Around the Precinct – 16 July 2020

Keeping patients and staff safe as the COVID-19 response continues apace, new grants and initiatives are announced in the areas of inflammatory lung disease, Type 2 Diabetes in women and response to disclosures of sexual abuse, and 33 hours of tunes hit Spotify to help you get through iso: Here’s just some of what has happened this week across the Alfred Research Alliance.

Alfred Health

Keeping Patients & Staff Safe from COVID-19

Alfred Health has stringent protocols in place to protect staff and patients from COVID-19, and these are being reviewed and updated constantly in line with advice from Chief Medical Officers and DHHS. Today, the hospital announced that effective from tomorrow, Friday 17 July, there will be no visits to Alfred Health’s sites, except under special circumstances. You can check the latest visitor guidelines here.

Nucleus Network

New Phase 1 Clinical Trial Begins on COVID-19 Vaccine

Exciting news as Nucleus Network began a Phase 1 clinical trial for the University of Queensland’s COVID-19 vaccine in Brisbane earlier this week. In Melbourne, another Phase 1 clinical trial is already underway on the Novavax vaccine candidate, with a third trial to start within the next few months. Read more…

Left: ‘Mary’ from Queensland was the first patient to receive the UQ COVID-19 vaccine, administered by Nucleus Network’s Clinical Operations Manager, Janet Moore.

Monash Central Clinical School

Universities Join Forces to Tackle Inflammatory Lung Diseases

A new spin-out company, RAGE Biotech, will develop new therapies to help tackle chronic inflammatory lung diseases like severe asthma, cystic fibrosis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Supported by investment from IP Group, Monash University (Monash) and The University of Western Australia (UWA), RAGE Biotech is founded on intellectual property co-developed by leading researchers from Monash University, The University of Western Australia, Murdoch University and the Baker Institute. The breakthrough discoveries were led by endocrinology expert Professor Merlin Thomas from Monash CCS. Read more…

Monash Public Health & Preventive Medicine

New Funding to Train Frontline Workers Responding to Sexual Violence
The Minister for Families and Social Services, Senator the Hon. Anne Ruston, this week announced the awarding of $4.5 million to Monash University for the development of an accredited training program for frontline workers to enhance the recognitiion and response to disclosures of sexual violence, under the Department of Social Services’ National Initiatives Program. With one in five Australian women experiencing sexual violence from the age of 15, Department of Forensic Medicine Head, Associate Professor Richard Bassed, said it was critical to ensure safe and appropriate responses when faced with disclosures of sexual violence or harmful behaviours. Read the full article here.

Baker Institute

New Online Resource for Women Who Experience Gestational Diabetes

Half of all women who experience Gestational Diabetes will develop Type 2 Diabetes within the next ten years. Baker Institute‘s free ‘Women After Gestational Diabetes’, or WAG, program is designed to help lessen that risk. The program includes practical tips and advice from experts, and is now available online on the Institute’s website. Find out more here…


Burnet Institute

More Support for Masks as One Measure to Prevent COVID-19 Spread

Following on from last week’s story, Australia’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Dr Nick Coatsworth, this week said ‘surgical or cloth mask use is recommended…if you have to leave your home (in Melbourne or Mitchell Shire) for any of the four reasons permitted, and find yourself unable to maintain 1.5 metre distance’. This is an evidence-based approach which Burnet Institute researchers suggested a week earlier, calling it ‘just one part of a raft of COVID-19 preventative measures’ and ‘the last in the heirarchy’ in what needs to be done. Read more…

Fighting COVID with Information…and Tunes

Burnet Institute has asked young people to share their experiences of #COVID19 to inform policies and public health responses. We also asked for songs to help get through iso, and put them into a Spotify playlist. Here’s 33 hours of tunes to boost your mood. You’re welcome.