Monday, 25 September 2017

MHTP PhD student recognised for research into vitamin D and inflammation

Aya Mousa
Ms Aya Mousa, a PhD student from the Monash Centre for Health Research and Implementation (MCHRI) at the Monash Health Translation Precinct (MHTP) was nominated for two awards at the recent Australian Diabetes Society’s (ADS) scientific meeting for her study of vitamin D deficiency in pregnancy.

A finalist in Young Investigator Award at the ADS meeting, Aya’s study showed that low vitamin D levels are related to increased cardiometabolic risk factors during pregnancy as well as increased risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes, including gestational diabetes and preterm birth.

Aya was also a finalist in the Clinical Science Poster Award competition for her meta-analysis of randomised trials, which showed that vitamin D supplementation improved concentrations of inflammatory markers in patients with type 2 diabetes. 

“Our research suggests that vitamin D supplementation may be a beneficial adjunct therapy for reducing inflammation, particularly in conditions associated with increased chronic low-grade inflammation such as in type 2 diabetes and during pregnancy,” Aya said.

Also at the ADS meeting, Associate Professor Barbora de Courten delivered an oral presentation about her vitamin D supplementation study.

“The results of our NHMRC-funded clinical trial showed that vitamin D supplementation, despite being provided in a sufficient dose and duration to vitamin D-deficient individuals, had no effect on clinical diabetes risk factors including insulin sensitivity and secretion, and is therefore unlikely to be an effective strategy for diabetes prevention,” Associate Professor de Courten said.

Fellow PhD students Mr Estifanos Baye and Dr Negar Naderpoor also delivered oral presentations at the ADS meeting.

The Chronic Disease Prevention Team are now recruiting participants with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes (diet-controlled or on metformin only) aged 18 to 70 years to participate in ongoing clinical trials at Monash Centre for Health Research and Implementation in Clayton, Victoria. To find out more information or to take part in the studies, please contact Josphin Johnson at 0385722629 or email:

Raising money to create a safer bike riding environment

Ever wondered what the boss does when he's not at work?

Last week, our Head of School Professor Eric Morand rode 120km (and climbed 2000m) - raising funds to help create safer roads for cyclists.

Held on the Great Ocean Road, the Wiggle Amy's Gran Fondo is an annual cycling event held in memory of Amy Gillet.

See for details.

This week's SCS trivia questions

Answers to last week's trivia quiz

NHMRC Update from the MRO

1. New Grant Program/Re-structure Announcements
For information about the new grant program
A reminder that the NHMRC have set up a specific website to detail and provide news on the new grant program as it becomes available.

The MRO intranet site is also being updated as we have answers to Frequently Asked Questions that come to our office. Please email us if you have any queries.  

Peer review public consultations for the new grant program
NHMRC will be releasing a consultation paper on peer review in the new grant program late Friday September 22 2017. Submission of responses will close 5.00pm (AEDT) Monday 4 December 2017. We recommend that everyone review this consultation paper and respond, or let us know your thoughts so we can include them in our response, to ensure your views and thoughts on how peer review processes in the new grant program are conducted meet your needs and are transparent and fair. 

2. Embargo still in place - July announcements
Just a quick reminder that the embargo is still in place for the NHMRC fellowships and grants that were announced in late July. NHMRC have not yet provided an indication of when the embargo may be lifted. 

3. Self-nominations for 2018 peer review of applications
NHMRC are calling for researchers to nominate themselves for consideration for appointment to NHMRC peer review panel(s) for the 2018 round. Nominations must be entered in RGMS by Friday 20 October 2017. Details on how to self-nominate are available in the RGMS User Guide – Assessment Processes.

4. Preparation for the 2018 Application Round
EOI for Fellowships 
Thanks to everyone who has responded to the EOI for NHMRC Fellowship applications. A reminder to those that haven't that this EOI is open till October 29th. Please click here to respond.  

RGMS Profiles
It is a good time of year to consider updating your RGMS CV & Profile in preparation for the major round to ensure your publications, conferences, memberships, etc., are up-to-date for when applications start opening towards the end of this year. 

