Monday, 2 May 2016

Dr Michaela Finsterbusch wins Professor Jacques Miller's Choice Award at Day of Immunology image exhibition

Dr Michaela Finsterbusch is the recipient of the Professor Jacques Miller's Choice Award for her entry "Tree of life" at the Day of Immunology's Snapshot of the Immune System Image exhibition.

Michaela's image shows blood vessels that resemble a tree trunk with branches.

"The blood vessels circulate vital proteins and cells, such as immune cells throughout the body," said Michaela.  "During inflammation circulating immune cells can then exit the vasculature and migrate into the tissue specifically at sites of infection or injury to defend our body from disease-causing factors."

The blue dots are the immune cells that have migrated out of the blood vessels.

Michaela is a postdoctoral fellow in the Leukocyte Trafficking Group, School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health.

Streamlined approach and treatments improves the quality of care for men with prostate cancer

Professor Mark Frydenberg
The quality of prostate cancer care is improving according to new Monash University research published yesterday in The Medical Journal of Australia.

The five-year collaborative study between Monash University and 33 health institutions across Victoria, capturing 75 per cent of men diagnosed with prostate cancer in Victoria, found that processes of care were markedly improved, suggesting that the feedback from quality indicators was clinically valuable.

“We know that quality indicators are valuable tools to enable benchmarking performance of hospitals and clinicians. Where there is confidence in the quality of the data, providing these indicators back to health services and doctors has been shown to drive quality improvement.

“It’s terrific to see through quality indicators that the outcomes for men with prostate cancer are good and becoming even better,” said Professor Sue Evans, Head of the Clinical Registry Unit at Monash’s School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, which houses the Movember-funded Australian Prostate Cancer Clinical Registry.

Prostate cancer continues to be the most commonly diagnosed cancer among Australian males. More than 18,000 Australian men are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year.

For men living with prostate cancer, there are a variety of treatment options now available which vary according to the stage of disease at diagnosis, but can include: active surveillance; hormone therapy; surgery; radiotherapy; or a combination of therapies.

“The Prostate Cancer Research International Active Surveillance (PRIAS) protocol guideline suggests men with low risk disease should be under active surveillance rather than receive immediate invasive treatment. Our Victorian research found the proportion of men with low risk disease who underwent active treatment declined over the five year period,” said Associate Professor Evans.

“As a practicing urologist it is satisfying to see such a high percentage of urologists committed measuring outcomes and improving quality of care,” said Professor Mark Frydenberg from the Department of Surgery at Monash University and Monash Health.

Professor Frydenberg said it can highlight areas of improvement such as clinical T stage documentation in histories, ensuring men with low risk cancer are ideally managed with surveillance, and ensuring that specialists can track potency and continence outcomes and measure for improvement with time.

“It is also gratifying to see a reduction in the pT2 margin rates suggesting better patient selection and better surgery to cure the disease.”

The mean percentage of PRIAS non-compliance had increased non-significantly from 45 per cent in 2009 to 55 per cent in 2010 and 50 per cent in 2011, but a downward trend was evident in 2012 (40 per cent) and 2013 (34 per cent); this achieved statistical significance in 2013 (P = 0.024).

The study also found that men diagnosed with high risk or locally advanced prostate cancer received treatment at a quicker rate across the duration of the study.

“This has the real potential to substantially improve quality of care, and also identify gaps in care such as in regional or rural areas that could be explored and inequities addressed,” said Professor Frydenberg.

“I would suggest that patients are also encouraged to ask if their surgeon participates in the registry as a sign of the urologists’ commitment to quality care of men with prostate cancer in Victoria.”

SCS Dragons' Den success

Professor Morand, Professor Smith and Professor Loh
More than 70 staff from the School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health (SCS) and medical students from Years 3, 4 and 5 attended a highly successful Dragons’ Den at MHTP last month.

Originally a Japanese reality television show featuring entrepreneurs pitching their business ideas to a panel of venture capitalists, the SCS competition invited all current medical students to submit viable project ideas they believed would lead to innovations in curriculum delivery for the medical program at SCS.

Nine finalists, chosen by a panel of SCS academic and professional staff pitched their ideas to a panel of ‘Dragons’ – Professor Eric Morand, Professor Michelle Leech, Professor Julian Smith, Professor Erwin Loh and Dr Eugene Fredericks in the Translational Research Facility (TRF). 

