Monday, 15 May 2017

Monash Health recruits first patient in Australia to prostate cancer clinical trial

Associate Professor Arun Azad
The first Australian to be recruited to a new prostate cancer clinical trial is a Monash Health patient.

Led by Associate Professor Arun Azad, Head of Medical Oncology Clinical Trials at the Monash Health Translation Precinct (MHTP), the PROfound trial examines the benefit of a new drug, olaparib, that targets the PARP gene (a gene involved in repairing DNA) in advanced prostate cancer.

“PARP inhibitors work by inhibiting a key DNA damage repair pathway in prostate cancer cells,” Associate Professor Azad said.

“Approximately 20% of advanced prostate cancer patients harbour a DNA repair gene mutation that makes them very sensitive to the effects of PARP inhibitors.”

The same mutations can be present in breast and ovarian cancer, for which olaparib is already approved and in the clinic.

“We know that advanced prostate cancer patients with a DNA repair gene mutation have really bad outcomes,” Associate Professor Azad said.

“However, the use of PARP inhibitors allows us to take advantage of these mutations for the benefit of patients. We hope that these drugs will eventually become available in the clinic for advanced prostate cancer patients, pending the success of trials such as PROfound.”

The PROfound clinical trial is being conducted at the state-of-the-art Clinical Trial Centre at the Monash Health Translation Precinct.   

Associate Professor Azad is a Senior Research Fellow at Monash University and Consultant Medical Oncologist at Monash Health.

MHTP neurosurgical research groups makes mark in Milan

The Monash Health Translation Precinct (MHTP) neurosurgical research group made their mark at the prestigious Global Spine Congress in Milan earlier this month.

Five abstracts from MHTP were accepted at scientific meeting, the only international Spine Congress of its kind in the world, and all will be published in the Global Spine Journal.

“The Department of Surgery at Monash Health neurosurgical research group has both basic science and clinical divisions,” said Monash University’s Associate Professor Tony Goldschlager.

“Basic science research is performed jointly through the Hudson Institute of Medical Research and the Department of Surgery, School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health (SCS).”

Associate Professor Goldschlager said the Monash neurosurgical team, comprising of doctors, Masters and PhD candidates, were honoured to have had five abstracts accepted at the prestigious Global Spine meeting in Milan.

“Two abstracts were on stem cell mediated repair of the intervertebral disc, following microdisectomy—a technique that our team pioneered and shows promise in revolutionising one of the most common operations performed,” said Associate Professor Goldschlager.

“One abstract was on novel high resolution radiological analysis of the intervertebral disc, a project performed together with Monash Biomedical Imaging while another focused clinically on microdisectomy and its postoperative care, an area in which we are currently conducting a clinical trial.”

“The final abstract was on predicting success of a new minimally invasive surgical technique that we utilise, and the study showed positive results.”

The abstracts included four podium presentations by MHTP neurosurgical resident Dr Teddy Lim and neurosurgical registrars Dr Chris Daly and Dr Reece Sher as part of their PhD and Masters respectively. There was also a poster. 

SCS medical student’s research sheds light on commonly overdosed drug, quietiapine

Lucy Taylor
Monash University final year medical student Lucy Taylor was recognised for her outstanding research, winning best poster presentation at the Australian clinical toxicology conference last month in Melbourne.

The School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health student presented her research into quetiapine overdose at the TAPNA Toxicology and Poisons Network Australia (TAPNA) Scientific meeting.

Lucy completed her BMedSc(Hons) last year at SCS in the toxicology unit, where she examined the association of extended-release quetiapine overdose with delayed development of peak toxicity and prolonged recovery when compared to immediate-release quetiapine.

Quetiapine is one of the most common antipsychotic agents taken in deliberate self poisoning. During the time period of Lucy’s study, 8.8% of all referrals made to the Monash Health toxicology service involved quietiapine.

“My study involved a retrospective analysis of the clinical outcomes for patients presenting to Monash Health Emergency Departments with quetiapine overdoses, comparing the clinical outcomes for those who took quetiapine immediate release and quetiapine extended release in overdose,” Lucy said. 

