Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Who is who in Faculty?

Many surgeons affiliated with our Departments don’t need to go to Clayton very often and can feel a bit detached at times and rarely get the opportunity to meet our senior Faculty members. However, there are new Faculty initiatives that will involve Surgeons and it is important we are aware of how they are functioning and how we may be involved.   

Christina Mitchell – our Dean of Medicine

Professor Christina Mitchell graduated with a degree in Medicine from Melbourne University and undertook general physician and haematology training fellowships. She obtained a PhD from Monash University, concentrating on the anticoagulant activity of protein S, and graduated with a Fellowship from the Royal Australian College of Physicians and also a Fellowship in Pathology. She then undertook a 3 year post-doctoral fellowship at Washington University purifying phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3-kinase) signal-terminating enzymes.

Professor Mitchell returned to Australia as senior lecturer in Medicine at Monash University and Box Hill Hospital, she became Associate Professor soon after, while also conducting research on the newly emerging family of enzymes, inositol polyphosphate 5-phosphatases, negative regulators of PI3-kinase signalling. In addition, she held a position of Professor and Head of Biochemistry Department at Monash University (2000), until being promoted to Head of School of Biomedical Sciences (2006-2011). She became Dean of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences in 2011.

The major research direction of her group is to characterise the metabolic pathways that regulate phosphoinositide signalling, in particular PI 3-kinase signalling in human cancer. Professor Mitchell has practiced as a general physician from 1990 to 2000 and as a specialist haematologist from 1990 to 2011 in the Department of Haematology at Box Hill Hospital. She has a long commitment to the development and integration of the medical curriculum at Monash University.

Professor Mitchell has published over 130 papers and received many awards, including Monash University 50th Anniversary Research Award (2008) and Dean's Prize for Excellence in Research (2003) the Australian Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) 2015 Lemberg medal, the Victorian Honor Role (2015) and the SACs leadership award (2014).   In 2015 she became a member of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences and serves on the council of the academy.  She was awarded an honorary degree in medical sciences from University of Melbourne in 2014. Professor Mitchell was a member of the scientific committee for the Anti-Cancer Council of Victoria (2001-2010), served on several NHMRC review panels for both project grants and fellowship applications and has been a member of the board of VESKI (Victorian Endowment for Science, Knowledge and Innovation). She currently serves on the boards of the Baker/IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute; Hudson Institute and Burnet Institute for medical research.

Professor Mitchell and her research team are the recipients of several National Health and Medical Research grants, Her research laboratory comprises six post-doctoral fellows, a research assistant, and 5 PhD students.

Michelle Leech – Deputy Dean MBBS

As Deputy Dean (MBBS), Professor Michelle Leech is responsible for overseeing the Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery degree. This includes the Central medical program at Clayton, Gippsland graduate entry course, Malaysia Medical School and the Northern Victorian Rural Medical Education Network (NVRMEN), which oversees the Extended Rural Cohort.

Her work includes ensuring that the learning objectives and outcomes of all programs are aligned, as well as coordinating other academic and educational initiatives and endeavours related to MBBS.

Professor Michelle Leech has been a research fellow at Monash Centre for Inflammatory Diseases, Southern Clinical School and continues as a consultant physician and deputy director of Rheumatology at Monash Health. She is the chair of the Clinical examination Committee of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians.

She received her MBBS from Monash University, and after residency training in Internal Medicine at Prince Henry’s Hospital, Melbourne, completed her advanced physician training in Rheumatology and a PhD at the Monash University Centre for Inflammatory Diseases.

Her research interests include cytokine biology, glucocorticoid action and cell cycle proteins in the context of Rheumatoid Arthritis pathogenesis.

Monash Institute of Medical Engineering (MIME)

Jeffrey Rosenfeld
The Monash Institute of Medical Engineering was established in 2015 to stimulate interdisciplinary research between clinicians and engineers to develop new medical technologies, devices and IT solutions.  Scientists, Designers, CSIRO scientists and Industry may also be involved in MIME projects.  Innovation and entrepreneurship are nurtured with the end goal of commercialisation of the devices.  Some exciting new technologies are already being developed. 

