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April, 2017
MESSAGE FROM PROFESSOR KIM CORNISH, DIRECTOR MICCN
Welcome to the April 2017 edition of Research Matters, the Monash Institute of Cognitive and Clinical Neurosciences newsletter. It has been a busy month, with our colleagues expanding international collaboration, winning grants, and conducting innovative research across a variety of fields.
 
The MICCN Research Office has been working closely with our researchers throughout the 2017 major grant round to submit applications for c.$40m of research funding. A few of our researchers have already achieved funding success: Congratulations to Dr Catherine Willmott, who was awarded a NHMRC Partnership Grant and a Monash Interdisciplinary Research Grant, and Dr Sean Cain, who was awarded an Australia-Harvard Fellowship!
 
In this issue, MICCN’s Associate Professor Clare Anderson shares her experience in writing and winning Linkage grants. We also feature several research articles on our recent discoveries, including the transdiagnostic treatment of anxiety and depression, how Parkinson’s disease alters multisensory perception, the impact of stress on health and mortality, and alcohol misuse in young people.
 
This month, we celebrated Monash’s Psychology rising to 42nd in the world in the QS 2017 World University Rankings by Subject. This is a significant improvement from previous years, thanks to the strong performance in research outputs. In the coming months, MICCN will continue to build and enhance our strategic partnerships and international collaboration to strengthen our research performance. Once again, I would like to thank each and every member of MICCN for your tremendous effort and ongoing dedication.
 

I hope everyone has a well deserved holiday break.

Best wishes,
Professor Kim Cornish
Director MICCN
TOP STORIES


Transdiagnostic 
approaches
 
Pioneered by MICCN researchers, a promising new, ‘whole person’ approach to the treatment of anxiety and depression has been developed in an effort to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of current treatment, and further improve the lives of those who are living with these, and similar, mental health disorders. Read more...
NEWS
Head injury study now totalling 23 years of funding

Monash Epworth Rehabilitation Research Centre Director and clinical neuropsychologist, Prof Jennie Ponsford, who is also located in MICCN, has received another two years of funding from the Transport Accident Commission (TAC) for her Longitudinal Head Injury Outcome Study. The funding will assist with research into the psychological and cognitive consequences of brain injury, such as the potential development of dementia, as well as the early identification of factors that could help pinpoint the likely long-term trajectory, ensuring that patients receive the right treatment. Read more...
Stress less, live longer
 
Funded by an award from the National Institute on Aging funded Stress Measurement Network, MICCN’s Dr Joshua Wiley is researching the effect of stress on health and, ultimately, on mortality. His most recent study questioned whether all stressors have an impact, and whether this impact is equal. Read more…
Android app for anxiety brings help to thousands

For many months, iPhone users have been benefiting from smartphone app, MoodMission, by learning better ways of coping with low moods and anxious feelings – feelings that, if left untreated, can lead to depression and anxiety disorders. Now, it’s the Android users’ turn. Read more…
Alcohol misuse among young people and the role that parents play

In Australia, 5,500 people die from alcohol-related injuries, illness and accidents each year, and, in the same time frame, 157,000 people are hospitalised due to alcohol. A large percentage of these ‘drinkers’ are teenagers, with adolescent alcohol misuse fast becoming a global health concern. Substantial research suggests that parents, or guardians, play an important role in reducing young people’s risk for early initiation of alcohol and alcohol-related harms. MICCN’s Dr Marie Yap has investigated this issue further. Read more…
New collaboration with the School of Psychological Sciences and King's College London

The Monash School of Psychological Sciences has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with King’s College London to provide a global platform for potential world-leading research into online learning, teaching and student support.  

