Monday, 7 November 2016

3MT presentation - Alexander Rodriguez on osteoporosis

Alexander Rodriguez talks about his research into osteoporosis.

MHTP Research Week 21-25 November

The inaugural MHTP Research Week will showcase the excellent and diverse research from across the precinct, across a wide range of disciplines. The focus on this event is on innovative research areas, sharing knowledge and networking.

From 21-25 November, the MHTP Translational Research Facility will become a centre of activity as our researchers and staff from across the precinct and all partner sites come together to celebrate this year's research achievements.

For more information see:

Please register your attendance here (for catering purposes):

Draft program (Wednesday and Thursday speakers) HERE.  More to come soon.

Monash Imaging: from x-rays in a dark room to saving limbs and lives

Dr Chandra with a stent retriever
The field of radiology has come a long way since Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen’s discovery of X-rays in 1895. Ultrasound and nuclear medicine, computerised tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are all commonplace techniques that aid in the diagnosis of disease.

What is not commonly known is that radiologists now do far more than sit in a dark room interpreting images and writing reports for other doctors.

Many of the Monash Imaging radiologists
(Prof Stuckey front, centre)
Monash University’s Dr Ronil Chandra is an interventional radiologist at Monash Imaging, the largest academic imaging department in Australia.  Monash Imaging is also unique with its own university department, at Monash University’s School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health.

Dr Chandra did his medical training in Melbourne, before specialising in radiology at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston and Harvard Medical School.   Having trained and worked with some of the world’s best radiologists, Dr Chandra believes the imaging services provided at Monash Health are as good as anywhere in the world.

 “We do amazing work here but very few people know about it,” says Director, Monash Imaging at Monash Health and Head of Department of Imaging at Monash University, Professor Stephen Stuckey.

“We have more than 430 staff including radiologists, imaging technologists, nurses and support staff who support, perform or interpret over 325,000 imaging examinations every year at Monash Imaging—and we also publish over 50 peer-reviewed papers annually, making us one of the most academically productive imaging departments in the country.”

“More than half of all Monash Health Emergency Department patients and almost all patients admitted to our hospitals are serviced by our Department of Imaging,” says Professor Stuckey.

There are a number of sub-specialists in the Monash Imaging team, including nine specialist interventional radiologists.  When not interpreting an image, interventional radiologists may be found inserting a stent into a patient’s brain to remove a blood clot or to treat a brain aneurysm.

Professor Stuckey says interventional radiologists use minimally invasive techniques to treat patients for a range of conditions including cancer, stroke, brain aneurysms and spinal injuries.

”We navigate the body’s natural highways to stop a bleed in the brain, remove a blood clot or to deliver chemotherapeutic agents directly to a cancer site,” says Dr Chandra. “Recent advances in imaging technology are driving this rapid change in clinical practice.”

“Five years ago, a standard CT scan for an emergency patient with acute stroke had fewer than 100 images—now standard CT imaging contains 3000 images,” says Dr Chandra.  “Radiologists need to analyse those images extremely fast to determine the best treatments.”

Radiologists are critical members of the medical team, facilitating rapid diagnosis of cause of illness with imaging techniques, and are increasingly integrated into treatment paradigms using minimally invasive interventional radiology techniques,” he says.

“Our team has become so clinical we see patients in clinic, do ward rounds in ICU and run infusions in the ICU.”

“The reality these days is patients don’t always have a surgeon—they have an interventional radiologist.”

In recognition of their expertise, Monash Medical Centre has recently been designated the second endovascular clot retrieval site in Victoria, with the largest patient catchment area.

“Stroke patients arriving at Monash Medical Centre are met by a multidisciplinary team of specialists including interventional radiologists and stroke physicians, who aim to remove a clot from a patient’s brain in under 60 minutes,” says Dr Chandra.

“We remove clots by inserting a stent retriever into the femoral artery in the patient’s groin and navigating up the neck and into the head.”

“Patients come in unable to speak or move, and as soon as we pull out the clot, they’ve recovered.  Their paralysis is gone.”

“The bottom line is we convert these patients from severe stroke to no stroke or mild stroke, and then they recover,” says Dr Chandra.

Before these techniques were available, patients either died or were left significantly disabled— these minimally invasive techniques not only save lives but patients are usually eligible to go home after 24-48 hours.

Dr Chandra says that while the procedures are costly, the economic benefit to the community is enormous.

“We’re saving on rehabilitation costs and reducing nursing home admissions. Most importantly, we’re returning people back to their families and back to normal life—that is priceless.”

