SPIRITUS: (07-15) A Monthly update from the Respiratory Technology team at the WIMR

This is our July 2015 update of news from the RespiTech group at the WIMR.

In July, a number of the group have received awards and grants. YY (Dr Hui Xin Ong) was awarded seed funding from the Marie Bashir Institute for Infectious Diseases and Biosecurity (MBI) to study the role of ion supplementation on the effectiveness of cystic fibrosis drugs during routine therapy. The $15,000 grant will establish a project between the Woolcock, University of Sydney and Westmead Hospital to conduct preliminary in vitro laboratory studies which the team hope to translate into a clinical trial.
YY was also mentioned this month in Sydney Research’s July news headline talking about a routine analytical method she has developed for studying the fate of inhaled antibiotics.

Yang Chen was awarded a place on the NSW 2015 Medical Device Commercialisation Training Program. Yang is one of only 20 applicants from across the State who were chosen to undertake the prestigious three-month program with ATP Innovations, a technology incubator with a proven record in driving the commercialisation of medical devices in Sydney. Yang also received the final printed versions of her PhD Thesis on aerosol electrostatics this month. Well done Dr Chen!

Later in the month, Michele Pozzoli presented at the 3 minute thesis competition at the University of Technology Sydney. Michele’s talk on new characterisation methods for evaluating nasal drug delivery devices. His talk was well received. 

As always, the group welcome new members and say goodbye to old members. This month, Beatrice Zanelli from the University of Ferrara returned to Italy. Beatrice has spent the last 4 months with the group studying cell targeted uptake of novel inhaled antibiotics. Beatrice, you are always welcome back to do a PhD!

The group had a number of social events in July. Among which were Gnocchi night and Beatrice’s farewell dinner at Saray’s (for Wine, Beer and Turkish Kebabs). Roberto (and lego Roberto) also had their birthdays this month, that the group celebrated. To learn more about RespiTech achievements you can visit our home page. If you are more interested in our social events, or if you want to follow the adventures of our RespiTech Lego Scientists you please visit and Like our Facebook page or Twitter feed. 

YY and team awarded MBI seed funding to study effectiveness of therapies in cystic fibrosis

Dr Hui Xin Ong (YY)

Dr Hui Xin Ong (YY)

YY (Dr Hui Xin Ong) and her team at the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research, The University of Sydney and Westmead Hospital were awarded $15,000 seed funding from the Marie Bashir Institute for Infectious Diseases and Biosecurity (MBI) to study the role of ion supplementation on the effectiveness of cystic fibrosis drugs during routine therapy. The grant entitled “The Role of magnesium in the reduced efficacy of inhaled therapies for cystic fibrosis” was awarded through the Anti-Microbial Resistance (AMR) node of the MBI. YY and her team will use the funds to conduct a number of in vitro studies looking at the interplay between local ion concentration in the lungs and the effectiveness of common antibiotics and mucokinetic CF therapies. With these findings, the team hope to translate this into a clinical trial that may result in significant benefits for CF sufferers.

The Chief investigators on the grant were YY from the Respiratory Technology Group at the Woolcock (an applied cell biologist)  Dr Paul Robinson and A/Prof Hiran Selvadurai from The Children’s Hospital at Westmead (renowned experts in paediatric CF management), Prof Paul Young and A/Prof Daniela Traini (Respiratory Technology) and A/Prof Andrew Holmes at the School of Molecular Bioscience, University of Sydney (a microbial genomics expert). The Marie Bashir Institute for Infectious Diseases and Biosecurity (MBI) is committed to meeting the challenge of emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases. You can learn more about the MBI here

Yang Chen accepted onto prestigious medical device commercialisation training program

Dr Yang Chen

Dr Yang Chen

Dr Yang Chen from the Respiratory Technology group at the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research has been awarded a place on the NSW 2015 Medical Device Commercialisation Training Program. Yang is one of only 20 applicants from across the State to be chosen to undertake the prestigious three-month program with ATP Innovations, a technology incubator with a proven record in driving the commercialisation of medical devices in Sydney. Previous Graduates of the 2014 Medical Device Commercialisation Training Program have launched companies and raised capital from investors, engaged industry partners and – to date – have raised $1.2 million in grants to create job opportunities in Australia and abroad. You can learn more about the program and the ATP here

The MDCTP is a 3-month medical devices commercialisation training program funded by NSW Office for Health and Medical Research to increase the commercialisation of capability medical device research in order to promote better health outcomes and new career opportunities in Australia. Yang aims to develop a novel tuneable inhalation device that can target specific regions of the lung at the touch of a button.

