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Many Emergency Department visits could be avoided with trip to the GP

More than 70 per cent of all lower-urgency visits to Emergency Departments at Victorian hospitals between 2002 and 2013 could have been appropriately treated at GP clinics, new research has found – with the number increasing to 90 per cent among children aged 0-4 years.

Discovery prompts rethink on metals and Alzheimer's disease

Researchers at the University of Melbourne have discovered that a protein involved in the progression of Alzheimer’s disease also has properties that could be helpful for human health. An international team of researchers, led by Dr Simon Drew at the University of Melbourne and Prof Wojciech Bal at the Polish Academy of Sciences, has revealed that a shorter form of a protein called beta amyloid, may act as a sponge that safely binds a metal that can damage brain tissue when it’s in excess.

Do encounters with perpetrators help or hinder recovery after traumatic loss?

Finding a satisfactory answer to why such violence has occurred is an important part of living with traumatic loss. We know that traumatic life events destabilise a person’s sense of safety and meaning. They often provoke a search for a new narrative about the world in which we live and how others behave.

Medical students treated to a change of perspective

MDSC provides a powerful advocacy platform for issues which often don't make it to the clinical curriculum but are invaluable to our future health professionals.

To change attitudes to family violence, we need a shift in gender views

In her opening statement at the public hearings of Victoria’s Royal Commission into Family Violence, commissioner Marcia Neave said family violence’s causes: "… are deeply embedded in community attitudes about gender, and about what is and what is not legitimate and appropriate between intimate partners and within families"

Explainer: what are superbugs and how can we control them?

Superbugs are routine bacteria that have learnt how to avoid being killed by antibiotics. When this ability extends across multiple different types (classes) of antibiotics, the bugs are deemed multi-drug resistant (MDR) and qualify as “superbugs”.

Indigenous voices: a shining light in new health and advocacy program

Warwick Padgham on how the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences has allied with Indigenous academics to transform Indigenous healthcare.

Community health in healthy communities

It doesn’t come as a surprise that medical students at the clinical schools in Shepparton, Epping and Sunshine relish the medicine they experience, although it’s interesting to see how a strong sense of community influences their approach to medicine and is becoming embedded in their lives.

An integrated system of care

We can look at the portrait of a village doctor such as ABC’s Doctor Blake, and think that a time when the village doctor knew you, your family, its history and socioeconomic background, who conducted most of the cradle to grave care, is outdated, impractical and hopelessly idealistic.

Rare and deadly, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease remains a bit of a medical mystery

Creutzfeld-Jacob disease (CJD) is a rare degenerative disease of the brain that causes rapidly progressive loss of memory and muscle control followed by death, usually within 12 months of onset. In developed countries such as Australia, it occurs in about one to two in every million people each year, most often in late middle-age.

Family violence victims need support, not mandatory reporting

At first glance, Victoria Police’s suggestion this week that health professionals report domestic violence to authorities, as they do for child abuse, sounds like a great idea. But women are not children, and we believe mandatory reporting of family violence on their behalf may threaten dignity and take away their power.

Research priority: make Australia's health system efficient, equitable and integrated

The national science and research priorities have been developed with the goal of maximising the national benefit from research expenditure, while strengthening our capacity to excel in science and technology.

Reducing uterine cancer risk

Taking hormonal contraceptives and having children are associated with a lower risk of uterine cancer for women with Lynch syndrome, a University of Melbourne research team has found.

Health Check: when are we most likely to catch viral diseases?

Viruses have been described as “organisms at the edge of life”, unable to reproduce outside the cells of those they infect. But this status has not impeded their evolutionary success. Children, in particular, experience a multitude of viral illnesses during their early years, which gradually reduce over time as their natural immunity develops.

Closing the eye health gap may be in sight

Three years after the launch of the roadmap to close the gap for vision, progress has been made but “much remains to be done”, according to the authors of a Perspective published online today by the Medical Journal of Australia.

Risk of bowel cancer reduced by taking aspirin for Lynch syndrome patients

An international study led by The University of Melbourne has confirmed that long-term regular taking of aspirin or ibuprofen reduces the risk of bowel cancer by more than half for people with the genetic mutation causing Lynch syndrome.

Discovery targets dormant bowel cancer cells before they form secondary tumours

An international research team, led by the University of Melbourne, have discovered a way to control the stem cell behaviour responsible for the spread of bowel cancer.

