Monday, 22 May 2017

Monash medical student’s research may change IVF practice

Shimona Lai
Monash medical student Ms Shimona Lai has been accepted to present her research into the safety of double embryo transfers at the prestigious European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) in Switzerland.

Currently a Bachelor of Medical Science (Hons) student at the School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health (SCS), Shimona’s research project aims to compare clinical outcomes following single and double embryo transfer, with a focus on embryo quality.

“Historically, double embryo transfers have been used to maximise rates of implantation and pregnancy in IVF, however, its use has subsequently led to an unacceptably high risk of multiple pregnancy and its associated complications,” Shimona said.

“Although current recommendations are that only a single embryo be transferred per cycle, there are still many patients and clinicians who prefer double embryo transfer due to its assumed benefits.”

Shimona’s study is examining the quality of embryos used in single and double embryo transfer to see how this affects outcomes—with a particular interest in how embryonic interactions between differing quality embryos in double-embryo transfers impact success.

Shimona said her project’s results challenge the precedent that transferring multiple embryos compensates for low implantation and pregnancy rates, and instead suggest they may cause worse outcomes and even harm.

“The attitudes towards single and double embryo transfer are slowly changing, but our work has the potential to spur this on a little quicker - which is very exciting from a clinical perspective.”

ESHRE will be Shimona’s first scientific conference experience.

“I feel so honoured that my very first poster presentation will be at the ESHRE annual meeting, the leading society in the field of reproduction and reproductive health, which will be attended by more than 10,000 delegates,” Shimona said.

Shimona will present her poster at the 33rd Annual Meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology in Geneva, Switzerland, which will be held from the 2nd to 5th July 2017.

Shimona acknowledges the ongoing support and encouragement of her supervisors Dr Tiki Osianlis, Professor Beverley Vollenhoven and Associate Professor Martin Healy.

Monash researcher acknowledged for her outstanding contribution to the dietetic profession

Associate Professor Judi Porter from Monash University’s Department of Nutrition, Dietetics and Food has received an Outstanding Contribution Award from the Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA).

The prestigious award acknowledges Associate Professor Porter’s role in advancing the profession, particularly in the areas of research, publication and continuing professional development.

Associate Professor Porter’s research combines her interests in hospital food service and malnutrition, where she recently led a clinical trial implementing Protected Mealtimes (including increasing interactions that assist patients at meals whilst decreasing unnecessary interruptions) as part of her NHMRC TRIP fellowship.  This clinical trial was the first internationally to utilise a high-quality study design, with results revealing limited effect for the implementation of Protected Mealtimes.

Associate Professor Porter’s current projects include the systematic review and primary data analysis of data where total energy expenditure has been determined using doubly labelled water in the elderly, and an investigation of the professional identity of allied health staff at Eastern Health before and after a large organisational restructure.

“This award came as a great surprise, it really is an honour to be recognised by my peers,” Associate Professor Porter said.

DAA Public Relations Manager Ms Sally Moloney said that as Chair of the Melbourne 2016 national conference Scientific and Social Program Committee, Associate Professor Porter led the development of an outstanding scientific program which resulted in the largest and highly successful national conference.

“Her longstanding commitment to the Journal as an Associate Editor and more recently as the Systematic Review Editor on the Editorial Board and member of the Journal Strategic Planning Committee has been outstanding,” Ms Moloney said.

Associate Professor Porter received her Award at the DAA National Conference last week.  

As well has holding conjoint roles in the Department of Nutrition, Dietetics and Food, School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health (SCS), and in the Allied Health Clinical Research Office at Eastern Health, Associate Professor Porter has recently taken on the role of Editor of Nutrition & Dietetics and is also an Associate Editor for BMC Nutrition

“Peer-reviewed journals right now have unprecedented opportunities to engage with authors and readers; it is an exciting but challenging time to be involved in any editorial role,” said Associate Professor Porter.