 

Sydney Research highlights YY's research.

Sydney Research highlighted the leading-edge work being conducted by YY (Hui Xin Ong) in a July news headline. The article highlights a new advanced lung epithelial model, based on the Calu-3 cell line, that is now being used by YY and her team for routine analysis of inhaled antibiotics. YY is from the Respiratory Technology Group at the Woolcock Institute.

Sydney Research is one of the largest research hubs in NSW. Key to this alliance is the partnership between Sydney Local Health District and its principal tertiary referral hospitals - Royal Prince Alfred and Concord Hospitals, the University of Sydney and 11 eminent medical research institutes, including the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research. You can learn more about Sydney Research here

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SPIRITUS: (06-15) A Monthly update from the Respiratory Technology team at the WIMR

This is our June 2015 update of news from the RespiTech group at the WIMR.

In June, the group have continued their operations overseas. Dr Wing Hin-Lee and Dr Judy Loo travelled to the University of Ferrara (Italy) to give invited seminars and strengthen our long-standing collaborations with Prof Santo Scalia in the Department of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences. Later in the month, after returning to Australia, Wing and Judy travelled overseas to attend the International Symposium on Phytochemicals in Medicine in Shanghai. Wing gave an invited presentation on work he has been conducting in the area of lung cancer. Also with respect to travel, Giulia Ballerin was selected to undertake a summer course in Singapore in the area of biofilms. She was awarded flight, accommodation and food expenses. Well done Giulia!

Also of note this month, Daniela Traini was appointed onto the board of the International society for Aerosols in Medicine. ISAM is an international organisation dedicated to all aspects of aerosol research in medicine. More details about ISAM can be found here. Lala Sarkissian presented at the Woolcock Friday seminars this June. Lala is a first year PhD student working in the area of aerosol lung deposition and dissolution kinetics. Sharon Davis, a final year PhD student also submitted her thesis this month for review. Congratulations Sharon!

As always, we like to give an update of the groups research output. In addition to conference proceedings and invited talks, the group published three new papers this month. The first paper in Molecular Pharmaceutics was a joint work between the Woolcock’s RespiTech & Cell Biology teams and Prof Claus-Michael Lehr’s group at Saarland University in Germany. The paper is entitled ‘Mono- and co-cultures of bronchial and alveolar epithelial cells respond differently to pro-inflammatory stimuli and their modulation by salbutamol and budesonide’ Dr Mehra Haghi (a Lecturer at The University of Technology Sydney and a Woolcock Affiliate) is the first author and the work is linked to her Humboldt Fellowship. The second paper this month was accepted in the International Journal of Pharmaceutics. The paper entitled ‘In vitro biological activity of resveratrol using a novel inhalable resveratrol spray-dried formulation’ by Valentina Trotta is part of the continuing joint research programs between the University of Ferrara and the Woolcock. Lastly, Sharon Davis had a publication accepted in the Journal of Asthma.  The article entitled ‘The ability of people with intellectual disability to use inhalers – an exploratory mixed methods study.’ focuses on quality use of medications in patients with disabilities.

You can find details of each of these and other peer reviewed papers (abstract and link to main text where available) on our RespiTech publication page.

SPIRITUS: (05-15) A Monthly update from the Respiratory Technology team at the WIMR

RespiTech Team at RDD 2015

This is our May 2015 update of news from the RespiTech group at the WIMR. This month, a few members of the team have traveled overseas to present at international conferences and meet with industry and academic collaborators. At the start of the Month, the team (Paul Young, Daniela Traini, Larissa Gomes Dos Reis, Valentina Trotta and Michele Pozzoli) attended Respiratory Drug Delivery-Europe in Nice. The group presented a number of papers at the conference and Paul co-chaired a session for new investigators. You can learn more about what was presented by reading the four page peer review abstracts available via the rddonline portal. Paul and Daniela went onto meet a number of industrial collaborators across Europe before meeting up with Wing Hin Lee and Judy Loo, attending ISAM (international society for Aerosols in Medicine) in Munich where Judy gave an oral presentation and Dany chaired a session. Of course, our RespiTech lego scientists managed to attend both Conferences also, and enjoyed networking, chairing sessions and even met up with a lego engineering group from Team Consulting at RDD!

