Monday, 31 October 2016

3MT presentation: Shreya Rana's research into pregnancy

                                                                 PhD student Shreya Rana talks about her research into pregnancy.

Monash researchers recognised for world-leading kidney research

Kim O'Sullivan
For the eighth consecutive year, a member of a kidney research group at the Monash Centre for Inflammatory Diseases and Monash Health has won the highly prestigious Young Investigator Award for basic science at the Australian and New Zealand Society of Nephrology (ANZSN) Annual Scientific Meeting.

Monash University PhD student and research assistant Kim O’Sullivan received the highly competitive award for her research into vasculitis, an autoimmune disease that damages the kidneys, last month at the Asia-Pacific Society of Nephrology in Perth.

Kim presented her findings at the ANZSN Annual Scientific Meeting that an enzyme called deoxyribonuclease 1 (or DNase 1) could be a potential therapeutic in patients with anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA) associated vasculitis. 

“Current treatment options for vasculitis include corticosteroids and chemotherapy drugs. These drugs suppress the immune system and aim to control inflammation, but have very significant side effects,” said senior investigator and Monash Health nephrologist Professor Stephen Holdsworth.

“Kim’s work helps us better understand the mechanism of disease in ANCA vasculitis in order to define specific, less toxic therapies for this disease.”

“Immune cells central to this disease—neutrophils—throw out web-like structures called NETs,” said Professor Holdsworth.

“In infections, these NETs trap bacteria—making them very useful, but in vasculitis they are bad, as they promote inflammation and cause kidney damage.”

“Kim’s work has shown that these NETs are prominent in humans with vasculitis, and she has now found that DNAse 1, a natural enzyme already used to treat humans with other conditions, can effectively limit kidney injury in vasculitis.”

“Finding targeted treatments that produce fewer side-effects and greater quality of life is a key aspect of our work,” said Kim.

Kim said it was very satisfying to have her hard work recognised. 

“Receiving this award made the time spent away from my three children, conducting the experiments, and preparing for the conference worthwhile,” said Kim.

“Being selected as a finalist enabled my research to be heard at a national and international level as the conference was held this year in conjunction with the Asia-Pacific Congress of Nephrology.”

The four finalists in this award were all from Monash University, with Monash Centre for Inflammatory Diseases PhD students Megan Huynh and Sharmilla Ramassur also receiving awards.

Professor Holdsworth said the ongoing success of the Centre for Inflammatory Diseases in kidney research is due both to the intelligent hard-working students in the Centre, as well as the outstanding science being promoted by the Centre’s Chief Investigators.

SCS graduate and Monash Health physician receives 2016 Distinguished Alumni Award

Dr Rupa Kanapathipillai
Former Monash medical student and Monash Health trainee Dr Rupa Kanapathipillai has been awarded the 2016 Distinguished Alumni Award for the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Monash University.

The University acknowledged extraordinary contributions and achievements with awards to 12 Distinguished Alumni, ten Fellowships to outstanding Monash alumni and two Honorary Fellowships to non-Monash graduates at a Graduate ceremony at Clayton last week.

Dr Kanapathipillai graduated MBBS from Monash in 2002, followed by internship and basic physician training at Southern (now Monash) Health, and then completed a Diploma of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine.

She worked for 2 years as Field Doctor/Clinical Research Coordinator for M├ędecins Sans Frontiers HIV program in Malawi, publishing on HIV testing and antiretroviral therapy.

Dr Kanapathipillai returned to complete advanced training in Infectious Diseases at Southern (now Monash) Health and the Alfred Hospital.  She was first author on publications investigating the significance of low level viremia in Asian and Australian HIV cohorts.

After completing a Masters in Public Heath (Epidemiology) at Columbia University, New York, Dr Kanapathipillai was appointed as Editorial Fellow, New England Journal of Medicine, where she made a significant contribution to our understanding of the 2014 Ebola outbreak.

Dr Kanapathipillai is now Infectious Diseases advisor, M├ędecins Sans Frontiers based in New York City and continues working as a visiting Infectious Diseases physician, Monash Infectious Diseases at Monash Health.

Presenting the awards last week, Chancellor Simon McKeon AO said the Alumni had made exceptional contributions in their fields and the stories and successes could only inspire others to make their own impact.

Monash paediatric sleep researchers showcased at ASA conference

PhD student Knarik Tamanyan
Researchers from the Ritchie Centre and Department of Paediatrics attended the Australasian Sleep Association Annual Conference in Adelaide last week. 

The group demonstrated that they are leaders in this field of research with their large number of presentations which showcased the breadth of their research. 

Associate Professor Gillian Nixon, Deputy Director of the Melbourne Children's Sleep Centre gave two plenary talks on the consequences of sleep disordered breathing in children while Professor Rosemary Horne participated in a symposium on cardiorespiratory interactions and the role of sleep, arousal and hypoxia from inutero to adulthood and from bench to bedside. 

