Monday, 7 May 2018

Unnecessary pathology testing the focus of emerging research at Monash Health

Dr Ai Li Yeo

Electronic Medical Records Benefits Fellow Dr Ai Li Yeo has received a competitive Monash Health emerging research fellowship in recognition of her research into unnecessary pathology testing.

Dr Yeo, who is also a Rheumatology Fellow and MPhil student at Monash University, will use the $15,000 fellowship to investigate the core systemic and behavioural drivers of unnecessary pathology testing at Monash Health. 

“Unnecessary pathology testing is a key challenge for Monash Health, resulting in increased patient length of stay, inappropriate healthcare resource utilisation and a poor patient experience due to false positive results,” Dr Yeo said. 

“As a Monash Health clinician, I am committed to conducting translational research which contributes to a sustainable healthcare system by targeting unwarranted variation in clinical care such as unnecessary pathology testing.”

“Monash Health is on the verge of implementing a world class integrated electronic medical record (EMR).”

“This has the potential to address many of the increasing challenges faced by the healthcare system; the pressure on the hospital budget due to an ageing population, advances in medical treatments (rarely less expensive) and increasing consumer expectations,” Dr Yeo said. 

Monash Health is about to embark on a $100 million implementation of EMR.

Dr Yeo said the results of this project can be easily incorporated for economic benefit and improvement of patient care with immediate translational outcomes.

“As pathology test ordering is not only a problem for hospital inpatients, this study will characterise both inpatient and outpatient costs to a tertiary hospital,” Dr Yeo said.

“With our growing and ageing population, greater numbers of patients are receiving more frequent pathology testing.”

“This is an increasing burden on the government and hospitals, in terms of both cost and the infrastructure required to process such tests.”

This research will hopefully change the way we think about ordering investigations for our patients.” 
The findings from this Monash Health project will not only assist staff and patients at Monash Health but could be scaled to other healthcare networks to treat patients in a safer and more efficient manner.

Dr Yeo said she is honoured to have received recognition of her research idea through this fellowship, allowing her an opportunity to work in a field in which she is passionate.

She acknowledges the support of Associate Professor Ronnie Ptasznik, Associate Professor Michael Franco, Dr Suong Le, Professor Eric Morand and Professor Michelle Leech. 

Monash oncologist included in “Women in Sciences 2018 Book Collection”

Professor Eva Segelov

Professor Eva Segelov has been included in the inaugural IntechOpen “Women in Sciences 2018 Book Collection”, celebrating and supporting women scientists worldwide.

Inclusion in the Collection was a highly competitive process, with only ten successful book topics and co-editors from almost 300 submissions.

Professor Segelov is Director of Oncology and Monash University and Monash Health.  Her book titled Molecular Understanding of Colorectal Cancer is currently available on the Open access platform for submissions for chapters from anyone in the world.

“As Editor, I am able to write the introductory chapter and one full chapter, which my PhD student Daphne Day, along with others in my lab group, will author, discussing our work studying ctDNA for colorectal cancer recurrence and monitoring,” Professor Segelov said.

“I then review all the chapter submissions and select those I want included in the book.”

 Professor Segelov said she was very pleased to be included in the Collection given there was a competitive environment covering all aspects of science, not just medicine.

“Initiatives to support and focus attention on women in all fields of science are welcome, particularly with the recognition now of the importance of encouraging young women into STEM subjects at school and beyond,” Professor Segelov said.

IntechOpen CEO and co-founder Alex Lazinica said he applauded all women who submitted ideas on being proactive in their quest to publish.

Monash toxicology research receives recognition

Dr Anselm Wong

Monash toxicology and the Monash Emergency Research Collaborative (MERC) received two of the three research awards at the recent Toxicologist and Poisons Network Australia (TAPNA) annual scientific meeting, held in Sydney.

The event is the premier Australasian clinical toxicology meeting bringing together toxicologists from Australia, New Zealand and the Asia Pacific region.

Monash University PhD candidate-clinical toxicologist and Monash Health emergency physician Dr Anselm Wong delivered a presentation on the recently completed NACSTOP study, for which he received ‘Best Platform Research Presentation’.  This trial was initialled by the Monash Toxicology Unit and collaborators from Austin Health Toxicology Service and Western Sydney Area Health Toxicology Service (including Westmead and Blacktown Hospitals)

“With my co-authors Professor David Taylor, Professor Marco Sivilotti, Drs Richard McNulty, Shaun Greene, Naren Gunja, Zeff Koutsogiannis and Professor Andis Graudins, I reported the results of our multi-centre study and described the feasibility of a shortened acetylcysteine regimen in selected patient with paracetamol poisoning,” Dr Wong said.
Dr Ophelia Wong and Prof Andis Graudins

“This research will lead to decreased treatment times and earlier disposition for some of our patients.”

