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.

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.

SPIRITUS: (10-14) A Monthly update from the Respiratory Technology team at the WIMR


This is our October 2014 update of news from the RespiTech group at the WIMR.October has been a productive and successful month for the RespiTech group. Firstly, members of the group were awarded a number of grants and prizes. Firstly, Paul and Dany were CI and AIs on a successful National Health and Medical Council Research Grant ($668,469) with Dr Lisa Wood ( Uni Newcastle/Woolcock) and Dr Brian Oliver (UTS/Woolcock) to study the ‘Mechanisms of impaired bronchodilator response associated with fatty acid intake in obese asthma’. This project will run over four yeas and combines basic molecular biology with clinical studies. You can learn more here. Also, this month the RespiTech group were awarded $250,000 in the Google Impact challenge to develop an App for monitoring health and the environment that can incorporate wearable health monitoring devices. The team included RespiTech, The Respiratory and Environmental Epidemiology and Allergen & upper airways groups from the Woolcock, Asthma Australia and BCG Ventures. You can learn more about the challenge here. 

We would also like to congratulate Tim Corish this month, who was awarded The Sydney Mechanical Engineering Association (USMEA) First Prize in Professional Communication in Mechanical Engineering - at the Biomedical Seminar. Well done Tim! This award is given annually by recommendation of the Head of the School of Aerospace, Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering, (University of Sydney) after consultation with the officers and members of USMEA, to the candidate for the degree of Bachelor of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering. Congratulations also go out to Matteo Padroni who graduated with his Pharmacy Degree at the University of Ferrara, Italy. Matteo spent the past six months working with the group studying inhaled antibiotic therapies.

Members of the group have also been travelling. Paul and Daniela visited three countries in Europe over 96 hours to establish a number of new projects and networks, while Eric travelled to China to attend IDDA China to establish a number of new collaborations. Towards the end of the month, Larissa, Emelie, Giulia, Yang, Michele, Valentina, Dany and Paul travelled to Adelaide to attend the CRS PostgGrad work shop on drug delivery. The workshop was both productive and social. The outcome of the Karaoke challenge can be found on the groups social Facebook page.

Lastly, the group published one paper this month entitled 'Solid Lipid microparticles as an approach to drug delivery' in Expert Opinion on Drug Delivery. This work is part of ongoing collaborations between the University of Ferrara , A/Prof Scalia, and the Woolcock.


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.




SPIRITUS: (8-14) A Monthly update from the Respiratory Technology team at the WIMR.

This is our August 2014 update of news from the RespiTech group at the WIMR. August has been a whirlwind month for the team with plenty of comings and goings, visitors and social events.

Firstly, Jesslynn Ooi leaves us to take up a position at Glaxo SmithKline in the UK. Jess, a PhD student supervised by Paul, Dany, Ben Boyd (Monash) and Simon Gaisford (UCL), commenced work this month in the GSKs Materials Group in the UK. Jess has completed her laboratory work and will submit her Thesis over the next month. In addition to Jess, we also say farewell to Jasper Lamers, Mary Goud and Sumit Arora. Jasper and Mary were visiting researchers from Avans University while Sumit was visiting us as a PhD student on an Incoming Endeavour Scholarship. All three achieved significant research during their stay and are currently writing up their findings for publication. 

This month we hosted Prof Jose Pedraz from the University of the Basque Country. Prof Pedraz visited the group for a short sabbatical. The two groups are going to start a series of new projects focussing on non-viral vector cell targeting for a range of diseases via the upper and lower respiratory tract. We would also like to welcome Anphy Nguyen, an industrial placement student from the Faculty of Pharmacy (The University of Sydney) and Joao Da Conceicao, a internship student from Brazil. Both will work on particle engineering projects. Welcome!

With all the incoming and exiting personnel, the group took time to let their hair down on a few occasions. Of note, the group met up in Newtown for drinks and the ‘Great Pho dventure’. You can find out more about the social side of RespiTech via our Facebook and Twitter pages. Further away from home, YY was awarded an  Early Career Scientist Travel Award worth £400 from the the Aerosol Society to attend the ERS congress. Also, YY, currently on an ERS fellowship in Southampton updates us via YY's ERS blog post here.

