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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.

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.

Why violent psychopaths don’t ‘get’ punishment

New research suggests that, contrary to current belief, psychopaths have more extreme reactions to punishment than non-psychopaths.

Precision medicine offers the hope of cures made just for you

Precision medicine, the new approach to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases, helps deliver treatment based on the particular variant of a disease by taking the genetic make-up of the ill person into account, and offers the hope of tailor made cures.

Rosie Batty's message on domestic violence: are the right people listening?

The Australian of the Year award provides the momentum to make domestic violence an issue for all Australians and in particular for those who are continuing to perpetrate violence and abuse.

Diet and nutrition essential for mental health

Evidence is rapidly growing showing vital relationships between both diet quality and potential nutritional deficiencies and mental health, a new international collaboration led by the University of Melbourne and Deakin University has revealed.

'Healthy' fat tissue could be key to reversing type 2 diabetes

Preventing inflammation in obese fat tissue may hold the key to preventing or even reversing type 2 diabetes, new research has found.

Peanut allergies: probiotics offer hope of cure

Australian scientists say a particular strain of probiotics could offer a possible cure for people with potentially fatal peanut allergies.

Domestic violence: how taboos veil the truth

Political correctness, inadequate data and pussyfooting around the problem will hamper the search for ways to stop family violence says NARI ambassador Dr Don Edgar.

Cashing in on hope: stem cell tourism risks arrive in our own backyard

Stem Cells Australia's Megan Munsie and Professor Martin Pera warn of a rise in unproven stem cell treatments being offered in Australia.

Drug regulator must put patient safety ahead of Big Pharma profits

Pain specialist Michael Vagg advocates for a pragmatic approach to reducing red tape for the pharmaceutical industry to ensure patient safety.

Twitter can predict hot spots for coronary heart disease

Researchers from the University of Melbourne and the University of Pennsylvania have shown that social media can serve as a dashboard indicator of a community’s psychological well being and can predict rates of heart disease.

Starting to thin out? Hair loss doesn’t have to lead to baldness

Hair loss is no longer an inevitable march to baldness. Medical advances over recent decades mean male hair loss can be treated.

Epilepsy researcher Sam Berkovic, Victoria's nomination for Senior Australian of the Year

Sam Berkovic, Professor at the Department of Medicine (Austin Health), Director of the Comprehensive Epilepsy Program and Victoria's nomination for Senior Australian of the Year for 2015.

Beer and bread yeast-eating gut bacteria aid human health

University of Melbourne researchers collaborating with scientists from the UK, USA Canada and Belgium have unravelled the process healthy gut bacteria use to degrade complex carbohydrates in the wall of yeast cells contained in fermented foods.

Prestigious US Bioengineering award to Professor Graeme Clark for Cochlear implant

Professor Graeme Clark AC from the University of Melbourne is the first Australian to receive the US Russ Prize for an outstanding achievement in bioengineering innovation that is in widespread use to improve health and well-being: the cochlear implant.

Healthier kids: Insights from twin research

Twin researchers gathered in Melbourne during December to share ways in which research with twins can advance science.

Nanoscale tech for better drug delivery

Researchers will soon be able to revolutionise drug delivery by looking at it at the nanoscale.

Investing in cancer control saves lives - and makes financial sense

World cancer leaders from UN agencies, ministries of health and finance, research institutes, international cancer organisations and private sector organisations gathered in Melbourne in December to make an economic case for investment in cancer prevention.

Unveiling how the children’s tummy bug, rotavirus, causes infection

Researchers from the University of Melbourne and Griffith University’s Institute for Glycomics have significantly advanced understanding of a virus that kills up to half a million children each year.

Melbourne early career researchers win cancer prize

Potential new treatments for cancers such as leukaemia are a step closer as young researchers Julia Marchingo and Dr Chun Yew Fong are awarded the 2014 Picchi Awards for Excellence in Cancer Research.

Australians living longer but heart disease and Alzheimer’s on the rise

Australians are living longer than they did in 1990 but some conditions, particularly chronic kidney disease and Alzheimer's disease are on the rise, according to a new analysis of trend data from 188 countries.

Antibodies discovery could lead to universal dengue vaccine

Researchers from the University of Melbourne have participated in a study that may lead to better vaccines for the dengue virus.

Explainer: what is psoriasis?

Epworth Hospital's Professor Rodney Sinclair explains psoriasis, a skin disease that affects around two per cent of that Australian population.

Bridge highlights strength of collaboration in the Parkville biomedical precinct

A new bridge connecting the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre (VCCC) and The Royal Melbourne Hospital will facilitate more interdisciplinary, cross-institutional research in the Parkville Precinct - a critical driver of innovation in modern medicine.

Investing in Indigenous health leadership

Future Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health professionals will have the opportunity for leadership development in health policy and practice thanks to a $10 million gift from leading Australian philanthropist, Greg Poche AO.

Up in smoke: how fMRI is changing the way we think about nicotine addiction

At some point between the ages 14 and 18 years, most Australians will smoke their first cigarette. Why do some go on to become pack-a-day smokers, whilst others will only smoke casually or not at all? This question is at the heart of the research of Associate Professor Rob Hester, an ARC Future Fellow within the School of Psychological Sciences.

Health advice from online forums putting people at risk

A study from researchers at the University of Melbourne has found many people are supplementing or even completely substituting professional medical advice with online health forums.

How does breast density impact on cancer screening?

NHMRC Australia Fellow John Hopper says that directing all women with dense breasts to have follow-up imaging may be an unwarranted and costly public health strategy.

Controlled crying is helpful, not harmful

MCRI's Anna Price says that research has confirmed “controlled comforting” and “camping out” are safe sleeping strategies for babies older than six months.

In Conversation with Nigel Crisp: Ebola response and lessons from African health leaders

Professor Rob Moodie of the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health sits down with Lord Nigel Crisp to discuss the lessons that Africa health leaders have to offer to the world and his new book, African Health Leaders: Making Change and Claiming the Future.

Explainer: why do I sweat so much and how can I stop it?

Everybody sweats but some do more than others. Professor Rodney Sinclair explains why.

What price a life? Hepatitis C drug out of reach for millions

Hepatitis C kills more Australians than HIV, yet the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee have declined to subsidise a new curative drug, which costs $84,000 per treatment in the US.

World health systems need to be better in preventing violence against women

New research shows how important global health systems are in responding to and preventing violence against women.

Indigenous Eye Health on track to close the gap

The Indigenous Eye Health Unit at the University of Melbourne has released 2014 update of The Roadmap to Close the Gap for Vision, which shows a 10 per cent reduction in Indigenous trachoma rates since 2009.

Fixing broken health systems in the aftermath of conflict

For the world's most vulnerable populations, conflict creates yet another barrier to accessing adequate health care.