Community engagement at the CCS
Drs Catherine Carmichael and Karen Alt introduce the CCS Community Engagement initiative.
We build resilient relationships between researchers and consumers, fostering community engagement to support the research efforts of the CCS.
Why is this important?
- To raise awareness in community and patient groups about how medical research is performed.
- Allows active participation of community representatives in identifying key research priorities and experimental questions within the CCS.
- Provide researchers with a unique perspective on the impacts of specific health conditions on patients, carers and their family members.
- Provide transparency in research and enable rapid dissemination of research findings to the broader community.
- Enhance community understanding of the importance of basic research if cures or treatments are to be found and implemented.
- Enhance public confidence in research and raise awareness of research programs within the CCS.
At the Central Clinical School, our world leading translational researchers study a diverse range of disease and health conditions. Please look through our different research groups, listed under specific diseases, to find out more and identify groups or research areas that best suit your own personal experience and/or interest area.
Bleeding disorders View
Dr Catherine Carmichael, head of the Leukaemia modelling and therapeutic discovery group, describes her group’s research understanding the mechanisms of AML development, and identifying new ways to treat this blood cancer subtype.
Dr Omer Gilan explores the epigenetic landscapes of leukaemia cells and the role they play in the response and resistance to therapy, adaptation and the maintenance of the leukaemic and stem-like state. Ultimately, his goal is to develop strategies to reset the cells back to the normal state for therapeutic benefit.
Human brain tumours (gliomas) generally afflict young individuals in their 30s-60s with significant implications for the person as well as their family / carers. In the Neuroimmunology, Neuroinflammation and Neurological Diseases lab (Monash Dept of Neuroscience) our research focuses on glioblastoma. Glioblastoma is the most aggressive form of primary brain cancer and currently there are no effective treatment modalities available for its eradication. Individuals suffering from glioblastoma have a life expectancy of ̴12-18 months. Hence therapies that combat this devastating disease are desperately needed. Dr Monif and her colleagues have been able to show that a protein called, P2X7 Receptor (P2X7R) is expressed in glioblastoma cancer cells as well as glioma associated immune cells (microglia). Their research is now focusing on blocking of P2X7R (with compound drugs) as a way of reducing tumour cell growth and proliferation. They are hoping to take their findings in the lab to a future phase I human clinical trial.
Neurological disorders View
Dr Mastura Monif leads the Neuroimmunology, Neuroinflammation and Neurological Diseases Laboratory. Her research goals are to understand the neuroinflammatory and neuroimmunological processes in a number of neurological conditions. This research is transitional in nature involving bed (hospital) to bench (laboratory) neuroscience approaches. The key disease states that we focus on are Multiple Sclerosis, Autoimmune Encephalitis, and Human Gliomas. We also collaborate with many other groups focusing on a number of other neurological and neuroinflammatory illnesses.
Australian Autoimmune Encephalitis Consortium Project
Neuroimmunology, Neuroinflammation and Neurological Diseases Laboratory
A/Prof David Wright leads the Preclinical Imaging Research Group. He researches the development and implementation of advanced imaging techniques and analysis methods for the study of disease. With the generous support of FightMND and the Bethlehem Griffiths Research Foundation, A/Prof Wright is currently investigating the glymphatic system as a biomarker and novel therapeutic target for MND. You can read more about this exciting project here.
Professor Helmut Butzkueven is an international leader in translational research in Multiple Sclerosis (MS). He leads the Multiple Sclerosis Clinical Neuroimmunology Reserach Group.
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a chronic neuroinflammatory condition with associated demyelination and neurodegeneration.
The most common type of MS is relapsing-remitting (RRMS) where new symptoms occur in isolated
attacks (relapses) which can lead to transient or permanent neurological deficits. MS generally affects
those in their early 30s and 40s and therefore the lifelong burden of disease can be devastating. In
this study we will be examining biomarkers in the blood that could be used for accurate diagnosis of
MS relapse. The data obtained can also be used for improving our understanding of the role of innate
immune system in MS flare and aid in development of targeted therapies for treatment of MS flare
up. Find out more.
We are proud to partner with the Alfred Foundation in supporting community engagement at the CCS.
The Central Clinical School (CCS)’s Consumer and Researcher Engagement (CCS CARE) program was initially developed in 2020 by Dr Catherine Carmichael (Chair) and Dr Karen Alt (Co-chair) within the Australian Centre for Blood Diseases (ACBD), to improve community engagement across the precinct. The CCS CARE program is defined by a genuine drive to establish authentic, long-term connections between researchers within the CCS and people in the community who have a lived experience of the diseases or health conditions we research (commonly referred to as consumers or advocates). The program was founded upon the firm belief that engagement with people impacted by the health conditions that we study is vital to ensure that our research is appropriate, accessible and relevant to patients, carers and family members.