Monday, 14 August 2017

MonashHeart and Monash University research into coronary artery disease wins trifecta of prizes

Dr Ihdayhid and Associate Professor Ko
MonashHeart interventional cardiology fellow and Monash University PhD candidate Dr Abdul Ihdayhid was recognised for his ground-breaking research into coronary artery disease, receiving two highly prestigious awards in Perth last week, following on from winning the Young Investigator Award at the Society of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography last month in Washington D.C.  

Dr Ihdayhid was awarded the most highly regarded Ralph Reader Prize at the annual scientific meeting of the Cardiac Society of Australia & New Zealand (CSANZ) as well as the prestigious Geoff Mews Memorial Fellows’ Prize at the Australia & New Zealand Endovascular Therapies Meeting (ANZET) for his research into assessing the functional significance of coronary artery disease.

Patients with suspected angina (chest pain caused by reduced blood flow to the heart) usually need further tests to determine if they have coronary artery disease, as well as the functional significance of the narrowing of the arteries.  

“The functional significance represents the degree to which a narrowing affects blood flow to the heart muscle—and this is a strong predictor of long term outcomes and the benefit from potential treatments,” said Dr Ihdayhid. 

The current accepted gold standard for assessing the blood flow and functional significance of a coronary narrowing is using fractional flow reserve (FFR), only obtained during invasive coronary angiography using a specialised pressure wire inserted into the coronary artery.

Dr Ihdayhid said CT coronary angiography (CTCA) is rapidly becoming the first-line test for investigating coronary artery disease. 

“It is an excellent test for ruling out disease, however in the presence of a narrowing it has limited ability at determining the degree of blood flow limitation.”

“Patients often need undergo further tests to determine the functional significance, associated with potential side effects, inconvenience to the patient and overall cost to the health system,” Dr Ihdayhid said. 

In a world-first, Dr Ihdayhid’s research has shown an alternative technique, known as CT Derived Fractional Flow Reserve, is a novel and non-invasive method for determining FFR with superior diagnostic performance, and importantly, with no potential side effects and reduced cost to the health system.

“There are two emerging techniques that provide us with the ability to assess both anatomy and function using a CTCA: CT Stress Myocardial Perfusion (CTP) and CT Derived Fractional Flow Reserve (CT-FFR).”

“CTP requires two scans performed 20 minutes apart and a medication to maximise coronary blood flow.   This is associated with increased side-effects, contrast and radiation exposure to patients,” Dr Ihdayhid said. 

Dr Ihdayhid’s research investigated CT-FFR as a novel non-invasive method for determining FFR.

“Current CT-FFR techniques require the use of a supercomputer and external off-site processing with a turn-around time of around 24-48 hours, hence reducing its clinical utility.”

“MonashHeart has been collaborating with Toshiba Medical Japan in developing a world-first point of care CT-FFR technique that can be performed on-site and within 30 minutes of CTCA acquisition.”

“Our recently published work has demonstrated that it is highly accurate when compared to FFR determined invasively.”

Dr Ihdayhid said their results demonstrated that CT-FFR had superior diagnostic performance at detecting functionally significant disease when compared to CTP and they achieved these results in less time and with less contrast and radiation exposure.  

“These results take us one step closer to utilising a resting CTA in delivering both anatomical and functional information in a single, rapid, safe and accurate investigation,” Dr Ihdayhid said. 

The Monash research team has finished recruiting 500 prospective patients with suspected coronary artery disease in whom they will perform a CT-FFR analysis to assess the real-world feasibility and utility of this cutting-edge technique. 

Dr Ihdayhid said if the results are promising, their next step will be a multi-centre randomized control trial. 

Dr Ihdayhid acknowledges the tremendous and ongoing support of his PhD supervisor, Associate Professor Brian Ko, Consultant Interventional Cardiologist at MonashHeart.

