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

 

RespiTech Team members awarded infectious disease seed funding

Lowe respiratory tract infections are rated as the 3rd cause of mortality worldwide.

Lowe respiratory tract infections are rated as the 3rd cause of mortality worldwide.

Chief investigator Hui Xin Ong (YY), Wing Hin Lee and Judy Loo 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’,  was awarded $10,000. The MBI is committed to meeting the challenge of emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases and YY and her team will use the funds supplied by the MBI to establish a series of new cell-based models. These models will ultimately be used to predict the effectiveness of new inhaled antibiotic therapies and drug delivery systems that specifically target biofilms and bacterial infection in the respiratory tract.

 
Grant awardees from Left: YY (Hui Zin Ong), Judy Loo, Wing Hin Lee

Grant awardees from Left: YY (Hui Zin Ong), Judy Loo, Wing Hin Lee

 

Congratulations guys!

ISAM & Woolcock workshop and conference set to be success!

shutterstock_145604635.jpg

The International Society of Aerosols in Medicine Conference (ISAM) and Woolcock are proud to announce the final program for the upcoming conference on the 25th and 26th September. The 2 day conference and workshop has a number of internationally renowned speakers in the areas of paediatric respiratory medicine, formulation and drug delivery. While abstract submissions are closed, you can still register to attend at www.woolcock.org.au/isam2014/.

For the full program, you can download here. We look forward to seeing you in Sydney this week!

SPIRITUS: (8-14) A Monthly update from the Respiratory Technology team at the WIMR.

This is our August 2014 update of news from the RespiTech group at the WIMR. August has been a whirlwind month for the team with plenty of comings and goings, visitors and social events.

Firstly, Jesslynn Ooi leaves us to take up a position at Glaxo SmithKline in the UK. Jess, a PhD student supervised by Paul, Dany, Ben Boyd (Monash) and Simon Gaisford (UCL), commenced work this month in the GSKs Materials Group in the UK. Jess has completed her laboratory work and will submit her Thesis over the next month. In addition to Jess, we also say farewell to Jasper Lamers, Mary Goud and Sumit Arora. Jasper and Mary were visiting researchers from Avans University while Sumit was visiting us as a PhD student on an Incoming Endeavour Scholarship. All three achieved significant research during their stay and are currently writing up their findings for publication. 

This month we hosted Prof Jose Pedraz from the University of the Basque Country. Prof Pedraz visited the group for a short sabbatical. The two groups are going to start a series of new projects focussing on non-viral vector cell targeting for a range of diseases via the upper and lower respiratory tract. We would also like to welcome Anphy Nguyen, an industrial placement student from the Faculty of Pharmacy (The University of Sydney) and Joao Da Conceicao, a internship student from Brazil. Both will work on particle engineering projects. Welcome!

With all the incoming and exiting personnel, the group took time to let their hair down on a few occasions. Of note, the group met up in Newtown for drinks and the ‘Great Pho dventure’. You can find out more about the social side of RespiTech via our Facebook and Twitter pages. Further away from home, YY was awarded an  Early Career Scientist Travel Award worth £400 from the the Aerosol Society to attend the ERS congress. Also, YY, currently on an ERS fellowship in Southampton updates us via YY's ERS blog post here.

The group published two articles this month. the first by Sharon Davies entitled ‘The Role of Direct Support Professionals in Asthma Management’ was accepted in the Journal of Intellectual & Developmental Disability. This article focusses on practice, and the challenges that care workers face when treating respiratory disorders in people with intellectual disability.  The second, by Eric Zhu entitled ‘Aerosol particle generation from solution-based pressurised metered dose inhalers: a technical overview of parameters that influence respiratory deposition’ was accepted in Pharmaceutical Development and Technology. This article gives  an overview of our current understanding in the area of pMDI formulation and aerosol generation. You can find all the peer reviewed articles published by the RespiTech group at: www.respitech.org/publications/

Lastly, the group has been gearing up for the upcoming ISAM-Woolcock conference in Sydney at the end of September. You can now find the full program, registration and speakers at the following site: www.woolcock.org.au/isam2014. We look forward to seeing you there!

postscript. we also have a new logo;)

ISAM & Woolcock Conference Speaker Program Finalised

Translating Advances in Understanding Lung Disease into Innovative Inhaled Therapeutics

The 2014 International Society for Aerosols in Medicine and The Woolcock Institute of Medical Research are proud to announce the program for the 2014 Conference and Workshop to be held in Sydney at the end of September (25-26th). We have a number of great speakers lined-up to discuss recent advances in:

boy with inhaler
  • Paediatric respiratory medicine,
  • Aerosol drug delivery,
  • Regulatory issues surronding formulation,
  • PK and Bioequivalence in inhaled medicines.

For a list of Plenary and Invited speakers, please follow: http://woolcock.org.au/isam2014speakers/ 

For the current program you can follow: http://woolcock.org.au/isam2014program/

There is also a workshop focussed paediatric medical devices on day one : http://woolcock.org.au/isam2014workshop/

Along with a number of social events, networking opportunities and exhibitors this event is going to be a perfect mix of science and education suited to academics, clinicians and industry participants within the field of respiratory medicine. You still have time to register for the early bird rate and submit an abstract for a contributed talk or poster. Please submit your abstract at: http://woolcock.org.au/isam2014abstracts/

And don't forget to register today: http://woolcock.org.au/isam2014rego/

On behalf of the ISAM and Woolcock Conference Organising Team.

SPIRITUS: (7-14) A Monthly update from the Respiratory Technology team at the WIMR.

This is our July 2014 update of news from the Respitech group at the WIMR. 