University congratulates new ARC Laureate Fellows

The Australian Research Council has named two academics from the University of Melbourne as recipients of 2015 Laureate Fellowships. We are delighted to announce that Professor Leann Tilley from the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Bio21 has been awarded a Georgina Sweet Australian Laureate Fellowship—where recipients undertake an ambassadorial role to promote women in research as well as undertaking their research.

Acting today means saving lives tomorrow

Medical students call for strong action on climate change following release of landmark Lancet Commission report into health benefits of action on climate change.

Department of General Practice Teaching and Research awards

On 23 June, the Department of General Practice hosted their annual teaching and research awards night which publicly acknowledges and values General Practitioners contribution to teaching and research practices.

Scholars awarded for research excellence

Dr Christina Mo and Dr Aung Ko Win were each awarded The Chancellor’s Prize for Excellence in a PhD thesis for their research in Huntington’s disease and bowel cancer.

Preventing DVT

Qantas first airline in the world to introduce exercise video to help prevent DVT

Scientists map superbug genome paving way for new treatments and prevention

The Bio 21 Insitute's Dr Kat Holt led an international effort to examine 30,000 genes of the Klebsiella pnuemoniae bacteria. The research paves the way for more effective treatments and prevention.

Bioinformatics hub

University to host leading bioinformatics hub

Courage and determination in academic achievement

Christina Tait profiles medical research student Savant Thakur, a PhD student with muscular dystrophy who is researching his own disease with the support of the Disability Liaison Unit, and the dedicated support of his team in the Physiology Department and the mentorship of Professor Gordon Lynch.

Detecting postnatal depression

Postnatal depression is a continuation of existing mental health problems

Dr Marelyn Wintour Coghlan appointed Officer in the Order of Australia in 2015 Queen’s Birthday Honours

Marelyn Wintour Coghlan, AO, FAA. DSc. PhD, was made an Officer in the order of Australia in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List on the 8th June 2015, in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the furtherance of women’s equality by example to thousands of medical science students over an academic career spanning fifty years.

Breath of life

Researchers give breath of life to critically ill children in developing countries

Virus evolution and human behaviour shape global patterns of flu movement

New research from The Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity published in Nature today has revealed surprising differences in how each of the four types of influenza that cause seasonal viruses is spread.

Melbourne Professor wins 2015 Shark Tank Competition for epilepsy research

In an international Shark Tank, one Melbourne Professor with a Power Point presentation and a killer argument beat some of the best the in the U.S., in a battle for research funding. Professor Mark Cook trounced teams of researchers from prestigious American universities such as M.I.T., in a cut throat session to win funds for epilepsy research.

Gag orders

Detention gag orders make it impossible for doctors to do their job

Memory concern in the age of [too much] information

Neuropsychologist Michael Saling explains that even though concerns about memory function are frequently expressed by generally well people, we probably don’t need to worry as much as we do about minor forgetfulness.

Tropical healing – tackling disease in a world of global mobility

Lisa Mamone looks at the tropical disease burden impacting the developing world, and the training that’s needed to equip health workers and researchers to tackle it.

How does technology affect our brains?

Andi Horvath speaks with researchers to determine just how our daily use of technology affects our brains.

Fathering in a context of family violence

Freelance writer and Masters of Journalism student Matthew Wade reports on new thinking about fathering in the context of family violence.

New study examines health factors influence on ex-prisoners’ chances of returning to jail

Ex-prisoners with a history of risky drug use, mental illness or poverty are more likely to end up back behind bars, a new University of Melbourne study has revealed. And those who are obese, are chronically ill or have attempted suicide are more likely to remain in the community, the research found.

Ovarian cancer discovery highlights the impact of Melbourne cancer research

Research findings published recently in Nature and revealing new insights into the genetic mechanisms ovarian cancer employs to evade chemotherapy drugs, have opened up the potential for the development of new treatments for women with high-grade serous ovarian carcinoma (HSC).

Australian GPs lead the way with early referrals for suspected cancer patients

Doctors in Victoria and New South Wales are more likely to immediately refer people with possible cancer for tests or to a specialist than those in comparable countries, new research published in BMJ Open has revealed.

Glancing at a grassy green roof significantly boosts concentration

A University of Melbourne study shows that glancing at a grassy green roof for only 40 seconds markedly boosts concentration. The study, published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology, gave 150 students a boring, attention-sapping task. The students were asked to press a key as a series of numbers repeatedly flashed on a computer screen, unless that number was three.

