SPIRITUS: (12-15) A Monthly update from the Respiratory Technology team at the WIMR

This is the final news letter for 2015 from the RespiTech Group at the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research. 

2015 RespiTech Christmas Cook-up

In December members of the group celebrated the festive season with their annual Christmas party. Members and friends of RespiTech attended and even Santa made a appearance. You can learn more about the party and other social events via our Facebook page and Twitter feed. Shortly after the celebrations, Yang, Jess and Sumit attended Drug Delivery to the Lungs Conference in Edinburgh. Sumit Arora was selected for the New Investigator Presentation and, later during the conference, was awarded the Pat Burnell Young Investigator Award for his presentation and research. Well done Sumit! 

Meanwhile, Paul and Daniela visited collaborators in Europe. Daniela gave a series of lectures at the University of Perugia  (Italy) and Paul gave a series of seminars on innovation at the Woolcock and the future of respiratory drug delivery.

As always, we give an update of publications and grants. In December the group published one paper with Mariateresa Stigliani as the first author. The paper entitled ‘Antibiotic Transport Across Bronchial Epithelial Cells: effects of Molecular Weight, LogP and Apparent Permeability’ was accepted in European Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences. Also in December, Daniela was awarded a $61,000 NHMRC USyd Equipment grant for a Real-time bio impedance measurement system. This state-of-the-art system will be used to monitor cellular permeability in realtime when epithelia are treated with drugs or affected by local pathogens. You can learn more about all our journal publications here and grants here.

This month we also say farewell to Fin Canney, who has spent the last few months with the group undertaking a project looking at tight junction modification in lung epithelia. Fin is a Pharmacy Student from Bath (UK) and will return to complete his Degree in January. All the best Fin!

Lastly, the RespiTech group would like to congratulate Daniela Traini who was appointed to Full Professor in December. Daniela’s new title will be ‘Professor of Respiratory Science’ at the University of Sydney. Fantastic news!

2015 has been an exciting and productive year and as we look forward to exciting opportunities in 2016. We wish all our collaborators and followers a happy and productive 2016.

 
 

SPIRITUS: (11-15) A Monthly update from the Respiratory Technology team at the WIMR

Nov 2015.jpg

This is our November update and penultimate news letter from the RespiTech for 2015. This month, members of the group attended Drug Delivery Australia in Brisbane. Paul gave a presentation on innovations in drug delivery and Daniela on repurposing oral drug delivery molecules for inhalation. Lala, Michele, Alaa and Mariam had posters, while Mariam was selected for a posters on the podium presentation to highlight the clinical work she is conducting in Cystic Fibrosis Research.

As always, we congratulate people for their achievements and give an update on publications from the group. Firstly, YY was awarded a University Kick Starter grant. The Kickstarter grant, worth $30,000 will be used to develop ‘Innovative inhaled antibiotic treatment strategies for the eradication and prevention of persistent respiratory infections’. Also this month, Paul was appointed as the new incoming President of The Australian Chapter of the Controlled Release Society (AUS-CRS). AUS-CRS was established in 2007, with the aim of providing a forum for science and education for Australian scientists with an interest in delivery of bioactives. You can learn more about AUS-CRS here. Later in month, Daniela received $30,000 in a NHMRC near-miss funding towards a large multidisciplinary project that will evaluate repurposing a number of small molecules for lung diseases.

The RespiTech group published five peer reviewed papers this month. The first, an original research article by Sumit Arora in ‘Expert Opinion on Drug Delivery’ was titled ‘Highly Respirable Dry Powder Inhalable Formulation of Voriconazole with Enhanced Pulmonary Bioavailability’. This work focusses on respiratory fungal infection and inhalable antifungal treatment. The second paper by Sharon Davis, focused on health-care provision, was accepted in International ‘Journal of Clinical Pharmacy’. This article is titled ‘Knowledge that people with intellectual disability have of their inhaled asthma medications-messages for pharmacists’. Third, the group had a paper accepted with their collaborators at Monash University and Chiesi UK in ‘Pharmaceutical Research’. The paper (first author Daniel Duke) is titled ‘Temporally and spatially resolved x-ray fluorescence measurements of in-situ drug concentration in metered-dose inhaler sprays’ is based on a synchrotron study of the evolution of pMDI sprays. The fourth paper this month was a review article, authored by Maliheh Ghadiri looking at treatment options for Interstitial Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF). The article accepted in the journal ‘Expert Opinion on Biological Therapy’ is titled ‘Cell-based therapies for the treatment of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) disease’. Lastly, a paper authored by Judy Loo was accepted in the ‘Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry’ This study investigated the combination of silver ions and nano-particle flavonoids for reducing bacterial colonisation in respiratory infections. The paper is titled ‘Combination of Silver Nanoparticles and Curcumin Nanoparticles for Enhanced Anti-biofilm Activities’

Well done all!. To learn more about these and other publications from the Respiratory Technology group you can visit our publications page here.

