The 3rd Annual MDHS ECR Network Symposium 2017


Important Announcement

Additional Keynote Speaker Professor Julie Simpson (see below for details)

The University of Melbourne, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences (MDHS) Early Career Researcher (ECR) Network aims to support ECRs to achieve research excellence at the University of Melbourne. The ECR Network is an ECR-led initiative established by, and for, ECRs within MDHS. The ECR Network organises a yearly symposium for researchers to network and present their work.

The 3rd Annual MDHS ECR Network Symposium will be held on Thursday the 19th of October. The program will include oral and poster presentations, an opening plenary address by Professor Shitij Kapur (Dean of the MDHS Faculty and the Assistant Vice-Chancellor (Health) at the University of Melbourne) and a keynote presentation by Professor Julie Simpson (Head of Biostatistics and co-Deputy Head of School at the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health; NHMRC Senior Research Fellow and a Chief Investigator of the NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence (ViCBiostat)).

The event will conclude with the opportunity to network with colleagues, enjoy a drink and some food. For more details and updates, see our website.

Many cash prizes and travel awards for best poster and oral presentations up to $1500 to be won!

Who: All ECRs and PhD students from MDHS are invited to participate and meet fellow researchers

When: 19th October 2017. Registration on-site commences from 8:30 am, accompanied by a light breakfast, tea and coffee.

Where: Auditorium, Kenneth Myer Building (Melbourne Brain Centre), 30 Royal Parade, Parkville

Registration: This event is free and includes free food and drinks. Registration is NOW OPEN and closes 16th October 17:00 AEST. Register here.

poster symposium v8 copy

Share this event with your colleagues. Download the flyer here.

Keynote Speakers:

Professor Shitij Kapur, MBBS, PhD, FRCPC, FMedSci

Professor of Psychiatry and Dean, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences
Assistant Vice Chancellor (Health), University of Melbourne


Professor Shitij Kapur, FRCPC, PhD, FMedSci is the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences and Assistant Vice-Chancellor (Health), University of Melbourne. Shitij is a clinician-scientist with expertise in psychiatry, neuroscience and brain imaging. He trained as a Psychiatrist at the University of Pittsburgh, and undertook a PhD and Fellowship at the University of Toronto. He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (USA) and has practised psychiatry in the US, Canada and the UK.

Professor Kapur’s main research interest is in understanding Schizophrenia and its treatment. Using brain imaging, clinical trials and animal models better understanding of antipsychotic action, its relationship to brain dopamine receptor blockade, the role of appropriate dosing of these drugs and has led to the development of the ‘salience’ framework of psychosis and the ‘early onset’ hypothesis if antipsychotic action; and a better understanding of how ‘biomarkers’ might be best incorporated into psychiatric care and drug development. Shitij has published over 300 peer-reviewed papers, his work has received over 30,000 citations, he has an H-index of over 85 and has received various national and international awards including the AE Bennett Award of the Society for Biological Psychiatry and the Paul Janssen Award of the the International College of the Neuropsychopharmacology (CINP). He is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association; a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences, UK, and a Fellow of King’s College London, UK.

Formerly, Professor Kapur was Executive Dean Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience (loPPN), Europe’s largest and leading centre for mental health research. Prior to that role, he served as Vice-President (Research) for the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) Toronto, Canada’s premier centre for research into mental health and addictions.

Shitij has served as a Non-Executive Director of the South London and Maudsley NHS Trust in the US, as Secretary of the International College of the Neuropsychopharmacology (CINP) and a Treasurer of the Schizophrenia International Research Society (SIRS). He currently serves as a Director on the Board of the Royal Melbourne Hospital [a public hospital], the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, the St. Vincent’s Research Institute, and the Aikenhead Centre for Medical Discoveries [all medical research institutes], Australia.

When away from his work Dr Kapur is wearing out his knees playing squash and working hard to perfect the ultimate lamb biryani.

Professor Julie Simpson

Head of Biostatistics and co-Deputy Head of School at the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health
NHMRC Senior Research Fellow and a Chief Investigator of the NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence (ViCBiostat).


Professor Simpson has published over 200 peer-reviewed publications and has 25 years experience teaching biostatistics and contributing to clinical and population health research. Her main research areas are: the integration of biostatistics and mathematical modelling to improve the control of infectious diseases and statistical methods for handling missing data. She has been an advisor to the World Health Organization (WHO) for the design and analysis of antimalarial drug trials over the last 15 years, and recently contributed to policy change in the treatment of children with severe malaria (WHO treatment guidelines, 3rd edition).