Growing resilience

Strength-based parenting improves children’s resilience and stress levels

Transforming manufacturing

New industry-led centre to help transform Australian manufacturing

Researchers find link between bacteria in infancy and development of childhood asthma

Bacteria colonising the airways of infants can increase their risk of severe respiratory illness and subsequent asthma, a new study led by researchers at the University of Melbourne has revealed.

Two histories of the University launched

Dr Juliet Flesch has written two books, Transforming Biology, a history of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and 40 years 40 women, featuring biographies of University of Melbourne women.

Working towards a one shot Influenza vaccine

An extraordinary breakthrough in influenza research could lead to the development of a vaccine component that can protect against all new influenza viruses, with the potential for future development of a one-off universal flu shot.

Paradigm shift: now targeting dormant as well as growing cancer cells

New discoveries in the activity of stem cells and proteins in bowel cancer herald major advances in treatments. A key to controlling stem cell behaviour that is responsible for the spread of bowel cancer has been discovered by an international team of investigators.

Antibiotic resistant typhoid tracked across the globe, giving new vaccine target

Multidrug resistant typhoid infections are increasing globally, thanks to the spread of a single dominant strain called H58, reveals a new international study. The findings will provide new targets to design a vaccine against the strain, that causes serious and untreatable infections in millions of people each year.

New study reveals 40 million deaths a year go unrecorded … and mobile phone data collection could crack the problem

In a sobering finding for global health authorities and governments around the world, a group of leading epidemiologists say two in three deaths globally – or 40 million people - go unreported. And one in three births – another 40 million people – go unregistered.

L’Oréal Rising Talent advances genomics and patient outcomes

University of Melbourne computational biologist Dr Kathryn Holt has been named one of 15 L’Oréal For Women in Science International Rising Talents for 2015. The L’Oréal For Women in Science program was established by the Foundation L’Oréal in partnership with UNESCO to showcase talented women who are committed to the advancement of science.

The difference 1000 days make in the life of a child

International research shows that early intervention programs during pregnancy and in the early months and years of a child’s life have great positive impact on later health.

University welcomes $2m for proton beam therapy development

The University of Melbourne has welcomed a $2 million investment by the State government in today’s budget to help plan and develop a National Centre for Proton Beam Therapy (PBT) as part of the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre (VCCC).

Unlocking the epilepsy puzzle: personalised care and global collaboration

A new international partnership will bridge the gap between patients, doctors and researchers to change the way epilepsy is researched and managed. The Epilepsy Genetics Initiative (EGI) based in the US with the Australian partner at the University of Melbourne, brings together research groups to find cures for people with epilepsy.

Medical paraphernalia tells the stories of World War 1

Medical artifacts and paraphernalia from the First World War – including a travelling dentistry chair, original medicine bottles and soldier cartoons – are on display at the University of Melbourne’s Medical History Museum.

State-of-the art medical education and research centre for Melbourne’s north

The Northern Centre for Health Education & Research (NCHER) facility in Epping is a landmark addition to Melbourne’s northern suburbs. It will deliver excellence in health education and research that will benefit the health of Melbourne’s northern communities.

When good cells go bad: how malaria turns our red blood cells into killers

Infection with parasites changes the shape of RBCs resulting in cells becoming stuck in brain blood vessels. This finding may provide an alternative way to combat malaria that could lead to new drug targets to help RBCs resist being transformed during infection.

Placing Australian adolescent health on the international stage

The World Health Organisation has named the University of Melbourne Centre for Adolescent Health as a WHO Collaborating Centre in adolescent health, the first outside of Europe.

Boosting the malaria battle-line

In a huge boost to the global fight against malaria, researchers have discovered how the malaria parasite protects itself by building resistance against the last-line in antimalarial medications, and how a new medical treatment can overcome the parasite’s defences.

Dead Man’s Penny

Behind each Dead Man’s Penny (also referred to as the Soldier’s Penny) lies a story of young life lost and the accompanying anguish of family and friends left to grieve and regret.

A lesson in drug discovery with Dr Mark Fishman

The opportunity for researchers and students to engage with and learn from the experiences of people working at the coalface, where scientific knowledge is transformed to improve the health of patients, is an opportunity to deepen our understanding of the relevance our work has for humanity.