Save the dates: MHTP Open Days for prospective research students 19 and 20 September

This year's Open Days for prospective research students (Hons, Masters and PhD) will be held over two nights - 19 and 20 September.

The 19 September event will take place at the university's main Clayton campus in the Campus Centre, where prospective students will hear presentations about research opportunities at the School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health (SCS) and the Hudson Institute of Medical Research. Supervisors will also be able to talk to students and promote their projects.

The following evening, students will be invited to tour our labs and meet supervisors at the Monash Health Translation Precinct (MHTP).

If you are interested in recruiting a student for 2018 and are interested in attending, please keep these dates free.

We would like you to promote these events to prospective students you currently teach.  Please find attached a powerpoint slide (HERE) that you can present in class.

Please contact Katherine Marks ( if you would like more information.

Diversity & Inclusion Week 2017

Diversity & Inclusion Week is an opportunity for the university community to come together to celebrate our diverse community and strengthen our inclusive culture. This year, Diversity & Inclusion Week will be the biggest that Monash has seen, with events for staff and students across the Caulfield, Clayton Parkville and Peninsula campuses. 

There will be a range of events and activities, including:
· Workshops for academic and professional staff on LGBTIQ inclusion
· A Human Library event where people of different backgrounds and experiences share their stories
· Cultural food festivals at all campuses
· Walk a mile in my shoes, a MADA interactive installation at Caulfield 
· Workshops and forums at Parkville across the week
· A poetry workshop with Abe Nouk, self-taught spoken word poet

See the full event schedule at

Biostatistical education series: How not to analyse and present data, 15 August

Tuesday 15 August, 1-2pm, TRF seminar room 3

Presenter:  Associate Professor Arul Earnest, Biostatistics Unit
Senior Biostatistician, Registry Sciences Unit
Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Monash University

 Does the statistics in the report you read appear dodgy? This talk will highlight some of the common pitfalls in the study design, analysis and presentation of data in journals, conferences and published reports. The audience will learn to avoid some of the common mistakes when publishing a paper.

 Platform Manager

Arul’s research interest is in Registry Sciences, risk adjustment and Bayesian spatio-temporal models. For more than 15 years, Arul has provided consultative and collaborative methodological input to clinicians and hospital administrators. The outcome for some of this work has been more than 125 publications in a variety of peer-reviewed international medical journals, including BMC Health Services Research, BMJ and JAMA.  
He has extensive experience in conducting talks on biostatistics and research methodology.

Monash Haematology Journal Club, 16 August

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

Topic: ‘Snake in the Grass’

Presenter: Dr Susan Brown

MHTP Functional Genomics: What pooled screening can do for you, 15 August

Tuesday 15 August, 12:00 - 1:00pm, Seminar Room 1, TRF Building

Presented by Dr Catherine Itman
Manager, Functional Genomics Facility
Monash Health Translation Precinct

Catherine has a long-held interest in life sciences, with a broad background spanning research, education and business operations.  She completed her PhD in male reproductive biology at MIMR and went on to hold lectureship positions and lead a research group before taking up the position of Manager of the newly established MHTP Functional Genomics Facility in March of this year.

The Functional Genomics Facility is strategically co-located with other platform technologies at the MHTP, allowing investigators to accelerate research through the wealth of expertise and comprehensive range of established and nascent technologies available on site.  The Functional Genomics facility offers pooled screening for unbiased, systematic, high-throughput gain-of-function and loss-of-function screens in human and mouse cells and, capitalizing on the latest in pooled CRISPR/Cas9 and bar-coded ORF libraries, provides a complete gene discovery and characterization pipeline.  Catherine will present an overview of this new facility today, including the services offered and examples of how pooled screening has advanced basic and clinical research.

CiiiD seminar: 'The importance of the cGAS pathway in DNA damage-driven inflammation.' 15 August

CiiiD's Tuesday seminar this week, 15 August, will feature Dr Genevieve Pepinpost-doctoral research scientist and FRSQ Fellow from CiiiD's Nucleic Acids and Innate Immunity Group, headed by Dr Michael Gantier.

