Tuesday, 19 December 2017

SCS Superheroes & Villains Christmas Lunch 2017

The annual SCS Christmas (and trivia quiz) lunch was overtaken by superheroes.   Thank you to Eugene, our trivia master.  See full photo gallery HERE.

Monash haematology leading new investigator research in Australia

Dr Danielle Oh, Dr Olga Motorna, Dr Allison Mo
Monash haematologists have been recognised by the Haematology Society of Australia and New Zealand (HSANZ), with the award of three competitive New Investigator Scholarships.

Monash Health haematology trainees Dr Olga Motorna, Dr Danielle Oh and Dr Allison Mo each received prestigious scholarships worth $60,000 to support their PhD projects at Monash University and Melbourne University.   Only seven scholarships are awarded across Australia and New Zealand.

Under the supervision of Professor Erica Wood,  Dr Zoe McQuilten and Associate Professor Jake Shortt, Dr Mo will undertake epidemiological and clinical studies investigate anaemia in the elderly Australian population.

“Although anaemia is common in the elderly (and rising with an ageing population), and the elderly receive more blood transfusions for treatment of anaemia than younger patients, we currently don’t have detailed epidemiological data describing the burden of anaemia in the elderly Australian community, risk factors or the consequences of anaemia on health outcomes,” Dr Mo said.

Consequently there is a lack of data to guide treatment of anaemia and provide guidance on the appropriate use of blood transfusions in the elderly.

Former SCS student receives Bryan Hudson Medal

Dr Kathryn Connelly
Monash University medical graduate Dr Kathryn Connelly has been recognised for her outstanding achievement, receiving the prestigious Bryan Hudson Medal for the best overall performance in the RACP written and clinical examinations in adult medicine.

Dr Connelly completed her BMedSc(Hons) at the School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health (SCS) in 2012 under the supervision of Professor Eric Morand and undertook some of her rotations in years 4 and 5 at Monash Health.

Dr Connelly said she was humbled to be the recipient of such a prestigious award and sees it as a special acknowledgement of the hard work and sacrifices that go into a rollercoaster 18 months combining full-time work and study.

“I hope it is seen as a reflection of the fantastic teaching and mentorship I have received throughout my medical training from experienced, dedicated and enthusiastic teachers and the tremendous support from my study group, other colleagues, family and friends,” Dr Connelly said. 

Currently a medical registrar at Alfred Health, Dr Connelly will return to Monash Health next year as a trainee rheumatologist.

“I'm excited to begin advanced training in Rheumatology next year, having had great experiences in the specialty at both Monash and Alfred Health,” Dr Connelly said.

I'm looking forward to the breadth of clinical exposure Monash Health offers in rheumatology and working in a unit with such a strong reputation for teaching and research.”



Novartis pharmaceuticals exchange program success

Novartis ANZ Chief Scientific Officer Dr Simon Fisher,
Novartis ANZ Clinical Research Medical Advisor Dr Mathew Cox,
Novartis ANZ National Commercial Manager Mr Brett Roberts,
Ms Paris Papagiannis, Mr Lachlan McMillan, Ms Kim O'Sullivan,
Dr Genevieve Pepin, Professor Eric Morand
Three PhD students and an early career researcher from the School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health (SCS) and the Hudson Institute were competitively selected to participate in an exchange program at Novartis Pharmaceuticals in Sydney last month.

Supported by the Department of Medicine, the second annual researcher exchange program provided an opportunity for participants to gain insight into possible career options in the pharmaceutical industry after completing a PhD.

Professor Peter Ebeling AO, Head, Department of Medicine, SCS, said that the researcher exchange program is an example of the Monash University-Monash Health-Hudson Institute and Novartis memorandum of understanding in action.

“The program is highly competitive and uniformly popular with our research stars of the future, who greatly value the experience obtained from their detailed insights into the pharmaceutical industry,” Professor Ebeling said.

Dr Genevieve Pepin, Lachlan McMillan, Paris Papagianis and Kim O’Sullivan spent a week at Novartis in Sydney learning about their operations and becoming immersed in the Novartis culture to learn what drives a global leader in developing improved health care.

SCS researcher aims to improve bone health in India

Dr Ayse Zengin
SCS researcher Dr Ayse Zengin has been awarded an Australia-India Early/Mid-Career Fellowship from the Australian Academy of Sciences to further her research into the ethnic differences in musculoskeletal health in the ageing population.  

