24 Jul 2015

Photo of the Week: Eureka award finalist for mental health diagnostic innovation

The EVestigator team from the Monash Alfred Psychiatry research centre (MAPrc) and Neural Diagnostics Pty Ltd (NDPL), led by Professors Jayashri Kulkarni and Brian Lithgow, is shortlisted for the Eureka Prize for Excellence in Interdisciplinary Scientific Research. Winners will be announced on 26 August. 

In an industry alliance with NDPL, Prof Brian Lithgow’s EVestG invention was clinically evaluated at MAPrc. They have discovered for the first time that brainwave features recorded from the balance organ contain biomarker features that allow for an earlier, objective and more accurate diagnosis of mental and neurological conditions.  

In 2015, evidence was published in the World Journal of Biological Psychiatry on being able to classify those with major depression with over 80% accuracy within 1 hour of measurement using EVestG. 

The EVestigators L-R: 
Dr Daniel Heibert (NDPL), Dr Jerome Maller (MAPrc), Dr Caroline Gurvich (MAPrc), Mr Charles Hider (NDPL), Prof Jayashri Kulkarni (Director, MAPrc), Dr Roger Edwards (NDPL), Adjunct Prof Brian Lithgow (MAPrc) - Inventor and lead researcher, Mr Anthony de Castella (MAPrc)

Forthcoming CCS events: Seminars, public events, general notices

Dean Talia, Immunology
Central Clinical School has regular seminar series and postgraduate presentations. All event notices are maintained on the CCS Events calendar.

CCS staff & students can see details of both public and local events (including professional development courses, trade fairs and Graduate Research Student calendars) and deadlines, at the Intranet's Announcements page.

Various Departments have their own calendars, see CCS seminar index: www.med.monash.edu.au/cecs/events/seminars.html

What's on for this week: 27 - 31 Jul 2015

Mon Jul 27 9:00 AM Mid-year Honours & graduate research students orientation
Mon Jul 27 12:30 PM Psychiatry Professorial Grand Round
Tue Jul 28 2:00 PM Special seminar: Prof Margaret Goodell on stem cell biology
Wed Jul 29 11:30 AM PhD Pre-Submission review - Mr Dean Talia

1:30 PM AISTC Trauma Care Symposium

In the Future

Prof Steve Wesselingh: Is there a 'right' way for a medical research career path? Find out more on 30 Sep 2015

Prof Steve Wesselingh, SAHMRI
Professor Steve Wesselingh is the inaugural Executive Director of the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI). He has also been appointed as the Infection and Immunity Theme Leader for the institute. He will be speaking at the forthcoming 30 Sept Translational Research symposium hosted by Central Clinical School. See detail below.

23 Jul 2015

Explore translational research projects on 13 Aug at Central Clinical School (Alfred Health precinct)

2016 CCS Honours index booklet
If you want to help people, have a passion for following your intellectual curiousity in translational biomedical science and technology and want to open up your career options, take Honours or postgraduate research in the Central Clinical School (CCS) at AMREP. CCS has a wealth of research expertise and dedicated researchers with strong clinical connections who are experienced mentors for students.

Explore our translational research projects at 13 Aug 2015 Honours and Postgraduate Student Information Evening for 2016 intake

27 Jul 2015 CCS midyear Hons and research student orientation

The CCS Midyear student orientation is being held this coming Monday at 9 am, Lecture Theatre, Level 5 Alfred Centre. Welcome to all our new students! We have a large cohort from the University of Indonesia - all the best for settling in here.

Bachelor of Medical Science (Honours)
  • Amanda Dharmaningputri
  • Antonia Paramitha
  • Shafira Rachmadi
  • Aqila Zhafira
  • Gryselda Hanafi
  • Kevin Gunawan
  • Rabbania Yan
  • Raisa Sarita 
Bachelor of Biomedical Science (Honours)
  • Aaron Hatzipantelis
  • Julian Gooi
  • Katrina Woodford
  • Michael de Vries
  • Ling Nhuc Mu
  • Krystal Bergin
  • Tanveer Ahmed

Congratulations to Dr Warwick Nesbitt, awarded a Vice Chancellors Senior Research Fellowship

Dr Warwick Nesbitt
Dr Warwick Nesbitt has been awarded a Vice Chancellors Senior Research Fellowship over 4 years as part of a strategic collaboration between the Vascular Biology Laboratory, ACBD and the Microplatforms Research Group, School of Electrical & Computer Engineering (SECE), RMIT University. The Vice-Chancellor’s Research Fellowships is a competitive scheme advertised internationally on an annual basis. Applicants are selected on the basis of their emerging excellent track record and international recognition for undertaking high quality research in one of RMIT's research priority areas. Dr Nesbitt’s fellowship is part of a new collaborative initiative to develop new bioengineered platforms, with a specific focus on basic platelet biology and haematology focussed diagnostic devices.

22 Jul 2015

Publication: Rotary blood pumps and their complications in patient management

VentrAssist pump. Image:
Ventracor, Inc.
Ventricular assist devices currently do not have any ability to regulate flow in relation to demand.  As a result occasionally the device may suck down on the internal wall of the heart. This study in five large greyhound dogs implanted with a VentrAssist left ventricular assist device focused on identification of the precise site and physiological changes induced by or underlying the complication of left ventricular suction as a result of over pumping. Various complications are described in the study. The study authors contend that similar complications of manual speed control occur in humans and remain a major unsolved problem in the clinical management of patients implanted with rotary blood pumps.

