19 Jun 2015

Photo of the Week

Professor Anton Peleg, Monash and The Alfred's new Director of Infectious Diseases departments, says drug-resistant bacteria are now 'enemy number one'.

About being a researcher-clinician: "Physicians bring a fantastic perspective to basic research because they are guided by what they are seeing in their patients."

See write up in Alfred Health's Winter 2015 issue - hard copies in the hospital and pdf shortly to be uploaded to their publications archive.

See more CCS photos at:

Forthcoming CCS events: Seminars, public events, general notices

Dr Justin Chen at the 2014
EMCR AMREP conference
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 this week: 22-26 Jun 2015

Mon 22 Jun 11:00 AM Mid-year honours Oral examination of thesis: Mr Kyal Young
12:30 PM Psychiatry Professorial Grand Round
Tue 23 Jun 11:00 AM Confirmation of Masters Candidature - Ms Min Joung Kim (Erica)
11:30 AM PhD-Mid-candidature review - Dr Sung Kai Chiu
Fri 26 Jun 3:45 PM IgV Winter Seminar - Prof Alan Baxter

In the Future

17 Jun 2015

Research: Is operative management of fractures safe in the collocated burn and fracture injury?

Previous studies have supported the use of internal fixation for early mobility and simplified wound care. In this paper, the authors review the management of a collocated major fracture and dermal burn injury in adult multi-trauma patients. In particular, this study examines the methods and timing for fracture fixation and the fracture complications observed. They observed a high rate of fracture complications with internal fixation, despite undergoing management within 24 h of presentation. They write, "At this point, we are unable to conclude on the safety of utilising internal fixation in the collocated injury."

Reference: Bradshaw, L., Wasiak, J., Cleland, H. Is operative management of fractures safe in the collocated burn and fracture injury? Injury 46(6) 1 June 2015, pp.1145-1149

Publication: Risk factors for depression during perimenopause

Perimenopause is often associated with varying levels of psychological distress. Research has identified this time as a period of increased risk for both depression and psychosis. However, we know that the majority of women do not experience these difficulties during perimenopause. This chapter examines the current research literature looking at the factors associated with mental health difficulties during perimenopause, including both protective factors and those associated with increased risk.

Reference: Gibbs, Z., Kulkarni, J. Risk factors for depression during perimenopause. Diana Barnes (ed), Women's Reproductive Mental Health Across the Lifespan (2014) pp. 215-233

Research: Getting tested for syphilis - good idea but not being done

Getting tested - good idea. Image AFAO
The rapid rise in syphilis cases has prompted a number of public health campaigns to assist men who have sex with men (MSM) recognize and present early with symptoms. This study aimed to investigate the temporal trend of the duration of self-report symptoms and titre of rapid plasma reagin (RPR) in MSM with infectious syphilis. Alternative strategies such as more frequent testing of MSM should be promoted to control the syphilis epidemic in Australia.
Reference: Chow EP, Dutt K, Fehler G, Denham I, Chen MY, Batrouney C, Peel J, Read TR, Bradshaw CS, Fairley CK.Duration of syphilis symptoms at presentations in men who have sex with men in Australia: are current public health campaigns effective? Epidemiology and Infection, 1 June 2015, 10p

Research: Increasing the genetic understanding of Staphylococcus aureus

Image: en.wikipedia.org
To assess the genetic factors contributing to daptomycin resistance in Staphylococcus aureus, the draft genome of a clinically derived daptomycin-nonsusceptible isolate APS211 was generated and compared to the draft sequence of its susceptible progenitor strain APS210. Four genetic differences were identified including a previously described mutation within the mprF gene.

Reference: Cameron DR, Jiang J-H, Abbott IJ, Spelman DW, Peleg AY. 2015. Draft genome sequences of clinical daptomycin-nonsusceptible methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus strain APS211 and its daptomycin-susceptible progenitor APS210. Genome Announc 3(3):e00568-15. doi:10.1128/genomeA.00568-15

Proposed improvement for Advanced Trauma Life Support care

Dr Mark Fitzgerald, one of the study authors, is a trauma surgeon
at the Alfred and Acting Director of the National Trauma Research
This article proposes a counter-argument to standard Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) training - which advocates bladder catheterisation to be performed as an adjunct to the primary survey and resuscitation for early decompression of the bladder and urine output monitoring. We argue the case for delaying bladder catheterisation until after definitive truncal Computed Tomography (CT) imaging.
Reference: Huang, S., Vohora, A., Russ, M.K., Mathew, J.K., Johnny, C.S., Stevens, J., Fitzgerald, M.C. Delaying urinary catheter insertion in the reception and resuscitation of blunt multitrauma and using a full bladder to tamponade pelvic bleeding. Injury (2015) 46 (6) pp.1081 - 1083

30 Sep: Translational Research symposium and Dept Medicine 50th anniversary

L-R: James Rankin and Barry Firkin, USyd MBBS
graduates, who both went on to become leaders in
their chosen medical fields. Barry was the inaugural
head of the Monash Dept of Medicine at the Alfred.

Translational Research Symposium and Department of Medicine 50th anniversary

"Translational Research" - what does it mean? The short answer is a speeding up of basic findings in medical research into clinical practice, without any compromise of research quality. You are invited to attend this day's program, which features speakers from across the continuum, giving case studies on what has worked best to expedite discovery to application.

About the Department

The Monash Department of Medicine was established in 1965, with Professor Bryan Hudson as Foundation chair. The Department at the Alfred started in 1968 under the leadership of Professor Barry Firkin, who was succeeded in 1992 by Professor Nip Thomson AM. Professor Stephen Jane became Head of the Department of Medicine and Head of Central Clinical School in 2011.


  • Date: Wednesday, 30 September 2015
  • Time: 8.00 am registration for 9.00 am start. See program below for detail of the day's timetable
  • Venue: AMREP Lecture Theatre, adjacent to the BakerIDI Institute at 85 Commercial Road, Melbourne 3004, 200 metres east of the main Alfred Hospital entrance. See map.
  • Cost: Free
  • RSVP by Friday 25 September for catering purposes
  • Enquiries: Catherine.Wong@monash.edu ph +61 3 9903 0640

14 Jun 2015

Odd spot: The great chocolate hoax

I Fooled Millions Into Thinking Chocolate Helps Weight Loss. Here's How.

A science journalist, John Bohannen, with a PhD in the molecular biology of bacteria helped demonstrate just how easy it is to turn bad science into the big headlines behind diet fads - gonzo style. The hoax was completely (sadly) successful, in revealing the corruption of the diet research-media complex - corrupted because journalists rarely understand scientific method, they are time pressured into churning out content and they feature content known to be of interest to the public, not necessarily what is in the public interest.
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