Monday, 18 June 2018

Department of Medicine 3MT competition success

Dr Ai-Ming Wong
The School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health (SCS) congratulates all 3MT participants who competed in the Department of Medicine heats last Friday.

Dr Ai-Ming Wong took out first place in the Department of Medicine 3MT round, followed by Raymond Shim and Lachlan McMillan in second and third places.

Dr Wong, a Monash Health specialist in respiratory medicine and sleep disorders, is in the second year of her PhD at Monash University.

In her winning 3MT performance, Dr Wong presented her research which aims to enable prediction of which patients with obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) will respond to upper airway surgery.

“Currently only one in four patients respond to surgery and there is no easily available clinical assessment or tool to identify who they are,” Dr Wong said.

“In my PhD, I’m measuring the underlying physiology causing OSA for a particular individual, and seeing if that can help us understand and predict which patients will respond to surgery, and which of them don't.”

Ray Shim
Meanwhile, second place winner Ray Shim is trying to understand why infections are so common after brain injury.

“It's becoming more apparent that there is a change to the immune system following brain injury, and in the case of stroke, infections are a leading cause of death in patients,” Ray said.  

“So far in my PhD, I've found there are less patrolling immune cells, which are also unable to combat bacteria that are encountered by the body following brain injury. As a consequence, the body becomes more susceptible to infection.”

In third place and in just three minutes, PhD candidate Lachlan McMillan presented his research which is investigating how physical activity and exercise can positively contribute to bone health.

Lachlan McMillan
We know that the most effective exercise to increase bone health is activity that involves weight-bearing and force, such as hopping and jumping but until recently we haven't been able to say, just how much is enough,” Lachlan said.

“To guide our research we have developed a wearable device that is capable of measuring the forces experienced by the skeleton during exercise, and we hope to use this device to further our research.”

Lachlan said condensing up to three years of research into three minutes was an extremely challenging exercise, however, it's taught him the value of filtering out important information and communicating it in a succinct but also creative manner.

Place winners in the Department competitions proceed to the 3MT School finals on 4 July.   Details HERE.

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