SPIRITUS: (08-16) A Monthly update from the Respiratory Technology team at the WIMR.

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This is the August 2016 newsletter from the RespiTech Group at the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research. This month have seen the return of a number of RespiTech team members. Michele Pozzoli returned from Italy after spending the past few months working at the University of Parma. Yang Chen returned from her visit to the Chiesi Innovation Centre in the UK and Larissa Gomes Dos Reis returned from her visit to Evonik in Darmstadt, Germany. Welcome home! We also welcome two new members of the group this month and say goodbye to another. Carola Cravedi and Cristina Pacciana join us from the University of Torino and University of Ferrara, respectively. Cristina is working on a project in the area of epithelia tight junction modification while Carola is working on a project in the area of inhaled chemotherapy treatments for lung cancer. Also, this month we say farewell to Yiwang Xu. Yawing, a medical trainee, has been visiting the group over the past month and now returns to the University of Cambridge to complete his studies. You are always welcome back Yiwang!

Also, this month, work started on the new RespiTech offices on level 6 of the Institute. These works, mark the first phase of the construction of the new Centre for Lung Cancer Research. The team expect to move up to their new offices in September so that construction work can commence on level 3 of the Institute.

The groups research was highlighted in a Channel 9 news report this month when the links between COPD and sleep disorders were discussed and the CIRCOMED study highlighted. CIRCOMED is a collaborative clinical study between Sleep, Lung Physiology and RespiTech departments, and aims to understand how COPD and sleep disorders are inter-related. The study has already commenced and patients recruited for studies at the Institute’s clinic.

On a social side of things, members of the group participated in the Institute’s open day in celebration of National Science week. The Institute hosted 100 guests from local schools and the community, to give them an insight into the work we do in sleep and breathing research. Participants got to see how RespiTech research is conducted and had live demonstrations of 3D printing, particle engineering and other fun technologies.

RespiTech participate in National Science Week

Paul and Daniela attended the SPAM celebrations and drinks. SPAM, conceived by Prof Daniela Traini, Penny Oxford and Prof Fiona White, supports promotion of senior women academics  at the University. Paul and Daniela also attended the Woolcock Board’s farewell drinks for Board member Oliver Frankel.

Towards the end of the month, Paul and Daniela attended the New Zealand MedSci conference in Nelson, NZ. Paul, an invited speaker, gave a presentation on “Innovative Devices And Therapies For Respiratory Diseases”.

Lastly, the group had one paper accepted this month. Daniela Traini had a paper accepted with Philippe Rogueda in Expert Review of Respiratory Medicine. The paper was titled “The future of inhalers: how can we improve drug delivery in asthma and COPD?”.

SPIRITUS: (07-16) A Monthly update from the Respiratory Technology team at the WIMR.

This is the July 2016 newsletter from the RespiTech Group at the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research. July has been a busy month for the group. During July Paul Young, Dany Traini, Yang Chen and Hui Xin Ong (YY) traveled overseas to the Chiesi 7th anniversary and innovation conference in the UK. YY gave a podium on “Teaching Old Drugs New Tricks” while Paul and Dany gave a double act presentation on ‘Industry vs. Academia’ Yang stayed behind after the conference to spend some time on secondment at Chiesi’s Innovation Centre in Chippenham. Meanwhile, Larissa Gomes Dos Reis, spent the month at Evonik, in Darmstadt Germany developing inhalable particles for vaccine delivery as part of her PhD. As always, the RespiTech lego scientists travelled with the group and had quite a fun time. You can learn more about the social aspects of the Lego scientists and that of the RespiTech group via our Facebook and Twitter accounts.


Back at home, Paul and Daniela attended the Airways 2016 Conference in Sydney sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim. Paul gave a “Inhalation 101” lecture on pressurised metered dose inhalers while Dany gave a presentation on eCigs. As always, we welcome new members to the group. This month, the group welcomed two new team members. Xu Yiwang, a medical student from the University of Cambridge and Amanda Chancellor a Biomedical Engineering Student from the University of Sydney. Yiwang will undertake a project on alveolar macrophage function and response to stimulants while Amanda is undertaking work experience and working in the area of nasal drug delivery. Welcome! 

