17 Dec 2015

Final issue of CCS blog for 2015

This is the final issue of the Central Clinical School blog for 2015. It's been a busy year and we wish everyone a happy, safe and restful break over the Christmas and New Year period.

The CCS blog resumes on Friday 5 Feb 2016.

Photo of the week: Prof Wendy Brown's group

Bariatric Surgery Registry (SPHPM) and Centre for Obesity Research and Education (CCS).
L-R Back row. Anna Palmer (Ethics Assistant), Brittany Smith (Customer Relationship Officer), Prof Wendy Brown (Director, Professor of Surgery, CCS), Cheryl Laurie (Research Nurse), Dianne Brown (Project Manager), Lucy Davenport (Administrative Assistant), Tiffany Tei (Summer Scholarship student)
Front row. Aileen Heal (Administrative Assistant), Jazz Padarath (Data entry assistant), Berihun Zeleke (Data entry assistant/PhD student), Margaret Anderson (Data Manager), Geri Ooi (PhD surgical trainee)

Video of the week: The FODMAP Grand Tour Down Under (animation)

Low FODMAP diet for IBS, Department of Gastroenterology, Central Clinical School

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common functional gastrointestinal disorder affecting approximately 15% of people worldwide. Characterised by lower abdominal pain and discomfort, bloating, wind, distension and altered bowel habit (ranging from diarrhoea to constipation), the condition causes considerable discomfort and daily disruption for the sufferer. Researchers at Monash University have developed a diet strategy to manage IBS symptoms known as the low FODMAP diet. This diet is the product of extensive research which has quantified the FODMAP content of hundreds of foods, described the mechanism by which the diet works and shown that a low FODMAP diet improves symptom control in approximately three out of every four people with IBS. Join us as we go on a journey (almost like 'Fantastic Voyage'!) to understand the physiological effects of FODMAPs and the dramatic effects of a low FODMAP diet in people with IBS.

See more about Low FODMAP diet research and products at Monash:
  • Website: http://bit.ly/1vXL2tQ
  • App: http://bit.ly/1PKfK3Y
  • Booklet: http://bit.ly/1yFzqxg
  • Video link for reference:  https://youtu.be/Z_1Hzl9o5ic

Forthcoming events 2016

Dr Katherine Suter presenting
at the 2015 D.S. Rosengarten
Surgical Trainee Prize event
Central Clinical School has regular seminar series and graduate research 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 CCS Intranet's Announcements page.

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

Ethanol exposure and traumatic brain injury

By Dr Jodie Abramovitch

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is an important health issue, being a major cause of death and disability worldwide. When a TBI occurs in the absence of injury to the rest of the body, it is known as an isolated TBI (iTBI). Ethanol exposure or intoxication is commonly associated with iTBI. However, following injury, the effects of ethanol in the brain are unknown.

How does ethanol affect the brain?
Researchers from the Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine (DEPM) and the Department of Surgery, alongside colleagues from the Alfred Hospital’s Emergency and Trauma Centre and National Trauma Research Institute, have recently investigated the association between ethanol exposure leading to iTBI and in-hospital mortality rates.

Slowing down age-related hearing loss

By Dr Jodie Abramovitch

Loss of hearing associated with age is a leading cause of disability amongst older people. Low level inflammation may damage blood vessels within the ear, leading to hearing loss. Furthermore, hearing loss may be associated with blood vessel damage within the eye, as well as loss of cognitive function. This suggests that there may be a common underlying inflammatory cause for each of these age-related conditions.

Can aspirin reduce age-related
hearing loss? 
Aspirin is a commonly used anti-inflammatory medication. It has a known role in helping treat blood vessel diseases and can inhibit the formation of blood clots.

Monash researchers from the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine (SPHPM) are involved in a new study called ASPREE-HEARING. This study will assess the effect of aspirin on hearing levels in patients aged 70 years and older who are involved in the ASPirin in Reducing Events in the Elderly (ASPREE) clinical trial.

16 Dec 2015

Rob Medcalf delivers 2015 Barry Firkin oration

Professor Rob Medcalf delivered the Barry Firkin Oration during the Joint Haematology congress (HAA) in Adelaide on 17 Oct 2015. Dr Jennifer Curnow (President of the Australian Society for Thrombosis and Haemostasis; ASTH) is to Rob's left, presenting the artworks to Rob.

15 Dec 2015

Congratulations to Susan Lee, CCS BMedSc(Hons) 2015 dux!