Back at home, Mariam Mamlouk and Larissa gave presentations to the Department of Pharmacology, giving an overview of their PhD research plan. Mariam is working with CF patients to understand how diet influences the effectiveness of inhaled therapies while Larissa is developing novel inhalable systems for delivering vaccines.

Also this month, members of the group have been mentioned in the Media. Firstly YY officially received a prestigious award from the University of Sydney for for reducing animal testing. Details can be found here. Secondly, Sumit’s research was mentioned by the Australian Department of Education and Training. Details can be found here. Well done guys!

Lastly, the group have had a number of social events back in Sydney. Members of the group attended Sydney's Vivid Festival  and also hosted a dinner to say farewell to Isabella Martignoni, who returned to Italy to finish her degree.

The group are looking forward to June and the start of the Australia Winter Season. Wrap up warm!

SPIRITUS: (04-15) A Monthly update from the Respiratory Technology team at the WIMR

April 2015.jpeg

This is our April 2015 update of news from the RespiTech group at the WIMR. April has been busy month for the RespiTech Team and congratulations all-round for such a productive month!

Firstly, Yang Chen submitted her PhD Thesis and took a short break before she returns as a PostDoc in May. Well done Yang! Also this month Giulia Gitana D’Arco, Mariam Mamlouk and Larissa Gomes gave their first year PhD talks to the Woolcock during its morning seminar program. Great talks girls! YY (Hui Xin Ong) also returned from her ERC fellowship in the UK this month. YY will rejoin the group as a postdoctorate research fellow and will work between the Woolcock and Westmead Hospital to establish a number of clinical based research programs. Welcome home YY!

The group have also had a successful month publicising our research. The group had 7 publications accepted in peer reviewed journals in the last 30 days.
Wing-Hin was first author on two papers accepted in Expert Opinion on Drug Delivery (IF 4.1) and Journal of Biomedical Nanotechnology (IF 7.6) in the area of nanotechnology. The first is a review of nanoparticles for macrophage targeting entitled ‘Nano- and micro-based inhaled drug delivery systems for targeting alveolar macrophages.’, while the second is an original research article entitled ‘Synthesis and characterization of inhalable curcumin nanoparticles for lung cancer therapy’. The group had a second review accepted in Expert Opinion on Drug Delivery authored by Jesslynn Ooi entitled ‘Determination of physical and chemical stability in pressurised metered dose inhalers (MDIs): Potential New Techniques.’ Two papers were accepted in the European Journal of Pharmacetuics and Biopharmaceutics (IF 4.2) in May. The first by YY entitled ‘Is the cellular uptake of respiratory aerosols delivered from different devices bioequivalent?’ while the second from Mehra Haghi is entitled ‘Inhalable tranexamic acid for haemoptysiss treatment.’ Sumit Arora also had his work accepted for publication this month in Molecular Pharmaceutics (IF 4.8) focussed on development of anti-fungal lung therapies. Lastly, Eric Zhu was first author on a article in European Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences (IF 3) entitled ‘The formulation of a pressurised metered dose inhaler containing theophylline for inhalation.’ Well done all! You can find details of each of these articles (abstract and link to main text where available) on our publication page.

Looking forward to May, a number of the group will travel overseas to attend conferences and meetings. Who knows even our lego scientists may join us…

You can follow the adventures of our RespiTech Lego Scientists at www.facebook.com/RespiTech

You can follow the adventures of our RespiTech Lego Scientists at www.facebook.com/RespiTech

SPIRITUS: (03-15) A Monthly update from the Respiratory Technology team at the WIMR.

This is our March 2015 update of news from the RespiTech group at the WIMR. March has been busy month for the RespiTech Team. This month, we celebrated the graduation of Wing and Judy, who received their doctorate at the University of Sydney. Anphy Nguyen also graduated with his BPharm during the Pharmacy ceremony. Well done all! Also this month, YY won a prestigious 'Award for the Reduction in Use of Animals in Research' from the University of Sydney. This will be presented by the University later in the year. Daniela was reported in the National Newspaper ‘The Australian’ in an interview discussing the financial threat to the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Scheme and the need for governments to keep these National facilities open. 

Importantly this month, we announced plans for Woolcock Centre for Lung Cancer Research and Lung Cancer Research Network. This was announced in-line with the NSW State Governments commitment of $3M to the initiative. The project, of which the RespiTech team has been a key leader, will result in a state-of-the art research Centre and Hub for the wider network, which covers over 20 basic research and clinical groups from hospitals, universities and institutes across NSW. You can learn more about the Centre for Lung Cancer Research and Lung Cancer Research Network by watching the video

As always we welcome new members to our team. We welcome Beatrice Zanelli, a visiting researcher from the University of Ferrara. Beatrice will spend 4 months in our lab working on a collaborative project on inhalation drug therapy. We also welcome Anita Vandyke, a researcher with an engineering background who is looking to transition into the medical field. Anita will be working on a number of projects with our group.