8.30-9.00 Registration

Tea/coffee and light breakfast

 SESSION ONE: Co-Chairs Claudia Marck and David Gonsalvez

9.00-9.15 Opening of proceedings by MDHS ECR Network Co-Chairs
9.15-10.15 Keynote Presentation by Prof in Psychiatry Shitij Kapur

Dean, Faculty of MDHS and Assistant Vice Chancellor (Health)

“Searching for clinical tests – a long road in psychiatry”

SERVIER MORNING TEA BREAK (10.15 – 10.40) Poster session 1

SESSION TWO: Co-Chaired by Premila Paiva & Hamish McWilliam

Oral presentations: “Infection & Immunity”

10.40-10.50 Oral 1: Angela Pizzolla, Microbiology and Immunology

Nasal tissue resident memory CD8+ T cells prevent pulmonary influenza A virus infection

10.50-11.00 Oral 2: Julia Prier, Microbiology and Immunology

Identification of a committed precursor to the tissue-resident memory T cell fate

11.00-11.10 Oral 3: Susan Christo, Microbiology and Immunology

The role of TGFβ in shaping TRM identity in epithelial and non-epithelial environs

11.10-11.20 Oral 4: Hui-Fern Koay, Microbiology and Immunology

Development of functional MAIT cells

11.20-11.30 Oral 5: Bridie Clemens, Microbiology and Immunology

Mapping protective influenza-specific CD8+ T cell targets for HLA-A*24:02 in Indigenous populations

11.30-11.40 Oral 6: Gayathri Manokaran, Microbiology and Immunology

Understanding the role of lipids behind Wolbachia-mediated inhibition of medically important flaviviruses

11.40-11.50 Oral 7: Cristina Giogha, Microbiology and Immunology

A family of secreted bacterial glycosyltransferases that catalyse novel biochemical modifications

11.50-12.00 Oral 8: Jane Hawkey, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology

Microevolution of antibiotic resistant Acinetobacter baumannii during prolonged infection

12.00-12.10 Oral 9: Turgut Aktepe, Microbiology and Immunology

The Host Protein Reticulon 3.1A Contributes to Flavivirus Replication Via Interaction and Stabilization of the NS4A Protein

LUNCH BREAK (12.10 – 1:15) Continuation of poster session 1

 SESSION THREE: Co-Chaired by Dorothea Lesche & Angela Pizzolla

Oral presentations: “Clinical & Public Health”

1.15-1.40 Keynote: Prof. Julie Simpson, Head of Biostatistics and co-Deputy Head of School

Melbourne School of Population and Global Health

‘Identifying and developing your research niche’

1.40-1.50 Oral 10: Michelle Hall, Physiotherapy

Knee extensor strength gains mediate symptom improvement in knee osteoarthritis:  Secondary analysis of a randomised controlled trial

1.50-2.00 Oral 11: Esmee Reijnierse, Medicine

Assessment of maximal handgrip strength: how many attempts are needed?

2.00-2.10 Oral 12: Camilla Tuttle, Medicine

Markers of cellular senescence and chronological age in various human tissues: a systemic review of the literature

2.10-2.20 Oral 13: Yang Li, School of Psychological Science

Rational Defectors Do Not Punish Norm Violators but Reject Unfair Offers

2.20-2.30 Oral 14: Michelle Peate, Obstetrics and Gynaecology

The role of decision aids in cancer to support fertility decision-making

2.30-2.40 Oral 15: Ankur Singh, Melbourne School of Population & Global Health

Variance share at small area level for different types of tobacco use in India: A potential point of intervention

AFTERNOON TEA BREAK (2:40 – 3.10) Poster session 2

 SESSION FOUR: Co-Chaired by Emily You & Jacqueline Heath

Oral presentations: “Fundamentals of Disease”

3.10-3.20 Oral 16: Dustin Flanagan, Doherty Institute

Frizzled-7 is rate-limiting for gastric tumourigenesis

3.20-3.30 Oral 17: Parisa Farzanehfar, Florey Institute

Objective measurement in clinical care of patients with Parkinson’s disease: An RCT using the PKG

3.30-3.40 Oral 18: Pablo M. Casillas-Espinosa, Medicine

Disease modifying effects of sodium selenate in chronic a rat model of chronic, drug resistant, temporal lobe epilepsy

3.40-3.50 Oral 19: Ashish Sethi, Biochemistry

Understanding the role of LDLa-LRR linker in the ligand binding and activation of its receptor RXFP1

3.50-4.00 Oral 20: Benjamin Goudey, Melbourne School of Population & Global Health

A blood-based signature of cerebral spinal fluid Aβ(1-42) status

4.00-4.10 Oral 21: Christina Perry, Florey Institute

Chronic alcohol produces specific cognitive deficit

4.10-4.20 Oral 22: Philip Ryan, Florey Institute

Oxytocin receptor-expressing neurons in the parabrachial nucleus modulate fluid satiation

RECEPTION FROM 4:20PM, Continuation of poster session 2


4.45-5.00 Dissemination of prizes

Closing of proceedings by MDHS ECR Network Co-Chairs



Thank you to our sponsors: