27 Aug 2015

Photo of the week: 2015 AMREP student information night

Potential Honours students at the MAPrc table on the night, clearly delighted by the projects!
The Alfred Medical Research and Education Precinct partners (Central Clinical School, School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Baker IDI and Burnet Institutes) held a student information night on 13 August 2015, attended by over 200 students.

Forthcoming CCS events: Seminars, public events, general notices

Mr Waled Shihata, PhD 

student at the Baker IDI
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 this week: 31 Aug - 4 Sep 2015

Mon Aug 3112:30 PMPsychiatry Professorial Grand Round

5:00 PMDeadline for Young Investigator poster competition
Tue Sep 11:00 PMPhD Pre-Submission Seminar - Dr Michelle Karen Yong
3:30 PMPhD Mid-candidature review seminar - Mr Man Lee
Fri Sep 0411:30 AMPhD Confirmation of Candidature: Dr Nicholas Medland

In the Future

Professor Suresh Sundram: Psychiatric neuroscience. Find out more on 30 Sep 2015

Professor Suresh Sundram at Monash Health
The School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health welcomes Professor Suresh Sundram, Unit Head for adult psychiatry at Monash Medical Centre. Prof Sundram will be speaking at the forthcoming 30 Sep Translational Research symposium hosted by Central Clinical School. See detail below.

Dr Jane Muir: The FODMAP evolution. Find out more on 30 Sep 2015

Dr Jane Muir
Dr Jane Muir has over 20 years’ experience in the area of nutrition research and is currently Head of Translational Nutrition Science, Department of Gastroenterology in The Central Clinical School. Her research has focused on understanding the role of carbohydrates in the health of the gastrointestinal tract. In her current position, Dr Muir works in collaboration with Professor Peter Gibson, Head of Gastroenterology.

 A major area of their research involves investigating the role of poorly absorbed short chain carbohydrates (called FODMAPs) on the genesis of symptoms in patients with of functional gut disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Dr Muir will be speaking at the forthcoming 30 Sept Translational Research symposium hosted by Central Clinical School. See detail below.

26 Aug 2015

Publication: Inhibition of NOX1/4 with GKT137831: potential novel treatment for a variety of vision-threatening retinopathies

Dr Devy Deliyanti and Prof Jennifer Wilkinson-Berka
with Devy's PhD thesis. 
Inflammation and the excess production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) contribute significantly to the pathogenesis of ischemic retinopathies such as diabetic retinopathy and retinopathy of prematurity. Department of Immunology's Prof Jennifer Wilkinson-Berka and Dr Devy Deliyanti have hypothesized that GKT137831, a dual inhibitor of NADPH oxidases (NOX) 1 and NOX4, reduces inflammation in the ischemic retina by dampening the pro-inflammatory phenotype of retinal immune cells as well as macroglial Müller cells and neurons. They have concluded that NOX1/4 enzyme inhibition with GKT137831 has potent anti-inflammatory effects in the retina, indicating its potential as a treatment for a variety of vision-threatening retinopathies.

Reference: Deliyanti D, Wilkinson-Berka JL. Inhibition of NOX1/4 with GKT137831: A potential novel treatment to attenuate neuroglial cell inflammation in the retina. J Neuroinflammation. 2015 Jul 30;12:136.Link

Publication: Anaesthetic depth and postoperative mortality

Observational studies conducted by Prof Paul Myles, Head of the Department of Anaesthesia and Perioperative Medicine have demonstrated an association between relatively deep anesthesia and increased postoperative mortality. The primary hypothesis of the study is that "light" anesthesia, defined as a BIS target of 50, will reduce all-cause mortality within 1 year of surgery in comparison with "deep" anesthesia, defined as a BIS target of 35, in patients aged ≥60 years presenting for major surgery under general anesthesia. This randomized controlled trial should answer the question of whether titrating anesthetic depth makes a difference to patient outcome in a vulnerable patient group.

 Reference: Short TG, Leslie K, Chan MT, Campbell D, Frampton C, Myles P. Rationale and design of the balanced anesthesia study: A prospective randomized clinical trial of two levels of anesthetic depth on patient outcome after major surgery. Anesth Analg. 2015 Aug;121(2):357-65. doi: 10.1213 Link

Publication: Psychiatric patients and smoking bans - how do they feel about it?

In the present study, we examined the views and experiences of patients admitted to an acute psychiatry unit before and after the implementation of a totally smoke-free policy. Forty-six inpatients completed a questionnaire assessing their views before the smoking ban. Another 52 inpatients completed a questionnaire assessing their views and experiences after the smoking ban. Before the totally smoke-free policy, 69.6% smoked, with 67.7% smoking more when admitted to the psychiatry ward. Before the smoking ban, 54.4% reported that the totally smoke-free policy would be ‘negative’ or ‘very negative,’ and 30.5% said it would be ‘positive’ or ‘very positive.’

25 Aug 2015

Participants sought: Can gentle brain stimulation improve cognition in people who have had a mild to moderate head injury ?

We are seeking volunteers between 18 and 65 years of age who have developed memory and attention problems following a mild to moderate head injury. We are testing whether combining gentle electrical stimulation with ‘brain training’ can improve memory and attention following a head injury.

Participants sought: Do mindfulness meditators show different attention related brain activity compared to healthy controls?

Not you? Healthy non-meditators sought for study.
Do mindfulness meditators show different attention related brain activity compared to healthy controls?

Volunteers aged between 18 and 65 are sought for a research study being conducted at the Alfred Hospital. This is a study comparing brain activity in people who have meditation experience with healthy controls. It involves the measurement of brain activity using electroencephalogram (EEG), which is a non-invasive way to record brain's electrical activity.

We require both volunteers who have experience with meditation, and volunteers who have no experience with meditation. At the moment, we are particularly recruiting healthy non-meditators. You will undergo a brief interview and participate in a number of tasks assessing brain function.
Testing will occur at the Alfred Hospital over one sessions, lasting about 3 hours. Participants will be reimbursed $30 for the session.

If you are interested and think you may be able to participate, please contact:
For more about MAPrc research, see www.maprc.org.au/.

24 Aug 2015

Odd Spot: Daniel Levitin: "The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in an Age of Information Overload"

Daniel Levitin is a neuroscientist who has published a book called "The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in an Age of Information Overload". His talk to Google employees was video recorded & uploaded to Youtube. He elaborates on three themes, one singularly important, which is that there is no such thing as multitasking - the brain can only do one thing at a time. Another is that decisions, even the most trivial, take energy, i.e. use glucose. So avoid trivial decision making or leave it to the afternoon when you're tired e.g. what email to look at when.
Link: www.youtube.com/watch?v=aR1TNEHRY-U
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