12 Oct 2018

Mum’s diet could hold key to colic

Mother's diet could influence infant colic
A low FODMAP diet for breastfeeding mums might hold the key to reducing colic in her infant, a new study has found.

The study published today in the journal, Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics, suggests that a nutritious low FODMAP diet (that removes ‘windy’ foods) for nursing mothers could significantly reduce fussiness and crying in the first nine weeks of her newborn’s life.

The study involved 20 breastfeeding mothers with babies under nine weeks old with and without colic.

Video of the week: Mr James Lee talks about thyroid cancer


The 2018 John Masterton Public Lecture was held 26 July with Mr James Lee giving a lecture on "Thyroid cancer: towards a better paradigm".

See more:

What's on at CCS 15-19 Oct 2018

Prof Wendy Brown is giving a public lecture
on obesity treatment by surgery, Thurs 18 Oct.
Find out more and RSVP
Central Clinical School (CCS) has regular seminar series and postgraduate presentations. Event notices are posted on the CCS Events calendar.

CCS staff and 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 CCS intranet's Announcements page.

See CCS seminar index:  www.monash.edu/medicine/ccs/headlines/events-calendar

What's on at CCS 15-19 Oct 2018

Recent CCS publications: 25 September - 7 October 2018

Head of Surgery, Prof Wendy Brown
co-authored a paper on long-term outcomes
of lap-banding surgery. She is also giving a
CCS Public Lecture, Thurs 18 Oct. 
Recent publications for Central Clinical School affiliated authors in the following departments. Note, browse down this entry for complete publications list. Linked headings for each section are to the departments' home pages.
  • Allergy, Immunology and Respiratory Medicine
  • Anaesthesia and Perioperative Medicine
  • Australian Centre for Blood Diseases (ACBD)
  • Diabetes 
  • Immunology and Pathology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • MAPrc
  • Medicine
  • Neuroscience
  • NTRI
  • Surgery

Diabetes risk of babies increased by famine experience of mothers

The Chinese Famine (1959-1961) left health effects on
people who were in utero at the time. Image: China Mike
A paper by Monash University published today in Nature Reviews Endocrinology suggests that pre-birth exposure to poor nutrition during times of famine and other disasters may put babies at risk of diabetes, contributing to today’s global type 2 diabetes epidemic.

The review, led by Department of Diabetes Professor Paul Zimmet AO, examined data about in utero exposure to poor nutrition during the Chinese Famine (1959–1961), concluding it probably contributed to China's current diabetes epidemic.The paper warns that relief agencies should urgently review the way emergency food aid is given in populations during major catastrophes, including war and earthquakes.

Landmark study highlights long-term success of weight loss surgery

Gastric banding. Image: Paul O'Brien
video describing lap banding procedure.

Hear Wendy Brown's 3AW interview

A 20-year study by Monash University researchers has demonstrated that lap-band surgery provides substantial weight loss to obese people for at least 20 years.

Obesity is estimated to affect more than a quarter of Australian adults and has now overtaken smoking as the leading cause of preventable deaths.

The study by Monash’s Centre for Obesity Research and Education (CORE) and the Centre for Bariatric Surgery (CBS), demonstrated that patients who had lap-band surgery 20 years ago now weigh an average of 30.1kg less than their initial weight. Lap-band (laparoscopic adjustable gastric band) surgery places an adjustable band around the top of the stomach to reduce appetite.

Congratulations to new AAHMS Fellows Profs Kit Fairley and Karin Jandeleit-Dahm

Newly elected Fellows of AAHMS, Professor Christopher Fairley
and Professor Karin Jandeleit-Dahm
Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences (AAHMS) elects 37 of Australia’s leading health and medical researchers as Fellows.

Congratulations to two Central Clinical School research leaders, Professor Christopher Fairley and Professor Karin Jandeleit-Dahm who have been made AAHMS Fellows in this round of elections!

Congratulations to Ben Sinclair on CSIRO grant!

The 'Reviver'  isodynamics exerciser
Congratulations to Dr Ben Sinclair, one of Professor Terry O'Brien's post-doctoral fellows, who has received a CSIRO Innovations Connections grant. The $100,000 award is jointly funded by government and industry. Ben's project is 'The Assessment of a Novel Form of Exercise on Atypical Parkinson’s', to test the exercise apparatus, The Reviver.

See more about the scientific basis of the research.

Congratulations to AIRmed research team for international recognition!

