Menzies School of Health Research http://video.menzies.edu.au/ Recent Videos Video <![CDATA[What makes successful women’s health policy?]]>  

Presenter: Megan Howitt

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Fri, 02 Aug 2013 10:06:22 GMT
<![CDATA[The sexual health of youth in the NT]]>  

Presenter: Kate Senior

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Thu, 01 Aug 2013 12:00:31 GMT
<![CDATA[The social determinants approach to sexual and reproductive health]]>  

Presenter: Kate Senior

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Wed, 31 Jul 2013 17:49:17 GMT
<![CDATA[Child Protection]]>  

Presenter: Howard Bath

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Wed, 31 Jul 2013 09:01:15 GMT
<![CDATA[What makes successful sexual health policy]]>  

Presenter: Nathan Ryder

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Mon, 29 Jul 2013 13:08:15 GMT
<![CDATA[Management of sexual health issues from a Public Health Practitioners’ perspective.]]>  Presenter: Di Rowling]]> Mon, 29 Jul 2013 11:28:41 GMT <![CDATA[The Epidemiology and disease burden of Hepatitis B in the Northern Territory of Australia]]>  

24th September 2012

Abstract:
The first Australian National strategy for Hepatitis B virus infection (HBV) was launched in 2010 with the goal of;
“reducing the transmission of, and morbidity and mortality caused by, hepatitis B and to minimise the personal and social impact of hepatitis B”, and lists Indigenous Australians as a priority group. The goal of this research program is to inform improvements in the provision of care for people living with chronic hepatitis B in the Top End of the Northern Territory. It includes 4 separate but related sections the first looking at the clinical epidemiology of hepatitis B, the second describing the molecular epidemiology of Hepatitis B in Indigenous Australians, the third establishing the rates of morbidity and mortality related to Hepatitis B and lastly development of a culturally appropriate educational tool to use in the remote community context. I will cover the background, methods and results so far of these four sections in this presentation.
Presenter: Jane Davies

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Mon, 01 Oct 2012 11:46:28 GMT
<![CDATA[Alan Walker 2012 - Vacination Schedules - biological basis]]>  

August 2012

Kim Mulholand

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Mon, 10 Sep 2012 09:29:17 GMT
<![CDATA[Alan Walker 2012]]>  

August 2012

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Mon, 10 Sep 2012 09:28:56 GMT
<![CDATA[Alan Walker 2012]]>  

August 2012

 

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Mon, 10 Sep 2012 09:28:21 GMT
<![CDATA[Alan Walker 2012]]>  

August 2012

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Mon, 10 Sep 2012 09:28:00 GMT
<![CDATA[Alan Walker 2012]]>  

August 2012

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Mon, 10 Sep 2012 09:27:53 GMT
<![CDATA[Alan Walker 2012]]>  

August 2012

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Mon, 10 Sep 2012 09:27:16 GMT
<![CDATA[Alan Walker 2012]]>  

August 2012

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Mon, 10 Sep 2012 09:26:56 GMT
<![CDATA[Alan Walker 2012 - Factors affecting iron status in anaemic children.]]>  

August 2012

Ass Pro Karen Walker

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Mon, 10 Sep 2012 09:26:14 GMT
<![CDATA[Economic evaluation of potential fiscal strategies to improve Indigenous nutrition and health in remote communities of Australia.]]>  

21st August 2012

Abstract:
There is growing evidence that taxes and discounts on food and beverages have the potential to positively influence consumption patterns, and thus improve population health outcomes. This seminar will present the findings of a modelling study to evaluate the impact on diet and lifetime health outcomes for remote Indigenous Australians and determine the cost-effectiveness of fiscal measures in community food stores. Six price discount strategies (of 20%) on fruits, vegetables and reduced-calorie beverages and a 20% tax on sweetened beverages were modelled.
Findings show that selective price discounts and taxes offer to improve Indigenous health. Verification by trial-based research is needed.

Biography:
Anne Magnus is a senior health economist within the Health Economics Unit at Deakin University, Melbourne. She has qualifications in Economics, Education and Epidemiology. Anne is working on a number of tenders and trials involving the economic evaluation of obesity interventions, indigenous training schemes, fiscal interventions to improve indigenous nutrition and health, and cancer control.

Presenter
Anne Magnus (Deakin University)
and
Julie Brimblecombe (Menzies School of Health Research)

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Mon, 27 Aug 2012 11:51:55 GMT
<![CDATA[Finding the Needle in a Haystack. Next Generation Sequencing: Applications toward Pathogen Genomics, Detection and Characterization.]]>  

17th July 2012

Abstract:
This will be a bioinformatics-based talk, and LANL are known for their world-class bioinformatics capabilities, so it will be a good chance to learn more about computational genomics, including metagenomics and even single-cell genomics. There will be time after their talk for more discussions.

