Monday, 29 August 2016

Immune cells interacting inside blood vessels of the glomerulus

Scientists from the School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health (SCS), Monash University have discovered that two types of immune cells inside blood vessels work together to cause inflammatory kidney disease, paving the way for future targeted treatments.  Using highly advanced microscopy techniques, the research team visualised monocytes and neutrophils in real time and saw the cells frequently interacting with each other in healthy glomeruli.

Lead researcher Dr Michaela Finsterbusch from the Centre for Inflammatory Diseases said that during inflammation, the duration of the interactions was prolonged and was associated with a higher degree of disease-causing neutrophil activation.

Read full story HERE.

Immune cell discovery could lead to better treatments for kidney disease

Monash University researchers have discovered that two types of immune cells inside blood vessels work together to cause inflammatory kidney disease, paving the way for future targeted treatments.

The discovery, published last week in the prestigious journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (USA), has shown for the first time that different types of immune cells within the blood vessels interact and send instructions to cause damage to the kidney. 
Dr Michaela Finsterbusch

Scientists from the School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health (SCS) examined different immune cells (known as neutrophils and monocytes) in glomerulonephritis, a disease characterised by inflammation of the glomeruli. 

“Glomeruli are structures in the kidney important for filtering blood and
producing urine,” said lead researcher Dr Michaela Finsterbusch from the Centre for Inflammatory Diseases.

“While previous studies showed neutrophils can be responsible for causing glomerulonephritis, we’ve now discovered that another cell type, monocytes, also contribute to the disease.”

“Monocytes do this by communicating with and instructing the neutrophils—under the microscope we can see the cells actually physically interacting in the small blood vessels of the glomerulus,” said Dr Finsterbusch.

Using highly advanced microscopy techniques, the research team visualised monocytes and neutrophils in real time and saw the cells frequently interacting with each other in healthy glomeruli.

Dr Finsterbusch said that during inflammation, the duration of the interactions was prolonged and was associated with a higher degree of disease-causing neutrophil activation.

“Typically, immune cells promote inflammation after leaving the bloodstream,” said study co-author and Head of the Leukocyte Trafficking Group, Professor Michael Hickey.

“So discovering that interactions between immune cells within the blood stream are critical for inducing injury and inflammation is really quite unusual.”
Understanding how these immune cells interact and cause disease is the next step towards developing improved treatments for patients.

“If we could control the behaviour of the monocytes, we may be able to stop them patrolling and instructing the neutrophils to cause damage, thereby dampening inflammation,” said Monash Health nephrologist and physician-scientist Professor Richard Kitching, a co-author on the study.

Currently, most available therapies for inflammatory diseases are general anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive drugs that have undesirable side effects including increased infections, weight gain, hypertension, diabetes, cataracts and osteoporosis.

“This basic scientific discovery may lead to more targeted drugs without the unacceptable side effects both in the immune system and metabolically.”

Watch video of interacting immune cells here.

Cell Therapies Platform and Miltenyi Biotec Cell Therapy Centre of Excellence launched at MHTP

Professor Graham Jenkin
A Cell Therapies Platform, incorporating the international biotechnology company’s Miltenyi Biotec Cell Therapy Centre of Excellence was officially launched at the Monash Health Translation Precinct (MHTP) last week.

"Specifically designed to underpin clinical translation of cell therapies and regenerative medicine, the establishment of the Cell Therapies Platform is a major new initiative within the precinct," said Professor Graham Jenkin of Monash University’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Deputy Director of The Ritchie Centre, Hudson Institute of Medical Research.

"We've built this Platform in response to the under-supply of affordable cleanroom facilities in Victoria for clinical translation of our research, particularly for the manufacture of biologicals."  

The facility will host a Biospherix Xivo GMP cell isolator, a state of the art, MACSQuant® Tyto™ GMP Cell Sorter and a multipurpose GenSim, Bioscaffolder/Bioprinter with stem cell bioprinting capability.

"The Cell Therapies Platform will play a vital role in accelerating translational research leading to the development of new treatments for diseases such as Bronchopulmonary dysplasia of the premature newborn, cerebral palsy, cancer, and tissue replacement with biomimetic materials.

Professor Jenkin said the Platform offers an integrated, fully contained Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) environment that is a flexible, cost-effective alternative to conventional cleanroom facilities. 

