22 Dec 2020

Depression and poor sleep are important heart disease risk factors

Disrupted circadian rhythms contribute to heart disease risk.
Image: Shutterstock

A international collaborative study led by Professor Paul Zimmet has recommended including poor sleep quality and depression in heart disease risk equations. 

Globally, heart disease is a major threat to human health. The identification of its risk is vital for its prevention. To date, the cluster of risk factors used as an index for predicting heart disease is collectively known as the 'metabolic syndrome'. They include high blood pressure, blood lipids and sugar, and also obesity.

Honours student Sahan Muthuhetti shone in 2020 on Reviver project

Dr Ben Sinclair with a Reviver participant
The Reviver is an innovative exercise assistance device which allows mobility-impaired individuals to exercise far beyond their unassisted capacity. Monash University Central Clinical School researchers are performing the world's first clinical trial of the device to assess its impact on symptoms of Parkinson's Disease, such as impaired balance and mobility.

During 2020 Dr Ben Sinclair, who runs the Reviver trial, together with Professor Meng Law, Director of the iBRAIN group, co-supervised a very talented Honours student, Mr Sahan Muthuhetti. Sahan got a high distinction for his Honours project, "Treatment of balance associated symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease using a novel rehabilitation strategy". 

15-21 Dec 2020 Central Clinical School publications

Medihoney antibacterial wound gel
sub-optimal: Study. Image: annalscts
Recent publications featuring research as notified by PubMed during 15-21 December 2020 from Central Clinical School affiliated researchers in the following departments. The below is not a comprehensive list:

  • Allergy, Immunology and Respiratory Medicine
  • Anaesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine
  • Diabetes
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Medicine - Alfred & Peninsula
  • Melbourne Sexual Health Centre
  • Neuroscience
  • Psychiatry

21 Dec 2020

Having your Low FODMAP Christmas Cake and eating it too

Check out the Monash University Low FODMAP blog for innumerable recipe ideas and research updates on the low FODMAP diet. 

Their 2020 Christmas edition is very much about having your cake and eating it too! See the Low FODMAP Christmas Cake with Brandy Custard recipe and more at their blog site, to which you can also subscribe to get the latest news items delivered to your inbox.

17 Dec 2020

Congratulations to our 2020 NHMRC Ideas grants recipients!

CCS won ten NHMRC Ideas Grants in the 2020 round.
NHMRC Investigator grants were announced this morning by Minister for Health, Greg Hunt. See Monash announcement.

Monash Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences researchers have continued their success in the latest round of funding, awarded in excess of $40m, across 43 projects in the highly competitive 2020 NHMRC Ideas Grant scheme, for innovative research projects.

Congratulations to Central Clinical School's ten NHMRC Idea grant recipients. See more about the CCS projects, below. The grant income for the school from this round totals $9.5M across the period 2021-2025.

Commiserations to our researchers whose grants were ranked very highly, but nonetheless missed out.

Blood test to help diagnose and manage mild traumatic brain injury

Dr Stuart McDonald has won a $1M NHMRC grant for research
on a blood test for mild traumatic brain injury.
Dr Stuart McDonald, from the Monash Trauma Group, in the Department of Neuroscience, CCS, and his colleagues have been awarded an NHMRC Ideas Grant of $1,092,780 for his research on blood markers of mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI). 

This grant was one of 283 grants announced by the Minister for Health, the Hon Greg Hunt MP on Tuesday 15 December, with a total budget of $260 million. The Ideas Grants provide an opportunity for researchers to make future advances in health and well-being, with projects being funded for 3-5 years.

Professor Anne Holland's pulmonary rehabilitation research in NHMRC's 10 best!

Prof Anne Holland (centre, lowest row) and her group
Congratulations to Professor Anne Holland, whose National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) funded research, "Benefits and costs of home-based pulmonary rehabilitation in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease" (GNT1046353), was selected in 2020 for inclusion in the 2018 edition of NHMRC’s Ten of the Best Research Projects.

This is the twelfth year of NHMRC's Ten of the Best, which highlights outstanding Australian research that is contributing to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of health issues facing Australians.

15 Dec 2020

Why we need to continue coronavirus research

Dr Tom Karagiannis explains why we need to keep
coronavirus research going. See video

Dr Tom Karagiannis is a researcher in the Diabetes Department of Monash University's Central Clinical School. This year his research has been focused on analysing molecular compounds of potential use to combat the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. 

