3 Jun 2022

1 July 2022 Monash Translational Research Symposium

We invite you to join us for the 8th annual Monash University Translational Research Symposium, to be held at the Alfred Centre Lecture Theatre on Friday 1 July 2022. Register here

Significant findings in the lab can often get lost in their conversion to clinical practice and everyday medical treatments. As such, translational research skills have become a significant part of life at Monash’s three metropolitan clinical schools. 

Urgent healthcare needs continued to present to hospital during lockdowns

Dr Taya Collyer is first author on a study looking at changes in
hospital attendance during the COVID-19 pandemic

While there were many anecdotal reports of reduced care-seeking behaviour during 2020 Melbourne lockdowns, analysis suggests that those with the most urgent healthcare needs continued to present to hospital. 

In a first comprehensive study of healthcare-seeking behaviour in the context of (relatively) low COVID-19 burden, team of researchers from the Academic Unit, Medicine, Peninsula Clinical School analysed data from approximately 700,000 hospital presentations to investigate the impact of restrictions to movement on hospital activity in Melbourne over two waves of community transmission (1 March to 20 September 2020).

Congratulations to Arwel Jones and Narelle Cox on Lung Foundation Australia grants

L-R: Dr Narelle Cox and Dr Arwel Jones have both won Lung
Foundation Australia grants.

Congratulations to Dr Arwel Jones and Dr Narelle Cox in the Department of Respiratory Research@Alfred, Monash University,who have both won Lung Foundation Australia (LFA) grants.

The LFA awarded a total of $876,000 to 13 research grants from the Hope Research Fund in several different research areas, including asthma, bronchiectasis, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD), and lung cancer.

Read more from Dr Jones and Dr Cox below. See also the LFA news story.

24-30 May 2022 Central Clinical School recent publications

The underlying pathophysiology of hallucinogen persisting
perception disorder (HPPD) is poorly understood. Study

Recent publications featuring research as notified by PubMed during 24-30 May 2022 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.

2 Jun 2022

On your back? Side? Face-down? Mice show how we sleep may trigger or protect our brain from diseases like ALS

Image: Unsplash/Lux Graves, CC BY
Reproduced from The Conversation 27 May 2022

by David Wright, Monash University

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is the most common form of motor neuron disease. People with ALS progressively lose the ability to initiate and control muscle movements, including the ability to speak, swallow and breathe.

There is no known cure. But recently, we studied mice and identified a new target in the fight against this devastating disease: the brain’s waste clearance system.

Slowing of gait and cognitive decline together is a predictor of dementia

A landmark study of more than 16,800 older people has found that a decline in both walking speed and cognition is a strong predictor of future dementia. The authors of the study, published in the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Open, suggest simple memory and walking speed testing, done in health clinics, may allow early preventive measures to be put in place to prevent the individual and global cost of diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

Read the full story on the faculty news feed and see also JAMA invited commentary by Joe Verghese.

CaRE webinar video featuring dementia researchers and advocates now published

The webinar featured short presentations followed by a panel discussion.
L-R: (Top row) David Derby, Lucy Vivash, Tara McDonald; (Bottom
row) Juliana Silva, Nadine Andrew, Malcolm Johnson. See video.

The Community and Researcher Engagement (CaRE) committee hosted a webinar on 18 May 2022, "What we know about the brain and how it changes with dementia", which covered a range of relevant topics and perspectives relating to dementia, from the perspectives of those affected by the disease, clinicians, and researchers.

With dementia being one of the leading cause of death and a significant cause of disability in Australia, particularly in older populations, most of us will—at some stage, and in some way—be touched by the disease.


Reducing weight and wait lists for osteoarthritis patients

Professor Wendy Brown consulting with a patient
A team of Melbourne researchers has discovered the significant positive impact of weight loss surgery for patients with obesity in delaying, and in some cases removing, the need for total knee joint replacement. Their study has been published in the prestigious journal JAMA, The Journal of the American Medical Association.

It is the first randomised trial of its kind in the world, funded by the NHMRC and led by Professor Peter Choong and Professor Michelle Dowsey from University of Melbourne / St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne, in collaboration with Monash University’s Professor Wendy Brown and Dr Paul Burton, assessed the efficacy of substantial weight loss induced by bariatric surgery in reducing complication risk after total knee arthroplasty (TKA) in patients with severe obesity and osteoarthritis.

See full faculty story

Congratulations to Erica Plummer and Sabrina Salberg on Bridging Postdoctoral Fellowships

L-R: Dr Erica Plummer and Ms Sabrina Salberg
Congratulations to Dr Erica Plummer and Ms Sabrina Salberg who have been awarded Bridging Postdoctoral Fellowships. It was a very competitive round.

The Bridging Postdoctoral Fellowships (BPF) support the career development of promising newly-qualified postdoctoral researchers and final year PhD students. They are intended to provide initial support for recent PhD graduates and final year PhD students while they apply for externally-funded fellowships.

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