The AIRmed team's paper was nominated as one of the top 6 papers
Accolades for the RES4 Allergy and Asthma Team at the recent European Respiratory Symposium highlighting the best of the European Respiratory Journal in 2018.

Congratulations to Eric Chow on UTS Alumni Award for Excellence!

Congratulations to Dr Eric Chow, who received the 2018 UTS Alumni Award for Excellence for the Faculty of Science in Sydney last week. These Awards recognise and celebrate the outstanding achievements of UTS alumni community in professional, academic or research areas. The winners have demonstrated leadership, innovation and creativity, and have contributed to the community through their work. This Award recognizes Eric's work on sexual health, particularly on gonorrhoea and human papillomavirus. 

See more:
Eric (pictured, left) received the Award from Prof William Gladstone, the Dean of Faculty of Science at UTS.

Dr Emma Foster on epilepsy seizures: American Academy of Neurology podcast

Dr Emma Foster
Dr Emma Foster of the Department of Neuroscience, has had her work on epilepsy seizures featured on the October issue of the American Academy of Neurology Podcast.

10 Oct 2018

Alfred Research Alliance partners celebrate World Thrombosis Day (13 Oct)

2017 World Thrombosis Day team at the Alfred. L-R: Andrew Wallis, 
(Senior Scientist, Lab Haematology), Susan Findlay (Haemostasis/
Thrombosis Unit, Alfred) in the clot suit, A/Prof Huyen Tran 
(Head, Haemostasis/Thrombosis unit), Wahida Roshan (Sanofi),
Melissa Wilson (Sanofi), Hadley Bortz (Alfred senior pharmacist)
To raise awareness about clotting disorders as part of World Thrombosis Day (13 October annually), the Alfred and CCS are hosting an information stall.

Anything you'd like to know about the research and the services to support people suffering from thrombosis, please visit the stall which will be set up near the Alfred ground floor lifts from 9.00am to approximately 11.30am on Friday 12 October.

Mitch Moon, Volga Tarlac (in Justin Hamilton's ACBD group which works on platelets and thrombosis) and Hadley Bortz will be looking after the table. Susan Findlay will star as the clot!

5 Oct 2018

What's on at CCS 8-12 Oct 2018

Dr Isaak Quast is presenting
on Thurs 11 Oct 2018
Central Clinical School (CCS) has regular seminar series and postgraduate presentations. Event notices are posted on the CCS Events calendar.

CCS staff and 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 CCS intranet's Announcements page.

See CCS seminar index:  www.monash.edu/medicine/ccs/headlines/events-calendar

What's on at CCS 8-12 Oct 2018

26 Sep 2018

Photo of the week: Respiratory Immunology Laboratory

2018 Marsland group: Dr Anh Thu Dang, Dr Christina Begka, Dr Celine Patteroni, Ms Carmel Daunt, Prof Ben Marsland
Professor Benjamin Marsland leads the Respiratory Immunology laboratory, where the main focus of research revolves around the microbiome in the gut, lung and skin and how it can influence respiratory diseases. In particular, his laboratory studies host-microbe interactions within the context of allergy, asthma and lung transplantation.

See more: 

What's on at CCS 1-5 Oct 2018

Ms Dijina Swaroop is
presenting Tue 2 Oct
Central Clinical School (CCS) has regular seminar series and postgraduate presentations. Event notices are posted on the CCS Events calendar.

CCS staff and 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 CCS intranet's Announcements page.

See CCS seminar index:  www.monash.edu/medicine/ccs/headlines/events-calendar

What's on at CCS 1-5 October 2018


Forthcoming events

Recent CCS publications: 15 - 24 September 2018

Prof Kit Fairley, MSHC,
is a co-author on a paper on the
decline of HIV diagnoses among MSM.
Recent publications for Central Clinical School affiliated authors in the following departments. Note, browse down this entry for complete publications list. Linked headings for each section are to the departments' home pages.
  • Australian Centre for Blood Diseases
  • Diabetes
  • Gastroenterology
  • Immunology and Pathology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • MAPrc
  • Melbourne Sexual Health Centre
  • Neuroscience
  • Surgery

2018 Infectious Diseases Diagnostic Symposium

2018 ID Diagnostic Symposium
This will be a one-day symposium focused on topical and clinically relevant microbiology diagnostics. The format will be short presentations with discussion, including some clinical cases and practical 'plate round' session. We have expert interstate and local speakers organised and the program will follow.