He explains that SARS-CoV-2 is the latest of a series of coronaviruses to jump from animals to humans, and there will be more in the future as we continue to have increased contact with wild animal populations given the decrease of their habitat.

Multidisciplinary teams key to best outcomes for patients with hepatocellular carcinoma

Associate Professor John Lubel
A new consensus statement produced by the Gastroenterological Society of Australia (GESA) Liver Faculty on the management of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) will ultimately lead to better outcomes for Australian patients, according to the authors, published 14 Dec 2020 in the Medical Journal of Australia.

HCC is a leading cause of cancer deaths both globally and in Australia. Surveillance for HCC in at-risk populations allows diagnosis at an early stage, when potentially curable. However, most Australians diagnosed with HCC die of the cancer or of liver disease.

8-14 Dec 2020 Central Clinical School publications

Fig 1 from review article on neurological
heterotopic ossification by Wong et al.
Recent publications featuring research as notified by PubMed during 8-14 December 2020 from Central Clinical School affiliated researchers in the following departments. The below is not a comprehensive list:

  • Australian Centre for Blood Diseases
  • Immunology and Pathology
  • Medicine - Alfred & Peninsula
  • Melbourne Sexual Health Centre
  • Neuroscience
  • Surgery and NTRI

Prof Anne Abbott wins John Maddox Prize

A/Prof Anne Abbott has won the John Maddox
Prize for Early Career

Associate Professor Anne Abbott, an Australian neurologist at the Central Clinical School at Monash University in Melbourne, has been awarded the 2020 John Maddox Prize for Early Career individuals. She received the award for her innovative research on, and tireless advocacy for, “evidence-true” stroke and arterial disease prevention treatment.

A/Prof Abbott’s innovative research was first published in 2009. It showed that in people without referable stroke symptoms, non-invasive medical intervention is at least as effective as carotid artery surgery (endarterectomy). The carotid artery is the main brain artery and commonly affected by arterial disease. Medical intervention, consisting of lifestyle changes and medication, has improved in stroke prevention effectiveness by at least 65% over the last 3-4 decades.  Medical intervention reduces all arterial disease complications, healthcare costs and healthcare risk.

Congratulations to Associate Professor Anneke van der Walt on MSNI appointment

Associate Professor Anneke van der Walt
Prof Terry O'Brien, Head of School,  writes:

 Dear CCS Staff, Adjuncts and Students,

It is with great pleasure and pride that I can inform you that A/Prof Anneke Van Der Walt has been appointed to the joint Alfred/Monash appointment as Director Multiple Sclerosis Neuroimmunology Unit (MSNI), Alfred Brain, Alfred Health, and Associate Professor of Neuroscience, The Department of Neuroscience, Central Clinical School, Monash University. 

This is a key academic clinical leadership position for clinical neurosciences at Monash and The Alfred. A/Prof van der Walt will be responsible for clinical and research leadership, and ongoing strategic development, of the MSNI Unit at Alfred Health and Monash University. She is an outstanding clinical neurologist and researcher, with a national and emerging international reputation for her research in the fields of multiple sclerosis, neuroimmunology and neuro-ophthalmology. 

BGRF wins for Dr Mastura Monif and A/Prof David Wright!

Dr Mastura Monif (left) and A/Prof David Wright
Congratulations to Dr Mastura Monif and Associate Professor David Wright on the award of funding for their projects from the Bethlehem Griffiths Research Foundation (BGRF)!

Dr Monif's research project is titled, The contribution of monocytes and P2X7 Receptor in MS relapse. The grant amount is $45,906 plus GST.

A/Prof Wright's research project is titled, Is the brain’s waste clearance system impaired in motor neuron disease? The grant amount is  $46,000 plus GST.

Translational Research and Medicine program building on successes

Gemma Hartley, PhD student, describes her TRM experience
in the Immunology pathway. See video

by Matt Cull

Monash University is creating a first of its kind training program for postgraduate students, aimed at driving innovative new medical ideas to market.

Three TRM students describe how they have been finding the experience.

Shout-out for CCS's highest achieving BMedSc(Hons) students!

Tied top BMedSc(Hons) CCS students Michael Dong and Madeleine Tse

Congratulations to two of Central Clinical School's Bachelor of Medical Science (Honours) students, Mr Michael Dong and Ms Madeleine Tse, who have tied for top position in this year's cohort.