International Day of Radiology is 8 November, the anniversary of Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen’s discovery of X-rays in 1895.

Monash research findings about aspirin safety for heart patients presented at EACTS

Professor Julian Smith presented his recent The New England Journal of Medicine findings about aspirin and coronary artery bypass surgery at the European Association For Cardiothoracic Surgery (EACTS) Meeting in Barcelona last month.

Head of Department of Surgery at the School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health, Professor Smith and his colleagues showed that patients who take aspirin before heart surgery are at no greater risk of bleeding or complications.

“Many patients with coronary artery disease are taking aspirin for primary or secondary prevention of myocardial infarction, stroke and death,” said Professor Smith.
“Aspirin taken at the time of coronary artery bypass surgery (CABG) creates a potential risk of excessive bleeding.”

“To date, there has been a lack of evidence as to whether or not aspirin should be ceased prior to CABG and traditionally most centres tended to withhold aspirin for 5 to 7 days in the lead up to CABG,” said Professor Smith.

The collaborative multi-centre international study (19 hospitals in five countries) was conducted to investigate whether stopping or continuing aspirin before CABG posed more risks or benefits. 

The study, as part of the Aspirin and Tranexamic Acid for Coronary Artery Surgery (ATACAS) trial, randomly assigned 2100 patients scheduled for CABG and at risk for post-operative complications to receive aspirin or placebo and tranexamic acid or placebo.

Professor Smith said the patients were randomly assigned to receive 100mg of aspirin or a matched placebo preoperatively.

“The 100mg dose was deemed to have the strongest evidence of preventative efficacy (at least in nonsurgical settings) balanced against a low risk of bleeding complications.”

“The primary outcome measure was a composite of death and thrombotic complications (nonfatal myocardial infarction, stroke, pulmonary embolism, renal failure, or intestinal infarction) within 30 days following surgery,” said Professor Smith.

The researchers concluded for patients undergoing CABG that the administration of aspirin preoperatively neither lowered the risk of death or thrombotic complications nor raised the risk of bleeding compared with placebo.

“Significantly, our study shows for the first time that there is no reason to cease aspirin prior to CABG, although an important caveat to this recommendation is for patients with a pre-existing bleeding disorder or possessing other major risk factors for bleeding,” said Professor Smith.

Dr Padma Murthi receives fellowship from Ferring Pharmaceuticals

Congratulations to Dr Padma Murthi from The Ritchie Centre who has received a one-year fellowship from Ferring Pharmaceuticals, worth $US 96,000 ($AU 125,000).

Dr Murthi is currently looking at signaling pathways that regulate placental vascular functions in fetal growth restriction and preeclampsia.

This fellowship will allow Dr Murthi to identify a therapeutic target to improve placental vascular functions in preeclampsia, a serious medical complication of pregnancy affecting 5 to 10 per cent of all pregnancies in Australia.

Leading epidemiologist recognised with promotion at Monash University

Dr Monique Kilkenny
Congratulations Dr Monique Kilkenny on her recent promotion to Senior Research Fellow, Translational Public Health and Evaluation Division in the Stroke and Ageing Research Group, School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health.

An epidemiologist and National Health and Medical Research Council ECR Fellow, Dr Kilkenny is responsible for the management and analysis of large data associated with stroke research.

“While I only completed my PhD in 2015, I have ten years’ experience in stroke public health and I’ve worked as an epidemiologist with large and complex data for more than 20 years,” said Dr Kilkenny.

Dr Kilkenny is considered an emerging leader amongst Australian stroke researchers and her research has guided policy directions for improved stroke prevention and quality of care initiatives by the Stroke Foundation and state government stroke clinical networks.

“Currently, I’m leading the analysis of the Stroke123 linked data, the first time a national linked dataset has been available in Australia to explore the continuum of stroke care (emergency presentations and admissions) including information before and after stroke onset,” said Dr Kilkenny.

Before moving to the field of stroke, Dr Kilkenny worked in Australia and overseas on national and international projects related to diseases at birth, dermatology and cancer.  

“This promotion recognises my significant national and international experience in research, and as a leading epidemiologist in Australia,” said Dr Kilkenny.

Dr Kilkenny acknowledges and thanks her supervisor Associate Professor Dominique Cadilhac and her mentor Professor Amanda Thrift for their ongoing support and guidance.