Dr Anselm Wong was also awarded best poster for his description of treatment of paracetamol poisoning in a patient with cystic fibrosis and the use of micro-RNA to predict liver injury.

“In the future, micro-RNA may have utility to identify patients at higher risk of liver injury despite treatment with acetylcysteine and thus indicate the need for prolonged treatment,” Dr Wong said. 

This research was performed in collaboration with Dr.Michael Gantier and team at the Centre of Innate Immunity and Infectious Diseases, Hudson Institute of Medical Research.
Dr Roger Tong and Prof Graudins

Other poster presentations by members of the Monash Toxicology Unit and Monash Emergency Research Collaborative (MERC) included Dr Ophelia Wong, Dr Khin Moe Sam and Dr Roger Tong who presented on thyroid storm after thyroxine overdose, severe rhabdomyolysis after poly drug overdose and successful treatment of bradycardia in severe verapamil poisoning with transvenous pacing.

Dr Joe-Anthony Rotella reported on a case of poisoning from the Pong Pong Tree and Professor Graudins presented on the use and effectiveness of various dialysis modalities at Monash Health in the treatment of chronic lithium poisoning. 

World Bank Award supports Monash research to prevent gender-based violence

Professor Eisenbruch
Professor Maurice Eisenbruch from the Department of Psychiatry was recognised last month for his work in preventing gender-based violence in Cambodia with a prestigious World Bank Award.

The US$99,500 award—Development Marketplace 2018: Innovations in Addressing Gender Based Violence, awarded by the World Bank Group and the Sexual Violence Research Initiative—will support Professor Eisenbruch’s ongoing research that explores cultural forces underpinning gender-based violence (GBV) and interventions that could contribute to prevention.

The award will enable the research team to test how women, men, girls and boys use their local cultural references to understand GBV that they may have experienced or witnessed,” Professor Eisenbruch said.

“Through collaboration with a Buddhist network, we will examine initiatives developed by monks to help prevent GBV and mitigate its effects.”

“We will also document why perpetrators and survivors sought help from monks and female devotees, and how it changed attitudes towards women and girls.”

Professor Eisenbruch said that throughout his career as a psychiatrist and medical anthropologist he has been committed to relief of suffering of his patients and, beyond that, strives for relief of communities facing human suffering globally.

“Gender based violence is one of the worst scourges on the planet,” he said.

“This award will help in the quest to transfer research into policy that makes a difference.”

Professor Eisenbruch acknowledges his collaborators Theary Chan from the Reproductive and Child Health Alliance (RACHA) in Cambodia and Willem van de Put from the Institute of Tropical Medicine (ITM) in Antwerp.

Monash Medical Orchestra's autumn concert - Generations, 13 May

Following a semester of Hard work, MMO is proud to present to you a variety of works spanning the generations: From Sibelius' Karelia Suite to contemporary medley favourites Jurassic Park and The Phantom of the Opera as well as Jean Fran├žaix's modern classic, The Flower Clock, featuring our very own solo oboist, Andrew Kawai.

Date: Sunday May 13th
Time: 5 pm
Venue: James Tatoulis Auditorium - Methodist Ladies' College, Kew
Tickets: Here or at the door

Tickets are priced at $20 ($15 for concession and students), however there is a $5 early-bird discount if you purchase your tickets online (Here) by April 30th. All family and friends are welcome to attend so bring along your mothers, grandmothers and all other generations this Mother's day for a musical treat to round off a lovely day of celebrations. We look forward to seeing you there!

Call to update Hons and Graduate Research Projects for 2019

It’s that time of year when we ask you to update your projects, ahead of our BMedSc(Hons) and Honours / PhD recruitment season.

The Faculty has launched a new database, Supervisor Connect, which is now our primary higher degree by research (HDR) recruitment tool.  We won’t be producing the projects booklet from this year, instead, we’ll direct students to the database.

Online views of projects

The projects listed in the public online database get a lot of views, around 3500 a month in slow times & 8000 in peak times of advertising for recruitment events.
Google analytics data for the Faculty’s Research Project database - about 60K views in 12 months:

We recently migrated all projects into Supervisor Connect, however, the new database operates on a different platform so you may find some information is not entirely complete or accurate.

All projects from last year are currently ‘unpublished’ to ensure we’re not advertising out-of-date projects. 

