17 Apr 2019

No CCS News over Easter break

Due to the extended Easter / ANZAC Day break, the next CCS News will go out on Friday 10th May. Enjoy the break everyone!

Promising technology heads to Melbourne for Parkinson's Disease trial

The Reviver in action

Technology being brought to Melbourne as part of a trial by Neuroscience researcher Dr Ben Sinclair made the Sydney news recently. The Reviver is a device that tilts people and rotates them through the gravitational field, strengthening muscles with minimal conscious effort. In people with neuromuscular degenerative conditions like Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson's Disease, it stimulates remaining reflex pathways, providing better muscle tone and balance.

Inaugural Monash-wide immunology symposium

Dr Emily Edwards from our Department of Immunology and Pathology is on the organising committee of ImmuMon 2019, the first annual symposium to promote networking and collaboration among immunology researchers across Monash University. It will be held on 7th June 2019 at the former Alfred Research Alliance lecture theatre, 75 Commercial Road, Melbourne.

Translational Research Symposium Speaker Spotlight: Doctor Joshua Ooi

Dr Joshua Ooi
Monash University's 5th annual Translational Research Symposium is being hosted by its three metropolitan clinical schools on 21 June 2019. The symposium will host a diverse group of medical researchers presenting their work into translational research. RSVP here.

Doctor Joshua Ooi is a senior research fellow in the Centre of Inflammatory Diseases at Monash Health.

11 Apr 2019

CCS Recent Publications: 3rd - 9th April

Recent publications for Central Clinical School feature affiliated authors in the following departments:
Prof. Robyn O'Hehir AO had two articles published this week.



  • Neuroscience
  • MAPrc
  • Peninsula Clinical School
  • Anaesthesia and Perioperative Medicine
  • Melbourne Sexual Health Centre
  • Gastroenterology
  • Australian Centre for Blood Diseases
  • Diabetes
  • AIRmed









10 Apr 2019

Study finds drug link to harmful diabetic complication

Surgery and fasting were associated with a higher risk
of DKA in inpatients
by Anne Crawford

Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a serious and potentially life-threatening medical condition.
It is associated with very high blood glucose levels and insufficient insulin in the blood, which forces the body to burn fat for energy and leads to a build-up of dangerous chemical substances called ketones in the blood.

DKA occurs mostly in people with type 1 diabetes; those with type 2 diabetes develop it very rarely and usually in the context of severe stress.

However, in the past few years clinicians treating people with type 2 diabetes across Melbourne have noticed that some were developing the condition after being administered oral antidiabetic drugs called sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 inhibitors (SGLT2i).

A/Prof White inducted as NANOS Fellow

A/Prof Owen White, co-lead of the School's Ocular Motor Research group, has been inducted as a Fellow of the North American Neuro-Ophthalmology Society (NANOS) in recognition of his substantial contribution to NeuroOpthalmology.

Fellows must be board certified in their specialty, have a chief interest and specialty training in Neuro-Ophthalmology, be an active member of NANOS, and demonstrate special achievement in clinical NeuroOphthalmology.

A couple of photos from some recent international meetings involving CCS staff


Prof Mark Cooper AO (left) and Prof Merlin Thomas (right) in
Lebanon as part of a meeting about the Australia-Arab Grant

Prof Wendy Brown, Prof Jayashri Kulkarni
and Prof Karin Jandeleit-Dahm at a meeting
with Newcastle University in Prato recently




New recommendations for HBV during cancer therapy

Dr Joseph Doyle
Dr Joseph Doyle from the Department of Infectious Diseases was involved in the creation of Australian recommendations for the management of hepatitis B (HBV) during cancer therapy, which were released recently by the Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases.

This Australian consensus statement simplifies the approach to testing and preventive strategies for HBV during cancer therapy for medical specialists in infectious diseases, hepatology, haematology, oncology and paediatrics.

Approximately 240,000 Australians are living with hepatitis B virus infection, and approximately 2.3 million Australians have been exposed or infected in the past. Individuals with current or hepatitis B are at risk of viral reactivation during cancer therapy. Reactivation can lead to liver failure, death or cancer treatment interruption that reduces cancer survival.

Translational Research Symposium Speaker Spotlight: Associate Professor Suzanne Miller

A/Prof Suzanne Miller
Monash University's 5th annual Translational Research Symposium is being hosted by its three metropolitan clinical schools on 21 June 2019. The symposium will host a diverse group of medical researchers presenting their work into translational research. RSVP here.