"This will become a core facility of the Victorian Consortium for Cell-based Therapies and will underpin pre-clinical and early phase clinical manufacture of tissues and cells for small to medium scale clinical trials and therapies," said Professor Jenkin.

Miltenyi Biotec, the manufacturer of the GMP Gradde cell sorter, has granted prestigious Early Adopter Program status to the Cell Therapies Platform for installation and support of the Miltenyi cell sorter and will establish a Miltenyi Biotec Cell Therapy Centre of Excellence within the MHTP to assist and support translation of potential cell therapies to clinical trials.  

The establishment of the Cell Therapies Platform has been made possible by the generous support of Therapeutic Innovations Australia, through the Translating Health Discovery Program of the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy Program, The Ian Potter Foundation and Miltenyi Biotec.

The Ritchie Centre’s 2016 Colloquium and Public Forum: cell therapy and translational research

Professor Bill Sievert
Innovations in stem cell and regenerative medicine research and women’s and children’s health was the focus of this year's Ritchie Centre Colloquium and Public Forum last week at the Monash Health Translation Precinct (MHTP).

Stem cells and regenerative medicine have been identified by the National Institutes of Health in the USA as the next pillar in modern medicine, and according to a recent Academy of Science ‘Think Tank’, stem cell science is poised to revolutionise the field of medicine. The Asia-Pacific stem cell market alone is projected to increase to $US18.7 billion by 2018, from $US7.10 billion in 2014.

“The Ritchie Centre (Monash University and Hudson Institute of Medical Research) is a leading centre for stem cell and regenerative medicine research and clinical translation in Australia,” said Colloquium organiser
Professor Graham Jenkin from Monash University’s  Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Deputy Director of The Ritchie Centre.

The Ritchie Centre hosts the annual Colloquium and Public Forum to inform and educate the general public and scientific community on women’s and children’s health issues.

“This year’s forum explored stem cell treatments and trials as well as the regulatory environment in which clinicians currently operate in this rapidly growing area,” said Professor Stuart Hooper, Director of The Ritchie Centre.

Keynote invited speakers at the event included Professor John Rasko, Associate Professor Jerry Chan, Professor David Gardner, and Professor William Sievert.

An Australian pioneer in the application of adult stem cells and genetic therapy, Professor Rasko delivered the plenary lecture on progress in gene therapy for genetic diseases, including evidence of improved outcomes in haemophilia B, immune deficiencies, haemoglobinopathies, immunotherapies and blindness. He also participated in this year’s Public Forum.

Clinician scientist Associate Professor Chan from Duke-NUS Medical School presented his research on deriving novel biomarkers for endometriosis.

Endometriosis is an estrogen dependent disease affecting 6-10% of women (up to half of infertile women), and is associated with both pain and infertility,” said Associate Professor Chan.

“Current biomarkers for this disease have limited clinical utility and novel biomarkers reflecting disease pathophysiology are needed.”

Associate Professor Chan said that a biobank repository of serum, peritoneal fluid, eutopic and ectopic endometrial tissues has been set up at KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital to facilitate their biomarker discovery program.

This year’s Public Forum was chaired by Dr Susan Hawes, a researcher and policy advisor on science and innovation policy for the Australian Government, and who also manages programs to support the Australian medical technologies and bio-pharmaceutical sector.

The topic, ‘Stem Cell Therapies: Where are we now, and where are we heading’ gave members of the public an opportunity to hear about and discuss cutting edge developments in stem cell therapies. 

With a panel of experts including Professor Euan Wallace, Professor John Rasko, and Professor Iona Novak, Head of Research for the Cerebral Palsy Alliance, the forum explored topics including current and potential stem cell treatments and trials as well as the regulatory environment in which clinicians currently operate in this growing, but sometimes controversial area.

Leading Ritchie Centre researchers also presented their ground-breaking research during the Colloquium on topics including clinical applications of stem cells and biomatrices, fertility and infertility and the use of stem cells in women’s and paediatric health.

“Our scientists are pioneering a number of Phase I and Phase II clinical trials, including using mesenchymal stem cells in paediatrics, neurosurgery, multiple sclerosis and liver fibrosis,” said Professor Jenkin, who is also Research Group Head, Cell Therapy and Regenerative Medicine at the Ritchie Centre.

