22 Apr 2016

Photo of the week: Epidermal/Development Lab group

2016 Epidermal/Development Lab group. L-R: Dr Marina Carpinelli, Mr Michael de Vries (PhD student), Dr Lee Miles, Dr Seb Dworkin, Dr Charbel Darido, Ms Lakshmi Krishnan, Ms Alana Auden, Dr Smitha Georgy. Absent: Prof Steve Jane, Mr Darren Partridge
The Epidermal/Development group headed by Prof Stephen Jane welcomes Dr Lee Miles and Mr Michael de Vries. Lee is a recent Monash PhD graduate specialising in developmental gene expression regulation using the animal model of zebra fish. Michael is a PhD student who started in 2015. His thesis topic is "The role of Grainyhead-like transcription factors in craniofacial development". See more about the group's research at www.med.monash.edu.au/medicine/alfred/research/epidermal-development.html

Forthcoming CCS events: Seminars, public events, general notices

Kirsty Wilson
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: 25 - 29 Apr 2016

Tue 26-Apr 10:00 General Honours Literal Review Seminar
Wed 26-Apr 10:00 General Honours Literal Review Seminar
Thu 27-Apr 12:00 Cutting Edge Journal Club - Kirsty Wilson
Fri 29-Apr 9:00 Day of Immunology

Forthcoming events

Save the date: Monash Health Translation Precinct Research Week 22-26 August 2016

Save the date! The Monash Health Translation Precinct (MHTP) is holding its research week 22-16 August inclusive. It will feature poster presentations, the annual Translational Research Symposium (on Thursday 25 Aug), a public forum and more. We will update you with details of the program and links for RSVPing to events as they are confirmed. For more information, contact Katherine.Greenberg@monash.edu.

Explore ‘Immunology heroes and villains’ at the annual Day of Immunology 29 April 2016

Image at the DoI photo exhibition opening 21 April at St Ali Cafe
in Melbourne. "T cells see red, cancer immunotherapy to the rescue.
A snapshot of a melanoma tumour. " Dani Tutuka, 
from the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute.
Celebrate and learn more about the immune system with public lectures, tours and ‘vaccination café’.

Since 2005, The Day of Immunology has celebrated and explored the highly sophisticated human immune system, the mysteries of which are still being unravelled. The complex system guards against infection, but can also attack the body it is designed to protect. The Day of Immunology aims to strengthen awareness on the importance of the immune system and promote scientific research.

21 Apr 2016

Preventing the development of multi-organ autoimmunity

By Dr Jodie Abramovitch

Autoimmune disease occurs when the immune system incorrectly recognises self-tissues and organs as being potentially dangerous - like a pathogen. The immune system attacks the tissue or organ – sometimes in an organ-specific manner (eg. type I diabetes) or sometimes in a multi-organ fashion (eg. lupus) – which leads to disease symptoms. What causes the onset of autoimmune disease is not well understood and, consequently, there is no cure with treatments predominantly aimed at relieving inflammatory symptoms.

Elisha de Valle - first author of this study
In a collaborative study, Monash researchers examined the role of transcription factor NF-κB1 in a specific type of immune cell, Follicular B cells (Fo B cells), and its role in controlling multi-organ autoimmune disease. NF-κB1 is important for regulating B cell function and when Fo B cells become deregulated they can produce antibodies that target and destroy vital organs. The authors of this study used a mouse model that lacks the NF-κB1 gene and analysed the effect on Fo B cells. They found that Fo B cells lacking NF-κB1 secreted a large amount of pro-inflammatory factor IL-6 and this had an effect on surrounding immune cells. Specifically, IL-6 led to the over stimulation of B cells which resulted in the formation of  germinal centre structures (sites where antibody responses are launched) and, in turn, an increase in the presence of self-reacting antibodies against self-tissues and organs within the NF-κB1 deficient mice. Moreover, IL-6 also caused Fo B cells to proliferate at a higher rate which exacerbated the germinal centre B cell response. Without NF-κB1, the mice developed severe multi-organ autoimmune disease and had a reduced life span compared to healthy mice. This was largely attributable to the production of IL-6 by Fo B cells. Importantly, when IL-6 was blocked the development of autoimmune disease was greatly reduced.

This study revealed that NF-κB1 has an essential role in controlling the function of Fo B cells, primarily to limit the production of inflammatory factor IL-6. In the absence of NF-κB1, the production of IL-6 becomes deregulated and severe autoimmune disease can occur. These conclusions further the understanding of the mechanisms that control IL-6 production and may lead to better management of patients with autoimmune disease.

Referencede Valle EGrigoriadis GO'Reilly LAWillis SNMaxwell MJCorcoran LMTsantikos ECornish JKFairfax KAVasanthakumar AFebbraio MAHibbs MLPellegrini MBanerjee AHodgkin PDKallies AMackay FStrasser AGerondakis SGugasyan RNFκB1 is essential to prevent the development of multiorgan autoimmunity by limiting IL-6 production in follicular B cells. J Exp Med. 2016 Apr; 213:621-41. 
doi: 10.1084/jem.20151182.