Associate Professor Suzanne Miller is the Deputy Director of the Ritchie Centre at the Hudson Institute.

4 Apr 2019

CCS Recent Publications: 27th March - 2nd April

Prof. Helmut Butzkueven, 
(pictured left with his group), 
has a recent publication on the role of 
Vitamin D in multiple sclerosis.
Recent publications for Central Clinical School feature affiliated authors in the following departments:

  • Neuroscience
  • MAPrc
  • Peninsula Clinical School
  • Anaesthesia and Perioperative Medicine
  • Melbourne Sexual Health Centre
  • Gastroenterology
  • Australian Centre for Blood Diseases
  • Diabetes
  • AIRmed


3 Apr 2019

Dr Vincent Cornelisse takes out Victorian Premier's Prize for Best Public Health Researcher

Dr Cornelisse accepting his award
Huge congratulations go to Melbourne Sexual Health Centre and Alfred Health researcher Dr Vincent Cornelisse.

Dr Cornelisse's research focussed on the prevention of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.

Populations affected by HIV are the same populations affected by bacterial sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including chlamydia, gonorrhoea and syphilis. His research seeks to find and evaluate new strategies to prevent the transmission of HIV and STIs.

As part of this research, he's validated the use of HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) eligibility criteria, which provided important information for the Australian PrEP clinical guidelines.

Could magnetic pulses help beat teen depression?

by Anne Crawford

A study showing that repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) reduced depression and anxiety in young people has pointed to factors suggesting who would be most likely to benefit from the treatment.

TMS, a non-invasive, well-tolerated procedure that uses magnetic pulses to stimulate nerve cells in the brain, is well-established as a treatment for depression in adults but little research has been conducted to test its use in young people.

CCS Recent Publications: 19th March - 26th March 2019

Recent publications for Central Clinical School feature affiliated authors in the following departments:
A/Prof Menno van Zelm has two articles
featured in this week's recent publications.

  • Pathology and Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • National Trauma Institute
  • AIRMed
  • Neuroscience
  • Australian Centre for Blood Diseases
  • Melbourne Sexual Health Centre




Translational Research Symposium Speaker Spotlight: Doctor Kirsten Palmer

Dr Kirsten Palmer
Monash University's 5th annual Translational Research Symposium is being hosted by its three metropolitan clinical schools on 21 June 2019. The symposium will host a diverse group of medical researchers presenting their work into translational research. RSVP here.

Doctor Kirsten Palmer is a research fellow in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Monash Health.

A bittersweet farewell to a popular staff member

Ashleigh Clarke with Head of School Professor Stephen Jane

The School said a reluctant goodbye last week to our Research Manager Ashleigh Clarke. Ash has been in the School since 2011, but she worked with our Head of School, Professor Stephen Jane, for many years prior to that at Royal Melbourne Hospital.

She's heading off to take on a similar role with Ballarat Health, a move that will significantly reduce her current four-hour plus daily commute.

Ash was farewelled with a lunch on March 28th.

Ash, Ballarat's gain is very much our loss.

27 Mar 2019

Seeking clarity on a fuzzy neurological condition

A/Professor Joanne Fielding and Professor Owen White from the Department of Neuroscience had a busy Friday morning last week, discussing their research into Visual Snow on both Neil Mitchell's 3AW radio show, and then featuring on Melbourne's Channel 9 News.

Visual Snow is thought to affect the way the brain processes optical messages from the eyes, with affected people viewing the world through a film of what looks like TV static. There are many related symptoms, including migraines, floaters, auras and more. It often takes years for people to be formally diagnosed, creating a tense and frustrating wait.

New treatment of acute myeloid leukemia achieves remarkable results in a disease formerly with little hope

A/Prof Andrew Wei

The prognosis for older patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is poor: very few achieve remission and for those that don’t the option is largely palliative. Every year almost 1,000 Australians die of the disease and clinical trials into new therapies for older patients have largely failed.

A new drug trial has achieved a remarkable result, clearing the bone marrow of leukaemia in almost 60% of patients. The trial was considered so effective that the US Food and Drug Administration approved its use last November for the treatment of AML.

Associate Professor Andrew Wei, from the Alfred Hospital and Central Clinical School's Australian Centre for Blood Diseases, commenced research in this area almost two decades ago. He is now the lead clinician/researcher on the international trial of the cancer drug, currently combined with cytarabine to treat older adults with AML.