“The results of our study will help inform clinicians on the expected course and management of patients presenting with quetiapine poisoning.”

“In particular we defined the clinical outcomes of extended release quetiapine for the first time, and our research suggests that an absence of sedation or tachycardia 12 hours post ingestion is a reasonable time frame to rule out significant poisoning.”

With a keen interest in emergency medicine, Lucy said she learnt a lot at the conference and her experience has encouraged her to continue pursuing research as part of her future career.

Lucy said she is very grateful to Professor Andis Graudins, Associate Professor Robert Meek and the Toxicology unit at Monash Emergency for their expert guidance and support during her BMedSci year, as well as their continued support of her project.

Oustanding SCS student achievement recognised at Faculty Awards Ceremony

Hannah Clark
Congratulations to the following SCS Obstetrics & Gynaecology students who were recognised for their outstanding academic achievement at the student award ceremony at the Australian Synchrotron last month.

Carl Wood Prize - Rohan Khanal
Queen Victoria Medical Centre Prize - Hannah Clark

RANZCOG Women's Health Award - Nicole Carter

Rohan Khanal

Nicole Carter

Monash Nutrition Clinic available

The Centre for Inflammatory Diseases Day of Immunology, 17 May 2017

The Monash University Centre for Inflammatory Diseases at Monash Health is opening its doors for International Day of Immunology.  Go behind the scenes and meet the researchers…
Everyone welcome - Monash University staff, Monash Health staff, students, high school students, patients and their family/friends.
o    Attendees under the age of 15 years must be accompanied by an adult
o    Attendees must wear closed footwear for Laboratory Discovery Tours
·         Enquiries:
o    Email:
o    Phone: 03 85722602
·         Program (3.2 MB Pdf)

Details at CID Day of Immunology 2017
Public Lecture: Hear about the latest developments in  
·         How the immune system works
·         Preventable Pandemics (2017 Melbourne Day of Immunology Theme)
·         Overview of the Centre’s research developments
Meet the researchers and light lunch   
·         Find out more about the Centre for Inflammatory Diseases research programs.
·         Talk to the research scientists and students.
Laboratory Discovery Tours    
·         Visit the Centre for Inflammatory Diseases laboratories and meet the research scientists and doctors.

Pint of Science coming to Melbourne 15-17 May, 2017

Pint of Science delivers interesting and relevant talks on the latest science research in an accessible format to the public – all in the pub! Pint of Science is a platform which allows people to discuss research with the people who carry it out - no prior knowledge of the subject is required. It is run mainly by volunteers and was established by a community of postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers in 2012 in the UK. The main festival takes place annually over three days in the month of May simultaneously in pubs across the world.

On 16 May, our very own Dr Connie Wong will talk about her research into stroke and infections and Dr Megan Wallace will MC a session titled "Feeling the Heat" on 17 May.

More information here: and book tickets for events in Melbourne here:

IDAHOBIT Film Screenings - Invitation from the Ally Network at Monash, 16 and 17 May

All staff and students are invited to attend the film screenings GAYBY BABY and REAL BOY as part of Monash's International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) celebrations. The two films explore this year's theme families

Gayby Baby (2015)
Tue 16 May, 5pm
OSS Lounge, Second Floor
Building S, Caulfield Campus

Gayby Baby observes the lives of four children -- Gus, Ebony, Matt and Graham -- whose parents are either gay or lesbian, and explores the ways in which growing up as a gayby has affected them. You can view the trailer here

Real Boy (2016)
Wed 17 May, 5pm
Cinema, Ground Floor
21 Chancellors Walk (Campus Centre), Clayton Campus

Real Boy is an intimate story of a family in transition. As 19-year-old Bennett Wallace navigates early sobriety, late adolescence, and the evolution of his gender identity, his mother makes her own transformation from resistance to acceptance of her trans son. Along the way, both mother and son find support in their communities, reminding us that families are not only given, but chosen. You can view the trailer here.