Dr Kilkenny has published 46 peer-reviewed publications and 39 government and non-government reports on the quality of hospital care and outcomes for patients with stroke and the impact of stroke risk factor screening programs.

Gareth Gregory on ABC news

Video link
Haematologist Dr Gareth Gregory on ABC TV news, discussing his world first clinical trial to treat lymphoma patients.  Watch video here:

Mind the (gender) gap - RACP podcast

Gender equity in medicine is a perennial issue. While more than half of all medical students and trainees are women, they make up only about 30 percent of registered physicians. When it comes to clinical leadership positions it’s down to single digits, and medicine’s gender pay gap is worse than that of other industries.

Listen to this RACP podcast HERE, including guest presenters Prof Helena Teede and Dr Elizabeth Sigston from Monash Health Translation Precinct (MHTP).

SCS Social Club Xmas lunch, 2 December

Invitation to med_hack, 28-29 November

med_hack is a Melbourne healthcare technology hackathon being held on 28-29 November 2016 at General Assembly. We invite professionals in healthcare to meet and collaborate with those in fields related to technology (software and hardware) as well as entrepreneurs. The newly formed teams comprised of these diverse skillsets will get to dream up and create innovative health projects in a 2 day sprint. med_hack has amazing speakers (including Telstra's Chief Scientist Hugh Bradlow), healthtech workshops, and big prizes including $1000 for the winning team as well as entry into a medical incubator by MedTech's Got Talent

Applications close soon at with early applicants being prioritised. For more information, see


Date: 28-29 November
Place: General Assembly @ 12a/45 William St, Melbourne

Grand Round - Cutting Edge Research Presentation - Haematology- 9 Nov 2016

Unit: Haematology            
Presenters: Dr Sumi Ratnasingam
Topic:  “Bortezomib - based antibody depletion for refractory autoimmune haematological diseases”
Date: Wednesday 9 November 2016
Time: 12.30pm to 1.30pm

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

"Characterisation of Innate-like T cells" Thursday 10 Nov

This week's Hudson Seminar will be held from 12-1 pm, Thursday 10 Nov,  Lecture Theatre 1, Monash Medical Centre.

Our speaker will be Dr Daniel Pellicci, Group Leader, Molecular Biology, Structural Biology, PhD Immunology, University of Melbourne.
Light refreshments to follow presentation outside the Lecture Theatre.

Dr. Daniel Pellicci is a NHMRC Early Career Research Fellow at the University of Melbourne, Department of Microbiology and Immunology. Daniel is a T cell immunologist who specialises in the study of Innate-like T cells, including CD1d-restricted Natural Killer T (NKT) cells, other CD1-restricted T cells and Mucosal-Associated Invariant T (MAIT) cells. His research is supported by the NHMRC and is focused on understanding how these T cells develop, how they recognise antigens and their role in the immune system.

2016 Kaarene Fitzgerald Annual Public Lecture, 5 Dec

7-9pm Monday 5th December, Lecture Theatre 1, Monash Medical Centre

Each year the Ritchie Centre host the Kaarene Fitzgerald public lecture to honour the work that Kaarene did during her lifetime in establishing SIDS and Kids and playing such a pivotal role in reducing the incidence of SIDS both nationally and internationally.
This year we are delighted to have Dr Rita Machaalani from University of Sydney and Children's Hospital, Westmead.  We are also thrilled to have two members from the Ritchie Centre, Dr Miranda Davies-Tuck and Dr Emily Cohen.

MHTP Research Week breakfast 24 November

MRO ARC Information Session - DECRA

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.

Please disseminate the details via your usual communication channels.

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

Graduate Research Supervisor Symposium, 18 November

Professor Zlatko Skrbis, Vice Provost (Graduate Education) Monash University, invites you and your colleagues to this year’s Supervisor Symposium on 18 November:

This is a date which will cap off the research supervisor development programme we have run in 2016. The day’s sessions will be driven by two themes: supervision excellence and industry engagement. The morning’s keynote will be delivered by Ian Chubb AC; after lunch, Ben Eggleton will deliver the address on the importance of growing relationships with partners outside of universities.

Panels will be conducted immediately after each of the keynotes and we have invited award-winning supervisors from other universities to join with our own respected and decorated academics to lead participant discussions during those sessions.

Attendance of the day’s sessions will be recognised towards Level 2 supervisor accreditation, but I would like to encourage supervisors of all levels of experience to participate in the day’s events as I know that they will find them of genuine value. A lunch is being organised to ensure we all have a chance to debrief big ideas and catch up with colleagues from the other faculties.

