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.