Lastly, the group published 4 articles this month. The first, published by Maliheh Ghadiri looked at the impact of fatty acids on tight junction permeability. The article was accepted in Pulmonary Pharmacology and Therapeutics and is titled “Effect of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) on airway epithelial cells' tight junction”. The second paper was accepted in Drug Delivery Letters and is part of a collaborative program with Dr Bosnic-Anticevich. The paper is titled “Substitute and add-on devices used in inhalation therapy: is it safe to recommend replacing the Ventolin™ actuator with the Sports-Haler™”. The third paper was Larisa’s review article on

“Inhaled gene delivery: a formulation and delivery approach” accepted in  Expert Opinion on Drug Delivery. Lastly, the fourth paper accepted this month was Michele Pozzoli’s paper titled “Application of RPMI 2650 Nasal Cell Model to a 3D Printed Apparatus for the Testing of Drug Deposition and Permeation of Nasal Products” accepted in European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics. You can learn more about publications of the RespiTech group on our website here.

SPIRITUS: (06-16) A Monthly update from the Respiratory Technology team at the WIMR.

This is the June 2016 newsletter from the RespiTech Group at the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research.

June has been a busy month for the RespiTech team. Firstly, the group had their first RespiTech wedding. PhD student Stewart Yeung married Chloe and the RespiTech team attended the marriage and celebrations. Congratulation guys! Later in the month, the Woolcock and RespiTech team celebrated the 2015-16 graduations of a number of its members including Sharon Davis, Mali Ghadiri and Yang Chen. Sadly, the group said farewell to Sergio Gualtieri and Elvira Pisano who have returned to Italy to complete their degrees. You are always welcome back guys!

Wedding Team RespiTech

Away from the office YY (Hui Xin Ong) was invited to give a Plenary Talk at the Sydney Surfaces And Soft Stuff (SASSY 2016) conference held at UNSW. Meanwhile Paul represented the Institute at the annual Sydney Research meeting while Daniela gave an invited seminar at SCELCE at the National University of Singapore.

As always, we give an update on the groups publications. This month Yang Chen had a paper accepted in AAPS Pharm Sci Tech. The paper titled “High-Speed Laser Image Analysis of Plume Angles for Pressurized Metered Dose Inhalers: The Effect of Nozzle Geometry” is part of an ongoing collaboration with David Fletcher in Engineering and David Lewis’s team at Chiesi in the UK.

Next month sees numerous members of the group travelling overseas for meetings and conferences. Time for the Lego Scientists to pack their bags.

SPIRITUS: (05-16) A Monthly update from the Respiratory Technology team at the WIMR.

This is the May 2016 newsletter from the RespiTech Group at the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research.

In May, members of the RespiTech group were awarded an Australian Research Council linkage grant. Daniela Traini and Paul Young were awarded the grant, worth $420,000, to develop innovative nanotechnologies that target biofilms. Biofilms occur everywhere in nature and act as a protective matrix for aggressive bacteria and fungus that can effect our health, food production, processing machinery and water quality. The Linkage grant is in partnership with Aradigm Corporation based out of San Fanscisco. 

Also this month the group had a number of celebrations. These included the celebration of  Maree Svolos birthday, dinner to celebrate Alaa’s PhD award and a group outing for an evening of Karaoke in the City.

The great kareookee caper

As usual, the group give an update of publications. This month, members of the group published 5 research articles. The First titled ‘From Single Excipients to Dual Excipient Platforms in Dry Powder Inhaler Products’ was a review accepted in International Journal of Pharmaceutics. The paper was a collaborative effort of the old Bath crew with Jag Shur (first author) Rob Price (corresponding) Dave Lewis, Paul Young and Stephen Edge. The second paper titled 'Primary Air Liquid Interface Culture of Nasal Epithelium for Nasal Drug Delivery' was accepted in Molecular Pharmaceutics. The paper by YY (Hui Xin Ong), is the result of her collaborative research program with Prof Joy Conway and the University of Southampton. Also, this month in a third paper titled “Could simvastatin be considered as a potential therapy for chronic lung diseases?” was published. In this paper, Alaa Tulbah gives an expert opinion on the future of inhaled statin therapy. The fourth paper, accepted in Current Drug Delivery is the result of a collaboration between Prof Rafael Villalobos from the University of Mexico and the RespiTech team. The paper is titled 'Drug release from inert spherical matrix systems using Monte Carlo simulations'. Lastly, the team published a paper with David Lewis and the group at Chiesi’s UK innovation Centre. The paper titled 'Exploring the impact of sample flowrate on in vitro measurements of metered dose inhaler performance' was accepted in International Journal of Pharmaceutics.