Publication: Imatinib therapy and bleeding in CML patients

Image: www.genericmds.com
Imatinib is generally well tolerated, but gastric antral vascular ectasia (GAVE) remains a rare but significant complication of imatinib therapy. Whilst this complication has been described in other disease settings, only one other case of GAVE has been reported in a chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) patient receiving imatinib. Herein, we present three CML patients with GAVE complicating imatinib therapy. In all cases, GAVE resolved only with cessation of imatinib. This confirms a causal relationship between GAVE and imatinib. GAVE should be considered as a possible cause of anaemia and upper gastrointestinal bleeding in patients receiving imatinib therapy.

Reference: Ong, J., Yeung, D., Filshie, R., Hughes, T.P., Nandurkar, H. Imatinib-induced gastric antral vascular ectasia in three patients with chronic myeloid leukaemia. Int J Hematol. 2015 Jul 2. [Epub ahead of print]

21 Jul 2015

Publication: Grhl1 gene influences heart rate, not blood pressure

Image: www.livescience.com
The Grainyhead-like 1 (GRHL1) transcription factor is tissue-specific and is very highly expressed in the kidney. In humans the GRHL1 gene is located at the chromosomal position 2p25. A locus conferring increased susceptibility to essential hypertension has been mapped to 2p25 in two independent studies, but the causative gene has never been identified. Furthermore, a statistically significant association has been found between a polymorphism in the GRHL1 gene and heart rate regulation. The aim of our study was to investigate the physiological consequences of Grhl1 loss in a mouse model and ascertain whether Grhl1 may be involved in the regulation of blood pressure and heart rate. Our work did not discover any new evidence to suggest any involvement of Grhl1 in blood pressure regulation. However, we determined that the loss of Grhl1 influences the regulation of heart rate in a mouse model.

Reference: Pawlak M, Walkowska A, Mlącki M, Pistolic J, Wrzesiński T, Benes V, Jane SM, Wesoły J, Kompanowska-Jezierska E, Wilanowski T. Consequences of the loss of the Grainyhead-like 1 gene for renal gene expression, regulation of blood pressure and heart rate in a mouse model. Acta Biochim Pol. 2015;62(2):287-96. doi: 10.18388/abp.2015_1001. Epub 2015 Apr 21.

Review article: Are reactive oxygen species still the basis for diabetic complications?

Despite the wealth of pre-clinical support for a role for reactive oxygen and nitrogen species (ROS/RNS) in the aetiology of diabetic complications, enthusiasm for antioxidant therapeutic approaches has been dampened by less favourable outcomes in large clinical trials. This has necessitated a re-evaluation of pre-clinical evidence and a more rational approach to antioxidant therapy. The present review considers current evidence, from both pre-clinical and clinical studies, to address the benefits of antioxidant therapy.

20 Jul 2015

13 Aug 2015 EMCR@AMREP Mentoring Program

Prof Marylis Guillemin
In 2015, the Early & Mid Career Researcher group at AMREP will be calling for new mentees to get involved in this exciting and rewarding program. We are offering an introductory seminar to provide some insights and hear about participants' (both mentors and mentees) experiences, including peer mentoring. Details:
  • Topic: An introduction to mentoring
  • Presenter: Professor Marilys Guillemin
  • Time & date: 2-3 pm, Thursday 13 August 2015
  • Venue: Lecture Theatre, Level 5, Alfred Centre
  • All welcome. Refreshments provided
  • See more: www.med.monash.edu.au/cecs/ecr/mentoring.html

Early Career Fellowship in Asthma Research: Deadline 7 August

Varying degrees of airway closure in asthma
Asthma Australia with the support of Hudsons Coffee is offering an Early Career Fellowship in Asthma Research. http://asthmaaustralia.org.au/Apply_for_research_grants.aspx  
This opportunity is only open to:  
- Financial member/associate members of the Thoracic Society of Australia & New Zealand;
- Researchers who have completed their highest qualification within the last 5 years; AND
 - Those who have not yet been the recipient of a major nationally competitive research grant. Applications close on Friday 7 August 2015Only one application from each School will be accepted

Crowdfunding boost for burns victims: Your vote counts!

Dr Shiva Akbarzadeh's Thinkable.org entry - Please vote!
You can help medical research at Monash win a cash prize by voting for it in the Thinkable 'Inspire Australia' competition.

New skin substitutes tailor-made for severe burns victims could become a reality through the work of a group of scientists led by Dr Shiva Akbarzadeh, and a boost from crowdfunding site, Thinkable.

Dr Akbarzadeh, a skin biologist at The Alfred hospital and Monash University, researches growing artificial skin in the laboratory using patients’ own cells that can be applied instead of skin grafts.

“The gold standard for treating deep burns is skin grafts,” Dr Akbarzadeh said. “That is difficult when a patient has massive burns and not enough donor sites, as happens in extensive burns.”

Dr Akbarzadeh’s Skin Tissue Culture Laboratory has developed techniques to create composite skin in the laboratory that is close to native skin.

“Our goal is to enable surgeons to replace both dermal and epidermal layers of damaged skin with tissue engineered skin in a single procedure. This will speed up wound healing and reduce the risk of infection.

“We are collaborating with material engineers at Monash to develop novel dermal matrices which are made from natural dermal components and would enhance epidermisation both in laboratory incubators and on patients.”

The work of Dr Akbarzadeh and her team could come to full fruition with the help of the Australian Academy of Science’s Australian Early to Mid-Career Researcher Forum which has launched the Inspire Australia Video Research Competition on research crowdfunding and engagement platform, Thinkable.

With close to $15,000 in the community prize pool so far, Dr Azbarkadeh’s lab, as well as other research teams in the Thinkable community, stand to gain a share, according to their overall votes received, all going towards general funding to advance their work.

To support the work of Dr Azbarkadeh and her team, visit their Thinkable ‘Tissue engineering for burns treatment’ video page to vote and contribute. Voting ends 30 July 2015.
To find out more about how Thinkable works, visit the Thinkable.org website.
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