“We wanted to engage our medical students while enabling them to assist us enhance the student experience at SCS,” said Clinical Dean Dr Claire Dendle.

“The SCS Dragons—Professor Morand, Professor Leech, Professor Smith, Associate Professor Sally Ayoub and Professor Loh—provided insightful and humorous feedback while questioning the validity of the project ideas.”

Staff and students commented on the forum as being an ideal opportunity for students to shine while presenting their ideas to peers and mentors.

“The ideas presented will have an immediate and positive impact on both our School and students,” said Dr Dendle.
The winning team with A/Prof Ayoub

The winners on the night were:
1st place- Lewis Fry, Marcus Davenport and Hector Thomson
Runner up- Masad Alfayadh (Mental Health at SCS)
Students’ Choice Award- David Liu (Varpedia)

"Hector, Lewis and I are big advocates for free open access medical education (FOAMed)," said winning student Marcus Davenport. 

"Having studied together for three years now, we wanted to share our experience so that other medical students may benefit from some of the tips and tricks we have picked up along the way."

Marcus said the Dragons' Den had exceeded their expectations and the competition was a great opportunity to practise a formal presentation.

The event organisers would like to thank and acknowledge the extreme generosity of Café Nesso, who donated all catering for the event.

Dr Dendle said the quality of Café Nesso’s catering was absolutely outstanding and everyone involved is very grateful for their support.

Monash Bone and Muscle Research team in Malaga, Spain

Professor Peter Ebeling delivering plenary lecture
School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health PhD student Alexander Rodriguez and senior post-doctoral researcher Dr David Scott who were recently awarded competitive ESCEO-AgNovos Healthcare Young Investigator Awards have returned from the 2016 World Congress on Osteoporosis, Osteopenia and Musculoskeletal Research (WCO-IOF-ESCEO) in Malaga, Spain.

Alexander and Dr Scott each presented two posters at the world's largest conference on osteoporosis and musculoskeletal disease while Head of the Bone and Muscle Research Group Professor Peter Ebeling delivered a plenary lecture on vitamin D, the immune response and infection.

"I found the conference very stimulating and it was great to put faces to names of authors I have cited," said Alexander.
Dr David Scott, Professor Peter Ebeling,
Alexander Rodriguez outside the Malaga
Automobile Museum for the Awards reception.

The conference was attended by nearly 4000 delegates, including some of the biggest names in osteoporosis and musculoskeletal research.

"On a professional level the conference was rewarding as I had some interest in my poster on low muscle mass and aortic calcification and am now in conversation with a potential collaborator from Denmark in conducting a similar analysis," said Alexander.
Alexander Rodriguez, Dr David Scott,
Alexander's parents and Professor Ebeling

Originally from Malaga, Spain, Alexander's parents travelled with Alexander on a family reunion and hosted a dinner for the SCS research team.

SCS researcher selected for 2016 Theo Murphy High Flyers Think Tank

Dr Jo Enticott
Congratulations Dr Jo Enticott, one of only 60 researchers, selected to participate in the Australian Academy of Science Theo Murphy High Flyers Think Tank.

The Think Tank brings together early and mid-career researchers from a broad range of disciplines to engage in thinking about novel applications of existing science and technology to issues of national significance.

Dr Enticott, Deputy Director and Coordinator of Health Services Research at Southern Synergy, Department of Psychiatry, will also have the opportunity to help identify gaps in current knowledge and propose solutions at the event which will take place in Canberra in July.

The think tanks are unique opportunities for career development and network creation among the nation’s next generation of research leaders and their institutions. Previous think tanks have culminated in reports offering recommendations for action  and instrumental in influencing policy development.

More details about the Theo Murphy High Flyers Think Tank here.

New cafe at MHTP

Café Nesso will officially open in late July or early August in the Translational Research Facility (TRF) at MHTP.

“We will offer a variety of gourmet foods from freshly made sandwiches, baguettes, ciabatta and wraps to home-cooked style stews, pasta and Asian stir-fry,” said Café Nesso Operations Manager Ray Hau.

“Our customers will have a choice of three blends of coffee (house blend, single origin and blend of the week) to cater for the fussiest coffee lovers, as well as decaf—and a juice bar for freshly squeezed juices, smoothies and milkshakes.”