Why I fight fires

Some of you will be familiar with Anne Crawford, who writes many of our blog posts. Anne is also a volunteer fire fighter with the Country Fire Association, and recently spent time fighting the serious fires in Bunyip, east of Melbourne. We invited her to share her experiences..

by Anne Crawford
Biomedical science writer


Photos like this reveal the intensity of fighting large fires,
but don't convey the hours of boredom and watchful waiting.
I joined the CFA because the farmer next door asked me. As simple as that. That was more than 10 years and two campaign fires ago, the 2009 fires and Bunyip.

Being a fire-fighter isn’t always about battling the blazes you see on television. Yes, there are times when you’re so pumped full of adrenalin that you work at a fire for hours on end without noticing the 40 deg. plus heat but they’re the minority.

Womens Minds Matter




Prof. Jayashri Kulkarni featured in the "Women" project.
Credit: Sam Burke & Rebecca Umlauf
Prof. Jayashri Kulkarni has been honoured with a 4-metre high banner currently displayed outside the Malvern Town Hall. Artists Sam Burke and Rebecca Umlauf captured eight influential and inspiring women as part of the Stonnington Council’s “Women” project. The black and white portraits celebrate women’s achievements as opposed to the objectified images we usually see in billboards. Professor Kulkarni, Director of the MAPrc (Monash Alfred Psychiatry research centre), is pictured wearing a white t-shirt with the slogan “Women’s Minds Matter”, a fitting message for her extraordinary contribution to the mental health field. “I felt really chuffed to be in the company of famous business women, champion women's footballer, feminist activist, and other fabulous women”. Western Bulldog's ex-Vice President Susan Alberti, Boowurrung elder Carolyn Briggs and tram driver Lee Brown also feature in the month long installation.


Translational Research Symposium Speaker Spotlight: Professor Christoph Hagemeyer

A/prof Christoph Hagemeyer
Monash University's 5th annual Translational Research Symposium is being hosted by its three metropolitan clinical schools on 21 June 2019. The symposium will host a diverse group of medical researchers presenting their work into translational research. RSVP here.

Associate Professor Christoph Hagemeyer is Head of the Nanobiotechnology Laboratory at the Australian Centre for Blood Diseases.

21 Mar 2019

CCS Recent Publications: 12th March - 18th March 2019

ACBD researchers published on
treatments for chronic ulcers
Recent publications for Central Clinical School feature affiliated authors in the following departments:


  • Surgery
  • Australian Centre for Blood Diseases
  • Neuroscience
  • Melbourne Sexual Health Centre
  • Anaesthesia and Perioperative Medicine
  • Infectious Diseases

Study investigates MS medication use in pregnant women


Women with active MS are increasingly opting to try to get
pregnant, rather than waiting for remission
by Loretta Piccenna 

The number of people with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) has steadily increased over the past 50 years with women three times more likely to develop MS than men, resulting in a greater number of women of childbearing age presenting to neurologists in specialist clinics.

However, very limited information is available about the safety and use of disease-modifying treatments (DMTs) in these women during pregnancy. No clinical guidelines currently exist to assist health professionals in providing informed advice to women about their treatment.

Public Surgery Lecture and Brain Awareness Week wrap up


From left Dr. Mostafiz Rahman,
A/Prof Heather Cleland, Mr. Cheng Lo,
Prof Steven Boyce, Dr Shiva Akbarzadeh
and Dr. Ilia Banakh

Mid-March was a time of great community outreach for the School, as we hosted events to share our work and the latest knowledge with colleagues and the public.

The Department of Surgery's Annual Public Lecture was delivered by Emeritus Professor Stephen Boyce from the University of Cincinnati. He spoke about the importance of wound closure in treating life-threatening burn injuries, and delved into the latest research surrounding investigative models of tissue-engineered skin to improve closure. The technology offers the hope of one day restoring the use of full, uninjured anatomy and physiology of skin, without scarring. Around 80 people turned out to hear from the visiting Professor.

Speakers: A/Prof Joanne Fielding,
Dr Caroline Gurvich
MC: Professor Jayashri Kulkarni
The Department of NeuroscienceMAPrc and Alfred Health jointly celebrated Brain Awareness Week through a public lecture, and information stands in The Alfred engaging the public in the opportunities to participate in brain-related research here at the precinct. Students Flavia Medeiros Gomes and Juliana de Castro e Silva proved that playdoh is not just for adults by making incredible models of neurons and brain anatomy, which passers-by loved.

Playdoh neuron
The lecture saw A/Prof Joanne Fielding and Dr Caroline Gurvich share the latest on research into Visual Snow, and sex hormones and mental health, respectively. You can see Joanne's lecture here and Caroline's lecture here.






