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

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May has been a busy month for the RespiTech team at the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research.

The OzNose Project was launched, a series of open-source research programs and consortia focussed on the upper-respiratory tract. The founding team consists of academics from a wide range of disciplines including engineering, physiology, clinical practice, molecular pharmacology and drug delivery. With the announcement, a new website 'www.oz-nose.org' was set up to provide a platform for the consortia to report findings to the public and scientific community and serve as a research hub for its members.

Away from the Institute, members of the RespiTech group (Mehra, Yang, John, Dany and Paul) attended RDD Europe in Berlin. The premier drug delivery conference had over 450 attendees and a series of papers by the group were well received. Mehra gave a podium presentation on epithelial uptake of combination products and continued-on to give invited presentations in the areas of drug delivery and cell biology to Paolo Colombo's group at the University of Parma and Claus Muir's group at the University of Saarbrücken. Mehra will work with the team to establish new collaborations and strengthen existing projects between these centres. Also overseas, Jess left for the UK to visit Simon Gaisford's group at UCL. Jess received an Endeavour award to spend 6 months studying particle stability in pressurised metered dose inhalers.

At home, YY received a prestigious fellowship from the European Respiratory Society to undertake a research program with Joy Conway's group at the University of Southampton (UK). She will spend 2014 in the UK working alongside Joys' group to study mucociliary clearance using lung imaging and develop new approaches to treating CF and COPD.

The group have published three articles this month in the areas of respiratory cell biology and clinical management. Firstly, YY published a review in 'Expert Opinion on Drug Delivery', focusing on the application of the Calu-3 cell model for drug delivery studies, while Mehra authored an article in 'Respirology' using the Calu-3 model to study mediated cellular uptake of fluticasone when delivered in combination with Salmeterol. At the patient interface, Sharon authored an article in the 'Australian Journal of Primary Health' reporting asthma management practices in developmental disability clinics; giving advice to healthcare professions with respect to inhaler use and training.

As always we welcome new members to our team. Michele Pozzoli starts with us as PhD student. Michele is supervised by Fabio Sonvico, Mary Bebawy (both UTS), Paul and Dany and will focus on drug delivery to the upper respiratory tract (one of the first projects as part of the OzNose initiative). Welcome Michele!