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Mon, 27 Aug 2012 11:51:35 GMT
<![CDATA[Impaired glucose metabolism and other metabolic risk factors in the development of cardiovascular disease - findings from AusDiab and plans to follow-up DRUID]]>  

17th July 2012

Abstract:
Diabetes significantly increases the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), and both diseases represent a serious and escalating public health problem worldwide. The Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle (AusDiab) study is a national prospective longitudinal study of 11,247 adult men and women.  Data on all-cause and CVD mortality were obtained through data linkage with the National Death Index, and self-reported nonfatal CVD events were verified through medical record adjudication; the methods of which were validated with data linkage. Findings from AusDiab confirmed the strong association between previously diagnosed diabetes and early death and CVD. However, intermediate hyperglycaemia also plays an important role in the development of CVD, suggesting that CVD prevention strategies should not only target diabetes, but all levels of hyperglycaemia.

The impact of both diabetes and CVD is particularly detrimental in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. The Darwin Region Urban Indigenous Diabetes (DRUID) study was started nine years ago to access the burden of diabetes, kidney disease, heart disease and other health problems in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in and around Darwin. Between 2003 and 2005, 1004 men and women volunteers aged =15 years underwent health examinations. Findings from DRUID have shown that diabetes and CVD risk factors are highly prevalent, and that non-traditional CVD risk factors may play an important role in the development of CVD in Indigenous people. While this data has been pivotal in characterising the potential risk of CVD in Indigenous people living in an urban setting, follow-up information on premature mortality, fatal and non-fatal CVD events and related conditions is required to assess the long term impact of the different CVD risk factors in this population. The plans for the DRUID follow-up study will be outlined.

Biography:
Elizabeth Barr is a research fellow at Menzies School of Health Research and currently holds a NHMRC training (post doctoral) fellowship to investigate cardiovascular risk in high risk populations. Elizabeth previously worked as an epidemiologist at BakerIDI Heart and Diabetes Institute between 2004 and 2011, where she worked on the Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle Study (AusDiab). She undertook her PhD studies at Monash University, Victoria between 2006 and 2009

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Mon, 27 Aug 2012 11:51:04 GMT
<![CDATA[Developing a resource package for promoting nutrition in remote Indigenous community stores using shelf labels.]]>  

7th August 2012

Abstract:
It is estimated that 19% of the national Indigenous health gap is attributable to diet related causes, including low fruit and vegetable intake and high consumption of energy-dense foods.
Community members and retailers in remote Indigenous communities have expressed the need for in-store systems that enhance the ability of customers to select healthy foods. While these are popular, little is known about effectiveness and what is needed for ongoing maintenance and sustainability.

The aim of the Menzies Nutrition Promotion and Education in Remote Stores project was to develop a resource package for developing, implementing, maintaining and evaluating programs for promoting nutrition in remote stores using shelf labels. This resource package was informed by four pilot projects that worked with communities, store staff, store organisations and the local nutrition workforce to develop and implement shelf label programs in Queensland and the Northern Territory. The findings from these pilots identified and documented what is needed for strong collaboration to develop nutrition promotion programs in remote stores, solutions to common issues and community preferences for such programs. The findings also offer insignt into the potential of such programs to impact customer purchasing and store sales.
This presentation will provide an overview of the findings from the four pilot projects and discuss the development of a resource package for using shelf labels in remote community stores.

Biography:
Frances is a Project Officer in the Menzies School of Health Research Nutrition Team. She is currently running the Nutrition Promotion and Education in Remote Stores Project, working across Central Australia, Arnhem Land, Cape York and The Torres Strait.

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Mon, 27 Aug 2012 11:50:45 GMT
<![CDATA[Inequality and health in a remote Aboriginal community.]]>  

10th July 2012

Abstract:
A recent conceptual reworking of the developmental origins of health and disease model that places it within a life history framework is used to interpret some of the history of people living today in the remote Arnhem Land community of Numbulwar. This approach suggests some of the means by which their past circumstances may have had an impact on their current health. A combination of history, ethnography and the neurobiology of stress and pregnancy helps us consider the manner in which environmental stressors, particularly those of social origin, may have intergenerational consequences for health.

Biography:
Victoria Burbank is a Professor of Anthropology at the University of Western Australia. Her publications include Aboriginal Adolescence (Rutgers University Press 1988), Fighting Women (University of California Press 1994) and An Ethnography of Stress (Palgrave Macmillan 2011). She has engaged in anthropological research in the remote community of Numbulwar in southeast Arnhem Land since 1977.


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Mon, 27 Aug 2012 11:50:18 GMT
<![CDATA[Body Build, Body Composition and Indicators of Health in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults.]]>  

29th May 2012

Abstract:
Overweight and central obesity are major risk factors for diabetes and cardiovascular disease (CVD).  Indigenous Australians have a disproportionately higher burden of disease, including diabetes, CVD and chronic kidney impairment than other Australians.  Despite this burden of illness, few studies report detailed examinations of the body build and composition of Indigenous Australians.  This is the first detailed study of body composition and health indicators in large numbers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

We report two key differences in skeletal dimensions of the upper body (trunk).  Aboriginal adults have a shorter trunk for overall height, which was closely related to a central obesity.  Torres Strait Islander adults have a broader skeleton than Aborigines, which was strongly associated with higher lean body mass for size.