A Research Fellow in the Bone and Muscle Health Research Group, Department of Medicine, Dr Zengin will spend five months in India researching sarcopenia and osteoporosis.

“With the current social, economic, and environmental transition in India, sarcopenia prevalence is estimated to rise,” Dr Zengin said.

“Many studies demonstrate that sarcopenia is an important predictor of poor functional ability and frailty, which in turn, are risk factors for falls and fractures.”

The most common musculoskeletal injury in India is fracture, with 15% of those incurring an open fracture. 

Dr Zengin said the aim of her project is to determine the prevalence of sarcopenia and investigate the effects on frailty, fall risk, and bone health in ageing Indian men and women. 

“The escalating burden of chronic non-communicable diseases in low-middle income countries and disadvantaged populations requires the focus of national health agendas,” Dr Zengin said.

“Determining the prevalence of sarcopenia and its subsequent effects on bone health will encourage the formulation of public health strategies to prevent these diseases.” 

Dr Zengin will visit Professor Nikhil Tandon (All Indian Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi), Dr Baharati Kulkarni (National Institute of Nutrition India, Hyderabad) and Dr P S Reddy (Society for Health Allied Research and Education (SHARE) India, Telangana).  

Monash wins national awards for teaching excellence

Professor Zlatko Skrbiš, Professor Christina Mitchell,
Associate Professor Claire Palermo, Professor Margaret Gardner
Monash staff took home three awards in this year’s prestigious Australian Awards for University Teaching.

Monash President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Margaret Gardner AO gave the keynote address at last week’s awards, at which the University was recognised with awards for teaching excellence.
Associate Professor Claire Palermo and Associate Professor Simon Angus received Awards for Teaching Excellence, which were presented by Federal Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham.

Claire leads the teaching and learning research theme in the Department Nutrition, Dietetics and Food, is a Monash Education Academy Fellow, and received at National government citation award for her contributions to teaching in 2016.

An accredited dietician, Claire’s research is dedicated to developing a workforce that’s equipped to address the complex nutrition issues facing our populations.

Professor Rosemary Horne awarded Doctor of Science

Professor Rosemary Horne
Professor Rosemary Horne has been awarded a Doctor of Science from Monash University for more than three decades of research that has shaped the understanding of sleep in children and infants.

The Doctor of Science (DSc) is of a higher standing than a PhD and is awarded for work that makes an original, substantial and distinguished contribution to knowledge in a field with which the faculty is concerned. The degree provides the recipient with authoritative standing in their field and recognition by their academic peers.

Rosemary’s thesis incorporates 143 research publications, from her PhD studies into Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) in the early 1980s until studies published in sleep disorders in infants and children up to 2015.

“The unifying theme throughout this Doctorate of Science thesis is the development, refinement and utilisation of physiological recordings during sleep, initially in preclinical models then subsequently in infants and children,” Rosemary said.

Simple blood test could decrease risk of stroke, heart attack

Dr Jun Yang
Australia’s largest study of a common yet underdiagnosed cause of high blood pressure is starting at Hudson Institute, with the aim of preventing heart attack and stroke.

Primary aldosteronism (PA) is a potentially curable cause of high blood pressure (hypertension) caused by the over-production of the hormone aldosterone from the adrenal glands. If left undiagnosed, it can get worse over time, leaving sufferers prone to stroke and heart attack at a young age.

Dr Jun Yang, a Hudson Institute Research Fellow, School of Clinical Sciences Early Career Research Fellow, and Consultant Endocrinologist at Monash Health, has been awarded three new grants for research that could change clinical management of Primary aldosteronism.

·        A Heart Foundation Vanguard grant, $74,336, to fund the clinical component of the project, primarily patient recruitment and assessment, over 2 years.

·        A Foundation for High Blood Pressure Research grant (Early Career Research Transition Grant), $20,000, to fund the laboratory-based component of the project, in particular, biomarker identification.

·        A Collier Charitable Fund grant, $26,000, for the purchase of specialised equipment.
“This project will be the largest study of PA in Australia and aims to find out exactly how common this condition is in our community by asking GPs to screen their hypertensive patients for PA using a simple blood test,” Dr Yang said.

Monash Infectious diseases research recognised at national conference

Dr Carly Hughes
Dr Carly Hughes has been recognised for her outstanding research, winning best oral presentation in theme B (Trials, Treatment and Toxicity) at the Australasian HIV&AIDS conference in Canberra last month.

