The Health News – 25 September 2015

Overview:
• Associate Professor Shane Grey, of Sydney’s Garvan Institute of Medical Research, together with collaborators from the Westmead Millennium Institute for Medical Research and the Children’s Hospital at Westmead, have been awarded $3.3 million to extend their innovative research towards a cure for type I diabetes. The grant was awarded by the Type 1 Diabetes Clinical Research Network (T1DCRN), an innovative clinical research program led by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF Australia) and supported by the Australian Research Council.

•  Two of the Hunter’s leading medical researchers have been appointed to the National Health and Medical Research Council’s advisory committees. The director of HMRI Professor Michael Nilsson will join the Health Translation Advisory Committee which looks at way to improve health outcomes in areas such as clinical care, communicable diseases and prevention of illness.

• Further charges are to be laid against Jennifer Anne Reed, accused of falsifying her qualifications to work in nursing roles, a South Australian court has heard. She is currently facing 20 counts related to allegedly working unregistered as a health professional and a further six counts of deception.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 25th September 2015. Read by Rebecca Foster.

http://www.garvan.org.au/news-events/towards-a-cure-for-type-1-diabetes

Associate Professor Shane Grey, of Sydney’s Garvan Institute of Medical Research, together with collaborators from the Westmead Millennium Institute for Medical Research and the Children’s Hospital at Westmead, have been awarded $3.3 million to extend their innovative research towards a cure for type I diabetes.

The grant was awarded by the Type 1 Diabetes Clinical Research

Network (T1DCRN), an innovative clinical research program led by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF Australia) and supported by the Australian Research Council.

The researchers aim to make significant improvements in the outcome of islet transplantation therapy … making it a clinically realistic and attractive therapeutic option for more individuals with type 1 diabetes, including children.

Their approach focuses on calming the immune response of patients to islet transplantation. The strategy may make it possible for treated individuals to live drug-free in the long term.

In type 1 diabetes, the body destroys the cells within the pancreas that produce insulin. Without insulin to mastermind the uptake of sugar from the blood, glucose levels can rapidly become damagingly high or plummet to life-threatening lows.

Islet transplantation therapy – in which insulin-producing structures called islets, derived from donor pancreas, are transplanted into the recipient’s liver – can cure individuals of diabetes by restoring glucose-responsive insulin production. However, recipients must take powerful immunosuppressive drugs for the rest of their lives to avoid the introduced islets coming under attack from their own immune system.

A/Prof Grey says, “Islet transplantation therapy has had a big impact on the lives of people with type 1 diabetes who also experience a dangerous condition called hypoglycemic unawareness. But the need to use immunosuppressive drugs stops us from being able to give this promising therapy to more people with type 1 diabetes, including children.”

A/Prof Grey’s team has discovered that the transplanted islet cells provoke and encourage the immune attack that they are subjected to. Members of his research group, particularly PhD graduate Nathan Zammit, have pioneered research into how factors intrinsic to islets affect whether they transplant successfully.

This work led to the development of the idea of the ‘death-defying islet’ – an islet for transplantation that could be protected from immune attack by modulating the molecular signals it emits.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-09-22/two-hunter-medical-researchers-appointed-to-nhmrc-committees/6794364

Two of the Hunter’s leading medical researchers have been appointed to the National Health and Medical Research Council’s advisory committees.

The director of HMRI Professor Michael Nilsson will join the Health Translation Advisory Committee, which looks at way to improve health outcomes in areas such as clinical care, communicable diseases and prevention of illness.

Professor Nilsson has worked in senior executive roles in Sweden and Australia, and is internationally renowned for his studies into astrocyte biology, neuroprotection, brain plasticity and neural recovery after stroke.

The University of Newcastle’s Laureate Professor Nicholas Talley will be a member of the Research Committee, which supports and awards grants on the basis of scientific quality, as judged by peer-review.

He is a globally-recognised research leader in gastrointestinal disorders, and has contributed to international medical journals.

He currently serves as president of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-09-24/more-charges-to-be-laid-against-allegedly-unregistered-nurse/6802046

Further charges are to be laid against a woman accused of falsifying her qualifications to work in nursing roles, a South Australian court has heard.

Jennifer Anne Reed, 65, is currently facing 20 counts related to allegedly working unregistered as a health professional and a further six counts of deception.

She is being prosecuted by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency and the Director of Public Prosecutions, who claim she falsified qualifications to work as a registered nurse and director at aged care facilities.

The offences were allegedly committed from 2010 to 2014 at several places in South Australia including Gawler, Semaphore and Moonta, as well as Deniliquin in New South Wales.

There is no evidence that any resident was harmed.

Reed is also accused of defrauding Centrelink to receive government benefits.

The Adelaide Magistrates Court …heard Reed worked for a nursing agency.

The prosecutor said the case needed to be put off to allow time for laying new information for the further charges.

The case returns to court in November.

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