The group published two articles this month. the first by Sharon Davies entitled ‘The Role of Direct Support Professionals in Asthma Management’ was accepted in the Journal of Intellectual & Developmental Disability. This article focusses on practice, and the challenges that care workers face when treating respiratory disorders in people with intellectual disability.  The second, by Eric Zhu entitled ‘Aerosol particle generation from solution-based pressurised metered dose inhalers: a technical overview of parameters that influence respiratory deposition’ was accepted in Pharmaceutical Development and Technology. This article gives  an overview of our current understanding in the area of pMDI formulation and aerosol generation. You can find all the peer reviewed articles published by the RespiTech group at: www.respitech.org/publications/

Lastly, the group has been gearing up for the upcoming ISAM-Woolcock conference in Sydney at the end of September. You can now find the full program, registration and speakers at the following site: www.woolcock.org.au/isam2014. We look forward to seeing you there!

postscript. we also have a new logo;)

SPIRITUS: (7-14) A Monthly update from the Respiratory Technology team at the WIMR.

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

This Month, members of the group have been traveling in both the USA and UK. Daniela and YY attended the Chiesi i3Innovation conference to celebrate 5 years of the new Chiesi UK innovation centre, headed up by Dr David Lewis. The two days conference was an amazing success and brought in Chiesi collaborators from around the world to meet and discuss the future of inhalation science. Daniela gave a presentation on the application of 3D printing and CFD for inhalation device development, while YY presented in an ECR session. YY was given an award for best early career researcher sponsored by Nanopharm Ltd. At the same time, Paul attended the Controlled Release Society Annual meeting in Chicago and gave a podium presentation on the future for respiratory controlled release formulations in a new session focused on respiratory drug delivery. Paul also presented Judy and Wings posters, as they were unable to attend.

Dany and YY attending i3Innovation UK conference

Back at home, Jesslynn Ooi had a paper accepted in Current Drug Delivery entitled 'The Effects of Loaded Carrier Mass and Formulation Mass on Aerosolisation Efficiency in Dry Powder Inhaler Devices'. This paper focuses on the mechanisms that underpin aerosolisation of carrier-based systems and begins to eliminate some factors that we previously thought were key in generating fine aerosols.

As usual, the group welcome new members and say goodbye to old members. 

Giula Ballerin re-joins the group to undertake a PhD. Giulia spent 4 months with us in 2013 as a visiting student from the University of Ferrara, Italy. She now has a scholarship awarded by UTS and will undertake a PhD in the area of respiratory infection, co-supervised by Daniela, Paul and A/Prof Cynthia Whitchurch (iThree Institute). 

We would also like to welcome Mariam Mamlouk as a new PhD candidate in the Faculty of Medicine. Mariam undertook a Master with Paul and Dany in 2012 in the area of cell biology and drug transport. Her PhD will focus on understanding mechanisms of mucus clearance in children with CF. Mariam will be co-supervised by Paul, Daniela and Paul Robinson (The Children's Hospital at Westmead). Mariam has been awarded an Australian Postgraduate Award (APA) scholarship to conduct her PhD.

We say farewell to Matteo Padroni who has been undertaking a research project looking at inhaled Tobramycin. Matteo will return to the University of Ferrara to complete his Pharmacy degree. Matteo, you are always welcome back! 

Lastly, we say farewell to Dr Mehra Haghi. Mehra has been with the group through her PhD first and then as a PostDoc at the Woolcock. Mehra was instrumental in establishing the RespiTech group and has co-supervised many students with the team. Mehra will begin her Humboldt Fellowship in Germany next month and will return to Sydney to take up a full time appointment as a lecturer at the University of Technology Sydney. The group celebrated Mehra's contributions at the Belgian Beer Cafe at the end of the month (photos are on Facebook). We wish Mehra all the best and will continue working with her as a collaborator and independent Academic. Well done Mehra!

