SPIRITUS: (12-14) A Monthly update from the Respiratory Technology team at the WIMR.

This is our December 2014 update of news from the RespiTech group at the WIMR. The Respiratory Technology Team at the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research celebrate their second year of operation. The group has achieved a lot in the past 12 months. We have grown since January and have had over 30 research personal come through our doors. We have published 31 peer reviewed articles, sourced funding for a number of projects (>$3.5M) and have established wider initiatives within the community. To highlight some of the achievements over the past year, the group has prepared an annual report outlining some of the initiatives and key performance outcomes. The 2014 RespiTech report can be downloaded here. 

More importantly, our group has had plenty of fun time. While the team work hard we always find time to enjoy cook-ups, Karaoke, all-important pub trips and a number of social events. To learn more about the social side of RespiTech you can always like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. If you are interested in joining RespiTech as a postgraduate or doctorate researcher you can contact us through the contact tab on our website.

December saw members of the group travel to Edinburgh to attend Drug Delivery to the Lungs 25. Emelie, Valentina and Mary presented posters and Valentina and Mary were also invited to present in the Pat Burnell speakers session. YY also attended and gave a podium presentation on nasal epithelia models for drug delivery. Well done all! Back at home, Valentina gave her annual PhD talk and Emelie gave her final Grad talk to Pharmacology. Valentina has been working on developing antioxidant formulations for the treatment of COPD and has been utilising a number of formulation and cell based models while Emelie has been investigating the use of inhalation medicines in  emergency departments setting.

This month has also seen the group building further infrastructure capacity. We have now installed a new HPLC-MS system in our analytical laboratory. This recent addition will allow us to push the sensitivity of chemical analysis so that we  able to routinely quantify pharmacokinetic samples from clinical subjects. Additionally, the group have invested in an automated apparatus 4, flow through set-up for determination of poorly soluble drug dissolution and controlled release matrices for inhaled pulmonary therapy. The group also celebrated the Christmas break by hosting a pasta night and a number of drinks. We also welcome back Mehra Haghi, who is now taking up a position as lecturer at UTS and say goodbye to our close collaborator, Fabio Sonvico who will return to the University of Parma to take up a Associate Professorship. Fabio will continue to work closely with the team from Europe and co-supervise a number of students including Michele. Also, in terms of new appointments, Paul was appointed Full Professor this month. He is now Professor of Respiratory Technology in the School of Medicine, Discipline of Pharmacology as well as a member of the team at the Woolcock.

As always, we would like to congratulate members of the team for recent publications. This month the group have published two articles. John Chan was the first author on an article accepted for publication in ‘International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents’ entitled ‘Murine pharmacokinetics of rifapentine delivered as an inhalable dry powder’. Secondly, Mehra had a paper accepted in ‘Pharmaceutical Research’ entitled ‘Immunomodulatory effects of a low dose clarithromycin-based macrolide solution pressurised metered dose inhaler’. This later paper is part of an ongoing project to develop innovative therapies for COPD.
Lastly, we would like to wish all our subscribers and followers seasons greetings and thank you all for your support over the past 12 months. We wish everyone a prosperous 2015 and look forward to the year ahead.