2012 CCS Headlines

CCS Public Lecture

Inaugural CCS annual public lecture a success

Professor Robyn O'Hehir's research subject - allergy and anaphylaxis - was her topic for the first CCS public lecture. The lecture attracted an audience of close to 200 to the AMREP precinct's new lecture theatre. To find out more about Robyn's research, please see Allergy Laboratory. Robyn's work on the components for a peanut allergy vaccine is getting closer to human clinical trials. Posted 06/12/2012.

Peter Enticott

Tall Poppy award for MAPrc autism researcher

The research of Dr Peter Enticott which investigates the neurological bases of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) has been recognised with a 2012 Tall Poppy Award, from the Australian Institute of Policy and Science. Peter is undertaking clinical trials using brain stimulation to improve brain activity in regions involved in social understanding. See detail in Monash story. See more about MAPrc's clinical trial for autism treatment.Posted 19/11/2012.

ECR symposium

Second biannual ECR symposium a success

The Early Career Researchers (ECR) held a highly successful symposium on Friday 16 November, featuring presentations and posters from across the Precinct. Many of the ECRs were recent graduates from within the CCS and School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, indicating both individual talent, and the research capacity of the AMREP environment, to take on recent graduates. Congratulations to Dr Kate Hoy (MAPrc) & Dr Hao Lu (Infectious Diseases), who won the CCS oral presentation prizes. The CCS poster prize was awarded to Zeyad Nasa (Immunology). Burnet ECR prize winners were: Dr Megan Lim & Dr Renee Duncan for the Oral presentation and Dr Joanne Chan for the poster prize. See detail of their presentations in the Nov 16 ECR symposium booklet, and more about the ECR committee on the ECR web page. Posted 19/11/2012.

CD53 tetraspanin

A/Prof Mark Wright wins Monash's Near Miss $100,000 grant

Mark and his team from the Department of Immunology have been awarded the near-miss funding opportunity for this year of $100,000 for 2013 to support their NHMRC Project Grant application entitled “Homing in on the function of the tetraspanin CD53.” In brief, their project investigates a particular kind of lymphocyte, a white blood cell type which helps fight infection. Each individual lymphocyte is unique and recognises and responds to only one type of pathogen.To ensure that the appropriate lymphocyte is in the right part of the body to fight infection, lymphocytes patrol through the body's lymph nodes via the bloodstream. Mark's project studies CD53, a protein that controls lymphocyte patrols. See detail of research at Leucocyte Membrane Protein Laboratory. Image: CD53 tetraspanin. Posted 19/11/2012.

Anaesthesia research

Will restricting IV fluid improve surgery patient outcomes?

Professor Paul Myles, Department of Anaesthesia & Perioperative Medicine, is CIA on the RELIEF (Restrictive versus Liberal Fluid Therapy in Major Abdominal Surgery) study which the NHMRC awarded approximately $2.3m for project funding starting in 2013. The project was also ranked an outstanding Category 7 score. The aim of the RELIEF study is to investigate the effectiveness and safety of a restrictive IV fluid regimen in patients undergoing major abdominal surgery. It is a large, multicentre, randomised, single blind, trial in 2600 surgical patients. See more of the Department's research. Photo: Cabrini. Posted 5/11/2012.

NHMRC grant successes

NHMRC funding to commence for CCS in 2013

Congratulations to all those who are involved in successful applications. See detail in attached spreadsheet. Fellowships were awarded to: Profs Paul Myles (Anaesthesia), Sharon Lewin (infectious Diseases) and Robert Medcalf (ACBD), and Drs Elizabeth Gardiner (ACBD) and Stephen Ting (Medicine/ACBD). CCS researchers are CIAs on 20 successful project grants, a success rate of 29% (68 submitted) which is well above the average strike rate. In summary, researchers from the School are named on grants totalling $24M with an expected income of around $17M to be administered by the School. Posted 23/10/2012.

MST device

New depression treatment may avoid side-effects

30 per cent of patients with depression do not respond to the usual treatment of drugs and counselling. Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is only used on treatment resistant depression. It is effective, but has cognitive adverse effects. MAPrc researchers are using Magnetic Seizure Therapy (MST) as an alternative to ECT, as it seems to be effective without the adverse effects. See Monash story or more detail about the research at MAPrc Brain Stimulation and Neuroscience. Photo: The treating team: Anne Maree Clinton, Dr Kate Hoy and Prof Paul Fitzgerald with the MST machine. Posted 23/10/12

Russell Gruen

Prof Russell Gruen awarded the 2013 John Mitchell Crouch Fellowship

Prof Russell Gruen, Director of the National Trauma Research Institute, was recently named the 2013 recipient of the John Mitchell Crouch Fellowship, the premier research award of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons. The associated $150,000 research grant will support Russell's investigations into improved methods of managing high risk patients during surgery. See more detail about NTRI research. Posted 23/10/12