14 Dec 2020

Georgia Fuller Symons wins 'Neuroscience in a Flash' competition!

One of Central Clinical School's 2nd year PhD students, Ms Georgia Fuller Symons, has won 1st place in Session 2 of the Monash Neuroscience in a Flash Competition. Congratulations Georgia!

Georgia's topic was "Hitting close to home: concussion in Australian collision sport". See more detail of her talk topic below.

11 Dec 2020

COVID-19: What could happen next? 9 Dec Forum video

COVID-19: What could happen next? forum video
Monash University's Central Clinical School and community organisation Maccabi Life partnered to present a public forum on 9 Dec 2020, "COVID-19: What could happen next?", MC'd by Professor Terry O'Brien. 

The forum featured Professor Paul Zimmet AO, talking about the new CoviDIAB registry which is tracking patients with first-time onset diabetes; and Drs Elspeth Hutton and Robb Wesselingh talking about the new NeuroCOVID registry being set up to track patients with neurological complications.  Professor Christina Mitchell AO, Dean of Monash's Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, gave an introduction. See links to the time of their presentations below, and also the audience questions.

COVID-19 does cause diabetes: A new Monash-led global initiative is investigating why

Prof Paul Zimmet explains that a registry, CoviDIAB, has
been established to track first time incidence of diabetes in
  COVID-19 patients.
See video. His most recent paper shows
a pooled proportion of 14.4% (1 in 7) for newly diagnosed
diabetes in hospitalised COVID-19 patients. See more from
the video of our 9 Dec forum on CCS COVID-19 registries.

by Matt Cull
Monash University is investigating a link between COVID-19 and diabetes which is not yet fully understood, though it is becoming clear that COVID-19 is indeed causing first-time onset of diabetes.
In collaboration with King’s College in London, Monash University has established a register of patients, called CoviDIAB, who reported having developed diabetes after confirmed exposure to the disease COVID-19 which is caused by the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.
Many patients had no known instances of diabetes in their family and were not believed to have been at high risk for the illness prior to being infected with the coronavirus.

1-7 Dec 2020 Central Clinical School publications

The Stem Cell Biology group which has four of the co-authors on a
Nature Communications study. L-R Ms Jacqueline Boyle, Prof David
, Ms Shokoufeh Abdollahi, Mr Feng Yan, Dr Cedric Tremblay,
Mr Andrej Terzic, Ms Jesslyn Saw, Dr Christina Makhlouf.

Dr Tremblay is lead author on the study which provides the first preclinical
evidence that Dynamin inhibitors are effective as a combination therapy for
acute leukaemia.

Recent publications featuring research as notified by PubMed during 1-7 December 2020 from Central Clinical School affiliated researchers in the following departments. The below is not a comprehensive list:

  • Allergy, Immunology and Respiratory Medicine
  • Australian Centre for Blood Diseases
  • Diabetes
  • Immunology and Pathology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Medicine - Alfred & Peninsula
  • Melbourne Sexual Health Centre
  • Neuroscience
  • Surgery

HSRAANZ 2020 Best Papers – ECR Winner Jason Ong

A/Prof Jason Ong has won HSRAANZ best paper award
Congratulations to Associate Professor Jason Ong for winning this year's Health Services Research Association of Australia and New Zealand (HSRAANZ) award for best paper!

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that there are over 1 million curable sexually transmitted infections (STIs) a day. Earlier detection and timely treatment are needed to better control STIs, especially among those less likely to engage with healthcare systems. In recent years, there has been a global scale-up of programs for HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). 

Immunology students acknowledge 2020's huge teaching efforts

Drs Simon Teteris & Maria Demaria
Feeling the love 😊...

Anita Barry writes,  "We had something unexpected and lovely happen yesterday [Wednesday 9 December] in the teaching labs at Clayton. We currently have third year students undertaking an intensive practical course as they missed out on this experience in first semester due to COVID-19.

"Our thoughtful Immunology students surprised two of our co-ordinators (Dr Simon Teteris and Dr Maria Demaria) with appreciation gifts of chocolates, flowers and a donation to UNICEF for 310 TB immunisations! Great to see the students showing the love for our dedicated, hard-working and talented co-ordinators!"

Neuroscience in a Flash is flashing by! Final on 14 Dec

The final session of "Neuroscience in a Flash" is taking place next Monday 14 December at 12.30 - 2.00 pm. All welcome and please register here.