The proposed trading hours are Monday to Friday from 7am to 7pm.  Weekend trading is yet to be confirmed.

“We strive to exceed our customers’ expectations through offering quality food and excellent service at reasonable prices,” said Ray.

Café Nesso also caters for functions (see menu here) with flexible menu options, a huge selection of food and packages to fit any budget and a green menu, designed around Health Choice Guidelines. 

A temporary Café Nesso coffee stand is currently operating in the TRF.  Watch this video to take a virtual tour of the new café that will open soon.

Biosafety Level 1 training - Tuesday 3 May, 10.30am

Attn:  graduate research students

Biosafety Level 1 training has been scheduled for

Tuesday 3 May from 10.30am - 12.30pm
Medicine Seminar Room,  Level 5 Block E
Monash Medical Centre

Please see the following web page for details of additional sessions scheduled for 2016.

Grand Round Presentation - Nephrology- 4/05/2016

Unit: Nephrology               
Presenter: Professor Paolo Raggi
Topic: Calcification in CKD: The Cardiologist View
Date: Wednesday 4 May 2016
Time: 12.30pm to 1.30pm
Venue: Main Lecture Theatre, Monash Medical Centre, Clayton.

NOTE: For instructions on how to view Grand Round recordings from previous sessions please see attached document “Grand Rounds on LMS”.

Hudson Special Seminar 5 May, "Deconstructing systems biology: Towards inderstanding and targeting the innate immune response in homeostasis and disease"

This week's (Thurs 5 May) Hudson Special Seminar will be held from 12-1 pm, Lecture Theatre 1, Monash Medical Centre.

The speaker will be Prof Paul Hertzog, Head of Centre for Innate & Infectious Diseases,Hudson Institute of Medical Research.
Light refreshments to follow presentation outside the Lecture Theatre.

Seminar flyer attached.

International Day of Immunology at the Centre for Inflammatory Diseases, 18 May at MHTP

CID postdoctoral research fellow,
Dr Michaela Finsterbusch
The Monash university Centre for Inflammatory Diseases (CID) at Monash Health is opening its doors for International Day of Immunology. Go behind the scenes and meet the researchers!

Wednesday 18 May 12:00 - 3:30

12:00pm: Public Lecture. Hear about the latest developments in how the immune systems work, autoimmune disease and stroke
1:00pm: Meet the researchers over a light lunch and find out about the Centre for Inflammatory Diseases research programs
2:15pm: Visit the Centre for Inflammatory Diseases laboratories and meet the research scientists and doctors.

Public lecture and lunchTranslational Research Facility
Monash Medical Centre
246 Clayton Road,Clayton

Laboratory Discovery Tours
CID laboratories
Block E, Level 5
Monash Medical Centre
246 Clayton Road, Clayton

(meet in ground floor foyer area if only attending the Discovery Tours)
Special requirements: Attendees under the age of 15 years must be accompanied by an adult. Attendees must wear closed footwear for Laboratory Discovery tours
Bookings are via an online RSVP form
RSVP is Monday 2 May 2016
For more information please contact Andrea Johannessen 

SCS staff meeting 2 June at 12.30pm

MMO's 15 May 'Transfusions' Concert, featuring Beethoven's 5th symphony

Following our very successful Charity Chamber Concert, it is our great pleasure to personally invite you to the orchestra's Autumn Concert, Transfusions! The details are as follows, and may also be found on the attached concert flyer:

Date, time: Sunday 15 May, 5pm
Location: Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music Auditorium, 55 Scenic Boulevard, Monash University Clayton Campus

We would love to see you at the orchestra's first major performance of 2016! As is strongly hinted, the (in)famous Beethoven's Fifth Symphony will be featured.

FMNHS Graduate Research Supervisor & Staff Forum - Wed 4 May

Wednesday 4 May, 9.30am – 12.00pm (registrations from 9.15am)

Monash Club, 32 Exhibition Walk (previously building 50), Clayton Campus
Registrations essential at

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?, Changes to Supervisor accreditation, LabArchives and more - full program attached.  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 contact us at or 990 54313 if you have any questions. 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.

Forum program attached here.