RespiTech Team awarded ARC Grant to develop nanotechnologies for targeting biofilms.

Professors Daniela Traini and Paul Young were awarded an Australian Research Council grant to develop innovative nanotechnologies that target biofilms. Biofilms occur everywhere in nature and act as a protective matrix for aggressive bacteria and fungus that can have an effect on our health and impact on food production, processing machinery and water quality. The Linkage grant worth $420,000 is in partnership with Aradigm Corporation (USA). 

Biofilm targeting nanoparticleS

Biofilm targeting nanoparticleS

The linkage team will develop nano-particulate systems based on a single platform technology that can be used to treat both bacterial and fungal biofilms for numerous applications. The current lack of a suitable formulation and delivery system hinders the eradication of fungal and bacterial biofilms from surfaces. These new systems will have enhanced residency time, penetration properties and effectiveness in biofilms. This project intends to understand the properties that govern the formation and interactions in these systems, and develop in-vitro tools that the wider scientific community can use. The project expects to generate a single platform that can be used for the eradication of biofilms in numerous applications, from healthcare to agriculture.

SPIRITUS: (04-16) A Monthly update from the Respiratory Technology team at the WIMR.

This is the April 2016 newsletter from the RespiTech Group at the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research. During April the team attended Respiratory Drug Delivery in Arizona. Daniela, Paul, YY, Larissa and Michele presented an update of research from the group. The group had 4 peer reviewed full-conference abstracts accepted for publication. In addition,  Larissa Gomes was invited to give a poster on the podium presentation on her work in respiratory vaccine drug delivery space, while Paul gave a podium presentation on the mysteries of lactose and the meaning of life. 

 

RespiTech at RDD2016

 

RespiTech Celebrations during April 2016

Back at home the group celebrated Yang Chen’s PhD graduation -Well done Dr Yang! We also said farewell to Marie Hellfritzsch, who returns to the University of Kiel after spending the past few months with our group working on a collaborative project in the area of nano-technology. You can learn more about the social aspects of the RespiTech group via our Facebook page or Twitter pages.

As always, the group give an update of their publications. This month the group had one publication accepted in the International Journal of Pharmaceutics entitled ‘The development of a single-use, capsule-free multi-breath tobramycin dry powder inhaler for the treatment of cystic fibrosis.’ Details of this publication along with all others from the RespiTech group can be found on our publications page.


SPIRITUS: (03-16) A Monthly update from the Respiratory Technology team at the WIMR.

This is the March 2016 newsletter from the RespiTech Group at the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research. During March, a number of RespiTech people have graduated during official ceremonies in both Australia and Italy. Mali Ghadiri graduated with a PhD from the Faculty of Pharmacy at The University of Sydney. Valentina Trotta graduated with a PhD from the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Sydney and The Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Ferrara (Italy). Beatrice Zanelli graduated with a Bachelor in CTF (being awarded 110/110 cum laude). Many congratulations to all! This month we also celebrated Elvira’s birthday and the return of Dany from her overseas trip to Italy. You can learn more about social aspects of the group via our Facebook page and Twitter account (don’t forget to like and follow!)

As always we welcome new members of the group and say goodbye to old members and visitors. This month we say farewell to Regina Scherließ who has spent the last month with us on a short-term sabbatical from the University of Kiel. The visit was a great success and we have a number of new and exciting projects underway. Regina, you are always welcome back, hopefully on a longer sabbatical next time.

Lastly, we give an update on publications. This month the group had a paper accepted in RSC advances. The paper, authored by Sumit Arora is entitled “Investigation of surface properties, local elastic modulus and interaction with simulated pulmonary surfactant of surface modified inhalable voriconazole dry powders using atomic force microscopy.” Well done Sumit! You can learn more about our publications here.