Our CCS graduate students who have been selected as finalists in the competition would love your support on the day:

  • Wei Yeh: Investigations of multiple sclerosis and modifiable influences: the effects of vitamin D
    status and pregnancy. Wei's supervisor is Dr Vilija Jokubaitis (Neuroimmunology, Genomics and Prognostics Group, Department of Neuroscience), MSNI unit
  • Muhammed Javaid: Development of personalized ‘disease-in-a-dish’ model of focal cortical dysplasia using induced pluripotent stem cells. Muhammed is supervised by Dr Ana Antonic-Baker (Epilepsy and Personalised Medicine Group, Department of Neuroscience) 
  • Georgia Fuller-Symons: Hitting close to home: concussion in Australian collision sport. Georgia's supervisor is A/Prof Sandy Shultz (Monash Trauma Group, Department of Neuroscience)

Their abstracts and the link to register can be found on the Neuroflash web page.

A+ EMCR news & survey

A+ EMCR Best Paper CCS winners were, L-R: A/Prof Jason Ong (MSHC), Dr Tiffany  
Phillips (MSHC), Dr Natalie Thomas (MAPrc) and Dr Maithili Sashindranath (ACBD)

i. News

The Alfred Research Alliance Early and Mid Career Research (A+ EMCR) have published their final newsletter for the year, featuring:

  • Chair's Report
  • Recruitment for New A+ EMCR Committee Members
  • 2020 Best Paper Awards Winners
  • EMCR Mini-Symposium Feedback
  • Let's Collaborate Session Feedback
  • Mentorship Updates

ii. Survey

Expanded capabilities for ARA-MBI's PET/CT preclinical studies

In 2019 the Alfred Research Alliance Monash BioImaging (ARA-MBI) Preclinical Imaging Facility commenced operations with a PET/CT system, and has recently expanded its capabilities.

4 Dec 2020

What's On in brief

Our speakers in the forthcoming forum on Wednesday 9 December, 7-8 pm, showcasing CCS's new registries tracking COVID-19 complications, in diabetes, and in neurological disorders, including chronic fatigue. L-R: Prof Christina Mitchell, Prof Paul Zimmet (diabetes), Dr Elspeth Hutton, Dr Robb Wesselingh (both Elspeth & Robb on neurological complications). See more and register.

The summary wrap:
  • Mon 7 Dec, 12.30 pm, Neuroscience seminar with international speaker Prof Paul Van Donkelaar
  • Wed 9 Dec, 7 pm: How & why are we tracking the neurological and diabetic complications of COVID-19? Find out in our CCS forum. Register
  • Thu 17 Dec, 12 noon: NHMRC Investigator Grants: Addressing issues of gender equity with Professor Anne Kelso. Register
  • Fri 18 Dec, 11 am: Prof Terry O'Brien, CCS HOS, gives the year's overview, and what a year it's been. Link to join from the calendar entry

University medical research increasingly looking to philanthropy for funds

Dr James McMahon explains the VIRCO trial which is testing whether
the drug favipiravir clears COVID-19 virus faster. See video 2:05 mins

Medical researchers – facing reduced government grants and funding in the wake of COVID-19 – are turning towards investors and philanthropy groups to keep their labs open and what they are finding is that these avenues are faster, more responsive and often more lucrative than more traditional research funding.

Elective surgery patients screened for COVID-19

Prof Paul Myles in theatre
A recent COVID-19 research project involving Monash University, ANZCA’s Clinical Trials Network and Australian National University has seen elective surgery patients in 14 Australian hospitals screened for COVID-19 in hospital to establish infection rates and manage surgical risk.

Citizen's jury on care for acquired brain injury rehabilitation

Rehabilitation for brain injury patients can be lifelong. A Citizen
Jury was asked for their recommendations on best care. Study

Brain injury rehabilitation is long‐term - in fact, it can be lifelong - and not cheap. So far, little published information or debate has informed policy for service delivery in Australia. 

As health budgets are finite, there are major challenges to providing the best care to people with brain injuries. 

Members of the public were invited to take part in a Citizen Jury at the Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) Centre in Melbourne. The ABI Centre features single-bed rooms at Caulfield Hospital and provides rehabilitation to meet the needs of people with severe brain injuries, resulting from trauma, stroke and other medical causes of acquired brain injury.  The Citizen Jurists were asked, ‘What considerations are important to include in a model of care of brain injury rehabilitation?’