Associate Professor Peter Holmes awarded prestigious Thoracic Society medal

L-R: the Hon Greg Hunt MP Federal Minister for Health; 
A/Prof Peter Holmes; Prof Allan Glanville,
 President Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand.
Associate Professor Peter Holmes, former Deputy Director of Monash Lung and Sleep, was recently awarded the prestigious Society Medal by the Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand at their 2017 Annual Scientific Meeting held in Canberra. 
The medal recognises the outstanding contribution A/Prof Holmes has made to respiratory medicine throughout his long and distinguished career. 
A/Prof Holmes has worked as a respiratory physician in Melbourne for over forty years, holding leadership positions in various Melbourne hospitals. He has served as Deputy Director at Monash Lung and Sleep for over twenty years and in private practice as Director of the Southern Region Respiratory Service. 
He has held leading roles in the Lung Foundation Australia, Asthma Victoria, WorkCover and advising the Victorian State government. 
Director Monash Lung and Sleep Professor Phil Bardin said that A/Prof Holmes’ is well known for his commitment to mentoring and teaching the next generation. 
“He demonstrates exceptional leadership in training medical students, RACP trainees, general practitioners, and respiratory physician colleagues,” Prof Bardin said. 
“Scores of respiratory physicians in Australia now model their clinical practice on the example mentored to them by Peter Holmes when they were trainees and junior physicians.
“He is well regarded for providing entertaining, practical and extremely well-received lectures and workshops about respiratory medicine topics to successive generations of general practitioners in Melbourne,” Prof Bardin said.
A/Prof Holmes early training and experience was eventful. He graduated from Monash University in 1968 with MBBS and spent his early years as a graduate at Prince Henry’s Hospital in Melbourne.
In 1970 he was conscripted into the army and served in the Royal Australian Army Medical Corps as Area Medical Officer, Pacific Islands Regiment, Lae in Papua New Guinea. On his return to Australia in 1972 he again worked at Prince Henry’s Hospital and also at the Queen Victoria Hospital. 
A/Prof Holmes initial training in respiratory medicine was at the Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital in Melbourne for two years. As a bright young registrar Peter secured a position as senior house officer in the Professorial Unit at the Brompton Hospital in London where he was awarded a prestigious Wellcome Traveling Scholarship.
Returning to Melbourne in 1979 A/Prof Holmes held appointments as a respiratory physician at the Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital, Prince Henry’s Hospital and the Alfred Hospital. As hospitals in Melbourne were demolished, moved and amalgamated, Peter consolidated his respiratory practice in the southern suburbs. 
In 2001 he was appointed as an Adjunct Clinical Associate Professor at Monash University.
A/Prof Holmes was a board member of Asthma Victoria and provided important leadership through his membership of their Medical and Scientific Sub-committee from 1977 to 1988.
Following a disturbing peak in asthma deaths in Victoria due to ambulance delays in the late 1980s, A/Prof Holmes and others were invited by the Health Minister at the time, the Hon Marie Tehan MP, to form the Victorian Government Ministerial Asthma Working Party to advise the minister about asthma management in Victoria.
Peter was the inaugural Victorian Branch Chair of the Australian Lung Foundation from 1990 until 2013 and was a member of the Federal Council during this period.

Impact7 Opportunity, 1 August 2017

IMPACT7 is a new, national event amplifying the impact that Australian scientists have on our world. Over one day, researchers will showcase their innovative solutions to 7 major challenges facing this generation. This is research that matters, and could impact the way we think, work, and live. Impact7 is a Launchpad for public outreach. The event is being offered in partnership with CSIRO. 
The event Flyer has been attached to this email.

Through this scheme, a variety of prizes are available. Presenters travelling from outside Melbourne will be eligible to receive one of ten Travel Grants. One successful team will receive entry to the ‘Selection Bootcamp’
-a two day event/competition to vie for a position in the next round of the national accelerator, ON Accelerate4. Other prizes and opportunities are also available.

Application Process
The on-line application form can be found here. A panel of external science, technology and impact leaders will evaluate the applications and select the successful applicants to present at IMPACT7.