Lastly, the group began to ramp up celebrations for the festive season. This began with the Melbourne Cup day celebrations in November. December will have more celebrations as well as a number of the group traveling overseas for meetings and conferences. You can learn more about these and other activities of the group via Facebook and Twitter.

SPIRITUS: (10-15) A Monthly update from the Respiratory Technology team at the WIMR

This is our October 2015 update of news from the RespiTech group at the WIMR. This month, members of the group attended the 3rd International Meeting on Inhaled Therapeutics for Tuberculosis and Infectious Diseases in Parma, Italy where Daniela gave a plenary on high dose therapies using the Orbital DPI and Paul was Rapporteur for a session on pulmonary pharmacokinetics. 

Back at home, the group held a social outing to a Persian Restaurant on the North shore to celebrate some new arrivals to the group and departure of old members. Firstly we would like to Welcome Sjoerd Zonings, Finbar Cannery and Dr Rafael Villalobos García. Sjoerd is a visiting student from Avans University in the Netherlands who is working on the use of a new excipient to reduce electrostatics in dry powders. Fin is a visiting student from Bath who is working on a project focussed on understanding how cellular tight junctions are modified by inhaled therapeutics. Rafael is a long-term collaborator with the group and is visiting Sydney on sabbatical from the Facultad de Estudios Superiores in Mexico. Rafael is an expert in computational simulation of complex mixtures and is using Montecarlo simulations to predict the release profile of drug from controlled release formulations that can target the lung. Welcome all! We are also sad to say farewell to Anita Vandyke who was working with us on a project focused on studying the impact of pMDI formulation parameters on aerosol force. Anita is off to pursue a higher degree in medicine. Well done Anita!

As always, we give an update on publications by the group. This month, 2 publications were accepted in peer reviewed Journals. The first was an article by Sharon Davis entitled “Knowledge that people with intellectual disability have of their inhaled asthma medications-messages for pharmacists” to be published in the International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy. The second was an article by Sumit Arora entitled “highly Respirable Dry Powder Inhalable Formulation of Voriconazole with Enhanced Pulmonary Bioavailability” accepted in Expert Opinion on Drug Delivery. The details of both articles along with all our Journal publications can be found on the publication page of our website.

Lastly, we would like to congratulate members of the team for significant achievements. Congratulations go to Alaa Tulbah who submitted her Thesis for review. Alaa has spent the past three years undertaking a PhD studying the formulation and impact of simvastatin on treating chronic lung diseases. Finally, congratulations to Sharon Davis who received the award letter for her PhD on intellectual disability and inhaler use. Congratulation Dr Davis and well done all!

SPIRITUS: (09-15) A Monthly update from the Respiratory Technology team at the WIMR

This is our September 2015 update of news from the RespiTech group at the WIMR. This month, members of the group have travelled to China to attend the second Inhalation Asia conference in Shenyang. Wing-Hin Lee, Judy Loo, YY, Lily Daviskas, Paul Young, Daniela Traini and Prof Guy Marks attended and represented the Woolcock.

Guy gave the opening Plenary lecture on ‘TB control in the Asia region: a need for new approaches’ Daniela also gave a presentation on TB and how the Woolcock and Pharmaxis have partnered to develop an innovative inhaled TB product that can be used to significantly reduce treatment times in TB sufferers. In other sessions, Dr Wing-Hin Lee presented an invited talk on novel therapies for cancer in the ISAM sponsored session on lung cancer. Paul and Philip Kwok (University of Hong Kong) gave a morning ‘Inhalation 101’ workshop for ECR researchers. Other members of the Woolcock participated in the conference including Judy Loo, Hui Xin Ong (YY) and Evangelia Daviskas. 

Prior to the Conference, Paul visited Eric Zhu, a RespiTech Alumni, at his company in Hangzhou and Daniela give a two day workshop on inhalation medicine at Shenyang Pharmaceutical University.