24-30 Nov 2020 Central Clinical School publications

Prof Paul Zimmet explains that a registry, CoviDIAB, has
been established to track first time incidence of diabetes in
  COVID-19 patients.
See video. His most recent paper shows
a pooled proportion of 14.4% (1 in 7) for newly diagnosed
diabetes in hospitalised COVID-19 patients. You can also
find out more at our 9 Dec forum on CCS registries.
Register here for the forum.

Recent publications featuring research as notified by PubMed during 24-30 November 2020 from Central Clinical School affiliated researchers in the following departments. The below is not a comprehensive list:

  • Anaesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine
  • Allergy, Immunology and Respiratory Medicine
  • Australian Centre for Blood Diseases
  • Diabetes
  • Gastroenterology
  • Medicine - Alfred & Peninsula
  • Melbourne Sexual Health Centre
  • Neuroscience
  • Surgery

Congratulations, thanks and farewell to Associate Professor Justin Hamilton

L-R: A/Prof Justin Hamilton with his  PhD student at the time, Shauna French, who is now at Harvard Medical School; A/Prof Nigel Jones with his current PhD student Flavia Gomes; Prof Nicola Harris who became one of CCS's graduate research coordinators in November 2018.

Congratulations to Associate Professor Justin Hamilton on his new adventure as CSL's Director of In vivo Biology. We will all miss you! Professor Terry O'Brien, Head of School, writes:

3 Dec 2020

Honours student Manisha Dona wins SOBR Excellence award

Honours student Manisha Dona

Congratulations to Manisha Dona, CCS Neuroscience BSc Honours student, who was awarded an Oral Presentation Excellence Award at the Students of Brain Research (SOBR) Network student symposium yesterday for her oral presentation titled “The association of diet, sleep and physical activity on disability outcomes in Multiple Sclerosis”.

Ms Neha Kaul co-supervised Manisha together with Dr Vilija Jokubaitis. Neha said, "Thank you to the Multiple Sclerosis & Neuro Immunology [MSNI] team, in particular Louise Rath and Vilija and her lab group for their support in this project.

"Congratulations Manisha, well deserved and a reflection of your hard work in this particularly difficult year!"

The research was funded in part by the Alfred Research Alliance EMCR Collaborative Seed Grant awarded in late 2019.

27 Nov 2020

Emerging Leader Award 2020 to A/Prof David Wright

Associate Professor David Wright wins VBIC award
Congratulations to Associate Professor David Wright, who has won the Victorian Biomedical Imaging Capability (VBIC) Emerging Leader Award for 2020. 

A/Prof Wright's award was made by VBIC Chair, Professor Gary Egan and Victoria's Lead Scientist, Dr Amanda Caples. 

See more about the Alfred Research Alliance Monash Biomedical Imaging facilities of which David is the director, at www.monash.edu/medicine/ccs/neuroscience/facilities/imaging

23 Nov 2020

Sustained COVID-19 immunity promising for vaccine effectiveness

The 20 Nov 2020 medRxiv preprint publication co-authors in Associate Professor Menno van Zelm's Immunology/Allergy research team include: L-R: Mrs Simone Reinwald, Ms Gemma Hartley (first author), Dr Craig McKenzie, Professor Robyn O'Hehir AO (author), Associate Professor Menno van Zelm (senior author), Ms Pei Mun Aui (author), Dr Emily Edwards (author), Mrs Neeru Varese (author).

Monash researchers have revealed – for the first time – that people who have been infected with the COVID-19 virus have sustained protection against reinfection for at least eight months.

The research is the strongest evidence for the likelihood that vaccines against the virus, SARS-CoV-2, will work for long periods.

Genomics, digital health and AI to prevent and treat superbugs 

Culture and sensitivity testing of S. aureus
Image: Wikimedia

A Monash University project will harness the power of technology to help diagnose, treat and prevent one of the most pressing worldwide health issues - antimicrobial resistance.

A team of researchers from the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences (MNHS) Department of Infectious Diseases, the Faculty of Information Technology (IT) and The Alfred’s Department of Infectious Diseases have been awarded $3.4M from the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) for the SuperbugAi Flagship project.