Pioneer women doctors in the Great War

When the Great War broke out, female doctors who offered to serve were famously told to “go home and sit still”. But a group of remarkable women refused, making their own way to the front and forging a significant yet little-known slice of feminist history.

The right prescription: pharmacy sector in dire need of reform

Among the most significant reforms proposed by recently released Harper Competition Policy Review is the removal of regulatory restrictions that greatly limit competition in the community pharmacy sector. But implementing the recommendation will require politicians who are up for a real challenge. Any changes to how the pharmacy sector works involves taking on what has been described as “the most powerful lobby group you’ve never heard of.” The Pharmacy Guild of Australia, which represents the interest of pharmacy owners, is widely perceived as one of the most influential lobby groups in Australia.

Good Friday Appeal: Teddy Bear Hospital

A record number of 800 student volunteers from The University of Melbourne will stage the increasingly popular Teddy Bear Hospital (TBH) at the Good Friday Appeal ‘Kids Big Day Out 2015.’

Plotting the elimination of dengue

Researchers at the University of Melbourne along with international collaborators are using a novel way to block the dengue virus in Aedes aegypti mosquitoes using the insect bacterium, Wolbachia and have for the first time provided projections of its public health benefit.

The world’s best health research on our doorstep

The Melbourne Healthcare Partners Advanced Health Research and Translation Centre, coordinated by Melbourne Health, has been recognised as one of the world’s best for using medical research to improve patient care by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).

International collaboration awarded funds to advance new asthma treatments

The University of Melbourne along with Pieris Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (OTC:PIRS) today announced a collaboration and funding awarded to advance treatments for diseases such as asthma.

Welcome to Professor Fabienne Mackay appointed Inaugural Head of the School of Biomedical Sciences

It’s a great pleasure to be able to announce the appointment of Professor Fabienne Mackay as Inaugural Head of the Faculty’s new School of Biomedical Sciences.

Grants support vital research in epilepsy, cancer and malaria

Patients suffering from cancer, neurological conditions and infectious diseases will benefit significantly from the most recent round of research funding from the Federal Government’s National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).

Global Health Information Infrastructure: $100m Philanthropic Grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies

Professor Alan Lopez leads team of experts to establish global health information infrastructure.

How our DNA may prevent bowel cancer

A new study published in the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) suggests the link between aspirin and colon cancer prevention may depend on a person’s individual genetics,

Re-authoring stories of self: how narrative therapy works

Katherine Smith speaks with Social Work’s Professor Louise Harms about the rise in interest in narrative therapy from training as well as therapeutic perspectives.

Sheldrake scholarships to support students pursue nursing and teaching dreams

An awareness of how easily educational opportunities can be closed down by circumstances has led nurse Julie Sheldrake to establish education and nursing scholarships at the University of Melbourne. By Chris Weaver.

Molecular biologist named Rising Talent for L’Oréal Women in Science

In a ceremony held in Paris, biochemist and molecular biologist, Dr Kathryn Holt was named one of fifteen Rising Talents for L’Oréal Women in Science for 2015.

Q&A with Sir Paul Nurse

On Monday 9 March, students from medicine, science and engineering backgrounds had the exciting opportunity to talk to Nobel Prize laureate and geneticist Sir Paul Nurse in an intimate Q&A session.

Indigenous research students from around Australia assemble in Melbourne

This year’s summer school for Indigenous research students, run by the Melbourne Poche Centre for Indigenous Health, and the Melbourne Centre for the Study of Higher Education, saw one of the highest levels of participation in its 13 year history.

Early palliative support critical for end-of-life care outcomes

Research shows palliative care earlier rather than later in a severe illness is beneficial to all involved. Palliative care is, often, a taboo topic. With its connotations of death and dying, it is a subject many people shy away from. But research shows palliative care is also about life – for both patients and their carers.

Number of people released from prison unknown: new research finds

Despite an annual public investment of more than $3 billion, nobody knows how many people cycle through Australia’s prisons each year.

Mental health care starts in the womb

Maternal depression and anxiety is a global societal concern that has also been found to impact a woman’s children. It can affect learning capacity and emotional wellbeing, and researchers now understand that treating depression starts with baby still in the womb.

Destination Australia: how did we end up here?