If you have any questions or comments, please don't hesitate to contact us

Visit from Cure Cancer Australia for early career researchers

Kate Christian, Research Alumni Program Manager for Cure Cancer Australia, is coming to Monash on Monday October 2nd and is hoping to have an informal sit down with relevant early career researchers to talk through the grant opportunities available through their organisation. 
Cure Cancer Australia offers 'start up' one and two year grants in any field of cancer to early career researchers (up to 7 years post-doc or post MBBS). Funds can be used to salary support, and/or equipment and consumables.  

Attached HERE is some information about Cure Cancer's grant program and their funding priority areas. 

Date and time: Monday October 2, 2017, 3pm
Location: TBC, Clayton campus
Best suited for: ECRs up to 7 years post-doc
RSVP: By COB Thursday 28th September to 

Please contact the MHS Team if you have any queries with regard to this session. 

PhD top-up scholarship available at CSIRO

Dr Daniel Layton and Dr Andrew Bean at CSIRO's Australian Animal Health Laboratory have a top-up scholarship available for a PhD project.
Please see the flyer attached HERE and link below for more information:

"Communicating Science: The joint responsibility of researchers and journal editors", 2 October

2 October, MIMR Level 3 Boardrooms A&B

Presented by Sally Darney PhD, Editor-in-Chief, Environmental Health Perspectives, NIEHS, an international expert in Reproductive Toxicology.

  1.   "Communicating Science:  The joint responsibility of researchers and journal editors"            11am - 12pm, MIMR Level 3 Boardrooms A&B.  (This seminar is available to all Hudson Institute and SCS staff and students.)  
      2. "Short course for Postgraduate students and ECRs on how to write and review scientific papers for scholarly journals".  (Open to Hudson Institute and SCS students).  1pm - 3pm. MIMR Level 3 Boardrooms A&B.

Please register to attend these seminars, together with a lunch which will be provided in the de Kretser Concourse outside the Boardrooms from 12pm - 1pm, using the following links:

Seminar 1:  Communicating Science: The joint responsibility of researchers and journal editors

Lunch: Lunch with Postgraduate students and ECRS

Seminar 2
Short course for Postgraduate students and ECRs on how to write and review scientific papers for scholarly journals.  

Science writing workshops for HDR students

Writing Clear Science offer writing workshops that show you how to stay on track and be more efficient at each stage of the writing process. We teach you how to record your thoughts, reduce distractions, plan your document, monitor your writing productivity and produce a content-rich first draft in a short period of time. We show how to design reports and papers, how to improve the clarity and impact of your key messages and how to get your papers published. We show you how to clearly communicate to different audiences.

Please see details of available workshops HERE.

Lorne Infection and Immunity 2018 - Registrations and abstract submissions are open!

Join infection and immunity scientists from around Australia and overseas for three days of networking and science (14-16 February 2018).

Complimentary and Discounted Student Registrations

One of the major aims of the Lorne Infection and Immunity Committee is to foster the development of the next generation of researchers. With this in mind, we are pleased to confirm that Complimentary Student Registration (one per registered lab head) will be back in 2018! 

We are also excited to announce that all second and subsequent students whose lab head registers will receive $50 off their registration cost. Conditions apply

More opportunities for Early Career Researchers and students to speak in 2018 – and more prizes!

See conference information here:

Registration and student discount information here:

CID seminar: "Cell-based and cell-free therapy in regenerative medicine", 26 Sept

Tuesday 26th September,  12 - 1pm (Lunch from 11.45am), Seminar Room 1, Level 2, TRF Building

CID and CiiiD Seminars present: Prof. William Sievert, 
Program Director, Specialty Medicine, Cancer and Critical Care, Monash Health
Director, Gastroenterology and Hepatology Unit, Monash Health
Professor, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Monash University
Director, Clinical Research, Monash Health

