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Staff and students scoop the pool at Southern Clinical School

2 October 2009

Three Monash students from the Southern Clinical School Department of Medicine have won awards at this year's 45th Australian and New Zealand Society of Nephrology (ANZSN) Annual Scientific Meeting held in Hobart in September.

Ms Poh-Yi Gan won the ANZSN Basic Science Young Investigator Award 2009 for her research on the role of a new T helper cell subset, Th17, in autoimmune myeloperoxidase-ANCA glomerulonephritis. Autoimmune kidney disease caused by inflammation of the small blood vessels called vasculitis is still poorly understood. Ms Gan's work provides the first functional evidence of a role for Th17 immune cells in contributing to this disease in several different ways. Ms Gan is a PhD student who graduated with B Biomed Sci (Hons).

Dr Shaun Summers won ANZSN Best Basic Science Award 2009 for his presentation on studies defining the role of a protein called TLR9 that recognises infection related motifs in both autoimmune and non-autoimmune forms of inflammatory kidney disease. Infections are known to trigger some forms of kidney disease and TLR9 may link infectious triggers with renal inflammation. Dr Summers is a Nephrologist undertaking a PhD in the Department of Medicine.

Dr Nigel Toussaint, a Nephrologist who recently submitted his PhD, won the ANZSN Clinical Science Young Investigator Award 2009. His research focused on people with chronic kidney disease who often have significant bone problems caused by their renal disease. Dr Toussaint performed a randomised trial of medications called bisphosphonates to treat bone disease in people with kidney failure.

Dr Nigel Toussaint, Ms Poh-Yi Gan and Dr Shaun Summers
Dr Nigel Toussaint, Ms Poh-Yi Gan and Dr Shaun Summers