In recent years, events at sea, on Nauru and Manus Island have seen Australian asylum-seeker policy come under sharp public scrutiny. And although the boats may have stopped, over 50 million refugees remain scattered around the world. University of Melbourne researchers believe it’s time to change the face of the debate.

Australia leads world in skin cancer incidence but lacks reporting

Research published this week in the Australasian Journal of Dermatology confirms that Australia has the highest incidence of skin cancers in the world but lacks in national reporting of the statistics.

Technology doesn’t judge: using the web to address domestic violence

For every woman who speaks out about her experiences or reports the abuse, many more remain silent through fear, shame, or simply because they don’t know who to turn to. Many don’t even tell their closest friends, family members, or general practitioner, let alone pick up the phone to call a domestic violence hotline or counselling service.

Researchers discover milk protein enables survival of the species

The University of Melbourne Honorary Professorial Fellows Professor Jane Visvader and Professor Geoffrey Lindeman from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute have discovered a particular protein in breast milk that is important for cell immunity and survival and could be instrumental in developing targeted cancer treatment or prevention.

Should doctors share gene tests after a death in the family?

Would you want your family members to be told about your genetic tests after your death if it meant saving their lives through early medical intervention? The authors of a paper just published in Trends in Molecular Medicine argue doctors may only have a duty to disclose such information if asked by a living relative.

I-DECIDE: Women urged to seek online domestic violence support

Female participants aged between 16 and 50 are being asked to try I-DECIDE, the first Australian online interactive tool designed to provide practical and confidential support to victims of domestic violence.

Number of people released from prison unknown: new research finds

Despite an annual public investment of more than $3 billion, nobody knows how many people cycle through Australia’s prisons each year.

Leading vision researcher joins the University of Melbourne

Professor Mingguang He, global leader in vision-related population health research, has joined the University of Melbourne, stepping into the role of Professor of Ophthalmic Epidemiology.

The numbers are in: 1.8m Australian smokers likely to die from their habit

The first large-scale, direct evidence on smoking and mortality in Australia shows up to 1.8 million of our 2.7 million smokers are likely to die from their habit if they continue to smoke, losing on average ten years of life expectancy.

The COACH Program delivers personal care from a distance for heart patients

A medical coaching program developed at the University of Melbourne for patients with cardiovascular disease and/or type 2 diabetes successfully reduced risk factors in both Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations.

Hidden cost of increasing drug co-payment poses a high risk

Apart from proposing a co-payment for visiting doctors, the last federal budget also contained a proposal to increase the level of co-payments for medications. The government seems to have given little attention to the effect this policy would have on the long-term health of the nation.

Revolutionary stroke treatment to save severe victims from disabilities

Advanced brain imaging is one of the key features of the study and that the new treatment would help the worst affected stroke patients.

Global health leader to lead NHMRC

National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) has announced the appointment of prominent University of Melbourne alumnus, Honorary Professor and microbiologist Anne Kelso AO as their new Chief Executive Officer to commence in April 2015.

Equal but not the same: a male bias reigns in medical research

Prof Peter Rogers of the Royal Women's Hospital says the lack of female representation in both preclinical studies and clinical trials has put women at greater risk of adverse events from medical interventions.

Genetic code cracked for worldwide dog and human parasite

A study led by researchers from the University of Melbourne has sequenced the genetic code of a potentially fatal parasite.

Generous gift fires up engineering innovation in healthcare

A major donation to the University of Melbourne’s Centre for Neural Engineering (CfNE) will provide critical funds to advance links between life sciences, engineering and physical sciences and drive the next wave of medical breakthroughs in Australia.

Does brain training work? That depends on your purpose

Over the last decade, an ever-growing number of brain-training programs claiming to enhance learning, memory and general well-being have been developed and marketed for use in the classroom. Unfortunately, despite many years of laboratory research and classroom scrutiny, the effect of these programs on real-world learning and health remains uncertain.

High risk of bowel cancer for gene carriers

Researchers from the University of Melbourne have found that screening for bowel cancer in genetically high-risk populations should begin early.

Skin based immunity secrets revealed

A team of international scientists has discovered a new mechanism by which immune cells in the skin function act as the body’s ‘border control’, revealing how these cells sense whether lipid or fat-like molecules might indicate the presence of foreign invaders.

Alumni and staff, past and present, recognised in Australia Day Honours

More than a dozen members of the MDHS community have been recognised in the Australia Day Honours.