Mali, Valentina and Beatrice graduations | March 2016

SPIRITUS: (02-16) A Monthly update from the Respiratory Technology team at the WIMR.

This is the February 2016 newsletter from the RespiTech Group at the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research. During this month, Dr Regina Scherließ from the University of Kiel visited us on sabbatical. Regina was awarded a University of Sydney international collaboration award to establish a number of joint projects in the area of controlled drug delivery to the respiratory tract. She is co-supervising Marie Hellfritzsch. Welcome Regina!

Daniela Traini, left for a visit to the University of Ferrara in February. Dany and the RespiTech team have a long-running collaboration and exchange of students with both Prof Santo Scalia and A/Prof Gaia Colombo from Ferrara. Dany will spend 4 weeks discussing new projects, giving lectures and sitting on a PhD commission panel. We also say farewell David Lewis and Allan Tweedie who visited us briefly. David and Alan co-supervise Mic and Stewart. The visit was focussed on catching up regarding current and future projects for the next year..

February also saw the arrival of two new honours students, Anthony Nedanoski and Jesse Zhe Yi Xu. Over the next year Anthony will undertake a research project in the area of CFD with a focus on simulation of the nasal geometry for drug delivery. Jesse is undertaking a research project on transmembrane proteins in the respiratory tract and developing a number of models to study them. 

Lastly, the group had 2 journal articles accepted this month. the first by Valentina entitled ‘Co-spray dried resveratrol and budesonide inhalation formulation for reducing inflammation and oxidative stress in rat alveolar macrophages’ was accepted in the European Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences. The second by Michele, entitled ‘Dry Powder Nasal Drug Delivery: Challenges, Opportunities and a study of the commercial Teijin Puvlizer Rhinocort® device and formulation’ was accepted in Drug Development and Industrial Pharmacy. Well done all! You can learn more about our publications here.

 

group photo feb 2016 (with DAVE and ALAn)

 

SPIRITUS: (01-16) A Monthly update from the Respiratory Technology team at the WIMR.

This is the first newsletter for 2016 from the RespiTech Group at the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research. The group has now been operational for 3 years and we have achieved significant successes. As always the group have prepared an annual report for 2015 which you can read via the direct 2015 report link here. You can also look at the previous reports via RespiTech.org reports page  

January marks the commencement of our fourth year and as people have returned from the summer vacation things have began to ramp up. Firstly, David Lewis and Alan Tweedie from Chiesi UK visited in January to discuss and focus on a number of projects that we are running in collaboration. With this visit and a number of birthdays in January (Sjoerd Zonings and Lala Sarkissian) the group found plenty of time to celebrate. You can learn more about social aspects of the group via our Facebook page and Twitter page (don’t forget to like and follow us!)

As always we welcome new researchers to the group and say farewell to old colleagues. Firstly we say goodbye to both Sjoerd Zonings and Rafael Villalobos García. Sjoerd has spent the second part of 2015 with us undertaking a research program looking at advanced excipients for controlling handling of carrier based DPIs during manufacture and filling. Sjoerd returns to the Netherlands to finish his degree. Rafael has been here on sabbatical for the past 6 months working on a collaborative project in the area of counter simulation for controlled release inhalation systems. He will return to the University of Mexico. You are always welcome back guys! 

We would like to welcome new visiting research scientists: Elvira Pisano and Sergio Guiltier from the University of Ferrara (Italy) and Marie Hellfritzsch from the University of Kiel (Germany). Sergio is working on a project in the area of carrier based dry powder inhaler drug delivery, Elvira on a project focused on controlled release in the lung and Marie on advanced microparticles for nasal targeting. Welcome all!

We also give an update on peer-reviewed publications from the group. This month, the group published one article, accepted in Pharmaceutical Research. The paper is a multi-institute collaborative project, which Nicholas Mason-Smith being the lead author from Monash. The paper entitled: ‘Insights into spray development from metered-dose inhalers through quantitative X-ray radiography’ utilises a synchrotron to evaluate the evolution of sprays from metered dose inhalers. Learn more about our publications here.

Year 4 looks to be an exciting year for RespiTech!.

