Monday, 4 December 2017

Monash scientist to become future global leader of women in STEM

Dr Kiri Beilby
Dr Kiri Beilby from the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology has been accepted into the prestigious Homeward Bound Global Leadership program for women in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).

Dr Beilby, the only successful candidate from Monash University, receives a one-year mentorship program in the areas of strategy, leadership practices, science communication and the role of gender in leadership and science.

The Homeward Bound program, initially the idea of Fabian Dattner (leadership activist and partner at Dattner Grant) and Dr Jess Melbourne Thomas (Antarctic Marine Ecological Modeler), together with Dr Justine Shaw (Antarctic Conservation Biologist), and Associate Professor Mary Anne Lee
(Antarctic Marine Biologist), aims to heighten the influence and impact of women with a science background in order to influence policy and decision making as it shapes our planet.

“The program involves relationship building, problem solving, strategizing, and communicating project findings with a global team of women in all areas of STEM,” Dr Beilby said.

“Throughout the year, monthly conference calls will connect the international team, and in December 2018 we will fly to Argentina and board a boat bound for Antarctica for 20 days where all the women in the program will come together to participate in face-to-face activities along the same themes.”

Launched in 2016, Homeward Bound aims to recruit 1000 targeted women from around the world within ten years.

Dr Beilby said the vision of the Program is to equip a 1000-strong global collaboration of women with a science background to lead, influence and contribute to policy and decision making as it informs the future of our planet.

A lecturer and course coordinator of the Graduate Diploma of Reproductive Science and supervisor of several research projects in reproductive biology, Dr Beilby is based at the Monash Medical Centre campus.

“My role at Monash University is focused on education and business development, with a strong interest in building industry partnerships. Our group also has diverse research interests in everything from the ethics of social egg freezing, to the conservation of fish species, to the development of contraceptives and assisted reproduction techniques for application in both Human infertility treatment and animal conservation,” Dr Beilby said.  

Before her role at Monash, Dr Beilby was the Head of Medical Marketing for ORIGIO, a global developer and manufacturer of products for human assisted reproduction, based in Copenhagen.  Her research background is in reproductive biotechnology and genetics.

Dr Beilby has a keen interest in science communication, having been a former freelance science writer for ABC Science Online, Cosmos Magazine, and CSIRO's Double Helix and Scientriffic magazines.

“Personally and professionally, Homeward Bound is an opportunity for me to meet with incredible women in all stages of their lives and careers, and I intend to use this opportunity to inspire, motivate and challenge my current place in life, and in the world,” Dr Beilby said.

“The program will allow me to develop skills in leadership that I can apply to my current position at Monash University, contributing further to the global and aspirational vision of Monash.”

“I work in the field of infertility and women's health, and still today, despite many more female graduates coming through the program, the top scientific positions in Australia are still dominated by men. Why? Gender roles in leadership need to be addressed, and we need to start encouraging and supporting young women early in their careers to challenge the current model.”

Dr Beilby acknowledges her supervisors Dr Sally Catt and Associate Professor Peter Temple-Smith for supporting her application to Homeward Bound.



Disease of moving parts: examining the puzzle of cancer

Dr Elizabeth Sigston
For more than 50 years, the idea that cancer is caused by abnormal genes has been driving cancer research and treatment.