Susan Lee, 2015 BMedSc(Hons) dux
at Central Clinical School
Congratulations to Susan Lee, who was the highest performing BMedSc(Hons) student for CCS in 2015. Well done Susan!

Susan's supervisor was Dr Rebecca Segrave, Monash Alfred Psychiatry research centre. Her research project was "Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation: The influence of gender and endogenous oestrogen".

Prof Jenny Hoy, BMedSc(Hons) coordinator at the Alfred, said all of the 2015 students did extremely well. She said, "It's a pleasure to mentor such highly motivated students. Healthcare in Australia has a very bright future with such diligent and able students coming through!"
2015 Central Clinical School Bachelor of Medical Science (Honours) students:
L-R Back row: Frank Gao, Fei Bing, Gabrielle Freedman, Evelyn Bian, Jacqueline Bell, Storm Holwill, Victoria Berquist, William MacDonald.
L-R Middle row: Yasar Zirek, Susan Lee, Karin Utami, Diar Rudiatmoko, Angela Sarumpaet.
L-R Front row: Angus Brown, Rebecca Lewis, Lucinda Miller.
Absent: Lia Amanda, Prasanna Bhaskaran, Bridget Pianta, Nahkita Wolfe (SPHPM), Hui Yeoh

Congratulations to CCS's 26 PhD students who completed in 2015

2015's new PhD students
Congratulations to all 26 of our completed PhD students this year!! A remarkable achievement by all the students listed below.

A big thank you also to all supervisors and staff involved in supporting our PhD students.

See all enrolled CCS Graduate Research students at: www.med.monash.edu.au/cecs/education/hdr-students.html

Congratulations to Karen Alt on AMREP Seed Grant!

Congratulations to Drs Karen Alt (pictured) and Thomas Hoefer on the award of a 2015 AMREP Collaborative Seed Grant. Karen is a Senior Research Officer in Dr Christoph Hagemeyer's NanoBiotechnology Laboratory in the Australian Centre for Blood Diseases. Thomas is a postdoctoral research officer at the Baker IDI Institute, researching effects of flow dynamics on VWF-activation in thrombus formation.

NHMRC Research 2016 application dates

Forthcoming National Health & Medical Research Council application/opening dates

  • 16 Dec 2015: Centres of Research Excellence: Minimum data due 
  • 13 Jan 2016:  Project Grants : opens in RGMS
  • 20 Jan 2016:  Development Grants: Minimum data due
  • 20 Jan 2016: NHMRC - NIH BRAIN Initiative Collaborative Research Grants: Applications close
  • 20 Jan 2016: Partnership Projects: Applications for Peer Review Cycle #1 open
  • 3 Feb 2016: Practitioner Fellowships: Applications close
  • 3 Feb 2016: Research Fellowships: Applications close 3 February 2016
The funding calendar is available on the NHMRC website.

Read NHMRC Tracker updates here.

14 Dec 2015

CCS's top tweet: Robert Gillies' philanthropic work


We pinned this tweet to the top of @CCSMonash Twitter page feed, and it was seen by over 1000 viewers. Good luck to Robert Gillies for the work with homeless people - too many of them for a wealthy, first world country. Follow his work at @Homelessofmelb. See the original tweet at https://twitter.com/CCSMonash/status/659841821825044480

Position vacant: Faculty of Science HEW 5 Administration Officer, Research and Graduate Research

The Faculty of Science Research Office is seeking to appoint a full-time casual HEW 5 Administration Officer, Research and Graduate Research.  The role of the Administration Officer is to provide a wide range of administrative services and support for research staff and Graduate Research students across the Faculty of Science.  We are seeking ​a ​highly motivated individual who has exceptional organisational skills, who thrives on attention to detail, engaging with staff and students, and has a passion for delivering excellent administrative service.  Please refer to the attached Position Description for further information.

Odd spot: When data gets creepy - the secrets we don’t realise we’re giving away

Ben Goldacre says that we all worry about digital spies stealing our data – and now even the things we thought we were happy to share are being used in ways we don’t like.

Why aren’t we making more of a fuss? Because not really understanding the technology, we have few sound intuitions into what is safe and what is flimsy when it comes to securing our digital lives – let alone what is ethical and what is creepy. See Ben Goldacre's entire essay.

See also The Roast 2 July 2014 critique of Facebook's ethics violations, at timepoint 7.30.

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