SPIRITUS: (12-15) A Monthly update from the Respiratory Technology team at the WIMR

This is the final news letter for 2015 from the RespiTech Group at the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research. 

2015 RespiTech Christmas Cook-up

In December members of the group celebrated the festive season with their annual Christmas party. Members and friends of RespiTech attended and even Santa made a appearance. You can learn more about the party and other social events via our Facebook page and Twitter feed. Shortly after the celebrations, Yang, Jess and Sumit attended Drug Delivery to the Lungs Conference in Edinburgh. Sumit Arora was selected for the New Investigator Presentation and, later during the conference, was awarded the Pat Burnell Young Investigator Award for his presentation and research. Well done Sumit! 

Meanwhile, Paul and Daniela visited collaborators in Europe. Daniela gave a series of lectures at the University of Perugia  (Italy) and Paul gave a series of seminars on innovation at the Woolcock and the future of respiratory drug delivery.

As always, we give an update of publications and grants. In December the group published one paper with Mariateresa Stigliani as the first author. The paper entitled ‘Antibiotic Transport Across Bronchial Epithelial Cells: effects of Molecular Weight, LogP and Apparent Permeability’ was accepted in European Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences. Also in December, Daniela was awarded a $61,000 NHMRC USyd Equipment grant for a Real-time bio impedance measurement system. This state-of-the-art system will be used to monitor cellular permeability in realtime when epithelia are treated with drugs or affected by local pathogens. You can learn more about all our journal publications here and grants here.

This month we also say farewell to Fin Canney, who has spent the last few months with the group undertaking a project looking at tight junction modification in lung epithelia. Fin is a Pharmacy Student from Bath (UK) and will return to complete his Degree in January. All the best Fin!

Lastly, the RespiTech group would like to congratulate Daniela Traini who was appointed to Full Professor in December. Daniela’s new title will be ‘Professor of Respiratory Science’ at the University of Sydney. Fantastic news!

2015 has been an exciting and productive year and as we look forward to exciting opportunities in 2016. We wish all our collaborators and followers a happy and productive 2016.

 
 

SPIRITUS: (11-15) A Monthly update from the Respiratory Technology team at the WIMR

Nov 2015.jpg

This is our November update and penultimate news letter from the RespiTech for 2015. This month, members of the group attended Drug Delivery Australia in Brisbane. Paul gave a presentation on innovations in drug delivery and Daniela on repurposing oral drug delivery molecules for inhalation. Lala, Michele, Alaa and Mariam had posters, while Mariam was selected for a posters on the podium presentation to highlight the clinical work she is conducting in Cystic Fibrosis Research.

As always, we congratulate people for their achievements and give an update on publications from the group. Firstly, YY was awarded a University Kick Starter grant. The Kickstarter grant, worth $30,000 will be used to develop ‘Innovative inhaled antibiotic treatment strategies for the eradication and prevention of persistent respiratory infections’. Also this month, Paul was appointed as the new incoming President of The Australian Chapter of the Controlled Release Society (AUS-CRS). AUS-CRS was established in 2007, with the aim of providing a forum for science and education for Australian scientists with an interest in delivery of bioactives. You can learn more about AUS-CRS here. Later in month, Daniela received $30,000 in a NHMRC near-miss funding towards a large multidisciplinary project that will evaluate repurposing a number of small molecules for lung diseases.

The RespiTech group published five peer reviewed papers this month. The first, an original research article by Sumit Arora in ‘Expert Opinion on Drug Delivery’ was titled ‘Highly Respirable Dry Powder Inhalable Formulation of Voriconazole with Enhanced Pulmonary Bioavailability’. This work focusses on respiratory fungal infection and inhalable antifungal treatment. The second paper by Sharon Davis, focused on health-care provision, was accepted in International ‘Journal of Clinical Pharmacy’. This article is titled ‘Knowledge that people with intellectual disability have of their inhaled asthma medications-messages for pharmacists’. Third, the group had a paper accepted with their collaborators at Monash University and Chiesi UK in ‘Pharmaceutical Research’. The paper (first author Daniel Duke) is titled ‘Temporally and spatially resolved x-ray fluorescence measurements of in-situ drug concentration in metered-dose inhaler sprays’ is based on a synchrotron study of the evolution of pMDI sprays. The fourth paper this month was a review article, authored by Maliheh Ghadiri looking at treatment options for Interstitial Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF). The article accepted in the journal ‘Expert Opinion on Biological Therapy’ is titled ‘Cell-based therapies for the treatment of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) disease’. Lastly, a paper authored by Judy Loo was accepted in the ‘Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry’ This study investigated the combination of silver ions and nano-particle flavonoids for reducing bacterial colonisation in respiratory infections. The paper is titled ‘Combination of Silver Nanoparticles and Curcumin Nanoparticles for Enhanced Anti-biofilm Activities’