Now, discovery research into epigenetics (how genes are switched on and off), inflammation and tissue organisation (the interaction between cells and organs) is leading scientists to acknowledge that just like the human body, cancer is made up of many moving parts and causes. Genes alone do not hold all the answers.
“Cancer is not one disease, but many,” says Dr Elizabeth Sigston, a Hudson Institute of Medical Research PhD student, Monash University lecturer and Monash Health ear nose and throat surgeon, who specialises in head and neck cancers.
A new framework developed by Dr Sigston enables scientists and clinicians to critically re-examine  theories for what causes cancer in a way that makes them complementary rather than competing, to pave the way for improved treatment.
“Understanding cancer is like understanding a symphony: while each part can be studied in detail, ultimately it is how all the parts come together that creates the music that is heard. This framework provides the conductor’s score,” she says.
‘An Emergence Framework of Carcinogenesis’ is a systems -based framework developed by Dr Sigston as part of her PhD at Hudson Institute, supervised by Professor Bryan Williams. It has been published in the journal Frontiers in Oncology.
Dr Sigston says the framework can be applied by researchers or clinicians to start with either a clinical question or science discovery to better understand cancer. In her own research, she is using the framework to identify biomarkers in tongue and oral cancers that could predict the risk of recurrence and identify early patients who would potentially benefit from immunotherapies.
The framework synthesises current concepts of cancer development into 12 principles for researchers, clinicians, institutions and funding bodies involved in researching and treating cancer.
“This framework allows us to take a step back from the details and see how the details fit together and impact on where cancer really matters, in people,” Dr Sigston, who is also a lecturer in Monash University’s Department of Surgery, says.
“It allows for seemingly contradictory findings to fit side-by-side as pieces of the puzzle and provides a roadmap for translation research.”
“This new framework provides a unified paradigm for understanding cancer and a practical link between the bedside and benchtop, aiding translational research,” Dr Sigston, says.
“Understanding each cancer as a complex system opens the doorway to not only understanding each cancer, but how each cancer may differ in different people, paving the way for more targeted therapies and better treatment outcomes.”

Courtesy of Hudson Institute Communications.

Minister launches State-wide service to help women with PCOS

Councillor Heang Tek, Professor Helena Teede, 
the Hon Minister Jill Hennessy,  Ms Veryan McAllister, 
the Honourable Gabrielle Williams, Mr Hong Lim, 
Mr Andrew Stripp
The Hon Minister Jill Hennessy, Minister for Health and Ambulance Services opened the long anticipated PCOS Service of Excellence at the Monash Medical Centre in Clayton last month.

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a common condition which has profound impacts on affected girls and women. This is the first state-wide PCOS service that will greatly address access and equity to high-quality, evidence-based care for girls and women of Victoria.   This unique service is also the first of its kind nationally.


What the Service provides:
·         Specialist doctors:          
o   Endocrinologists          
o   Gynaecologists
·         Group education session on PCOS,  long-term complications, healthy   lifestyle strategies and diabetes prevention
·         Telehealth for regional women 
·         Education resources
·         Dietitian/health coach services
·         Care plan summaries to assist GPs in longer-term care
·         Laser hair removal for patients medically assessed for suitability ($40 out of pocket per 20 minute consultation).

The PCOS public clinic runs fortnightly on Friday afternoons at Monash Medical Centre, Clayton.

To attend the clinic
Patients will need their medical practitioner to complete the GP Statewide Referral Form including all relevant investigation results and fax to: Fax (03) 9594 6629. 

Where to find us 
Monash Medical Centre Clayton 
246 Clayton Rd, Clayton 
Special Medicine Building 
Turn right at the main round-a-bout, 200 metres on right–small brick building 


If you have any queries please call (03) 9594 2622

MRO Presentation to Update on NHMRC Re-structure, Wednesday 6 December at MMC

All staff and students are invited to attend a presentation on the NHMRC restructured funding program:

 Wed 6 December, 11am - 12noon
 Surgery Seminar Room, Level 5 Block E, Monash Medical Centre
Tsharni Zazryn from the Monash Research Office will present on the known (and not yet known) details relating to changes in NHMRC funding programs that will be implemented from 2019. This is an opportunity for you to hear about where things are at, and also ask questions about the new schemes and the transition from the old to the new program. 

Powerpoint slides will be made available after the presentation for those who cannot attend.