Talk title: Cell-based and cell-free therapy in regenerative medicine

Dr. William Sievert is Director, Gastroenterology and Hepatology Unit, Monash Health, and a
Professor in the Monash University Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences. He was recently appointed as Director of Clinical Research at Monash Health and is a past President of the Gastroenterological Society of Australia. He trained in medicine and gastroenterology at the University of Texas Health Science Centre in Houston, Texas. Professor Sievert directs an active research program in liver disease comprising physician-scientists, clinical research nurses, biomedical scientists and research students. The Clinical Research Unit has been active for many years in international and national studies of antiviral agents for hepatitis B and C, therapy for hepatocellular carcinoma and more recently non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. The clinical research programs are integrated with the provision of care for a large population of patients with viral hepatitis and chronic liver disease. Dr. Sievert also directs a basic research laboratory investigating mechanisms of inflammatory liver injury and hepatic fibrogenesis, with a translational focus on the development of antifibrotic agents for advanced liver disease including stem cell-based therapies.

FreeMind Group Webinar on US Funding - Tuesday 26 September at 3pm

The first of a series of webinars from FreeMind Group, who specialise in securing US funding, will take place Tuesday 2September 2017) at 3:00pm. This 30-minute session will include an introduction to the consultancy and an overview of US federal agency funding. Q&A will follow the webinar. The registration details are as follows:

Register at

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar

Monash Haematology Journal Club, 27 September

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

‘Transfusion therapy in sickle cell disease –Alloimmunisation and the role of
phenotype matched red cells’

Presenter: Dr Danielle Clucas

Annual Ritchie Centre Colloquium 2017, 5-6 October

The Hudson Institute of Medical Research, in collaboration with Monash University is proud to inform you that registrations are now open for the annual Ritchie Centre Colloquium.

The Colloquium, entitled ‘New Directions in Endometriosis & Women’s Health’, will explore innovative research in endometriosis and women’s health, with presentations from leading Australian and international experts in the field.
Thursday, October 5 will focus on world-leading endometriosis research and Friday, October 6 will feature research from scientists in women’s health areas including infertility, pregnancy conditions, gynaecological cancers and pelvic organ prolapse. The Ritchie Centre aims to improve the health of women and children through innovative research that informs better healthcare.

See program information HERE.

Cost: $150 - Thursday & Friday registration
$100 - Thursday only or Friday only registration

​Please contact Caroline Menara for further details 8572 2877 or

Grand Rounds: "Clinical Leadership in Complex Organisations", 27 September

Presented by Professor Donald Campbell

12.30-1.30pm, Wednesday 27 September
Main Lecture Theatre, Monash Medical Centre

“Mitochondrial herniation and mtDNA release during cell death”, 28 September

This week's Hudson seminar will be held Thursday 28th September 12pm-1pm in Seminar Rooms 1 & 2, Level 2, TRF Building. 
Our speaker will be Prof Benjamin Kile, Head of the Department of Anatomy and Developmental Biology, Monash University.
He will be presenting “Mitochondrial herniation and mtDNA release during cell death”

The Kile lab is focused on the molecular regulation of blood cell formation and function, with a particular interest in the role cell death pathways play in the development and survival of the megakaryocyte lineage.

A light lunch and refreshments will follow this presentation.

Sarah Buchanan-Pascall PhD Pre-Submission seminar, "Evaluation of the CAMHS and Schools Early Action (CASEA) Exploring Together Early Primary School Program.", 3 October

All staff and students are invited to Sarah Buchanan-Pascall's PhD pre-submission seminar.

Tuesday 3 October, 10am
Seminar Room, P Block, Monash Medical Centre

Synopsis: My project focused on child and parent outcomes from a cluster-randomized trial that was conducted comparing two versions of delivery of the Exploring Together Early Primary School Program; one version had separate child and parent group sessions (Exploring Together-Adapted; ET-Adapted) and the other version included some child-parent group time in the intervention (Exploring Together; ET).