International Research Scholars Program Announcement 2016

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Wellcome Trust, and the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation are announcing a new International Early Career Scientist Program that will support up to 50 outstanding scientists working in selected countries outside the United States and United Kingdom. HHMI, The Gates Foundation, the Wellcome Trust, and The Gulbenkian Foundation (The Funders) seek to identify scientists who are or have the potential to become scientific leaders. Successful applicants will receive five-year grants that will each total $650,000.

More information available here.

2 x Junior Research Assistants at The Ritchie Centre

We are looking for two research assistants, ideally with an Honours, Masters or BSc degree, who we can trust to reliably deliver performance that meets the standards of a comparable position in the pharmaceutical industry in terms of work attitude, timeliness, time management including under the pressure of tight deadlines, attention to detail and communication with peers and supervisors. Strong organisational skills, the ability to multi-task and familiarity with data analysis, including statistics and preparing graphs and reports, will work in your favour.

Under routine supervision by the Principal Investigators and Heads of the Nold Laboratory, Associate Professor Marcel Nold and Dr Claudia Nold, you will be working on a variety of exciting projects. As described below, your work will comprise a number of tasks and scientific methods.

Please refer to for more information

MonashHealth Staff Gym

With 3 locations (Clayton, Kingston and Dandenong), the MonashHealth staff gym is open to all staff and students at the Monash Health Translation Precinct (MHTP).

 Open 24/7 at Clayton and Dandenong
 Kingston Wellness Centre daytime hours
 Group Fitness classes timetabled at each site
 Olympic weights & Functional Strength training
 Pilates studio with Reformer and Mat Pilates
 Aqua Exercise Kingston and Dandenong
 Personalised Gym Program
 A variety of short programs on offer
 Personal Training
 Myotherapy / Massage
 Beautician Services
 Sauna & Shower facilities
 Memberships open to Friends and Family
 All member fees reinvested back into facilities & equipment

From $14.95/week (conditions apply).  Visit

Clayton group fitness program attached here.

Anxiety and/or Depression and the experiences of Buddhism

Michael Ellem, is conducting a research project as part of a Master of Mental Health Science Degree, 1st Semester 2016, through Monash University.

The research project will be investigating two things:

1. Meanings of Buddhist meditation, mindfulness and spiritual practices for Buddhist practitioners with either a self- diagnosis or a clinical diagnosis of Anxiety and/or Depression.

2. The influence and dynamics of Buddhist meditation, mindfulness and spiritual practices on study participants.

It is envisaged that the researcher will undertake 3 interviews (open and semi- structured) with prospective participants (interviews will need to be audio-recorded) during the early part of 2016.

Participation in all stages of the project is entirely voluntary. This project is supervised by senior researchers in the University, we hope it will assist in developing understandings and meanings of mental health issues as they unfold for Buddhist practitioners in Australia.

If you are interested in participating in the study or desire further information
– please contact Michael Ellem on:

Phone: 07 4942 7116
Mobile: 0487 858 259

This study has Monash University Ethics approval CF15/325 - 2015000156

Can a seaweed supplement reduce risk of diabetes?

We are looking for people to participate in a study to find out if eating a seaweed supplement can reduce your risk of diabetes.

· Are you between the ages of 18 and 65?
· Do you have a BMI less than 30 kg/m2?
· Are you interested in finding out about how your body handles sugar?

Then contact Margaret to find out more information.This study will take place at the BASE Facility in Notting Hill.

Phone: 9905 3460 

Monash University ethics approval CF16/53 - 2016000019.

Ventilation-Induced Brain Injury in Preterm Neonates: A Review of Potential Therapies

Graeme Polglase et al. published in Neonatology.

Read article here.

Epithelial-mesenchymal transition during extravillous trophoblast differentiation

Padma Murthi et al. published in Cell Adhesion and Migration.

Read article here.

IFPA meeting 2015 workshop report IV: Nanomedicine applications and exosome biology, xenobiotics and endocrine disruptors and pregnancy, and lipid mediators and placental function

Padma Murthi et al. published in Placenta.

Read article here.

TGF-β: the master regulator of fibrosis

David Nikolic-Paterson et al. published in Nature Reviews Nephrology.

Read article here.

Impact of routine crossover balloon occlusion technique on access-related vascular complications following transfemoral transcatheter aortic valve replacement

Sarah Zaman et al. published in Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions

Read article here.