21 Jul 2023

Meet Lizzie Thomas

Dr Elizabeth (Lizzie) Thomas has been at Central Clinical School for almost a decade, having completed her Honours and PhD at the School before staying on as a researcher. She is currently the manager of the Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) Clinical Research Unit at the Monash Alfred Psychiatry Research Centre (MAPrc) and a research fellow at the HER Centre Australia. 

How did you become interested in mental health? What excites you about this area?

I initially got into mental health research as I wanted an Honours project that was more clinical rather than lab based. While my research focus has evolved throughout my time at MAPrc, my passion for mental health and cognition has remained constant, whether it be in schizophrenia as part of my PhD, in relation to hormonal fluctuations in women or in TMS. Studying cognition allows me to explore the intricacies of memory, attention, decision-making, and problem-solving, all of which I find fascinating!

17 Jul 2023

Immunology researcher wins early career research prize

Congratulations to Dr Paul Gill, who has been awarded the Glenn Gibson Early Career Research Prize from the International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics (ISAPP). 

The award recognises the work Dr Gill conducted as part of his PhD, examining the interaction between dietary metabolites short-chain fatty acids and the human immune system. 

“I’m proud that all the work I did as a PhD student in the Department of Gastroenterology has been recognised by the International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics,” Dr Gill said. 

“My research found that a high fibre diet that increases metabolites generated by the gut microbiota can alter the immune system of healthy people. This provides us with a potential approach for treating patients with inflammatory conditions using a high fibre diet.”

Dr Gill received the award at the ISAPP Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado, where he also gave a talk on investigating the effects of short-chain fatty acids on the immune system and gut microbiota of healthy humans.

“The ISAPP meeting was a great experience for me as an Early Career Researcher. I interacted with experts in the field and was involved in a panel discussion about the evidence for probiotics benefiting human health. This gave me a new insight into how scientific organisations can be involved in promoting evidence-based health advice” 

Since completing his PhD, Dr Gill has joined the Department of Immunology as a research fellow. He is currently investigating the immune response to the COVID-19 vaccines, particularly in immunosuppressed patients, as part of the PROPHECY study. 

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