Monday, 21 November 2016

3MT presentation: Amy Wilson presents her work on ovarian cancer

MHTP Research Week and Poster Display

Welcome to MHTP Research Week.

MHTP Research Week Program is HERE.   More details HERE.   

MHTP Research Week posters will be displayed over 2 sessions.  
Session 1 – 8.30am Monday 21st November to 5.00pm Tuesday 22nd November.
Session 2 – 8.30am Wednesday 23rd November to 8.00am Friday 25th November.

Posters will be displayed in the following areas:
TRF Building Level 7 Boardroom
TRF Building Level 7 Foyer
TRF Building Bridge Level 3
Monash Health Art Space outside Lecture Theatre 3
Monash Health Meeting Place
(Please note the Meeting Space is located in Monash Health outside Lecture Theatre 2).

 Session 1 - 8.30am Monday 21st November to 5.00pm Tuesday 22nd November
Child Health & Neonatal Health
TRF Building Level 7 Boardroom & Meeting Place  
Diabetes, Obesity, Men’s Health & Endocrinology
TRF Building Level 7 Foyer & LinkbBridge
Mental Health & Neurosciences
TRF Building Level 7 Foyer
TRF Building Level 7 Boardroom
TRF Building Level 7 Boardroom
Allied Health
Monash Health Art Space outside Lecture Theatre 3
TRF Building Linkbridge Level 3
 Session 2 - 8.30am Wednesday 23rd November to 8.30am Friday 25th November
Public Health and Health Service
TRF Building Level 7 Boardroom & Monash Health Art Space outside Lecture Theatre 3
Cardiovascular Disease
TRF Building Level 7 Boardroom & Linkbridge Level 3
Inflammatory & Infectious Diseases
TRF Building Level 7 Foyer
Women’s Health
TRF Building Level 7 Foyer & Linkbridge Level 3
Nursing & Midwifery
Monash Health Meeting Place
TRF Building Linkbridge Level 3  

Renowned neuroscientist joins MHTP

Dr Rachel Hill
The School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health (SCS) welcomes NHMRC Career Development Fellow Dr Rachel Hill, who has recently joined the Department of Psychiatry.

A former laboratory head and senior research officer at the Florey Institute, Dr Hill is head of the Behavioural Neuroscience laboratory, Department of Psychiatry.

“I moved to the Monash Health Translation Precinct (MHTP) because of the unique opportunity to merge our preclinical animal model work with clinical work from Professor Suresh Sundram's laboratory—all in the one translational facility,” said Dr Hill.

“This new molecular psychiatry division developed by Professor Sundram will see discovery neuroscientists working together with psychiatrists to develop effective treatment strategies for mental health disorders.”

Psychiatric disorders are thought to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental disturbances or ‘risk-factors’.

“Our laboratory models these risk factors in mice to understand at the molecular, physiological and behavioural level how these disturbances contribute to mental health.  We use a number of different techniques, including genetic manipulation, mouse behavioural testing, molecular biology, in vivo electrophysiology and human clinical studies.”

Dr Hill said her collaborative research team endeavours to provide the most optimal treatment strategy for people with a mental illness.

As well as utilising the state-of-the-art core facilities located at MHTP, the behavioural neuroscience laboratory are developing a new behavioural facility at Monash Health with highly innovative touchscreen based cognitive testing units for mice. This facility will also be available for other MHTP researchers.

“As new researchers to MHTP with interests in neuroinflammation, prenatal brain development, and genetic contributions to mental health disorders, we are eager to collaborate and welcome any aligning interests in our research,” said Dr Hill.

Dr Hill can be contacted at

Monash researcher and neonatologist awarded PhD

Associate Professor Arvind Sehgal
Congratulations Monash Children’s Hospital neonatologist Associate Professor Arvind Sehgal on the recently completion of his PhD at Monash University’s Department of Paediatrics.

A neonatal consultant at Monash Newborn, Associate Professor Sehgal’s thesis examined the clinical and research applications of functional echocardiography in neonatal intensive care.

Associate Professor Sehgal’s thesis was based on his 24 peer-reviewed journal publications as first author, linked together with a common theme.

“My PhD outlines clinical concepts that are frequently encountered in neonatal intensive care units worldwide,” said Associate Professor Sehgal.

“My thesis generates many hypotheses that would be of value for future investigation in the field of neonatal cardiovascular physiology and pathophysiology.”

Some of the specific applications Associate Professor Sehgal addressed include assignment of haemodynamic significance and the role of ductal disease staging; vascular and cardiac maladaptation in infants with intrauterine growth restriction; bronchopulmonary dysplasia and its effects on cardiac and vascular function and the role of newer imaging modalities such as speckle tracking echocardiography.

Associate Professor Sehgal said that understanding post-surgical duct ligation haemodynamics enables the provision of focussed physiology driven peri-operative care of sick infants.

“The chapter I wrote on bronchopulmonary dysplasia detailed new thinking, based on which new life saving therapies have been initiated.”

Associate Professor Sehgal said Monash Health and Monash University had been very supportive throughout the duration of his PhD and the review process.