The Monash – King’s College partnership sits within the Monash Online – Psychology Education Division (MO-PED) led by Associate Professor Matt Mundy, the School’s Director of Education).  In late 2016, MO-PED launched the online Psychology Research Portal, a web-based tool which enables Monash Psychology students to carry out their entire research projects online. The collaboration will support the effort to translate online educational research into improving the pedagogy and satisfaction of the on-campus experience for both academic staff and students. Read more...
Visit from Dr Annelies van Ravestijn - Donders Institute, Netherlands

Dr Annelies van Ravestijn, Account Manager Grants & Funding, from the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour in the Netherlands, recently visited our Research Office at MICCN.

Generous with her knowledge and skills, Dr van Ravestijn substantially contributed to our understanding of the research funding landscape in the EU. Further to her visit, our international collaboration with the Donders Institute will now continue with showcases to identify Marie Curie Sklodowska (MSCA) Fellowship applicants, a Marie Curie RISE application, and ongoing planning for future applications to the European Commission's H2020 Societal Challenges.
RECENTLY PUBLISHED RESEARCH PAPERS
Chong, T.T.J., Apps, M., Giehl, K., Sillence, A., Grima, L.L., Husain, M. (2017). Neurocomputational mechanisms underlying subjective valuation of effort costs. PLoS Biology, 15 (2), 24 February 2017, Article number e1002598.
Cheetham, A., Allen, N.B., Whittle, S., Simmons, J., Yücel, M., Lubman, D.I. (2017). Orbitofrontal cortex volume and effortful control as prospective risk factors for substance use disorder in adolescence. European Addiction Research, 23 (1), 37-44.
Murray, J.M., Sletten, T.L., Magee, M., Gordon, C., Lovato, N., Bartlett, D.J., Kennaway, D.J., Lack, L.C., Grunstein, R.R., Lockley, S.W., Rajaratnam, S.M.W. (2017). Prevalence of circadian misalignment and its association with depressive symptoms in delayed sleep phase disorder. Sleep, 40 (1), 1 January 2017.
MacDonald, H.J., McMorland, A.J.C., Stinear, C.M., Coxon, J.P., Byblow, W.D. An activation threshold model for response inhibition. PLoS ONE, 12 (1), January 2017, Article number e0169320.
Ding, C., Palmer, C.J., Hohwy, J., Youssef, G.J., Paton, B., Tsuchiya, N., Stout, J.C., Thyagarajan, D. (2017). Parkinson's disease alters multisensory perception: Insights from the Rubber Hand Illusion. Neuropsychologia, 97, 1 March 2017, 38-45
PAID RESEARCH OPPORTUNITIES
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IN THIS EDITION:
INDUSTRY ENGAGEMENT
Associate Professor Clare Anderson


Linking up to industry

The Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Projects scheme promotes national, and international, collaboration and research partnerships between key stakeholders in research and innovation including higher education institutions, government, business, industry and end-users. Research and development is undertaken to apply advanced knowledge to problems, acquire new knowledge, and as a basis for securing commercial and other benefits of research.

MICCN’s Associate Professor Clare Anderson recently secured funding through this scheme for her investigation into current technologies - including those of her partner organisation - focusing on eyelid closure to measure and monitor impaired alertness levels while driving. The project will enable fatigue technology providers to develop more accurate and sensitive systems with earlier warning capabilities.

According to Associate Professor Anderson, who has a long collaborative history with her partner organisation, key to success in the ARC Linkage Projects scheme is working together with your partner organisation to develop the commercialisation pathway alongside the science, including planning early - engage a strong investigator team with clear roles, sell the idea - don’t overlook significance and innovation, and keep it simple!