R U OK? Day 8 September

Please register HERE.

Women in STEM & Entrepreneurship (WISE) Programme - CALL FOR EXPRESSIONS OF INTEREST (EOI)

The Women in STEM & Entrepreneurship (WISE) programme is part of the National Innovation and Science Agenda and will be administered by the Department of Industry, Innovation & Science. The WISE programme provides funding for activities and projects that help girls and women to explore their interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics). Applications close 5pm, 6 October 2016.  Monash is permitted to submit only ONE application. MRO will hold an EOI process to select one project to proceed to Full Proposal.

Australia-India Strategic Research Fund Early- to Mid-Career Researcher Fellowships 2016-2017

The Australian Academy of Science (AAS) invites Australian early- and mid-career researchers to apply for the Australia-India Strategic Research Fund (AISRF) Early- to Mid-Career Researcher (EMCR) Fellowships 2016-2017. The EMCR Fellowships provide support (up to AUD 40,500) for Australian researchers to travel to India (between 1 Jan 2017 and 30 June 2017) and work with leading researchers at major Indian science and technology organisations for a period of between 3 and 9 months. Applications are now open and close 9am Monday 31 October 2016.

CID seminar, Targeting CD40-CD154 interactions in transplantation and autoimmune diseases, 30 August

CID Weekly Seminar: Tuesday 30 August 2016, 12:00 - 1:00pm
Seminar Room 1, Level 2, TRF Building

Presented by Dr James Rush
Senior Investigator
Autoimmunity, Transplantation and Inflammation Diseases, Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research (NIBR) 
Basel, Switzerland

Dr. James Rush is a Senior Investigator in the Autoimmunity, Transplantation and Inflammation disease area at the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research (NIBR) in Basel. His lab focuses on translational immunology research and the development of therapeutics targeting co-stimulation pathways dysregulated in autoimmunity. Areas of interest include utilizing ‘omics technologies to classify autoimmune diseases at the molecular level, translational research and human immunology. After completing a PhD in cellular immunology at the Centenary Institute with Dr. Phil Hodgkin, he was a HHMI postdoctoral researcher at Yale University in the laboratories of David Schatz and Charlie Janeway. Subsequently he joined the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation in San Diego in May 2005 where his lab utilized high throughput genomics and small molecule screening technologies to identify novel regulators of innate immune receptor and B cell function. He then moved to NIBR Basel in 2008 to lead the development of a novel immunomodulatory drug for transplantation and antibody-mediated autoimmune diseases that is now undergoing clinical evaluation.

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 []

Grand Round Presentation - “Delirium and Dementia at Monash Health”, 31 August 2016

Prof Shehabi
Unit:                Rehabilitation and Aged Care Services 
Presenters:     Julie Lustig – Delirium and dementia matters
Sue Viney – A consumer’s perspective
Yahya Shehabi – Delirium in the ICU
Sarah Lorentzen – The Delirium and Dementia Project
Topic:              “Delirium and Dementia at Monash Health”
Date:               Wednesday 31 August 2016
Time:               12.00pm to 1.30pm

Venue:            Lecture Theatre 1, Monash Medical Centre

Identification and management of patients with familial hypercholesterolaemia (FH), 15 September at MMC

Professor Edward Janus, Department of Medicine will present a lecture on Evolution, on Thursday 15 September, 8 - 9am, Lecture Theatre 2, Monash Medical Centre.

Evolution is an education program that focuses on the identification and management of patients with familial
hypercholesterolaemia (FH).

The program aims to increase awareness of FH amongst Australian specialists and provide efficacy and safety information about evolocumab, the first proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9) inhibitor approved in
Australia for primary hypercholesterolaemia and homozygous familial hypercholesterolaemia (HoFH).

See attached flyer here for more information.

Professor Edward Janus graduated MB ChB from Otago University New Zealand and subsequently MD (Otago) for research on genetic causes of emphysema.  He obtained his PhD in London studying lipoprotein metabolism in familial lipid disorders. 

National Heart Foundation of New Zealand Fellow, he became Professor in Clinical Biochemistry, University of Hong Kong 1992-97. He is currently Professor in the Department of Medicine University of Melbourne, Head of General Internal Medicine and Director of Research at Western Health.

Professor Janus' research interests are the epidemiology and prevention of diabetes and cardiovascular disease and in translating research into practice in the real world.

