Around the Precinct – 23 June 2022

The precinct celebrated an important milestone this week as building commenced on the Paula Fox Melanoma and Cancer Centre at The Alfred. The state-of-the-art facility is due to be completed in early 2024 and will offer advanced cancer care for patients as well as extending the reach of the precinct’s world-leading clinical trials.

This week we’re also celebrating success in the Victorian Near-miss Awards, with three Alliance researchers among the 11 recipients in the inaugural group – Dr Eliza Hawkes and Dr Bridgette Semple from Monash University, and Dr Alisa Pedrana from Burnet Institute. These awards are for eligible researchers who scored just below the cut-off in the 2021 NHMRC Emerging Leader Level 2 scheme, and aim to address the disadvantage and systemic inequities faced by women, transgender, gender diverse and non-binary people; Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People; and people with a disability. Congratulations to all!

Paula Fox Melanoma and Cancer Centre

The Paula Fox Melanoma and Cancer Centre at The Alfred is set to transform melanoma research and treatment.

Alfred Health

State-of-the-art melanoma centre to transform cancer care
Cancer care for Australians is set to be transformed as building starts on the Paula Fox Melanoma and Cancer Centre at The Alfred.
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Monash University – Central Clinical School

Monash scientists find ‘bad guy’ blood cells vital to gut health
A Monash University collaboration has found that eosinophils, a type of white blood cell commonly associated with asthma and allergy, play an important role in maintaining a healthy gut.
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BGRF honours humble giant of neuroscience, Professor Elsdon Storey AM
The 2022 Bethlehem Griffiths Research Foundation medal has been awarded to Professor Elsdon Storey AM, a giant of neuroscience and an international research visionary and clinician, at a ceremony last week.
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The “Real” 7-Up – the 30-year study linking childhood obesity and fitness to midlife cognition
The world’s first study of the impact of childhood fitness and obesity on cognition in middle age, followed over 1200 people who were children in 1985 for over 30 years, has found that better performance on physical tests in childhood is related to better cognition later in life and thus may protect against dementia in later years.
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New drug screen raises hope for nematode worm control
Hookworms affect the lives of hundreds of millions of people living under impoverished conditions in subtropical and tropical regions, while another nematode species called barber’s pole worm causes widespread damage to livestock. Now a Monash-led collaboration has developed a drug test that will potentially help counter nematode resistance to existing drugs in humans and in sheep.
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Neuroscientist Associate Professor Bridgette Semple wins veski award
Neuroscientist Associate Professor Bridgette Semple, from the Department of Neuroscience has been granted a Victorian Near-Miss Award to uncover the cellular and molecular mechanisms that underlie damage to myelinated tracts after paediatric traumatic brain injury.
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Midlife twin study reveals simple eye test could predict dementia
Study mapping the thickness of the layers of the retina in 18 pairs of twins at midlife has found that it could be a marker of future dementia risk. The paper, led by Associate Professor Christopher Moran and Professor Velandai Srikanth, from the National Centre for Healthy Ageing in Australia, and published in the journal Scientific Reports, tested 18 pairs of twins recruited from Twins Research Australia, average age of 64 years and two thirds female.
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Monash University – School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine

Clinician scientist Associate Professor Eliza Hawkes wins Veski award
Associate Professor Eliza Hawkes is a clinician scientist, Clinical Lymphoma Lead and a Monash University Senior Postdoctoral Fellow within the transfusion Research Unit at SPHPM and the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Centre, Austin Health has been granted a Victorian Near-Miss Award.
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Guilt, shame and stigma – how patients who smoke experience healthcare
A new study from Monash University has looked at how current and ex-smokers living with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), other chronic illnesses, or those with no chronic conditions, experience care from their general practitioner (GP) and in particular if they perceived their smoking status impacted their quality of care.
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Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute

New drug delivery system improves treatment of atherosclerosis
Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute researchers have designed and developed a novel drug delivery method that can vastly improve the efficacy of a drug used to treat atherosclerosis and has the potential to identify and treat other diseases.
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Burnet Institute

Don’t pump brakes: our COVID strategy must change to reflect reality
Professor Brendan Crabb and Professor Mike Toole argue for the urgent need for Australia’s leaders to adopt an anti-transmission COVID strategy without disruptive restrictions.
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Near-miss a boost for hepatitis research
A new award, the Victorian Near-miss Award Pilot, will enable Dr Alisa Pedrana to continue her research into the elimination of hepatitis C in Australia.
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