It’s very simple to update and publish existing projects, or create new projects for 2019!!
Please go to Supervisor Connect ( and update, publish and/or create projects.   The Faculty’s BMedSc(Hons) information night is on Monday 14 May, so we ask that you update or create your new projects within the next week.

1.       You will need to login with your Monash University authcate.

2.       The system requires all supervisors to have a PURE profile.  If you don’t have one, please create a PURE profile and link it to your Supervisor Connect profile.  Please note that PURE will be unavailable between 7-8am, 12-1pm and 5-6pm until 10 May.

3.       To update and publish existing projects, please go to “My Projects”.   Please make sure you update any missing fields or incorrect information that may have not migrated properly.  It’s REALLY important to include as many relevant key words as possible.  This is how prospective students will find you!!

4.       To republish an existing project, tick the ‘published’ box at the bottom of your project entry.  It will turn blue, indicating its active status.

5.       Creating a new project is quite straightforward:

6.       You must select “School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health / Hudson Institute” as your School.  Department, primary and secondary research themes are also compulsory fields.

7.       Physical location:  most of our projects will take place at “Monash Health Translation Precinct (Monash Medical Centre) which is an automatic option when you start typing this.  Our other options include “Dandenong Hospital”, ‘BASE facility, Notting Hill”, Department of Health and Human Services”, “Kingston Centre”.  If you need more options, please email me and I’ll add them to the database.

Student information sessions 2018
Medical students - Bachelor of Medical Science (honours) Faculty information night: Monday 14 May 2018
BMedSc(Hons) information night at MHTP: to be confirmed
MHTP information night for Hons and PhD students: to be confirmed (August 2018), Clayton campus

Please email (, phone (85722595) or pop into my office (MIMR building level 3) if you have any questions.

Video recording and slides from the Webinar on Peer review for NHMRC’s new grant program

The recording of the webinar on the update of the new NHMRC grant program is now available for viewing via the NHRMC website.

The slides are accessible from the same page and are also HERE for your convenience.

ORCID for NHMRC's New Grants Management System

On 26 April 2018, Professor Anne Kelso (AO), Chief Executive Officer of the NHMRC provided an update on how peer review is expected to work for the new grant schemes in 2019.  The webinar video and slides are available from the NHMRC website.

A brief update on NHMRC’s new grant’s management system due for release late this year was also provided at the end of the webinar.  Professor Kelso mentioned that the new grants management system (replacing RGMS) is expected to link to external data sources such as ORCID.  As such, all researchers in FMNHS will need to have an Open Researcher and Contributor ID (ORCID), which is an internationally recognised unique identifier. 

Researchers who already have an ORCID should add it to their personal profile in Pure. Researchers who do not have one can create one via Pure. This will add the ORCID to the Pure profile automatically. There are instructions available on managing Pure profiles and the ORCID creation process.

The Research OutputsCollection Service (ROCS) or the Monash Library are able to provide further assistance. There is also a Library Guide on author IDs and profiles.

NHMRC Global Alliance for Chronic Disease Application Webinar - Tuesday 8 May

In the NHMRC Tracker released today (7 May 2018), NHMRC have indicated that a Global Alliance for Chronic Disease Call will soon open. An​  information session will be held Tuesday 8 May (tomorrow) about this for interested parties. 
To register for the 6:30pm (AEST) session click here, for an 11:00pm (AEST) session click here. For more information see the GACD website.

CID seminar, Interventional Immunology for Early Life Diseases, 8 May

8 May, 12-1pm, Seminar room 1, TRF

Professor Marcel Nold
Research Group Head, Interventional Immunology in Neonatal Diseases

Inflammation is now recognised as the main pathogenetic culprit in many of the major diseases that affect infants born prematurely, for example illnesses of heart and lung such as bronchopulmonary dysplasia and pulmonary hypertension, and of the intestine such as necrotising enterocolitis. These diseases cause not only acute morbidity and mortality, but commonly also severe long-term sequelae. However, the immunological processes that underlie these diseases are surprisingly poorly characterised, with the result that clinicians have no preventative approaches or effective treatments. Our research aims to address the resulting urgent unmet medical need by deriving novel treatment strategies from our exploration of the virtually unmapped frontier of neonatal immunology.  

Professor Marcel F Nold is a clinician-scientist, paediatrician and neonatologist. His work, carried out in Germany, the USA and lately in Australia, is focussed on interventional immunology and has attracted the interest of opinion-leading journals and pharmaceutical companies. Marcel is passionate about his research making a meaningful difference to his baby patients and their families. Therefore, aiming to lay the foundations for much-needed new therapies, Marcel employs bedside-to-bench-and-back approaches to explore the molecular mechanisms underpinning severe diseases of premature infants, such as bronchopulmonary dysplasia, pulmonary hypertension and necrotising enterocolitis.