RespiTech Members at Inhalation Asia. Clockwise from top left: David Cipolla (Aradigm), YY, Eric Zhu, Dany Traini, Paul Young, Wing-Hin Lee, Judy Loo, Lego Scientists, Lily Daviskas

Back at home the group have also been busy. YY gave a seminar to the Woolcock on multi-cell-culture models for studying drug uptake and interaction at the lung epithelia and the group published three peer reviewed articles. The first, authored by Eric, entitled ‘The formation of aerosol particles from solution-based pressurised metered dose inhalers and implications of incomplete droplet drying: theoretical and experimental comparison’ was accepted in Aerosol Science and Technology. The second, co-authored by Eric and Mehra focussed on the ‘Delivery Of Theophylline As a Dry Powder For Inhalation’ was accepted in the Asian Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences. The third, from Wing focussed on lung cancer is entitled ‘Inhalation of nanoparticles-based drug for lung cancer treatment: advantages and challenges’. This was also accepted in the Asian Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences as a special issue on inhalation therapy, guest edited by YY. You can learn more about our publications on our home page here.

SPIRITUS: (08-15) A Monthly update from the Respiratory Technology team at the WIMR

This is our August 2015 update of news from the RespiTech group at the WIMR.

In August, the group welcomed Dr. Jun Zhang, who starts work with us as a Postdoctoral Researcher. Jun will work on our ARC funded, joint SmartDrop project, with Patrick Spicers group at UNSW. This microfluidic based project aims to revolutionise aerosol drug delivery via creating highly ordered cell targeting particles, with well defined shape and surface properties. Welcome Jun!

This month we also have a number of congratulations. Firstly, congratulations to Lala Sarkassian, Stewart Yeung and Michael Lau for giving excellent first year postgraduate talks in the Discipline of Pharmacology. Secondly, later in the month, all our Postgrad presented at the Woolcock Research Symposium. Stewart Yeung was awarded the Student Choice award. Thirdly, Lala Sarkissian was awarded a University of Sydney HDR+ Grant. This initiative is intended to enhance the academic experience and outcomes of Higher Degree by Research (HDR) programs at the University of Sydney. Well done all!

As always, we give an update of publications from the group. In addition to the numerous poster and oral presentations this month, the group published peer reviewed journal articles. The first authored by Wing-Hin Lee was accepted in ‘Pharmaceutical Research’ and is titled ‘Curcumin Nanoparticles Attenuate Production Of Pro-Inflammatory Markers In Lipopolysaccharide-Induced Macrophages’. The second by Khanh Huynh, was accepted in ‘Aerosol Science and Technology’ and is entitled ‘An Investigation into the Powder Release Behaviour from Capsule-based Dry Powder Inhalers’ You can learn more about our publications here.

Follow the exploits of our RespiTech Lego scientists by following our Social media links

Lastly, don’t forget to like our Facebook page and follow our Twitter feed to keep up to-date with our social activities and the continuing exploits of our RespiTech Lego Scientists. Speaking of which, it may be time for them to attend another conference soon….

SPIRITUS: (07-15) A Monthly update from the Respiratory Technology team at the WIMR

This is our July 2015 update of news from the RespiTech group at the WIMR.

In July, a number of the group have received awards and grants. YY (Dr Hui Xin Ong) was awarded seed funding from the Marie Bashir Institute for Infectious Diseases and Biosecurity (MBI) to study the role of ion supplementation on the effectiveness of cystic fibrosis drugs during routine therapy. The $15,000 grant will establish a project between the Woolcock, University of Sydney and Westmead Hospital to conduct preliminary in vitro laboratory studies which the team hope to translate into a clinical trial.
YY was also mentioned this month in Sydney Research’s July news headline talking about a routine analytical method she has developed for studying the fate of inhaled antibiotics.

Yang Chen was awarded a place on the NSW 2015 Medical Device Commercialisation Training Program. Yang is one of only 20 applicants from across the State who were chosen to undertake the prestigious three-month program with ATP Innovations, a technology incubator with a proven record in driving the commercialisation of medical devices in Sydney. Yang also received the final printed versions of her PhD Thesis on aerosol electrostatics this month. Well done Dr Chen!

Later in the month, Michele Pozzoli presented at the 3 minute thesis competition at the University of Technology Sydney. Michele’s talk on new characterisation methods for evaluating nasal drug delivery devices. His talk was well received. 

As always, the group welcome new members and say goodbye to old members. This month, Beatrice Zanelli from the University of Ferrara returned to Italy. Beatrice has spent the last 4 months with the group studying cell targeted uptake of novel inhaled antibiotics. Beatrice, you are always welcome back to do a PhD!