Lastly, we give an update on group publications. Three publications were accepted this month; Yang Chen had a paper accepted as first author in the journal 'Pharmaceutical Research' entitled ‘Effect of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients on Aerosol Electrostatic Charges from Pressurized Metered Dose Inhalers.’; Sharon Davis was the first author on a paper entitled ‘Unique location but similar issues - working with health professionals in correctional services to improve inhaler use’ in the 'Journal of Pharmacy Practice and Research' and Eric had a paper accepted in the 'Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences' entitled ‘Tuning the Orbital® DPI device: how to control delivery parameters and aerosol performance via modification of puck orifice geometry’. You can find details of each of these articles on our publication page.

YY Given University Award for Reduction in the Use of Animals in Research

RespiTech team member Dr. Hui Xin Ong (YY) was given the University of Sydney Award for the Reduction in the Use of Animals in Research.

Dr Hui Xin Ong (YY)

Dr Hui Xin Ong (YY)

This award promotes the replacement and reduction of animals in research and teaching, and is offered by the University as part of its commitment to the ethical principles of the Code. The award was for the promotion and use of bench-top in vitro epithelium models of the lung, which can be used to study new medicines for the treatment of diseases such as asthma, COPD and Cystic Fibrosis.

The selection panel agreed unanimously that Dr Ong’s application stood out both for its novelty and potential for immediate impact on the reduction of in vivo studies undertaken during the development stages of novel inhalable formulations, resulting in vast cost savings. 

The simplicity and robustness of these models provides tremendous benefits, especially during the early phases of research and development of novel molecular therapeutics.

You can learn more about YY's award here


RespiTech Team Lead Innovative Lung Cancer Centre and Network

Members of the RespiTech team have been instrumental in establishing a world first: The Centre for Lung Cancer Research and the Lung Cancer Research Network. As part of this initiative, we are pleased to announce a recent commitment by the Australian NSW State Government for $3 million, if re-elected next term.

When completed The Centre will be the home to the Lung Cancer Research Network, a multidisciplinary group of basic/applied researchers and clinicians, covering Universities, Hospitals and Institutes. This facility will promote research in the area of lung cancer and will result in significant advances in the field with respect to diagnosis and treatments. To learn more about the initiative you can watch our video or contact the project coordinator Prof Paul Young.

 

SPIRITUS: (02-15) A Monthly update from the Respiratory Technology team at the WIMR.

This is our February 2015 update of news from the RespiTech group at the WIMR. February has seen the arrival of a number of new personnel. Firstly, Roberto Paleco joins the group as a research assistant, supporting lab operations and running a number of projects within the group. We also have a number of new graduate students commencing. Michael Lau joins us to undertake a Mphil degree and Stewart Yeung to undertake a PhD. Both will be working on projects related to dry powder inhaler modelling and optimisation and both are be co-supervised by members of the Chiesi Chippenham, UK team and Prof David Fletcher at the Engineering department at Usyd. We also have Isabella Martignoni, a student from the University of Ferrara, Italy, visiting. Isabella is working on a joint project with Prof Scalia studying a novel molecule for nasal deposition.

We have also hosted members from the UK Chiesi group this month. David Lewis and Alan Tweedie joined us to develop a strategic plan for future projects and also to meet our two new higher degree researchers that they are co-supervising. 

RespiTech February BBQ. Snags, Pizza and Century Egg challenge

RespiTech February BBQ. Snags, Pizza and Century Egg challenge

Alan Tweedie (Chiesi UK) with new postgrad students Stewart and Mic

Alan Tweedie (Chiesi UK) with new postgrad students Stewart and Mic

During the visit we had a February RespiTech BBQ to say goodbye (temporally) to Valentina, our Coutelle PhD student, who returns to Ferrara to continue aspects of her research program. Valentina also gave a presentation at the Woolcock Institute Friday seminars before leaving. You can follow the social aspect of our group on our RespiTech Facebook page.

Lastly, we would like to congratulate members of the team for their achievements. This month, the group were mentioned in Austrade for their international partnerships. Also, Judy Loo received seed funds from a kind donor for a new ECR project. Judy will develop in vitro models for rapid screening of inhaled drug delivery systems for the treatment of lung infections. Well done Judy!