20 Mar 2019

Translational Research Symposium Speaker Spotlight: Associate Professor Catriona Bradshaw

A/Prof Catriona Bradshaw
Monash University's 5th annual Translational Research Symposium is being hosted by its three metropolitan clinical schools on 21 June 2019. The symposium will host a diverse group of medical researchers presenting their work into translational research. RSVP here.

The Keynote speaker for the event is Associate Professor Catriona Bradshaw is head of the Genital Microbiota and Mycoplasma Group at Melbourne Sexual Health Centre and an Associate Professor at the Central Clinical School.

15 Mar 2019

Trailblazing scientist gains state honour


The Central Clinical School’s Professor Robyn O'Hehir AO FAHMS has been inducted into the Victorian Honour Roll of Women 2019.

Professor O’Hehir, who heads Respiratory Medicine, Allergy and Clinical Immunology (Research) at Monash University and The Alfred hospital was recognised as a ‘trailblazer’ in the prestigious awards.

The Honour Roll acknowledges and celebrates the achievements of outstanding Victorian women from all walks of life who have demonstrated inspirational leadership and excellence in their field.

14 Mar 2019

Crucial insights into how a ‘superbug’ can escape immune and antibiotic attack

Professor Anton Peleg with Dr Jhih-Hang Jiang and
Hsin-Hui Shen.

by Dr Jhih-Hang Jiang & Grace Williams, Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute

A multidisciplinary study led by Monash scientists has shown how one of the most important human superbugs, Staphylococcus aureus, can evade last-line antibiotics and the host immune system during a life-threatening infection. The findings uncover a novel strategy used by S. aureus (Golden staph), whereby it rapidly adapts its bacterial membrane to circumvent antibiotic and immune killing. These findings potentially point to a  new therapeutic target for this significant bacterial pathogen.

S. aureus can cause serious infection of almost any human tissue and mortality from treated infections is up to 35 per cent. It is estimated that around 7000 cases of S. aureus bloodstream infections occur in Australia each year, and about 25 per cent are caused by methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA). Without the ability to use the antibiotic methicillin, treatment of MRSA infection increasingly relies on last-line antibiotics. The World Health Organization (WHO) has listed MRSA as a ‘high-priority’ pathogen that urgently requires the development of new antimicrobial agents.

13 Mar 2019

Monash study reveals flawed data influenced WHO oxygen guidelines

by Anne Crawford

A study by a Monash University professor has exposed compromised data that was used by the World Health Organization (WHO) to support its guidelines on administering highly concentrated oxygen to all patients having surgery.

The WHO in 2016 recommended the practice of administering 80% supplemental oxygen to patients during and after surgery to prevent surgical wound infection – one of the most common serious postoperative complications.

However, a paper co-authored by Professor Paul Myles, Director of the Department of Anaesthesia and Perioperative Medicine at The Alfred Hospital and Monash University, says the WHO recommended practice may harm patients and that the evidence supporting it was false.

Translational Research Symposium Speaker Spotlight: Professor Alan Mackay-Sim

Professor Alan Mackay-Sim
Monash University's 5th annual Translational Research Symposium is being hosted by its three metropolitan clinical schools on 21 June 2019. The symposium will host a diverse group of medical researchers presenting their work into translational research. RSVP here.

The Keynote speaker for the event is Professor Alan Mackay-Sim, 2017 Australian of the Year and Professor Emeritus at the Griffith Institute for Drug Discover, Griffith University.

CSL Research Acceleration Initiative

Looking to translate your research into life-saving therapies for patients and work with one of the world’s leading biopharmaceutical companies?

CSL, Monash University and Hudson Institute have established a new collaborative initiative to accelerate research across selected therapeutic areas.  CSL have committed to fund selected projects across Australia, with up to $500,000 each, for up to 24 months

Learn more about this new partnership and meet CSL’s Director of Research Innovation Marthe D’Ombrain at an information session on 2 April.

Visit CSL Research Acceleration Initiative to check your eligibility and apply. Flyer here.

CCS Student Journal Club kicks off for 2019

The Central Clinical School (CCS) Student Journal Club series will be up and running again this year, led by by Perkin Chan and Sophie Lim, representatives of the MUMUS Medical Research Students' Society (MRSS). Sessions are scheduled monthly, and the first session is planned to be held 12:30pm to 1:30pm on Thursday 18th of April, with catered lunch.