Lean Aboriginal adults displayed numerous indicators of health.  However, overweight was strongly associated with intra-abdominal fat deposition and CVD risk markers: albuminuria, high markers of inflammation and low HDL-cholesterol.  Obesity was also described by fat-related biomarkers (adipokines). High leptin and low adiponectin was associated with high body fat, and high intra-abdominal fat respectively.

Finally, we propose a link between obesity, adipokines, and the development of albuminuria, which is a known independent risk marker for both CVD and kidney failure.

Biography:
Dr Jaqui Hughes is a nephrologist at Royal Darwin Hospital, and PhD Candidate at Menzies School of Health Research.  Her research interests include preventing the progression of early chronic kidney disease in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

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Wed, 06 Jun 2012 12:46:31 GMT
<![CDATA[Will melioidosis cases keep rising in Darwin?]]>  

1st May 2012

Abstract:
The last 3 years has seen a substantial rise in cases of melioidosis, with Darwin having the highest infection rate reported anywhere globally and the RDH Intensive Care Unit's resources being severely stretched after periods of heavy rainfall. The Menzies melioidosis team are looking for explanations by a multi-faceted approach that links epidemiology, clinical medicine, molecular microbiology and environmental sciences. However predictions for the future still remain quite speculative.

Biography:
Professor Bart Currie is Theme leader for Tropical and Emerging Infectious Diseases at Menzies School of Health Research. He is also an Infectious Diseases Physician at Royal Darwin Hospital. The Menzies Melioid Mob  is currently investigating the diversity and virulence determinants among 1000 clinical and environmental isolates of Burkholderia pseudomallei. They are involved with the US NIH funded Burkholderia: international collaborative development of novel diagnostics with Northern Arizona University and are part of the Australian Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet & US Department of Homeland Security: The Australian Burkholderia Consortium

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Wed, 23 May 2012 14:01:42 GMT
<![CDATA[Periodontal disease experience among Indigenous Australians in the Perio-Cardio study of the Northern Territory: Results from baseline analysis]]>  

8th May 2012

Abstract:
This presentation is designed to provide Menzies with an update of the Perio-Cardio study progress and will report on selected results from its baseline analysis. The Perio-Cardio study is a randomised trial run through Menzies that is investigating the effect of non-surgical periodontal (gum) treatment on surrogate markers of cardiovascular disease in Indigenous Australian adults. To date, 312 baseline dental screenings have been conducted yielding 273 confirmed periodontitis cases. Participants enrolled in the study are followed for 1 year and so far 165 have completed their 3-month evaluation and 79 their annual (final) assessments. Data collection is ongoing and is due to be completed at the end of 2012.

Biography:
Kostas Kapellas is an oral health therapist and PhD candidate from the University of Adelaide. His current research focuses on determining the effect of non-surgical periodontal treatment on arterial stiffness and is one of the clinicians involved in the study. His research interests surround periodontal disease, its potential influence on systemic health inflammation and how this may contribute towards complications in cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

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Wed, 23 May 2012 14:01:23 GMT
<![CDATA[What did we learn at Mobile Preschool?]]>  

April 2012

Abstract: This cohort comparison study in 28 very remote Northern Territory communities has some significant lessons about the impact of access to, attendance at and program qualities in a unique preschool model including what is  needed to "narrow the gap" between educational outcomes for disadvantaged and Indigenous children. The primary outcome measure was a national census tool, the Australian Early Development Index comprising five developmental domains (Physical, Emotional maturity, Social, Language / cognition, and General knowledge / communication). This study included a comprehensive analysis of confounding factors in children's health, family and community experiences, as well as the preschool program qualities they experienced.

Bio: Georgie has a long background as an early childhood education practitioner, and in managing system level curriculum, pedagogy and assessment programs and policy in the NT. She has represented NT interests in national fora and working parties including the Indigenous early childhood  COAG reform agenda. She is currently on secondment with Menzies' Centre for Child Development and Education from NT Department of Education and Training.
 

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Wed, 23 May 2012 14:01:07 GMT
<![CDATA[Novel approaches for the prevention of acute lower respiratory infections in Indigenous infants of the Northern Territory]]>  

17th May 2012

Abstract:

Acute lower respiratory infections are a significant health problem in the Northern Territory representing the largest cause of preventable mortality in infants and the most common reason for hospitalisation in children less than 4 years of age. Despite routine infant vaccinations and advances in antibiotic treatment, 20% of Indigenous infants will be hospitalised with an ALRI before they reach 12 months of age.