Well done all!. To learn more about these and other publications from the Respiratory Technology group you can visit our publications page here.

Lastly, the group began to ramp up celebrations for the festive season. This began with the Melbourne Cup day celebrations in November. December will have more celebrations as well as a number of the group traveling overseas for meetings and conferences. You can learn more about these and other activities of the group via Facebook and Twitter.

YY awarded $30,000 Kick Start Grant

Dr Hui Xin Ong (YY) recipient of 2016 KickStarter GRANT

Dr Hui Xin Ong (YY) recipient of 2016 KickStarter GRANT

Congratulations go to YY (Hui Xin Ong) who was awarded a Sydney Medical School Kick Start Grant this month. 

YY will utilise the funding to establish a project on Innovative inhaled antibiotic treatment strategies for the eradication and prevention of persistent respiratory infections. Specifically, The project will explore different novel anti-biofilm agents for patients suffering from chronic lung infections.

The Kickstart Grants Program is a partnership between the University of Sydney and the Balnaves Foundation for investing in people and pilot projects that are likely to lead to external funding returns for the Sydney Medical School and the University of Sydney in the future (you can learn more about the scheme here)

SPIRITUS: (10-15) A Monthly update from the Respiratory Technology team at the WIMR

This is our October 2015 update of news from the RespiTech group at the WIMR. This month, members of the group attended the 3rd International Meeting on Inhaled Therapeutics for Tuberculosis and Infectious Diseases in Parma, Italy where Daniela gave a plenary on high dose therapies using the Orbital DPI and Paul was Rapporteur for a session on pulmonary pharmacokinetics. 

Back at home, the group held a social outing to a Persian Restaurant on the North shore to celebrate some new arrivals to the group and departure of old members. Firstly we would like to Welcome Sjoerd Zonings, Finbar Cannery and Dr Rafael Villalobos García. Sjoerd is a visiting student from Avans University in the Netherlands who is working on the use of a new excipient to reduce electrostatics in dry powders. Fin is a visiting student from Bath who is working on a project focussed on understanding how cellular tight junctions are modified by inhaled therapeutics. Rafael is a long-term collaborator with the group and is visiting Sydney on sabbatical from the Facultad de Estudios Superiores in Mexico. Rafael is an expert in computational simulation of complex mixtures and is using Montecarlo simulations to predict the release profile of drug from controlled release formulations that can target the lung. Welcome all! We are also sad to say farewell to Anita Vandyke who was working with us on a project focused on studying the impact of pMDI formulation parameters on aerosol force. Anita is off to pursue a higher degree in medicine. Well done Anita!

As always, we give an update on publications by the group. This month, 2 publications were accepted in peer reviewed Journals. The first was an article by Sharon Davis entitled “Knowledge that people with intellectual disability have of their inhaled asthma medications-messages for pharmacists” to be published in the International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy. The second was an article by Sumit Arora entitled “highly Respirable Dry Powder Inhalable Formulation of Voriconazole with Enhanced Pulmonary Bioavailability” accepted in Expert Opinion on Drug Delivery. The details of both articles along with all our Journal publications can be found on the publication page of our website.

Lastly, we would like to congratulate members of the team for significant achievements. Congratulations go to Alaa Tulbah who submitted her Thesis for review. Alaa has spent the past three years undertaking a PhD studying the formulation and impact of simvastatin on treating chronic lung diseases. Finally, congratulations to Sharon Davis who received the award letter for her PhD on intellectual disability and inhaler use. Congratulation Dr Davis and well done all!