24 Sep 2018

What's on at CCS 24-28 September 2018

Dr Emily Edwards is presenting
Wed 26 Sept, 11.30-12.30 on
antibody deficiency
Central Clinical School (CCS) has regular seminar series and postgraduate presentations. Event notices are posted on the CCS Events calendar.

CCS staff and 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 CCS intranet's Announcements page.

See CCS seminar index:  www.monash.edu/medicine/ccs/headlines/events-calendar

What's on at CCS 24-28 September 2018

18 Sep 2018

Video playlist of the week: Neuroscience research

The recent opening of the Department of Neuroscience sees a bevy of talented researchers conducting innovative research at the Central Clinical School. A theme running through descriptions of the  research being conducted by the Department of Neuroscience is that it is "translational" and "patient-centred". The department hopes to translate the knowledge gained from lab analysis of samples, such as blood and spinal fluids, from bench to bedside. The video playlist features Dr Mastura Monif, Prof Patrick Kwan, Prof Terry O'Brien and Dr David Wright. See more:


  • Video playlist: www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL77QJnB61-H7rR7u0ZVhwYmeSfaIN17m4
  • Photo album: photos.app.goo.gl/9TbgT3dCfve6K9fz6
  • Neuroscience department research groups: www.monash.edu/medicine/ccs/neuroscience/research
  • What's on at CCS 17-21 September 2018

    Dr Neil Bailey presenting on
    Thurs 20 Sept on mindfulness
    Central Clinical School (CCS) has regular seminar series and postgraduate presentations. Event notices are posted on the CCS Events calendar.

    CCS staff and 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 CCS intranet's Announcements page.

    See CCS seminar index:  www.monash.edu/medicine/ccs/headlines/events-calendar

    What's on at CCS 17-21 September 2018

    Invitation to the 2018 D.S Rosengarten Surgical Trainee Research Prize

    Last year's winner, Dr Geraldine Ooi (left)
    with Mrs Candice Rosengarten.
    You're invited to attend the 2018 D.S Rosengarten Surgical Trainee Research Prize. The event will be held on Saturday 1 December 2018 in the AMREP Seminar Room. The event commences at 8:00am with breakfast and morning tea provided.

    Alfred Research Alliance (A+) launches 24-27 Sept 2018

    Special Edition
    + AMREP is changing
    + Conversations in the Courtyard
    + Welcome to the Future
    + Speed Dating for Researchers
    View this email in your browser

    HERE'S SOMETHING NEW




    AMREP Steps into the Future...


    In the next few days, you'll see this A+ logo starting to make an appearance around the precinct. It's all part of the biggest changes AMREP has seen in years: A new commitment, a new name, and a totally new image. Next week, AMREP steps into the future as the Alfred Research Alliance. 

    Recent CCS publications: 8 - 14 September 2018

    A/Prof David Curtis, ACBD, is a co-
    author on a paper on red cell production
    Recent publications for Central Clinical School affiliated authors in the following departments. Note, browse down this entry for complete publications list. Linked headings for each section are to the departments' home pages.
    • Australian Centre for Blood Diseases
    • Immunology and Pathology
    • Infectious Diseases
    • Medicine
    • Monash Alfred Psychiatry Research Centre (MAPrc)
    • Neuroscience
    • Surgery (including CORE)

    17 Sep 2018

    The rubber hand illusion and deep brain stimulation in Parkinson's disease

    Professor Dominic Thyagarajan
    Professor Dominic Thyagarajan heads a group investigating movement disorders in the newly launched Department of Neuroscience. Here, he writes of a study published 14 September 2018 in Nature’s Scientific Reports that enlisted the intriguing Rubber Hand Illusion technique and deep brain stimulation to investigate impaired motor function in Parkinson’s disease.

    Congratulations to MRFF grant winners Andrew Spencer and Andrew Perkins!

    Prof Andrew Spencer
    Prof Andrew Perkins
    Congratulations to Professors Andrew Perkins and Andrew Spencer, both of the Australian Centre for Blood Diseases, for their new funding under the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF).

    Professor Andrew Perkins' grant of $1.73M is for improving survival in myelofibrosis (MF) using genetic profiling. MF is a rare incurable blood cancer. It can develop from a pre-existing myeloproliferative disorder. Patients with high risk MF have a median survival of less than 3 years and some less than 5 years.