Maternal immunisations and the maintenance of infant vitamin D levels are immune enhancing strategies with can protect against respiratory pathogens. During my PhD, I will explore whether pregnancy delivered pneumococcal vaccination (Pneumum study) protects against infant ALRI hospitalisation and whether vitamin D insufficiency is (a) prevalent in this population and (b) a risk factor for ALRI hospitalisation. Routine maternal vaccinations and vitamin D supplementation may combine to reduce the burden of ALRI in this population

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Wed, 23 May 2012 14:00:49 GMT
<![CDATA[The impact of a mass drug administration on the endemic prevalence]]>  

24th April 2012

Biography:
Therese Kearns (TK)  has been living and working in remote Aboriginal communities for over 10 years and she has developed a particular interest in two Neglected Tropical Diseases, Sarcoptes scabiei and Strongyloides stercoralis.  TK's PhD project evolved from her work with the East Arnhem Healthy Skin Project that recommended an alternative treatment for scabies be investigated.  TK has spent two years out in the field with local researchers and will be presenting her results from this study to us

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Wed, 23 May 2012 14:00:26 GMT
<![CDATA[Lab: Are false positive results in Chlamydia diagnosis possible?]]>  

3rd April 2012

Abstract:
It can be difficult to interpret the significance of a positive Chlamydia test result in a child. However, given the serious possible implications for all involved, even a really low rate of false positive results can have considerable negative consequences. In spite of this, there is currently very little literature on the environmental contamination of diagnostic samples with C. trachomatis, or on the possibility of a child having a uro-genital Chlamydia infection in the absence of a history of sexual activity. Concerns by clinical staff of the Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) regarding an increasingly high occurrence of uro-genital C. trachomatis diagnosis in children, motivated a collaboration with Menzies School of Health Research, with the aim of addressing this issue by determining if toilet cubicles, used for the collection of diagnostic samples, are contaminated with C. trachomatis, and whether this contaminating material can, in turn, contaminate diagnostic samples.  This is being addressed in the first instance by swabbing various surfaces in the toilet cubicles of primary health care facilities, and in the second instance, through transferring synthetic urine from one container to another, while in the same cubicles. Swabs and synthetic urine samples are then subjected to standard C. trachomatis diagnostic procedures. Using this method, we are also looking at N. Gonorrhoea and T. vaginalis. The study encompasses both urban and regional/remote primary health care clinics, with multiple sampling in all clinics involved occurring over a two year period.
 
Bio:
Phil Giffard is the Head of Laboratory Science at Menzies. His research career has encompassed bacterial genetics, physiology and population biology and the development of genetic analysis technologies. Since coming to Menzies in 2008, his focus has been upon infectious diseases that  particularly challenge the population of the Northern Territory.

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Wed, 23 May 2012 13:59:53 GMT
<![CDATA[Antibiotic Resistance in Burkholderia pseudomallei]]>  

21st February 2012

Abstract:
Burkholderia pseudomallei is a Gram-negative bacterium that causes the serious human disease, melioidosis. There is no vaccine against melioidosis and it can be fatal if not treated with a specific antibiotic regimen. B. pseudomallei is intrinsically resistant to many antibiotics, limiting the number of treatment options to a handful of drugs including the first line of defence, ceftazidime (CAZ) . CAZ has been highly successful for melioidosis treatment due in part to the low rate of primary resistance; however, resistance can develop through treatment especially in relapsing or recrudescent cases.
Our study identified and characterized two mutations leading to CAZ resistance. The first dramatically increased expression of a ?-lactamase which led to low-level resistance and cross-resistance to several other ?-lactam antibiotics some of which are used for melioidosis treatment. The second mutation led to very high-level CAZ resistance but sensitivity to several generic ?-lactams. In addition, using PCR we screened a very large collection (>2000) of environmental and clinical B. pseudomallei isolates for CAZ resistance. Our study showed that identification of resistance mechanisms and development of robust PCR assays will one day allow clinicians to monitor infections in real-time and alter treatment if a bacterial population develops resistance.

Biography:
Prior to recently starting work at Menzies Dr Sarovich was a post-doctoral researcher at the Center for Microbial Genetics and Genomics in Flagstaff, Arizona. His primary research interests lie in antibiotic production, antibiotic resistance and in vivo evolution of pathogens..

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Wed, 11 Apr 2012 10:22:28 GMT
<![CDATA[One21seventy - The journey of translating research into practice]]>  

Abstract:
One21seventy was born out of the highly successful ABCD Project which ran from 2002 to 2009. The ABCD or Audit and Best Practice in Chronic Disease Project was designed to improve indigenous health outcomes by assisting health services to implement a continuous quality improvement process. It used an action research approach to work with health centre staff to identify strengths and weaknesses in their systems, set goals for improvement, develop strategies to achieve these goals and asses the effectiveness of these strategies in improving chronic illness care.
Translation of research into practice
Research showed that the ABCD approach to CQI was effective in improving health centre systems and at the end of the project stakeholders requested that they continue to have access to the tools and processes for CQI in PHC centres. The establishment of One21seventy provided the opportunity for stakeholders to continue to utilise the ABCD processes beyond the life of the research project.

One21seventy provides
• a suite of audit tools,
• a web based database,
• access to real time reporting,
• systems assessment tool
• participatory action planning and goal setting

One21seventy achievements
• third year of operation
• centres using tools and processes increasing steadily to over 180
• working  in Queensland, the Northern Territory, South Australia, NSW and Western Australia
• training to over 500 primary health care staff including advance training for senior clinicians

The future
As the partnerships with stakeholders and researchers strengthen, future developments and innovations will continue to drive the challenges of improving service provision on the ground.

