Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Meet SPHPM’s cardiac surgery registry overseer Lavinia Tran

SPHPM currently operates over 20 clinical registries, making it the largest Clinical Registries Program in Australia. This week we bring you a special feature on the Australia and New Zealand Society of Cardiac and Thoracic Surgeons (ANZSCTS) National Cardiac Surgery Registry run by the Centre of Cardiovascular Research & Education in Therapeutics (CCRET) here at SPHPM. Research Fellow Lavinia Tran works with the CCRET and manages the ANZSCTS National Cardiac Surgery Registry.

Q: What's the registry you are involved in and what work does it undertake?
A: I am the program manager for the ANZSCTS National Cardiac Surgery Database Program (ANZSCTS – Australian and New Zealand Society of Cardiac and Thoracic Surgeons). The Program collects clinical and surgical data on adult patients who undergo cardiac (heart) surgery across Australia and monitors unit and surgeon performance.

Thursday, 24 March 2016

SPHPM forensic expert receives honorary doctorate in Belgium

Professor Olaf Drummer, Head of SPHPM’s Department of Forensic Medicine (DOFM) and Deputy Director (Academic Programs) at the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine (VIFM) was awarded an honorary doctorate (doctor honora causa) from the University of Antwerp in Belgium. The award recognises his extraordinary career as a forensic pharmacologist and toxicologist as well as his vital role in establishing VIFM’s world-class forensic laboratories and academic programs at DOFM.

The award also highlights the esteemed international reputation of Professor Drummer, DOFM and VIFM. VIFM in partnership with DOFM provides opportunities for training, education and research in a wide range of forensic medical and scientific disciplines. Professor Drummer was honoured at the ceremony along with just three other scientists from around the world at the distinguished annual event.

Burns registry provides crucial evidence for best practice for burns care

THE Burns Registry of Australia and New Zealand (BRANZ) housed here at SPHPM is providing crucial data to burn units across the region, improving practice and outcomes for patients, according to research published this week in the Medical Journal of Australia (MJA).

SPHPM Adjunct Senior Lecturer and Director of the Victorian Adult Burns Service Dr Heather Cleland (pictured) discussed this week in the MJA the key findings of the first four years of data from the BRANZ, revealing significant variation in treatments and outcomes between specialised burns unit across the country.

Dr Cleland was the lead author of the latest BRANZ study published this week in the MJA, and accompanying the paper was an MJA ‘InSight’ article, video and podcast. In these, Dr Cleland discusses the vital need for such data, given the evidence of variations in practice and outcomes that were identified.

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

SPHPM profiles Dr Julia Gilmartin

Dr Julia Gilmartin is a Dementia Research Development Fellow based in the Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine in SPHPM. She returns to the Monash fold after spending two years abroad at University College London School of Pharmacy.


Q: What is your role at SPHPM?

A: I am an NHMRC-ARC Dementia Research Development Fellow (2016-2019).

I am also a PhD student supervisor, Alfred Medical Research and Education Precinct (AMREP) Early-Mid Career Researchers Committee member and Co-Chair of the Conference Subcommittee, and SPHPM Early Career Researcher Representative/Coordinator.

Monday, 21 March 2016

SPHPM part of team to receive $9.5m NHMRC grant to combat unnecessary testing and treatment

A team of Australia’s leading healthcare researchers have been awarded a $9,578,895 program grant from the NHMRC to help reduce unnecessary testing and treatment, particularly in the areas of musculoskeletal diseases, cardiovascular disease and cancer.

The Four Chief Investigators who will lead the study, entitled ‘Using healthcare wisely: Reducing inappropriate use of tests and treatments’, are Professor Rachelle Buchbinder from SPHPM and the Cabrini Institute, Professor Paul Glasziou from Bond University, Professor Chris Maher from the George Institute for Global Health and Professor Kirsten McCaffery from the University of Sydney.

Professor Buchbinder said she is thrilled to be able to contribute to this important and timely program of research.

Thursday, 17 March 2016

SPHPM celebrates staff and students in annual awards ceremony

Congratulations to the winners of the 2015 SPHPM Excellence Awards!

This year the SPHPM Excellence Awards were an afternoon affair, and featured a very special guest-speaker, the new Chancellor of Monash University, Simon McKeon AO. Staff and students were delighted by the opportunity to hear the new Chancellor address the School, acknowledging SPHPM’s outstanding contribution to teaching, research and public health.

“The Excellence Awards are an opportunity to reward our hardworking staff, students and researchers and to showcase the high calibre work coming out of the School,” Professor John McNeil, Head of SPHPM, said.

