29 Nov 2019

How a rare immune disease broaches our first line of defence

Dr Robb Wesselingh is undertaking a PhD
  in addition to his clinical work
by Anne Crawford

Autoimmune encephalitides (AIE) are a group of autoimmune conditions affecting the central nervous system with symptoms that include drug-resistant seizures, amnesia and confusion. A rare disease characterised just over a decade ago, it causes major disruption to the lives of patients who have it; at worst the diseases can be fatal.

Dr Robb Wesselingh, a neurologist at the Alfred Hospital, saw the effects AIE was having on his patients and decided to undertake a PhD to investigate it further. “It really had an impact on their lives, some had to take years off work,” he said.

Researchers drill deep to find T cell defect in antibody deficiency disease

Dr Emily Edwards (first author) and 
A/Prof Menno van Zelm (last author) 
by Anne Crawford

Patients with predominantly antibody deficiency (PAD) suffer from severe and recurrent infections that disrupt their lives and which require lifelong treatment. Added to this, up to 70% of these patients develop non-infectious complications (NIC) including autoimmunity, autoinflammation, gastrointestinal disease, and lymphoid malignancies, which are difficult to treat, putting them at risk of high morbidity and early mortality. PAD represents the largest group of primary immunodeficiencies (PIDs), affecting about 1 in 25,000 people worldwide.

Answering a fundamental question about the cause of Diabetic Kidney Disease

Dr Jay Jha, who has won a DARP grant
to investigate the origin of DKD
Congratulations to Dr Jay Jha, an NHMRC Early Career Research Fellow, Department of Diabetes, on his successful grant award from Diabetes Australia Research Program (DARP). The grant of $60,000 is for one year, to investigate the pathological relevance of pro-oxidant enzyme NOX5 in diabetic kidney disease (DKD).

Recent publications from Central Clinical School: 1-11 Nov 2019

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women
experience high rates of diabetes in pregnancy
 (DIP), contributing to health risks for mother
infant, and the intergenerational cycle of diabetes 
Study link. Image courtesy NACCHO communique
Recent publications from Central Clinical School affiliated researchers in the following departments. This is not a comprehensive list:
  • Diabetes
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Melbourne Sexual Health Centre
  • Monash Alfred Psychiatry research centre
  • Neuroscience
  • Peninsula Clinical School
  • Surgery

Congratulations to Professor Merlin Thomas on Eric Susman Prize award!

Professor Merlin Thomas has been awarded
the RACP's Eric Susman Prize for 2019
Congratulations to Professor Merlin Thomas, who has been awarded the Eric Susman Prize for 2019 by The Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP)!

This prestigious award has been made to Professor Thomas for his work in the field of diabetes complications, particularly his outstanding track record of original research, interactions with the medical community and the public, and teaching.

Congratulations to Dr Gemma Sharp on AMP Foundation win!

Dr Gemma Sharp describes her chatbot
innovation which has won her an AMP
 Foundation award. Video 1:10 min
Congratulations to Dr Gemma Sharp, who has won a highly competitive AMP Foundation 'Tomorrow Maker' award and grant of $42,000 for one year, for her chatbot innovation to assist people with body image and eating disorders.

25 Nov 2019

Congratulations to Viertel scholarship winners Drs Mastura Monif and Andrew Neal

Drs Mastura Monif and Andrew Neal
Congratulations to Drs Mastura Monif and Andrew Neal on their award each of an $85,000 one-year clinical investigation scholarship for 2020 from the Sylvia and Charles Viertel Charitable Foundation. Both researchers are in Central Clinical School's Department of Neuroscience.

Dr Monif's project is on slowing down gliomas using antagonism of a particular protein and Dr Neal's on accurately locating sources of focal epileptic seizures using artificial intelligence (AI).
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