Dept of Medicine seminar: “The Role of Cardiac CT in the Diagnosis and Management of Coronary Disease: Looking Beyond Stenosis”, 14 December

Thursday 14 December, 12-1pm, Seminar room 3, TRF

Presented by Dr Abdul Rahman Ihdayid


Dr Abdul Ihdayhid is a cardiologist and interventional cardiology fellow at MonashHeart, Monash Health. Abdul completed a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery from the University of Western Australia in 2008 and graduated with honours and the AMA Gold Medal (Dux of Medical School). He completed his basic physician and cardiology advanced training at Royal Perth Hospital, including six months in the advanced heart failure and cardiac transplantation unit at Fiona Stanley Hospital, Western Australia.

Abdul is also currently undertaking a PhD at Monash University investigating novel techniques to determine coronary blood flow using cardiac CT to improve the diagnosis and treatment of coronary artery disease. He has been selected as a finalist for several national and international scientific awards including the Society of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography Young Investigator Award and the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand Ralph Reader Prize.


Grand Rounds, "An Update in MS” 6 December

Neurology / Stroke present Associate Professor Ernest Butler:  "An update in MS"

Wednesday 6 December, 12.30-1.30pm, Lecture Theatre 1, MMC



“Rethinking sex determination of non-gonadal tissues”, 7 December

This week's Hudson seminar will be held Thursday 7th December 12pm-1pm in Seminar Rooms 1 & 2, Level 2, TRF Building. 
Our speaker will be Professor Arthur P. Arnold, PhD, University of California, Los Angeles, USA

Arthur P. Arnold, PhD, is Distinguished Professor of Integrative Biology & Physiology at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is the founding Editor-in-Chief of the journal Biology of Sex Differences.  He is a Director of the Organization for the Study of Sex Differences.  He received his PhD from the Rockefeller University and has been at UCLA since 1976.  
He has long studied biological factors that make males and females different, and has introduced and studied several animal models of sexual differentiation of the brain and other tissues.

Dr. Arnold was Inaugural President of the Society of Behavioral Neuroendocrinology in 1997-1999, and received the SBN’s Daniel Lehrman Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010. He is a fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Confirmation milestone, Simone Lagondar, 'A novel conservation strategy using induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) to reintroduce the New Holland Mouse population in Anglesea, Victoria.', 11 December

All staff and students are invited to Simone Lagondar's Master's  confirmation milestone:


11 December, 9am-11am, The Ritchie Centre Seminar Room, level 5, Monash Medical Centre


Title: A novel conservation strategy using induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) to reintroduce the New Holland Mouse population in Anglesea, Victoria.


Project Synopsis: The native New Holland Mouse (NHM) is currently listed as one of Victoria’s endangered species. Many former populations including the genetically distinct Anglesea strain are now locally extinct.  This project represents a novel conservation strategy to recreate the Anglesea genetic strain using induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) derived from previously collected and cryopreserved Anglesea specific NHM fibroblast cells. 
The focus of this project is to aid conservation efforts by restoring this locally extinct Victorian population.

Supervisor names: A/Prof Peter Temple-Smith, Dr. Yogeshwar Makanji,  Dr. Marissa Parrott.

Biostatistics support for postgraduate students

As the year comes to an end and as students and their supervisors plan for 2018, this is a reminder to consider your Biostatistical needs in advance. 

Through Monash Graduate Education (MGE), students can access a wide range of Biostatistical (e.g. introduction to multiple and logistic regression, Statistical analysis using SPSS) and research skills (e.g. meta-analysis) training offered throughout the Faculty. 

A complete list of available courses can be found at http://www.intranet.monash/graduate-education/doctoral-program/professional-dev/research-methods-and-analysis. Students can access these courses through my.monash under myDevelopment in the Research tab. The School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine also offers short courses on Stata.


Those with minimal expertise are encouraged to incorporate the Biostatistics course as part of your Doctoral training. The Biostatistics Consulting Platform is also available for consultations. Please note that all doctoral students are entitled to a total of 5 hours of Biostatistics consulting throughout their candidature. Contact Dr Mehmet Özmen to access the consulting platform.

