25 Mar 2021

Deluge of DNA changes drives progression of fatal melanomas

Professor Mark Shackleton is senior author on a paper showing
dramatic changes in the DNA during progression of melanoma cells

Reproduced courtesy Alfred Health

Melbourne researchers have revealed how melanoma cells are flooded with DNA changes as this skin cancer progresses from early, treatable stages through to fatal end-stage disease.

Using genomics, the team tracked DNA changes occurring in melanoma sample donated by patients as their disease progressed, right through to the time the patient died. This revealed dramatic and chaotic genetic changes that accumulated in the melanoma cells as the cancers progressed, providing clues to potential new approaches to treating this disease.

Surprising finding following infection after paediatric brain injury

Mr Rishabh Sharma, first author on the study

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a major cause of disability in young children, yet the factors contributing to poor outcomes in this population are not well understood. What most people don’t know is that patients who experience a TBI are highly susceptible to infections originating in hospitals, and are mostly acquired within the first week of hospitalization. Such infections may modify the pathobiology and recovery of TBI.

Mr Rishabh Sharma is a 3rd year PhD student supervised by Dr Bridgette Semple, A/Prof. Sandy Shultz and Dr. Pablo Casillas-Espinosa in the Department of Neuroscience at the Central Clinical School. He wanted to understand whether an additional challenge to the immune system (i.e. mimicking an infection) after paediatric TBI altered the acute outcomes in a pre-clinical mouse model.

Screening warning over stubborn STI

Expanding screening could build resistance to antibiotics: Study
New research from the Melbourne Sexual Health Centre has revealed that screening asymptomatic patients for Mycoplasma genitalium (MG) could be counterproductive to controlling the infection in men who have sex with men.

Sexual health physician and Monash University Associate Professor Jason Ong said the study, conducted with international experts in MG research, showed that expanding screening from the current recommendation of only testing MG among symptomatic men who have sex with men, could build resistance to antibiotics.

Neurological effects of COVID-19 just as likely to impact young people

Dr Robb Wesselingh is co-author on the review of neurological
complications of COVID-19. BMJ Neurology
Adapted from Alfred Health 18 March 2021

A review published in BMJ Neurology Open describes how the neurological effects of COVID-19 could remain present months after the virus has been shed.

Alfred Health Neurologist and Monash University PhD student Dr Robb Wesselingh said there was evidence for neurological effects of the virus such as stroke, brain fog and persistent headaches being just as likely to impact young people as they are the elderly.

24 Mar 2021

16-22 March 2021 Central Clinical School recent publications

Semple group L-R: Rishabh Sharma, Dr Akram Zamani, Erskine Chu,
Dr Bridgette Semple, Laken Willis, Larissa Dill. With the exception of
Laken, all are co-authors on a
new study looking at paediatric TBI and
Rishabh Sharma is first author and Bridgette's PhD student.
The group asks how bad are TBI and infection together? We don't yet know.
Recent publications featuring research as notified by PubMed during 16-22 March 2021 from Central Clinical School affiliated researchers in the following departments. The below is not a comprehensive list. Most recent validated publications for the school and departments can be seen on their publications pages, linked to from the headings below. Otherwise, read down the entry for recent notifications.

22 Mar 2021

Comment: Can COVID-19 trigger diabetes in some patients? Is there another explanation for these cases?

Professor Paul Zimmet has been interviewed for VuMedi on the Monash-Kings College London CoviDiab registry tracking new onset diabetes patients. The registry now has 320 patients, both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. 

Prof Zimmet said people who were both obese and diabetic were at highest risk to experiencing severe COVID-19. Their metabolic control is poor so they are also more susceptible to infection. He said people with T1D are more likely to have serious complications from the virus. See the video for detail.

Congratulations to Dr Gemma Sharp on her APS "Rising Star" award!

Dr Gemma Sharp is an APS "Rising Star"
Congratulations to Dr Gemma Sharp, who was awarded a prestigious international Association for Psychological Science (APS) Rising Star for 2021 Award, only one of five Australians and the only Monash University researcher to be recognised in this year's award.

The "Rising Star" award recognises early career researchers who have demonstrated excellence in publications, received significant recognitions, made significant discoveries, generated work with broad impact, and established an independent research career. Dr Sharp's pioneering work in the field of body image, particularly in her leadership of the development of KIT the body image chatbot, was instrumental in her award success.

Grants available for use of ARA-MBI facility

The ARA-MBI facility team is running a small user grant scheme for use of the ARA-MBI facility. They will be giving out up to 12 grants - applications close 23 April.

Dr Robert Brkljača writes:

I am pleased to announce the release of the 2021 MBI / ARA-MBI User Access Scheme, which is designed to promote, facilitate and support high quality research involving the use of the imaging services and expertise. The scheme is open to all Monash University and Baker researchers, and aims to:

Anaesethesia Research Co-ordinators Network virtual workshop a success!

More than 80 delegates attended the ARCN 2nd virtual workshop
held 17 March (St Patrick's Day, hence the green theme :))
by Karen Goulding and Gillian Ormond

A sub-group of the  Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists Clinical Trials Network (ANZCA CTN), the Anaesthesia Research Co-ordinators Network had their second virtual workshop on 17 March. 

More than 80 delegates joined online from across Australia and New Zealand to hear the latest on the achievements of the network by ARCN Sub-committee chair and Monash University affiliate, Ms Allison Kearney, from Princess Alexandra Hospital.

Interdisciplinary Lightning Talks on AI Applications in Medical Imaging

1 April talk features CCS's Prof Meng Law in a panel of four.
Find out more and register here

Monash Data Futures Institute is the access point to the breadth of Monash University's expertise in Artificial Intelligence and data science for social good.

Through this Interdisciplinary Lightning Talk Series, we aim to provide a platform for the AI and data science research community across Monash University to meet, connect, discuss current projects, identify opportunities to leverage each other’s expertise, and spark ideas for future collaborations both internal and with external partners.

Participate for a mate! Healthy participants sought for clinical trials

Nucleus Network at the Alfred Research Precinct has launched a recruitment campaign for healthy clinical trial participants. see here and below for detail.

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