This series is run for students by students. Its purpose is to enable students to gain confidence and experience in presenting papers in a journal club setting, and to bring students around the Alfred precinct together for social and collaborative interaction. While many Departments in this precinct  run Journal Clubs, this one is aimed solely at students, to help train them in presenting in a non-intimidating setting, amongst their peers.

CCS Recent Publications: 5th March - 11th March 2019

Recent publications for Central Clinical School feature affiliated authors in the following departments:

A/Prof Piero Perucca from the Dept.
 of  Neuroscience was published
in Epilepsy Research

  • Neuroscience
  • Diabetes
  • Melbourne Sexual Health Centre
  • Australian Centre for Blood Diseases
  • Gastroenterology
  • Peninsula Clinical School
  • Anaesthesia and Perioperative Medicine
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Medicine

12 Mar 2019

Travel Grants Open 25th March!

Applications for Round 1, 2019, open 25th March and close 5th April!

Travel dates: 1/1/2019 - 31/12/2019


Did you know that CCS staff can apply for a maximum of $3000 for an international conference and $1000 for a national conference? A co-contribution from their Department is also required ($750 international and $250 domestic).

Drs Jessica Borger and Evelyn Tsantikos with their presentation awards. 
School travel grants provide support for research staff to present their research at both national and international conferences. Support is also provided to visit research organisations, to undertake activities such as specialised training, dissemination of results with collaborators and establishing
new research collaborations.

Evelyn Tsantikos and Jessica Borger, both from the school's Immunology and Pathology Department were awarded travel grants last year.

7 Mar 2019

Study suggests ‘stealthing’ – non-consensual condom removal – a common practice

by Anne Crawford

A Monash University researcher has conducted the first study globally into the prevalence of ‘stealthing’ or non-consensual condom removal, finding that one in three women, and one in five men who have sex with men (MSM) have been subjected to it.

Stealthing can lead to unwanted pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections (STI) including HIV, and to emotional distress.

The Melbourne Sexual Health Centre’s Rosie Latimer became interested in the phenomenon after an article about it appeared in the Columbia Journal of Gender and Law in April 2017. The article, by Yale Law School graduate Alexandra Brodsky and based on anecdotal evidence, attracted international attention. It raised the question of whether stealthing should be considered sexual assault.

CCS Recent Publications 19th Feb - 4th March

Throughout February and going into early March we will be posting two backdated weeks of publications at a time, until we catch up from the Summer break.

Recent publications for Central Clinical School feature affiliated authors in the following departments:
  • Medicine
  • Peninsula Clinical School
  • Melbourne Sexual Health Centre
  • Surgery
  • Australian Centre for Blood Diseases
  • Neuroscience
  • Anaesthesia and Perioperative Medicine
  • National Trauma Research Institute
  • Immunology and Pathology
  • MAPrc
  • Diabetes
  • Infectious Diseases

6 Mar 2019

Brain Awareness Week lecture



Central Clinical School and Alfred Health are teaming up to help celebrate Brain Awareness Week between March 11 - 17th. The annual week is hosted internationally by the Dana Foundation, and aims to draw attention to the value of brain research.

All staff are invited to a lecture in the former AMREP lecture theatre between 2-3pm on Thursday 14th March.

4 Mar 2019

Save the date! 21 June 2019 Translational Research Symposium

We invite you to join us for the 5th annual Monash University Translational Research Symposium, to be held at the A+ Education Centre lecture theatre, The Alfred.
Monash University's three heads of its metropolitan based
clinical schools, Prof Eric Morand, Prof Stephen Jane and
Prof Ian Davis, discuss translational medical research and
the opportunities it offers for graduate students. Video: 4:31m

Significant findings in the lab can often get lost in their conversion to clinical practice and everyday medical treatments. As such, translational research skills have become a significant part of life at Monash’s three metropolitan clinical schools.

Personalised medicine investigation for rare thyroid cancers


Dr James Lee
Dr James Lee from the Department of Surgery was recently awarded a $120,000 philanthropic grant from the The Aftershock Foundation, a not-for-profit  organisation in the rare cancer space. The gift agreement includes a further $100,000 in 2020, bringing the total to $220,000.

The group was founded by Suzanne Neate, following the loss of her mother to metastatic medullary thyroid cancer. Thyroid cancer is now the 7th most commonly diagnosed cancer in women overall, and is on the rise.