1-2pm, Tuesday 15 August
Seminar Room 1, Level 2, TRF
Chair: Dr Michelle Tate

At 12pm in Seminar Room 1, Level 2, TRF, CID will hold its weekly seminar. The CID seminar schedule can be found here:  

For your diaries: CID special seminar, Wednesday 23 August, likely 11am (TBC)

Prof Adrian Liston, ASI Visiting Speaker
Professor of Translational Immunology
University of Leuven, Belgium
VIB, Belgium

More information:

"Detection of low level mosaicism using High Resolution Melt, droplet digital PCR and single cell RNA sequencing: prognostic, diagnostic and screening applications." 17 August

This week's Hudson seminar will be held Thursday 17 August 12pm-1pm in Seminar Rooms 1 & 2, Level 2, TRF Building. 
Our speaker will be Dr David Godler, Group Leader and Senior Research Fellow, Cyto-Molecular Diagnostics Research Group, Murdoch Children's Research Institute.
Dr Godler leads the Cyto-Molecular Diagnostics Research group at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, regularly publishing in high quality specialty journals such as Clinical Chemistry, Neurology, JAMA Neurology, Genetics in Medicine and Human Molecular Genetics. Using the clinical resources of the Victorian Clinical Genetics Services and those of national and international collaborators, his work focuses on understanding disorder aetiology and on test development for: improved diagnosis of chromosomal abnormalities, non-invasive prenatal testing and epigenetic disorders associated with intellectual disability and autism. Dr Godler also heads the world’s largest fragile X syndrome prevalence study in 100,000 newborns (NHMRC funded), and a Prader-Willi Syndrome newborn screening pilot to provide evidence regarding expanding current newborn screening in Australia and internationally. He is also the PI on DNA methylation studies, funded through national and international philanthropy, utilising droplet digital PCR to detect low level mosaicism missed by standard testing in developmental delay referrals of unknown cause.
A light lunch and refreshments will follow this presentation.

Please email if you would like to meet with David after the seminar.
visit our website for further information

Grand Rounds, "Update on MPO Associated Vasculitis and its Treatment”, Wednesday 16 August

Presenter:  Professor Stephen Holdsworth

Topic: "Update on MPO Associated Vasculitis and its Treatment”

Date: Wednesday 16 August 2017

Time: 12.30pm - 1.30pm

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

Update on NHMRC’s new grant program, Friday 18 August

The NHMRC CEO, Professor Anne Kelso, will present an update on NHMRC’s new grant program.

Please join us in attending the webinar in the:

Venue:  TRF seminar Room 1
Date:     Friday 18 August 2017

Time:    1:00-2:00 

CID Special Seminar: Prof Adrian Liston (ASI Visiting Speaker) "Shaping the immune system", 23 August

Wednesday 23 August, 1:30 - 2:30pm, Seminar Room 1, TRF Building

Sponsored by the Australian Society of Immunology Visiting Speaker Program

Prof Adrian Liston
Professor of Translational Immunology
University of Leuven and the VIB, Belgium

Adrian Liston is Professor of Translational Immunology at the University of Leuven and the VIB, Belgium. The laboratory works on both aspects of discovery immunology (identifying intervention-points in regulatory T cell biology; developing diabetes pre-clinical models) and applied immunology (human immunology; immunogenetics; and mechanisms of immunodeficiency and inflammatory disease). He has been awarded the Francqui Chair, Eppendorf prize and two ERC grants, among other honours.

His PhD research was on T cell tolerance and diabetes with Professor Chris Goodnow at the Australian National University, followed by post-doctoral research on regulatory T cell biology with Professor Sasha Rudensky at the University of Washington. In 2009 Adrian was invited to set up an independent research laboratory at the VIB and the University of Leuven. 

