Around the Precinct – 20 October 2022

Alliance researchers receive funding in latest round of NHMRC Investigator Grants, Monash University launches HER Centre Australia to support women’s mental health, and brain cells in a dish learn to play Pong  – this fortnight at the Alfred Research Alliance.

DishBrain Monash University

‘DishBrain’ is a collection of 800,000 brain cells (seen here under a microscope) that have learnt to play the computer game Pong.

Alfred Health

Using lived experience to support others
Meet Bridie. She’s a Youth Peer Support Worker in our Youth Mental Health Eating Disorders Program.
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Staff and survivors reflect on Bali bombings 20 years on
Twenty years may have passed, but for Bali bombing survivor Dale Atkin his time at The Alfred seems like it was “just yesterday.”
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New technology enhances brain cancer treatment
In a Victorian first, a new radiotherapy software which promises to significantly enhance treatment precision and cut planning time is being used for brain cancer patients at The Alfred.
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Moments of mindfulness bring calm to busy teams
A few moments of guided mindfulness amongst busy hospital teams can significantly improve staff wellbeing, connection and potentially patient outcomes, says a new study out of Alfred Health.
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Monash University

Congratulations to Monash University’s new AAHMS Fellows
Six of our outstanding research leaders with expertise that spans cancer, diabetes and vascular health, rehabilitation in intensive care, rheumatology and sleep have been elected new Fellows of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences (AAHMS).
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Monash University – Central Clinical School

HER Centre Australia takes the lead in women’s mental health
Women’s mental illness will get the recognition it deserves at HER Centre Australia, the nation’s most innovative centre that integrates health services, education and research in women’s mental health.
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Study explores effects of extended spaceflight on brain
The critical role of radiology in space science and research with the world’s first multi-space agency publication of astronauts’ brain MRI findings has been highlighted in the 2022 Annual Scientific Meeting of The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists (RANZCR).
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Prof Richelle Mychasiuk wins Dean’s Award for Diversity and Inclusion
It gives me great pleasure to share with you all the wonderful news that one of our outstanding academic leaders, Professor Richelle Mychasiuk, has been recognised by the Monash Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences.
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Congratulations to Central Clinical School NHMRC Investigator Grant recipients!
Congratulations to our National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Investigator grant recipients in Central Clinical School (CCS) Dr Narelle Cox, Associate Professor Gemma Sharp and Professor Karin Jandeleit-Dahm who have been awarded a total of $5.4M.
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Brain cells in a dish learn to play Pong
Live biological neurons show more about how a brain works than AI ever will. A Melbourne-led team has for the first time shown that 800,000 brain cells living in a dish can perform goal-directed tasks – in this case the simple tennis-like computer game, Pong.
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Reducing the high rate of chronic kidney disease in First Nations communities
Indigenous-led research is using advanced multi-omics technology to reduce the high rate of chronic kidney disease in First Nations communities.
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Monash University – School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine

Making sound choices: boosting uptake of long-acting reversible contraceptives
Australia lags behind comparable nations for uptake of one of the most effective forms of contraception on the market – long-acting reversible contraceptives, or LARC. A recent study involving multiple researchers from the Monash School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine (SPHPM) has sought to better understand what specific features of LARC appeal to Australian women, in a bid to help health professionals and government boost rates.
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Retraction inaction: How the pandemic has exposed frailties in scientific publishing
An investigation highlighting the failure of some medical journals to maintain rigorous processes amid the rush to publish during the pandemic should serve as a warning to all researchers.
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Problems conceiving are not just about women. Male infertility is behind 1 in 3 IVF cycles
For the first time, IVF clinics in Australia and New Zealand have reported data about the scale and range of male fertility problems in couples who have IVF. New data released by the Australia and New Zealand Assisted Reproduction Database (ANZARD) today reveal about one-third of all IVF cycles performed in 2020 included a diagnosis of male infertility.
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Shaping COVID policy in the Western Pacific
The pandemic has sharpened our focus on disparities in access to healthcare and medical research between developed nations and low- and middle-income countries (LMIC). Fortunately, the medical research community often rallies together at times of need, and building skills and knowledge at a local level in neighbouring LMIC is valuable way to improve health globally.
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Commercial factors driving unhealthy diets
With more than two in three Australian adults and one in four children above a healthy weight*, researchers say food availability, affordability and marketing can contribute to bad choices.
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Congratulations to all of our successful NHMRC Investigator Grant recipients!
$14M NHMRC Investigator Grant funding to research women’s health, heart health, cancer, dementia and infectious diseases, and methodological advancement to better represent older people in research.
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$3.4m in MRFF funding to support dementia research
Monash University researchers have received more than $3.4 million to progress research into causes, diagnosis and treatments of dementia and aged-related illnesses and care in the latest round of grants from the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF).
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Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute

Know your family history to help prevent heart attack, tennis ace urges
Todd Woodbridge is the latest “fit and healthy” sports star to have a heart attack and is urging everyone to look at their family history and have heart health checks to reduce their potential risk.
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Major NHMRC grants to advance understanding of cardiometabolic disease
Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute researchers have shared in $375M of Investigator Grants awarded to 225 emerging and established research leaders across the country to tackle our greatest health challenges.
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Burnet Institute

Dr Michelle Boyle named 2023 CSL Centenary Fellow
Dr Michelle Boyle has been awarded a AUD$1.25 million CSL Centenary Fellowship to further her work to making malaria vaccines better to save more children.
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Burnet awarded over $9.2 million in NHMRC grants
Burnet Institute researchers have been awarded over AUD$9.2 million in funding in the latest round of NHMRC Investigator Grants announced today.
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A new way lactic acid can reduce a woman’s risk of getting an STI
Lactic acid strengthens the junctions between cells in the female genital tract that form a physical barrier to prevent bad bugs from getting into the body.
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Associate Professor Jessica Howell is the VCCC Alliance’s inaugural Tony Burgess medallist
Burnet Institute Senior Research Fellow Associate Professor Jessica Howell has been awarded the inaugural Tony Burgess Medal for her work improving liver disease screening.
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