This Month, members of the group have been traveling in both the USA and UK. Daniela and YY attended the Chiesi i3Innovation conference to celebrate 5 years of the new Chiesi UK innovation centre, headed up by Dr David Lewis. The two days conference was an amazing success and brought in Chiesi collaborators from around the world to meet and discuss the future of inhalation science. Daniela gave a presentation on the application of 3D printing and CFD for inhalation device development, while YY presented in an ECR session. YY was given an award for best early career researcher sponsored by Nanopharm Ltd. At the same time, Paul attended the Controlled Release Society Annual meeting in Chicago and gave a podium presentation on the future for respiratory controlled release formulations in a new session focused on respiratory drug delivery. Paul also presented Judy and Wings posters, as they were unable to attend.

Dany and YY attending i3Innovation UK conference

Back at home, Jesslynn Ooi had a paper accepted in Current Drug Delivery entitled 'The Effects of Loaded Carrier Mass and Formulation Mass on Aerosolisation Efficiency in Dry Powder Inhaler Devices'. This paper focuses on the mechanisms that underpin aerosolisation of carrier-based systems and begins to eliminate some factors that we previously thought were key in generating fine aerosols.

As usual, the group welcome new members and say goodbye to old members. 

Giula Ballerin re-joins the group to undertake a PhD. Giulia spent 4 months with us in 2013 as a visiting student from the University of Ferrara, Italy. She now has a scholarship awarded by UTS and will undertake a PhD in the area of respiratory infection, co-supervised by Daniela, Paul and A/Prof Cynthia Whitchurch (iThree Institute). 

We would also like to welcome Mariam Mamlouk as a new PhD candidate in the Faculty of Medicine. Mariam undertook a Master with Paul and Dany in 2012 in the area of cell biology and drug transport. Her PhD will focus on understanding mechanisms of mucus clearance in children with CF. Mariam will be co-supervised by Paul, Daniela and Paul Robinson (The Children's Hospital at Westmead). Mariam has been awarded an Australian Postgraduate Award (APA) scholarship to conduct her PhD.

We say farewell to Matteo Padroni who has been undertaking a research project looking at inhaled Tobramycin. Matteo will return to the University of Ferrara to complete his Pharmacy degree. Matteo, you are always welcome back! 

Lastly, we say farewell to Dr Mehra Haghi. Mehra has been with the group through her PhD first and then as a PostDoc at the Woolcock. Mehra was instrumental in establishing the RespiTech group and has co-supervised many students with the team. Mehra will begin her Humboldt Fellowship in Germany next month and will return to Sydney to take up a full time appointment as a lecturer at the University of Technology Sydney. The group celebrated Mehra's contributions at the Belgian Beer Cafe at the end of the month (photos are on Facebook). We wish Mehra all the best and will continue working with her as a collaborator and independent Academic. Well done Mehra!

 
Giula, Mariam, Matteo and Mehra

Giula, Mariam, Matteo and Mehra

 

YY Wins Best Presentation Award

YY (Dr Hui Xin Ong) was awarded 'best presenter' at the I3Innovation in Inhalation Conference hosted by Dr David Lewis and team in the UK. The conference, brought together researchers from within the field and ran over two days at the Celtic Manor Resort in South Wales. The conference was a complete success and YY's talk outlining her recent advancements in cellular biology, drug transport and medical imaging resulted in her being awarded £500 for best speaker sponsored by Nanopharm Ltd.

 
Clockwise from top left: Prof David Ganderton OBE and YY; YY receives award; A/Prod Daniela Traini, YY and Prof Joy Conway.

Clockwise from top left: Prof David Ganderton OBE and YY; YY receives award; A/Prod Daniela Traini, YY and Prof Joy Conway.

 

YY is currently on a European Respiratory Society Fellowship working at Southampton University with Prof Joy Conway studying the transport of drugs in the respiratory tract using a number of advanced cell based and radiographic imaging techniques.

SPIRITUS: (6-14) A Monthly update from the Respiratory Technology team at the WIMR.

This is our June 2014 update of news from the Respitech group at the WIMR.

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This month, members of the group travelled to Germany to establish a new partnership with Evonik Industries. Daniela and Paul spent time at Evonik's site near Darmstadt for an Evonik-Woolcock strategic workshop that focussed on future directions that will result in expansion of technology and research in a number of exciting new areas. 

At the same time, the Australian Research Council announced the successful participants in the 2014 linkage grant scheme. The Respiratory Technology group were awarded a three years grant worth $482,738 for the development of inhaled vaccines. This project was one of the first initiatives developed via preliminary talks with Evonik at the end of 2013. Dr Windhab (Evonik) is the linkage partner along with CIs Young and Traini. The grant was entitled 'One for all and all for one- Engineering a drug delivery platform for DNA vaccines to the lung’
 
Earlier in the month Paul was interviewed by John Scott on 4BC radio's Health and Wellbeing Show discussing the issues with common lung diseases including asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and tuberculosis and how we can develop new approaches to targeting such diseases. This interview coincided with the launch of a new video and partnership focussing on TB with Pharmaxis Ltd.

Two papers were published this month by the group. The first was entitled 'On the thermal and evolved gas analysis of salbutamol sulphate' in the Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry. This paper is the first output resulting from a collaboration between Dr Fabio Sonvico at University of Technology Sydney and the RespiTech group at the Woolcock. The second paper was a review entitled 'An overview of biosimilars' published in the Journal and Proceedings of the Royal Society of New South Wales. John Chan was the first author of the article.

As usual we would like to welcome new members and say good by to old colleagues. This Month we say farewell to John Chan who has taken up a position as a Formulation Scientist & Project Manager at JHL Biotech in Taiwan. We wish John all the best and also congratulate him for his successful award of his PhD from the University of Sydney this month. Well done Dr Chan!