Adrian Liston has published more than 100 scientific papers, with over 4000 citations, including key publications in the fields of:
Thymus biology, diabetes, immunodeficiency-autoimmunity, human immunology and regulatory T cell biology.

Hudson Translation Workshop - IP Management, 23 August

Navigating the world of IP and commercialisation can be daunting when looking at it from the lab bench. This workshop aims to help demystify some of this process, and let you know how to manage and protect your IP.

11am-12pm, 23 August, Seminar Rooms 1&2, TRF

The session's speakers are:
1) Rob Merriel, Hudson's Business Development Director & CFO, who will provide an introduction to the Institute's newly revised Publications, Intellectual Property and Commercialisation policy; and
2) Rachel Stevenson, a Patent Attorney with Davies Collison Cave, who will provide a basic overview of intellectual property management.

Note, this workshop is compulsory for all Hudson Institute HDR students.

International Association for Communication in Healthcare (EACH) Summer Event, London UK 4-6 September

EACH is delighted to announce the second Summer Event from 4-6 September 2017 at Regent’s University, Regent’s Park, London, UK.
Welcoming delegates on the evening of the 4 September with a drinks reception, the event will feature high quality, half-day workshops on important and exciting topics in the research, teaching and policy and practice of healthcare communication aimed at new and experienced teachers and researchers.  Create your own stimulating programme of four half-day workshops spread over the two days.
Registration is now open.  More information here:

Development Opportunity: Springboard Women's Development Program

Monash HR have places available in the next SPRINGBOARD Women's Development Program which has been developed, designed and written by women, for women.

The program runs over a four month period commencing in September where each participant sets her own agenda to achieve her goals and ambitions both in her professional and in her personal life. Topics covered include.
  • To increase self awareness, promote and foster personal development and growth.
  • To help women feel more empowered, building confidence and self-esteem.
  • To provide practical model for current and future goal setting, planning and problem-solving.
  • To encourage networking and relationship building. 
We are seeking your support to communicate this opportunity to your staff.

To register please click on this link and select "Request" at the top of the page.

For enquiries, please email 

Women in Leadership Program, 17-18 October

VIIN Young Investigator Symposium - Registration and Abstract Submission Now Open! 16 October

Registration and abstract submission is now open for the VIIN Young Investigator Symposium.  This symposium is a great opportunity to present your work to the VIIN!
Keynote speakers:
Professor Kanta Subbarao
, Director, WHO Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research on Influenza, The Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity
Dr Maria Kaparakis-Liaskos, veski Inspiring Women Fellow and Head, Host-Pathogen Interactions Laboratory, La Trobe University
Post-graduate students, post-docs and RAs are invited to submit abstracts for poster / oral presentations.  Lab heads and senior researchers - please attend too and support your young investigators!
Where: Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, Parkville
When: Monday 16 October 2017
Registration is free for researchers.  Food and drinks provided.

Postdoctoral Research Posts in Innate Immunity, Trinity College Dublin

Applications are invited for Postdoctoral Research positions in Prof. Andrew Bowie’s lab in the School of Biochemistry and Immunology in Trinity College Dublin. The Bowie lab is situated in the Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute, a global centre of excellence for Immunology research ( Our research focuses on innate immune sensing and signalling mechanisms of relevance to inflammation and autoimmunity (
We also investigate how pathogens evade and subvert detection by the host response. Our work has shed light on how pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) such as Toll-like receptors (TLRs) and cytosolic DNA sensors recognise pathogens, leading to the induction of type I interferons (IFNs) and pro-inflammatory cytokines. These IFNs and cytokines control infection locally as well as coordinating the adaptive immune response. We also investigate how PRRs and inflammasomes drive inflammation and cell death through the recognition of nucleic acid such as mislocalised self-DNA, to more fully understand how autoimmune and inflammatory diseases are initiated and exacerbated.

