18 Mar 2022

Funding to break the research participation barrier in spinocerebellar ataxia

Study participants can complete web-based assessments from home
in Dr Ian Harding's research on spinocerebellar ataxias.
Congratulations to Dr Ian Harding, Department of Neuroscience, for obtaining a Young Investigator grant of USD $50,000 from the National Ataxia Foundation for research on spinocerebellar ataxias.

Spinocerebellar ataxias (SCA) are inherited progressive and life-shortening neurological disorders. People with SCAs experience a wide range of different symptoms, including difficulties with movement coordination, speech, mental function skills like thinking, and managing their emotions. Currently, no treatments exist that stop the disease progression.

14 Feb - 14 Mar 2022 Central Clinical School recent publications

Professor Rob Medcalf was interviewed for an Anesthesiology
podcast on featured research on fibrinolysis and trauma outcomes.
Recent publications featuring research as notified by PubMed during 14 February - 14 March 2022 from Central Clinical School affiliated researchers in the following departments. The below is not a comprehensive list, there are too many!

 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.

Sonika Tyagi finalist in Women in AI 2022 awards

Dr Sonika Tyagi

Dr Sonika Tyagi has been selected as one of three finalists for the Women in AI [Artificial Intelligence] awards for 2022, in the category of AI in Health (see finalist list).

Dr Tyagi is currently a Machine Learning lead in the SuperbugAI flagship project, which brings together researchers and clinicians from the Monash Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Central Clinical School, Faculty of IT and Monash Data Futures Institute. Her expertise is in developing new machine learning tools and pipelines, and applying these methods to solve biological research questions.

Win for Matt Snelson at Microbiome Virtual International Forum

See tweet. You can follow @Matt_Snelson on Twitter
Congratulations to Dr Matthew Snelson, who won Best Research Highlight at the recent Microbiome Virtual International Forum.

Dr Snelson presented on "Processed foods drive intestinal barrier permeability and microvascular diseases". He is a post doc in Associate Professor Melinda Coughlan's research group which focuses on dietary factors leading to the onset and/or progression of diabetes and its complications.

Their most recent joint publication is: Snelson M, Lucut E, Coughlan MT. The Role of AGE-RAGE Signalling as a Modulator of Gut Permeability in Diabetes. Int J Mol Sci. 2022 Feb 3;23(3):1766. doi: 10.3390/ijms23031766.

Benefiting Everyone: Good Design Features for Healthy Ageing

Challenging exercises can be both inviting and safe to undertake
with good design. See the RAIL/NCHA exhibition
With the number of Australians aged 65 and over projected to more than double by 2057, the way we design and support community spaces and services that promote inclusion and accessibility has never been more important.

Thanks to a Melbourne Design Week 2022 narrative portrait exhibition by Monash University’s Rehabilitation, Ageing and Independent Living (RAIL) Research Centre and the National Centre for Healthy Ageing (NCHA), ways to design for ‘civic good’ are being championed to empower people to ‘design the world they want’.

See faculty story

Farewell to Neeru Varese, allergy researcher

Farewell to Ms Neeru Varese who has contributed to allergy research
in the Department of Immunology and Pathology for over 25 years. 

by Professors Jennifer Rolland and Robyn O'Hehir

This month we farewell Ms Neeru Varese who has worked in the Department of Immunology and Pathology for more than 25 years! 

Neeru first joined the Department for her BSc Honours year in 1996, conducting her research project under the supervision of Professor Jennifer Rolland on the T cell response to grass pollen allergens.  We were then very pleased that Neeru decided to join the Allergy research team under the leadership of Professors Robyn O’Hehir and Jennifer Rolland and more recently, Associate Professor Menno van Zelm.  

Congratulations to Dr Rebecca Smith on her PhD completion

Congratulations to Dr Rebecca Smith on her PhD completion on 2 March 2022!

Rebecca was supervised by Professor Peter Gibson, Adjunct Associate Professor Antony Friedman and Dr Kirstin Taylor at Department of Gastroenterology, Monash University and Alfred Health. Her thesis is titled, "Gastrointestinal Ultrasound in Inflammatory Bowel Disease".

Gastrointestinal ultrasound is a non-invasive tool to assess patients with inflammatory bowel disease. Rebecca's thesis addresses key aspects of the application and prognostic value of gastrointestinal ultrasound in clinical practice.

Participants sought: SINFONIA: Are there benefits of SingINg For breathing in COPD aNd ILD pAtients (SINFONIA)?

Can singing help your COPD or ILD? Image: Solace Hospice
3 May update: We're happy to announce that the SINFONIA trial is now live with its first session being held Thursday 5 May. Anyone interested please contact Amy Pascoe, see detail below. 

Participants are sought for a clinical trial examining the benefits of SingINg For breathing in COPD aNd ILD pAtient (SINFONIA). It is a 12-week trial of guided online group singing for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or interstitial lung disease (ILD) who experience breathlessness, and (optionally) their carers. 

The study aims to determine the effects of online group singing on well-being and symptom management.

Contact Dr Amy Pascoe:


Participants sought for short anonymous survey: Where did you meet your last partner?

Where did you meet your last partner? Take the online anonymous
. Image: Shutterstock

GPS: Geographical location of meeting Partners Survey

The GPS (Geographical location of meeting Partners Survey) study is an online anonymous survey that aims to understand where you met your last partner. The study is led by researchers at the Melbourne Sexual Health Centre, The University of Melbourne and Monash University.

To be eligible, you must be:
- Over the age of 16
- Currently living in Victoria, Australia

The survey is anonymous which takes approximately 3-5 minutes to complete.

Participants sought: SINFONIA longitudinal study

How do SINFONIA participants feel about the experience?
Image: Shutterstock
Participants are sought for a qualitative longitudinal study examining perceptions, attitudes and experiences of “SINFONIA” - a group singing program for people with chronic respiratory diseases. (See also the recruitment notice for SINFONIA)

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