Rosenfeld book

Practical Management of Head and Neck Injury book launch

Professor Jeffrey V. Rosenfeld AM, has written a text which comprehensively covers the patient journey from injury to the rehabilitation phase including diagnosis and management of head and neck injury. Many other special conditions and classes of patient are covered. The launch takes place on 16 October. See detail at Monash story: Advancing treatment for head and neck injury. Photo: Book cover. Posted 16/10/12

CCS PG symposium

Successful CCS Postgraduate symposium

21 CCS postgraduate students gave oral and poster presentations on 5 October. Dean of Faculty, Prof Christina Mitchell attended the award ceremony. Winners were: Be'eri Niego (ACBD) for best oral presentation and Jie Yu Chung for best poster presentation. For more detail see CCS Intranet News #13 - Monash authcate access only to Intranet. Photo: Professor Christina Mitchell with the oral presentation winner, Be'eri Niego. See more symposium photos. Posted 16/10/12

Blood clot

Clot-busting enzymes working two jobs

The body’s blood clot-busting enzymes are much busier than previously imagined, with new research showing that they also dispose of every cell that dies prematurely from disease or trauma. In research published 5 October in Cell Reports, Professor Rob Medcalf and other ACBD colleagues have demonstrated for the first time the enzyme t-PA, which plays a vital role in the removal of blood clots, is also a major player in the removal of necrotic, or dead, cells. See story, the 16 October Age article, or source journal article. Photo:Photozou/feedout. Posted 4/10/12

Russell Gruen Lancet news

Lancet series highlights Monash trauma surgery research

Monash CCS researchers have scored unprecedented coverage in ‘The Lancet’ this week, with the publication of a major Clinical Series on Trauma Surgery. The Monash authors include Prof Russell Gruen, Prof Jeffrey V. Rosenfeld, Dr Peter Bragge, A/Prof Belinda Gabbe (SPHPM) and Adjunct A/Prof Cristina Morganti Kossmann. See complete story at The Lancet after 9.00 am Thursday 20/09/2012. For more about NTRI research see www.ntri.org.au. Photo: Professor Russell Gruen (right) & colleague. Posted 19/09/12

Sharon Lewin research group

No rest for the wicked

HIV remains dormant in immune system cells even when treatment of the disease is successful. Prof Sharon Lewin describes her research to roust out the dormant virus and improve patient health. See complete story at International Innovation Research Media. For further information on Research Media see www.researchmedia.eu Photo: Professor Sharon Lewin's research group. Posted 10/09/12

MUSIG Surgery Workshop

Successful MUSIG Surgery workshop

Surgery will always need hands-on practice with real flesh and blood. Prof Frank Rosenfeldt ran a highly successful Monash University Surgery Interest Group (MUSIC) workshop on 25 August, attended by 54 students. See photo gallery at 25 August 2012 Surgery workshop on the CCS Intranet. For further information on Department of Surgery education and teaching see Surgery Education. Photo: Prof Rosenfeldt (left) and Prof Rosenfeld (right) demonstrating for a student. Posted 09/09/12

Nigel Rogasch

Nigel Rogasch, MAPrc, wins 2012 CCS 3MT heat

CCS 3MT heat winner is Nigel Rogasch, supervised by Prof Paul Fitzgerald, MAPrc. Nigel's topic is “Cortical inhibition, plasticity and working memory schizophrenia”. Nigel will represent CCS in the Faculty heat, 23 August. Congratulations also to our runner up, Jeremy Wrobel (AIRMed). Many thanks to the judges, Rob Medcalf, Steve Gerondakis, Frank Alderuccio and Ashleigh Clarke. For detail of the CCS competitors see CCS 3MT competition. Posted 2/8/12

Jennifer Wilkinson-Berka

BDM-E eye disease drug has positive results

The Australian research into BDM-E presented in Berlin was conducted under retinal disease specialist Professor Jennifer Wilkinson-Berka, Department of Immunology, and Associate Professor Erica Fletcher from The University of Melbourne. The eye research results presented at the ISER Conference confirm the potential of BDM-E,to reduce damage typical to retinitis pigmentosa and improve retinal function. For story detail see News Medical. Posted 22/7/12

Sharon Lewin

Infectious Disease research part of HIV cure effort

Prof Sharon Lewin, Department of Infectious Diseases, spoke with AAP’s National Medical Writer, Michelle Henderson on the eve of the AIDS 2012 conference about a trial currently underway in Melbourne involving 20 HIV-positive patients who are testing the ability of a drug to ‘wake up’ the virus in cells where it lies dormant and hidden from the effects of current antiretroviral drugs. See detail on the Burnet Institute news website. Photo: Professor Sharon Lewin and Professor Francoise Barre-Sinoussi at Towards an HIV Cure press conference ©IAS/Steve Shapiro-Commercialimage.net. Posted 21/7/12

2012 Rosenfeldt

2012 RACS Surgery Award to Professor Frank Rosenfeldt

Prof Frank Rosenfeldt has won the 2012 Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) Surgical Research Award. This is an honour created by RACS to recognise the contribution of a pre-eminent surgical scientist who has made significant contributions to surgical research. One of Prof Rosenfeldt's major research interests is to increase the viability of donor hearts for heart transplants. For more detail of his research see The Age article 4 Jan 2011, and CCS article.Posted 20/7/12

