People, Awards and Milestones

St Vincent's Clinical School celebrates 110 years

2020 marks the 110th anniversary of the St Vincent's Clinical School, founded in 1910 by Mother Mary Berchmans Daly, who had founded St Vincent’s Hospital 17 years earlier­, with the University of Melbourne.  From humble beginnings, the School has gone on to graduate generations of clinicians who have served locally and internationally and thrived in research careers. It’s now one of the University’s seven clinical schools.

The Clinical Dean, Associate Professor Justin Tse, says COVID 19 has not stopped the desire to celebrate this milestone, with a display in the hospital foyer, and  a photo gallery on the commemorative website.

“As with our student programs, we have gone online, and I hope you will take a few minutes to look at the rich history of the clinical school. For those who are alumni of the clinical school, we have the year photos from 1960 and I hope you enjoy your walk down memory lane.

“21st-century medical education in a COVID 19 pandemic year has been a circuit breaker for how we deliver programs,” Justin says. “As in 1919 with the Spanish Flu, our medical students will stand strong, resilient ready to learn and be our next generation of doctors.”
More information.
Image: Medical students c 1918 in the Department of Clinical Pathology, St VMH Archives

​MMS Team updates

Joanne Kuluveovski, Department Manager - Department of Medicine & Radiology and Precinct Manager – Western Health and Northern Health, will be concluding her time with the Medical School on Thursday 22 October. We sincerely wish Joanne all the very best and thank her for her many contributions during the past year while on secondment from the School of Engineering.

Andreia Marques will start as the Department Manager, Department of Rural Health, on Monday 12 October. Andreia joins us from La Trobe University where she is currently the Senior Manager, Partnership Operations in the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Commerce. In her current role, Andreia leads diverse functional units across Bundoora, Bendigo and Albury Wodonga and works closely with colleagues at the Shepparton and Mildura campuses. At the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at Monash University, Andreia managed project teams across several countries and five campuses including the Peninsula and Gippsland campuses.

Until 12 October, Keryn Bolte will continue as Interim Department Manager. On behalf of the Department and School Executive teams we would like to thank Keryn for the superb support she has provided during this interim period.

Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology

Welcome to Professor Peter Davis, Associate Professor Louise Owen and Associate Professor Brett Manley, who have joined the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Royal Women’s Hospital.

The Head of Department, Professor Susan Walker AO, said Peter, Louise and Brett are international leaders in their field. "They are absolutely stellar academics and neonatal clinicians. "They have worked alongside, rather than within, our Department for many years, and it is well overdue for this to change. They have an exceptional research record, and we are hugely proud of them. "We are keen to strengthen our relationship with this group of neonatal specialists in the Parkville Precinct and to grow our partnership with the Royal Women’s Hospital in the area of neonatology.” Read more.

Ego Seeman honoured for osteoporosis commitment

Professor Ego Seeman (Department of Medicine – The Austin) has been honoured for his contribution to the advancement of the work of the International Osteoporosis Federation (IOF) and his commitment in the bone field. 

The 2020 IOF President’s Award was announced at the opening of the virtual World Congress on Osteoporosis, Osteoarthritis and Musculoskeletal Diseases in late August 20-22, 2020.

Ego has worked in the field of bone biology for 38 years studying the epidemiology, pathogenesis and treatment of bone fragility. He emphasised the role of growth as a forerunner of bone frailty in old age, emphasised the role of cortical and trabecular microstructural deterioration as a cause of bone fragility, and signalled that fractures in both sexes are a public health problem. He has contributed to studies of many drugs used today and has published extensively with over 400 publications. He is in the top 10 most cited authors in the field of osteoporosis and bone biology. He is past President of the ANZBMS, Editor of Progress in Osteoporosis, Associate Editor of Osteoporosis International, and former IOF Board. He has received numerous awards including The Bartter Award, American Society of Bone Mineral Research 2002; Distinguished Scientist Award, Austin Hospital Medical Research Foundation 2008; Medal of Achievement, International Osteoporosis Foundation 2009; The Haddad Award, International Bone Mineral Society 2013; Inaugural Career Achievement Award, Aust. New Zealand Bone Mineral Society 2014; and Member Order of Australia 2016.

Bone and Mineral Research Impact 

Senior Research Fellow, Dr Sandra Iuliano (Department of Medicine – Austin Health) received the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research Most Outstanding Clinical Award for her abstract, Dairy Supplementation Reduces Fractures and Falls in Institutionalised Older Adults: a Cluster-Randomised Placebo-Controlled Trial”.

This was a world-first trial that involved over 7000 older adults living in residential aged care. With aged care in Australia currently in the spotlight with the Royal Commission into Quality and Safety in Aged Care and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on those living in aged care, the outcomes from this study have the potential to drive evidence-based reform to improve nutritional care and food provision in aged-care.

Department of Clinical Pathology award and scholarship recipients 

Congratulations to Blake Bowen, who has been awarded the 2020 J.E. Taylor Honours Award for the top student who has completed an Honours project relating to cancer with the Department of Clinical Pathology. Blake is undertaking a research project in Dr Richard Tothill’s Rare Disease Oncogenomics lab on Understanding the role of somatic TERT alterations in phaeochromocytomas.

We would also like to extend congratulations to students Bennett Anderson and Jordan Ly on each receiving an RCPA Scholarship in Pathology for Students undertaking Science Degrees to undertake pathology projects undertaken during their degree.

Bennett’s project, supervised by Associate Professor Kais Kasem, will explore how anatomical pathologists report on biopsies of melanocytic skin lesions, involving a nation-wide survey to understand common practice in reporting biopsy margins. The findings will provide insight into how pathologists report on different types of skin biopsies, especially in situations where recommended guidelines are ambiguous or unavailable. The study was supported by the Department of Clinical Pathology, endorsed by the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia and aims at conducting research is the field of skin cancer with a potentially significant clinical impact.

Bennett is excited for the opportunity to participate in pathology research and hopes to continue his research involvement throughout his future medical career.

The Department of Clinical Pathology has strong associations in the University of Melbourne teaching hospitals and research institutions, collaborating in clinical trials and research projects. It is integral to cancer research as we seek to develop the most efficient and early diagnoses and accurate understanding of the biology and genetics of cancer, precision oncology and the best clinical and public health services.

Psychiatry students get collective

"Some of our students have fallen so in love with psychiatry that they've launched the Psychiatry Students Interest Society," Master of Psychiatry alumna, and 2019 young Victorian of the year  Dr Skye Kinder wrote on twitter late last month. Skye was a speaker at their inaugural event, 'More than just SSRIs and CBT: Intro to Psychiatry'. You can follow the group on instagram and facebook.