He is also:
Fellow of Royal Australasian College of Physicians and Fellow of the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand
President of the Board of the Australian Centre for Heart Health in Melbourne. Treasurer of Asian Pacific Society of Atherosclerosis and Vascular Diseases and Executive Board Member of the Asia Pacific Federation of International Atherosclerosis Society.

Excellent Research Award 2007 from Government of Hong Kong, China SAR.

Physiotherapy Research and Innovation Conference at MMC, 15 September

See program here.

Public Lecture: Innovative systems for improving trauma care 12 Oct 2016

Injury causes 5.8 million deaths per year with 90% in low- and middle-income countries. It also causes a significant amount of disability and economic loss. Much of this burden could be decreased by improvements in the care of the injured (trauma care).
Professor Mark Fitzgerald will give an overview of trauma system research and development, how we’re using it here, and how we’re helping other countries, both in the developed and developing world, to either build or improve their own systems of trauma care.Details:
  • Date: Wednesday, 12 October 2016
  • Time: 6.00 pm for 6.30 pm start. Lecture for 45 minutes followed by Q&A session.
  • Venue: AMREP Lecture Theatre, adjacent to the BakerIDI Institute at 75 Commercial Road, Melbourne 3004, 200 metres east of the main Alfred Hospital entrance. See map.
  • Cost: Free
  • RSVPCLICK HERE. Please RSVP by Friday 7 October 2016 for catering purposes

About our speaker Professor Mark FitzgeraldWith the lessons learned from the establishment of the VSTS, the NTRI is now delivering programs in trauma system development and capacity building in China, India, Myanmar, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia and Sri Lanka.

Professor Mark Fitzgerald is Director of Trauma Services at The Alfred and Director of the National Trauma Research Institute(NTRI) which is a partnership with Alfred Health and Monash University. Mark is an Emergency Physician with expertise in resuscitation. He is also the principal architect of an innovative, integrated platform for trauma patient care, which enables dynamic feeds of information and computer assisted decision support during the resuscitation and ongoing care of trauma patients.

About trauma systems
The Alfred is an Adult Major Trauma Service in the Victorian State Trauma System (VSTS), which has been recognised by the World Health Organisation as one of the most highly developed and integrated trauma systems in the world. The introduction of the VSTS has resulted in significantly improved outcomes for the injured - and has effectively halved death rates from injury in Victoria since 2001.

Casual RA position for 3 months at The Ritchie Centre

The Infant and Child Health group within the Ritchie Centre has a casual position available for a research assistant or recent postdoc to complete a systematic review for a NHMRC safe infant sleeping guideline. The successful application will be familiar with searching online data bases such as PubMed and PsychInfo to identify relevant publications. Experience in completing a meta analysis would be an advantage but is not essential. The position is available from 26 September for approximately 3 months.  Hourly rate is $33.47 plus 25% casual loading.

Please send a CV and letter of application to Rosemary Horne

Change of contacts for research outputs collection and management

As you are aware, the publications collection for the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences (MNHS) is now managed by the Research Outputs Collection Service (ROCS).  We would like to advise you that there is a new contact for the Basic Research disciplines, as follows:

Annie Kelly (Basic Research)               
Senior Research Publications Coordinator
+61 3 990 51019​​

Pete Nichols (Clinical Research)    
Research Publications Coordinator
+61 3 990 59292

Publication Officers:
Emma Thomason-Morris
Minh Vu
Vicky Hou

Basic Research (Annie Kelly)
Clinical Research (Pete Nichols)
Aust Regenerative Medicine Institute
Central Clinical Sch
Sch of Biomedical Sciences
Eastern Health Clinical Sch
Sch of Nursing & Midwifery
Sch of Clinical Sciences at Mon Health
Sch of Psychological Sciences
Sch of Clinical Sciences at Mon Health - Hudson
Sch of Rural Health
Sch of Primary Health Care
MNHS -Other non School related AOUs
Sch of Public Health & Preventive Med

Staff can send publication queries relating to either Basic Research or to  Clinical Research to the general role account: for an initial response from a member of the greater ROCS team (e.g. if you find that a publication is missing from your profile, please send the details to the ROCS team and they can add it)

For further details on the collection and management of research outputs in Pure, please refer to the myResearch website:

Should you wish to discuss your research outputs in Pure, please contact a member of the team. 