Giula, Mariam, Matteo and Mehra

Giula, Mariam, Matteo and Mehra


SPIRITUS: (6-14) A Monthly update from the Respiratory Technology team at the WIMR.

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


This month, members of the group travelled to Germany to establish a new partnership with Evonik Industries. Daniela and Paul spent time at Evonik's site near Darmstadt for an Evonik-Woolcock strategic workshop that focussed on future directions that will result in expansion of technology and research in a number of exciting new areas. 

At the same time, the Australian Research Council announced the successful participants in the 2014 linkage grant scheme. The Respiratory Technology group were awarded a three years grant worth $482,738 for the development of inhaled vaccines. This project was one of the first initiatives developed via preliminary talks with Evonik at the end of 2013. Dr Windhab (Evonik) is the linkage partner along with CIs Young and Traini. The grant was entitled 'One for all and all for one- Engineering a drug delivery platform for DNA vaccines to the lung’
Earlier in the month Paul was interviewed by John Scott on 4BC radio's Health and Wellbeing Show discussing the issues with common lung diseases including asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and tuberculosis and how we can develop new approaches to targeting such diseases. This interview coincided with the launch of a new video and partnership focussing on TB with Pharmaxis Ltd.

Two papers were published this month by the group. The first was entitled 'On the thermal and evolved gas analysis of salbutamol sulphate' in the Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry. This paper is the first output resulting from a collaboration between Dr Fabio Sonvico at University of Technology Sydney and the RespiTech group at the Woolcock. The second paper was a review entitled 'An overview of biosimilars' published in the Journal and Proceedings of the Royal Society of New South Wales. John Chan was the first author of the article.

As usual we would like to welcome new members and say good by to old colleagues. This Month we say farewell to John Chan who has taken up a position as a Formulation Scientist & Project Manager at JHL Biotech in Taiwan. We wish John all the best and also congratulate him for his successful award of his PhD from the University of Sydney this month. Well done Dr Chan!

SPIRITUS: (5-14) A Monthly update from the Respiratory Technology team at the WIMR


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

This month members of the group attended RDD 2014 in Puerto Rico. The location and science was exceptional and our group presented seven full conference papers (congratulations to Yang, Mehra, YY, Alaa, Eric, Michele and Mariateresa). The 4 page conference abstracts for each are available via the www.rddonline.com publications portal. Paul chaired an interesting session on 'Optimizing Nasal and Pulmonary Formulations' and Yang gave an excellent poster on the podium, discussing the impact of pMDI orifice geometry on electrostatics and aerosol performance.

Members of the RespiTech Team at RDD 2014

Back home, members of the group celebrated the installation of a new flow-cytometer which was the result of our campaign to 'Solve lung disease one cell at a time'. The installation of this facility was via a substantial financial contribution from a kind donor who supports the Woolcock's mission to be Leaders in Breathing and Sleep Research.

www.ecr2star.org received fresh material on the importance and meaning of research metrics. The website also received minor upgrades and the addition of a new archive page of previous articles. Paul discussed the importance of ecr2star at the University of Sydney's Research Bites and we encourage researchers of all ages to get involved!

As usual, we would like to welcome new members to the team. This month Angelo Granieri, from the University of Ferrara, Italy, joins us. Angelo will spend the next 4 months studying aerosol generation of non-newtonian fluids for targeting the upper respiratory tract. Welcome Angelo! Finally, we would like to congratulate Judy Loo for being first author on a paper in Biofouling (IF: 4;) entitled 'Non-cytotoxic silver nanoparticles-polyvinyl alcohol hydrogels with anti-biofilm activity: Designed as coatings for endotracheal tube materials' Good work!

SPIRITUS: (4-14) A Monthly update from the Respiratory Technology team at the WIMR.

