15 Feb 2017

Photo of the week: Dr Orla Morrissey

Dr Orla Morrissey presented at the CCS Monash Department of Infectious Diseases' highly successful advanced course (200 attendees) on Infections in the Immunocompromised Host last year. Along with Professor Anton Peleg, Orla set up and widely promoted the course to infectious diseases specialists around Australia.
Congratulations to Dr Orla Morrissey, who was recently appointed as a Fellow of the European Confederation of Medical Mycology! This prestigious award is in recognition of her international reputation as an outstanding and expert educator and researcher in the area of medical mycology. Her most recent publication is:

What's on at CCS 20-24 Feb 2017

PhD student Angela Nguyen
presenting at CCS's 2016
Honours information night
Central Clinical School has regular seminar series and postgraduate presentations. Event notices are posted 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

What's on for 20-24 Feb 2017

Tons! See list below. All items are linked to calendar detail.

CCS publications up to 17 Feb 2017

Professor Magdalena Plebanski (seated, above)
is author on a paper discussing the economics of
malaria vaccine development. See CCS story.
Recent publications for Central Clinical School affiliated authors in the departments of the Australian Centre for Blood Diseases (ACBD), Anaesthesia and Perioperative Medicine, Gastroenterology, Immunology and Pathology, Infectious Diseases, Monash Alfred Psychiatry research centre (MAPrc), Melbourne Sexual Health Centre (MSHC) and Surgery:

Malaria vaccines need forethought in development

The malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, amidst the
blood cells. Image: Aku Analis
by Anne Crawford

Monash University infectious diseases researchers have called for a new approach to malaria vaccine development, criticising those developing malaria vaccines that fail to act on the parasite’s polymorphism – or ability to change form.

Malaria kills almost 500,000 people a year globally and can have a crippling economic effect on the countries in which it is endemic. Some 3.2 billion people live in areas where they are at risk of malaria. No commercially available vaccine exists to prevent the disease.

Professor Magdalena Plebanski and Dr Katie Flanagan, from the Department of Immunology and Pathology’s Vaccine and Infectious Diseases Unit, say in a review published in the high-impact journal Trends in Parasitology that current malaria vaccines that have progressed to human trials largely fail to provide broad-spectrum protection against different polymorphic parasite variants.

Brains of people with diabetes have to work harder

Professor Velandai Srikanth is a clinician-
researcher based at
Frankston Hospital in 
the south of Melbourne
by Anne Crawford

It was exactly the sort of investigation – and findings – that excites Professor Velandai Srikanth: Twenty-two sets of twins, all aged about sixty, controlled for factors including age, sex, genes and early shared environment. One twin in each pair had type 2 diabetes.

Comprehensive measures of brain structure and function were obtained. The twins in the study, funded by the Diabetes Australia Research Trust, showed no difference in brain volumes and ultimately performed the same in standard tests of cognitive function. But when it came to testing memory during a functional MRI, it became evident that the diabetic twin’s brain was much working harder, needing to recruit more areas to do the task.

Study highlights best use of innovative gastrointestinal device

Dr Geraldine Ooi, first author on
the EndoVAC study
by Anne Crawford

Gastric and oesophageal perforations and leaks can be very difficult to treat, particularly if   contamination and sepsis have set in, and can be fatal. Central Clinical School PhD student Dr Geraldine Ooi joined researchers in The Alfred Hospital’s Upper Gastrointestinal Surgical Unit to review a recent innovation used to treat the internal leaks. The results of their study have helped inform The Alfred Hospital’s approach to using the therapy and will potentially help clinicians elsewhere.

Congratulations to our PhD graduates, Paddy Dempsey and James McFadyen!

James McFadyen
Paddy Dempsey
Congratulations to our recent PhD graduates, James McFadyen and Paddy Dempsey!

Paddy Dempsey's thesis is titled "Interrupting Prolonged Sitting Time: Implications for Type 2 Diabetes Management”, and he completed his research in the Baker Heart and Diabetes Research Institute under the principal supervision of Dr David Dunstan and Professor Neville Owen.

James McFadyen's thesis is titled, "Investigating the mechanisms of platelet hyperactivity in diabetes mellitus”. James's supervisors were Adjunct Research Fellow Dr Yu-Ping Yuan and Adjunct Associate Professor Simone Schoenwaelder in the Australian Centre for Blood Diseases and Professor Shaun Jackson (University of Sydney).

EMCRTimes call out for news items

The AMREP EMCR Committee is pleased to launch the 23rd edition of the AMREP EMCR newsletter in March 2017! If you have potential stories for future EMCRTimes issues, we'd love to hear from you; please send us an email to ecr.amrep@monash.edu with the subject line: "Newsletter". See categories of news below.

Media mentions

Clot-busting drug to treat stroke destroys fatal blockages
Herald Sun Feb 16 2017 by Lucy Van den Berg
"A NEW drug that hijacks the body’s own blood to destroy clots could be given to stroke and heart attack patients ­before they reach hospital to reduce death and disability."
17 Feb 2017 Today show Channel 9 segment

ACBD hosted Professor Peter Grant from the University of Leeds at the beginning of 2016 (and he was appointed as Adjunct Prof). Peter is planning a  return visit later this year and sent host Rob Medcalf a copy of the Alumni magazine in which he wrote a very warm article about his experience at Monash (pages 12-13).

Peter says, "I felt and still feel a great debt of gratitude to Rob Medcalf for giving me the opportunity to work in Melbourne for three months and to my clinical and academic colleagues for allowing me to leave Leeds for this time. Indeed, visiting Melbourne has been one of the cultural and academic highlights of my entire career."
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