The Symposium’s website is up and running and contains guest bios, a programme and a registration page for the day. The address for the site is:

Parkville career forum, 18 November

Friday 18 November, 3.30-5pm

Lecture Theatre 2, Building 1, 381 Royal Parade, Parkville


PhD opportunity in epidemiology

We are looking for outstanding candidates to undertake PhD studies in the field of epidemiology. This PhD research will be based at Synergy in the Department of Psychiatry at Monash University. The Project is a longitudinal population study of recently arrived refugees to identify risk and protective factors for mental health and other outcomes.

For more information:  

2016 End of Year HR Deadlines and Key HR Contacts

Important dates are as follows:

The University and all university services will be closed from 22 December 2016 - 2 January 2017 (inclusive)

11am Friday 9 December 2016 - requests must be submitted to your HR Business Partner/HR Adviser prior to this.
Please liaise with Nevasha Wood or Renee Kemp if you have any upcoming recruitment activity for this year to ensure the above deadline will be met.

Last pay in 2016 - Saturday 17 December
Electronic timesheets must be approved by 5pm on Monday 12 December

Second last pay in 2016 - Thursday 8 December
Electronic timesheets must be approved by 5pm on Thursday 1 December
Contact Access HR on 990 20400 or for any timesheet related queries.

Last pay in 2016 - Saturday 17 December
All payroll requests must be received by 11am on Wednesday 14 December

Second last pay in 2016 - Thursday 8 December
All payroll requests must be received by 11am on Thursday 1 December
Contact Access HR on 990 20400 or for any payroll related queries.

Scheme opened 2 November 2016 and opt-in for the 2017 scheme via ESS by Friday 16 December 2016

Contact Access HR on 9902-0400 or for any leave related queries

We are looking for participants to take part in a Carnosine supplementation trial

ü  A pre-diabetic OR have type 2 diabetes (diet-controlled or taking Metformin)
ü  Aged between 30 and 60 years of age
ü  Someone with no significant weight change in the last 6 months or have no intention to lose weight in the next 3 months
ü  Not taking other regular medications
ü  Someone with no significant diseases that require treatment
ü  A non-smoker, non-drug user, non-high alcohol intake
ü  Not lactating, pregnant or planning to be in next 4-6 months
ü  Living in Melbourne

ü  $100 visa card or gift card of your choice as a token of appreciation
ü  Free Diabetes and Cardiovascular risk assessment
ü  Free body fat and muscle assessment (around $200 value)
ü  Free Fibroscan to assess condition of your liver
ü  Free routine blood tests
ü  Free cognitive tests

For further information, or to take part, please contact:
Monash Centre for Health Research and Implementation
Tel: 0385722629 or

(This study has approval from the Monash Health Human Research Ethics Committee–Project Number 16061A).

Exploring the benefits of a stroke telemedicine programme: An organisational and societal perspective

Dominique Cadilhac et al. published in the Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare.

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.

Human amnion epithelial cells protect against white matter brain injury after repeated endotoxin exposure in the preterm ovine fetus

Tamara Yawno et al. published in Cell Transplantation.

Read article here.

Two-Year Outcomes of High Bleeding Risk Patients after Polymer-Free Drug-Coated Stents

Ian Meredith et al. published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Read article here.

Glucocorticoid-Induced Leucine Zipper Protein Controls Macropinocytosis in Dendritic Cells

Eric Morand et al. published in the Journal of Immunology.

Read article here.

Benefits of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons Scholarship Program highlighted

Julian Smith published in the ANZ Journal of Surgery.

Read article here.

Improving clean-catch contamination rates: A prospective interventional cohort study

Simon Craig et al. published in Emergency Medicine Australasia.

Read article here.

Selection of internal control genes for analysis of gene expression in normal and diseased human dermal fibroblasts using quantitative real-time PCR

Peter Temple-Smith et al. published in Experimental Dermatology.

Read article here.

A qualitative study of attachment relationships in ASD during middle childhood

Kylie Gray et al. published in Attachment and Human Development.

Read article here.

Connective tissue diseases: Remission in SLE — are we there yet?

Eric Morand published in Nature Reviews Rheumatology.

Read article here.

Evaluating the Efficacy of the “Support for Life” Program for People with Dementia and Their Families and Carers’ to Enable Them to Live Well: A Protocol for a Cluster Stepped Wedge Randomized Controlled Trial

Joanne Enticott et al. published in Frontiers in Public Health.

Read article here.