More information on ARC Linkage Projects scheme can be found here.
ACHIEVEMENTS
Paper on prenatal supplementation published in top journal

Professor Peter J Anderson has had his first paper published since joining MICCN, just one month ago! The paper investigates the benefit of prenatal DHA supplementation on children’s cognition. Adding to his achievement, the paper was published by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) - one of the world’s top journals. Read more…
Congratulations to Dr Philip Ward, on the publication of his paper in collaboration with Professor Gary Egan and other esteemed researchers: "Improved Quantification of Cerebral Vein Oxygenation Using Partial Volume Correction. Frontiers in Neuroscience".
Graduate Research Completions

The School congratulates the following students on the successful completion of their research degrees:

Doctor of Philosophy: Ms Catarina Kordsachia, Ms Fernanda Gomes Da Mata
DPsych Clinical Psychology: Ms Shireen Mahtani
DPsych Clinical Neuropsychology: Ms Jacqueline Owens 
COMMUNITY FOCUS
World Health Day 2017 - Let's talk about depression

This year’s World Health Day takes place this Friday, 7 April 2017, and will focus on depression and breaking down the barriers that prevent people from seeking the help that they may need. 

The Monash Psychology Centre (MPC) in MICCN is one of Australia’s leading clinical psychological centres with specialist clinics providing low-cost services to the community. Our experts combine cutting-edge research with clinical experience to develop and enhance treatment protocols for people with depression. Read more...
World Sleep Day 2017 - Can we really sleep soundly

"Sleep Soundly, Nurture Life”. The slogan for this year’s World Sleep Day seemed simple. But, in a world where the pace is quickening and where there are never enough hours in the day, is this ideology actually achievable and just how positive an effect can sound sleep have on our lives?
Read more…
IN THE PRESS
World Sleep Day 2017
World Sleep Day - ABC TV Breakfast News Videocast featuring MICCN's Dr Sean Cain.
Is using a sleep calculator to determine bedtime a good idea? MICCN’s Dr Sean Cain shared his professional view in a recent Sydney Morning Herald article. Read more...
MICCN’s Professor Sean Drummond was live on Noosa 101.3FM for World Sleep Day – hear the Podcast here (Note: Prof Drummond’s discussion commences at 4 minutes 14 seconds).
The concussion trail results which was developed by MICCN's Catherine Willmott, in partnership with the AFL, will be known by the end of the year. Read more...
Sleep has a bidirectional relationship with both anxiety and depression. Each one can affect the other, so which do you treat: the anxiety or your poor sleep? Professor Sean Drummond explores this question in a recent edition of USA Today. Read more…
GET TO KNOW...  DR CATHERINE WILLMOTT
SENIOR LECTURER MICCN AND CO-DIRECTOR, MONASH PSYCHOLOGY CENTRE
1) What are the key areas of research that interest you?       
Translational research in the field of acquired brain impairment in general. Over the past few years the majority of my research has focused on determinants of outcomes (e.g. genetics and brain imaging) and rehabilitation of cognitive deficits (including pharmacological interventions, attention training and return to study) following brain injury.

2) What has been a highlight of your research career to date?
Most recently I have been collaborating with the National Trauma Research Institute at the Alfred and the AFL in an investigation on the impact of head injury in AFL football. Our successful NHMRC Partnership Grant over 2017-18 aims to improve the detection and management of concussion in Australian football.

3) Who has been the greatest inspiration in your research career and why?
We are incredibly lucky in Australia to have a number of women in the field of clinical neuropsychology who are international leaders in the area of brain injury and rehabilitation. Professor Jennie Ponsford has been the greatest influence for me as she is always striving to genuinely improve the quality of life for those living with ABI (Acquired Brain Injury). She has instilled in so many of us the need for real life translation of our research efforts.

4) What advice would you give a person starting out their research career?
Say “Yes” to opportunities when they come your way and surround yourself with people who want to make a difference to the lives of others. Be prepared to work until 3am to get that grant written!

5) Share something about you that most people wouldn't know. 
If I wasn’t a neuropsychologist I’d love to be a winemaker – that’s my retirement dream! I am fascinated by the science of it.
MICCN brings together over 200 world-class researchers with cutting-edge research infrastructure from a range of disciplines and faculties to work towards advancement in areas of critical importance to well-being. 

Addiction | Attention & Memory | Sleep
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