18 Feb 2016

Photo of the week: The InfoGuy of Melbourne

Here is featured a story of a remarkable man, Matte, who has been homeless for many years, called "The InfoGuy of Melbourne". He has put himself through VCE, has a degree and is applying for a Master's degree. He runs information tours of Melbourne. Robert Gillies, a 5th year medical student at Central Clinical School who won Australian of the Year (Victoria) 2016 for his philanthropic work with the homeless of Melbourne, told us about Matte. See:

Forthcoming CCS events: Seminars, public events, general notices

Andrew Guy (Burnet) at the 3MT
CCS heat
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 coming week: 22-26 Feb 2016

Mon 22-Feb   09:00 Bioethics theory and Practice Seminar(1 week course)
Tue 23-Feb 18:30 Educational workshop for individuals with IBS
Thu 25-Feb   11:00 Immunology & Human Pathology Honours Orientation
25-Feb   12:00 Cutting Edge Journal Club - Saeed Alrashdi

In the Future

22 Feb: Collaboration, Translation & Commercialisation​: Finding a Path to Success​

BioMedVic is holding a special event on Monday 22 Feb – Collaboration, Translation & Commercialisation​: Finding a Path to Success​

Dr Warwick Tong (pictured) will outline how the CTx CRC approaches research translation & commericalisation and the pathway that led to its recently announced multimillion dollar licensing deal.

22-26 Feb: Bioethics Theory and Practice Seminars - Free

All are welcome to attend the Bioethics Theory and Practice Seminars at no cost. Details:

Date & TimeVenueTopic
Mon 22 Feb
Level 2 Seminar Room 3,
MHTP TRF Building
09:00-09:30 Introduction to bioethics theory & practice- Peter Douglas
09:30-10:50 Utilitarianism - Ryan Tonkens
10:50-11:20 BREAK
11:20-12:40 Virtue ethics - Justin Oakley
12:40-13:40 LUNCH
13:40-15:00 Kantian ethics - Catherine Mills
Tue 23 Feb
Level 2 Seminar Room 2,
MHTP TRF Building
09:00-10:30 Four-principle approach to biomedical ethics - Peter Douglas
10:30-11:00 BREAK
11:00-12:30 Doctor-patient relationships - Justin Oakley
12:30-13:30 LUNCH
13:30-15:00 Clinical ethics - Clare Delany
Wed 24 Feb
Level 2 Seminar Room 3,
MHTP TRF Building
09:00-10:30 Ethical issues at the beginning of life - Catherine Mills
10:30-11:00 BREAK
11:00-12:30 Reproductive Ethics - Ryan Tonkens
12:30-13:30 LUNCH
13:30-15:00 Ethical, legal & social implications of genetics - Ryan Tonkens
Thu 25 Feb
Level 2 Seminar Room 3,
MHTP TRF Building
09:00-10:30 Political philosophy & public health ethics - Michael Selgelid
10:30-11:00 BREAK
11:00-1230 Justice & healthcare resource allocation - Rob Sparrow
12:30-13:30 LUNCH
13:30-15:00 Ethical issues at the end of life - Peter Douglas
Fri 26 Feb
Level 2 Seminar Room 3,
MHTP TRF Building
09:00-10:30 Research ethics - Peter Douglas
10:30-11:00 BREAK
11:00-12:30 Dual-Use Research- Michael Selgelid
12:30-13:30 LUNCH
13:30-15:00 Neuro-ethics - Adrian Carter

A gluten-free diet improves symptoms of coeliac disease

By Dr Jodie Abramovitch

Coeliac disease is a condition in which the immune system launches an inflammatory response to gluten. In healthy individuals, this immune reaction does not occur. Due to the inflammatory response, patients with coeliac disease typically have damaged small intestines which can lead to malnutrition, weight loss and gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea and bloating.

A gluten-free diet is ‘prescribed’ for patients with coeliac disease. Currently, prospective studies of the short and long term effects of a gluten-free diet on the symptoms and pathology of coeliac disease are lacking.

Professor Peter Gibson - Head of the Department
of Gastroenterology

Monash researchers from the Eastern Health Clinical School and supervised by Professor Peter Gibson from the Department of Gastroenterology at the Central Clinical School aimed to determine the time frame in which intestinal damage and associated nutritional deficiencies caused by coeliac disease were successfully treated.