MonCOEH expert attends IARC meeting in France

In February 2016, 24 experts from eight countries met at the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in Lyon, France, to assess the carcinogenicity of seven industrial chemicals.

Associate Professor Deb Glass from the Monash Centre for Occupational and Environmental Health (MonCOEH) at SPHPM attended the World Health Organisation (WHO) agency meeting with other leading experts to come to an agreement on the carcinogenicity of the chemical agents under discussion.

Monday, 14 March 2016

Aus-ROC attends Cardiovascular Nursing Conference

As the majority of cardiac arrests are attributed to a cardiac cause, such as a heart attack, it was fitting that Dr Janet Bray was invited to speak at the Australasian Cardiovascular Nursing College conference earlier this month. Dr Bray is a Senior Research Fellow and Associate Director of the Australian Resuscitation Outcomes Consortium (Aus-ROC).

Dr Bray’s presentation was structured around the steps needed to ensure survival in a cardiac arrest, known as the chain of survival. These steps are: early recognition of the condition and thus requesting emergency medical services; commencing cardiopulmonary resuscitation; and accessing and using a defibrillator. Dr Bray presented current evidence on each of these steps, including work completed and planned from Aus-ROC.

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Ladder trauma study reveals danger at every rung

A ground-breaking study by SPHPM and Alfred hospital researchers on presentations of ladder fall-related trauma to the Alfred has revealed a rising trend in ladder fall injuries among older men, who are sustaining traumatic head and spinal injuries from ladder falls at home.

The one-of-a-kind study reporting on the incidence, severity and outcomes of severe ladder-related injuries requiring intensive care unit (ICU) management is pioneering as there have been no critical illness-focused studies like this before.

Ground-breaking program cuts post-natal mental disorders among women with new babies dramatically

In a world first, published today in BMJ Open, new Australian research from SPHPM has shown that post-natal mental health problems can be reduced by up to two-thirds through an innovative program. The program, called What Were We Thinking! (WWWT), was developed by the Jean Hailes Research Unit (JHRU).

JHRU director Professor Jane Fisher and Senior Research Fellow Dr Heather Rowe applied a new way of thinking to the prevention of postpartum common mental disorders. Rather than the traditional focus on a woman’s characteristics and health, this program focuses on the people nearest to her: her partner and her baby.

Frankenstein and his monster are still with us: Organ donation and surrogate motherhood

Adjunct Research Fellow Claire Stubber and Senior Research Fellow Maggie Kirkman from the Jean Hailes Research Unit at SPHPM have collaborated on a new article published in Soundings that explores the persistence of the Frankenstein myth in relation to organ transplantation and surrogate motherhood.

Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein or, The Modern Prometheus is considered one of the earliest examples of science fiction, first published in 1818. It tells the story of a young scientist, Victor Frankenstein, who creates a grotesque but sentient creature in an unorthodox scientific experiment. It continues to be raised today as a cautionary tale for science.

Using auto-ethnographic accounts of organ transplantation and surrogate motherhood, Dr Stubber and Dr Kirkman explore how the myth of Frankenstein persists in influencing constructions of science and technology, and the lives of people who benefit from them.

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Fertility and Facebook – SPHPM at the helm of research in the digital age

Dr Sara Holton, a Research Fellow from the Jean Hailes Research Unit (JHRU) at SPHPM, has had her pioneering Facebook hosted research published in the Interactive Journal of Medical Research. The research investigated the complexities of managing fertility in Australia.

The innovative social media based study advertised, recruited and was rolled out using Facebook; participants were added to a closed group and the research team prompted the discussion with questions posted to the group’s Facebook page about pregnancy, contraception and related health services.

Thursday, 3 March 2016

Professor Rinaldo Bellomo makes the 2015 Thomson Reuters list of Highly Cited (HiCi) Researchers

Eleven Monash University staff have been named on the 2015 Thomson Reuters list of Highly Cited (HiCi) Researchers. This is a prestigious accolade that places them among the top one per cent of the most highly cited researchers in the world within their subject area.

SPHPM's Professor Rinaldo Bellomo is one of the 11 researchers to make the list from Monash and one of the School's most highly cited researchers,with some papers being cited over 1,000 times alone.

Professor Bellomo is currently the Director of Intensive Care Research at Austin Health. Alongside this, he is the Co-Director of the Australian and New Zealand Intensive Care Research Centre (ANZIC-RC). He is also a Professorial Fellow at the University of Melbourne, an Honorary Professor at Monash University, an Honorary Professorial Fellow at both the University of Sydney and The George Institute and an Honorary Principal Research Fellow at the Howard Florey Institute.

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