18 Jun 2022

Mental health impacts of COVID-19 widespread within rural health care workforce – despite fewer COVID cases

Image: Shutterstock
A national survey of more than 7800 health care workers during the second wave of the COVID pandemic has found that, compared to their metropolitan based colleagues, rural allied and healthcare workers experienced a high prevalence of mental health symptoms, despite treating very few COVID-19 patients. The survey was led by Associate Professor Natasha Smallwood.

See Faculty story

16 Jun 2022

Monash scientists find ‘bad guy’ blood cells vital to gut health

Eosinophil granulocytes in inflammatory infiltrate. This type of
white blood cell is responsible for combating parasites, and has a
role in mechanisms associated with allergy and asthma.
Image: Shutterstock

by Anne Crawford

A Monash University collaboration has found that eosinophils, a type of white blood cell commonly associated with asthma and allergy, play an important role in maintaining a healthy gut.

Professor Nicola Harris, from Monash’s Central Clinical School, made the surprising discovery working with study co-lead, Professor Kathy McCoy from the University of Calgary, and scientists from Switzerland. Their paper was published in Immunity 16 June.

New drug screen raises hope for nematode worm control

Barber's pole worm, so called because of its diagonal alternating
red and white stripes, is a damaging gastrointestinal nematode.
Image: interest.co.nz
by Anne Crawford

Hookworms affect the lives of hundreds of millions of people living under impoverished conditions in subtropical and tropical regions, while another nematode species called barber’s pole worm causes widespread damage to livestock. Now a Monash-led collaboration has developed a drug test that will potentially help counter nematode resistance to existing drugs in humans and in sheep.

Professor Nicola Harris from the Central Clinical School's Department of Immunology and Pathology, and Dr Tiffany Bouchery, at the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute in Basel, successfully identified a novel approach to identifying drugs to counter the worms in a study published in ‘Pharmaceuticals’ recently.

7-13 June 2022 Central Clinical School recent publications

Improving transfer performance is likely to 
reduce morbidity and mortality from
surgical and other conditions.
by Wendy Brown & David Watters,
ANZ Jnl of Surgery

Recent publications featuring research as notified by PubMed during 7-13 June 2022 from Central Clinical School affiliated researchers in the following departments.

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. The below is not a comprehensive list.

BGRF honours humble giant of neuroscience, Professor Elsdon Storey AM

L-R: Dr Anna Collins and Professor Elsdon Storey AM received
awards from the Bethlehem Griffiths Research Foundation.
Photo: Elizabeth Clancy

The 2022 Bethlehem Griffiths Research Foundation medal has been awarded to Professor Elsdon Storey AM, a giant of neuroscience and an international research visionary and clinician, at a ceremony last week.  The many dignitaries and colleagues present had one thing in common, a deep respect for a humble but deeply gifted man who led with integrity, compassion and intellectual rigour.

Invitation to join new Allied Health Translational Research Advisory Committee network

The Central Clinical School's (CCS) newly formed Allied Health Translational Research Advisory Committee (AHTRAC) invites allied health researchers from across our sites to join our network.  Sign up to receive updates.

The AHTRAC will advise leadership on ways to strengthen allied health translational research opportunities within and beyond our School, advise on pathways for allied health clinicians to undertake research and research higher degrees at CCS, and provide allied health researchers with opportunities to expand their networks, share knowledge and access support.   

Eliminating the barrier to success for outstanding translational neuroscientist

Associate Professor Bridgette Semple in the lab

Neuroscientist Associate Professor Bridgette Semple, from the Department of Neuroscience has been granted a Victorian Near-Miss Award to uncover the cellular and molecular mechanisms that underlie damage to myelinated tracts after paediatric traumatic brain injury. See 16 June veski media release.

The Victorian Near-Miss Award is a pilot scheme in 2022, administered by veski, which aims to provide financial support to eligible individuals who narrowly miss out on the 2021 NHMRC Investigator Grant funding in the Emerging Leaders 2 stream. 

The Award, valued at $74,000 AUD to be matched by the employing institution or University, supports medical research for a 12-month period to enable emerging researchers in Victoria’s health and medical research workforce to recover from impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic, assist in their retention in the sector, and improve their competitiveness for future funding opportunities from both government and non-government funding sources.

14 Jun 2022

There’s convincing evidence the pill can cause depression, and some types are worse than others

Jayashri Kulkarni, Monash University

Since the 1960s, “the pill” has been a popular choice of contraception for many women around the world. On February 1 1961, Australia became the second country in the world to enable access to the pill, thereby allowing women to have control over their fertility and separate sexual activity from reproduction, a major revolution.

Today, the pill is the most popular choice of contraception for Australian women.

The early pills caused many physical side effects such as nausea, vomiting and increased rates of blood clots – which were significant and concerning.

While newer generations of the pill have generally been improved in terms of physical side effects and safety overall, a neglected area of consideration is the impact of the pill on mood.

Read the complete original article published 9 June 2022 in The Conversation 

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