1 Mar 2019

Welcome Professor Kumud Dhital

Prof Kumud Dhital
CCS would like to welcome Professor Kumud DHITAL who has recently joined the Alfred Hospital as the  Director of Cardiothoracic Surgery & Transplantation as well as Program Director of Alfred Heart & Lung.

Following a science degree in Physiology and Biochemistry with a subsequent PhD in Anatomy at the University of London, Kumud Dhital qualified in medicine at the University of Oxford with Cardiothoracic surgical training in the UK at various institutions including John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, the Royal Brompton and Guy’s & St Thomas’ Hospitals in London, before a transplant fellowship at Papworth Hospital, Cambridge.

More Powerful Together: Making our Mark for International Women's Day


Friday 8 March, is International Women’s Day.  To acknowledge this day, the CCS GEDI Committee (Gender Equity Diversity and Inclusion Committee) interviewed some of the exceptional female academics within CCS to find out what they do, why they chose a career path in science/medicine and what their words of advice are for younger/future female scientists/researchers.

Women are significantly under-represented in STEM related fields, thus the GEDI committee are using this day to bring exposure to some of the many successful women in CCS as well as to foster and encourage more women to enter the STEM fields.

Lakshanie Wickramasinghe

Lakshanie Wickramasinghe 


The first words that come to mind when I think of my career so far are: exciting scientific journey. As I am approaching the third year of my PhD, I am gaining a greater understanding of medical research and the translational significance of our work in the lab with the goal of improving the quality of life of patients who suffer from debilitating disease. 

I have always been curious about how different physiological systems function within the body and in particular how the respiratory and immune system operate in synergy to provide continuous protection against airborne insults. To be able to investigate how the body responds to diseases and to discover novel treatment solutions is what makes me excited about coming into the lab every day.

Words of advice: Learn to become comfortable with making mistakes because science truly requires both dedication and resilience to succeed.  

MRFF funding allows testing of frontotemporal dementia drug

Tony Hughes and his wife Ann, who shared their story about
frontotemporal dementia with The Age
The Department of Neuroscience featured in The Age recently following funding for a phase II trial to explore the efficacy of sodium selenate at slowing the progression of dementia. The trial is funded by a Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) grant that was announced as part of a $1.6 million suite of grants from the Federal government.

Sodium selenate is a relatively inexpensive drug that Professor Terence O'Brien believes may help slow the progression of frontotemporal dementia, which can cause behavioural and personality changes.

28 Feb 2019

CCS Recent Publications: 5th February - 18th February

Throughout February we will be posting two backdated weeks of publications at a time, until we catch up from the Summer break.

Recent publications for Central Clinical School feature affiliated authors in the following departments:
  • Melbourne Sexual Health Centre
  • Gastroenterology
  • Immunology and Pathology
  • Surgery
  • Peninsula Clinical School
  • Australian Centre for Blood Diseases
  • MAPrc
  • Diabetes
  • Neuroscience
  • AIRMed
  • Infectious Diseases

27 Feb 2019

CCS Recent Publications 28th Jan - 4th Feb

Throughout February and going into March we will be posting backdated weeks of publications at a time, until we catch up from the Summer break.

Recent publications for Central Clinical School feature affiliated authors in the following departments:
  • Diabetes
  • Neuroscience
  • Gastroenterology
  • Peninsula Clinical School
  • Surgery
  • National Trauma Research Institute
  • Australian Centre for Blood Diseases
  • Melbourne Sexual Health Centre
  • Infectious Diseases
  • MAPrc

21 Feb 2019

Research suggests diabetes may affect brain atrophy earlier than thought


Prof Velandai Srikanth
by Anne Crawford

Studies by Monash University’s Peninsula Clinical School researchers have deepened knowledge about the link between type 2 diabetes and dementia, and suggest that the effect of diabetes on brain atrophy may begin in middle rather than old age.

The studies were conducted by researchers led by Professor of Medicine, Velandai Srikanth, who are considered international leaders in the field of diabetes and dementia.

Although it has been known for some years that having type 2 diabetes increases the risk of developing dementia, the mechanisms underlying that link have not been clear nor have many studies looked at changes in the brains of people with type 2 diabetes over time.

Studies point to need for better scrutiny of first ever seizures

Dr Emma Foster
by Anne Crawford

To PhD candidate Dr Emma Foster researching the human brain and its mysteries poses a fascinating intellectual challenge. To Dr Foster as a clinician, it means potentially seeing first-hand patients’ lives improved by new ways of managing devastating diseases.

