28 Oct 2021

‘Thank you for asking’: patient-centred research helps drive change in lung disease treatment

Physiotherapist monitoring and providing guidance for at home patients.
Image: Dr Narelle Cox. See also Narelle describing the research:

Monash University researchers are giving new hope to people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), with the COVID-19 pandemic prompting some of the first innovations in treatment models in 30 years.

See more:

Monash researchers bond with donors to fight rare cancers

Suzanne Neate (right) with her mother Teresa, who died in 2016.

by Anne Crawford

After Suzanne Neate’s mother Teresa died of thyroid cancer five years ago, Suzanne wanted to make an impact on the lives of other people similarly enduring high mortality rate cancers.

Teresa had spent time in rehabilitation; Suzanne thought of funding equipment, walkers or wheelchairs for those in care. “Then I thought ‘No, the problem is she shouldn’t have been there to begin with – how do you stop someone being there to begin with?’,” she said. “You research – everything comes back to research.”

Suzanne, CEO of The Aftershock, the not-for-profit organisation she founded in 2017, has joined forces on a research project into lethal oesophageal cancer with Professor Wendy Brown, Alfred Hospital surgeon, researcher and Head of Monash University’s Department of Surgery.

26 Oct 2021

Can delirium after major surgery be reduced by tranexamic acid?

ANZCA funded study will look at whether tranexamic acid can
reduce confusion and delirium after major surgery.
Congratulations to Professor Paul Myles on his grant from the Australia and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (ANZCA) of $120,000 over two years for the project "Tranexamic acid to reduce delirium after gastrointestinal surgery: the TRIGS-D trial".

Delirium is a devastating complication of medical and surgical care, associated with increased morbidity and mortality, dementia and impaired long-term cognition, and loss of independence. 

How a very simple test can help clinicians see subtle cognitive changes in multiple sclerosis

L-R: Dr Daniel Merlo , Prof Helmut Butzkueven and A/Prof Anneke
Van Der Walt
are first and senior authors on a paper describing a tool
they have developed for assessing cognitive function in MS.
More than 50% of people living with multiple sclerosis (MS) experience cognitive problems as part of their disease. These cognitive problems subtly worsen with time and can be difficult to measure with standard neuropsychological assessments. Hence, it can be challenging for neurologists to monitor and detect small changes in cognitive function in day-to-day practice.

Monash researchers have developed a simple set of tests to detect subtle changes in cognitive function in people living with relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS). The tests are collectively known as ‘MSReactor’.

25 Oct 2021

FightMND grant for detection of waste build-up in the brain

A/Prof David Wright using Monash's preclinical MRI scanner
at the Alfred site

Congratulations to Associate Professor David Wright on his FightMND grant, "The Glymphatic System: A novel biomarker of disease severity in MND". The project will receive $249,502 over a two year period.

Motor Neurone Disease (MND) affects around 1 in 300 people. It has a rapid progression: one third of people with MND die within a year of diagnosis, and over half die within two years.

19-25 Oct 2021 Central Clinical School recent publications

HCV & HIV co-infection treatment by
 nonspecialists is effective: Doyle et al
Image: Hepmag.com
Recent publications featuring research as notified by PubMed during 19-25 Oct 2021 from Central Clinical School affiliated researchers in the following departments. The below is not a comprehensive list. The 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.

Congratulations to Dr Matt Snelson on ECR symposium prize!

Congratulations to Dr Matthew Snelson, who in addition to his Alfred Health Week win of the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute Prize for diabetes research has won the Monash Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences (FMNHS) Early Career Researcher Symposium Rapid Fire Presentation.

The FMNHS ECR Symposium brought together researchers from across the faculty with the theme of Reconnect and Turbocharge Your Career. A number of presentation awards were given, including the Rapid Fire Presentation Prize which was won by Dr Snelson for his presentation "Thermally processed diet-induced albuminuria, complement activation and intestinal permeability are attenuated by resistant starch in experimental diabetes".

Congratulations to Associate Professor Shiva Akbarzadeh on her promotion!

Congratulations to Shiva Akbarzadeh on her promotion to Adjunct Associate Professor!

Professor Wendy Brown, Head of Department of Surgery at Central Clinical School, writes:

Shiva Akbarzadeh obtained her PhD from the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, University of Melbourne in 2002. She has almost 20 years of experience in cell biology and signalling in a variety of systems. In 2009 she established the Skin Bioengineering Laboratory at the Victorian Adult Burns Service - Alfred Health, focusing on translational research in skin regeneration. She leads the team responsible for manufacturing Cultured Epithelial Autograft for cellular based therapy of major burns and research in developing novel skin substitutes for clinical application.

Congratulations to Erica Plummer on her PhD completion!

Congratulations to Erica Plummer, who has completed her PhD degree!

Erica's thesis is titled, "Investigating the pathogenesis of bacterial vaginosis". She was supervised by Professor Catriona Bradshaw, Prof Kit Fairley, Dr Dieter Bulach, Dr Gerald Murray, Dr Lenka Vodstrcil and Dr Suzanne Garland.

Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is a highly prevalent vaginal condition that is associated with serious clinical sequelae. BV recurrence following first-line treatment with antibiotics is unacceptably high, and there have been few improvements in BV cure for decades. New and more effective treatments for BV are needed to reduce the serious sequelae associated with BV and the repeated antibiotic use that result from multiple recurrences. Erica's thesis aimed to investigate the pathogenesis of BV with a focus on evidence for sexual transmission, and to determine what factors influence the composition and stability of the vaginal microbiota.

Participants sought: Therapeutic use of transcranial Alternative Current Stimulation for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Participants sought for study using transcranial Alternating Current
Stimulation (tACS) for
obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
The Epworth Centre for Innovation in Mental Health is seeking volunteers between the ages of 18 and 65 with either no history of mental health conditions OR a diagnosis of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) to help us investigate whether a novel brain stimulation method called transcranial Alternating Current Stimulation (tACS) can be used to treat OCD.

Participants sought: Measuring oxidative stress in the brain

Participants sought for neurological study: See detail
We are seeking participants with no history of neurological illnesses to take part in our study investigating oxidative stress and neurodegeneration.

This project will use combined Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Positron Emission Tomography (PET) brain scanning technology to measure oxidative stress in the brain and determine its relationship with measures of neurodegeneration.

24 Oct 2021

2021 Alfred Health Week winners!

Congratulations to our Central Clinical School researchers who won awards during Alfred Research Week (asterisked in the list below). The entire research community was recognised.
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