Key Dates 
Fast-Track Applications
31 May 2017
All Applications
16 June 2017

​If you have any questions, please contact​


CID weekly seminar series: "Interferon-lambda, dendritic cell function and autoimmune disease", 23 May

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

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

 The IFN-lambda (l) cytokine family is encoded by 2 genes in mouse (IFN-l2 and IFN-l3) and a total of 4 genes in humans, (l1-l4). IFN- l demonstrates potent anti-viral activity against several viruses, mediated by STAT signalling via the novel IFN- l receptor, a heterodimer of the IL-10Rb and the novel IL-28RA chain.  Signalling via the IFN- l receptor leads to the expression of ISGs that resemble those induced by type I IFNs (IFN-I). However, the receptor for IFN-l exhibits highly restricted expression. It is expressed by neutrophils and it is also expressed by hepatocytes and throughout epithelial surfaces including in the intestine, kidney and skin. Moreover, the receptor is expressed by dendritic cells (DC) in the steady state and this is further upregulated during DC activation.

"Nutrition in Pregnancy - a Tale of 3 Generations", 25 May

This week's Hudson Seminar will be held, Thursday 25th May 2017 at 12.00pm-1.00pm in Seminar rooms 1 & 2, Level 2, TRF Building.
The speaker will be Professor Helen Truby, Head of Department of Nutrition, Dietetics & Food at Monash University.

She will be presenting "Nutrition in Pregnancy - a Tale of 3 Generations"

A light lunch and refreshments will follow the presentation. 
Professor Helen Truby is the Head of Department of Nutrition, Dietetics & Food at Monash University and an Honorary Consultant in Allied Health at Monash Health. Accredited at an Advanced level in Dietetics and Registered as a Public Health Nutritionist her research is underpinned by her clinical practice knowledge, in particular in maternal and child health. She has a strong belief in health professional education and translating nutrition science into messages for the public - as such she the course lead for the Massive Open Online Course ‘Food as Medicine’ which attracted 82,000 learners in its first year (2016). She currently holds $4.5M in competitive research grants and publishes regularly in high impact journals.

Monash Health Haematology Journal Club, “Fertility Preservation for Oncology patients”, Wednesday 24 May

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

“Fertility Preservation for Oncology patients”

Presenter: Dr Rachael Knight

Rachael studied medicine at the University of Tasmania before training in Obstetrics and Gynaecology at The Royal Women’s Hospital and Mercy Hospital for Women. She also undertook further study for a Doctorate of Medicine at Melbourne University and three years of sub-specialty training in reproductive endocrinology and infertility. She furthered her expertise in infertility surgery and IVF with two years working in Bristol in the United Kingdom.
Rachael is a Consultant Gynaecologist and Infertility Specialist and currently holds one of the positions of Clinical Director at Melbourne IVF at East Melbourne. She runs a fertility clinic at the Royal Women’s Hospital, Parkville and is actively involved in clinical research and the fertility preservation program

PhD Confirmation milestone, "Epigenetic Mechanisms of Maternal Immune Activation", Jay Nakamura, 29 May

All staff and students are invited to Jay Nakamura's PhD confirmation milestone meeting.

9am, 29 May, Level 3 seminar room, P Block, MMC

Presentation title: Epigenetic Mechanisms of Maternal Immune Activation
Synopsis: The talk will focus my PhD project background and plan and I will also be presenting some preliminary data on the cognitive performance of the poly I:C mouse model of schizophrenia on the Trial-Unique Non-matching to Location (TUNL) spatial memory touchscreen task.

Supervisors: Dr. Rachel Hill, Assoc. Prof. Suresh Sundram
Panel Chair: Assoc. Prof. Kylie Gray
Independent panel members: Dr. Connie Wong, Assoc. Prof. David Walker, Dr Hayley Dickinson

Invitation to information session on Canadian research funding, 25 May

The High Commission of Canada presents: Information on research opportunities in Canada

This presentation will provide information on Canadian research grants in all disciplines available to academic staff and postgraduate students. It will cover funding available from Canada’s three major federal research councils – the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).  The High Commission of Canada will also provide information on the prestigious Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships Program and Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships, and other grants offered by some of the provinces, as well as other non-government organizations.