    Congratulations Dr Pablo Casillas-Espinosa and Dr Rhys Brady!

    Dr Pablo Casillas-Espinosa
    Congratulations to Dr Pablo Casillas-Espinosa and Dr Rhys Brady for their respective awards from the American Epilepsy Society and the Scientific Program Committee.

    Dr Pablo Casillas-Espinosa was awarded the 2018 Suzanne and Peter Berry International Travel Award, whilst Dr Rhys Brady received the 2018 Young Investigator Award.

    Welcome to Professor Meng Law, Department of Neuroscience!

    Professor Meng Law, new research
    group leader in Dept of Neuroscience
    Welcome to our new research group leader, Professor Meng Law!

    Meng undertook his undergraduate and specialty training here but has been working in the USA for almost 20 years.  He comes to us most recently from the USC Keck Medical Centre in Los Angeles, where he has been since 2009.  He is the Director of Neuroradiology, Neuroradiology Fellowship Program Director, Director of NIA USC Alzheimer Disease Research Center, Neuroimaging Core and Medical Director of the Stevens Institute of Neuroimaging and Informatics there and also the Professor of Radiology, Neurology & Neurological Surgery USC Keck School of Medicine as well as Professor of Biomedical Engineering USC Viterbi School of Engineering. 

    Improving gender imbalance at The Conversation

    Could your research be the next big thing on
    The Conversation?
    The Conversation is hoping to improve a gender imbalance in the authors of their stories. They recently reported that less than 30% of pitches for their Science and Technology section came from women.

    6 Sep 2018

    Photo of the week: Motherhood and scholarship

    MAPrc PhD student Elizabeth Thomas with her baby daughter
    Does having a baby mean your ambitions have to go on hold? Not as far as Elizabeth Thomas, a PhD student at Monash Alfred Psychiatry research centre (MAPrc) is concerned.

    What's on at CCS 10-14 September 2018

    Dr Carolyn Breadon, PhD candidate
    at MAPrc,11.30 am Mon 10 Sep
    Central Clinical School (CCS) has regular seminar series and postgraduate presentations. Event notices are posted on the CCS Events calendar.

    CCS staff and 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 CCS intranet's Announcements page.

    See CCS seminar index:  www.monash.edu/medicine/ccs/headlines/events-calendar

    What's on at CCS 10-14 September 2018

    Save the date! 12 November 2018 CCS graduate research symposium

    You are invited to attend a symposium held by, and for, PhD and Masters students at the Central Clinical School’s 2018 Annual Graduate Research Symposium - the 11th in the annual series - and be a part of the most interactive, student run event of the year.
    Join us for a variety of presentations from postgraduate students around Central Clinical School.

    Recent CCS publications: 1 - 7 September 2018

    ACBD research group working on leukaemia stem cells. L-R: Ms Loretta Cerruti, A/Prof Stephen Ting, Ms Jacqueline Boyle, A/Prof David CurtisDr Cedric Tremblay,   Dr Stefan Sonderegger, Dr Emma Toulmin, Dr Christina Tebartz,   Ms Jesslyn Saw, Mr Andrej Terzic, Ms Michelle Karlik,  Ms Ashlee Conway.  The bolded names are co-authors on a recent paper investigating pre-leukaemia stem cell mutations. 

    Cure rates for acute leukemia have not improved over the last 20 years. One explanation for this lack of progress is the existence of rare leukemic cells that escape chemotherapy. Using genetically modified mice that can track cells according to their cycling kinetics, we found that dormant leukemic cells are essential for the progression of the disease. Most importantly, we show that these dormant cells escape chemotherapy and lead to recurrence of the disease in acute leukemia. This work will identify new ways to eliminate these therapy-resistant cells and improve cure rates for patients with acute leukemia.
    Recent publications for Central Clinical School affiliated authors in the following departments. Note, browse down this entry for complete publications list. Linked headings for each section are to the departments' home pages.




  • Australian Centre for Blood Diseases
  • Allergy, Immunology and Respiratory Medicine (AIRmed)
  • Diabetes
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Medicine
  • Monash Alfred Psychiatry Research Centre (MAPrc)
  • Surgery (including CORE)
  • National Trauma Research Institute (Trauma)

  • Scientists reveal reason why diabetes protects against aneurysms

    Three of the study's authors: L-R Dr Tieqao Wu,
    Dr Zhong-Lin Chai and Dr Pacific Huynh
    by Anne Crawford

    For some years clinicians have observed that people with diabetes are usually less likely to have aortic aneurysms than non-diabetic patients. Aortic aneurysm is a major cause of death in older adults.