The Monash researchers, including postdoctoral fellow Dr Lisa Walter, and students Dr Moya Vandeleur and Ms Knarik Tamanyan presented 7 posters  and 4 oral  presentations.  Knarik (pictured) was awarded a travel grant to attend. Postdoctoral research fellow Dr Sarah Biggs chaired the conference.

Invitation to ALL Monash MBBS alumni: 50th Anniversary gala dinner, 26 November

“Inflammation control by neutrophil inflammasomes”, 3 November

Grand Round Presentation - Oncology Cutting Edge Research “Are Phase 3 trials obsolete?” - 02/11/2016

Unit: Oncology       
Presenters: Dr Prudence Scott
Topic:  “Are Phase 3 trials obsolete?”
Rationally designed targeted therapies to treat cancer have led to unprecedented improvements in treatment outcomes compared with existing standards of care. The resulting demand for earlier access from patients, clinicians and the pharmaceutical industry has led to a paradigm shift in clinical trial design and the evidence required for regulatory approval of medicines.
This has brought challenges and opportunities, and these will be presented, both from a global and Australian perspective, based on what was learnt during nearly 3 years as Director of the Oncology/Haematology Evaluation Unit at the Therapeutic Goods Administration.
Date: Wednesday 2 November 2016
Time: 12.30pm to 1.30pm

Venue: Main Lecture Theatre, Monash Medical Centre, Clayton.

Genomics in the clinic: A workshop for health professionals, 25 November

This one-day workshop on 25 November will assist healthcare professionals to better understand and apply genomic sequencing in clinical practice.
The session will benefit specialist physicians, nurses, allied health workers and health executives with an interest in genomics in healthcare.
The workshop will cover:
*  the principles underlying genetic and genomic sequencing
*  the process of genomic testing (gene panels and whole exome sequencing)
*  the importance of specialty input in variant interpretation and review of variant classification
* resources for researching and interpreting reported variants
* applying genomic results in patient care
Attendance is free for Monash Health staff, as a member organisation of Melbourne Genomics Health Alliance.
Workshop includes morning/afternoon tea, and lunch.
Places are limited. To express your interest in attending, please email:

MCHRI International forum on women's health research- from bench-top to practice, 8 November

Workshop on Shared Medical Appointments, 10 December

You are invited to attend a one day workshop on Friday 10 December on how to deliver Shared Medical Appointments (SMAs).

Traditionally, medical consultations have been carried out in a 1:1 situation; an ‘expert’ (doctor) consulting with one patient. This has served us well, and still does with injuries and infectious diseases. But the rise in chronic diseases with the modernisation of society has dramatically altered the clinical landscape.

Also known as ‘Group Visits’ or ‘Group Medical Appointments’ in the US, an SMA is, “A series of consecutive individual medical consultations in a supportive group setting where all can listen, interact, and learn.” As such an SMA is a both an individual consultation and a group education session.

The minimal ‘team’ for an SMA is a doctor and a trained facilitator. In an SMA, the doctor carries out his/her doctoring, but with other patients watching.  The facilitator introduces the group, writes records and questions on a board, assists the doctor with information, controls the group dynamics, and in some cases writes the medical records.

If we can generate sufficient interest, the workshop will be hosted at MCHRI (at the Monash Health Translation Precint) and conducted in collaboration with the Australian Society of Lifestyle Medicine (ASLM).

Doctors, allied health practitioners, ancillary staff and researchers interested in new models of patient care will benefit from attending.  40 Category 1 points will be available for GPs and allied health CPD points should be available to most other practitioners.

The workshop price is expected to be $440 (inc gst) and includes one year of follow up which is especially relevant for those wishing to be registered as trained in the ASLM SMA protocol.

To express interest in attending this workshop, please contact Jophin Johnson:

Watch a video of an SMA in action at   

Award open for nominations recognising an emerging leader within the healthcare industry (current student or early career professional).

FHL is excited to announce their call for nominations for the inaugural FHL Future Leader Award, sponsored by HESTA.
Tell them how you've contributed to leading positive change in Australian healthcare, and win prizes valued at over $1000!!!
Applications close on the 6th of November.

Applications and questions can be directed to

More information here.

MRO ARC Information Session - Discovery Projects/Discovery Indigenous, 10 November

The Monash Research Office will be holding an information session for researchers intending to apply to the Discovery Projects or Discovery Indigenous rounds early next year.

The information sessions will provide an overview of the ARC Funding Rules, as well as providing advice on funding trends and the features of successful proposals. There will also be an opportunity for you to ask questions and clarify any confusion regarding the Funding Rules, the structure of the proposals or the submission process.

MRO ARC Information Session - DP18/IN18
Thursday, 10 November 2016
Clayton: 16 Rainforest Walk, Room S9
2.00pm - 3:00pm
Please click to REGISTER.