​Global Connections Fund - ATSE Bridging Grants

The Australian Government’s Global Connections Fund and the
​ ​
Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering (ATSE) are pleased to advise that the inaugural round of Bridging Grants is now open.

Information regarding the Bridging Grants and the two stage application process (EOI to Funder and Full Application) is available on the Global Connection Fund website.

Bridging Grants are a new program of assistance that targets early stage proof of concept and knowledge transfer, product development and market testing, innovation and commercialisation activities. The grants provide between $25,000 to $50,000 per grant. The grant needs to be supported on a matching funds/in-kind basis of additional resources from the applicant partners, which must be an International SME based in a selected priority economy.

NOI Process - Key Dates:
MRO will run a Notice of Intent (NOI) process to check that the shortlisted NOIs are employing distinctly different technologies and/or are in different areas of research endeavour and that the International SME is named in one application only. Please refer to NOI form (attached here) for instructions.​

NOIs Due to MRO via Pure
09 September 2016
MRO notification - selected NOIs
13 September 2016
EOIs - Submit to Funder
at midnight 16 September 2016
Full Application due to Funder
by midnight 07 October 2016

​All queries about the scheme should be directed to​ or 990 51227.

CASS Foundation - Changes to submission process

MRO​  are experiencing technical difficulties in retrieving information entered to the CASS Foundation portal.  So that MRO can review your application kindly follow the steps below to create a PDF version of your application:

  1. Complete your application in the CASS Foundation portal.
  2. Once completed, click on 'Printer Friendly Version':

Australia-India Strategic Research Fund (AISRF) - APPLICATIONS NOW OPEN

  • Round 10 of the Collaborative Research Projects under the Australia-India Strategic Research Fund (AISRF), which supports the objectives of the National Innovation and Science Agenda is now open (close 19 Oct).
Note: Only one application can be submitted for each of the two Funds (see below).

Monash University Self Service Password Reset

Do you know that you can now register for self-service password reset? This means if you forget your password in the future, you’ll be able to reset it any time using an SMS token sent to your mobile phone.
It’s quick, easy, and will take you less than two minutes to set up:
·        Enter your current password
·        Enter your mobile phone number

If you ever forget your password, simply go to the reset page and set a new password (see password guidelines) using your SMS token.

Maternal creatine in pregnancy: a retrospective cohort study

Hayley Dickinson et al. published in BJOG

Read article here.

Optimization of a generalized radial-aortic transfer function using parametric techniques

James Cameron et al. published in Computers in Biology and Medicine.

Read article here.

Pathophysiology and laboratory diagnosis of pernicious anemia

Ban Hock Toh published in Immunologic Research.

Read article here.

Resurrection of evidence for vertebroplasty?

Ronil Chandra et al. published in The Lancet.

Read article here.

Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome: A case control study investigating risk factors

Beverley Vollenhoven et al. published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology.

Read article here.

Rivaroxaban in treatment refractory heparin-induced thrombocytopenia

Joshua Casan, George Grigoriadis et al. published in BMJ Case Reports.

Read article here.

Novel Approaches to Neonatal Resuscitation and the Impact on Birth Asphyxia

Stuart Hooper et al. published in Clinics in Perinatology.

Read article here.

Cardiovascular Alterations and Multiorgan Dysfunction After Birth Asphyxia

Graeme Polglase et al. published in Clinics in Perinatology.

Read article here.

Autosomal dominant osteopetrosis associated with renal tubular acidosis is due to a CLCN7 mutation

Peter Ebeling et al. published in the American Journal of Medical Genetics.

Read article here.

A tiered multidisciplinary approach to the psychosocial care of adult cancer patients integrated into routine care: the PROMPT study (a cluster-randomised controlled trial)

David Clarke et al. published in Supportive Care in Cancer.

Read article here.

Efficacy of a new technique – INtubate-RECruit-SURfactant-Extubate – “IN-REC-SUR-E” – in preterm neonates with respiratory distress syndrome: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial

Grame Polglase et al. published in Trials.

Read article here.

Impact of Oxygen Levels on Human Hematopoietic Stem and Progenitor Cell Expansion

Abhilasha Tiwari et al. published in Stem Cells and Development.

Read article here.