    The phenomenon was puzzling: diabetes is associated with an increased incidence of cardiovascular disease, specifically related to atherosclerosis, hardening of the arteries. Most aortic aneurysms are caused by atherosclerosis, which weakens the blood vessel walls.

    Now, Monash University scientists led by Dr Zhong-Lin Chai from the Department of Diabetes have revealed a mechanism that explains the phenomenon.

    5 Sep 2018

    International collaboration to investigate diabetes epigenetics

    L-R: Professor Mark Cooper (Monash), Professor Stephen Jane 
    (Monash), Professor Paul Zimmet (Monash), Mr Sami Sagol,
    Professor Naftali Stern (Director of Endocrinology,Tel Aviv
    Medical Center), Dr Tamar Shahal, Prof Sam El-Osta (Monash)
    A new Israel-Australia research centre involving a major collaboration with Monash University was officially launched 5 September 2018 in Tel Aviv, Israel.

    The Sagol Center for Epigenetics of Metabolism and Aging cements the relationship between Monash University and the Tel Aviv Medical Center, Israel’s largest health institution, where the centre will be based. The initiative was made possible by the generosity of the Sagol family in Israel and is the vision of philanthropist Sami Sagol.

    Understanding type 2 diabetes: An ABC interview with Professor Merlin Thomas.

    Professor Merlin Thomas
    "Imagine the fat in your body is like the food that you store in your pantry."

    This is how Merlin Thomas, a physician scientist from Monash University, begins when asked to explain how type 2 diabetes works.

    Dr Elspeth Hutton: The burden of the 'suicide' headache

    Dr Elspeth Hutton, Research Fellow
    Department of Neuroscience
    They’re called suicide headaches because the pain is frequent and unbearable.

    Commonly known as cluster headaches, they can occur up to eight times a day. They start suddenly, last for up to three hours, and can be very painful. A bout of regular attacks, known as a cluster bout, can last weeks to months.

    3 Sep 2018

    2018 AMREP EMCR symposium 14 Sept deadline for abstract submission

    Dr Glenn Begley at the 2017 CCS hosted
    Translational Research symposium. Glenn
    is noted for his lively presentations. 
    Reminder for AMREP EMCRs and HDRs that abstract submission for the 2018 AMREP EMCR symposium closes in one week on Friday 14 September.  This is a fantastic opportunity to present your data and ideas to your fellow early and mid career researchers, and a great chance to network.

    We also have two really amazing keynote speakers who are taking time out of their busy schedules to speak to us, as well as a career development panel who will answer all of your questions about how to make the most of your CV and interview opportunities.

    We encourage all EMCRs and final year PhD students to attend, though early PhD students are welcome to register also. Please register for catering purposes.

    Participants sought: Migraine and visual disturbance, known as 'visual snow'

    Visual snow can granulate visual perception as per the
    right-hand image pictured here. Image: Medpage today
    The problem

    Currently, there is little understanding of the causes of Visual Snow (VS) and the relationship between VS and migraine.  As such, more research needs to be conducted to better understand the underlying mechanisms of these conditions.

    A large portion of the brain is involved in vision and controlling the movement of the eyes. Other research has shown that simple eye movement tests and visual perception tasks can give important information about the mechanisms underlying neurological conditions.

    What we want to find out

    We wish to investigate whether differences in performance on eye movement and visual perception tests can account for the symptoms of VS and the differences in symptomology between VS and migraine.

    Participants sought: Synchronising brain rhythms with mild electrical stimulation

    Neural activity patterns. Wikipedia
    The Monash Alfred Psychiatry Research Centre is seeking healthy adults between the ages of 18 and 45 to help us investigate how people experience gentle electrical brain stimulation.

    Participation will involve visiting our research centre in Prahran for three sessions. In each session you will undergo a short session of non-invasive brain stimulation and we will ask you questions about your experience of the stimulation and also record your brain activity. Each session will take between 2-3 hours to complete. You will be compensated $20 per session.

    If you would like more details or might be interested in participating, please contact Dr Aron Hill, email aron.hill@monash.edu

    See more detail at:
    https://ccs-clin-trials.med.monash.edu.au/trials/equivalence-and-stimulation-parameter-investigations-brainamp-stimeegv2b-purpose-developed-tr
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