“Monash Newborn, Monash Health is a busy perinatal unit and the majority of my publications were based on work done here,” said Associate Professor Sehgal.

Associate Professor Sehgal thanks and acknowledges Professor Nick Freezer, Program Director, Women’s & Children’s Program, Monash Health and Head, Department of Paediatrics, Monash University, who supervised his thesis and provided constant support and guidance.

SCS student receives Rhodes Scholarship

Lewis Fry
Congratulations Lewis Fry who has been awarded a New Zealand 2017 Rhodes Scholarship.

A Monash University MBBS final year student, Lewis completed his Bachelor of Medical Science (Hons) in 2015.  

Lewis will use the prestigious scholarship to study a DPhil in Clinical Neuroscience at the University of Oxford, with a focus on diseases of the retina.

“Visual loss and blindness have a huge impact on a person’s quality of life and independence and for many people with conditions like macular degeneration or inherited retinal diseases, there are few treatments to restore vision or prevent its loss,” said Lewis.

“My research will focus on our understanding of emerging therapies for these conditions.”

Beyond Oxford, Lewis hopes to pursue further clinical training as an ophthalmologist in addition to working in basic science research.

“As we pursue advancing therapies in medicine I see a huge role for the clinician-scientist who can act as a bridge between scientists, doctors, engineers, patients and the commercial world.”

Lewis said he is very excited to be given this life-changing opportunity.

“This experience will not only provide invaluable skills and challenges, but will continue to shape me as a person. It is humbling to see how other scholars have achieved and contributed in the past, and it is a nervous privilege to follow in their footsteps.”

Lewis acknowledges the many people who have helped guide him on his path.

“SCS was instrumental in giving me a fantastic place to start clinical medicine and I particularly thank Associate Professor Sally Ayoub and the SCS team for creating such a supportive environment, and Professor Michelle Leech for being a role model in how to lead as a teacher, researcher and by the bedside.”

“This opportunity would not be possible had I not been encouraged by lecturers at SCS to take a BMedSc(Hons) year,” said Lewis.

2016 Year 3 MBBS wrap-up

School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health
 2016 Year 3 MBBS Group Leaders
By Nicola Abel, Curriculum Implementation, SCS

Friday 4th November saw the final day of studies for the 2016 cohort of Year 3 MBBS students.   It’s a long and challenging year for these students as they transition from campus-based learner to clinical life and begin the transformation from student to young doctor. 

The School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health sends its warmest congratulations and best wishes to the class of 2016, and looks forward to great exam results across the School.   

In particular we’d like to acknowledge the following prize winners:
·         Michelle Leech Academic Excellence Award:  David Liu
·         Shaun Summers Y3 Award: Jennifer Wang
·         Academic Excellence Staff Award:  Debbie Siew, Sam Schlegel
·         Clinical Skills Award:  Sabrina Yeh (MMC),  Anh Truong (Dandenong) and Michael Cahill (Casey)

The home-based learning offered in Year 3 ensures friendships are made and cemented throughout the year, and for many students lifelong friendships are created during Year 3.  They now all have well-deserved breaks over the summer, and then back again next February to begin Year 4. 

Take a look at these faces.  Within a few short years they will be your PhD candidates, your interns, and your colleagues.

Leadership training opportunity for SCS Women in senior academic and staff positions

Do you aspire to a leadership position but not sure what it entails? The Women’s Leadership Shadowing Program at MHTP prepares and encourages women working in senior academic medicine for leadership roles.

The Women’s Leadership Shadowing Program at MHTP will:
  • ·         elevate your profile with senior University management staff
  • ·         allow you to observe different management and meeting styles
  • ·      enable you to become familiar with the range of tasks in which the SCS leadership team members engage
  • ·      provide you with a group of female staff who have knowledge of key leadership positions and who are motivated to seek leadership roles

Mirroring the Monash University program for senior women, those considered eligible for the Women’s Leadership Shadowing Program at MHTP are at or beyond a senior lecturer/mid-career researcher level.

Interested applicants are asked to provide evidence of current leadership, leadership potential and career goals in a single pdf document consisting of a 1 page cover letter and a 2-3 page curriculum vitae. This will enable leaders and shadows to be suitably matched by senior members of the SCS Women in Medicine and Science Working Group. 

Specific leaders may be requested, but pairings are not guaranteed.

Closing date for applications: 30th November 2016.

Send applications addressed to: SCS WIMS Working Group to:

CID and CiiiD joint seminar: CXCR5(+) follicular cytotoxic T cells control viral infection in B cell follicles, Tues 22 November

12 - 1pm, 22 November, Seminar Room 1, Level 2, TRF Building

Presented by Dr Di Yu
Head of Laboratory for Molecular Immunomodulation
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
and Department of Medicine, Monash University

Dr. Yu and his team are investigating the molecular mechanisms of T cells that regulate the competence and the balance of immune responses, with the aim to design new strategies to modulate the immune system to treat autoimmune disease, infection and cancer. His research is published in journals including Nature, Nature Immunology, Nature Medicine and Immunity. He is a recipient of the New Investigator Award from the Australasian Society for Immunology, and the International Research Award from the Australian Society for Medical Research, and the Excellence Award from the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council.

