27 Mar 2019

Seeking clarity on a fuzzy neurological condition

A/Professor Joanne Fielding and Professor Owen White from the Department of Neuroscience had a busy Friday morning last week, discussing their research into Visual Snow on both Neil Mitchell's 3AW radio show, and then featuring on Melbourne's Channel 9 News.

Visual Snow is thought to affect the way the brain processes optical messages from the eyes, with affected people viewing the world through a film of what looks like TV static. There are many related symptoms, including migraines, floaters, auras and more. It often takes years for people to be formally diagnosed, creating a tense and frustrating wait.

New treatment of acute myeloid leukemia achieves remarkable results in a disease formerly with little hope

A/Prof Andrew Wei

The prognosis for older patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is poor: very few achieve remission and for those that don’t the option is largely palliative. Every year almost 1,000 Australians die of the disease and clinical trials into new therapies for older patients have largely failed.

A new drug trial has achieved a remarkable result, clearing the bone marrow of leukaemia in almost 60% of patients. The trial was considered so effective that the US Food and Drug Administration approved its use last November for the treatment of AML.

Associate Professor Andrew Wei, from the Alfred Hospital and Central Clinical School's Australian Centre for Blood Diseases, commenced research in this area almost two decades ago. He is now the lead clinician/researcher on the international trial of the cancer drug, currently combined with cytarabine to treat older adults with AML.

Why I fight fires

Some of you will be familiar with Anne Crawford, who writes many of our blog posts. Anne is also a volunteer fire fighter with the Country Fire Association, and recently spent time fighting the serious fires in Bunyip, east of Melbourne. We invited her to share her experiences..

by Anne Crawford
Biomedical science writer

Photos like this reveal the intensity of fighting large fires,
but don't convey the hours of boredom and watchful waiting.
I joined the CFA because the farmer next door asked me. As simple as that. That was more than 10 years and two campaign fires ago, the 2009 fires and Bunyip.

Being a fire-fighter isn’t always about battling the blazes you see on television. Yes, there are times when you’re so pumped full of adrenalin that you work at a fire for hours on end without noticing the 40 deg. plus heat but they’re the minority.

Womens Minds Matter

Prof. Jayashri Kulkarni featured in the "Women" project.
Credit: Sam Burke & Rebecca Umlauf
Prof. Jayashri Kulkarni has been honoured with a 4-metre high banner currently displayed outside the Malvern Town Hall. Artists Sam Burke and Rebecca Umlauf captured eight influential and inspiring women as part of the Stonnington Council’s “Women” project. The black and white portraits celebrate women’s achievements as opposed to the objectified images we usually see in billboards. Professor Kulkarni, Director of the MAPrc (Monash Alfred Psychiatry research centre), is pictured wearing a white t-shirt with the slogan “Women’s Minds Matter”, a fitting message for her extraordinary contribution to the mental health field. “I felt really chuffed to be in the company of famous business women, champion women's footballer, feminist activist, and other fabulous women”. Western Bulldog's ex-Vice President Susan Alberti, Boowurrung elder Carolyn Briggs and tram driver Lee Brown also feature in the month long installation.

Translational Research Symposium Speaker Spotlight: Professor Christoph Hagemeyer

A/prof Christoph Hagemeyer
Monash University's 5th annual Translational Research Symposium is being hosted by its three metropolitan clinical schools on 21 June 2019. The symposium will host a diverse group of medical researchers presenting their work into translational research. RSVP here.

Associate Professor Christoph Hagemeyer is Head of the Nanobiotechnology Laboratory at the Australian Centre for Blood Diseases.
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