications are now open for the 2016 Faculty Bridging Postdoctoral Fellowships (Round 2) scheme.

These Fellowships provide competitive funding to support the career development of promising newly-qualified postdoctoral researchers at Monash University. They are intended to provide initial support while applications are prepared for externally funded fellowships such as NHMRC Training Fellowships, ARC Postdoctoral Fellowships, etc.  Applications should be made by the applicant’s (i.e. intended Fellow’s) mentor at Monash University. The Faculty awards up to 4 Fellowships in each of the two rounds per year. Competition is therefore at a high level and mentors should carefully consider candidates before nominating them.
Closing Date:  Monday 9 May 2016 at 5:00PM (AEST)

Submission Process: Submit the completed and signed application form (and supporting evidence) as a single PDF document to medicine.research@monash.edu by the closing date. 

All queries about these schemes should be directed to the Faculty Research Office at medicine.research@monash.edu or (03) 990 29143.

Grand Rounds- Centre For Inflammatory Diseases research at Monash Health, 6 April

Professor Richard Kitching
The Centre For Inflammatory Diseases presentInflammatory Diseases research at Monash Health and the CID

Prof Richard Kitching, Director of the CID
Rheumatology - Prof Eric Morand
Autoimmune Kidney Disease - Prof Richard Kitching
Gastroenterology and Hepatology - Prof William Sievert
Date: Wednesday 6 April 2016
Time: 12.30pm to 1.30pm

Venue: Main Lecture Theatre, Monash Medical Centre, Clayton

MHP-MHTP Histology Introduction Seminar 8 April

Please join us on Friday 8th April at 10.00am in Seminar Room 1 of the TRF building H02 for a repeat  Introductory seminar to the MHP-MHTP Histology Node.

This will be followed by morning tea and an opportunity to meet with Histology staff.

Contact Angela Vais (angela.vais@monash.edu) or Camilla Cohen (Camilla.cohen@monash.edu) with any queries.

How NOT to analyse and present data, 26 April

Does the data in the manuscript you read appear dodgy? Ever wondered when it is appropriate to use the mean or the median? Do you want to pass the strict statistical checklists from journal/ grant reviewers? This talk will highlight some of the common pitfalls in the analysis and presentation of data. Examples will be drawn from the healthcare literature. At the end of talk, the audience will learn to avoid some of the common mistakes in the design, analysis, presentation and interpretation of healthcare data.

 26 April, 1-2pm, Seminar room 3, TRF Building

Presented by Dr Arul Earnest, Associate Professor, Biostatistics Unit
Senior Biostatistician, Registry Sciences Unit,
Department of Epidemiology & Preventive Medicine, School of Public Health & Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Australia

Arul’s research interest is in Registry Sciences, risk adjustment and Bayesian spatio-temporal models. For more than 15 years, Arul has provided consultative and collaborative methodological input to clinicians and hospital administrators. The outcome for some of this work has been more than 125 publications in a variety of peer-reviewed international medical journals, including BMC Health Services Research, BMJ and JAMA.  He has extensive experience in conducting talks on biostatistics and research methodology.

SCS/Hudson Graduate Research Student Technical Program 19-22 April, 2016

 Day 1: Tuesday 19th April 2016: Seminar Room 3, TRF Building
9:15-11:00am                Laboratory Skills and OH&S (Laboratory based)* 
11:15-12:00pm              Scientific Writing                       
12:00- 12:45 pm             Immuno techniques                    

 Day 2:             Wednesday 20th April: Seminar Room 2, TRF Building
9:30-10:15am                Animal Work                          
10:30-11:15 am             Platform Technologies             
11:30-12:15pm              Tissue Culture                         
12:15-1:00 pm             Presenting your work              

Day 3:             Friday 22nd April 2016: Seminar Room 2, TRF Building
9.30 - 11.00am            Introduction to Statistics: Data management and exploratory data analysis
11.30am - 2.00pm      What statistical methods should you be using?
 *OH&S and Laboratory Skills training is MANDATORY for PhD students commencing laboratory based projects in 2016.  All other sessions are optional.

Any questions...please contact Rachael Unwin, Postgraduate Student Administrator (rachael.unwin@monash.edu or ph 857 22787.  More details attached here.

L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Fellowships - 2016 Applications Close Tuesday 12th April

Applications for the 2016 L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Australian & New Zealand Fellowships opened on Monday 22 February. The FWIS program was founded in 1998 with a simple aim; to ensure that women are fairly represented at all levels in science.

In 2016  three post-doctoral female scientists in Australia will be awarded with a $25,000 Fellowship. Applicants within five years of completing their PhD are welcome from a variety of fields including life sciences, clinical and health sciences, material sciences, physical sciences, mathematics or engineering.

Applications will close at midnight Tuesday 12th April.

The application form and more information about the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Australian & New Zealand program can be found at www.forwomeninscience.com.au.

Maximizing Patient Recruitment and Retention in a Secondary Stroke Prevention Clinical Trial: Lessons Learned from the STAND FIRM Study

Tharshanah Thayabaranathan et al. published in the Journal of Stroke and Cerebraovascular Diseases.

Read article here.

The NLRP3 inflammasome in kidney disease and autoimmunity

Holly Hutton et al. published in Nephrology.

Read article here.

Validation of a Three-Dimensional Method for Counting and Sizing Podocytes in Whole Glomeruli

David Nicolic-Paterson et al. published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

Read article here.

An update on endometrial stem cells and progenitors

Caroline Gargett et al. pubished in Human Reproduction Update.

Read article here.

Telestroke-the promise and the challenge. Part one: growth and current practice

Ronil Chandra et al. published in the Journal of Neurointerventional Surgery.

Read article here.

Diabetes Mellitus and Prevention of Late Myocardial Infarction After Coronary Stenting in the Randomized Dual Antiplatelet Therapy Study

Ian Meredith et al. published in Circulation.

Read article here.

Outcome at 30 days for low-risk chest pain patients assessed using an accelerated diagnostic pathway in the emergency department

Robert Meek et al. published in Emergency Medicine Australasia.

Read article here.