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

This month the group have been busy hosting guests, traveling interstate to present and participate in a number of events and preparing for the ISAM 2014 conference. Early on in the month, Prof Carsten Ehrhardt (on sabbatical from Trinity college Dublin) gave a presentation to the Institute. Carsten's sabbatical was relatively short as he left us at the end of April, however we now have a number of established collaborations in the area of nasal and pulmonary cell biology which we will continue to work in partnership over the coming years

Early on in the month, a press release regarding formulation development for the Orbital device, by the RespiTech team and Pharmaxis drew attention of local media and resulted in Paul undertaking a number of radio interviews with national broadcasters (you can learn more here).

RespiTech at TSANZ 2014

Members of the Team traveled to the Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand (TSANZ) annual meeting in Adelaide where Mehra, Paul and Dany gave three separate talks. Mehra talked about drug transport and the impact of diet on asthma, Paul gave a presentation on advances in treating ventilator associated pneumonia and Daniela gave a podium on repurposing drugs for treating respiratory diseases. The following week, the team were at the annual Drug Delivery Australia meeting in Melbourne (this year linked with the 5th FIP Pharmaceutical Sciences World Congress), where Dany gave a presentation on treating TB by inhalation and how the Orbital device may be the answer.

Also this month, both Paul and Daniela attended the 30th Rebecca Cooper dinner and awards ceremony in Sydney, where Paul collected a Rebecca Cooper Medical Research Grant for the Woolcock Team (Burgess, Oliver, Young) entitled 'Using electric cell-substrate impedance to explore the regulation of angiogenesis in asthma'

As always we welcome and say goodbye to guests and RespiTech Team members. In addition to Carsten's departure, we also say farewell to Wilco. Wilco has made fantastic progress over the past 9 months on 2 projects. One focused on enhancing uptake of poorly soluble drugs in the lung and on treating pulmonary haemorrhage. Wilco is now current travelling around New Zealand before returning to the Netherlands. You can follow Wilco's adventure as we post them on our Facebook page. We wish you well for your future career and you are always welcome back. We also welcome Sumit Arora. Sumit is a PhD student form India that has been awarded a prestigious Endeavour Scholarship to spend time at the Woolcock for 4 months. His work will focus on inhalable anti-fungals.

We would like to congratulate members of the team for recent publications. This month the group have had 4 papers accepted in a number of Journals. Firstly, the group have had a paper accepted in 'Pharm. Res.' with colleagues at Monash University. The paper titled 'Spray characteristics of solution based pressurised metered dose inhalers: effects of formulation and co-flow conditions' uses high-speed schlieren to derive time-resolved velocity, penetration and spreading angle measurements in pMDI spray plumes. The second research paper accepted this month was authored by Alaa Tulbah. The paper accepted in 'AAPS PharmSci Tech' describes 'Novel Simvastatin Inhalation Formulation and Characterisation' for the treatment of hyper-mucosal secretion in bronchiectasis. Additionally, two Review papers were accepted this month. Mehra and YY were corresponding authors on a paper entitled 'Across the pulmonary epithelial barrier: integration of physicochemical properties and human cell models to study pulmonary drug formulations' accepted in 'Pharmacology and Therapeutics, while Wing and Judy were the first two authors on a review entitled 'Recent advances in curcumin nano-formulation for cancer therapy' accepted in 'Expert Opinion on Drug Delivery'. Well done all!

Lastly, April saw the team announce the opening of registration and abstract submission for the 2014 ISAM-Woolcock Conference to be held in Sydney. You can find out more information at the following link (http://woolcock.org.au/isam2014)




SPIRITUS: (3-14) A Monthly update from the Respiratory Technology team at the WIMR.

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

This month, the RespiTech team have been busy developing the upcoming joint ISAM-Woolock conference in September and were pleased to announce the Keynote speakers. The program is starting to come together with a number of invited speakers and the first call for abstracts is planned for the 1st week in April. 

Eric & Michele using the new JEOL desktop SEM

In the laboratory, the team have overseen the installation of a new scanning electron microscope. The bench-top SEM will significantly enhance the groups productivity as we can immediately screen particulate systems after production, allowing us to optimise engineering processes via informed decisions. Meanwhile, the group published a paper in Drug Development and Industrial Pharmacy focussed on aersosolisation of high-dose cohesive powders intended for the treatment of bronchiectasis. This is the second paper with Pharmaxis Ltd investigating the Orbital multi-breath inhaler.