SPIRITUS: (01-15) A Monthly update from the Respiratory Technology team at the WIMR.

This is our January 2015 update of news from the RespiTech group at the WIMR. This marks the beginning of our 3rd year of the group and our successful monthly newsletter.

January is the holiday season in Australia and the group is just getting back into the swing of things. Of note, the group welcome new members and say goodbye to long-standing members. Firstly, Lala Sarkissian joins the group to undertake a PhD. Lala will be studying dissolution of inhaled particles and the impact on pharmacokinetics and bioequivelency. Secondly, we have seen the arrival of a team of Lego scientists. This group of extremely qualified female researchers have already got to work in our laboratories and you can follow their exploits on our Facebook page. Importantly, Eric (Bing Zhu) left us this month. Eric will take up a management position in a leading Chinese pharmaceutical company developing innovative inhalation therapies. The group had a party towards the end of the month to celebrate Eric’s farewell. 

Also this month, the group published a couple of papers and were awarded a grant. Dr Mehra Haghi (now a lecturer at UTS, Sydney) had a paper accepted in the Journal of Materials Chemistry B. entitled ‘A ‘soft spot’ for drug transport’. This paper investigates the implication of diet on the effectiveness of drugs on asthma. Dr. Judy Loo also had a paper accepted this month entitled ‘Implications and emerging control strategies for ventilator-associated infections’ in the journal ‘Expert Review of Anti-infective therapy’ Well done both!  Lastly Daniela was awarded the first grant of the year with a team from across the University of Sydney. The NHMRC Equipment Grant is worth $75,000 and supported the purchase of a specialised aerosol generation chamber for controlled drug delivery in lab studies.

2015 looks to be a fantastic year ahead and we look forward to exciting new opportunities, collaborations and programs of research within the respiratory field.

SPIRITUS: (12-14) A Monthly update from the Respiratory Technology team at the WIMR.

This is our December 2014 update of news from the RespiTech group at the WIMR. The Respiratory Technology Team at the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research celebrate their second year of operation. The group has achieved a lot in the past 12 months. We have grown since January and have had over 30 research personal come through our doors. We have published 31 peer reviewed articles, sourced funding for a number of projects (>$3.5M) and have established wider initiatives within the community. To highlight some of the achievements over the past year, the group has prepared an annual report outlining some of the initiatives and key performance outcomes. The 2014 RespiTech report can be downloaded here. 

More importantly, our group has had plenty of fun time. While the team work hard we always find time to enjoy cook-ups, Karaoke, all-important pub trips and a number of social events. To learn more about the social side of RespiTech you can always like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. If you are interested in joining RespiTech as a postgraduate or doctorate researcher you can contact us through the contact tab on our website.

December saw members of the group travel to Edinburgh to attend Drug Delivery to the Lungs 25. Emelie, Valentina and Mary presented posters and Valentina and Mary were also invited to present in the Pat Burnell speakers session. YY also attended and gave a podium presentation on nasal epithelia models for drug delivery. Well done all! Back at home, Valentina gave her annual PhD talk and Emelie gave her final Grad talk to Pharmacology. Valentina has been working on developing antioxidant formulations for the treatment of COPD and has been utilising a number of formulation and cell based models while Emelie has been investigating the use of inhalation medicines in  emergency departments setting.

This month has also seen the group building further infrastructure capacity. We have now installed a new HPLC-MS system in our analytical laboratory. This recent addition will allow us to push the sensitivity of chemical analysis so that we  able to routinely quantify pharmacokinetic samples from clinical subjects. Additionally, the group have invested in an automated apparatus 4, flow through set-up for determination of poorly soluble drug dissolution and controlled release matrices for inhaled pulmonary therapy. The group also celebrated the Christmas break by hosting a pasta night and a number of drinks. We also welcome back Mehra Haghi, who is now taking up a position as lecturer at UTS and say goodbye to our close collaborator, Fabio Sonvico who will return to the University of Parma to take up a Associate Professorship. Fabio will continue to work closely with the team from Europe and co-supervise a number of students including Michele. Also, in terms of new appointments, Paul was appointed Full Professor this month. He is now Professor of Respiratory Technology in the School of Medicine, Discipline of Pharmacology as well as a member of the team at the Woolcock.

