SPIRITUS: (2-14) A Monthly update from the Respiratory Technology team at the WIMR.

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

February has been a successful month for the RespiTech group with a number of announcements, developments and new team members.

Firstly, the National Health and Medical Council of Australia awarded members of the team a $401,708 NHMRC Development Grant, entitled ‘CSI Sydney’, to develop a formulation that targets chronic sinus infection and conduct a number of first in human imaging studies using a sinus targeting device. The grant was awarded to CIs Paul Young, Daniela Traini (RespiTech, Woolcock & Sydney Medical School USyd), Greg King (Physiology, Woolcock & Sydney Medical School USyd), Dale Bailey (Northern Clinical School, Usyd) (Ramin Rohanizadeh, Pharmacy, USyd), Cynthia Whitchurch (iThree Institute, UTS) and is partnered with a local pharmaceutical company AFT. Both The story was picked up by the ABC National radio service and local radio. Both Paul and Greg discussed the problems associated with sinus infection on a number of interviews and talk-back shows.

The RespiTech team along with the Respiratory Cellular and Molecular Biology group were also successful in receiving a grant from the Rebecca L. Cooper Medical Research Foundation. The grant, worth $22,000 will be used to purchase a electric cell-substrate impedance sensing (ECIS) instrument for studying respiratory cell cultures.

There was more reason to celebrate when the Woolcock organised a morning tea to award one of the RespiTech postdocs, Wing Hin a $10,000 ECR grant. Wing will use this seed funding to develop his research on targeted respiratory cancer therapy. 

Meanwhile, John Chan had a paper accepted in Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences entitled “A novel inhalable form of rifapentine” This work forms the basis of the groups ongoing TB targeting research program.

RespiTech members enjoyed a number of social events in February. The Italian contingent organised a farewell pizza dinner for ‘YY, the boss’ at Fratelli Fresh while Yang organised a second outing for beer, sushi and karaoke. YY will now spend the next 12 months in Southampton with Prof Joy Conway’s group establishing a collaboration in the area of medical imaging. She will keep us updated via a new blog.

As usual we like to introduce new members of RespiTech team and welcome visitors. Matteo Padroni joins us from Ferrara, Nadine Vermeiren from the Netherlands and Emelie Britt Linnea Land is a local grad student. Matteo is working in the area of antibiotic therapy, Nadine in aerosol particle formation mechanics and Emelie on the use of Spacer in emergency room treatment. Finally, we would like to welcome visitors Dr Dave Lewis and Dr Gemma Keegan. Dave and Gemma, are from Chiesi’s Innovation centre in the UK. Dave and his team have a long history of working with our group and their visit to Australia is to firm up the focus of a number of projects including our joint ARC Linkage program and co-supervision of PhD student Yang. Welcome!