Four Science Foundation Ireland-funded postdoctoral positions are immediately available.
The successful candidates will have a PhD in Immunology, Molecular Biology, Microbiology or a
related discipline, with a proven publication record. They will be highly motivated individuals with a
passion to work on an intellectually-stimulating project at the cutting edge of current knowledge of
innate immunity and inflammation. They will enjoy working as part of a team, and have excellent oral and written communication skills.

PDRA1 and PDRA2 (2 years initially) are available to recent PhD graduates to work on a programme of research which addresses the role of SARM (Sterile alpha and HEAT/Armadillo motif protein) in regulating inflammation in mammalian cells. We have discovered that SARM, one of the most evolutionarily conserved innate immune proteins, is a regulator of PRR and inflammasome responses in macrophages. Thus SARM may have a role in inflammatory disease and in this project we will build on exciting preliminary data to determine the role of SARM in (1) gene transcription, (2) inflammasome regulation and (3) pyroptosis, using biochemical, cell and animal model approaches. Experience in any of the following would be an advantage: global transcriptome analysis (RNA-Seq, ChIP-Seq), CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing, retroviral transduction of mammalian cells, confocal microscopy.

PDRA3 (2 years initially) is available to an individual with previous postdoctoral research experience
in innate immunity or microbiology. This project will investigate innate immune responses
underpinning bacteria-host interactions, with a focus on Klebsiella pneumoniae. This project is funded by SFI and the BBSRC and is a collaboration with Prof Jose Bengoechea (Queens University Belfast). We will examine how DNA sensing and PRR and inflammasome activation define bacterial responses in vitro and disease outcomes in vivo.

PDRA4 (6 month project initially) will characterise novel anti-inflammatory peptides derived from
poxviral proteins that target host innate immune signalling pathways. A series of peptides that have
been identified to inhibit PRR-induced cytokines will be tested in vitro and in vivo with a view to
determining their mechanisms of action and to developing novel anti-inflammatories. Essential skills:
cell culture, gene expression and cytokine analysis (qPCR, ELISA), Western blotting.

Applications should be emailed to Prof. Andrew Bowie ( Please indicate which
post you are interested in, and include covering letter, CV and the name of two referees, and send
applications as soon as possible or by the closing date of 31st August 2017. Informal enquiries are
welcome to Suitable applicants will be invited to interview in person or by Skype.

MMC/MCH Security Alert: Workplace Security

What is Happening?
·         A recent theft at MMC prompts us to remind all staff about the importance of Workplace Security

What can I do to improve the security of my workplace?
·         Personal Identification
                    Visibly wear your Monash Health staff identification at all times
                    Ensure that a staff identification is visible on anyone entering a restricted area
                    Be alert for suspicious people in the workplace
·         Valuables
                    Secure all valuables at all times when unattended
§  Personal valuables may include telephones, keys, money, purses and wallets
§  Organisational valuables may include telephones, artwork, computers, furniture and other equipment
·         Access Points (eg: Doors, Gates)
                    Ensure security doors are closed and secure whenever they are not in use
                    Ensure areas are secure when unattended (keep doors closed)
                    Do not permit other people to tag-along behind you when entering secure areas unless you are satisfied that they are authorised to be in the area.
                    Always badge your ID/Access card when driving into or out of our Staff Car Parks
§  Report any vehicles observed to be tailgating to Security.

What do I do if I see someone acting suspiciously?
·         Call our Security team (959 42139) and notify the NCO if you have any concerns or observe any suspicious behaviour
·         Activate Code Grey or Code Black as indicated by hospital procedures

What personal safety strategies can I consider?

