8 May 2015

Professor Harshal Nandurkar becomes new Director of the Australian Centre for Blood Diseases

Professor Harshal Nandurkar has been appointed as Director of the Australian Centre for Blood Diseases (ACBD), its first after the inaugural Director, Professor Hatem Salem AM, retired at the end of 2012. He has also been appointed as Director of the Alfred Health's Haematology department.

Prof Nandurkar  is a clinician-researcher trained at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute and Department of Biochemistry, Monash University. Up to now, he has been based at the University of Melbourne for his research and St Vincents for clinical practice. His clinical interests cover all areas of haematology including blood malignancies, bleeding and clotting disorders. He provides inpatient care at Alfred Health and Monash Medical Centre, Clayton.

Prof Nandurkar will be supervising a basic science research program in the areas of thrombosis and genetics of blood cancer at the ACBD.

See: http://www.acbd.monash.org/research/vascularbiologygroup.html

Photo of the week: Prof Harshal Nandurkar's group, new Head of Australian Centre for Blood Diseases

The Vascular Biology group. L-R: Ms Emma Akers (Honours student), Ms Julie Brown (RA), Ms Anushka Samudra (PhD student), Professor Harshal Nandurkar (group leader and Head, Australian Centre for Blood Diseases), Ms Susanna Freddi (Research Assistant), Ms Carly Selan (Research Assistant), Dr Sarah Kamel (PhD student).
Absent: Dr Warwick Nesbitt (Senior Research Fellow), Ms Sze-Ting Bong (Masters student) and Dr Matthew Ku (PhD student) See more:

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

Alexandra Chung, BakerIDI, at the 2014
CCS postgraduate symposium
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 next week (11 - 15 May 2015)

Mon May 11 c.o.b 2015 Faculty Bridging Postdoctoral Fellowships (Round 2)
c.o.b 2015 3MT thesis registration deadline
12:30PM Psychiatry Professorial Grand Round
2:00 PM Professor David Vaux special seminar
Tue May 12 1:00 PM Honours Coursework Research Seminar : The role of G-CSF in
inflammatory lung phenotypes
3:30 PM PhD Confirmation of candidature - Mr Pacific Huynh
4:10 PM Phd Confirmation of Candidature - Mr Yow Keat Tham
Wed May 13 11:30 AM PhD Mid-candidature review - Mr Andrew Guy
Thu May 14 12:00 PM Biomedicine Discovery Public Lecture: Prof Nick Tonks
3:00 PM MMI: Fundamentals of Fluorescence Imaging

Into the Future

7 May 2015

Congratulations to Dr Smitha Georgy on her Fellowship!

Dr Smitha Georgy
Congratulations to Dr Smitha Georgy, who received a Fellowship from Garnett Passe and Rodney Williams Memorial Foundation.

The fellowship is for two years from May 2015 to May 2017. The research project is titled "Characterisation of personalised biological therapy in Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma".
The fellowship provides a maintenance  allowance for minor items of equipment, consumables and conference attendance  of AUD7,500 per annum.

Dr Georgy also recently  successfully  passed the National Veterinary Examination to become a Registered Veterinary Practitioner of Victoria.

5 May 2015

Nepali student at AMREP appeals for earthquake relief

Dear AMREP friends and colleagues,

My name is Sewa Rijal and I am a Monash PhD student at Alfred Medical Research and Education Precinct (AMREP). Nepal, my beloved home country, was recently struck by a massive 7.9 earthquake causing a terrible loss of life and leaving millions of survivors without proper shelter, food and water. It has been a week since the incident and I am still unable to sleep at night. Being so far away, I feel utterly helpless, combined with a sense of guilt, because I am OK when others in my country are suffering so much.
Continue reading my full story and/or donate to this cause. This appeal has raised over $1530 AUD in three days! Please act now to contribute as every penny counts. Thanks to all those who have already contributed!

4 May 2015

Trauma drug TXA good before 3 hours, not so good after 3 hours - why?

Tranexamic Acid (TXA)
Why is it that an antifibrinolytic drug that is given to reduce bleeding in severe trauma patients can sometimes cause the very thing it is intended to stop? Professor Rob Medcalf explains the paradox in a published commentary that throws light on how the fibrinolytic system (that removes blood clots) can be inadvertently turned on when it should be turned off.