As always, we would like to congratulate members of the team for recent publications. This month the group have published two articles. John Chan was the first author on an article accepted for publication in ‘International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents’ entitled ‘Murine pharmacokinetics of rifapentine delivered as an inhalable dry powder’. Secondly, Mehra had a paper accepted in ‘Pharmaceutical Research’ entitled ‘Immunomodulatory effects of a low dose clarithromycin-based macrolide solution pressurised metered dose inhaler’. This later paper is part of an ongoing project to develop innovative therapies for COPD.
 
Lastly, we would like to wish all our subscribers and followers seasons greetings and thank you all for your support over the past 12 months. We wish everyone a prosperous 2015 and look forward to the year ahead.

SPIRITUS: (11-14) A Monthly update from the Respiratory Technology team at the WIMR.

This is our November 2014 update of news from the RespiTech group at the WIMR. November has been a month of capacity building, grant successes and travel for the group. Firstly, Dr Wing-Hin Lee was awarded a Cancer Institute of New South Wales 3-year Early Career Fellowship grant worth $592,183. Wing will expand the group's focus in the area of lung cancer via the development of innovative drug delivery therapies and diagnostic imaging. His research will bridge across the RespiTech, Lung Physiology and Imaging groups within the Institute. Well-done Wing!

Daniela, Paul and Patrick Spicer (University of New South Wales) were also awarded a grant this month, from the Australian Research Council, to develop Smartdrop technology that can be used in drug delivery. The 3-year ARC Discovery grant, worth $521,800 will be used to investigate a novel microfluidic technology that can generate particles with well defined surface morphology and shape for specific cell targeting. Additionally, Paul and Daniela were investigators on an ARC Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities (LIEF) grant worth $440,000. This multi-centre grant was led by A/Prof Dayong Jin at Macquarie University and involved leaders from The University of Adelaide, The University of Sydney and RMIT University. The money will be used to build an Integrated Facility for Real-time Localization, Quantification and Characterization of Nanoparticles in Living Cells.

Overseas, the group travelled to India to attend the inaugural RDD-Asia conference in Goa. Both Paul and Daniela attended and Paul giving an invited podium presentation on the importance and measurement of bioequivalence in inhaled drug delivery. Daniela chaired a session on ensuring access to inhaled medicine in developing countries. Sumit also had a paper on inhaled Voriconazole for treatment of respiratory fungal infection. Back at home, Daniela attended an Italian Commission meeting in Canberra- 'Italian Scientist Down Under' - aimed at enhancing excellence in research by Italian scientists overseas. Towards the end of the month, The Woolcock had its annual ‘ThinkTank’ meeting; intended to foster and develop collaborations and core strategies within the Institute. As part of this meeting, Wing presented his preliminary data from his 2013 ThinkTank Woolcock ECR Award that led to his Fellowship. Overall, the meeting was a success and we have a number of interesting and innovative programs of research lined up for 2015!

Lastly, we like to say goodbye and welcome new members of the group as well as give an update on our social activities. The group celebrated Yang’s and Judy’s Birthday this month. Yang also invited members of the group to a BBQ; a day where the mercury topped 40C (104F). We also celebrated the competition of this years Honours and Grad Dip cohort in the local pub! Thus, we say goodbye to Khanh, Tim, Anphy, Joao and Emelie! We wish you all the best and hope to see you back for a PhD soon. Also we would like to welcome Maliheh Ghadiri as a new PostDoc to the team. Mali will be working on an inhaled anti-fibrotic program. To learn more about all our social activities you can Like us on Facebook and Follow us on Twitter.

RespiTech Team member, Wing-Hin Lee receives $592,183 Fellowship to develop innovative lung cancer therapies

Dr Wing-Hin Lee

Dr Wing-Hin Lee

Dr Wing-Hin Lee was awarded a Cancer Institute of New South Wales ECF grant worth $592,183 to develop innovative therapies for lung cancer. Dr Lee's Fellowship will last three years and will investigate the development of a novel drug delivery system for treating lung cancer. To-date no local therapy exists and current approaches result in significant side effects. The proposed technology that he will develop utilises a magnetically trigged nano-carrier system that can be activated during routine imaging in the clinic. Importantly, this technology will only release chemotherapeutics at toxic levels within tumor regions in the lung, minimising side-effects of chemotherapy treatments. 


 
nano-carrier system may provide a means of targeted lung cancer therapy

nano-carrier system may provide a means of targeted lung cancer therapy

 

More information about this and other successful funding received by the RespiTech group at the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research can be found here.

