10 Oct 2013

Event: "Of the students, by the students, for the students" - CCS postgraduate symposium 20 Nov 2013

"Of the students, by the students, for the students" - Central Clinical School invites you to attend the 2013 Annual Postgraduate Research Symposium. The symposium enables students to showcase their research projects on a larger scale and celebrate their achievements. PhD students from across the AMREP precinct: Baker IDI, Burnet Institutes and Monash University's Central Clinical School will be presenting. New this year is the "No-Bell Prize" competition in which students can nominate their supervisors or lab heads (Nomination form) to contest for best non-technical communication and are judged by students. See program. RSVP via http://www.med.monash.edu.au/cecs/education/hdr-symposium.html.

9 Oct 2013

Successful MAPrc launch 1 Oct 2013 with the Governor-General

The Governor-General
unveiling the plaque for
the MAPrc launch
Monash Alfred Psychiatry research centre had an extremely successful launch on 1 October 2013 with the Governor-General, Ms Quentin Bryce, who has been a patron of the centre for a number of years. Professor Jayashri Kulkarni (MAPrc Director), Professor David Coppolov (Monash Pro Vice-Chancellor), Mr Andrew Way (Alfred Health CEO) and the Governor-General all spoke about the need for mental health research to be further developed. MAPrc has 170 staff and students, and is running over 100 clinical trials. See launch video and more about MAPrc: www.maprc.org.au

Tall Poppy Award for Dr Kate Hoy, MAPrc

Dr Kate Hoy, Monash Alfred Psychiatry research centre, is one of four Monash researchers, eight Victorians in total, to be recognised in the annual Victorian Tall Poppy Awards. Kate is working to improve the quality of life and capacity to live independently for the 80 per cent of people with schizophrenia who experience cognitive impairments. She is developing new ways to improve attention, working memory and executive function for people with the illness, which is usually characterised by psychotic symptoms. See 9/10/13 Monash Memo story.

Research: Investigating the biology of skin grafts for burns treatment

Heather Cleland's group in the Skin Culture Laboratory, Victorian Adult Burns Service and Department of Surgery, Monash University, The Alfred Hospital have found that cadaver skin which has been frozen has, on analysis, a "positive and definite role as an adjunct to conventional dressing and grafting where available, particularly in patients with large TBSA [total body surface area] burns." Tissue viability in cadaveric allograft may not be essential for its clinical function as a wound dressing or even as permanent dermal substitute.
Reference: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24018216

Medical ethics of stroke intervention: Prof Paul Komesaroff on SBS Insight 8 Oct 2013

When a person is affected by stroke, sometimes they are too disabled to consent to medical intervention. Sometimes the best evidence for medical intervention is that there is a chance that further injury may result directly from the intervention. What are the ethics of consenting on their behalf? Or obtaining their consent if they are conscious and aware, under very trying circumstances? Professor Paul Komesaroff, an invited guest for the SBS program 'Strokes', broadcast 8 October 2013, speaks to the question.

Improving how the immune system can reveal a person's medical history

Associate Professor Paul Cameron from the Department of Infectious Diseases has co-authored a paper in Nature Communications describing a novel method to track the effects of influenza vaccination, cancer, infectious diseases and immune diseases on the diversity and repertoire of disease-fighting immune cells within an individual. The method combines state-of-the-art next generation sequencing and online analytical databases. Reference: "IMGT/HighV QUEST paradigm for T cell receptor IMGT clonotype diversity and next generation repertoire immunoprofiling" (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=10.1038%2Fncomms3333).

8 Oct 2013

Event: CETBIR symposium 28 Oct 2013, 2.00-4.30 pm

TBI research update: Australian and international perspectives
The Centre of Excellence in Traumatic Brain Injury Research (CETBIR) was formed in 2012 as a virtual research centre and a focal point for brain injury expertise in Victoria. The Centre is based at the Alfred Medical Research Precinct and is supported by a capacity building grant from the Victorian Transport Accident Commission. There are currently four researchers supported by CETBIR fellowships.  A symposium is being held on 28 October, see details below. Prof Andrew Maas (pictured) is keynote speaker.

7 Oct 2013

Consumer driven crops: the growing gluten-free harvest for IBS sufferers

Gluten free food has become a way of life for hundreds of thousands of Australians, and their dietary needs are driving the market. Dr Jane Muir, Head of the Nutrition Translational Science group in the Department of Gastroenterology, was interviewed for the ABC television program 'Landline', broadcast Sunday 6 Oct 2013. She said that it may not be gluten so much as a type of carbohydrate called fructans which was causing the problem. Older wheat types such as spelt had lower fructans levels and did not cause such a problem for those with irritable bowel syndrome. Transcript: http://www.abc.net.au/landline/content/2013/s3863244.htm.

"Electroshock" Insight SBS: Prof Paul Fitzgerald comments on electroconvulsive therapy and developing alternatives

Professor Paul Fitzgerald, Monash Alfred Psychiatry research centre, was in the audience at SBS's 'Insght' program hosted by Jenny Brockie, on electroshock therapy (ECT), 24 Sept 2013.  He said that anecdotal evidence was important as well as clinical trial data in evaluating treatments, especially with old treatments that came into use before the development of modern clinical trials. If people say it works for them, respect them and take their word for it.
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