As usual, we would like to congratulate members of the team for their successes. Dr Mehra Haghi was awarded a Humboldt fellowship. This highly prestigious fellowship will allow Mehra to spend a year overseas in Prof. Claus-Michael Lehr’s lab at the University of Saarbrücken in Germany. Mehra will use this opportunity to further develop her research in the area of advanced cell biology models of the lung and immunology. At the same time, Mehra was also awarded a Asthma Australia travel award. This will allow Mehra to further develop links with like minded researchers in the areas of respiratory science. 

Meanwhile, Paul and Daniela received Honorary Appointments as Adjunct Professors at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS). Daniela and Paul have a long history of collaboration with UTS academics and will continue to build on these collaborations via a number of projects and co-supervised students at the ithree institute (Cynthia Whitchurch) and Pharmacy (Fabio Sonvico). We would also like to congratulate Michele Pozzoli who has officially transferred from Masters to PhD candidature at UTS. Michelle is supervised by Fabio, Paul and Daniela and was also awarded a $1,000 Vice Chancellors travel grant this month. He will join members of the team at RDD in Puerto Rico in May.

Respitech group on the WIMR terrace - March 2013

As usual, we would like to welcome new members/visitors and say goodbye to friends. Dave Lewis and Gemma Keegan from Chiesi returned to the Uk after a successful visit. A number of projects are already underway and the visit resulted in a number of new exciting research paths. Meanwhile Prof Carsten Ehrhardt joins us on sabbatical from Trinity College Dublin. The team are working with Carsten to develop a number of projects in the areas of applied respiratory cell molecular biology with a focus on transporters. He will give a seminar at the Institute next month. Prof Warren Finlay also visited us this month from the University of Alberta. Warren is working with the group to further establish projects in the area of nasal drug delivery. Finally, we would like to welcome Tim Cornish and Valentina Trotta to the group. Tim is undertaking an engineering honours year in the area of nasal flow path simulation and deposition and Valentina is a Cotutelle PhD student between The University of Sydney and Ferrara Universty (Italy) working in the area of anti-oxidants and respiratory therapy.

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!

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

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

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The RespiTech Group celebrates a year of operation this month and look forward to an exciting year ahead. In January the group has been ramping up operations for 2014 and celebrating a number of new initiatives and successes.

Firstly, Wing-Hin Lee was awarded the Woolcock Institute’s inaugural Early Career Researcher Grant. Wing will use the $10,000 grant to establish his project proposal in the area of lung cancer targeting. The group also congratulates Mehra Haghi for receiving a Travel Grant from the Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand. Mehra will use the award travel to South Australia in April to attend the annual meeting and present her work.

As usual we would like to welcome new members to our group. Jasper Lamers and Mary Goud have joined us from the Netherlands as visiting researchers. Jasper will be working on projects within the field of patient compliance and ‘good inhaler device use’, while Mary will be working on advanced phosphodiesterase inhibitor therapies. We would also like to welcome Khanh Huynh to the group. Khanh is an Honours student from Engineering and will spend the next year with the group studying and optimising fluid flow paths through dry powder inhaler devices using in vitro and in silica models.

The group celebrated Chinese New Year this month, with members bringing a number of dishes to enjoy, including sushi, cupcakes and beef tendon jelly. The event was also accompanied by the celebration of John Chan’s successful PhD thesis submission. We also announced the successful completion and launch of the Woolcock Video, of which a number of the group were involved in making a success. You can find the Woolcock Video, Chinese New Year and other group social activities on our Facebook Page (www.Facebook.com/RespiTech).

Lastly, we would like to congratulate YY for publishing a first author paper in AAPS Journal entitled ‘Combined Inhaled Salbutamol and Mannitol Therapy for Mucus hyper-secretion in Pulmonary Diseases’. This study utilises a number of cell-based models and in vitro techniques to study the effect of combined β-2 agonist and mannitol formulations on cilia beat frequency, muscle contraction and drug absorption.