·         Be alert for suspicious people in the workplace or suspicious people and vehicles as you walk in the streets
·         Avoid talking on your mobile phone whilst in public
·         Avoid providing personal information to strangers
·         Always walk confidently and with purpose in groups when in public streets
·         Carry your car keys in your hand for quick access to your vehicle, without fumbling in your bag.
·         In an Emergency outside the site contact the Police directly (telephone 000)
·         Contact MMC Security (959 42139) at any time if you require assistance on Monash Health Properties
·         Remove visible Employee identification when you leave your workplace (eg: name badge, ID/Access card)

How do I get more information or report a concern?

·         For Emergency assistance outside Monash Medical Centre please contact the Police on emergency number 000.
·         For assistance within Monash Medical Centre grounds please contact MMC Security on 959 42139.
·         For Emergency assistance within Monash Medical Centre or Monash Children’s Hospital please call the internal emergency number 999 and state your emergency.

For general enquiries regarding Monash Medical Centre please contact Site Management
·         Telephone:         959 44727      

·         Email:       

Improving discharge care: the potential of a new organisational intervention to improve discharge after hospitalisation for acute stroke, a controlled before-after pilot study

Dominique Cadilhac et al. published in BMJ Open.

Read article here.

Exploring patients’ experience of hospital meal-ordering systems Read More:

Ella Ottrey, Judi Porter published in Nursing Standard.

Read article here.

Mechanism of Interferon Stimulated Gene Induction in HIV-1 Infected Macrophages

Paul Hertzog et al. published in the Journal of Virology.

Read article here.

A Model of Acute Antibody-Mediated Renal Allograft Rejection in the Sensitized Rata

Frank Ma et al. published in Experimental and Clinical Transplantation.

Read article here.

Pre-operative embolization of hypervascular spinal metastasis using percutaneous direct intra-tumoural injection with Onyx under local anesthesia

Ronil Chandra et al. published in the Journal of Clinical Neuroscience.

Read article here.

Designing programmes of assessment: A participatory approach

Claire Palermo et al. published in Medical Teacher.

Read article here.

Modulation of mitochondrial DNA copy number to induce hepatocytic differentiation of human Amniotic Epithelial cells

Jus St John et al. published in Stem Cells and Development.

Read article here.

Carbohydrate and protein intake during exertional-heat stress ameliorates intestinal epithelial injury and small intestine permeability

Ricardo Da Costa et al. published in Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism.

Read article here.

Risk prediction of hepatotoxicity in paracetamol poisoning

Anselm Wong, Andis Graudins published in Clinical Toxicology.

Read article here.

Do antiemetic drugs benefit adult emergency department patients with nausea? The literature says no, but is it right

Robert Meek, Andis Graudins published in Emergency Medicine Australasia.

Read article here.

Improving the Transition to Palliative Care for Patients With Acute Leukemia: A Coordinated Care Approach

George Grigoriadis et al. published in Cancer Nursing.

Read article here.

Perinatal and Maternal Outcomes After Training Residents in Forceps Before Vacuum Instrumental Birth

Sasha Skinner et al. published in Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Read article here.

Death anxiety interventions in patients with advanced cancer: A systematic review

David Kissane et al. published in Palliative Medicine.

Read article here.

Chyluria: When is proteinuria ‘not proteinuria’?

Lilian Johnstone, Richard Kitching et al. published in the Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health.

Read article here.

Reduced Willingness to Expend Effort for Reward in Obesity: Link to Adherence to a 3-Month Weight Loss Intervention

Alastair Kwok, Helen Truby et al. published in Obesity.

Read article here.

Elevated airway liquid volumes at birth: a potential cause of transient tachypnea of the newborn

Stuart Hooper et al. published in the Journal of Applied Physiology.

Read article here.

Accuracy of the paracetamol-aminotransferase product to predict hepatotoxicity in paracetamol overdose treated with a 2-bag acetylcysteine regimen

Anselm Wong et al. published in Clinical Toxicology.

Read article here.

Protecting newborns from pertussis: The role of partner vaccination in the era of maternal immunization

Sushena Krishnaswamy et al. published in the European Journal of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology.

Read article here.