This session will be video linked to:

  • Berwick Boardroom
  • Caulfield VCF (H7.82) 
  • Peninsula VCF (W3.01) 
  • Parkville tbc
  • Hudson Seminar 1. Level 2 TRF Building (10 Nov)
  • Hudson Seminar 3, Level 2 TRF Buidling (22 Nov)
  • Alfred Centre, Boardroom 1

MRO ARC Information Session - DECRA, 22 Nov

The Monash Research Office will be holding an information session for researchers intending to apply to the DECRA in 2017, for funding in 2018.

The information sessions will provide an overview of the ARC Funding Rules, as well as providing advice on funding trends and the features of successful proposals. There will also be an opportunity for you to ask questions and clarify any confusion regarding the Funding Rules, the structure of the proposals or the submission process.

MRO ARC Information Session - DE18
Tuesday, 22 November 2016
Clayton: 16 Rainforest Walk, Room S9
2.00pm - 3:00pm
Please click to REGISTER.

This session will be video linked to:
  • Berwick Boardroom
  • Caulfield VCF (H7.82) 
  • Peninsula VCF (W3.01) 
  • Parkville tbc
  • Hudson Seminar 1. Level 2 TRF Building (10 Nov)
  • Hudson Seminar 3, Level 2 TRF Buidling (22 Nov)
  • Alfred Centre, Boardroom 1

​Please direct all queries to​

Seminar: Applying for US Federal Funding - 24 November 2016

Monash Research Office (MRO) has announced the forthcoming seminar on Applying for US Federal Funding to encourage Monash researchers to apply for international funding.

Date: Thursday 24 November 2016
Time: 11:00am to 12:00pm
Venue:  Lecture Theatre E1, 21 College Walk (formerly Building 32)

Professor Jian Li from the Department of Microbiology, a holder of many large grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) USA, has kindly agreed to share his extensive experience in applying for US funding.

MRO will demonstrate how to go about obtaining information and application forms for the Funding Opportunities available. They will provide tips on completing the application and information about the assistance provided by MRO.

For queries about the seminar, please contact the MRO Research Grants & Contracts team (

Administration Officer (0.8) Professor Kate Loveland

The Administrative Officer will provide a range of secretarial and administrative support services to the Program Co-ordinator, Program Investigators, and students involved in the joint PhD program between Monash University and Justus-Liebig University (JLU)/Giessen, known as the IRTG (International Research & Training Group) in the Molecular Pathogenesis of Male Reproductive Disorders. In addition, you will liaise with the JLU administrative team and work closely with the Monash University administrative team that supports PhD training at the MHTP.

More information and PD is HERE .  How to apply HERE

Training and Development Opportunities

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

Occupational Health & Safety
Breathing Apparatus - 7 November
CPR Refresher - 3 November, 18 November, 30 November, 9 December
Emergency Warden Training - 16 November, 6 December
Ergonomics & Manual Handling - 1 December
Essential OHS (OHS for Managers & Supervisors) - 1 December
First Aid Level 2 - 7 & 8 December
First Aid Management of Anaphylaxis - 28 November
Risk Management & Risk Management Specialised - 12 December
Workplace Safety Inspections - 23 November

Self-care and Wellbeing
Working Parent Resilience Program - 10 November

Performance Management
PD Professional (supervisor training) - 2 December, 6 December
Performance Conversations - 8 December
Writing a Performance Development Plan - 8 November

Staff Development would like to advise that 2016 workshop dates are available on the website.

We are here to support your work and welcome your feedback (

How fat can destroy your liver

Alex Hodge discusses non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).  Read The Sydney Morning Herald article HERE.

Global stroke statistics

Amanda Thrift et al. published in the International Journal of Stroke.

Read article here.

Diagnosis and Management of Deep Vein Thrombosis and Pulmonary Embolism in Pregnancy

Ashwini Bennett and Sanjeev Chunilal published in Seminars in Thrombosis and Hemostastis.

Read article here.

Proanthocyanidins block aldosterone-dependent up-regulation of cardiac gamma ENaC and Nedd4-2 inactivation via SGK1.

Peter Fuller et al. published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry.

Read article here.

Can EEG differentiate among syndromes in genetic generalized epilepsy?

Udaya Seneviratne et al. published in the Journal of Clinical Neurophysiology.

Read article here.

Bacteroides pyogenes causing serious human wound infection from animal bites

Tony Korman et al. published in Anaerobe.

Read article here.

Triage, treatment and transfer of patients with stroke in emergency department trial (the T3 Trial): a cluster randomised trial protocol.

Dominique Cadilhac et al. published in Implementation Science.

Read article here.

Quality of life trajectories after diagnosis of gynecologic cancer: a theoretically based approach

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

Read article here.

Noninvasive CT-Derived FFR Based on Structural and Fluid Analysis

Brian Ko et al. published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Read article here.

BNP, troponin I, and YKL-40 as screening markers in extremely preterm infants at risk for pulmonary hypertension associated with bronchopulmonary dysplasia

Claudia Nold et al. published in the American Journal of Physiology Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology.

Read article here.