De Kretser medal

Professor Hatem Salem awarded 2011 David de Kretser Medal

Professor David de Kretser, former Governor of Victoria, presented the Monash University 2011 David de Kretser Medal to Professor Hatem Salem, Director of the Australian Centre for Blood Diseases on 7 June. The medal is awarded for exceptional contributions to the Faculty and to medical science generally. Posted 7/6/12


Professor Fabienne Mackay awarded prestigious Thomson Reuters Australia Citation Award

Head of Department of Immunology, Professor Fabienne Mackay, was one of 12 Australian researchers honoured with a prestigious Thomson Reuters Australia Citation Award in recognition of research excellence, on May 30. See Prof Mackay's citation metrics . Prof Mackay played a crucial role in the world’s first major lupus treatment breakthrough last year, a discovery that led directly to the development of a new preventive medication, Belumimab. This improved clinical outcome further validated a decade of Prof Mackay’s work on autoimmunity. Story link. Story posted 30/05/2012


Researchers collaborate on innovative research into schizophrenia

A new international collaboration will help develop strategies to combat schizophrenia, a disease affecting more than 24 million people worldwide. Warwick University's Professor Swaran Singh, is discussing collaborative opportunities with colleagues at the Monash Alfred Psychiatry research centre (MAPrc). Reference Monash news story Posted 23/5/12


A solution to a life-threatening allergy

For around one in 100 Australians who have food allergy, simply ingesting a small amount of pasta containing shellfish can be life-threatening. Department of AIRMed, CCS and Department of Immunology researchers led by Prof Robyn O'Hehir and Emeritus Prof Jennifer Rolland have taken a step towards identifying major allergens in Australian shellfish embarking on new research in collaboration with James Cook University, Queensland. Reference Monash news story Posted 11/5/12

2012 Day of Immunology

Day of Immunology public lecture packed out

Prof Sharon Lewin (pictured, left), after her presentation on HIV at the International Day of Immunology public lecture on 26 April. Other speakers were Dr Glen Westall, lung transplant specialist with the Alfred and researcher/clinician in Department of AIRMed, CCS & Prof Jim McCluskey, University of Melbourne. The packed event was hosted by the Australasian Society for Immunology. Reference Day of Immunology. Posted 7/5/12

Edwina Wright

Edwina Wright awarded 2011 VC's commendation for Doctoral Thesis Excellence

Recent CCS PhD graduate Dr Edwina Wright was awarded the 2011 Vice Chancellor's Commendation for Doctoral Thesis Excellence. She was one of two nominated across the Faculty for the Mollie Holman Doctoral Medal. Edwina finished her thesis in 2010. Her topic was "HIV Neurological Disease: Asia Pacific regional prevalence and response to different antiretroviral treatment strategies across international resource-varied settings". Her supervisors were Profs Steve Wesselingh and Bruce Brew (UNSW). Edwina is currently a senior consultant in Professor Sharon Lewin's Infectious Diseases Department. For detail of 2011 prize winners, see 2011 prize list.

NTRI TAC grant

NTRI awarded $3.34M Capacity Building grant by TAC

The National Trauma Research Institute (NTRI) has been awarded a $3.34 million Capacity Building grant by the Transport Accident Commission (TAC) for three distinct programs of work over three years (2012-2014): to create a Centre of Excellence in Traumatic Brain Injury; to establish the NTRI Forum program to improve networks, collaborations and care of the injured; and to establish the Victorian Neurotrauma Council, an expert body, to inform clinical practice, development of policy and other functions. Contact Craig Sedgman c.sedgman@alfred.org.au. For more about NTRI, see www.ntri.org.au/.

Tibolone study

New hope for treatment of perimenopausal women

During menopause, estrogen levels reduce, which is associated with higher risk of depressive symptoms. Researchers at the Monash Alfred Psychiatry Research Centre (MAPrc) in the Central Clinical School are beginning recruitment for a new study investigating the effectiveness of tibolone, a hormone treatment for menopausal women, in perimenopausal women with depression, used as a sole treatment or in conjunction with standard SRRI antidepressant medications. For more details about the tibolone study please see the MAPrc women's mental health clinical trials, download article, or contact: Scott Santinon (s.santinon@alfred.org.au or 9076 6589) or Tamsyn Van Rheenen (t.rheenen@alfred.org.au or 9076 6593)

Professor Jayashri Kulkarni

MAPrc joins Central Clinical School

MAPrc is the Monash Alfred Psychiatry Research Centre and has joined the Central Clinical School, effective 1 Jan 2012. MAPrc has moved from Monash University’s School of Psychology and Psychiatry but remains part of The Alfred Hospital’s Department of Psychiatry. MAPrc is a clinical research centre with 155 staff and students and is using cutting edge neuroscientific discoveries to develop new treatments for people with mental illnesses, new understanding of the etiology of psychiatric disorders and translating research into clinical practice through innovative service delivery. For more details about MAPrc's research please see the MAPrc website.