Pitfalls of using mobile phone photos for the diagnosis of patients

By Dr Jodie Abramovitch

Smart (mobile) phones allow for rapid and multi-faceted communication between people. This feature of smart phones has been used with success within the clinic, allowing for real-time collaboration of doctors on specific cases when not everyone is present.

Medical student Jarrel Seah
However, as recently outlined in a short report lead authored by Monash University medical student Jarrel Seah, this useful technology has been shown to have a down side. A 45-year old woman was treated surgically for a brain aneurysm at the Alfred Hospital. A CT scan following the operation revealed the development of an area of the brain with poor blood flow.

The patient subsequently developed high intracranial (within the skull) pressure in the intensive care unit. This prompted another scan, and a mobile phone photo was taken of the computer screen upon which the scan was being viewed.

17 Feb 2016

Returning to work after major trauma

By Dr Jodie Abramovitch

In high income countries, injury-related deaths have decreased between 1990 and 2013. This higher likelihood for survival following serious injury is attributed to effective prevention strategies and improved patient care. However there is still a limited understanding of the quality of patients’ recovery, how long recovery takes, and the proportion of injured patients who suffer lifelong disability.  

Professor Belinda GabbeHead of the Pre-Hospital,
Emergency and Trauma Research Unit in the
Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medici
The aim of a study conducted by Monash researchers from the Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine (DEPM) and the Department of Surgery, alongside trauma services based at the Alfred hospital and collaborators from a number of different institutes, was to describe the long-term return to work and function of major trauma patients.

Adult major trauma survivors were assessed between 2007 and 2012 in Victoria at 6, 12 and 24 months after leaving hospital. Of the 8128 patients who were followed up, 23% had returned to their pre-injury condition by 24 months. Of those working or studying prior to injury, 70% had returned to work/study by 24 months. These outcomes were found to be influenced by multiple factors including age, socio-economic status and presence of pre-existing health conditions.

This study concluded that function and return to work improved with time following injury thus indicating that further improvements in health and quality of life may be expected after 24 months. However, ongoing disability was still prevalent at 24 months highlighting the need for future studies spanning longer than 24 months to fully assess the burden of major trauma on the lives of those affected.

The data collected in this study will assist with predicting the outcome of major trauma for individual patients and improve trauma services. This study also advocates for the improvement of rehabilitative and disability services to better the long-term health outcomes for patients.

Reference: Gabbe BJSimpson PMHarrison JELyons RAAmeratunga SPonsford JFitzgerald MJudson RCollie ACameron PAReturn to Work and Functional Outcomes After Major Trauma: Who Recovers, When and How Well? Ann Surg. 2016 Jan.
doi: 10.1097/SLA.0000000000001564

16 Feb 2016

AMREP Early and Mid Career Researcher Committee keeping EMCRs up-to-date

An Early-Mid Career Researchers (EMCR) Committee currently operates at the AMREP site and encompass EMCRs from Monash, BakerIDI, Burnet and the Alfred. Our primary purpose is to promote scientific exchange and oversee the professional development of EMCRs (1-15 years post-doc) and post-graduate students on the Alfred Medical Research and Education Precinct (AMREP) site.

Participants sought: Effectiveness of ondansetron to reduce positive, negative and cognitive symptoms in schizophrenia

Molecule of interest affects neurotrans-
mitter serotonin. Image: Wikipedia
Monash Alfred Psychiatry Research Centre (MAPrc) is seeking volunteers diagnosed with schizophrenia to participate in a new study looking at the effectiveness of Ondansetron in reducing positive, negative and cognitive symptoms of schizophrenia.

What does our research involve?

• 12 week trial consisting of 5 study visits
• Two participant groups – patients taking clozapine and patients taking other atypical antipsychotic
• Participants in each group will be randomised to receive either ondansetron or placebo.

15 Feb 2016

Perspective: What will personalised medicine be worth by 2020?

New research indicates that the core personalized medicine market will be worth over $149 billion by 2020 with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.74%.

"The total personalised targeted therapeutic market, for all indications, will grow at a CAGR of 6.47% over the next five years. Strong vertical growth in the companion diagnostic segment however will see a CAGR of 23.71% to 2020, mainly coming from oncology, cardiovascular and infectious disease (HIV/HCV) tests. Advancing technologies within the liquid biopsy market is also driving the market and will see strategic growth over the next five years with a CAGR of 20.6%. The two segments of the liquid biopsy market are tumor cell enrichment products and tumor cell detection technologies."

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