SPIRITUS: (09-15) A Monthly update from the Respiratory Technology team at the WIMR

This is our September 2015 update of news from the RespiTech group at the WIMR. This month, members of the group have travelled to China to attend the second Inhalation Asia conference in Shenyang. Wing-Hin Lee, Judy Loo, YY, Lily Daviskas, Paul Young, Daniela Traini and Prof Guy Marks attended and represented the Woolcock.

Guy gave the opening Plenary lecture on ‘TB control in the Asia region: a need for new approaches’ Daniela also gave a presentation on TB and how the Woolcock and Pharmaxis have partnered to develop an innovative inhaled TB product that can be used to significantly reduce treatment times in TB sufferers. In other sessions, Dr Wing-Hin Lee presented an invited talk on novel therapies for cancer in the ISAM sponsored session on lung cancer. Paul and Philip Kwok (University of Hong Kong) gave a morning ‘Inhalation 101’ workshop for ECR researchers. Other members of the Woolcock participated in the conference including Judy Loo, Hui Xin Ong (YY) and Evangelia Daviskas. 

Prior to the Conference, Paul visited Eric Zhu, a RespiTech Alumni, at his company in Hangzhou and Daniela give a two day workshop on inhalation medicine at Shenyang Pharmaceutical University.

RespiTech Members at Inhalation Asia. Clockwise from top left: David Cipolla (Aradigm), YY, Eric Zhu, Dany Traini, Paul Young, Wing-Hin Lee, Judy Loo, Lego Scientists, Lily Daviskas

Back at home the group have also been busy. YY gave a seminar to the Woolcock on multi-cell-culture models for studying drug uptake and interaction at the lung epithelia and the group published three peer reviewed articles. The first, authored by Eric, entitled ‘The formation of aerosol particles from solution-based pressurised metered dose inhalers and implications of incomplete droplet drying: theoretical and experimental comparison’ was accepted in Aerosol Science and Technology. The second, co-authored by Eric and Mehra focussed on the ‘Delivery Of Theophylline As a Dry Powder For Inhalation’ was accepted in the Asian Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences. The third, from Wing focussed on lung cancer is entitled ‘Inhalation of nanoparticles-based drug for lung cancer treatment: advantages and challenges’. This was also accepted in the Asian Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences as a special issue on inhalation therapy, guest edited by YY. You can learn more about our publications on our home page here.

SPIRITUS: (08-15) A Monthly update from the Respiratory Technology team at the WIMR

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

In August, the group welcomed Dr. Jun Zhang, who starts work with us as a Postdoctoral Researcher. Jun will work on our ARC funded, joint SmartDrop project, with Patrick Spicers group at UNSW. This microfluidic based project aims to revolutionise aerosol drug delivery via creating highly ordered cell targeting particles, with well defined shape and surface properties. Welcome Jun!

This month we also have a number of congratulations. Firstly, congratulations to Lala Sarkassian, Stewart Yeung and Michael Lau for giving excellent first year postgraduate talks in the Discipline of Pharmacology. Secondly, later in the month, all our Postgrad presented at the Woolcock Research Symposium. Stewart Yeung was awarded the Student Choice award. Thirdly, Lala Sarkissian was awarded a University of Sydney HDR+ Grant. This initiative is intended to enhance the academic experience and outcomes of Higher Degree by Research (HDR) programs at the University of Sydney. Well done all!

As always, we give an update of publications from the group. In addition to the numerous poster and oral presentations this month, the group published peer reviewed journal articles. The first authored by Wing-Hin Lee was accepted in ‘Pharmaceutical Research’ and is titled ‘Curcumin Nanoparticles Attenuate Production Of Pro-Inflammatory Markers In Lipopolysaccharide-Induced Macrophages’. The second by Khanh Huynh, was accepted in ‘Aerosol Science and Technology’ and is entitled ‘An Investigation into the Powder Release Behaviour from Capsule-based Dry Powder Inhalers’ You can learn more about our publications here.

Follow the exploits of our RespiTech Lego scientists by following our Social media links

Lastly, don’t forget to like our Facebook page and follow our Twitter feed to keep up to-date with our social activities and the continuing exploits of our RespiTech Lego Scientists. Speaking of which, it may be time for them to attend another conference soon….

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.