Please register to attend either/both films hereLight refreshments will be provided before each film. Please share this email within your networks. We encourage you to bring your friends, family and colleagues along. Could you please also promote amongst your relevant cohorts, as we would love to have a strong student presence at each film. 

We hope that you can join us for one or both of these heartwarming films.

Superstars of STEM - applications close 23 May

Superstars of STEM will smash society’s gender assumptions about scientists and increase the public visibility of women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). We’ll work with 30 of the nation’s most capable and transformational scientists and technologists to create role models for young women and girls, and work towards equal representation in the media of men and women in STEM. We’ll equip the Superstars with advanced communication skills and provide them with the opportunities to use them - in the media, on the stage, and in speaking with decision-makers. The program will also connect participants through a mentoring network, to encourage them to learn from women who have crafted a profile for themselves and who already serve as role models.

30 women will be selected for the 12 month program
The program will run from July 2017- July 2018
Applicant information and application forms can be found at
Applications open on April 26 and close 5pm on Tuesday 23 May 2017

Victorian Cancer Agency 2017 Funding Round Now Open

The Victorian Cancer Agency is a unit of the Department of Health and Human Services that funds translational cancer research to improve clinical practice and outcomes for Victorian cancer patients.

The 2017 funding round will have an emphasis on workforce and the Translational Research Project funding scheme will not run.

The following funding schemes are now open and will close at 11.59pm on 8 August 2017:
  • Early Career Seed Grants
  • Mid-Career Research Fellowships (incorporating the Victoria-USA Cancer Fellowship Exchange Program)
  • Medical and Dental Clinical Research Fellowships
  • Nursing and Allied Health Clinical Research Fellowships

More information, including guidelines, funding rules and a link to the application forms can be found on our website:

Answers to frequently asked questions can also be found on the website, however should you have further questions, please call on 1300 664 737 or send an email via

FMNHS Dean's Awards for Excellence 2017 - now open for applications

Applications are now open to the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences Dean's Awards for Excellence 2017

Nominations are now open for the following categories:

For further information please see the link below:

Applications close on Sunday 28 May 2017. 

Georgina Sweet Awards for Women in Quantitative Biomedical Science - APPLICATIONS NOW OPEN

A​pplications are now open for two awards that were established last year for female researchers in quantitative biomedical science:
  • Georgina Sweet Award for Women in Quantitative Biomedical Science: In 2017 up to three awards of $25,000 will be made to female researchers who demonstrate excellence in the area of quantitative biomedical science*.  Applicants would normally have completed their PhD more than 7 and less than 15 years ago.  The closing date for applications for this year’s awards is 31 May 2017.
  • Georgina Sweet Travel Support for a Female Keynote Speaker in Quantitative Biomedical Science: Up to three awards of $3,000 are available each year to support attendance of a female keynote speaker at an Australian quantitative biomedical science* conference.  Applications are open at any time until awards have been allocated for the year. 
*Definition: Quantitative Biomedical Science is biological/biomedical research that employs a quantitative approach, particularly in areas such as computational biology, biophysics, bioinformatics, biochemistry, genomics, structural biology, cell biology etc.

Both awards were created as part of Professor Leann Tilley’s (UniMelb) Laureate Fellowship commitment to foster, support and promote female researchers in quantitative biomedical sciences.   Applications are open to researchers within Australia .  For more information, guidelines and how to apply please visit:

​If you have any questions about these schemes, please contact,

ARC Linkage Projects - Internal Submission Deadlines

As you will be aware, the ARC Linkage Projects scheme is now accepting applications on a continuous basis. To help facilitate the process and to encourage more regular submissions, we are now introducing internal deadlines for submission. There will be three more submission rounds this year, and under normal circumstances ​MRO ​ will only be submitting applications to the ARC in accordance with the dates below:

MRO Deadline
ARC Deadline
Applications open
23 December 2016
Request not to assess
At the time of submission
At the time of proposal submission
MRO compliance review Q2
9 June 2017
Submission to ARC deadline Q2
30 June 2017
MRO compliance review Q3
8 September 2017
Submission to ARC deadline Q3
29 September 2017
MRO compliance review Q4
24 November 2017
Submission to ARC deadline Q4
15 December 2017

If you have any questions or queries, please contact ​the ARC Team  at

The P protein axis: a central target to prevent lethal rabies disease?, 16 May

CiiiD's Tuesday seminar, 16 May, will feature Dr Gregory Moseley, head of the Viral Pathogenesis Lab in Monash University's Department of Microbiology.

