Departmental Seminars

Every weekday, until 27th Nov 2017

2017 Seminars - No RSVP required

PhD Completion Seminar- Targeting EGFR to treat pregnancy complications
Roxanne Hastie
The University of Melbourne, Mercy Hospital for Women
Monday 23 October, 11.00am to 11.45am, Lecture Theatre, Level 4, Mercy Hospital for Women

The placenta is a critical organ for normal pregnancy progression and its functioning is thought to play a significant role in many pregnancy complications, including ectopic pregnancy and preeclampsia. Over the course of my PhD I have investigated both of these complications and role Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor, a master regulator of cell survival, plays in the pathogenesis and potential as a therapeutic target to treat these complications.


PhD Completion Seminar- Improving the detection of risk factors for term stillbirth
Dr Teresa Macdonald
The University of Melbourne, Mercy Hospital for Women
Monday 23 October, 11.45am to 12.30pm, Lecture Theatre, Level 4, Mercy Hospital for Women

Fetal growth restriction (fetal weight <10th centile), the biggest risk factor for stillbirth, often remains undetected. If the growth restricted fetus is detected the rate of stillbirth is halved. We have collected over 2,000 blood samples from pregnant women at 28 and 36 weeks' gestation to investigate for RNA and protein biomarkers which may detect the small fetus with better sensitivity than existing methods. To better detect appropriate-for-gestational-age fetuses at risk of stillbirth we have performed longitudinal ultrasound assessment showing that reduced growth velocity is associated with features of placental insufficiency, even among fetuses who are not small.


Photography & Imaging in teaching and research - Where we are heading
Michelle Gough and Gavan Mitchell, Imaging Technicians
Imaging + Posters, Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience, The University of Melbourne
Monday 13 November, 12.30pm, Seminar Rooms 7D/E, Level 7, The Royal Women’s Hospital

Photography, graphics & imaging has evolved and changed drastically over the last 30 years. Time that was once spent in a darkroom and letrasetting symbols onto photographs is now spent on a computer working with digital images and photographs.  The unit now prints large format posters, pull up banners, 3D images and more recently encompasses photogrammetry & Virtual Reality (VR), still producing top quality photographic images. 3D digitisation is being explored as a tool for teaching students in the modern age, to be able to not only look at but be totally immersed in an educational situation.


Sulfasalazine intervention for preeclampisa (SIP) study
Dr Fiona Brownfoot, Post-doctoral fellow
The University of Melbourne, Mercy Hospital for Women
Monday 20 November, 1.00pm, Seminar Room 2, Level 4, Mercy Hospital for Women

Preeclampsia is a common serious complication of pregnancy with no medical treatment. It is caused by abnormal placental implantation resulting in secretion of anti-angiogenic factors that cause wide spread endothelial dysfunction resulting in hypertension, proteinuria, liver and renal impairment or failure and at times seizures. We have found a medication safe in pregnancy, sulfasalazine, can mitigate key features of preeclampsia in vitro using primary human tissues. We are now translating this concept and recruiting 20 patients with preterm preeclampsia to sulfasalazine to explore its therapetuic potential.


Dr Hubert Sydney Jacobs Memorial Scholarship: Outcomes of the HIPSTER Trial
Dr Calum Roberts, Neonatologist
Monash Newborn, Monash University
Monday 27 November, 12.30pm, Seminar Rooms 7D/E, Level 7, The Royal Women’s Hospital

In this seminar I will present the outcomes of the HIPSTER Trial, a multi-centre randomised trial comparing High Flow and CPAP as primary respiratory support for preterm infants. This study was the principal focus of my PhD study at the University of Melbourne, and was led from the Newborn Research Centre at The Women's. In addition to the main trial outcomes I will summarise further analyses we have since conducted, looking at the influence of prospective and retrospective consent methods on study population and outcomes, how we can identify infants most at risk of treatment failure, and the relative cost-effectiveness of the two treatments.


Dr Hubert Sydney Jacobs Memorial Scholarship: Can mesenchymal stem cells rescue oxidative stress in preeclampsia?
Dr Gina Kusuma, Research Officer
Hudson Institute of Medical Research
Monday 27 November, 12.30pm, Seminar Rooms 7D/E, Level 7, The Royal Women’s Hospital

In preeclamptic patients, the placenta is subjected to oxidative stress and the signals emanating from the placenta spread the stress to the mother. We examined the location and role of stem cells at the important border of the placenta and the mother, in both normotensive and preeclamptic pregnancies. The outcome provides evidence that abnormal placental stem cells contribute to the development of pregnancy disorders. This could facilitate the development of targeted stem cell-based therapies to alleviate oxidative stress in preeclampsia, thus improving the health of mothers and babies and at the same time saving millions of dollars in cost of neonatal intensive care units.