An Infectious Disease and Microbiology registrar at Monash Health, Dr Carly Hughes’ research aims to improve support and education for youth attending HIV services.

“My project compared adolescents and young adults living with HIV in Australia to older adults and found they had higher CD4 counts and lower viral loads at diagnosis, and were more likely to be lost to follow up and interrupt treatment,” Dr Hughes said. 

Dr Hughes said she appreciated receiving the prize, as she had prepared the majority of the paper and presentation while on maternity leave after having a baby in July.

“Professionally, it is an honour to receive a prize at a national and well respected conference in the HIV field,” Dr Hughes said. 

Dr Hughes acknowledges the ongoing support of Head of Infectious Diseases Professor Tony Korman, her supervisor Associate Professor Ian Woolley and her co-authors Samar Ojaimi, Rainer Puhr, Kathy Petoumenos, Adam Bartlett, David Templeton, Catherine O'Connor and Manoji Gunathilake. She also thanks the participants of AHOD whose data was used for the study.


eSolutions end of year shutdown

As you prepare for your end of year break make sure you turn off your computers, monitors and printers etc. Shutdown your computer via the usual methods (ie. choose shutdown rather than sleep) then turn off the power at the wall.


Remember to set your vacation message too.

Big-hearted investment: $470m funding boost brings Victorian Heart Hospital to life

Read Herald Sun article here.

Should I roll my baby back over if she rolls onto her stomach in her sleep?

Rosemary Horne published in The Conversation.

Read article here.

Resveratrol mitigates trophoblast and endothelial dysfunction partly via activation of nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor-2

Euan Wallace et al. published in Placenta.

Read article here.

Elevated peripheral expression of neuregulin-1 (NRG1) mRNA isoforms in clozapine-treated schizophrenia patients

Suresh Sundram et al. published in Translational Psychiatry.

Read article here.

Effect of aorto-ventricular angulation on procedural success in transcatheter aortic valve replacements with the Lotus Valve system


Hashrul Rashid et al. published in Catheterization and cardiovascular interventions.

Read article here.

Adaptive reprogramming of NK cells in X-linked lymphoproliferative syndrome

Stephen Opat, Jake Shortt et al. published in Blood.

Read article here.

C5a receptor 1 promotes autoimmunity, neutrophil dysfunction and injury in experimental anti-myeloperoxidase glomerulonephritis

Jonathan Dick et al. published in Kidney International.

Read article here.

Preeclampsia and Long-term Renal Function in Women Who Underwent Kidney Transplantation

Ryan Hodges et al. published in Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Read article here.

Vascular Access Outcomes Reported in Maintenance Hemodialysis Trials: A Systematic Review

Kevan  Polkinghorne et al. published in the American Journal of Kidney Diseases.

Read article here.

Endovascular Thrombectomy for Ischemic Stroke Increases Disability-Free Survival, Quality of Life, and Life Expectancy and Reduces Cost

Dominique Cadilhac et al. published in Frontiers in Neurology.

Read article here.

Three-dimensional ultrasound cranial imaging and early neurodevelopment in preterm growth-restricted infants

Arvind Sehgal, Suzie Miller et al. published in the Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health.

Read article here.

Diffusion tensor imaging detects ventilation-induced brain injury in preterm lambs

Graeme Polglase et al. published in PLoS One.

Read article here.

Measuring self-rated health status among resettled adult refugee populations to inform practice and policy – a scoping review

Joanne Enticott et al. published in BMC Health Services Research.

Read article here.

Expression of Homeobox Gene HLX and its Downstream Target Genes are Altered in Placentae From Discordant Twin Pregnancies

Padma Murthi et al. published in Twin Research and Human Genetics.

Read article here.

Decidual ACVR2A regulates extravillous trophoblast functions of adhesion, proliferation, migration and invasion in vitro

Padma Murthi et al. published in Pregnancy Hypertension.

Read article here.

An Electrical Impedance-Based Assay to Examine Functions of Various Placental Cell Types In Vitro

Padma Murthi et al. published in Methods in Molecular Biology.

Read article here.

Ex Vivo Dual Perfusion of the Human Placenta: Disease Simulation, Therapeutic Pharmacokinetics and Analysis of Off-Target Effects

Padma Murthi et al. published in Methods in Molecular Biology.

Read article here.