19 Jun 2020

Monash researchers find key to blocking replication of COVID virus

Coronavirus (round gold objects) as seen under an
 electron microscope. Image: Tom Karagiannis
by Tania Ewing

Monash researchers have conducted extensive modelling of a new antiviral drug to show it has significant blocking ability against the virus that causes COVID-19.

To date, there is an absence of a vaccine and a lack of effective antiviral therapeutics against SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing COVID-19. Therefore, there is an intense interest in identifying compounds that may interact with key viral molecular targets, preventing infection or treating symptoms of the disease.

Dr Tom Karagiannis, from Monash University’s Central Clinical School, and his team recently published data in the Computational Biology Chemistry Journal, showing that a designer molecule called α-ketoamide blocks one of the key proteins needed by the SARS-CoV-2 virus to replicate.

16 Jun 2020

Elective surgery patients to be screened for COVID-19

Prof Paul Myles in theatre
by Tania Ewing

A Monash University researcher warns, in an editorial in The Lancet, that countries aiming to reintroduce elective surgery should be prepared to balance the need for surgery over the risk of a compromised patient developing COVID-19 and dying.

Professor Paul Myles, from the Department of Anaesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine, Alfred Hospital and Monash University, has written the editorial to accompany a research paper from the University of Birmingham, which looked at more than 1100 patients across 24 countries who had surgery from the 1 January to 31 March this year. More that two thirds of these patients were diagnosed with coronavirus post-operatively. One in four of these patients were dead within 30 days of the surgery.

15 Jun 2020

$2M MRFF grant win for reducing chronic kidney disease in Australia's Indigenous population

The MRFF Indigenous Health CKD team members L-R: CIA Prof Mark Cooper (Monash University), CIB Ms Kim Morey (SAHMRI), CIC Prof Paul Zimmet (MU), CID Mr Ricky Mentha (Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute), CIE Prof Karin Jandeleit-Dahm (MU), CIF Prof Assam El-Osta (MU), CIG Prof Stephen McDonald (SAHMRI)

Congratulations to Professor Mark Cooper, Department of Diabetes, on the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) funding award in the area of Indigenous Health research. The Monash University Diabetes researchers are collaborating with researchers at the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) in South Australia on a project entitled "Reducing the burden of chronic kidney disease in the Indigenous population - the PROPHECY CKD study" (APP1200005) which has been awarded $1,995,895 across five years.

COVID-19 triggering new diabetes to be tracked in a new global CoviDiab registry

L-R: Profs Stephanie Amiel and Francesco Rubino of Kings
 College London, and Prof Paul Zimmet, Monash University
Emerging evidence suggests that COVID-19 may actually trigger the onset of diabetes in healthy people and also cause severe complications of pre-existing diabetes.

A letter published 13 June in the New England Journal of Medicine and signed by an international group of 17 leading diabetes experts involved in the CoviDiab project, a collaborative international research initiative - including Monash University Professor of Diabetes Paul Zimmet - announces the establishment of a Global Registry of new cases of diabetes in patients with COVID-19.

14 Jun 2020

ECR Showcase 3 pm 24 June: See Ben Sinclair & Gemma Sharp in action!

2020 ECR Showcase finalists include CCS's
Drs Gemma Sharp (MAPrc) & Ben Sinclair (Neuroscience)
The Cooperative Research Centres Association holds an annual Early Career Researcher Showcase. The five finalists, who have already won $1000 for making for the 2020 final, include two from Central Clinical School, Dr Ben Sinclair and Dr Gemma Sharp. They will be publicly competing at 3.00 pm with five minute presentations on Wednesday 24 June for the chance to win $5000. We want you to watch them, as your vote counts! Audience voting will be open at approximately 3.30pm for 15 minutes.

You can see more about our CCS entrants and watch their 30 second entry video clips in advance,  below. Register now for Zoom webinar.

9-15 June Central Clinical School recent publications

Maria Demaria (co-author) and Louisa Yeung (first author) on
a paper looking at white blood cell function
Recent publications as notified by PubMed during the week 9-15 June 2020 from Central Clinical School affiliated researchers in the following departments. This is not a comprehensive list:
  • Anaesthesiology & Perioperative Medicine
  • Australian Centre for Blood Diseases
  • Diabetes
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Medicine - Alfred
  • Medicine - Peninsula
  • Melbourne Sexual Health Centre
  • Neuroscience
  • Psychiatry

Women's Mental Health short course now open for registrations!

Professor Jayashri Kulkarni heads the research
team involved in developing the new Women's
Mental Health short course. Prof Kulkarni is also
giving a public lecture Wed 24 June on COVID
& Women's Mental Health. Register for lecture
Monash Alfred Psychiatry Research Centre's Women's Mental Health Division is a world leader in the subject of women's mental health. The research team, headed by Professor Jayashri Kulkarni, has developed an online short course with four modules: Adolescence, Perinatal, Midlife and Aged. Each module will be released for purchase separately. Register here

The short course is designed for health professionals working with women across the lifespan, and is especially relevant to general practitioners, obstetricians/ gynaecologists and psychiatrists. The content draws on the latest in psychoneuroendocrine research.
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