DATE: Thursday 25 May 2017
TIME: 10.00am – 11.00am
VENUE:  Medley Theatre, Ground floor, Redmond Barry Building, Parkville Campus, University of Melbourne

Please RSVP by 23 May 2017 to:
OR Register via Eventbrite here:

All interested welcome.


Applications are now open for MCCC Research Travel Grants.
Value:  up to $2000
Closing date:  5pm, Friday 30 June 2017
For more information and to apply:

Monash Comprehensive Cancer Consortium's Research Travel Grant Program supports cancer researchers at all career stages to travel interstate or overseas to:

o present quality cancer research projects to a cancer audience
o enhance their cancer research career profile
o extend their professional cancer research networks.

To be eligible, applicants must be:
1. Employed by one of the MCCC's partner organisations:
Monash University, Hudson Institute, Alfred Health, Cabrini Health, Eastern Health, Monash Health, Peninsula Health
2. Actively involved in a funded pre-clinical, clinical or health services cancer research project
3. Planning to travel between September 2017 and September 2018.

Eligible travel expenses include airfares, transfers, accommodation and travel insurance.

The Peer Prize for Women in Science 2017

The Sun Foundation is excited to launch the second annual Peer Prize for Women in Science.
This is an annual prize for women researchers across Australia with a mission to accelerate open knowledge exchange and cross-disciplinary innovation.
Typically science prizes are selected by hidden panels of a few peers with only the winners being showcased. This means that time is wasted by researchers with unsuccessful applications, and only a fraction of the knowledge is showcased. This creates barriers to collaboration and innovation. The Peer Prize is changing that.
Last year’s inaugural Sun Foundation Women in Science Prize was the first of its kind in the world and was a huge success. Over 1400 researchers from around the world voted and the competition engaged nearly 100,000 people.
This year we are looking to make the Prize bigger and better. Again, there are two main areas of research focus: Life Sciences; and Earth, Environmental and Space Sciences. The prize for each category has increased to be $20,000.
For further information see here

Submissions Close on 31st May 2017.

ECR professional writing workshop, 9 June

All ECRs are invited to attend "Mind Your Way", a half day professional writing workshop.

Time: Friday the 9th of June, 9:30am - 1:00pm
Location: TRF Level 2 Boardroom 1 (Ground floor)

More information HERE.   Places are strictly limited and morning tea is provided.

ECR Publication Prize Applications Open

If you have a window of down time why not review your 2016 publications and consider nominating for the ECR Publication Prize.  You could win $1000!

The publication must have been published in 2016 (either epub or in print), have a Monash University byline, be considered research, and you must be either first or last author.

Refer to the full Guidelines HERE and apply using the FluidReveiw site.

Allied Health Career Pathways Blueprint project consultation

High early career attrition from the allied health professions is a significant problem with lack of career pathways and poor progression opportunities cited as major factors. In response (and recognising the more general notion that career planning is a key part of having a fulfilling career), the Department of Health and Human Services has contracted Raven Consulting Group to undertake the Allied Health Careers Pathways Project.

The current phase involves the conduct of four workshops focused on broadly understanding career pathways in allied health in Victoria. Each workshop will be half a day, and conducted at the department’s offices at 50 Lonsdale St, Melbourne; on:
·        16 Jun 1pm – 5pm
·        23 Jun 1pm – 5pm
·        26 Jun 1pm – 5pm
·        28 Jun 9am – 1pm

To fill the workshops, Raven Consulting Group is using purposive sampling. To help achieve the intended stakeholder mix we would like you to complete a survey ( You are also encouraged to forward this email/information to others you think would be interested in learning more about the project and/or participating in the workshops.

