7 Jul 2023

Media round-up: A/Prof Gemma Sharp discusses new guidelines for cosmetic surgery practice

From 1 July 2023, new guidelines for the regulation of cosmetic surgery practice came into effect in Australia. This was in response to a number of complaints made against cosmetic surgeons in the last few years following patients experiencing complications of both a physical and psychological nature. 

The new guidelines stipulate that people seeking cosmetic surgery must have a referral from their GP and undergo mental health screening. Previously, the mental health screening was only suggested, but it is now compulsory. 

Associate Professor Gemma Sharp of the Department of Neuroscience served as the lead expert for the world-first clinical guidelines for mental health assessment of people seeking cosmetic surgery back in 2018, which have since been adopted internationally. She subsequently served as the lead expert again in the 2023 revision of these guidelines in preparation of the new regulations coming into place in Australia. 

A/Prof Sharp spoke to a number of media outlets about the likely impacts of these new regulations. 

ABC TV News Breakfast (video)

New cosmetic surgery rules leave doctors divided (ABC News radio)

Beauty industry set for makeover with more than 1 billion at stake (Canberra Times)

Why so many people including the Kardashians have plastic surgery regret (The Age)

PhD student wins Early Career Top Paper Abstract

Courtney McLean
PhD student Courtney McLean from the Department of Neuroscience has been awarded an Academy of Eating Disorders Early Career Top Abstract Award for her paper ‘Disordered Eating and the Meat-Avoidance Spectrum: A Systematic Review and Clinical Implications’.

This research looked to examine the association between eating disorders and vegetarian and vegan diets. It has long been thought that vegetarianism and veganism may be related to an increased risk of disordered eating due to the cognitive effort required to adhere to a restricted diet. 

In a systematic review of 48 studies, Courtney and her co-authors Associate Professor Gemma Sharp and Professor Jayashri Kulkarni found no consensus as to whether vegetarianism or veganism is associated with higher levels of disordered eating. 

The authors note that additional research is very much needed to unpack the broad range of conflicting findings highlighted within the systematic review. The research notes a number of methodological concerns within the literature, such as extremely small sample sizes and combining vegetarian and vegan groups together which could potentially mask true associations between each group. 

The review did however show that vegetarianism and veganism appear to be associated with greater orthorexia nervosa pathology, a newly coined type of eating disorder not formally diagnosable but characterised by a fixation on eating ‘healthy’ and ‘pure’ foods. 

“Future research must focus on conducting longitudinal research to track the unique eating behaviours and attitudes of vegetarians and vegans over time,” Courtney said. “For example, it would be useful to explore the impact of length, onset, and scope of dietary adherence to begin to be able to establish a potential causal or bidirectional relationship between these groups. This will, in turn, guide evidence-based treatment approaches for these growing dietary minorities.”

Courtney accepted the Top Abstract Award at the Academy for Eating Disorders international conference in Washington DC, where she also presented her PhD research findings. 

"It was an absolute delight to attend and present at this conference - the first international conference of my PhD! I had the opportunity to present each of the three research projects related to my PhD. These projects progressively build upon the findings of each other so attendees had the opportunity to follow my research right from its inception.” 

“It was also wonderful to hear from the wide range of international speakers at the conference. There are many areas within the eating disorder field that continue to be under researched, but to see attendees from across many professional backgrounds come together with a vision of a world without eating disorders was inspiring. I particularly enjoyed the focused inclusion of lived experience voices who were integrated into each segment of the conference."

Part of the Department of Neuroscience’s Sharp Group, Courtney’s PhD broadly seeks to explore the efficacy of eating disorder tools in measuring eating pathology in vegetarian and vegan groups. As part of this, she is developing a novel eating disorder screening tool to identify eating disorder symptoms in individuals following a vegetarian and vegan diet. This tool will be the first of its kind to specifically target this growing dietary group, which will be co-designed with diverse participant groups, including lived eating disorder voices, dieticians, and psychologists. 

3 Jul 2023

Congratulations to Associate Professor Nigel Jones on his promotion to Professor

Central Clinical School is delighted to announce that the Department of Neuroscience’s Associate Professor Nigel Jones has been promoted to Professor.

Professor Jones is a translational behavioural neuroscientist who has established a national and international reputation for his research in the clinically-important field of psychiatric disorders in epilepsy, and pre-clinical testing of new therapeutic interventions that can mitigate these and the associated seizure disorder. 

“Professor Jones is a highly talented translational neuroscience researcher who has established a national and international reputation for his neurobehavioural research in animal models of epilepsy,” said Professor Terence O’Brien, Head of Central Clinical School. “He plays important leadership roles within the School, in particular his role as higher degree research coordinator, and in the national and international scientific community.”