Supervisors: Associate Professor Kylie Gray, Dr. Glenn Melvin
Panel Chair: Dr. Phyllis Chua

Independent panel members: Dr. Joanne Enticott, Dr. Melanie Gibson-Helm

PhD confirmation Fabrizzio Horta, Effects of oocyte aging on the repair of sperm DNA damage and on embryo development, 16 October

All staff and students are invited to Fabrizzio Horta's PhD confirmation.

16th October between 2:30pm-4:30pm, Room SR6 Monash Medical Centre.

Project title: Effects of oocyte aging on the repair of sperm DNA damage and on embryo development

Synopsis: The DNA repair by the oocyte is believed to rely on the maternal repair pathway mRNAs that are stored in the oocyte before ovulation. However, previous studies suggest that with increasing maternal and/or oocyte age, these stored mRNAs decrease resulting in a decrease in the efficiency of DNA repair. On the other hand, sperm DNA damage has shown a decreased effect on reproductive outcomes using oocytes from young women, which it could be explained by the high DNA repair capacity. However, further studies should be carried out.

Supervisors:  Peter Temple-Smith, Sally Catt and Beverley Vollenhoven 

Changing the way we treat diabetes and its complications: 19 October public lecture

Public lecture on Diabetes by Professor Mark Cooper AO.

Thursday 19 October, 6.30 pm for 7.00 pm start. Lecture for 45 minutes followed by Q&A session.

AMREP Lecture Theatre, adjacent to the Baker Institute at 75 Commercial Road, Melbourne 3004, 200 metres east of the main Alfred Hospital entrance. See map.

Since the discovery of insulin over 90 years ago and a number of oral tablets after the second world war there was very little change in the treatment of type 2 diabetes until the last decade.  In the last 10 years there have been dramatic improvements in the way we treat type 2 diabetes also known as maturity onset diabetes, a condition that has become arguably the largest worldwide epidemic as the world has industrialised with increasing obesity and reduced exercise.

See detail here


"Overcoming barriers to the control of hypertension in rural India"

12-1pm, Thursday 12 October, Seminar room 3, TRF

Professor Thrift is Head of Epidemiology and Prevention Division, Stroke and Ageing Research (STAR)

Includes light lunch.

Register now for the new 2017 Monash 10,000 Steps Challenge

Registrations for the new 2017 Monash 10,000 Steps Challenge are now open.
Following the great feedback received from participants last year, we have made some updates to the challenge website which we hope participants will enjoy. 
Major changes to this years’ event include:
  •  A shorter 42 day event focussed on the different aspects of our health including physical, mental, nutritional and general health.
  • The introduction of campus and faculty leaderboards to encourage competition and engagement
  • Customised postcards as well as many other great features. 
This year’s challenge will see participants form teams of five (5), including a team captain in a virtual race covering 50 amazing locations. Starting in Italy on October 23rd, the 2017 challenge will run for 42 days, and journey through Europe, the United States and Africa.
The challenge is open to all Monash University staff, students, family and friends at the subsidised cost of $15 per person. This fee includes entry into the challenge, access to resources, and the opportunity to win prizes through weekly competitions. A pedometer is available if requested when registering.
To support the wellbeing of SCS staff and students the School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health is sponsoring the registration fee for SCS personnedl wishing to participate in the event. When captains are registering their teams, they should contact SCS Reception to confirm the cost centre/fund to use.

To register a team of five (including team captain), or to register as an individual wishing to join a team, visit
Key dates:
  • Registrations 20 September to 11 October 2017
  • Pedometers available for collection by team captains from 17 to 20 October
  • Challenge commences 23 October and concludes on 3 December

For more information or if you have inquiries on the 10,000 Steps Challenge, email us at

Network downtime notice

A network upgrade has been organised for Tuesday 26th of September from 6pm - 11.30pm as changes are made to the network infrastructure at MMCC.  The interruption to network services i.e. Wireless, Voice and wired connectivity will be minimal.

Please contact the Service Desk on 99051777 if there are any questions.

