Around the Precinct: 11 June 2020

Groundbreaking PET imaging study, identifying the gene implicated in a common fainting disorder, tackling the symptoms of endometriosis, and insights from the latest cholesterol data – this week at the Alfred Research Alliance.

Monash University – Central Clinical School / Public Health & Preventive Medicine

Groundbreaking PET imaging study commences

A world-first, groundbreaking PET imaging study, led by Dr Kelly Bertram (Movement Disorders group), has started at the Department of Neuroscience at Monash CCS.  PET is very useful for looking at the biochemical changes that occur in the brain when affected by disease, and this study is to visualise a toxic protein ‘tau’ in the brain of people with progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), a rare and devastating neurodegenerative disease. It is not known what causes PSP so it is hoped this study will lead to better understanding and treatment. More to come…

Key to unlocking gene to fainting syndrome affecting one in 100 teens
Monash researchers have discovered which gene is silenced in a fainting disorder affecting one in 100 teens, mainly girls, and how to switch it on. There is little understanding, and no cure or treatment for the syndrome, which causes patients to faint, have heart palpitations and severe fatigue, largely due to circulation and blood flow. Now Monash researchers may have uncovered the first potential therapy as well as a key understanding about how the syndrome operates.
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Endometriosis team wins MRFF Grant
A Monash team led by Associated Professor Jane Muir has been awarded a Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) Grant, to investigate the efficacy of a low FODMAP diet for the relief of gastriointestinal symptoms in endometriosis, a common and often debilitating condition affecting up to 10% of women of reproductive age.
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Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute

Code Red: Sounding the alarm on cholesterol complacency  
The first new cholesterol data in a decade reveals that almost half of those most at risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) are failing to adequately control their cholesterol – a shocking finding which provides further evidence that the management of CVD is far from solved.
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Burnet Institute

Safe injecting facility recommendations endorsed
Burnet Institute has welcomed Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews’ announcement of an extension for the medically supervised injecting room in North Richmond, and plan to establish a second facility in the City of Melbourne. Burnet Institute provided direct input to the review, which was led by Professor Margaret Hamilton, an executive member of the Australian National Council on Drugs.
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Burnet Institute stands against racism and for an inclusive society
Burnet Institute has called for an end to structural racism in Australia and for a stronger commitment and greater progress towards advancing the wellbeing of Indigenous Australians, and eliminating all forms of abuse, and reiterated its commitment to continue to improve on its own performance in this regard.
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Alfred Research Alliance

Queen’s Birthday Honours
Among the eminent Australians who have been recognised for their outstanding community service in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours are former Burnet Institute Chair Robert Milne, and Burnet Associate and former Program Director, Professor Suzanne Crowe, who were both made Officers in the Order of Australia (AO), and the Baker Institute’s Chairman, Mr Peter Scott and Life Governor, Mr Philip Munz, who were made Members of the Order of Australia (AM).
Read more here and here