RespiTech Team Awarded ARC Grant to develop ‘Smartdrops’

Daniela Traini, Patrick Spicer (UNSW) and Paul Young were awarded $521,800 from the Australian Research Council to develop innovative technologies for lung targeting. The grant is part of a collaboration between the Woolcock and The Spicer Group at the University of New South Wales.

 

Inhalable Smartdrops will be engineered using cutting edge microfluidic technology

Inhalable Smartdrops will be engineered using cutting edge microfluidic technology

The project will run for three years and will result in the development of a particle engineering technology, based on microfluidics, that results in micro-droplets with controlled geometry and morphology. These Smartdrops will be used to target respiratory macrophages for the delivery of inflammatory suppressants, since their dimensions can be controlled to optimise lung deposition and macrophage recognition. In addition, the project aims to develop an aerosol inhaler and a series of physico-chemical and in vitro characterisation tools that will be used to study Smartdrop formation, aerosol properties and their interactions with cells. The outcome of this project will be the development of a technology for treating chronic lung inflammation which could also be utilised for a number of other commercial applications. 

For further information regarding successfully funded research projects you can follow the link here.

SPIRITUS: (10-14) A Monthly update from the Respiratory Technology team at the WIMR

Oct2014

This is our October 2014 update of news from the RespiTech group at the WIMR.October has been a productive and successful month for the RespiTech group. Firstly, members of the group were awarded a number of grants and prizes. Firstly, Paul and Dany were CI and AIs on a successful National Health and Medical Council Research Grant ($668,469) with Dr Lisa Wood ( Uni Newcastle/Woolcock) and Dr Brian Oliver (UTS/Woolcock) to study the ‘Mechanisms of impaired bronchodilator response associated with fatty acid intake in obese asthma’. This project will run over four yeas and combines basic molecular biology with clinical studies. You can learn more here. Also, this month the RespiTech group were awarded $250,000 in the Google Impact challenge to develop an App for monitoring health and the environment that can incorporate wearable health monitoring devices. The team included RespiTech, The Respiratory and Environmental Epidemiology and Allergen & upper airways groups from the Woolcock, Asthma Australia and BCG Ventures. You can learn more about the challenge here. 

We would also like to congratulate Tim Corish this month, who was awarded The Sydney Mechanical Engineering Association (USMEA) First Prize in Professional Communication in Mechanical Engineering - at the Biomedical Seminar. Well done Tim! This award is given annually by recommendation of the Head of the School of Aerospace, Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering, (University of Sydney) after consultation with the officers and members of USMEA, to the candidate for the degree of Bachelor of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering. Congratulations also go out to Matteo Padroni who graduated with his Pharmacy Degree at the University of Ferrara, Italy. Matteo spent the past six months working with the group studying inhaled antibiotic therapies.

Members of the group have also been travelling. Paul and Daniela visited three countries in Europe over 96 hours to establish a number of new projects and networks, while Eric travelled to China to attend IDDA China to establish a number of new collaborations. Towards the end of the month, Larissa, Emelie, Giulia, Yang, Michele, Valentina, Dany and Paul travelled to Adelaide to attend the CRS PostgGrad work shop on drug delivery. The workshop was both productive and social. The outcome of the Karaoke challenge can be found on the groups social Facebook page.

Lastly, the group published one paper this month entitled 'Solid Lipid microparticles as an approach to drug delivery' in Expert Opinion on Drug Delivery. This work is part of ongoing collaborations between the University of Ferrara , A/Prof Scalia, and the Woolcock.

 

RespiTech team and collaborators awarded $250,000 in Google Impact Challenge: Changing the way we monitor respiratory disease.

Woolcock and partners to develop innovative mobile health technologies. 

Woolcock and partners to develop innovative mobile health technologies. 

Members of the Respiratory Technology team, allergy and epidemiology groups at the Woolock Institute of Medical Research have been awarded $250,000 as finalists in the Google Impact Challenge.

The project is a partnership between the Asthma Foundation NSW, Woolcock and BCG Digital Ventures. Via the Google grant, Asthmatics could soon have an app at their fingertips to predict and prevent their next attack thanks to smartphone technology. The app in development would give users quick and easy access to real-time air quality data from pollen, bush fire smoke, air pollution and other sources known to be troublesome for people with asthma as well as provide the framework for novel wearable devices that can track our well being.

The Woolcock team leaders on the project are Dr. Paul Young (Respiratory Technology), Dr. Euan Tovey (Allergen & Upper Airways) and Dr. Brett Tolle (Respiratory and Environmental Epidemiology).

to learn more about our vision you can watch the video here and learn more via our press release here.