Prof Jones is one of two Graduate Research Coordinators for Central Clinical School’s large and growing PhD and masters program, supporting students and supervisors and contributing to the success of the program in terms of increase in student enrolments, completions and scholarship success. He has also been active and successful in his own research student supervision, including 11 completed PhD students, 4 Masters students, and 14 Honours students (all of who received H1 grades).

He has been highly successful in obtaining competitive grant funding for his research totalling more than $56 million as a Chief Investigator, holding continuous NHMRC and ARC funding since 2008. He is recognised nationally and internationally for his research, as evidenced by multiple invitations to speak at conferences, invitations to join journal editorial boards and task forces for the International League Against Epilepsy. He has established a collaborative national and international network, which has significantly enhanced his research program. 

Congratulations to Dr Sandy Shultz on his promotion to Professor

Dr Sandy Shultz
The Central Clinical School is delighted to announce that translational neuroscientist, Dr Sandy Shultz, has been promoted to Professor in the latest academic promotions rounds.

Professor Shultz has established himself as a national and international leader in ‘bench-to-bedside’ neurotrauma research. More specifically, specialising in mild traumatic brain injury and the identification, validation and implementation of biomarkers to enable better diagnosis and management of people who experience concussion. 

He has established and grown the Monash Trauma Group - a highly productive research team within the Central Clinical School’s Department of Neuroscience that is recognised widely as Australia’s leading translational neurotrauma research group. Professor Shultz has led in the group’s scientific direction, successfully obtaining multiple competitive grants totalling over $50M along the way. Prof Shultz has also recruited and supervised more than 40 PhD, masters, and undergraduate research students, as well as postdoctoral fellows, to successful completions. 

Prof Shultz has the rare distinction of having successfully translated his basic research findings into clinical studies. He now leads several large scale, internationally unique, multisite clinical studies in biomarkers and treatments for concussion, which is complemented by his innovative pre-clinical research program. This includes his $2 million NHMRC Ideas Grant-funded project which investigates brain injury following intimate partner violence, a critical area that has to date received little serious scientific research attention. 

“Professor Shultz is a hard working, innovative and insightful neuroscientist, who is well established as a national and international leader in the neurotrauma field,” said Professor Terence O’Brien, Head of Central Clinical School. “He has shown exceptional performance in terms of publications, grants, student supervision, mentoring, leadership and engagement within the University and wider community. His achievements have far exceeded our high expectations when we first recruited him as a ‘Star Recruit’ in 2017, even more impressive given the impacts on both his basic and clinical research programs of the COVID-19 restrictions over the last three years.”

Prof Shultz has published over 130 peer-reviewed articles, the majority of which are in his field’s leading journals. He has been invited to write review articles and editorials to many leading scientific journals, including Lancet Neurology, reflecting his standing internationally in his field. Based on expertscape.com, he is already ranked 14th in the world (1st in Australia) in terms of traumatic brain injury experts. 

He is engaged with community and sporting organisations relevant to his research, including the Victorian Amateur Football Association, and is a board member for the Australian Football League Players’ Association Health and Safety Steering Committee. He also participates on organising committees within the national and international scientific communities, including the Australian Neurotrauma and International Neurotrauma Society conferences. He also works closely with commercial pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, including Incannex Health Care and Hit-IQ, in an expert advisory capacity regarding the development of new therapies for brain injury and other neurological diseases, and also assisting with contract research with his research group.


Congratulations to Eric Chow on his promotion to professor

Dr Eric Chow
Central Clinical School is delighted to announce that epidemiologist and biostatistician Dr Eric Chow has been promoted to Professor.

Dr Eric Chow heads the Health Data Management and Biostatistics Unit and is co-head of the Clinical Evaluation Unit at the Melbourne Sexual Health Centre. He is a leading researcher in the treatment, prevention and control of sexually transmitted infections (STI). He has a particular focus on gonorrhoea and human papillomavirus (HPV), two of the most important and fastest-growing global health problems.

His research has changed clinical practice regarding control of STIs, including informing HPV guidelines worldwide, which has been successful in reducing transmission.

“Professor Chow is an outstanding epidemiologist and biostatistician who is an internationally-recognised expert in the transmission of STIs,” said Professor Terence O’Brien, Head of Central Clinical School. “In addition to his substantial research contributions in this important area, he is also an active research supervisor for students at all levels and has been very successful in securing competitive research grants. He is a highly valued leader and a real asset to the Melbourne Sexual Health Centre.”

Prof Chow has won multiple awards including a NHMRC Research Excellence award (top-ranked NHMRC grant applicant), the Commonwealth Health Minister's Award for Excellence in Health and Medical Research, and the Australian Museum Eureka Prize for Infectious Diseases, one of Australia’s most prestigious science awards. He was also named one of the 40 Under 40: Most influential Asian-Australians in 2021.

He is a prolific publisher, being regularly and widely published in community and medical media, and is currently an Associate Editor and a member of the Editorial Board for 6 medical journals.

