18 May 2018

Photo of the week: 2018 Day of Immunology Vaccination Cafe

The 2018 Day of Immunology Vaccination Café team. L-R: Dr Evelyn Tsantikos, Dr Jodie Abramovitch, Mr Daniel Thiele, Dr Tim Gottschalk, Ms Lakshanie Wickramasinghe, Dr Craig McKenzie, Mr Samuel De Jong, Ms Angela Nguyen, Dr Katharine Goodall, Ms Isobel Leece, Ms Anisha Ansari.

The Monash University Department of Immunology and Pathology were once again heavily involved in the International Day of Immunology. Providing workshops for secondary students, a vaccination cafe and public lectures, the day aims to raise awareness of the importance of herd immunity and public health. A whopping 648 vaccines were administered on the day, including to Adam Bandt, Greens MP and Jill Hennessy MP, Minister for Health, Victoria!

See photo gallery: https://photos.app.goo.gl/qpdZhPFmoGgcWKx27

In this blog issue, we also feature research in predicting, or not, flu outbreaks, and how a high fibre diet can improve immune response to influenza.

What's on at CCS 21-25 May 2018

Prof Chris Mitchell, Dean of
Faculty, speaking 3.30 pm on
Tues 22 May 2018, AMREP
Central Clinical School (CCS) has regular seminar series and postgraduate presentations. Event notices are posted on the CCS Events calendar.
CCS staff and 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.

See CCS seminar index:  https://www.monash.edu/medicine/ccs/headlines/events-calendar

What's on at CCS 21-25 May 2018

Recent CCS publications: 12-19 May 2018

How difficult is it to predict flu incidence? Very. See our feature
Recent publications for Central Clinical School affiliated authors in the following departments. Note, browse down this entry for complete publications list. Linked headings for each section are to the departments' home pages.

  • Australian Centre for Blood Diseases (ACBD)
  • Anaesthesia and Perioperative Medicine
  • Gastroenterology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Monash Alfred Psychiatry research centre (MAPrc)
  • Medicine
  • Melbourne Sexual Health Centre (MSHC)
  • Neuroscience
  • Surgery 
  • Flu virus impact: No telling how it will go

    Heatmap of incidence of 2017 flu season, from FluTracking.
    Your participation welcomed in the joint Australia - New
    Zealand flu tracking survey: join here
    by Anne Crawford

    With winter approaching and the influenza (flu) season hovering health authorities and others are wondering if this year’s flu season will be a repeat of the deadly one that occurred last year. It’s a question being asked a lot lately of Professor Allen Cheng, infectious diseases expert at The Alfred Hospital. 

    Indeed, Professor Cheng, who runs part of Australia’s hospital-based flu surveillance system FluCAN, is perennially asked if he can predict what will happen in the upcoming season. His answer is the same every year: no, he can’t.

    16 May 2018

    Fibre in diet linked to flu protection

    Professor Ben Marsland in the lab. Image: CHUV
    It has long been known that a diet rich in fibre improves intestinal health and reduces inflammation in the gut. Now, a Monash University study shows that fibre can protect against the flu virus.

    Professor Benjamin Marsland from the Department of Immunology and Pathology, Central Clinical School, together with Swiss colleagues, showed in mice that fibre fermented in the gut by bacteria countered influenza A, one of the most common viral diseases worldwide.

    The findings, published today in Immunity, suggest that fermented fibre and byproducts of this process called short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) could be investigated further for potential use in preventing and treating viral infections including the flu, and possibly as a supplement to improve the efficacy of the flu vaccine.

    Not all fibres are created equally

    Prebiotic fibre in legumes, garlic and onion may be better 
    for your gut than some fruits and vegetables.
    by Matt Jane

    Diets including fibres found in legumes, garlic and onion may hold the key to a healthier gut according to a study conducted by Monash PhD student, Daniel So.

    Through a detailed analysis and review of 64 papers, the study found that the consumption of prebiotic fibres would nourish and increase good bacteria in the gut resulting in a more harmonious digestive system.

    15 May 2018

    Early bird 2 June for Surgical Research Essentials (SuRE) intensive course!

    SuRE is accredited by RACS
    Mr James Lee is the Surgical
    Research Essentials  (SuRE)
    course convenor
    Mr James Lee is offering his highly successful intensive course: Surgical Research Essentials (SuRE) for the third year running.

    Register your interest now. Early bird registration discount closing 2 June 2018

    Why do this course?

    A good understanding of surgical research is essential for a surgeon. Good quality research and the ability to apply it clinically is the cornerstone in evidence based practice. In training the surgeons of the future, compulsory research requirements have now been incorporated into every surgical training program. Not only that, research experience and output has become one of the differentiators in many job and training position applications.

    RACP John Snow award for medical student Ned Latham

    Medical student Ned Latham presenting at the RACP
    John Snow awards
    Congratulations to Ned Latham, a current Monash medical student, who has won the 2018 Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) John Snow Award for his research.

    This annual award goes to the highest ranked student research presentation on public health at the RACP's annual congress.

    Ned's presentation had two parts. The first part presented an evaluation of the acceptability of point-of-care hepatitis C testing for people who inject drugs. For this project, Ned interviewed 19 people who had recently undergone point-of-care hepatitis C testing at needle syringe programs as part of a pilot study run by the Burnet Institute (the Rapid-EC study). The second part of his presentation was a reflection on the value of qualitative research in public health.

    Congratulations to our recently completed PhD students!

    Congratulations Timothy (pictured)
    and Annas!
    Congratulations to our recently completed PhD students, Mr Timothy Gottschalk and Mr Annas Al-Sharea! We wish them well for their future scientific careers.

    14 May 2018

    Participants sought for blood research at ACBD

    Alex Louey donating blood for the
    ACBD research programs.
    We want you - or rather, about 50+ mls of your blood!

    We provide $10.00 to cover the cost of your parking/travel costs.

    If you are available from Tuesday to Friday between 8.30-10.00 am could you please contact Nikki Kara to arrange an appointment time. Email nikki.kara@monash.edu, ph 99030122


    Reminder: if you have donated in the last 8 weeks, you are not currently eligible to donate.

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