Novel technique for improving 3D CT preclinical imaging

CT images of ex vivo mice lungs. A&B. Axial images of a standard CT compared to a high-resolution micro-CT quality image. C. Maximum Intensity Projection (MIP) of the iodine-based contrast inflated lung for bronchial tree visualisation. Image: Karen Alt

Three-dimensional imaging of the mouse lung plays an important role in preclinical research to better understand injury extent and recovery especially of respiratory viruses such as SARS-COV-1 and -2.

17-23 Nov 2020 Central Clinical School publications

Age, sex, menopause and brain structure study.
Human brain mapped with diffusion tensor imaging: The Atlantic
Recent publications featuring research as notified by PubMed during 17-23 November 2020 from Central Clinical School affiliated researchers in the following departments. The below is not a comprehensive list:

  • Allergy, Immunology and Respiratory Medicine
  • Australian Centre for Blood Diseases
  • Diabetes
  • Gastroenterology
  • Medicine - Alfred & Peninsula
  • Melbourne Sexual Health Centre
  • Neuroscience
  • Surgery

Research update: Pregnancy as a Multiple Sclerosis disease modifier

See Dr Vilija Jokubaitis's research seminar highlights video
Dr Vilija Jokubaitis is a Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Neuroscience, Central Clinical School at Monash University. She is a clinical and translational neuroscientist with a particular interest in pregnancy and Multiple Sclerosis (MS). She published research in September on MS and pregnancy, then gave a seminar, in which she explored how pregnancy affects the progression of MS.The Zoom recording of the seminar has been edited and posted to the CCSMonash Youtube channel.

Congratulations to Janet Towns on her PhD completion!

Dr Janet Towns, PhD
Congratulations to Dr Janet Towns on the conferral of her Doctor of Philosophy degree, 11 November 2020! 

Janet's thesis title is, "Modern Ethical Syphilology: Elucidating Treponema pallidum transmission; and novel strategies for improving early detection of syphilis and other sexually transmitted infections". She was supervised by Professor Kit Fairley, A/Prof Eric Chow, A/Prof Lei Zhang, Professor Marcus Chen (Melbourne Sexual Health Centre) and Professor Stephen Graves (University of Newcastle).

18 Nov 2020

Meet KIT: World First Body Image Chatbot

Check out the KIT body image chatbot
Body image issues is an epidemic of its own. With over 30 per cent of Australia’s young people extremely concerned about their body image, a chatbot called KIT has been designed to educate and provide information for those seeking help.

Superbugs on track to kill more people than COVID-19

Professor Andrea Whittaker Dr Nenad Macesic

Without urgent action it's estimated that superbugs will kill 22,000 Australians a year by 2040.

Superbugs threaten to be the next great health crisis of our time, claiming many more lives than COVID-19, and a comprehensive national infection database is urgently needed to arrest the spread, Monash University researchers say.

Changing the narrative of addiction in Australia

Australia's addiction crisis is in the spotlight in an SBS series.
CCS and Turning Point's Dr Shalini Arunogiri comments

Australia’s addiction crisis, is in the spotlight, following the release of a new SBS documentary series, ‘Addicted Australia’.

The four-part series follows the personal journeys of 10 clients, their clinicians, peer support workers, families and friends, and lays bare the challenges faced by families and their loved ones who are searching for a different life.

Monash University partner, Turning Point, has designed the six-month treatment program the clients are undertaking.

16 Nov 2020

10-16 Nov 2020 Central Clinical School publications

Study shows speech discrimination impairment is a marker of
disease severity in multiple sclerosis. Image: Hearing Review
Recent publications featuring research as notified by PubMed during 10-16 November 2020 from Central Clinical School affiliated researchers in the following departments. The below is not a comprehensive list: 

  • Allergy, Immunology and Respiratory Medicine
  • Australian Centre for Blood Diseases 
  • Diabetes 
  • Gastroenterology 
  • Medicine - Alfred & Peninsula 
  • Melbourne Sexual Health Centre 
  • Neuroscience 
  • Surgery

Returning to life after brain trauma and stroke

Prof Natasha Lannin and Dr Laura Jolliffe explain
the research and clinical collaborations to improve
recovery after neurological damage. See video

Professor Natasha Lannin and Dr Laura Jolliffe of the Brain Recovery and Rehabilitation Group in Monash University's Department of Neuroscience explain how their research and practice support the rehabilitation of people with neurological damage from stroke or brain injuries to regain function and independence. 