During unresolved infections, some viruses escape immunological control and establish a persistent reservoir in certain cell types, such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which persists in follicular helper T cells (TFH cells), and Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), which persists in B cells. Here we identified a specialized group of cytotoxic T cells (TC cells) that expressed the chemokine receptor CXCR5, selectively entered B cell follicles and eradicated infected TFH cells and B cells. The differentiation of these cells, which we have called ‘follicular cytotoxic T cells (TFC cells), required the transcription factors Bcl6, E2A and TCF-1 but was inhibited by the transcriptional regulators Blimp1, Id2 and Id3. Blimp1 and E2A directly regulated Cxcr5 expression and, together with Bcl6 and TCF-1, formed a transcriptional circuit that guided TFC cell development. The identification of TFC cells has far-reaching implications for the development of strategies to control infections that target B cells and TFH cells and to treat B cell–derived malignancies.

A light lunch is served prior to the seminar at 11:45am in the seminar room foyer, level 2, TRF Building.

Further information, including the link to add the seminar series to your google calendar, is available from CID Weekly Seminar Series website []

Seminar Postponed: Applying for US Federal Funding - 24 November 2016

The MRO Seminar - Applying for US Federal Funding on 24 November 2016 has been postponed to 2017 due to the unavailability of a suitable venue with video conferencing facilities.

At this stage, MRO plans to have the seminar rescheduled in the first half of 2017.  An update will be circulated as soon as arrangements are in place.

PhD Confirmation of Candidature, Lydia Cvejic, 23 Nov

Staff and students are invited to Lydia Cvejic's PhD Confirmation of Candidature, Wednesday 23 November, 2pm-3pm
Level 2 Lecture Theatre 3, Monash Medical Centre, Clayton
Description: Aspiration during swallowing in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): prevalence and association with disease outcomes. The aim of my PhD is to determine if there is an increased prevalence of aspiration during liquid swallows and if there are adverse respiratory outcomes associated with aspiration in COPD.
Supervisors: Prof Philip Bardin and Dr Paul King; Panel chair: Prof Richard Kitching; Independent assessors: Dr Alistair Miller (Monash Health, Monash University) and Dr Christopher Worsnop (Austin Health, University of Melbourne).

MHTP technical seminar: A data driven approach to research in the precision medicine era, 2 Dec

Friday 2nd December 10-11am, TRF Building, Level 2, Seminar Room 2

Presenter: Professor Jack London
Thomas Jefferson University and Sidney KimmellCancer Center

Jack London, PhD, is a Research Professor of Cancer Biology at Thomas Jefferson University, and Informatics Director at Jefferson’s Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center.He has been engaged for over 40 years in biomedical informatics research in the domains of bioinformatics, medical informatics, and health care information technology. This work has encompassed: computer simulation of biochemical systems, radiology image archiving and communications systems (PACS), hospital information, clinical trials management and telemedicine systems, and tissue banking applications. His focus in recent years has been on pathology and research data analytics (warehouse, data mining). A current project integrates clinical, biospecimen, genomic, and cancer registry data to support researchers in hypothesis generation and cohort definition, including predicting patient accrual to proposed clinical trials. He has served on a number of NIH study sections, and is a member of the i2b2 Foundation board of advisors and the Cancer Informatics for Cancer Centers (CI4CC) organization leadership.


FMNHS LabArchives Competition - Win an Apple iPad!

What do I have to do?

Submit a creative poster on some cool future development to the LabArchives platform that you would like to see implemented in 2017! 
Possible developments may include:
·  Potential integrations (i.e., systems, platforms)
·  Inventive Widgets
·  Solutions for better efficiency
·  Important problems/bugs that require work
·  Possible solutions to any issues
·  New features

·  You must be an active LabArchives User (at least 2 months)
·  You must be a current graduate research student within FMNHS

Poster specifications
·  A2 size
·  Can be portrait or landscape
·  Readable font style and size
·  Relevant pictures/diagrams/designs are welcome
·  Final poster must be submitted in PDF format

Closing date

Wednesday 21 December 2016, 11:55pm

Email your poster in PDF format to

The winner will be announced at the end of January 2017!

If you have any queries, please email

Charity fundraiser gig featuring Dr Jim Harris, 26 November

Come and hear our very own Jim Harris (Chief Investigator, Lupus and Arthritis Research Group and drummer in 70s/80s cover band, Rustbucket).

Jim's band is also playing at the Bell Tavern, Belgrave on Saturday 26 November, 9pm-midnight.

Participants sought: chlorhexidine allergy survey

Dr Sara Barnes (in conjunction with Infection
Control and Deakin Nursing) is conducting
a study on chlorhexidine allergy in
clinical and non-clinical health care
workers to try and ascertain the true
sensitisation rate.
All staff at Monash Health Translation Precinct are invited
to participate.  
The 10 minute survey link is HERE

Electrical testing and tagging

Electrical contractors have begun annual testing and tagging across the Hudson and SCS buildings, and will continue for the next several weeks. 

Please accommodate them as far as possible and ensure your work areas are safe and accessible.

If you have any issues please contact