End of Year HR Deadlines

Please find HERE the 2017 year end pack containing:

  • guide to preparing for year end
  • important HR dates for the remainder of the year
  • contact points for year end enquiries

Managed Print Services is coming to SCS - important notice about printing

The University's Managed Print Services (MPS)  is about to be rolled out across the School before the end of this year. During the rollout, our vendor will remove all* printers once the new centralised, 'follow-me' printers are installed . Dates about the rollout will be provided closer to the date to the relevant building managers. Click here to find the original global email sent about the project.    Read a message from the Vice-Chancellor HERE.

In order to print to the new multi-function devices (MFD), all personnel will require the new University M-Pass ID. The M-Pass card allows secure printing, so that confidentiality is maintained for every print job. When a job is sent to print, it can remain in the Monash print queue for up to six hours, and will only print when activated by the user. Once in the Monash queue, the print job can be activated on any centralised printer across all of the campuses of the University, through swiping your M-Pass ID card.


Information about the M-Pass ID cards and how to obtain one can be found here: https://www.monash.edu/connect/staff-id-cards

*Some printers that meet very specific requirements will not be removed.

Researchers believe anti-inflammatory diet key to health

Helen Truby in the Herald Sun.

Read article here.

Some hospital services may be expendable on weekends

Terry Haines on 7News.

Read article here.

Altered downstream target gene expression of the placental Vitamin D receptor in human idiopathic fetal growth restriction

Padma Murthi et al. published in Cell Cycle.

Read article here.

Integrating acute stroke telemedicine consultations into specialists' usual practice: a qualitative analysis comparing the experience of Australia and the United Kingdom

Kathleen Bagot, Dominique Cadilhac et al. published in BMC Health Services Research.

Read article here.

Being Born Too Small and Too Early May Alter Sleep in Childhood

Stephanie Yiallourou et al. published in Sleep.

Read article here.

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

Sarah Biggs et al. published in Sleep Medicine.

Read article here.

Effect of Human Amnion Epithelial Cells on the Acute Inflammatory Response in Fetal Sheep

Tim Moss et al. published in Frontiers in Physiology.

Read article here.

Peripheral Transcription of NRG-ErbB Pathway Genes Are Upregulated in Treatment-Resistant Schizophrenia

Suresh Sundram et al. published in Frontiers in Psychiatry.

Read article here.

Long-Term Outcomes of Ischemic Stroke of Undetermined Mechanism: A Population-Based Prospective Cohort

Amanda Thrift et al. published in Neuroepidemiology.

Read article here.

Borderline Aspect Score Patients with Acute Ischaemic Stroke Due to Large Vessel Occlusion May Find Benefit with Endovascular Thrombectomy

Ronil Chandra et al. published in World Neurosurgery.

Read article here.

Endovascular mechanical thrombectomy in large vessel occlusion ischemic stroke presenting with low NIHSS: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Ronil Chandra et al. published in World Neurosurgery.

Read article here.

Vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty for Osteoporotic Vertebral Fractures: What Are the Latest Data?

Ronil Chandra et al. published in the American Journal of Neuroradiology.

Read article here.

The pathogenesis of hemodialysis vascular access failure and systemic therapies for its prevention: Optimism unfulfilled

Kevan Polkinghorne et al. published in Seminars in Dialysis.

Read article here.

The Use of Peritoneal Dialysis in Phenobarbitone Toxicity in a Critically Unwell Neonate

Amelia Le Page, Andis Graudins et al. published in Neonatology.

Read article here.

CT dose reduction factors in the thousands using X-ray phase contrast

Stuart Hooper et al. published in Scientific Reports.

Read article here.

The Validity of Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis to Measure Body Composition in Phenylketonuria

Maureen Evans et al. published in JIMD Reports.

Read article here.