Tranexamic acid, or TXA for short, was extensively tested in 2010, in a trial of severe trauma patients called CRASH-2. The results showed improved outcomes if TXA was administered in the three hours immediately after injury, but after three hours, more deaths were caused due to bleeding. This commentary summarises the results of a study from a group in the US describing how TXA is doing different things at different times following head injury.

Reference: http://www.bloodjournal.org/content/bloodjournal/125/16/2457.full.pdf

Recent publications from Department of Allergy, Immunology and Respiratory Medicine

The Department of Allergy, Immunology and Respiratory Medicine (AIRmed) publications in 2015:

Abbott IJ, Papadakis G, Kaye M, Opdam H, Hutton H, Angus PW, Johnson PD, Kanellis J, Westall G, Druce J, Catton M. Laboratory identification of donor-derived coxsackievirus b3 transmission .  Am J Transplant. 2015 Feb;15(2):555-9. doi: 10.1111/ajt.12986. Epub 2015 Jan 12

Barnes S, Kotecha S, Douglass JA, Paul E, Hore-Lacey F, Stirling R, Snell GI, Westall GP.  Evolving practice: X-linked agammaglobulinemia and lung transplantation.  American Journal of Transplanation.  2015 (in press)

Public Lecture: Drugging the undruggable - Targeting PTP1B for novel therapeutics

Professor Nick Tonks, Cold Spring Harbour Laboratory, New York, USA
Biomedicine Discovery Lecture: Vallee Foundation
Drugging the undruggable: Targeting PTP1B for novel therapeutics
12 noon - 1 pm, 14 May 2015, Clayton campus of Monash University
Please register to attend at http://goo.gl/b9oAOM

Active Travel Zone planned for AMREP staff who walk, run or cycle to work

Alfred Health is making it easier for staff to cycle, run or walk to work with the establishment of an Active Travel Zone at The Alfred. The facility, which will assume space on the ground floor of the staff car park, includes plans for:
• Additional secure bike parks (300)
• Lockers to safeguard personal items
• Showers (eight), change rooms and toilets

The Alfred is committed to a healthy and environmentally responsible workplace, and has been informed by a travel planning process and staff consultation undertaken in partnership with Bicycle Network (2014/15). Construction of the Active Travel Zone will commence later in May. Existing bike storage in the car park will be temporarily relocated from this weekend (9 May). See signage for further information.

For more information contact Kirstan Corben, Lead for Population Health and Health Promotion on k.corben@alfred.org.au or 9076 5318.

Medical funding needs boosting - ASMR campaign

In 2014, NHMRC project grant success rates were below 15% and are the lowest in our history. These funding rates mark a significant drop of over 8% since 2011. This year our sector faces its toughest challenge yet, with NHMRC project grant success rates predicted to drop below 10%. In addition, the NHMRC budget allocation in 2014 dropped below the 2008 investment. If we don’t act immediately, this reduced investment into health and medical research (HMR) will result in attrition of a world-class, highly skilled and productive workforce and also negatively impact our capacity to improve health outcomes.

The Australian Society for Medical Research (ASMR) is calling for all medical researchers and supporters of medical research to write letters to our minsters ASAP and before next Tuesday's (12 May 2015) budget announcements, requesting an increase in funding for the NHMRC.  See the ASMR website campaign page for more context and a form letter. Email addresses can be found on the second page of this letter. 

Congratulations to Dr Kirk Kee for TSANZ win

Congratulations to Dr Kirk Kee, Department of Allergy, Immunology and respiratory medicine, who won the Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand 2015 Annual Scientific meeting best abstract in Pulmonary Physiology and Sleep for: “Effect of Sleep Disordered Breathing and Inspired Carbon Dioxide on Work and Cost of Breathing during Sleep in Humans with Heart Failure”. Authors: Kee K, Sand SA, Stuart-Andrews CR, Edwards BA, Skuza EM, Roebuck TR, Thompson BR, Hamilton G, Berger PJ, Naughton MT.
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