Biography:
Jenny is Manager of One21seventy, a Menzies program that provides Indigenous Primary Health Care Services with support in the implementation of continuous quality improvement process for improved service delivery. This was a natural transition for Jenny who was the ABCD/E Project Manager in its final year of research.  Initially training as a registered nurse, Jenny has been involved in the health sector in the Northern Territory since 1992. She has worked in various Northern Territory programs in Central Australia including the Centre for Disease Control, Nursing Director of Infection Control and Quality Management at the Alice Springs Hospital and coordinated the Preventable Chronic Disease Program in Health Development. In addition to being a Registered Nurse, Jenny's qualifications include Master of Health Services Management a Postgraduate Diploma in Health Administration and Public Sector Management. Jenny relocated to Brisbane in 2010 where she works in the Menzies office in Spring Hill.

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Wed, 11 Apr 2012 10:22:14 GMT
<![CDATA[Are false positive results in Chlamydia diagnosis possible?]]>  

Abstract:
It can be difficult to interpret the significance of a positive Chlamydia test result in a child. However, given the serious possible implications for all involved, even a really low rate of false positive results can have considerable negative consequences. In spite of this, there is currently very little literature on the environmental contamination of diagnostic samples with C. trachomatis, or on the possibility of a child having a uro-genital Chlamydia infection in the absence of a history of sexual activity. Concerns by clinical staff of the Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) regarding an increasingly high occurrence of uro-genital C. trachomatis diagnosis in children, motivated a collaboration with Menzies School of Health Research, with the aim of addressing this issue by determining if toilet cubicles, used for the collection of diagnostic samples, are contaminated with C. trachomatis, and whether this contaminating material can, in turn, contaminate diagnostic samples.  This is being addressed in the first instance by swabbing various surfaces in the toilet cubicles of primary health care facilities, and in the second instance, through transferring synthetic urine from one container to another, while in the same cubicles. Swabs and synthetic urine samples are then subjected to standard C. trachomatis diagnostic procedures. Using this method, we are also looking at N. Gonorrhoea and T. vaginalis. The study encompasses both urban and regional/remote primary health care clinics, with multiple sampling in all clinics involved occurring over a two year period.

Biography:
Phil Giffard is the Head of Laboratory Science at Menzies. His research career has encompassed bacterial genetics, physiology and population biology and the development of genetic analysis technologies. Since coming to Menzies in 2008, his focus has been upon infectious diseases that  particularly challenge the population of the Northern Territory.

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Wed, 11 Apr 2012 10:21:59 GMT
<![CDATA[Otitis Media in Indigenous children – are we there yet?]]>  

10th November 2011

Abstract:
In the 1970s the National Trachoma Eye Health Program reported otitis media as a major health issue for Indigenous children with around 18% toddlers having chronic suppurative otitis media, CSOM, or “runny ears”.  Latest figures on the prevalence of otitis media confirm the urgent need for improved primary, secondary and tertiary services, greater awareness through national campaigns, and increased resources to reduce risk of early and recurrent infection and to address the consequences of hearing loss.

At the same time, there is increasing evidence of the impact of conductive hearing loss on child behaviour and communication and the increased risk of mental health disorders.

A large body of otitis media research is being conducted in Australia, with researchers meeting biannually at OMOZ to discuss progress and to prioritise future research effort.

Progress in OM research from around Australia will be summarised and priorities for the future proposed for discussion.

Biography:
Associate Professor Amanda Leach is a Principal Research Fellow and Leader of the Ear Health Research Program within the Child Health Division at the Menzies School of Health Research in Darwin.  A/Prof Leach is committed to evidence-based and multidisciplinary research addressing the health problems of Aboriginal children living in remote communities.

Her work, largely funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) includes prevention and treatment trials including a number of antibiotic trials and a randomised controlled trial to compare two pneumococcal conjugate vaccines, Synflorix and Prevenar13, either alone or in a combined 4-dose schedule – the PREV-IX_COMBO trial.

Her team was awarded the MJA/Pfizer Australia Research Award for the best research article published in the MJA in 2010.  In 2011 A/Prof Leach was awarded a prestigious 5 year NHMRC Research Fellowship.

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Wed, 04 Jan 2012 10:41:04 GMT
<![CDATA[Psycho-educational assessment of remote Indigenous students in the Northern Territory]]>  

17th November 2011

Abstract:
This research study will seek to clarify and provide an evidence based understanding of remote Australian Indigenous student’s test performance using two nonverbal cognitive assessment tools, the Wechsler Nonverbal Ability Test and the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test. Currently there is limited published information available that considers how remote Australian Indigenous students may perform on nonverbal cognitive assessment tools. Cognitive testing with culturally and linguistically diverse students requires careful selection of testing instruments, as well as careful consideration and interpretation of information generated from a range of sources in the assessment process.

Standardised tests can be used positively to reduce subjectivity in decision making within the educational context and when considered alongside other qualitative information about the student from a range of sources, standardised tests can provide valuable information to assist with programming and developing educational goals for the student at school. However, if such tests are to be used, it is essential that the validity of the tests are established with the population for which it is to be used.