Based on your responses, Raven Consulting Group will fill up each workshop slot. Once full, preferred attendees notified by email. All remaining respondents will be notified participation in this stage is not required. However, following the workshops, Raven Consulting Group will also be surveying the sector and you will receive a second email at that time.

For more detail on the project, please visit:

3MT Three Minute Thesis Registrations Open

Registration for the 3MT closes on Wednesday 31 May.  The SCS/Hudson School Final will be held on 30 June 2017, Hudson Level de Krester Concourse 1-5 pm.  

SCS/Hudson 3MT Final Prizes

Senior Category Prizes (Students eligible for Faculty competition; post-Confirmation Milestone and registered for 3MT)

1st Prize:             $500 SCS Travel Award
2nd Prize:            $200
3rd Prize:             $50

Junior Category (Ineligible Students)

1st Prize:              $200
2nd Prize:             $50

People’s choice award: $100 sponsored by Student Society.

Please Note:
  • It is compulsory for currently enrolled graduate research students in SCS to participate (yet cannot have submitted their thesis)
  • Masters research students and students who have not yet achieved their confirmation of candidature can participate in the Faculty events but cannot represent the Faculty in either the Monash 3MT Final or Monash wildcard competition
  • Students must be available to present in person at both the Faculty 3MT Final (Thursday 13 July, 1.30‐3.30pm, Clayton) and Monash 3MT Final (10 August 2017, time TBC – evening event, Clayton) should they win earlier rounds
  • The following prizes will be awarded at the Faculty 3MT Final: First Place $800, Second Place $500, Third Place $300, MPA People’s Choice Award $50 (plus entry into Monash Wildcard Competition)
  • Wildcard competition will be held to select an additional entrant in the Monash 3MT Final. The “People’s Choice” winners from each Faculty will compete against each other for a place in the Monash Final
Further information including registration is available on the 3MT website at

Regardless of whether you are eligible to compete in Monash finals, both PhD and Masters by research students must register on the above link by 31 May 2017 to be able to participate in the Faculty event.

Making the most of your PhD experience Seminar, 9 June

SCS and Hudson are excited to offer a seminar delivered by:

Dr Kelly Walton, Department of Physiology a senior postdoctoral research fellow and current Chair of the FNMHS ECR committee at Monash.


Many embark on a PhD or Masters program to purse a passion for knowledge, a desire to better human health, and/or the intention to become one of the intellectually elite. The keys to succeeding, rather than just surviving, are in attainment of key skills, tools, and resources. This seminar will address what is required to succeed during your PhD candidature. Topics include time management, data collection, record keeping, teamwork, written and oral communication, and profile building, and tips on finding the right resources.


Reproducibility is central to achieving high quality, impactful outcomes in the laboratory. Together we will review the most important tools that underpin every lab procedure, including pipet and pH meter calibration, buffer preparation, and sample labelling.

Date:               Friday 9 June
Time:              9.30 – 11.30 am
Location:        MMC Hudson Level 3 Boardrooms A&B

Morning Tea Provide so booking is essential

Register here:

Further enquiries: Victoria Kasapidis,  

Vice-Chancellor's International Inter-campus Mobility Scheme for PhD students

The NEW Vice-Chancellor’s International Inter-Campus PhD Mobility Scheme provides funding to support the short-term mobility of PhD students between Monash University Australia, Monash University Malaysia or the IITB-Monash Research Academy.

Successful applicants are provided with a one-off travel grant of AUD $3,000 to subsidise a visit of up to 4 weeks.

To be eligible, applicants must:
·         Be a currently enrolled doctoral student at Monash University Australia, Monash University Malaysia or the IITB-Monash Research Academy, and;
·         Have successfully passed the Confirmation milestone but not yet presented for the Final Review milestone, and;
·         Have the support of their Main Supervisor, and;
·         Have the support of a nominated academic at the host destination, and;
·         Have a valid passport and other necessary documentation required to travel, and;
·         Be able to utilise funds provided through the program within three months of a grant being awarded.