Managed Print Services Planned Maintenance - 26 September 2017

Esolutions is performing a planned upgrade to the Managed Print Service (MPS).
Maintenance window
7:00 pm Tuesday 26 September 2017 to 9:00 pm Tuesday 26 September 2017 (AEST).
We’re upgrading the print system (Papercut) from v16 to v17. This is being done to improve service resilience and extend BYO device access. While the maintenance is carried out, you won’t have access to print or scan through the MonashUniPrint queue, Web Print or at a MPS multifunction device (Canon).
Staff and students won’t be able to access the service during the maintenance window. If a user attempts to print or scan during these times, they may receive an error and be required to re-print or re-scan after the maintenance window.
For further information, please contact the eSolutions Service Desk.

Lee-Ann Slater, Henry Ma and Ronil Chandra on Channel 9 news

Victorian stroke victims now have a better chance of survival with Monash Medical Centre's new clot busting service saving more patients than ever.
Watch story HERE.

Helena Teede on Channel 7 news

Australia needs a coherent, sustained obesity prevention strategy.

Watch story HERE.

Taking a systems-thinking approach to competency-based assessment for dietetics

Claire Palermo et al. published in Nutrition and Dietetics.

Read article here.

Exploring subjectivity in competency-based assessment judgements of assessors

Claire Palermo et al. published in Nutrition and Dietetics.

Read article here.

Deoxycorticosterone/Salt-Mediated Cardiac Inflammation and Fibrosis Are Dependent on Functional CLOCK Signaling in Male Mice

Morag Young et al. published in Endocrinology.

Read article here.

Mitochondrial DNA haplotypes induce differential patterns of DNA methylation that result in differential chromosomal gene expression patterns

Justin St John et al. published in Cell Death Discovery.

Read article here.

Development of advanced practice competency standards for dietetics in Australia

Claire Palermo et al. published in Nutrition and Dietetics.

Read article here.

Bone Marrow Stem Cells do Not Contribute to Endometrial Cell Lineages in Chimeric Mouse Models

James Deane et al. published in Stem Cells.

Read article here.

Interval between IVF stimulation cycle and frozen embryo transfer: Is there a benefit to a delay between cycles?

Beverley Vollenhoven et al. published in the Australian & New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

Read article here.

Height, selected genetic markers and prostate cancer risk: results from the PRACTICAL consortium

Melissa Southey et al. published in the British Journal of Cancer.

Read article here.

Associations of alcohol intake, smoking, physical activity and obesity with survival following colorectal cancer diagnosis by stage, anatomic site and tumor molecular subtype

Melissa Southey et al. published in the International Journal of Cancer.

Read article here.

Back to sleep or not: the effect of the supine position on pediatric OSA: Sleeping position in children with OSA

Lisa Walter et al. published in Sleep Medicine.

Read article here.

Immune thrombocytopenic purpura associated with fingolimod

George Grigoriadis et al. published in BMJ Case Reports.

Read article here.

Clinical factors associated with the yield of routine outpatient scalp electroencephalograms: A retrospective analysis from a tertiary hospital.

Udaya Seneviratne et al. published in the Journal of Clinical Neuroscience.

Read article here.

Slow wave activity and executive dysfunction in children with sleep disordered breathing

Sarah Biggs et al. published in Sleep & Breathing.

Read article here.

Improving quality and outcomes of stroke care in hospitals: Protocol and statistical analysis plan for the Stroke123 implementation study

Dominique Cadilhac et al. published in the International Journal of Stroke.

Read article here.

Creating the dietitians of the future

Claire Palermo published in Nutrition and Dietetics.

Read article here.

Overweight and obesity adds to behavioral problems in children with sleep disordered breathing

Rosemary Horne et al. published in Sleep Medicine.

Read article here.

What type and dose of antidepressants are cancer and non-cancer inpatients being prescribed: a retrospective case-control study at an Australian tertiary hospital

David Kissane et al. published in Supportive Care in Cancer.

Read article here.

Seizures by the clock: Temporal patterns of psychogenic nonepileptic seizures

Udaya Seneviratne et al. published in Epilepsy & Behavior.

Read article here.