The title of Greg's talk is: The P protein axis: a central target to prevent lethal rabies disease?

1-2pm, Tuesday 16 May
Seminar Room 1, Level 2, TRF
Chair: Dr San Lim

Greg Moseley is head of the Viral Pathogenesis Laboratory. After graduating from the University of York, he undertook research toward a PhD at The University of Sheffield and Walter & Eliza Hall Institute on the roles of tetraspanin proteins in immunology and infection. Under the auspices of a Royal Society research fellowship, he took a research position at the Austin Research Institute, and subsequently moved to the Dept. of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology at Monash University to pursue research investigating protein trafficking. At Monash, he established an independent laboratory to investigate the molecular mechanisms underlying viral immune evasion and pathogenicity, as well as undertaking fellowship research in the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (France) and Gifu University (Japan). In 2013, he was awarded the Grimwade Fellowship and relocated his laboratory to the University of Melbourne, and in 2017 was recruited to the Department of Microbiology in Monash University to take a tenured position specialising in molecular virology and the pathogen-host interface.

Seminars for the Centre for Inflammatory Diseases are held from 12-1pm in the same room. The CID seminar schedule can be found here:

Haematology Discussion Group Meeting, 16 May

The Haematology Discussion Group May meeting will be hosted by Thalassaemia and Haemophilia Molecular Reference Laboratory this Tuesday night.                                                                    

When: Tuesday 16th May
18:15 for refreshments and 19:00 for presentations

Where: Lecture Theatre 2, Level 2, Monash Medical Centre

Jesse Pinguinha:  Prenatal testing and a case of beta thalassaemia
Wendy Hutchison:   Phenotype risk assessment in a couple with multiple alpha and beta globin variants
Jeremy Wells:   Severe haemophilia A caused by a duplication in the Factor VIII gene covering Exons 7 to 9
Lily Li:   Rapid detection of F8 mutations by Ion PGM (NGS)
Kerryn Weekes:   Assessing unknown sequence variations in thalassaemia

All welcome!

CID Weekly Seminar Series: Ms Louisa Yeung, 16 May

Tuesday 16 May, 2:00 - 1:00pm, Seminar Room 1, TRF Building

Ms Louisa Yeung, CID postgraduate student

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 []

“Genomic Landscape in Waldenstrom’s Macroglobulinaemia”, 17 May

Monash Health Haematology Journal Club invitation:

7.30am Breakfast & 7.45am Presentation
Monash Medical Centre, Level 2 - Lecture Theatre 3

“Genomic Landscape in Waldenstrom’s Macroglobulinaemia”

Presenter: Dr Jonathan Wong

CID Weekly Seminar Series: Invited Speaker A/Prof Meredith O'Keeff, 23 May

Tuesday 23 May, 12:00 - 1:00pm, Seminar Room 1, TRF Building

A/Prof Meredith O'Keeffe
NHMRC Senior Research Fellow
Lab Head
Department Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
Monash University 

Please contact to schedule a meeting with Meredith after the seminar.

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 []

"Targeting the cells that mediate breast cancer risk to lower incidence", 18 May

This week's Hudson Seminar will be held, Thursday 18th May 2017 at 12.00pm-1.00pm in Seminar rooms 1 & 2, Level 2, TRF Building.
The speaker will be Dr Kara Britt, Team leader, Cancer Genetics & Genomics Laboratory, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre. 

She will be presenting "Targeting the cells that mediate breast cancer risk to lower incidence"

A light lunch and refreshments will follow the presentation. 

