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.




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.