Emerging Researcher Fellowships

Monash Health 2021 Emerging Researcher Fellowships

The Chief Executive has established the Monash Health Emerging Researcher Fellowship. The primary purpose of the Fellowship is to invest in early research career individuals, with significant potential for a research career and for whom a fellowship would contribute to that end. The Fellowship is to encourage Monash Health employees to conduct a research project and to target emerging researchers.

The Emerging Researcher Fellowship provides a career development opportunity for those who do not have a proven record of research and to provide some salary support for employees in all health related disciplines including Allied Health, Medicine and Nursing.

2021 Emerging Researcher Fellowship recipients

Madeleine Jones

Dr Madeleine Jones

Obstetrics & Gynaecology Registrar

Induction of labour is one of the most common interventions in obstetrics, during which either mechanical (balloon catheter) and hormonal (prostaglandin) devices are used to ripen the cervix. This fellowship will support Madeleine’s home induction study, where pregnant women will undergo the cervical ripening process in the comfort of their own home, prior to induction of labour and birth in hospital. In keeping with emerging evidence in this area, the project aims to demonstrate that home inductions are safe and effective, with likely improved maternal satisfaction and reduced costs to maternity services.

Tina Ko

Dr Tina Ko

Rheumatology Fellow Infectious Diseases Fellow

This project aims to generate insights regarding the attitudes and perspectives about COVID-19 vaccination in rheumatological patients, and what factors may help patients make an informed decision about vaccination.

Izaak Lim

Dr Izaak Lim

Consultant Infant and Child Psychiatrist

Izaak is conducting a pilot study investigating the feasibility and acceptability of a group therapy program for parents and infants who have recently been discharged from the Monash Perinatal & Infant Inpatient Unit. The program will adapt the Building Early Attachment Resilience program for parents and infants at high risk of relationship difficulties. The program aims to improve parental mental health, infant socio-emotional wellbeing and parent-infant relationship quality by improving parental understanding of infant communication and emotional needs.

Rahul Muthalaly

Dr Rahul Muthalaly

Cardiology Advanced Trainee

Dr. Rahul Muthalaly is a second-year cardiology advanced trainee at Monash Heart. The ‘Heart at Home’ project explores the use of a digital model of care for patients who present to the Emergency Department with atrial fibrillation, the most common sustained heart rhythm disorder. This new model of care will use a smartphone application in addition to peripheral wearable sensors that continuously monitor heart rhythm and blood pressure, to allow patients to return home whilst under the care of a treating team. Rahul hopes that this will lead to further models of care that allow patients to be managed safely in their home environment.

Natalie Ngu

Dr Natalie Ngu

Gastroenterology Advanced Trainee

Natalie’s project ‘LiVr Well’ aims to address the impact of acute deterioration in chronic liver disease on health-related quality of life and mortality in the first 28 days after a hospital admission. LiVr Well is a multidisciplinary, home-based program which provides liver disease patients with access to intensive medical, nursing, physiotherapy, dietitian, pharmacy, neuropsychological and social work support in this critical period. The first part of the study is to evaluate the feasibility and acceptability of the program and the second part is to demonstrate safety, efficacy and cost-effectiveness. The program is based at Monash Medical Centre, Clayton but is open to all eligible Monash Health patients within the Hospital in the Home catchments and is supervised by A/Prof Suong Le.

Victoria Roberts

Ms Victoria Roberts

Statewide Coordinator Community Health Nurses in MDCs

Experiences of trauma are often undetected and associated with significant health impacts. Trauma informed care can be offered to support recovery and avoid re-traumatising by addressing safety, collaboration, choice, trust and empowerment. Victoria is exploring how trauma informed care used in a Monash Health Community Nursing program supports people impacted by sexual assault and/or family violence. The aim is to identify how community health nurses operationalise a trauma-informed framework and the benefits of trauma-informed care. The outcomes will inform whether using a similar approach to care within the broader health services offered at Monash Health could positively impact client experience and quality of care

Mollie Rumble

Ms Mollie Rumble

Podiatrist

Mollie’s project will be investigating Charcot foot and the time it takes for the temperature difference between legs to be stabilised. Charcot occurs when there is nerve damage in the foot resulting in bones becoming weak and fracturing. This causes inflammation and a rise in temperature difference between the feet. This temperature difference is important to guide treatment of Charcot. To treat a Charcot foot we apply a total contact cast weekly to the affected leg until the inflammation reduces.

There is limited evidence of how long to wait before recording these temperatures after removing the total contact cast, so Mollie will be conducting a study of patients with an active Charcot foot, taking their temperatures at 10min intervals starting at 0 until 90mins within a temperature controlled room to work out the time at which they become stable.

Sean Tan

Dr Sean Tan

Cardiology Registrar

Patients with kidney failure routinely undergo cardiac stress testing by means of treadmill stress echocardiography (heart ultrasound) as part of holistic evaluation in preparation for kidney transplantation. Although much focus has been placed on the results of the echocardiography, stress testing also allows concurrent evaluation of exercise capacity, an overlooked marker which may be predictive of cardiovascular outcomes. Sean is undertaking a project to investigate the role of exercise capacity assessed during stress echocardiography in kidney transplant candidates in predicting cardiovascular events during kidney transplant surgery and in the long-term.

Amanda Tay

Ms Amanda Tey

Senior Haematology Pharmacist

Continuing from funded publication success on similar work in patients with myelodysplasia and acute myeloid leukaemia (Tey et al., EJH 2021 doi.org/10.1111/ejh.13631), Amanda will undertake research to characterise the real world experience of opportunistic infections associated with ibrutinib, idelalisib and venetoclax. Working closely with A/ Prof Jake Shortt and Dr Claire Dendle, Amanda will use this data to inform infection prophylaxis strategies when using these medicines to treat patients with indolent lymphoma.

Caitlin Watson

Ms Caitlin Watson

Senior Paediatric Dietitian

Caitlin is undertaking a project comparing body composition of infants who have had surgery in the neonatal period at Monash Children’s Hospital, to infants who have not had surgery. The goal is to see if there are any differences in fat mass or lean muscle mass between the groups and consider associations with early nutrition intake and other surgical factors.

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