12 Jun 2015

Photo of the Week: HealthMap group

Department of Infectious Diseases HealthMap group. L-R: Mr Jarrel Seah, Ms Julia Stout, Ms Andrea Morrow, Ms Karen Klassen. The project aims to improve the health status of people living with HIV in Australia by developing a self-management tool for use by patients. It will be accessed via smartphone, tablet or desktop, to help patients manage their medications, health goals and connect them with health care providers.See more about the HealthMap project at www.med.monash.edu.au/cecs/infectious-diseases/research/clintrials-research/elliott-hiv-healthmap.html

Forthcoming CCS events: Seminars, public events, general notices

Katherine Langley, Baker
IDI, at the 2014 CCS post
graduate symposium
Central Clinical School has regular seminar series and postgraduate presentations. All event notices are maintained on the CCS Events calendar.

CCS staff & students can see details of both public and local events (including professional development courses, trade fairs and Graduate Research Student calendars) and deadlines, at the Intranet's Announcements page.

Various Departments have their own calendars, see CCS seminar index: www.med.monash.edu.au/cecs/events/seminars.html

What's on for next week (15 - 19 Jun 2015)

Mon Jun 1512:30 PMPsychiatry Professorial Grand Round
Tue Jun 161:00 PMPhD Mid-candidature review - Ms Chu Kion Yao

In the Future

11 Jun 2015

Monash research on head and neck cancer provides first real breakthrough in decades

The research group which published this paper. L-R: Dr Charbel
Darido, Ms Seema Srivastava, Mr Michael Cangkrama, Prof
Stephen Jane, Dr Smitha Georgy, Dr Seb Dworkin, Ms Alana
Auden. Not present: Dr Darren Partridge, Prof Catriona McLean
Research published this week in the prestigious Journal of the National Cancer Institute provides the first real insight in more than 50 years as to how head and neck cancers – one of the more deadly forms of cancer – develop. The discovery opens the way to identifying patients with particular types of head and neck cancer that may be candidates for more targeted therapies.

10 Jun 2015

Research: Estradiol for women with treatment-resistant schizophrenia

Many women with schizophrenia remain symptomatic despite optimal use of current therapies. While previous studies suggest that adjunctive oestrogen therapy might be effective, large-scale clinical trials are required before clinical applications are possible. This study is the first large-scale randomized-controlled trial in women with treatment-resistant schizophrenia.  

Reference: Kulkarni, J., Gavrilidis, E., Wang, W., Worsley, R., Fitzgerald, P.B., Gurvich, C., Van Rheenen, T., Berk, M., Burger, H. Estradiol for treatment-resistant schizophrenia: A large-scale randomized-controlled trial in women of child-bearing age. Molecular Psychiatry 20, 695-702 (June 2015) | doi:10.1038/mp.2014.33

Research: Gonorrhoea, MSM and untreated asymptomatic infection

Gonorrhoea bacteria. Joe Millar/CDC
Despite early treatment of urethral infection, gonorrhoea is endemic in urban populations of men who have sex with men (MSM) in Australia. By contrast, gonorrhoea is not common in urban heterosexual populations. Sexual activities among MSM usually involve anal or oral sex, and as these behaviours are becoming increasingly common among heterosexuals, there is a need to investigate their roles in transmission of gonorrhoea.

$500K MIME seed funding and MIME PhD scholarships now available - 18, 23 June info sessions

The Monash Institute of Medical Engineering (MIME) was established to foster stronger collaborations between clinical researchers in Monash partner hospitals and engineering and IT researchers. The aim is to develop new medical technologies that address significant unmet clinical needs.

Two funding sources are now available from MIME to support collaborative research projects involving a clinician researcher from MNHS and a researcher from Faculty of Engineering or IT:

(i) MIME seed fund - 10-50K for collaborative projects delivering an outcome in 12-18 months
(ii) MIME PhD scholarships - for jointly supervised projects

Phase I is now open - the call to clinicians to nominate areas of significant unmet clinical need / opportunity. Obtain an application form from Susan.Newland@monash.edu. It must be returned by 29 June. If you don't want to apply but are interested to attend, RSVP online.

Selected clinical areas will be advertised on the MIME website on Monday 6 July.

In phase 2, engineering, IT and other researchers will be invited to respond to these areas of clinical need with a proposed technical solution. Closes 31 July. In Phase 3, MIME will assist with the optimisation of final joint proposals. Announcement of successful applicants on 28 August.

We would greatly appreciate your input in shaping the direction of MIME's future research activities. The next MIME Affinity meeting at AMREP will be held 23 June, 10-12 am Seminar Room 1, Level 5, Alfred Centre. This will serve as a forum for CCS clinical researchers interested in securing MIME funding, to present their ideas on unmet clinical needs to an audience of Engineering and IT researchers keen to engage on collaborative projects

More information on the MIME seed funding is available at

Meeting detail:

MIME-MHTP Affinity meeting: Thursday 18 June, 9.00am - 11.00am
Monash Health Translation Precinct - Monash Medical Centre
246 Clayton Road, Clayton, Victoria, 3168, Australia
Block E, Level 5, Surgery Seminar Room.

MIME-AMREP Affinity meeting: Tuesday 23 June 10.00am - 12.00pm
Alfred Centre 
99 Commercial Road, Melbourne, Victoria, 3004, Australia (Corner of Punt Road and Commercial Road enter via Lobby B) 
Level 5, Seminar Room 1.

Clinician researchers are invited to give a 5 minute presentation outlining a clinical need or opportunity they are willing to champion. Please advise susan.newland@monash.edu if you wish to present.

Engineering, IT and other MIME researchers are strongly encouraged to attend these events, to identify new opportunities to apply your expertise, and meet potential clinical collaborators. Networking time will be available. Researchers attending these events should then be well positioned to respond to Phase 2 of the MIME seed fund process - the call for Engineering or IT-enabled R&D programs addressing unmet clinical needs.

Complete the online RSVP form.

Researchers from MIME partner organisations i.e. CSIRO, Hudson Institute, Burnet and BakerIDI are also welcome to attend the MIME Affinity meetings.

AMREP EMCR Mentoring Program is back!

At the 2014 AMREP EMCR conference poster session
The AMREP EMCR Mentoring Program began in 2010 as an initiative developed by the Monash Central Clinical School. Since that time the program has run annually and has progressively expanded in size. The program now involves mentee and mentor participants from across AMREP, encompassing Monash, Burnet, BakerIDI and the Alfred. In 2014-2015 we have 17 current mentee-mentor pairings which are expected to formally conclude in October this year.

Save the date! AMREP EMCR retreat being held 8-9 Oct 2015

The AMREP EMCR retreat was a standout success in 2013, and will once again be held in the beautiful surrounds of Kalorama (Dandenong ranges), 8-9 October 2015, with overnight accommodation available for retreat attendees. The retreat is open to researchers from Monash CCS, Monash SPHPM, the Burnet Institute, the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, and the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine, and will provide presentations, seminars, and workshops on a diverse range of topics ranging from basic science to clinical applications, with interests across a broad spectrum of health-related research topics. We are currently developing a stellar program that is sure to create an invaluable learning and networking environments for all early to mid-career researchers!

See more: www.med.monash.edu.au/cecs/ecr/retreat.html

9 Jun 2015

Nepal relief fundraising update

Sewa Rijal's appeal has raised almost AUD $3500. Thanks to all of you who have helped reach this total. It is being employed in Nepal for the reconstruction efforts. As mentioned on the donations page (fundraising now ended), the funds are going to ABARI, an NGO which specialises in low cost building with bamboo. See their work at abari.org.

7 Jun 2015

Odd spot: Epidemiologist and doctor Ben Goldacre gives a TED talk on Bad Science

Dr Ben Goldacre giving his TED talk
Every day there are news reports of new health advice, but how can you know if they're right? Doctor and epidemiologist Ben Goldacre shows us, at high speed, the ways evidence can be distorted, from the blindingly obvious nutrition claims to the very subtle tricks of the pharmaceutical industry.

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