Dr Kara Britt is a Team Leader within the research division at PeterMac. Her work is largely focussed around breast cancer prevention and early treatment.
Kara obtained her PhD from Monash University and Prince Henry’s in 2004 studying the role of estrogen in the ovary under the mentorship of Jock Findlay and Evan Simpson. Following her PhD studies Kara changed fields to work on the role of mammary stem cells in breast cancer as a CJ Martin fellow in Alan Ashworth’s lab at the Institute of Cancer Research in London.
She returned home and worked with Gail Risbridger at Monash University, continuing her work on stem cells and also breast stromal cells. In 2012 she moved to PeterMac where her work has since been focused on trying to understand breast cancer risk in order to develop preventative therapies.
Her work has been supported by a VCA early career fellowship, NBCF Early Career Fellowship, an NHMRC New Investigator grant and NBCF concept and pilot grants.

Invitation to the presentation of Professor Ian Kirkpatrick - Monash Warwick Alliance, 23 May

23 May, 1.45pm-2.30pm,  Seminar Room 3 of the TRF building

Professor Ian Kirkpatrick
Professor of Healthcare Improvement and Implementation Science, Warwick Business School, Monash Warwick Alliance

Professor Kirkpatrick has longstanding credentials in research that has focused on management, organisation and performance of health services both in the UK and internationally. He has published widely on this topic, including books focusing on the new public management and the management of social care services. In 2006, Ian led a national inquiry into the changing relationship between management and medicine and later served as the Chair of a Framework 7 European COST Action, focusing on that topic.
More recently, Ian’s research has utilised a variety of routine and administrative data sources to profile the nature and effectiveness of different forms of governance in the NHS and other health systems including Spain, Italy and China.
He is currently working for the Monash Warwick Alliance and will be on campus in May.

WORKSHOP 3 – IMARIS BASICS (14 June) - Registration now OPEN

This half day workshop will introduce you to the Imaris 3D image analysis software. The Imaris basics workshop is ideally catered to those undertaking 3D imaging and looking for a software package that is capable of quantifying the resulting data, and have minimal previous experience with the Imaris software.

Topics covered include: loading images, saving snapshots and movies, working with 4D and 5D images, image adjustments, resizing, basic distance, size, morphology and counting measurements and tracking in 3D.

Date: Wednesday 14th June 2017
Time: 9am-1pm, including morning tea break
Location: Translational Research Facility, Level 4
Room 4R.03 (large meeting room)
Cost: $50 – which will be covered by the MMI registration fee for platform users. Non-MMI users must provide a cost centre when registering.

To Register: Email your details to Please include full details in your email: full name, department and group, position, best contact email and cost centre/fund if not a registered MMI user.

You do not need to be a registered MMI user to attend, but non-MMI users must provide a cost centre and fund upon registering to cover the workshop fee.
Registrations are open until Thursday 1st June, unless places are filled sooner.
Register now! Registrations have filled within days for previous workshops and places are strictly limited to 10 for the Imaris workshop due to software licencing, so get in quick!

Animal Ethics Information Sessions – “Animal Use in Research and Teaching”, 18 July

Monash University requires that:

All new research staff and students using live animals complete the information session "Animal Use in Research and Teaching".

  • Researchers, Teachers and students must have attended or enrolled in the next available session to be named on an animal ethics application.

Date: Tuesday 18 July 2017
Time: 10am - 12:30pm
Venue: Lecture Theatre S2, 16 Rainforest Walk, Clayton Campus

Date: Wednesday 11 October 2017
Time: 10am - 12:30pm
Venue: Lecture Theatre S12, 16 Rainforest Walk, Clayton Campus

Register at:

Patient-Reported Outcome Measures, 18 August

The Falls and Bone Health team at Monash University are excited to be hosting a seminar titled
"Patient-Reported Outcome Measures (PROMs): What makes a good PROM, why are they important and how are they being used?"