Which type of polio vaccine is best?

By Dr Jodie Abramovitch

The current polio vaccine was developed by Albert Sabin in 1961 and is a live-attenuated, orally administered vaccine (OPV). Live-attenuated means that the polio virus is alive but unable to cause disease. In settings with high childhood mortality, the OPV is believed to have non-specific effects that allows for protection against other childhood infections such as paralytic poliomyelitis (also known as infantile paralysis caused by the polio virus), tuberculosis and measles. This non-specific protection is thought to be able to reduce mortality to infectious diseases, particularly in childhood, by up to 17%. The significance of this protection is controversial.
Professor Magda Plebanski
To reduce the incidence of poliomyelitis which is around 75 cases worldwide per year, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has recommended the OPV be replaced by an inactivated form (IPV) of the polio virus. Inactivated means the virus used in the vaccine is dead.

In a recent correspondence published in The Lancet, a group of physicians and scientists, including Professor Magdalena Plebanski from the Department of Immunology and Pathology, voiced their concern at a potential change to the form of the current polio vaccine from OPV to IPV. It was noted that previous evidence suggests that the IPV does not confer the same non-specific protection as the OPV. Therefore, the IPV may be associated with an increase in childhood mortality (caused by a range of different infectious diseases). The authors postulated that for every case of poliomyelitis that is reduced by the IPV about 4000 extra deaths due to other infectious diseases (resulting in 300 000 additional deaths each year) may occur that could have been prevented by the OPV.

The authors of this correspondence concluded by urging the WHO to conduct randomised trials of the two different forms of polio vaccine before phasing out the OPV. This would allow for a better understanding of the non-specific protection that each of the polio vaccines provides against other infectious diseases. The results of these trials would inform whether the IPV leads to a higher infectious disease mortality overall when compared to the OPV, as well as whether the OPV and IPV may be administered alongside one another in children to prevent poliomyelitis and keep infectious disease mortality low.

Reference: Fish ENFlanagan KLFurman DKlein SLKollmann TRJeppesen DLLevy OMarchant ANamachivayam SNetea MGPlebanski M,Rowland-Jones SLSelin LKShann FWhittle HC.  Changing oral vaccine to inactivated polio vaccine might increase mortality. Lancet. 2016 Mar; 387:1054-5.
doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(16)00661-9.

Recent CCS publications: Week ending 22 April 2016

Transcranial stimulation
Recent publications with Central Clinical School affiliated authors:

Duan M, Steinfort DP, Smallwood D, Hew M, Chen W, Ernst M, Irving LB, Anderson GP, Hibbs ML. CD11b immunophenotyping identifies inflammatory profiles in the mouse and human lungs. Mucosal Immunol. 2016 Mar;9(2):550-63. 
Link: doi 10.1038/mi.2015.84.

Fitzgerald, P.B., Hoy, K.E., Elliot, D., McQueen, S., Wambeek, L.E., Daskalakis, Z.J. A negative double-blind controlled trial of sequential bilateral rTMS in the treatment of bipolar depression. Journal of Affective Disorders (2016) 198 pp. 158 - 162
Link: doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2016.03.052

Lim HY, Ng C, Donnan G, Nandurkar H, Ho P. Ten years of cerebral venous thrombosis: male gender and myeloproliferative neoplasm is associated with thrombotic recurrence in unprovoked events. J Thromb Thrombolysis. 2016 Apr 16. [Epub ahead of print]
Link: PMID 27085541

Maller JJ, Anderson RJ, Thomson RH, Daskalakis ZJ, Rosenfeld JV, Fitzgerald PB. Occipital bending in schizophrenia. Aust N Z J Psychiatry. 2016 Apr 11. pii: 0004867416642023. [Epub ahead of print]
Link: PMID 27066817

20 Apr 2016

Monash changes medicine degree from 2017

Medical degree articulation. Students can complete the BMedSc(Hons) after the first part - the BMedSc - of the locked double degree. They can then return to and complete the MD or continue into an accelerated PhD and return thereafter to the MD.
Bachelor of Medical Science and Doctor of Medicine (MD)

The Monash University School of Medicine is internationally recognised for providing a world-class education with a comprehensive and interdisciplinary approach to medical training.

Our medical program, the Bachelor of Medical Science and Doctor of Medicine (MD), has been designed in close consultation with doctors, health care professionals and leaders in the health and research sectors in order to give our students the scientific background and clinical expertise needed for a successful career as a doctor.

18 Apr 2016

Perspective: Do doctors give weight to evidence in clinical decision-making?

Doctors may deny that they unconsciously bias the results of
studies, but the evidence shows they do. pixdeluxe/iStockphoto
Working out whether a treatment works, and for how many people, is trickier than it sounds, writes Frank Bowden.

Here’s how you should go about doing it. Link to full story
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