Prof Lannin is a Chief Investigator on three new trials which have received funding from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Partnerships Projects program this year (project list link).

ARC Discovery grant for drug research against blood-feeding parasite nematodes

L-R: Prof Nicola Harris (CIA), Dr Tiffany Smith and Prof Robin
Gasser are collaborating on an ARC project to control parasitic
nematodes which are a problem in agricultural animals.
Congratulations to Professor Nicola Harris, lead researcher of a group which has received an Australian Research Council (ARC) grant for $445,250 across three years to investigate control of parasitic nematodes.

Prof Nicola Harris and Dr Tiffany Smith have teamed up with Professor Robin Gasser, who specialises in parasitology at the University of Melbourne, to discover drugs which will work against blood-feeding parasite nematodes of animals. This project aims to identify more sustainable control strategies of nematode parasites of livestock, which cost more than 400 million yearly to the Australian wool and meat industry. 

CCS researchers' high citation rates recognised by Web of Science

Congratulations to Central Clinical School colleagues Professor Peter Gibson (Department of Gastroenterology) and Professor Kathryn Holt (Department of Infectious Diseases), who have been named on the 2020 Web of Science Highly Cited (HiCi)'s list: https://recognition.webofscience.com/awards/highly-cited/2020/. This recognises leading researchers in their fields over the last decade, demonstrated by the production of multiple highly-cited papers that rank in the top 1% by citations for field and year in the Web of Science™ .

See other Monash researchers on the 2020 HiCi list here.

COVID-19: What could happen next? Join our 9 Dec forum to find out more

Register here for the 9 Dec forum, 7-8 pm

What happens next with COVID-19? It's complicated... Once infected with COVID-19, the illness can cause devastating complications which we don't yet understand. Register here for our 9 Dec forum

A forum, "COVID-19: What could happen next?" on 9 Dec at 7-8 pm will give you the chance to hear from our panel of diabetes and neurology experts on the urgent need to know the extent and causes of new-onset and dysfunction with diabetes and neurological conditions. They'll outline how registries are vital to provide the best interventions and management for treatment, and to understand the potential longer-term impact on the health of people who have been infected.

25 Nov event: From the Front Line: Rethinking mental health treatment and personalised care

Register here for 25 Nov webinar on mental health treatment
From the Front Line: Rethinking mental health treatment and personalised care

Monash University is hosting a panel discussion on Australia’s significant health challenge: Mental Health on Wednesday 25 November 11.30am - 12.30 pm. See more about the event below.

Register here

The Alfred-Monash Brain Tumour Bio-databank

See the Alfred-Monash Brain Tumour biobank video
The Alfred-Monash Brain Tumour Bio-databank was featured on The Project, 18 November. The clips helps people to understand the experiences of patients faced with a devastating diagnosis who are assisting with our research. See links below.

If you would like to work with the Alfred Brain Tumour Bio-databank on a research project or use samples for your research, then please contact Loretta Piccenna (loretta.piccenna@monash.edu) and ABTB Clinical Coordinator, Emily Galea (E.Galea@alfred.org,au).

12 Nov 2020

3-9 Nov 2020 Central Clinical School publications

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease burden grows as people become
fatter: Study. Image: Shutterstock
Recent publications featuring research as notified by PubMed during 3-9 November 2020 from Central Clinical School affiliated researchers in the following departments. The below is not a comprehensive list:

  • Australian Centre for Blood Diseases
  • Diabetes
  • Gastroenterology
  • Immunology and Pathology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Medicine - Alfred & Peninsula
  • Melbourne Sexual Health Centre
  • Neuroscience
  • Surgery

11 Nov 2020

Monash ‘Neuroscience in a Flash’ Competition 2020

See more about Monash's Neuroscience capabilities
What is the Monash ‘Neuroscience in a Flash’ Competition? 

The ‘Neuroscience in a Flash’ Competition is a challenge for graduate research students, to creatively present their research thesis to a general audience, in three minutes, using only one slide!

As a result of the current COVID-19 restrictions, the Department of Neuroscience will be hosting the competition virtually, using Zoom:

  • Session 1 (Mon 30 Nov, 12:30 - 1:30pm) - For Honours and PhD or Masters who are pre-confirmation
  • Session 2 (Mon 14 Dec, 12:30 - 1:30pm) - For PhD or Masters post-confirmation

Register to attend here www.monash.edu/medicine/research/grad-research/monash-neuroscience-in-a-flash-competition-2020

Welcome to Matt Cull, Journalism intern

Welcome to Matt Cull, who is currently finishing his final year in journalism, and is undertaking an internship with Central Clincal School, working with Julia Veitch.