Haematology Journal Club, Wednesday 9th May

7.30am, 9 May  New location: MHTP Building, Level 2, Seminar Room 2

‘There is nothing minimal about measurable residual disease in Acute leukaemia ‘

Dr Shaun Fleming  
Consultant Haematologist

Grand rounds, "“Measuring Immunocompetence", 9 May

Presented by Dr Claire Dendle

12.30-1.30pm, 9 May, Lecture Theatre 1, Monash Medical Centre

'Molecular mechanisms of cell signalling by the betacommon family of cytokine receptors, 10 May

This week's Hudson seminar will be held in Seminar Rooms 1 & 2, Level 2, TRF Building on Thursday 10th May, 12pm-1pm.
Our speaker will be Professor Michael W. Parker DPhil (Oxon) FAA FAHMS
Director, Bio21 Institute, University of Melbourne; Head, Structural Biology, St. Vincents Institute of Medical Research.

He will be presenting 'Molecular mechanisms of cell signalling by the betacommon family of cytokine receptors
Professor Michael Parker is Director of the Bio21 Institute, University of Melbourne and Head of Structural Biology, St. Vincent’s Institute of Medical Research in Melbourne. He is also an NHMRC Senior Principal Research Fellow in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Bio21. After obtaining his D. Phil. in protein crystallography from Oxford University, Michael returned to Australia to re-establish a protein crystallography laboratory at St. Vincent’s in 1991. The work of the laboratory is internationally recognised with the determination of more than 140 crystal structures of proteins involved in cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and infection. He has published over 300 papers and his work has been recognised with numerous awards including the 1999 Gottschalk Medal of the Australian Academy of Science, a 2006 Federation Fellowship from the Australian Research Council, the 2011 Lemberg Medal of the Australian Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, the 2011 Ramaciotti Medal for Excellence in Biomedical Research, the 2012 Federation of Asian and Oceanian Biochemists and Molecular Biologists Award for Research Excellence and the 2016 Bob Robertson Award of the Australian Society for Biophysics for outstanding contributions to biophysics in Australia and New Zealand. He was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science in 2010 and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences in 2015. He is currently Chair of the National Committee of Crystallography under the auspices of the Australian Academy of Science.

A light lunch and refreshments will follow this presentation. 

James Ong's PhD final review milestone: Discovering mechanisms of NLRP3 inflammasomes using novel reporter mice, 29 May

All staff and students are invited to James Ong's PhD final review milestone.

29 May, 1-2pm, seminar room 1, TRF

Synopsis: Current inflammasome models are limited in that they are overexpression models that do not replicate biological conditions. In my PhD project, I am using novel reporter mice that simulate how the inflammasome works in nature and apply it to discover new aspects of NLRP3 inflammasomes. 

Supervisors: A/Prof Ashley Mansell and Dr Michelle Tate 
Panel Chair: Dr Morag Young
Independent assessors: Dr James Harris and Dr Stavros Selemidis

MIME Monash Health Affinity Meeting, 5 June

More information.

RSVP here.

Senior Women's Shadowing Program 2018 - Expressions of Interest now open

Expressions of interest are now open for the 2018 Senior Women's Shadowing Program, one of our flagship gender equity programs. 

This is a unique program, in which selected participants gain access to our senior leaders, 'shadowing'  them across a range of activities over a six month period. The program aims to enhance the leadership capability of high potential female staff and support Monash to attain greater representation of women at the executive level. 
About the program

Introduced in 2006, the biennial program provides participants with a unique opportunity for professional development. Successful applicants are matched with a member of the University's senior management team, to learn about leadership through observation.

Participants are encouraged to reflect on their shadowing experiences in a series of facilitated group workshops. In the second half of the program, participants are provided the opportunity to role-model their leadership and learning, by being matched with a more junior member of staff and facilitating shadowing opportunities for this second tier.

Female staff at Professional level HEW 10+ and Academic Level D (Associate Professor) and Level E (Professor) are invited to apply. The program targets those with strong potential for senior leadership and further career progression. 
How to apply

Please visit the Senior Women's Shadowing Program page for more information and to access the expression of interest form and program guidelines.

Applications close 5pm AEST Wednesday 16 May 2018.

For further information, please contact the Staff Equity & Diversity team via email at or phone 03 9902 9915.

