Around the Precinct – 1 September 2022

MRFF grants to help advance our understanding of COVID-19, firefighting added to the list of Group 1 carcinogens, and a prestigious Eureka prize for important sexual health research – this week at the Alfred Research Alliance.

MSHC Eureka Prize

A team of researchers from the Melbourne Sexual Health Centre have won a Eureka Prize for their work on STIs and antibiotic resistance.

Alfred Health

Springing into allergy season
Alfred Health allergy specialists are urging Victorians to get prepared for a what could be a difficult Spring for sufferers of hay fever (allergic rhinitis) and asthma.
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Severe injuries from motor vehicle accidents soar
More than 400 Victorians were admitted to The Alfred’s ICU after sustaining life-threatening injuries from motor vehicle accidents last year, continuing a surge in severe trauma.
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Monash University

MRFF grants to support Monash research into COVID-19
Three Monash University projects have received $10.8 million from the Medical Research Future Fund to support research that improves our understanding of COVID-19 and help develop new and enhanced treatments.
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Monash University – Central Clinical School

Sexual health research wins Eureka Prize
Monash University’s Associate Professor Eric Chow, Professor Christopher Fairley AO, Professor Catriona Bradshaw and Professor Marcus Chen are part of a team which has won a prestigious Eureka Prize for their important work on sexual health.
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Monash AI model may help epilepsy patients become seizure-free
A study led by Monash University and believed to be a world first has demonstrated that an Artificial Intelligence (AI) model can potentially predict the best personalised, anti-seizure medication for patients with newly diagnosed epilepsy.
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Club Melbourne Fellowship award to Dr Gemma Sharp
Congratulations to NHMRC Early Career Senior Research Fellow, Dr Gemma Sharp, who was awarded a Club Melbourne Fellowship (one of two in Victoria) on 18 August at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.
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Why depression in women is so misunderstood
Professor Jayashri Kulkarni has published an essay in Nature Outlook, asking why depression in women is so misunderstood. The focus in this essay is on menopausal depression. She says it takes a huge toll, but is not widely recognised or adequately funded and is under-researched.
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Cognitive impairment in mental illness associated with faster cellular ageing
Telomeres, the protective cap-like structures that stop the ends of our chromosomes from becoming frayed or tangled, are of increasing interest globally as markers of cellular ageing. Now a study led by Monash University Alfred Psychiatry research centre (MAPrc) researchers has revealed a link between telomere length and cognitive impairment in people with bipolar-schizophrenia spectrum disorders.
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Monash University – School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine

MRFF windfall supports integration of two major Melbourne-based COVID-19 trials
Just shy of $4 million has today been awarded to the Randomised, Embedded, Multi-factorial, Adaptive Platform Trial for Community-Acquired Pneumonia (REMAP-CAP) from the Medical Research Future Fund, expanding the trial’s capacity to identify safe and effective treatments for critically ill patients with community-acquired pneumonia.
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Strongest evidence yet shows negligible increase in melanoma risk from methotrexate
A new meta-analysis from School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine researchers shows that the widely-used anti-inflammatory methotrexate has a negligible effect on the risk of developing melanoma, essentially a 0.005 per cent risk increase for Australians using the drug. The findings allay growing concerns among the medical community around this potential side effect.
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Firefighting listed as a Group 1 carcinogen
Occupational exposures experienced by firefighters have been escalated to Group 1 carcinogen status by an expert group at the World Health Organization, bringing them to the highest level of risk in the WHO’s scale. The decision was in part underpinned by the many years of investigations into firefighter health led by A/Prof Deborah Glass from our Monash Centre of Occupational and Environmental Health (MonCOEH).
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Study reveals a lack of standardisation in burns care across Australia
Australian hospitals admit thousands of patients with burn injuries each year, but new data from the Burns Registry of Australia and New Zealand reveals variation in the way they treat seemingly similar injuries, and significant differences in patient outcomes including in-hospital mortality. The results underscore a need for specialist burn services to adopt the most effective models of care, to improve patient outcomes nationally.
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Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute

A powerful platform opening a new world of exploration
The Institute’s sophisticated technology — including a unique microscopy platform — is providing a powerful window into new avenues of exploration and shedding light on important mechanisms of disease.
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Burnet Institute

Time to explore decriminalisation of drug use on International Overdose Awareness Day
Burnet Institute endorses the call to reform current policy responses to drug use, including exploring opportunities to decriminalise drug use.
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Burnet recognises stellar service of departing Board members
Burnet Institute would like to publicly recognise the amazing service of Professor Sharon Lewin, Professor Peter Colman and Professor Christina Mitchell, who have all stepped down from the Board this year.
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New insights into RTS,S efficacy and immune response in children
Research by Burnet scientists has provided new insights into how young children’s immune systems respond to the RTS,S malaria vaccine, including the impact past malaria exposure has on that response.
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