Dr Foster, an Epilepsy Fellow working at the Department of Neurology, Alfred Hospital, is investigating ‘first ever’ seizures; unexpected and traumatic events that can lead to emotional and financial burden on those suffering them and their families.

Rise in gonorrhoea infection in women linked to overseas travel.

A recent study led by the Melbourne Sexual Health Centre has explored the unexplained increase in gonorrhoea cases among females in Australian major cities. In 2018, the Kirby Institute for infection and immunity in society reported that there was a 56% increase in women with the infection between 2013 and 2017. Analysis of 13,843 patient records attending the Melbourne Sexual Health Centre between January 2008 and March 2015 highlighted a four-fold increase, similar to the rise in
gonorrhoea that has been reported among the MSM (Men who have Sex with Men) population in Australia.

In the multivariable analysis, there was no link between gonorrhoea positivity and age, country of birth, number of male partners, condomless sex, or drug use behaviours, suggesting another cause for the increase.

CCS Recent Publications: 12th - 25th January

Throughout February we will be posting two backdated weeks of publications at a time, until we catch up from the Summer break.

Recent publications for Central Clinical School feature affiliated authors in the following departments:
  • Neuroscience
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Peninsula Clinical School
  • Immunology and Pathology
  • Melbourne Sexual Health Centre
  • Diabetes
  • Australian Centre for Blood Diseases
  • National Trauma Research Institute
  • Surgery
  • MAPrc

18 Feb 2019

MS Research Australia grant for new drug

Dr Petratos in the lab

Backdated congratulations go to Dr Steven Petratos, whose grant from MS Research Australia was announced whilst the CCS Communications team was still settling in after the Summer break.

Dr Petratos works within the Department of Immunology and Pathology, and his research has explored ways to prevent nerve damage. Myelin is an insulating layer or sheath that forms around nerve fibres in the brain and spine, providing protection and longevity. His team has developed a drug called DITPA, which mimics the activity of a protein called MCT8, vital in the production of myelin.

15 Feb 2019

Burns researchers make inroads into skin tissue engineering

by Anne Crawford

Monash University scientists and surgeons in the Alfred Hospital’s burns unit have edged closer to their goal of growing full thickness human skin to replace the need for skin grafts with the publication of two recent research papers.

The first paper reports on the findings of a three-year clinical study into an application of the procedure called cultured epithelial autograft (CEA). Regarded as the birth of skin tissue engineering, CEA takes skin cells from the patient needing the graft and grows the upper layer of skin (epidermis) in sheets in a laboratory.

14 Feb 2019

Dementia project wins grant and advocate's vote

Congratulations to newly arrived A/Prof Michele Callisaya from Peninsula Clinical School, who has received the coveted Dementia Advocates’ Award, including funding from Dementia Australia. Her project will focus on a cognitive-mobility stress test to detect mild cognitive impairment and risk of developing into dementia.

In a show of how greatly this research is valued by the community, Michele’s project was chosen by a Dementia Australia Advocates group, who evaluated the applications according to which was most likely to yield important outcomes for people impacted by dementia. Dementia Advocate Sarah Ashton said she chose this project as more research in this area could help to understand early indicators of dementia and create a more timely diagnosis for people in the future.

“Dementia turns your life upside down, and anxiety can become a huge factor as life becomes much more uncertain. I hope this study can help to provide more clarity to those going through cognitive decline,” Ms Ashton said.

Adapted from the Dementia Australia media release accessed 14th February 2019: https://www.dementia.org.au/research/news/supporting-expression-of-sexuality-one-area-of-1-million-of-dementia-research-grants

CCS Recent Publications: 29th Dec 2018 - 11th Jan 2019

Throughout February we will be posting two backdated weeks of publications at a time, until we catch up from the Summer break.

Recent publications for Central Clinical School feature affiliated authors in the following departments:
  • Neuroscience
  • MAPrc
  • Diabetes
  • Melbourne Sexual Health Centre
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Surgery
  • Immunology and Pathology
  • Peninsula Clinical School
  • Australian Centre for Blood Diseases

13 Feb 2019

Beating mouse heart captured by new 9.4T MRI


Cardiac cine acquired with the CCS's new state-of-the-art  9.4T MRI showing the four chambers of a live mouse heart as it beats. Cine such as these will be used in a new collaboration investigating cardiac disease headed by A/Prof Julie McMullen from the Cardiac Hypertrophy Laboratory at the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute. This CINE was acquired by Dr David Wright, Head of Preclinical Imaging in the Department of Neuroscience, and Dr Daniel Donner from the Preclinical Cardiology Microsurgery and Imaging Centre at the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute.