This study will also evaluate the extent to which various contextual factors such as geographic remoteness, school attendance, academic achievement and qualitative information gathered about the student may correlate with, or impact on test performance.

Biography:
I am a School Psychologist with Student Services Division within the NT Department of Education & Training. I have been in this role for 18 years and prior to this I was a primary school teacher mostly teaching in rural schools in the NT.

I have worked in all regions of the NT as a school psychologist and most of my work in recent years has been working in remote schools. My research interest has evolved over many years as a practitioner working in the field of education, special education and psychology. I am currently working full time as a school psychologist and studying with Menzies  / CDU part time.

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Wed, 04 Jan 2012 10:40:51 GMT
<![CDATA[Northern Territory Australian Early Development Index Results Forum]]>  

24th November

THE AUSTRALIAN EARLY DEVELOPMENT INDEX IS A RELATIVE POPULATION MEASURE OF HOW YOUNG CHILDREN ARE DEVELOPING IN DIFFERENT AUSTRALIAN COMMUNITITIES. THE SESSION WILL PROVIDE AN OVERVIEW OF THE BACKGROUND OF THE SURVEY AND NT AND LOCAL RESULTS

PRESENTER: Professor Sven Silburn

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Wed, 04 Jan 2012 10:40:35 GMT
<![CDATA[Interdepartmental and Intergovernmental Working: Exploring the processes and meanings behind the Northern Territory Whole of Government Approach to Suicide Prevention 2007-2011]]>  

8th Dec 2011

Abstract:
The social determinants of health underline the need for health to be a concern not just of the health departments but also a broad range of government agencies outside of the health sector. Working in this joint manner is known as the whole of government approach. Megan’s PhD research is a single case study of adopting a whole of government approach for suicide prevention in the NT. It draws on extensive qualitative data including observation over more than three years of the intersectoral committee as well as semi-structured interviews with individual participants. While the study provides a rich description of the processes of joint working in government it also explores the different purposes for which joint working was implemented. The differing meanings the participants attributed to their involvement in the committee demonstrate that government outputs are not always substantive but can be expressive of beliefs and values.

The findings of Megan’s PhD research relate not just to suicide prevention policy but speak more broadly about the pressures on government agencies and the function of committees and policy documents in this setting. If you have ever thought it would be good for government agencies to collaborate then this will be a stimulating seminar for you.

Biography:
Megan’s longstanding interest in mental health policy triggered her to embark on a PhD at Menzies exploring interdepartmental collaboration and coordination. She has worked in both public health and clinical research and holds a Bachelor of Medical Science (Neuroscience). Megan is also an avid traveller and is currently hatching plans to spend some years living and working on a Pacific Island once her thesis is complete.

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Fri, 16 Dec 2011 14:39:04 GMT
<![CDATA[Menzies Oration 2011]]>  

Menzies School of Health Research held its annual Oration on Wednesday 9 November at the Darwin Entertainment Centre. Guest speaker was Her Honour the Honourable Sally Thomas AM, Administrator of the Northern Territory delivering a talk on the subject of Health, Crime and Unsung Heroes.

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Thu, 24 Nov 2011 14:12:57 GMT
<![CDATA[Thrombotic microangiopathy due to snake evenomation: natural history and potential aetiologies.]]>  

Abstract:
Snake venoms cause coagulopathy due to a variety of mechanisms.  Envenomation usually results in a venom induced consumptive coagulopathy (VICC), with depletion of fibrinogen, factor V and factor VIII.  VICC is an acute transient coagulopathy of which the major complication is bleeding.  

In a small proportion of these cases, features of a thrombotic microangiopathy (TMA) develop, marked by the presence of haemolytic anaemia with red cell fragmentation, thrombocytopenia and oliguric acute renal failure.  TMA associated due to snake envenoming is very poorly understood.  It is described in the literature in isolated case reports and small case series only.  A review of the literature and discussion of further investigations to elucidate the potential aetiology of TMA due to snake envenomation will be presented.

Biography:
Dr Tina Noutsos is a part time haematologist at Royal Darwin Hospital and part time PhD student.  This presentation represents her confirmation of candidature

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Wed, 16 Nov 2011 09:44:22 GMT
<![CDATA[The melioidosis agent Burkholderia pseudomallei in the anthropogenic environment of the Top End]]>  

Abstract:
Although the soil bacterium Burkholderia pseudomallei causes the severe disease melioidosis in humans and animals and is endemic in the Top End of Australia, we only have a limited understanding of its habitat in the environment.

An increasing body of evidence suggests that anthropogenic changes of the environment promote growth of Burkholderia pseudomallei and thus, increase the risk of exposure to these bacteria. In field surveys in the Darwin region complemented with laboratory experiments, we are analysing the occurrence of B. pseudomallei in the anthropogenic environment such as in residential gardens, water bores or on construction sites.

Changes in landscape ecology such as caused by the introduction of exotic grasses to the Top End were also found to influence the environmental distribution of B. pseudomallei. Multivariable and spatial analyses were performed to determine significant predictors for B. pseudomallei occurrence in plants and soil. Fluorescence-in-situ-hybridization and confocal laser-scanning microscopy were used to localize the bacteria in plants.