The group had a number of social events in July. Among which were Gnocchi night and Beatrice’s farewell dinner at Saray’s (for Wine, Beer and Turkish Kebabs). Roberto (and lego Roberto) also had their birthdays this month, that the group celebrated. To learn more about RespiTech achievements you can visit our home page. If you are more interested in our social events, or if you want to follow the adventures of our RespiTech Lego Scientists you please visit and Like our Facebook page or Twitter feed. 

SPIRITUS: (06-15) A Monthly update from the Respiratory Technology team at the WIMR

This is our June 2015 update of news from the RespiTech group at the WIMR.

In June, the group have continued their operations overseas. Dr Wing Hin-Lee and Dr Judy Loo travelled to the University of Ferrara (Italy) to give invited seminars and strengthen our long-standing collaborations with Prof Santo Scalia in the Department of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences. Later in the month, after returning to Australia, Wing and Judy travelled overseas to attend the International Symposium on Phytochemicals in Medicine in Shanghai. Wing gave an invited presentation on work he has been conducting in the area of lung cancer. Also with respect to travel, Giulia Ballerin was selected to undertake a summer course in Singapore in the area of biofilms. She was awarded flight, accommodation and food expenses. Well done Giulia!

Also of note this month, Daniela Traini was appointed onto the board of the International society for Aerosols in Medicine. ISAM is an international organisation dedicated to all aspects of aerosol research in medicine. More details about ISAM can be found here. Lala Sarkissian presented at the Woolcock Friday seminars this June. Lala is a first year PhD student working in the area of aerosol lung deposition and dissolution kinetics. Sharon Davis, a final year PhD student also submitted her thesis this month for review. Congratulations Sharon!

As always, we like to give an update of the groups research output. In addition to conference proceedings and invited talks, the group published three new papers this month. The first paper in Molecular Pharmaceutics was a joint work between the Woolcock’s RespiTech & Cell Biology teams and Prof Claus-Michael Lehr’s group at Saarland University in Germany. The paper is entitled ‘Mono- and co-cultures of bronchial and alveolar epithelial cells respond differently to pro-inflammatory stimuli and their modulation by salbutamol and budesonide’ Dr Mehra Haghi (a Lecturer at The University of Technology Sydney and a Woolcock Affiliate) is the first author and the work is linked to her Humboldt Fellowship. The second paper this month was accepted in the International Journal of Pharmaceutics. The paper entitled ‘In vitro biological activity of resveratrol using a novel inhalable resveratrol spray-dried formulation’ by Valentina Trotta is part of the continuing joint research programs between the University of Ferrara and the Woolcock. Lastly, Sharon Davis had a publication accepted in the Journal of Asthma.  The article entitled ‘The ability of people with intellectual disability to use inhalers – an exploratory mixed methods study.’ focuses on quality use of medications in patients with disabilities.

You can find details of each of these and other peer reviewed papers (abstract and link to main text where available) on our RespiTech publication page.

SPIRITUS: (05-15) A Monthly update from the Respiratory Technology team at the WIMR

RespiTech Team at RDD 2015

This is our May 2015 update of news from the RespiTech group at the WIMR. This month, a few members of the team have traveled overseas to present at international conferences and meet with industry and academic collaborators. At the start of the Month, the team (Paul Young, Daniela Traini, Larissa Gomes Dos Reis, Valentina Trotta and Michele Pozzoli) attended Respiratory Drug Delivery-Europe in Nice. The group presented a number of papers at the conference and Paul co-chaired a session for new investigators. You can learn more about what was presented by reading the four page peer review abstracts available via the rddonline portal. Paul and Daniela went onto meet a number of industrial collaborators across Europe before meeting up with Wing Hin Lee and Judy Loo, attending ISAM (international society for Aerosols in Medicine) in Munich where Judy gave an oral presentation and Dany chaired a session. Of course, our RespiTech lego scientists managed to attend both Conferences also, and enjoyed networking, chairing sessions and even met up with a lego engineering group from Team Consulting at RDD!

Back at home, Mariam Mamlouk and Larissa gave presentations to the Department of Pharmacology, giving an overview of their PhD research plan. Mariam is working with CF patients to understand how diet influences the effectiveness of inhaled therapies while Larissa is developing novel inhalable systems for delivering vaccines.

