4 Mar 2016

Photo of the Week: “Snapshots of the immune system” photo exhibition 2016 - entries close 28 March 2016

Bovine pulmonary artery endothelial (BPAE) cell imaged with confocal microscope. Image courtesy
Monash Microimaging.
Researchers at all levels are invited to apply and submit images featuring the amazing immune system as part of the 2016 Day of Immunology activities. These can be histology, confocal, laboratory scenes, public health related, and everything in between.

Forthcoming CCS events: Seminars, public events, general notices

Runa Lindblom
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: 7-11 Mar 2016

Tue 8-Mar 15:30 PhD Confirmation Seminar: Ms Runa Lindblom
Tue 8-Mar 09:30 CCS Induction
Tue 8-Mar 11:00 ACBD Central Clinical School Scientific Meeting
Thu 10-Mar 12:00 Cutting Edge Immunology Journal Club - Ashlee Burt

In the Future

MIME Funding available for clinician-led development of new medical technologies

MIME Alfred Health Affinity Meeting
  • Thursday 28 April 2016
  • 9.00am - 11.00am
  • Alfred Medical Research and Education Precinct (AMREP), Seminar Room
  • Alfred Hospital, 75 Commercial Road, Melbourne

Phase 1 of the 2016 MIME Seed Fund opens on 8 April

  • Up to $500K ($10-$50K per application) is available to develop new medical technologies that address significant unmet clinical needs.
  • We invite Alfred Health clinician researchers to present their suggestions on clinical unmet needs that could potentially be addressed through an R&D collaboration with Engineering, IT and/or other researchers.
  • We invite all clinical and research staff interested in the development of medical technologies to attend. 
For further details regarding the seed fund please visit the MIME seed fund webpage:
About the MIME Seed Fund - Monash University

To RSVP to attend the MIME Alfred Health Affinity Meeting or if you are a clinician researcher wishing to present, please contact susan.newland@monash.edu

Susan Newland | Executive Officer
Monash Institute of Medical Engineering
Telephone: + 61 3 9902 0357 | Email: susan.newland@monash.edu
New Horizons (Building 82) | 20 Research Way | Clayton, VIC  3800

3 Mar 2016

Congratulations to Dr Steven Petratos for his $160,000 MS Research Australia grant!

The Petratos group are investigating stem cell therapies for brain
disorders. See more
Congratulations to Dr Steven Petratos, whose project has received full funding support from the Trish MS Research Foundation of $160,000 across two years, 2016-2017. The topic of his study is "Targeting axonal degeneration in a model of multiple sclerosis".

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is commonly induced by the specific destruction of the protective sheath of nerve fibres, known as myelin, by immune cells, which mistakenly attack this structure. However, it has been shown that MS does not only consist of this disease pattern but is a multifactorial disease with continual destruction of the nerve fibres even without large numbers of immune cells invading the brain and the spinal cord.

Importantly, the molecules which may contribute or initiate such damage in MS are becoming known and by targeting these molecules during MS it may be possible to limit the destruction which occurs to nerve fibres in the brain and spinal cord, promoting a better clinical outcome for individuals suffering with MS.

1 Mar 2016

Anti-AIDS drug can affect platelet activation

By Dr Jodie Abramovitch

Abacavir is an anti-retroviral medication that is commonly used to treat HIV infection to prevent or control the development of AIDS. Abacavir use has been associated with an increased risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD). However, it is unknown how abacavir leads to this increased risk of CVD.

Dr Janine Trevillyan - HIV researcher and
lead author of this study
Monash researchers from the Department of Infectious Diseases and the Australian Centre for Blood Diseases (ACBD) theorised that abacavir could be affecting platelet activation thus leading to the development of CVD. Therefore the aim of their study was to determine if platelet reactivity was altered with abacavir administration.

Patients with well controlled HIV infection on non-abacavir treatments were recruited from the Infectious Diseases clinic at the Alfred Hospital. Twenty selected patients were given abacavir alongside their non-abacavir treatments for 15 days and had blood samples taken at day 0, 15 (treatment ceased) and 28. Platelet reactivity (as measured by VASP-index) was significantly decreased during abacavir treatment (at day 15 compared to day 0). A measurable decrease in soluble glycoprotein VI levels (sGPVI) was also indicative of lower platelet reactivity. Platelet surface protein integrin-β3 was also observed to be lower which may suggest a change in platelet structure. At day 28 following clearance of abacavir from the body, measurements were similar to those taken at day 0.

The findings in this study show that abacavir does have an effect on platelet reactivity, though this is reversible following cessation of treatment. The link between platelets and CVD needs to be explored further and the clinical implications of these results requires more research in a larger group of patients. This study has identified possible markers of disease in sGPVI and integrin- β3.

Reference: Trevillyan JMArthur JFJing JAndrews RKGardiner EEHoy JFEffects of abacavir administration on structural and functional markers of platelet activation. AIDS. 2015 Nov: 29;2309-13. 
doi: 10.1097/QAD.0000000000000848
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