Finally, results of these studies will be used to improve our prediction mapping of the occurrence of Burkholderia pseudomallei in the environment of the Top End.

Biography
Mirjam Kaestli did her PhD as a molecular parasitologist in malaria research at the Swiss Tropical Institute in Switzerland in collaboration with the Institute of Medical Research in PNG and moved to Darwin in 2005 to start her postdoc at Menzies School of Health Research on environmental determinants of Burkholderia pseudomallei occurrence in the Top End.

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Wed, 16 Nov 2011 09:44:08 GMT
<![CDATA[Research 3.0: Will the Internet change the way we work?]]>  

Abstract:
Recently, I spent 6 months living in Silicon Valley.  The focus of my sabbatical was medical education in the United States.  I was interested in how evidence-based practice was incorporated into the medical student curriculum.  In the end, I was more impressed by the dominant cultures of computer science and entrepreneurship.  The 'Masters of the Universe' are alive and well.  They have moved from Manhattan to leafy suburbs and white picket fences.  This presentation considers how changes in the world wide web might affect medical research.  Will future studies see a transition from 'read only' (Research 1.0), to 'read and write' (Research 2.0), to 'read, write, and share data' (Research 3.0)?  As data accumulate, will any person (or computer) be able to make sense of it?

Biography:
Peter Morris is a paediatrician and medical researcher.  He came to Menzies in 1994 to work with Amanda Leach and John Mathews.  Around the same time, he converted to evidence-based practice and is now a devout Cochranite.  Peter believes in randomisation, systematic reviews and one noble truth- all useful health care information must be free.  As an aspiring computer scientist, Peter can switch on his laptop and knows how to cut and paste.

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Fri, 14 Oct 2011 14:56:51 GMT
<![CDATA[Statistics 2011 e]]>  

Unknown

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Fri, 14 Oct 2011 14:09:56 GMT
<![CDATA[A profile of Indigenous fertility in the Darwin region: findings from the DRUID Study women’s health sample]]>  

29th September 2011

Abstract:
Demographic analysis of birth registrations and census data show that Indigenous women living in the Greater Darwin region have fewer births than Indigenous women living in other parts of the Northern Territory.  Exploration of the factors influencing these different outcomes is limited based on these population-level data.  The Diabetes and Related conditions in Urban Indigenous people in the Darwin region (DRUID) Study, carried out during 2003-2005 by Menzies School of Health Research, included a women’s health questionnaire that had four questions relating to whether a woman had ever been pregnant, age at first pregnancy, age at first birth, and parity.  The fertility profile of women interviewed in the DRUID women’s health sample appears to reflect fertility levels indicated by the births registration data and thus allow investigation of socio-economic factors influencing birth outcomes.  This seminar outlines the contemporary fertility profile of Indigenous women living in Darwin and presents findings from the DRUID women’s health sample that look at the influence of education, employment, household income and contraceptive use on whether women have ever-been pregnant, age at first birth (including risks of teenage pregnancy and teenage birth), and parity.  The results indicate that socio-economic characteristics might not be strong influences on when Indigenous women start having children or how many children they have. 

Biography:
Kim Johnstone is a demographer, who this year completed PhD research with the Australian Demographic and Social Research Institute at The Australian National University.  Her research focused on contemporary Indigenous fertility in the Northern Territory and explored whether current fertility profiles were indicative of stalled demographic transition.  She has worked in research and policy roles in Australia and New Zealand and is particularly interested in how the different population profiles of colonised and colonising populations affect the impact of government policy.

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Thu, 13 Oct 2011 10:09:53 GMT
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Thu, 13 Oct 2011 10:09:37 GMT
<![CDATA[Use of store sales data to evaluate food and nutrition interventions in remote Aboriginal communities]]>  

22nd September 2011

Abstract:
Dietary improvement for Indigenous Australians is a priority strategy for reducing the health gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. Store point of sales data can be used to help evaluate food and nutrition-related intervention in remote Aboriginal communities and to support decision-making capacity of food governance groups. We will present three case studies where the analysis and reporting of point of sale data has informed the evaluation of nutrition-related intervention and policy.

Biography:
Julie Brimblecombe is a senior research fellow at Menzies School of Health Research. Julie's research is primarily aimed at improving food security for Indigenous Australians. A key focus is on improving the food supply and access to healthy food in remote communities.

Megan Ferguson has over 15 years experience in the field of nutrition, predominantly working on public health interventions in remote Aboriginal communities.  She has experience in food security and food supply initiatives, including having worked as the Nutritionist for a remote food retail service provider.  The research Megan is involved in, is focused on food affordability and the impact of price on purchasing patterns.