Also this month, members of the group have been mentioned in the Media. Firstly YY officially received a prestigious award from the University of Sydney for for reducing animal testing. Details can be found here. Secondly, Sumit’s research was mentioned by the Australian Department of Education and Training. Details can be found here. Well done guys!

Lastly, the group have had a number of social events back in Sydney. Members of the group attended Sydney's Vivid Festival  and also hosted a dinner to say farewell to Isabella Martignoni, who returned to Italy to finish her degree.

The group are looking forward to June and the start of the Australia Winter Season. Wrap up warm!

SPIRITUS: (04-15) A Monthly update from the Respiratory Technology team at the WIMR

April 2015.jpeg

This is our April 2015 update of news from the RespiTech group at the WIMR. April has been busy month for the RespiTech Team and congratulations all-round for such a productive month!

Firstly, Yang Chen submitted her PhD Thesis and took a short break before she returns as a PostDoc in May. Well done Yang! Also this month Giulia Gitana D’Arco, Mariam Mamlouk and Larissa Gomes gave their first year PhD talks to the Woolcock during its morning seminar program. Great talks girls! YY (Hui Xin Ong) also returned from her ERC fellowship in the UK this month. YY will rejoin the group as a postdoctorate research fellow and will work between the Woolcock and Westmead Hospital to establish a number of clinical based research programs. Welcome home YY!

The group have also had a successful month publicising our research. The group had 7 publications accepted in peer reviewed journals in the last 30 days.
Wing-Hin was first author on two papers accepted in Expert Opinion on Drug Delivery (IF 4.1) and Journal of Biomedical Nanotechnology (IF 7.6) in the area of nanotechnology. The first is a review of nanoparticles for macrophage targeting entitled ‘Nano- and micro-based inhaled drug delivery systems for targeting alveolar macrophages.’, while the second is an original research article entitled ‘Synthesis and characterization of inhalable curcumin nanoparticles for lung cancer therapy’. The group had a second review accepted in Expert Opinion on Drug Delivery authored by Jesslynn Ooi entitled ‘Determination of physical and chemical stability in pressurised metered dose inhalers (MDIs): Potential New Techniques.’ Two papers were accepted in the European Journal of Pharmacetuics and Biopharmaceutics (IF 4.2) in May. The first by YY entitled ‘Is the cellular uptake of respiratory aerosols delivered from different devices bioequivalent?’ while the second from Mehra Haghi is entitled ‘Inhalable tranexamic acid for haemoptysiss treatment.’ Sumit Arora also had his work accepted for publication this month in Molecular Pharmaceutics (IF 4.8) focussed on development of anti-fungal lung therapies. Lastly, Eric Zhu was first author on a article in European Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences (IF 3) entitled ‘The formulation of a pressurised metered dose inhaler containing theophylline for inhalation.’ Well done all! You can find details of each of these articles (abstract and link to main text where available) on our publication page.

Looking forward to May, a number of the group will travel overseas to attend conferences and meetings. Who knows even our lego scientists may join us…

You can follow the adventures of our RespiTech Lego Scientists at  www.facebook.com/RespiTech

You can follow the adventures of our RespiTech Lego Scientists at www.facebook.com/RespiTech

SPIRITUS: (03-15) A Monthly update from the Respiratory Technology team at the WIMR.

This is our March 2015 update of news from the RespiTech group at the WIMR. March has been busy month for the RespiTech Team. This month, we celebrated the graduation of Wing and Judy, who received their doctorate at the University of Sydney. Anphy Nguyen also graduated with his BPharm during the Pharmacy ceremony. Well done all! Also this month, YY won a prestigious 'Award for the Reduction in Use of Animals in Research' from the University of Sydney. This will be presented by the University later in the year. Daniela was reported in the National Newspaper ‘The Australian’ in an interview discussing the financial threat to the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Scheme and the need for governments to keep these National facilities open. 

Importantly this month, we announced plans for Woolcock Centre for Lung Cancer Research and Lung Cancer Research Network. This was announced in-line with the NSW State Governments commitment of $3M to the initiative. The project, of which the RespiTech team has been a key leader, will result in a state-of-the art research Centre and Hub for the wider network, which covers over 20 basic research and clinical groups from hospitals, universities and institutes across NSW. You can learn more about the Centre for Lung Cancer Research and Lung Cancer Research Network by watching the video

As always we welcome new members to our team. We welcome Beatrice Zanelli, a visiting researcher from the University of Ferrara. Beatrice will spend 4 months in our lab working on a collaborative project on inhalation drug therapy. We also welcome Anita Vandyke, a researcher with an engineering background who is looking to transition into the medical field. Anita will be working on a number of projects with our group.

