SPIRITUS: (10-16) A Monthly update from the Respiratory Technology team at the WIMR.

This is the October 2016 newsletter from the RespiTech Group at the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research.

October has been a busy month for the RespiTech Team. Firstly, the group had a RespiTech Wedding with the marriage of YY (Hui Xin Ong) to Marcus Chen. A number of the group attended the wedding in the Rocks, which was a fantastic venue and wonderful sunny afternoon event overlooking the Opera House and Bridge. Congratulations guys! Also this month, the group celebrated Wing-Hin Lee and Judy Loo’s time with the team in Sydney. Wing and Judy have been key leaders in the RespiTech group over the past years and sadly, are now leaving us to return to Malaysia to take the next step in their careers. The group hosted a farewell dinner at the Woolcock. 

Amanda Chancellor, an intern student also left the group this month after spending time with the group gaining valuable work experience. At the same time, Claudia Brown, a Pharmacy student from the University of Bath joins us to undertake a project on nasal drug delivery for the next few months.

A number of the group presented this month. Anthony Nedanoski and Jesse Xu both gave their Hons thesis presentations in Engineering and Pharmacology, respectively. Both have now submitted their final thesis. Subsequently, we say farewell to Anthony and wish you all the best (you are always welcome back to undertake a PhD!). Jesse Xu continues with us over the summer as he has been awarded a Sydney Medical School Summer Scholarship award. Congratulations! Also, Emelie Britt Linnea Land gave a talk this month at the Woolcock Seminar series. 

Later in the month the whole group attended Drug Delivery Australia, where a number of the team presented posters. David Cipolla from Aradigm also attended and spent time with the group  planning the recently commenced ARC Linkage program that we jointly hold.


The team have received a number of awards this month. Firstly, Giulia Ballerin was selected for a best poster award at DDA and gave an oral presentation along with 9 other contestants. Giulla won best presentation and was given a $1000 bursary to attend the Controlled Release Society annual meeting in the USA in 2017. Secondly, Daniela Traini was awarded a prestigious Endeavour Executive Fellowship to spend time establishing industry focussed relationships and research programs in San Francisco during 2017. The award, worth up to $20,000 will be used to spend time at the Pharmaceutical Company, Aradigm, in the Bay area. The award welcomes Daniela to the global Endeavour Alumni Network. Lastly, Paul Young and Daniela Traini were awarded a National Health and Medical Research Development Grant for $421,545 to conduct a clinical trial using a novel high-dose inhalation dry power device containing an antibiotics for the rapid treatment of infection in cystic fibrosis therapy. The grant is with Professor Scott Bell  at QHealth Research in Queensland and Pharmaxis Ltd based at Frenches Forest, Sydney.

At the Institute, the whole RespiTech group have now relocated offices from Level 3 to Level 6 of the Institute. This was necessary to make way for the construction of the new Centre for Lung Cancer Research that Paul has been driving. At the same time, upgrades to facilities in the RespiTech labs have been ongoing and the group have now installed a forth dedicated HPLC system and have taken delivery of a new electrical cell impedance sensing system that will allow real-time monitoring of cell response to stimuli.

Off-site, Daniela, YY, and Paul launched a brand new postgraduate degree with the Sydney Medical School. The Master of Medicine (PharmDev) is targeted at individuals working in the Pharma sector or graduate students looking to enter the industry by providing online continuing education in an innovative format. 

As always, we give an update on publications from the group. In addition to a number of conference abstracts, the group had one article accepted in Expert Opinion On Drug Delivery. The article by Wing is entitled ‘The achievement of ligand-functionalized organic/polymeric nanoparticles for treating multidrug resistant cancer.’

You can learn more about our publications here, competitive grants here and social activities on Facebook here and Twitter here.

October 2016 Photo highlights