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Thu, 13 Oct 2011 10:09:12 GMT
<![CDATA[The results of the multicentre Study of Heart And Renal Protection(SHARP): Implications for clinical practice in renal disease]]>  

6th October 2011

Abstract:
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, but little is known about the prevention of cardiovascular disease in patients with CKD.  Meta-analyses of randomised trials conducted chiefly among patients without CKD have shown that statin therapy reduces the risks of major coronary events (myocardial infarction [MI] or death from coronary heart disease [CHD]), ischaemic strokes, and coronary revascularisations by about one fifth for each 1 mmol/L reduction in LDL cholesterol, while producing little effect on haemorrhagic strokes or vascular causes of death other than coronary heart disease.   Among people with estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) above 60 ml/min/1.73m2, in whom the aetiology of cardiovascular disease is typically atherosclerotic, the proportional effects of statin therapy on vascular events appear to be independent of renal function.  But, when eGFR falls below 30 ml/min/1.73m2, a different cardiovascular pathology emerges, with vascular stiffness and calcification, structural heart disease and sympathetic over activity contributing to an increasing risk of cardiac arrhythmia and heart failure.  A key question, therefore, is whether LDL lowering therapy remains effective as renal impairment progresses.

The SHARP (Study of Heart and Renal Protection) trial aimed to assess the safety and efficacy of reducing LDL cholesterol among more than 9000 patients with CKD. In order to achieve an average reduction in LDL cholesterol of about 1 mmol/L without the use of high statin doses (which are associated with an increased risk of myopathy, especially in patients with impaired renal function), a low dose of a statin (simvastatin 20mg daily) was combined with a cholesterol-absorption inhibitor (ezetimibe 10mg daily), and the biochemical efficacy and tolerability of this regimen was first confirmed in the UK-HARP pilot studies. I present the results and the potential implications on patients with CKD and those on dialysis of the SHARP study.

Biography:
Dr William Majoni is a Nephrologist and Specialist Physician at the RDH. He trained in Nephrology and General internal Medicine in the West Midlands Deanery of the Royal College of Physicians (UK). He took 2 years out of the specialist training programme for a Clinical Research Fellowship at the University of Oxford’s Clinical Trial Service Unit and Epidemiological studies Unit in Oxford. He was involved in the international multicentre Study of Heart and Renal Protection (SHARP) and sits on the steering committee for the study. His research interests include the epidemiology of renal disease and defining risk factors and their management in CKD. He is currently working with Dr Jaqui Hughes and Dr Louise Maple-Brown of the Menzies in a Renal Research Interest Group (RRIG) to set up various research projects in renal disease

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Wed, 12 Oct 2011 14:20:52 GMT
<![CDATA[“Measuring the unmeasurable”: an ethnography of whiteness in the context of Indigenous project implementation, evaluation and justification]]>  

7th October 2011

PhD Confirmation of Candidature

Presented by - Rachel McMahon

Abstract:
This research is an anthropological analysis of whiteness: an ethnography of the implementation and evaluation of four Indigenous focussed projects from the perspective of the implementers, within the context of whiteness.  Each project is utilising an individualised quality of life measurement tool, the schedule of the evaluation of individual quality of life, direct weighting (SEIQoL-DW), to help measure their efficacy.  This thesis will examine the projects, their premises, purposes and implementation from the perspective of the implementers, and analyse the motive, utility and validity of using an individualised quality of life measurement as a tool for evaluation.  An analysis of the culture of implementation and evaluation of these projects, including frictions and resistance within the projects’ implementation, will thus inform an understanding of the dynamics of whiteness. 

Biography:
Rachael has a background in development studies, with a strong influence of Anthropology.  She was a nurse in aged care and mental health rehabilitation before entering into the field of project management, which she is still working in.

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Wed, 12 Oct 2011 14:20:38 GMT
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Tue, 04 Oct 2011 13:54:52 GMT
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Tue, 04 Oct 2011 13:54:01 GMT
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Tue, 04 Oct 2011 13:53:47 GMT
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Tue, 04 Oct 2011 13:53:28 GMT
<![CDATA[Interventions for Alcohol related Violence-AIMhi START study]]>  

8th September 2011

The incidence of facial trauma among the Australian Indigenous population in the Northern Territory is the highest in the world. Alcohol-related trauma forms the greater part of the presentations for facial fractures to the maxillofacial surgery department at Royal Darwin Hospital in the Northern Territory. The average age of Indigenous victims is under 30 years. Violent assault- related facial fractures among Indigenous young adults who misuse alcohol are thus a major mental health concern. This abstract focuses on alcohol-related violent facial trauma in the Northern Territory and discusses the progress of our brief, culturally adapted psychological intervention studies Screening and Treatment of Alcohol Related Trauma (START) Brief Inventions trial and Prevention of Alcohol Related Crime and Trauma Brief Interventions in routine care to focus on this high need.

Presenter - Dr Jayaraj

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Fri, 09 Sep 2011 10:20:28 GMT
<![CDATA[Public health, personal responsibility and political action: the campaign for an alcohol floor price]]>  

1st September 2011

The ongoing campaign for a minimum floor price for alcoholic drinks in the Northern Territory - if not nationally - raises a number of issues regarding the roles of consumers, governments and community groups in managing alcohol-related harm. This presentation will outline recent developments and explore some of these issues.

Presenter
Professor Peter d'Abbs
Menzies School of Health Research

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Fri, 09 Sep 2011 07:58:02 GMT