Matt  also holds a Bachelor in Music from Monash University. Over the course of completing his degree he has worked in advertising and finance, and enjoys covering stories across a wide range of topics. He has a particular interest in politics and science, and how those topics intersect with journalism. He moved to Melbourne from Perth to study at Monash, and has also spent time studying abroad at New York University.

Matt will be writing up our research and producing videos for during his  internship.

Australia’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic webinar: 12 noon - 1.30 pm Tues 17 Nov 2020

Prof Allen Cheng will talk about Australia's response to the
COVID-19 pandemic 12-1.30 pm, Tues 17 Nov. Register

The Alfred Education and Innovation Hub with Alfred Research Alliance present a webinar with Professor Allen Cheng discussing Australia’s response to COVID-19, on Tuesday 17 November, 12 noon - 1.30 pm. 

Prof Cheng is an infectious diseases specialist and epidemiologist who has been Victoria's acting Deputy Chief Health Officer since July 2020 - throughout the state's second COVID-19 wave. 

See more below or register now.

9 Nov 2020

2020 Central Clinical School graduate research symposium winners

L-R top row: Alex Dimitropulous, Coco Shi, Akshita Rana.
Lower row: April Raftery, Rishabh Sharma, Nicola Sergienko.

Central Clinical School's 13th annual graduate research symposium held on 4-5 November was very successful, with around 40 students presenting or participating from across the school, so it was a very strong field. See the booklet for pictures of all participants. 

A number of new sessions were introduced this year including a keynote presentation. Many thanks to Shane Nanayakkara for sharing his insights. Congratulations to the student organisers (some but not all pictured above) and both student and staff participants, and of course the winners! See list below and also on the CCS graduate research web page.

Until We Tweet Again: What Happens Next? podcast on social media and mental health, part three

This episode of What Happens Next? features all the best tips and guidance from our experts about how to help young people manage their social media use for mental health and wellbeing, and how it can be used to build communities and share stories. Gemma Sharp is one of three interviewees in this podcast, speaking on how to be aware of when social media use is becoming unhealthy.

People You May Know: What Happens Next? podcast on social media and mental health, part two

Every generation faces its own moral panic over new technology. Even right back to Socrates when the use of written text in books was seen as something that would negatively impact our lives. In the 20th century, wireless radio and television was thought or assumed to bring about the downfall of civilisation.

6 Nov 2020

Face masks and risk of falls – a vision for personalised advice and timing?

Wearing masks restricts vision to a small extent, requiring people
to look down to negotiate steps and other obstacles or hazards.
What is the best advice for the elderly with restricted mobility?
Image: Shutterstock

Mask wearing continues to be mandatory in Victoria as a tried and tested public health measure to limit the spread of COVID-19. The World Health Organisation has recommended that mask-wearing be routine practice throughout the world. What are the implications for those who experience difficulty negotiating their environment?

Elderly people have all kinds of mobility issues. Wearing masks adds to the complexity of their experience. The authors of a recently published British Medical Journal (BMJ) editorial about mask-wearing and risk of falls in older people suggest that slowing down walking pace may be safer than looking down when wearing face masks. 

Associate Professor Michele CallisayaProfessor Keith Hill and colleagues who created the Safe Exercise at Home website have published a reply. She says, "We advocate that advising people to simply slow down without taking other aspects of negotiating your environment while wearing a mask is not the best approach. Masks do restrict your vision to some extent. Strategies should be individualised and looking down over a mask is required especially on curbs and obstacles."  

See the group's response: https://www.bmj.com/content/371/bmj.m4133/rr

27 Oct - 2 Nov 2020 Central Clinical School publications

Mauritius took early, stringent action to prevent the spread of
COVID-19. To date, only 368 people have been infected: 
Recent publications featuring research as notified by PubMed during 27 October - 2 November 2020 from Central Clinical School affiliated researchers in the following departments. The below is not a comprehensive list:

  • Australian Centre for Blood Diseases
  • Diabetes
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Medicine - Peninsula
  • Melbourne Sexual Health Centre
  • Neuroscience
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