New Guidelines for Venous Thromboembolism

Credit: Media release by The MJA

Associate Professor
Huyen Tran
THE first Australasian guidelines for the diagnosis and management of venous thromboembolism (VTE) have been produced, with a summary published online today by the Medical Journal of Australia.

Led by Australian Centre for Blood Diseases researcher Associate Professor Huyen Tran, also Head of the Haemostasis and Thrombosis Unit at Alfred Health, a working group from the Thrombosis and Haemostasis Society of Australia and New Zealand developed the guidelines, which are available in full at https://www.thanz.org.au/resources/thanz-guidelines.

7 Feb 2019

Monash/Chinese researchers probe high-fat seizure-reducing diet




PhD student Neha Kaul and colleagues during
their visit to China
by Anne Crawford

A high-fat diet used to treat epilepsy in children has become the focus of a newly established collaboration between Monash University’s Department of Neuroscience and Chinese researchers.

The ketogenic or keto diet, which forces the body to burn fats for energy rather than carbohydrates, has been shown to reduce seizures in two out of three children and leave up to 10 per cent seizure free. These young patients haven’t responded to anti-epileptic medicines previously, researcher Ms Neha Kaul said.

Recent CCS publications: 14th - 28th December 2018

Throughout February we will be posting two backdated weeks of publications at a time, until we catch up from the Summer break.

Recent publications for Central Clinical School feature affiliated authors in the following departments:
  • Melbourne Sexual Health Centre
  • Immunology and Pathology
  • Neuroscience
  • Diabetes
  • Australian Centre for Blood Diseases
  • Anaesthesia and Perioperative Medicine
  • Gastroenterology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Surgery
  • MAPrc
  • Medicine
  • National Trauma Research Institute
  • Peninsula Clinical School

Rib fixation: becoming popular but does it benefit patients?


Prof Marasco
by Anne Crawford

A paper by Monash University researchers and surgeons at the Alfred Hospital has cast doubt on the growing practice of rib fixation in some patients with chest injuries.

Fractured ribs are a common injury in trauma patients. At worst, what’s termed ‘flail chest’ – when ribs become detached from the rest of the ribcage – is associated with life-threatening injuries and a significant mortality.

Surgeon Professor Silvana Marasco was first author on a paper published in the international journal Injury that examined long-term quality of life in patients who underwent rib fixation. Rib fixation, which uses a minimally invasive operation to insert and screw on contoured titanium plates to ribs, is relatively new.

31 Jan 2019

A$140,000 donation kicks off research for Visual Snow

Back row (L - R): Dr Ben Sinclair, Paige Foletta, Dr Scott Kolbe,
Front row (L - R): Dr Meaghan Clough, Professor Owen White,
Associate Professor Joanne Fielding, Emma Solly.

Thanks to a donation from the US-based non-profit Visual Snow Initiative (VSI), Monash University Department of Neuroscience researchers, Associate Professor Joanne Fielding and Professor  Owen White, will conduct Australia’s first  exploration of an emerging neurological syndrome called Visual Snow.

Many young people are affected by the hallmark symptom of constant and dynamic “snow” in the entire field of vision.  One minute you see the world clearly and in an instant, without warning, a life is changed forever. It can be a 24/7 battle because it never goes away with the eyes opened or closed. Others are born with the condition, and many don’t realize how abnormal their vision really is. A new dilemma can occur for those seeking a diagnosis or treatment. Eye tests almost always come back normal because Visual Snow is not an eye disorder but a brain malfunction.  Because Visual Snow manifests itself in the eyes, it often leaves both patients and physicians in limbo, uncertain of where to go next for a diagnosis. This also makes it difficult to estimate how many people are affected.

Symposium: Toward better detection and management of sports concussion

This symposium will discuss major results from an NHMRC funded project to determine whether current practice with regard to concussion detection and management in Australian Football would be augmented by the use of instrumented accelerometers. It's an opportunity to better detect and manage sports concussion, particularly at the junior and amateur level.

Speakers include Professor Biswadev Mitra, Professor Jeffery Rosenfeld, Dr Michael Makdissi, Professor Andrew McIntosh and Dr David Hughes.

Click here for event flyer.

When: Wednesday 13th February 2019, 12:30pm - 4:30pm
Where: A+ Lecture Theatre (formerly AMREP), 80 Commercial Rd, Melbourne VIC 3004
RSVP: annie.carter@monash.edu
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