24 Aug 2018

Photo of the week: Neuroscience in action

Dr Mastura Monif's group. R-L: Ms Veronica Woo, Group Leader Dr Mastura Monif, Mr William O'Brien, Dr Robb Wesselingh and Ms Katrina Kan.
The new Department of Neuroscience at the Alfred Hospital Medical Research Precinct is being officially launched on Thursday 30 August 2018. You can RSVP & see more here:

What's on at CCS 27-31 August 2018

The Department of Neuroscience launch is next Thursday,
30 Aug 2018. RSVP link. See Neuroscience booklet
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:  www.monash.edu/medicine/ccs/headlines/events-calendar

What's on at CCS 27-31 August 2018

Recent CCS publications: 18 - 24 August 2018

Dr Megan Clough doing ocular motor testing with an Honours
student, Georgia Symons. Dr Clough is a co-author on a paper
on 'visual snow', often experienced with migraine.
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)
  • Diabetes
  • Gastroenterology
  • Immunology and Pathology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Melbourne Sexual Health Centre (MSHC)
  • Neuroscience

  • Epilepsy research success in State Government funding

    Alfred epilepsy specialists. L-R: Dr Genevieve Rayner, Prof Patrick Kwan, Dr Piero Perucca, Dr Hugh Simpson, Dr Anne McIntosh, Dr Prash Puspanathan, Ms Shobi Sivanthamboo, Dr Andrew Gleason, Dr Anita Vinton, Dr Mark King, Dr Lyn Millist, Prof Terry O'Brien, Dr Anna Willard, Dr Lucy Vivash.
    Professors Terry O'Brien and Patrick Kwan in the Department of Neuroscience were successfully awarded Victorian State Government grants each worth $100,000 this week. Their submissions were selected by the Department of Health and Human Services as part of its ‘Healthier Lives, Stronger Economy: Victoria’s Health and Medical Research Strategy 2016-20'. The projects are:

    Monash brain research success in major national grants

    Associate Professor Sandy Shultz, the recipient of
     a 2018 NHMRC Career Development Fellowship.
    by Anne Crawford

    Researchers in Monash University’s new Department of Neuroscience have been recognised in National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) grants worth more than $1.3million.

    The Department, part of Monash University’s Central Clinical School (CCS), will be officially opened by Hon. Greg Hunt MP, Minister for Health, on 30 August. It attracted almost half of the grants awarded to CCS scientists.

    $11 million grant for eliminating Hepatitis C

    Professor Margaret Hellard is
    Deputy Director of the Burnet Institute
    The Paul Ramsay Foundation has made an $11.33 million grant to the Eliminate Hepatitis C Australia (EC Australia) project' which aims to eradicate the virus as a health threat in Australia by 2030. The project is being administered through the Burnet Institute, and several researchers adjunct with the two large Monash schools, Central Clinical and Public Health and Preventive Medicine, at the Alfred Health precinct are involved.

    Congratulations to our newly completed PhD students, Ashlee Conway, Waled Shihata and Fiona Wightman!

    Congratulations to our newly completed PhD students, Drs Waled Shihata, Ashlee Conway and Fiona Wightman!

    22 Aug 2018

    Spotlight on our NHMRC Fellowship winners: Professor Ben Marsland

    Professor Ben Marsland
    Deparment of Immnuology 
    and Pathology
    by Anne Crawford

    Professor Ben Marsland. Senior Research Fellow B (SFRB) for: a project exploring how the microbiome can be used to prevent and treat respiratory diseases.  

    Until recently the healthy human lung was, remarkably, thought to be ‘sterile’. In 2010, it was discovered that our airways, like our gut, have a microbiome, a suite of microorganisms including bacteria, fungi and viruses performing a vast array of functions. Since then the field has exploded, with hundreds of papers exploring the topic.

    Spotlight on our NHMRC Fellowship winners: Dr Piero Perucca

    Dr Piero Perucca,
    Department of Neuroscience
    By Anne Crawford

    Dr Piero Perucca. Early Career Fellowship to: assess the extent to which genetic factors account for focal epilepsies of unknown cause.

    Focal epilepsies, the most common types of epilepsy, have traditionally been regarded as disorders related to an 'acquired' brain insult such as a head injury, stroke or tumour. In reality, most cases of focal epilepsy have no identifiable cause.

    Spotlight on our NHMRC Fellowship winners: Dr Joseph Doyle

    Dr Joseph Doyle
    Department of Infectious Diseases
    by Anne Crawford

    Dr Joseph Doyle. Career Development Fellowship to: improve the delivery of hepatitis C treatment and eliminate the disease burden from Australia.

    In 2016 a new tablet that cures hepatitis C hit the Australian market. It is fully subsidised under the PBS scheme. Yet 1000 Australians still die of the disease each year.

    “Most people have been diagnosed with hepatitis C but are not in care or regularly engaged with the health care system. They’re from marginalised communities, in communities of people injecting drugs or who have in the past,” Dr Doyle said.

    Spotlight on our NHMRC Fellowship winners: Associate Professor Christoph Hagemeyer

    A/Professor Christopher Hagemeyer
    ACBD, CCS.
    by Anne Crawford

    Associate Professor Christoph Hagemeyer. Senior Research Fellowship A (SFRA) to; develop smart targeted nanoparticles for diagnosis and therapy.  

    Associate Professor Hagemeyer’s groundbreaking work in the emerging field of nanomedicine has been given a large boost with an NHMRC fellowship supporting him as a researcher for five years and also a ‘Translation Advancement Incentive’ to allow him to translate his research into clinical practice.

    Spotlight on our NHMRC Fellowship winners: Professor Sam El-Osta

    Professor Sam El-Osta
    Department of Diabetes, CCS
    by Anne Crawford

    Professor Sam El-Osta. Senior Research Fellowship: characterise novel epigenetic mechanisms and the exact nature of ‘metabolic memory’ at sites of diabetic complications.

    Professor El-Osta’s Fellowship project is building on his previous exciting findings about epigenetic modifications – the chemical changes that modify DNA – and will target genes that are implicated in diabetic nephropathy and atherosclerosis.

    Spotlight on our NHMRC Fellowship winners: Associate Professor Sandy Shultz

    A/Prof Sandy Shultz
    Department of Neuroscience
    by Anne Crawford

    Associate Professor Sandy Shultz. Career Development Fellowship to: conduct innovative translational studies into mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI).

    Mild traumatic brain injuries (mTBI) such as concussions affect millions of people worldwide. They are common on the sporting field and in military operations, and can occur as a result of anything from vehicle accidents to slips and falls in the home. Growing evidence is showing that repeated brain injuries are associated with lasting neurological impairments and neurodegenerative disease.

    Yet the underlying pathophysiology of these effects is poorly understood.

    Spotlight on our NHMRC Fellowship winners: Dr Pablo Casillas Espinosa

    Dr Pablo Casillas-Espinosa
    by Anne Crawford

    Dr Pablo Casillas Espinosa. NHMRC Early Career Fellowship: to progress research into a novel therapy for temporal epilepsy.

    Temporal epilepsy, a condition characterised by recurrent, unprovoked seizures, is the most common and most difficult-to-treat form of the disease. Of the patients who have it, up to 40% have seizures that don’t respond to any form of treatment. The remainder will improve with medication that stops the seizures but will go back to having them if they stop taking this for any reason. As the disease worsens, all patients will experience behaviourial co-morbidities; depression, anxiety, and learning and memory disorders, which worsen as it progresses.

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