MNHS Three-Minute Thesis Competition

SCS Postgraduate students are especially encouraged to attend and show support to their peers.
  • The following prizes will be awarded at the Faculty 3MT Final: First Place $800, Second Place $500, Third Place $300, MPA People’s Choice Award $50 (plus entry into Monash Wildcard Competition) 
  • Wildcard competition will be held to select an additional entrant in the Monash 3MT Final. The “People’s Choice” winners from each Faculty will compete against each other for a place in the Monash Final 
  • Winners must be available to present in person at Monash 3MT Final (13th - 17th August 2018, a final date will be confirmed by MGRO – Clayton) should they win earlier rounds  
Thu 12 Jul 2018 1:30pm – 3:30pm 

Clayton Campus, Room TBA (map)

9th Annual Student Research Symposium, 31 May-8 June

Register here:

MPA winter wonderland ball: the principal event on the MPA social calendar, 17 August

17 August, 7pm-midnight, San Remo Ballroom, Carlton

The Monash Postgraduate Association (MPA) is delighted to announce the 2018 MPA ‘Winter Wonderland’ Postgraduate Ball, to be held on Friday, 17 August at the San Remo Ballroom in Carlton.  

We would like to invite you to this momentous event, which is set to be the first event of its kind for the Monash postgraduate community.  

For a limited amount of time, the MPA are offering an exclusive early-bird ticket price to a small number of guests.  

Drinks, canapes and a DJ are all included in the ticket price. An unforgettable night of dancing, drinks, music and much more await!

Click here for more information, or to book your spot for this historic night. 

Introduction to Health Economic Modelling, 26-27 July

A practical course covering the basics of health economics, health technology assessment and common methods used for undertaking economic evaluations. During the course, participants will gain an understanding of decision analysis, Markov modelling, life table analysis and Monte Carlo simulation for uncertainty and sensitivity analyses. The course will involve ‘hands-on’ exercises using Microsoft Excel. Participants will need to bring their own laptop computers.

This course is suited to people who wish to get started in health economic modelling, including those from academia, government and industry.


Project title: A longitudinal Neuroimaging Study of Motor Neurone Disease (MND) Phenotypes

We are seeking a group of healthy volunteers to participate in a MRI brain imaging research study in MND.

Why is the study being done? This is a MRI brain imaging project which aims to track brain changes using a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scanner and symptoms in participants with Motor Neurone Disease (MND) over one year compared to healthy participants.
What does it involve? If you consent to being involved in the study, as a healthy participant you will be assessed at one visit to check your general health status and suitability to have a MRI scan. If you meet this criteria, you will have 2 MRI brain scans (50 mins each scan) done on 2 separate occasions.

If you are interested in participating, you can contact the Principal Investigator -Dr Chua and her research team at Calvary Healthcare Bethlehem 9595 3355 or

Cocktails, canapes and fertility - the egg freezing parties attracting hopeful women

Beverley Vollenhoven in Essential Baby.

Tenecteplase versus Alteplase before Thrombectomy for Ischemic Stroke

Henry Ma et al. published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

'What the hell is water?' How to use deliberate clinical inertia in common emergency department situations.

Diana Egerton-Warburton et al. published in Emergency Medicine Australasia.

Interventions designed to reduce excessive gestational weight gain can reduce the incidence of gestational diabetes mellitus: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials

Helen Truby et al. published in Diabetes research and clinical practice.

Influence of Gestational Age at Initiation of Antihypertensive Therapy: Secondary Analysis of CHIPS Trial Data (Control of Hypertension in Pregnancy Study)

Ben Mol et al. published in Hypertension.

Waking up too early - the consequences of preterm birth on sleep development

Rosemary Horne et al. published in the Journal of Physiology.

Factors contributing to sex differences in functional outcomes and participation after stroke

Amanda Thrift et al. published in Neurology.

Engaging a disadvantaged community with a fruit and vegetable box scheme

Claire Palermo et al. published in the Health Promotion Journal of Australia.

Drug eluting versus bare metal stents for percutaneous coronary intervention of saphenous vein graft lesions: An updated meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

Adam Brown et al. published in Cardiovascular Revascularization Medicine.

Endometrial Mesenchymal Stem/Stromal Cells Modulate the Macrophage Response to Implanted Polyamide/Gelatin Composite Mesh in Immunocompromised and Immunocompetent Mice

Caroline Gargett et al. published in Scientific Reports.

Effects of Intrauterine Inflammation on the Grey Matter of Near-Term Lambs

Graeme Polglase et al. published in Frontiers in Pediatrics.  Neonatology.

External Validation of the PediBIRN Clinical Prediction Rule for Abusive Head Trauma

John Cheek et al. published in Pediatrics.