25 Nov 2016

Photo of the week: ACBD annual symposium 2016

A/Prof Matt McCormack (right) answering a question with A/Prof David Curtis, Chair of the session, alongside at Australian Centre for Blood Diseases (ACBD)'s recent annual symposium. Matt has recently moved to ACBD and his group works particularly on understanding the roles of transcription factors in normal and leukaemic hematopoiesis. See more about Matt's lab.
The Haematology Alfred Health department, the Australian Centre for Blood Diseases (ACBD) and Monash Health held their annual Research Symposium on 4 Nov 2016. It was a packed program - see below for details.

24 Nov 2016

Forthcoming CCS events: 28 Nov - 2 Dec 2016

Maverick Lau is presenting on
Wed 30 Nov 2016
Central Clinical School has regular seminar series and postgraduate presentations. Event notices are posted 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 CCS 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 28 Nov-2 Dec 2016

23 Nov 2016

Publications for the week ending 25 November 2016

Prof Jenny Hoy with Dr Janine Trevillyan
(seated). They are co-authors on a recent
paper on platelet activation in HIV+ patients
Recent publications for Central Clinical School affiliated authors in the departments of Gastroenterology, Infectious Diseases, Melbourne Sexual Health Centre, Pharmacy, Physiology, Surgery (CORE).

See also our featured articles this week on the discovery of a mutation promoting cancer, how an Australian cardiac journal started small and is now international, and chemically inducing a clot-busting enzyme.

Mutation find may help leukaemia patients

Dr Cedric Tremblay (right) with a co-author,
PhD student Dr Sung Kai Chui.  The
research group has identified a cancer
promoting mutation. See paper.
by Anne Crawford

Researchers from Monash University’s Australian Centre for Blood Diseases (ACBD) have become the first scientists to describe the mechanisms by which a recently identified mutation makes leukaemia cells more aggressive. Their work is progressing in preclinical trials that may lead to the development of a drug to help treat patients with T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (T-ALL) who are resistant to conventional chemotherapy.

Epilepsy drug a potential treatment for heart attack and stroke

The molecule t-PA (tissue plasminogen activator) is a natural
blood clot buster and can be elevated with an epilepsy drug,
valproic acid. Image: Emw - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0
by Anne Crawford

Monash University researchers have struck on a novel strategy to counter the blood clotting (thrombosis) that causes conditions including heart attack and ischemic stroke – major causes of death in Australia. Significantly, they have also found that an existing drug, coincidentally used for epilepsy, could potentially be used as a treatment to prevent thrombosis.

Professor Robert Medcalf, who heads the Molecular Neurotrauma and Haemostasis laboratory in the Australian Centre for Blood Diseases (ACBD), said the research started with work exploring the regulation of the molecule t-PA (tissue plasminogen activator), a naturally occurring clot-busting enzyme in the body. The enzyme is rapidly released by the damaged endothelium (lining) of the blood vessel when clotting is initiated to limit the growth of the blood clot.

Journal with heart grows from idea to global circulation

Heart Lung & Circulation
by Anne Crawford

In 1991 a small band of cardiothoracic surgeons had a vision: they would create a new cardiac journal, a platform for young and first-time authors to have their work published. For most Australian, New Zealand and Asian authors at the time there was no stepping-stone to publishing in high-quality international journals.

The surgeons – Professor Frank Rosenfeldt, Associate Professor Alan Gale and Professor Brian Buxton – initially encountered scepticism. There was not enough original cardiac surgical material coming out of a small country like Australia to support a journal, they were told, amongst other criticisms.

Twenty-five years later, worldwide interest in Heart, Lung and Circulation is expanding rapidly – digital download rates doubled in the last five years and in 2015 surpassed 250,000.

Thunderstorm asthma - why does it happen?

Mark Hew explains thunderstorm asthma
to ABC News Breakfast hosts Virginia
Trioli and Michael Rowland. See video
Associate Professor Mark Hew, Head of Allergy, Asthma & Clinical Immunology at The Alfred, explains the phenomenon of  'thunderstorm asthma' and what asthmatics can do to protect themselves.

"The recent thunderstorm asthma event has raised several important questions," A/Prof Hew said.

"How did it happen? It appears that three events need to line-up to trigger thunderstorm asthma.

22 Nov 2016

Congratulations to our recently completed PhD students!

Congratulations to Dr Antony Friedman and Ms Louise Rowntree on their recent awards of the PhD degree. Well done Antony and Louise!

Antony's thesis is titled, "When old drugs become new again - optimising thiopurine metabolism to improve clinical outcomes in patients with inflammatory bowel disease”. He was supervised by Associate Professor Stuart Roberts (Department of Gastroenterology) and Dr Miles Sparrow (Head of Alfred Health's Inflammatory Bowel Disease Service)

Louise's thesis is titled, "The combination of common viral hits and heterologous immunity strongly influences clinical outcomes in 'at risk' lungs”. She was supervised by Dr Nicole Mifsud (Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology), Associate Professor Tom Kotsimbos and Miss Thi Nguyen (Department of Allergy, Immunology and Respiratory Medicine).

CCS Doctoral Student profile - Shauna French

Shauna French and Dr Justin
Hamilton in the lab
by Eliza Watson

Shauna French is a PhD student in the Platelets and Thrombosis Lab at the Australian Centre for Blood Diseases where she is supervised by Dr Justin Hamilton. She studied a Bachelor of Applied Science and Honours at Queensland University of Technology, before  moving to Melbourne for her PhD on defining the role of protease activated receptor 4 in thrombosis.

Welcome to A/Prof Melinda Coughlan!

A/Prof Melinda Coughlan

Welcome to Associate Professor Melinda Coughlan! Melinda is group leader of a research team investigating dietary factors leading to the onset and/or progression of diabetes and its complications. Her team also aims to identify new biochemical targets of therapy for diabetic complications.

Melinda comes to us from the Baker IDI Institute and is supported by a JDRF Type 1 diabetes Clinical Research Network Career Development Award.

Welcome to Eliza Watson, new CCS Communications intern!

Welcome to Eliza Watson, who is joining the CCS Communications team as an intern for one day per week over the summer. She has recently completed her Honours at Monash in the Department of Immunology and Pathology where she was looking into aspects of peanut and bee venom allergy. Eliza is interested in how science can be effectively communicated and is looking forward to learning many new techniques and skills during her internship.

Eliza has already started on a series of CCS PhD student profiles and we will be publishing her stories from this week on! Very pleased to have you on the team Eliza. She can be contacted on email, eliza.watson@monash.edu
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