Applications will be assessed against the academic merit of the student and the research project, and the unique contribution of the exchange of the research project. The grant should be used to provide access to expertise or infrastructure that would not otherwise have occurred.

Closing dates:                                                   
·         Round 1 - Friday 26 May 2017, 5pm (AEST)
·         Round 2 –Friday 26 August 2017, 5pm (AEST)

Further details can be found in The Vice-Chancellor’s International Inter-Campus PhD Mobility Scheme guidelines. For queries, please contact Monash Graduate Education at

MMC/MCH Site Alert: Parking Infringement Notices

What is happening?
·         Parking Infringement Notices are being issued for non-compliant parking within the Monash Health Clayton Campus (including Monash Medical Centre, the new Monash Children’s Hospital and the Monash Health Translation Precinct)
·         The Parking Infringement Notices (PINs) are legal documents that carry the full weight of prescribed monetary fines.
·         The PINs are being managed by an external organisation specialising in their processing and follow-up.
·         Parking prohibition signage has been thoroughly reviewed with additional and revised signage installed to support the PIN process and provide additional clarity for our staff and visitors.

Why are PINs being issued?
·         There has been a significant increase in non-compliant parking in the public and staff parking areas, as well as service roads and access points.
·         Non-compliant parking is impacting access for patient transport and other vehicles, causing frustration and difficulties for patients, visitors and fellow staff.
How will the PINs impact me?
·         Staff who park in a compliant manner, inside marked parking bays and in compliance with parking signage, will not be impacted by a PIN.
·         Staff who do not comply with parking signage will be at risk of receiving a Parking Infringement Notice and the Victorian prescribed monetary fine.

What about safety?
·         The Issue of PINs will assist in our service and access roadways being kept clear for traffic flow around the campus and inside our car parking areas.
·         Clear visibility and the ability to easily drive around our campus and car parks will make for a safe campus for patients and staff.
How do I get more information?
Please contact Site Management for more information
·         Extension:           44727      
·         Email:       


Helen Truby et al. published in The FASEB Journal.

Read article here.

HLA-mediated protection in Goodpasture disease

Richard Kitching published in Nature Reviews Nephrology.

Read article here.

Killer cells in atherosclerosis

Ban-Hock Toh et al. published in the European Journal of Pharmacology.

Read article here.

Successful large volume 'lymphocentesis' for refractory lymphoedema in lower and upper limbs.

Jaclyn Yoong, Peter Poon et al. published in the Internal Medicine Journal.

Read article here.

What keeps children with cystic fibrosis awake at night?

Rosemary Horne et al. published in the Journal of Cystic Fibrosis.

Read article here.

Effectiveness of a shared team approach between nurses and doctors for improved risk factor management in survivors of stroke: a cluster randomized controlled trial

Amanda Thrift et al. published in the European Journal of Neurology.

Read article here.

Generation of conditional oncogenic chromosomal translocations using CRISPR-Cas9 genomic editing and homology-directed repair

Luciano Martelotto et al. published in The Journal of Pathology.

Read article here.

Randomized evaluation of cognitive-behavioral therapy and graded exercise therapy for post-cancer fatigue

Eva Segelov et al. published in the Journal of Pain Symptom Management.

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.

Sensory integration deficits support a dimensional view of psychosis and are not limited to schizophrenia

Suresh Sundram et al. published in Translational Psychiatry.

Read article here.

Predicting Disability after Ischemic Stroke Based on Comorbidity Index and Stroke Severity—From the Virtual International Stroke Trials Archive-Acute Collaboration

Thanh Phan et al. published in Frontiers in Neurology.

Read article here.


Jim Buttery et al. published in Eurosurveillance.

Read article here.

Pain, quality of life and safety outcomes of kyphoplasty for vertebral compression fractures: report of a task force of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research

Alexander Rodriguez et al. published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research.

Read article here.


Helen Truby et al. published in the FASEB Journal.

Read article here.