5 Jun 2015

Photo of the week: Margaret Hibbs lab group

April 2015. L-R: Mr Kyal Young (Honours student), Dr Mhairi Maxwell (Research Officer), Dr Maverick Lau (Research Officer), Associate Professor Margaret Hibbs (group leader), Mr Tim Gottschalk (PhD student), Dr Evelyn Tsantikos (Research Officer). See more:

Forthcoming CCS events: Seminars, public events, general notices

Katherine Langley, Baker
IDI, at the 2014 CCS post
graduate 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 (8 - 12 Jun 2015)

Mon Jun 8 12:30 PM Seminar Presentation by Ranjeny Thomas -Title: Precision medicine
and the treatment of autoimmune disease in the digital age
12:30 PM Psychiatry Professorial Grand Round
Tue Jun 9 1:00 PM PhD Mid-candidature review - Ms Caroline Tuck
1:00 PM Honours Coursework Research Seminar: Artemisinin resistance in malaria:
Is there a place for immunity?
3:30 PM PhD Mid-candidature review - Mr Antony Kaspi
4:10 PM PhD Pre-submission review seminar - Ms Mei Yee Choy

Thu Jun11    5:45 PM BMedSc(Hons) Information night


In the Future

Congratulations to our 2015 completed CCS postgraduate students!

So far in 2015, seven CCS postgraduate students have completed and passed their theses - well done!
Congratulations to :
  • Sarah Charnaud (Burnet Institute): Mechanism of protein export in the malaria parasite
  • Mark Fitzgerald (National Trauma Research Institute): Computer-aided decision support for trauma reception and resuscitation
  • Matthew Kitson (Department of Medicine): Vitamin D status and chronic hepatitis C infection and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis
  • Ying Ying Kong (Department of Immunology): Effects of cancer cells on the cells of the dendritic cell lineage
  • Melissa Kirkovski (Monash Alfred Psychiatry Research Centre): The influence of biological sex on neurobiological mechanisms underlying autism spectrum disorder
  • Michael Christopher (Baker IDI): Type 2 diabetes, obesity, insulin resistance and altered lipid metabolism
  • Tanya Millard (Department of Infectious Diseases): Online self management program for men living with HIV in Australia

4 Jun 2015

Review article: Cell based therapies and lumbar degenerative disc disease

Low back pain and degenerative disc disease are a significant cause of pain and disability worldwide. Advances in regenerative medicine and cell-based therapies have led to the publication of numerous studies and clinical trials using these biological therapies to treat degenerative spinal conditions, often reporting favourable outcomes. Stem cell mediated disc regeneration may bridge the gap between the two current alternatives for patients with low back pain, often inadequate pain management at one end and invasive surgery at the other.

Review article: Chlamydia testing in general practice

As the cornerstone of Australian primary health care, general practice is a setting well suited for regular chlamydia testing, but testing rates remain low. This review examines the barriers and facilitators to chlamydia testing in general practice. While the barriers are well studied, many of the facilitators are not as well researched, and highlight areas for further study.

Reference: Yeung A, Temple-Smith M, Fairley C, Hocking J. Narrative review of the barriers and facilitators to chlamydia testing in general practice. Australian Journal of Primary Health Volume 21, Issue 2, 2015, Pages 139-147

Review article: Epithelial ovarian cancer therapy

Prof Magdalena Plebanski, (seated)
one of the authors, at work. A/Prof
Cordelia Selomulya (standing) works
with Prof Plebanski on a related
project, ovarian cancer nanovaccine.
Epithelial ovarian cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer death. One woman in 70 will develop ovarian cancer in her lifetime and the majority of these women will die from the disease. Paclitaxel, a class of taxane with microtubule stabilising ability, has remained with platinum based therapy, the standard care for primary ovarian cancer management. A deeper understanding of the immunological basis and other potential mechanisms of action together with new dosing schedules and/or routes of administration may potentiate its clinical benefit. Newer forms of taxanes, with better safety profiles and higher intratumoural cytotoxicity, have yet to demonstrate clinical superiority over the parent compound.

Reference: Kampan NC, Madondo MT, McNally OM, Quinn M, Plebanski M. Paclitaxel and its evolving role in the management of ovarian cancer. BioMed Research International (2015). Article ID 413076

2 Jun 2015

Developing prognostics for post-TBI

Image: www.kplawonline.com/brain.html
When the brain experiences traumatic injury (TBI), a number of pathways are activated, contributing to what is known as 'excitotoxicity'. This paper investigates how TBI stimulates the kynurenine pathway, contributing to neurotoxicity, and therefore the possibility of its measurement for prognostic use.

Reference: Yan EB, Frugier T, Lim CK, Heng B, Sundaram G, Tan M, Rosenfeld JV, Walker DW, Guillemin GJ, Morganti-Kossmann MC. Activation of the kynurenine pathway and increased production of the excitotoxin quinolinic acid following traumatic brain injury in humans. Journal of Neuroinflammation (2015) 12:110 doi:10.1186/s12974-015-0328-2

1 Jun 2015

3rd year MBBS students compete in inaugural PBL Feud Championships

The PBL Feud Champions of 2015 - Group 1, along with
the host Fiona Foley and A/Prof. Laila Rotstein
3rd Year Central Clinical School medical students at the Alfred have competed in the first annual PBL Feud Championships, held in May 2015. 14 groups started the competition, a creation of A/Prof. Laila Rotstein based loosely on Family Feud. Contestants fought it out across 2 weeks to reveal responses to PBL-based questions generated by Dr. Kah Peck and A/Prof. Laila Rotstein, trying to avoid the dreaded and noisy “X”. It was a great opportunity for the students to revise the material that they have been covering and there was some healthy competition going on! Of course, there can be only one winner and Group 1 took out the honors, winning prizes and bragging rights! See more about the Alfred based medical undergraduate program.

Participants sought: Can transcranial direct current stimulation enhance second language learning?

See more about the study: ccs-clin-trials.med.monash.edu.au/trials/can-transcranial-direct-current-stimulation-enhance-second-language-learning
Healthy adults are sought between the ages of 18 and 45 to help investigate the influence of gentle brain stimulation on learning. MAPrc researchers are investigating whether gentle electrical stimulation can improve people's ability to learn a second language.

Odd spot: Ten Simple Rules to Win a Nobel Prize

Richard J. Roberts, winner of the 1993 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine,  writes, "It is remarkable how many students, young faculty, and even senior faculty hanker after a Nobel Prize. Somehow, they think that it is possible to structure their scientific careers so that the culmination will bring this much sought-after honor. Some even think that as a Nobel laureate myself, I may have the key to success—some secrets that I can share and so greatly improve their odds of success. Unfortunately, I must begin by disappointing everyone. There is only one path that should be followed. It is summed up in Rule 1, but some of the other Rules may prove helpful—or if not helpful, then at least amusing."

Reference: journals.plos.org/ploscollections/article?id=10.1371/journal.pcbi.1004084
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