He’s a member of 11 national/international working groups and committees, including WHO guideline committees and Victorian Department of Health Advisory Committees. He is the Vice-President of the Sexual Health Society of Victoria, and a former Board Member-in-Training at the International Papillomavirus Society (2021).

Prof Chow has supervised more than 50 students, including students undertaking undergraduate and master’s studies, PhD students, postdoctoral research fellows and general practitioner (GP) and sexual health registrars.

He’s an active social media user, using it to spread awareness about sexual health issues, and communicates closely with the government and community-based organisations in order to improve the health and wellbeing of the Australian population.

Congratulations to Dr Edwina Wright AM on her promotion to Professor

Prof Edwina Wright AM
Central Clinical School is delighted to announce that infectious diseases physician Dr Edwina Wright AM has been promoted to professor.

Prof Wright has worked at the Alfred Hospital as an infectious disease specialist since 1996, and is currently a senior specialist and lead of the HIV Prevention Service at the Alfred Hospital and Central Clinical School’s Department of Infectious Diseases.

With more than 35 years’ experience caring for people living with HIV, Prof Wright is considered one of Australia's leading HIV clinicians and HIV clinical researchers. Her HIV research expertise lies in the area of the benefits of HIV prevention, notably HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), early HIV treatment, HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders and HIV cure.

In 2021 she was awarded an Order of Australia (AM) for her work in HIV Medicine and Research and was inducted into the Queen’s Birthday COVID-19 Honour Roll for her work as Chair of the ASHM COVID Taskforce.

“Central Clinical School is fortunate to have someone of Professor Wright’s calibre on staff, and this promotion is well-deserved recognition for the depth of experience and expertise she brings to the School,” said Professor Terence O’Brien, Head of Central Clinical School. “She is a highly-valued clinical researcher who has secured more than $9 million in research funding and is a dedicated mentor for scientists and clinicians interested in this area.”

Prof Wright is a past President of the Australasian Society of HIV, Viral Hepatitis and Sexual Health Medicine (ASHM). Her current appointments include serving as the Chair of the ASHM National PrEP Guidelines Panel and the ASHM COVID Taskforce, a member of the Victorian Department of Health’s Blood Borne Viruses and STI Committee, and she is the Chair of the HIV Working Group of this Committee, where she has overseen the working group’s two most recent Victorian HIV Strategies.

Her work has also been recognised internationally, as she has been invited to speak at or convene numerous international conferences and been interviewed by international media outlets such as the New York Times. She has published more than 100 papers including articles published in the New England Journal of Medicine and JAMA.

Congratulations to Joseph Doyle on his promotion to Professor

Dr Joseph Doyle
Central Clinical School is delighted to announce that infectious disease expert Dr Joseph Doyle has been promoted to Professor.

Prof Doyle is a national and international leader in the field of public health and epidemiology of infectious diseases, with a particular focus on blood borne viruses - viral hepatitis and HIV.

He leads a large, multi-disciplinary research group within the Department of Infectious Diseases that is focused on viral hepatitis and includes postdoctoral fellows, PhD students, research nurses, public health registrars, and other public health practitioners.

He has an impressive record of securing research funding, totalling $36.8M in competitive, philanthropic, public sector and industry income. He has designed, secured funding for, and leads several large clinical trials and cohort studies.

“Professor Doyle is an outstanding clinician-scientist in the Department of Infectious Diseases who is establishing a substantial leadership position nationally and internationally in his field,” said Professor Terence O’Brien, Head of Central Clinical School. “Professor Doyle demonstrates a stellar engagement within and external to the University, as is evidenced by his leadership in government advisory bodies and guidelines development groups, and as an executive of the new Monash University Clinical Trials Centre.”

Prof Doyle has received multiple invitations to speak at major international scientific meetings, including plenary presentations at the Infectious Diseases Society of America, reflecting his international profile in the field. He has been awarded multiple prizes for his team’s research, including the International AIDS Society Prize for HIV Prevention, a Young Tall Poppy Science Award from the Australian Institute of Policy and Science, Club Melbourne Fellow, and the Gust-MacKenzie Medal from the Burnet Institute.

He has advised governments at a state and national level, and also internationally for the World Health Organization and other bodies on public health policy regarding Infectious diseases. He is President-elect of the Austalasian Society for Infectious Diseases; technical advisor to the WHO and TGA; and appointed by government to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee and Communicable Diseases Network of Australia. He also collaborates with industry in particular global hepatitis drug and diagnostic manufacturers who have supported eight investigator-initiated models of care and implementation projects that he has led.

In addition to his role at Central Clinical School, Prof Doyle is also senior specialist infectious diseases physician at Alfred Health and jointly appointed as Deputy Director of Disease Elimination Program and Head of Infectious Diseases Clinical Research at Burnet Institute.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...