There is growing international momentum around using patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) to drive improvements in quality of care, and to achieve better value for patients and funders of healthcare. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to attend this innovative seminar that brings together experts from Monash University to discuss the robust ways PROMs might help their organisation achieve a more person-centred approach to quality and safety improvement.

Seminar details:

Date: Friday 18th August 2017
Time:  9:00am - 1:00pm
Venue: The Alfred Centre (Level 5 Lecture Theatre), 99 Commercial Road, Melbourne VIC 3004
Cost: $225 (payments before 5pm June 30th), $250 (payments after 5pm June 30th)

Who should attend: Healthcare providers, researchers/academics, medical students, health educators, health promotion practitioners.

ECR Publications Prize Applications - NOW OPEN

Applications for the ECR Publication Prize are now open and close on the 5th June.

The Guidelines and Eligibility information are HERE.

Applications will be received via the FluidReview site here.

If you have difficulty with the online application or have any questions regarding the prize please email

ECR Symposium - Monday 30 October 2017 - SAVE THE DATE

The Faculty of Medicine Nursing and Health Sciences will be holding our biennial Early Career Researcher (ECR) Symposium on Monday 30 October 2017 at the Monash Business School, 271 Collins Street (Level 7), Melbourne.

The 2017 ECR Symposium will comprise of seminars and workshops encompassing:
· Strategic Career Planning
· Engaging with Industry
· Grant Development
· Panel Discussion
· Poster Session
· Networking events specifically designed for Early Career Researchers.

Registrations for this event will open mid-August 2017.

SAVE THE DATES: June 19-21st Graduate Student Conference 2017

Professions of the Future: A 3-day event for all graduate students at Monash
  • Prepare for a career beyond your degree
  • Develop your skills and knowledge to suit the changing nature of work
  • Grow your professional network and meet Monash alumni, industry partners and potential future employers
  • Collaborate with like-minded Monash graduate students
  • WIN an Apple iPad mini, movie tickets, career coaching sessions and more
Keynote Speakers
Waleed Aly & Holly Ransom

Clayton Campus
Review the program and register your interest:  Graduate Student Conference

Safety notice to all staff and students: Incident on Browns Road

Last week, a member of the public indecently exposed himself to one of our students.  

The incident occurred in the middle of the day, near the lane way entrance at Browns Rd, while the student was walking to her car in Evelyn St.

This is the second incident of this type this year, in a similar location. Staff and students are encouraged to leave work together, and to use the shuttle bus to the car park if possible. We are looking at what else we can do to improve safety.

If you experience any serious misconduct by the public, call 000. Record evidence on your phone if possible.

If you need counselling for assistance with any issues, please call the Employee Assistance Program on 1300 360 364.


Helen Truby et al. published in the FASEB Journal.

Read article here.

Cryopreservation of reproductive material before cancer treatment: a qualitative study of health care professionals’ views about ways to enhance clinical care

Beverley Vollenhoven et al. published in BMC Health Services Research.

Read article here.

Managing asthma in the era of biological therapies

Phil Bardin et al. published in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine.

Read article here.

Cytotoxic Lymphocytes and Atherosclerosis. Significance, Mechanisms, and Therapeutic challenges

Alex Bobik et al. published in the British Journal of Pharmacology.

Read article here.

Effects of Antenatal Melatonin Treatment on the Cerebral Vasculature in an Ovine Model of Fetal Growth Restriction

Suzie Miller et al. published in Developmental Neuroscience.

Read article here.

Hip fractures in young adults: a retrospective cross-sectional study of characteristics, injury mechanism, risk factors, complications and follow-up

Michael Wang et al. published in Archives of Osteoporosis.

Read article here.

The association of demoralization with mental disorders and suicidal ideation in patients with cancer

David Kissane et al. published in Cancer.

Read article here.

Dominant protection from HLA-linked autoimmunity by antigen-specific regulatory T cells

Joshua Ooi, Richard Kitching et al. published in Nature.

Read article here.

Mass fainting in garment factories in Cambodia

Maurice Eisenbruch published in Transcultural Psychiatry.

Read article here.