RespiTech Members successful in obtaining 2015 NHMRC Project funding to research asthma medication and obesity

Paul Young was part of the team successful in obtaining a four year National Health and Medical Research Council Project grant to study the mechanisms of impaired bronchodilator response associated with obesity and diet. The grant was announced by the Australian NHMRC body on Friday 17th November and is worth $668,469. The grant is a result of a collaboration between the University of Newcastle and Woolcock Researchers. Chief (CI) and Associate investigators (AI) are as follows:

  • CIA Lisa Wood (University of Newcastle)
  • CIB Brian Oliver (Woolcock & UTS, Sydney)
  • CIC Paul M Young (Woolcock and University of Sydney)
  • AI Daniela Traini (Woolcock & University of Sydney)
  • AI Judy Black (Woolcock and University of Sydney)
  • AI Peter Gibson (Woolcock and University of Newcastle)

More information about this and other successful funding received by the RespiTech group at the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research can be found here.

SPIRITUS: (9-14) A Monthly update from the Respiratory Technology team at the WIMR.

This is our September 2014 update of news from the RespiTech group at the WIMR. September has been a busy but highly productive month for the RespiTech Team. Firstly, we hosted the ISAM and Woolcock 2014 Joint Conference and Workshop at our Headquarters in Sydney.

The Conference focused on paediatric respiratory medicine and bioequivalence and was a complete success, with speakers and attendees from around the globe. While the conference is now over you can view photos of the event, download the abstract book, workshop material and some of the presentations at www.woolcock.org.au/isam2014. International speakers included Prof Peter Byron (VCU), Mark Everard (UWA) and Mark Sanders (www.inhalatorium.com) The group also hosted Wilco, Jasper, Nadine and Mary’s supervisors from Avans University of Applied Sciences, in the Netherlands, earlier in the month.

 

ISAM 2014 DELEGATES | SYDNEY HARBOUR CRUISE CONFERENCE DINNER

 

Overseas, Alaa Tulbah gave a presentation at the APS PharmSci 2014 conference (UK) on her recent work formulating Statins for respiratory disorders. At the same time, YY (Hui Xin Ong) gave a presentation at the European Respiratory Society International Congress in Munich.

Back at home, YY, Wing and Judy were awarded a prestigious Seed Funding Grant from the Marie Bashir Institute For Infectious Diseases And Biosecurity (MBI). The project, entitled ‘Development of a novel biofilm/human airway epithelia co-culture model for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease treatment’ received $10,000. Well done team! 

Sharon Davis and Yang Chen gave their final PhD presentations this month. Sharon’s work has been in the area of pharmacy practice and the use of medicines in people with disability while Yang’s has been in the area of aerosol electrostatics and pressurised metered dose inhaler particle generation. Work by Yang in this field resulted in a publication in ‘Pharmaceutical Research’ this month entitled ‘The effect of actuator nozzle designs on the electrostatic charge generated in pressurised metered dose inhaler aerosols’. Meanwhile Alaa had a full research paper accepted in ‘Exper Opinion on Drug Delivery’ entitled ‘Dry powder formulation of simvastatin’ Congratulations to all!

As always we like to say goodbye to current members and welcome new people to our group. Nadine Vermeiren leaves us to return to the Avans University and Angelo Granieri returns to the University of Ferrara to complete their bachelors degrees. Both have been an integral part of our research and culture and they are always welcome back to undertake a higher degree. We would like to welcome Larissa Gomes Dos Reis and Maree Svolos. Larissa is a new PhD student within the group and will work on vaccine drug delivery, while Maree has been employed as a Research Scientist to oversea a number of projects across the group in the area of cell biology and applied in vitro models. 

Lastly, we give an update on some of our fun social activities. The group participated in the Woolcock cook-up, an event across the whole institute, where members bring and cook food for a communal lunch. For the RespiTech group, this involved the formation of ‘Team Pasta’ and the coordinated preparation of mountains of Matriciana! We also held a couple of farewells for Angelo in China town (the Friday Night Ding Ding Noodle Experience) and at the Institute (a glass or two of red wine). On the more sporty side, Guilia and Yang formed the ‘RespiTech Chicks’ team and ran in the #SydneyRunningFestival. To learn more about all our social activities you can see the photo stream and Like us on Facebook or Follow us on Twitter.

 

MEMBERS OF RESPITECH AT THE END OF THE ISAM-WOOLCOCK CONFERENCE 2014