Lastly, we give an update on group publications. Three publications were accepted this month; Yang Chen had a paper accepted as first author in the journal 'Pharmaceutical Research' entitled ‘Effect of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients on Aerosol Electrostatic Charges from Pressurized Metered Dose Inhalers.’; Sharon Davis was the first author on a paper entitled ‘Unique location but similar issues - working with health professionals in correctional services to improve inhaler use’ in the 'Journal of Pharmacy Practice and Research' and Eric had a paper accepted in the 'Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences' entitled ‘Tuning the Orbital® DPI device: how to control delivery parameters and aerosol performance via modification of puck orifice geometry’. You can find details of each of these articles on our publication page.

SPIRITUS: (02-15) A Monthly update from the Respiratory Technology team at the WIMR.

This is our February 2015 update of news from the RespiTech group at the WIMR. February has seen the arrival of a number of new personnel. Firstly, Roberto Paleco joins the group as a research assistant, supporting lab operations and running a number of projects within the group. We also have a number of new graduate students commencing. Michael Lau joins us to undertake a Mphil degree and Stewart Yeung to undertake a PhD. Both will be working on projects related to dry powder inhaler modelling and optimisation and both are be co-supervised by members of the Chiesi Chippenham, UK team and Prof David Fletcher at the Engineering department at Usyd. We also have Isabella Martignoni, a student from the University of Ferrara, Italy, visiting. Isabella is working on a joint project with Prof Scalia studying a novel molecule for nasal deposition.

We have also hosted members from the UK Chiesi group this month. David Lewis and Alan Tweedie joined us to develop a strategic plan for future projects and also to meet our two new higher degree researchers that they are co-supervising. 

RespiTech February BBQ. Snags, Pizza and Century Egg challenge

RespiTech February BBQ. Snags, Pizza and Century Egg challenge

Alan Tweedie (Chiesi UK) with new postgrad students Stewart and Mic

Alan Tweedie (Chiesi UK) with new postgrad students Stewart and Mic

During the visit we had a February RespiTech BBQ to say goodbye (temporally) to Valentina, our Coutelle PhD student, who returns to Ferrara to continue aspects of her research program. Valentina also gave a presentation at the Woolcock Institute Friday seminars before leaving. You can follow the social aspect of our group on our RespiTech Facebook page.

Lastly, we would like to congratulate members of the team for their achievements. This month, the group were mentioned in Austrade for their international partnerships. Also, Judy Loo received seed funds from a kind donor for a new ECR project. Judy will develop in vitro models for rapid screening of inhaled drug delivery systems for the treatment of lung infections. Well done Judy!

SPIRITUS: (01-15) A Monthly update from the Respiratory Technology team at the WIMR.

This is our January 2015 update of news from the RespiTech group at the WIMR. This marks the beginning of our 3rd year of the group and our successful monthly newsletter.

January is the holiday season in Australia and the group is just getting back into the swing of things. Of note, the group welcome new members and say goodbye to long-standing members. Firstly, Lala Sarkissian joins the group to undertake a PhD. Lala will be studying dissolution of inhaled particles and the impact on pharmacokinetics and bioequivelency. Secondly, we have seen the arrival of a team of Lego scientists. This group of extremely qualified female researchers have already got to work in our laboratories and you can follow their exploits on our Facebook page. Importantly, Eric (Bing Zhu) left us this month. Eric will take up a management position in a leading Chinese pharmaceutical company developing innovative inhalation therapies. The group had a party towards the end of the month to celebrate Eric’s farewell. 

Also this month, the group published a couple of papers and were awarded a grant. Dr Mehra Haghi (now a lecturer at UTS, Sydney) had a paper accepted in the Journal of Materials Chemistry B. entitled ‘A ‘soft spot’ for drug transport’. This paper investigates the implication of diet on the effectiveness of drugs on asthma. Dr. Judy Loo also had a paper accepted this month entitled ‘Implications and emerging control strategies for ventilator-associated infections’ in the journal ‘Expert Review of Anti-infective therapy’ Well done both!  Lastly Daniela was awarded the first grant of the year with a team from across the University of Sydney. The NHMRC Equipment Grant is worth $75,000 and supported the purchase of a specialised aerosol generation chamber for controlled drug delivery in lab studies.

2015 looks to be a fantastic year ahead and we look forward to exciting new opportunities, collaborations and programs of research within the respiratory field.