Monash University has a prototyping facility and MIME has many industry contacts and collaborations and is able to connect a group of researchers to industry to develop the commercial opportunities of their projects.  Monash has a lot of expertise in 3D printing in metal and plastic and is soon to acquire a bioprinter.  These capabilities may be of interest to Alfred surgeons.

MIME Affinity meetings are a great way to meet the Monash University engineers to help you develop your ideas.  Clinicians identify an area of unmet clinical need and engineers, IT researchers and scientists highlight capabilities that may help solve these challenges.  This is an excellent networking opportunity.
There will be a second Affinity meeting on April 28 at AMREP Seminar Room to bring together Alfred clinicians and CCS and School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine researchers to identify opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration.

MIME Seed Funding was established to accelerate the development of new medical technologies and was very successful in the 2015 round.  Each grant is for any amount between $10,000 and $50,000.  There is a two stage selection process.  The details of application and the results from last years round are on the MIME website.
MIME also offers travel grants to junior researchers and PhD Scholarships.
More information is available at the website: http://www.monash.edu/mime/

Monash Partners

Monash Partners provides the foundations for borderless clinical care and translational research to be available across an immediate catchment population of 2.8 million people.  Headed by Helena Teede, Monash Partners received NHMRC accreditation in 2015.  Through Monash Partners, public and private clinical care providers combine with one of the country’s largest and best known universities, and three of the country’s eminent health research institutes, to create an entity of national and global reach.
Monash Partners is a collaboration across the broad health community. It is our objective to align and leverage our members’ expertise, innovation, reputation and performance to deliver improved health outcomes for patients.
This clinical goal is interdependent with undertaking globally competitive clinical research and underpinned by the highest quality workforce accessing world standard academic training and teaching.    
The Members are:    
  • Alfred Health
  • Baker IDI
  • Burnet Institute
  • Cabrini Health
  • Epworth HealthCare
  • Monash University
  • Hudsons Institute/Monash Health
The structure of Monash Partners was designed to deliver its mission and builds on its competitive strengths. The members initially identified seven key service themes which reflected its combined national and international strengths in research, clinical practice and education. The seven themes are:
  • Cancer and Blood Diseases
  • Cardiovascular
  • Critical Care, Trauma and Peri operative medicine
  • Diabetes, Obesity, Men’s Health and Endocrinology
  • Infection and Inflammation
  • Neuroscience and Mental Health
  • Women’s, Children’s and Reproductive Health
Building on the inherited experience in enhanced collaboration through AMREP (Alfred Medical Research and Education Precinct) and the MHTP (Monash Health Translation Precinct), Monash Partners also identified linking disciplines.
These disciplines link the themes’ innovations as well as translating theme lessons back into the other clinical, research and educational activities of the members.
The interlocking disciplines are:
  • Registries, Informatics and Patient Data Discipline
  • Health Services Research
  • InnovationbyDesign
  • Primary and Community Health
The interaction of designated themes and linking disciplines provides a robust framework for fostering innovation while maximising the linkages and building translation between research and clinical practice.
Simultaneously, the structure expects that educational programs will become increasingly responsive to the needs of research and clinical practice. This is expected to manifest itself not simply in course content and course mix, but also in the fostering of new roles and new workforce structures.
Current activities include
  • Establishing a good clinical research training program commencing at AMREP and MHTP for all partners as of June 2016
  • Leading a project across thee partners to streamline ethics and governance, and to develop and offer training and support clinicians to understand and complete ethics and governance forms and requirements
  • A seed funding round will be offered later in 2016 linked to NHMRC partnership application processes
  • Multiple funding opportunities are evolving including an AHSC NHMRC grant round, and we are in negotiation with both government and philanthropy

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