27 Mar 2015

Photo of the Week: Allergy Laboratory

Professors Robyn O'Hehir (Head, Department of Allergy, Immunology and Respiratory medicine) and Jennifer Rolland are co-supervisors of PhD student Jodie Abramovitch. Jodie's project is clinical, looking at the effect that food processing, particularly cooking, has on shellfish allergy. She is investigating whether cooking shellfish makes a difference to the allergic reaction when compared to eating them raw.
See more:

Forthcoming CCS events: PhD seminars, public events, general notices

Paddy Dempsey (BakerIDI) at the 2014
CCS Postgraduate symposium, talking about
the health benefits of standing vs sitting.
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 HDR 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 next week (30 March - 3 April)

Mon 30 Mar 12:30PM ► Psychiatry Professional Grand Round
Tue 31 Mar 1:00PM ► PhD confirmation of candidature: Ms Julia Loseff-Silver
Wed 1 Apr 12:00PM ► Media scholarship deadline
Fri 3 Apr All day ► Easter Friday Holiday

Into the Future

26 Mar 2015

Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences Fellowships for AMREP researchers

Recently elected AAHMS Fellows at the ceremony in Canberra 25 March 2015
The Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences (AAHMS) was established in 2014 with the aim of influencing the health and medical scientific and policy landscape of Australia. Its three broad aims are:
  • Mentoring the next generation of clinician researchers.
  • Providing independent advice to government and others on issues relating to evidence based medical practice and medical research.
  • Providing a forum for discussion on progress on medical research with an emphasis on translation of research into practice.
Congratulations to all the Alfred Medical Research and Education Precinct (AMREP) based researchers recently elected as Fellows.
  • Prof Jamie Cooper (Monash/Alfred)
  • Prof Mark Cooper (Baker IDI/Alfred)
  • Prof Brendan Crabb (Burnet)
  • Professor Suzanne Crowe (Burnet/Alfred)
  • Prof Stephen Jane (Monash/Alfred)
  • Prof Garry Jennings (Baker IDI/Alfred)
  • Prof David Kaye (Baker IDI/Alfred)
  • Prof Bronwyn Kingwell (Baker IDI)
  • Prof Paul Myles (Monash/Alfred)
  • Prof Robyn O’Hehir (Monash/Alfred)
  • Prof Jeffrey Rosenfeld (Monash/Alfred)
  • Prof Jonathan Shaw (Baker IDI) 
  • Prof John Zalcberg (Monash)
See more about AAHMS: www.aahms.org/

13, 20 May 2015 Mind Your Family: Upskilling Health Practitioners on Family Violence


Mind Your Family: Upskilling Health Practitioners on Family Violence

Mind Your Family was launched in 2014 by the Monash Alfred Psychiatry research centre (MAPrc), and was specifically designed for GPs and allied health professionals who work within our community, who potentially encounter family violence through their work. This unique event proved to be a successful platform in providing health practitioners with the skills and confidence to identify, broach the issue of, and respond to family violence.

Follistatin promising for cystic fibrosis treatment

Lung scan showing airways obstructed with mucus
Image: Guy Viner
Cystic fibrosis (CF) is the most common life-limiting genetically acquired respiratory disorder. Patients with CF have thick mucus obstructing the airways leading to recurrent infections, bronchiectasis and neutrophilic airway inflammation culminating in deteriorating lung function. Current management targets airway infection and mucus clearance, but despite recent advances in care, life expectancy is still only 40 years.

Researchers from the Monash Department of Allergy, Immunology and Respiratory medicine investigated whether activin A (a proinflammatory protein associated with excessive mucus secretion) is elevated in CF lung disease and whether inhibiting activin A with its natural antagonist follistatin retards lung disease progression. They found that activin A levels are elevated in CF and provide proof-of-concept from an experimental model for the use of the activin A antagonist, follistatin, as a therapeutic in the long-term management of lung disease in CF patients.

Reference: http://www.nature.com/icb/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/icb20157a.html

Mythbusting non-coeliac gluten sensitivity

By Dr Jane Varney, Department of Gastroenterology.

The gluten-free diet is more popular among consumers now, than ever before, despite a scarcity of scientific evidence to suggest a benefit of excluding gluten in people without coeliac disease. Monash researchers have responded to this trend by measuring the effect of a gluten-free diet in people with IBS and so called, ‘non-coeliac gluten sensitivity’ (NCGS). Participants consumed a gluten-free, low FODMAP diet for two weeks and were then randomly assigned to one of three diets (high gluten, low gluten or zero gluten). While all participants experienced an improvement in gastrointestinal symptoms on the initial low FODMAP diet, the study found that there were no independent, gluten-specific effects observed. The study calls the clinical diagnosis of NCGS into question and suggests that FODMAPs, not gluten, are the trigger of gastrointestinal symptoms in people with so-called, NCGS.
You can follow and subscribe to  FODMAP research updates and news from their blog, Low FODMAP Diet for Irritable Bowel Syndrome

25 Mar 2015

Baker IDI Autumn Book Drive - Fundraiser

Books wanted for Baker IDI's Autumn book drive. Donations sought until Wed 1 April. Funds raised go towards Baker IDI's research. Book drop offs to Ground Floor reception (Baker IDI Institute building, 75 Commercial Road Melbourne 3004), Level 7 Tea Area, Level 5/89 Kitchen and Level 4/99 Mail room. Enquiries to: socialclub@bakeridi.edu.au. See more about BakerIDI's research at www.bakeridi.edu.au/
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