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Pulmonary function testing during SARS-CoV-2: An ANZSRS/TSANZ position statement

Diagnosis and management of connective tissue disease‐associated interstitial lung disease in Australia and New Zealand: A position statement from the Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand

Authors: A Jee, R Sheehy, P Hopkins, T Corte, C Grainge, L Troy, K Symons, L Spencer, P Reynolds, S Chapman, S de Boer, T Reddy, A Holland, D Chambers, I Glaspole, H Jo, J Bleasel, J Wrobel, L Dowman, M Parker, M Wilsher, N Goh, Y Moodley, G Keir
VOLUME 7.06 – JULY 2022

VOLUME 7.06 – JULY 2022

Research Roundup:

July 2022

Welcome Message

Welcome to another issue of Research Roundup. Best of luck to everyone who applied for the recent Medical Research Future Fund grants. I hope you have all caught up on some sleep by now!

Speaking of grants there is a whole host of opportunities listed in this newsletter and quite a few are closing soon. TSANZ has two travel grants closing at the start of August, one for the inaugural TSANZSRS Education Hub, and one for the TSANZSRS NZ Branch ASM. Speaking of the NZ Branch ASM, their new investigator award closes on the 14th of August. Outside of TSANZ Cure4CF’s Holckner Family CF Impact Grant is offering up to $500,000 for Cystic Fibrosis research and this grant closes on the 5th of August. For those working outside of research ELF has grants of up to €1,000 for not-for-profit organisations, patient groups and healthcare professionals closing very soon, on the 31st of July.

In addition, the TSANZSRS ASM abstract linked awards have just opened! Details for these awards are outlined below. In related and exciting news, the value of both the Ann Woolcock New Investigator Award and Janet Elder International Travel Awards have increased to $5k each. A lot of the abstract linked awards are targeted to early-mid career researchers. If you fit into this category and have been thinking about submitting an abstract to TSANZ, you should absolutely consider extending your application to go for one, or even both of these awards at the same time. It may just be the steppingstone that takes you that little bit further along your career path.

The Limbic, Respirology and Respiratory Research Review have some excellent reads, and if you’re after further educational opportunities there are some interesting webinars across the next week. RACP are running a COVID webinar series in July, there’s one more session you can catch on the 28th; “COVID-19: Where to now?”. Next month on the 3rd of August ACTnet running a seminar on TB genomics.

Finally, if you ever find yourself feeling a little deprived of motivation, I strongly suggest a google search for Admiral McRaven’s 2014 commencement speech. He outlines 10 life lessons from his time as a navy seal…no wait, don’t stop reading yet. Seriously. I now have each of these printed on 10 A4 pieces of paper on the wall in my office. He has been and continues to be a source of inspiration for me, and for those of you who may be looking for that little push to open your next grant application template, this may be the productive procrastination activity for you.

As always, happy researching everyone.

A/Prof Kristin Carson-Chahhoud
Chair, Research Sub-Committee 

Open Awards

Thoracic Society Awards

TSANZ NZ Branch ASM 2022 Travel Grant – closing 1st August 2022

TSANZSRS NZ Branch Meeting 2022 New Investigator Award – Abstract Submissions close 14th August 2022

How to participate

Follow the links above to access each award application and follow the instructions online.

Please email the TSANZ Awards Coordinator (TSANZawards@thoracic.org.au) with any questions, comments or enquires.

TSANZSRS Annual Scientific Meeting 2023

Call for Abstracts

On behalf of the Organising Committees, we warmly invite you to attend the Annual Scientific Meeting of The Australia and New Zealand Society of Respiratory Science and The Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand. The TSANZSRS 2023 meeting will be held at Te Pae Christchurch Convention Centre from 25th – 28th March 2023 with opportunities to attend pre-conference Postgraduate Courses on Friday 24th March.

TSANZ abstract awards are now open!

For more information regarding the TSANZSRS 2023 ASM and how to apply for the above awards visit https://www.tsanzsrsasm.com/

 

TSANZ Surveys

Help us improve our educational offerings to members and our skill base by completing the below surveys!

TSANZ Methodology Survey

Evidence-based practice skills among members of the TSANZ

The TSANZ is conducting this voluntary survey to identify members who have specific evidence-based practice (EBP) methodology skills to support the production of position statements and clinical practice guidelines by the Society.

We are asking you to fill out a questionnaire, which should take approximately 15 minutes to complete.

The study gives you an opportunity to tell us about:

  • The skills you have to perform specific elements of a systematic review for the development of Society documents
  • Your interest to learn/improve specific skills or share/teach specific skills

Survey link: https://forms.office.com/r/W6SUisW70g

TSANZ Training Needs Analysis Survey

We are asking all members to complete our first-ever Training Needs Analysis Survey regardless of role, profession, or whether you are clinical or not.

This short survey will only take approximately 12 minutes to complete and is a set of multiple-choice questions.

The Thoracic Society is committed to continuing its development of education offerings and strives to improve our learning opportunities and develop education where gaps exist. We will use this data to evaluate all continuous professional development programs and improve our educational offerings.

This training needs analysis survey utilises the Hennessy-Hicks training needs assessment tool (Hennessy D, Hicks C 2011), endorsed by the World Health Organisation. It will provide reliable information about current performance levels and skill areas requiring further development. It is considered best practice for analysing training needs helping to address problems in turning knowledge into action.

The Thoracic Society would like to thank you for taking the time to complete this survey.

Education Hub Logo

Education Hub Travel Grants

The TSANZ and ANZSRS have established a scheme to assist early-career members to attend the TSANZSRS Education Hub. This is to encourage active participation in the Hub and will be awarded to eligible applicants planning to pursue a career in respiratory medicine or related fields.

The travel grant for the 2022 TSANZSRS Education Hub will be to contribute to travel costs to maximum of AU$250*
* based on individual travel requirements with submitted evidence of costs.

Please click here for more information on the travel grant guidelines and eligibility criteria!

Please click here to register for the TSANZSRS Education Hub!

Respirology – Editor’s Choice

Respirology Issue 27.8 August 2022

Inhalational Exposures in Patients with Fibrotic Interstitial Lung Disease: Presentation, Pulmonary Function, and Survival in the Canadian Registry for Pulmonary Fibrosis

Cathryn T. Lee,Mary E. Strek,Ayodeji Adegunsoye,Alyson W. Wong,Deborah Assayag,Gerard Cox,Charlene D. Fell,Jolene H. Fisher,Andrea S. Gershon,Andrew J. Halayko,Nathan Hambly,Nasreen Khalil,Martin Kolb,Stacey D. Lok,Hélène Manganas,Veronica Marcoux,Julie Morisset,Mohsen Sadatsafavi,Shane Shapera,Teresa To,Pearce Wilcox,Christopher J. Ryerson,Kerri A. Johannson

DOI: 10.1111/resp.14267

 

External Grant Opportunities

European Lung Foundation Healthy Lungs for Life Grants

European Lung Foundation (ELF) is offering grants to support Healthy Lungs for Life activities.

Not-for-profit organisations, patient groups and healthcare professionals can apply for a grant of up to €1,000 to support events and activities that meet one or more of the aims of the Healthy Lungs for Life campaign:

Increase knowledge of the impact of poor air quality on lung health and the actions that everyone can take to reduce air pollution and avoid exposure
Highlight the benefits of quitting smoking
Increase knowledge of the importance of physical activity for lung health
Raise awareness of vaccination to prevent lung infections
This year we also strongly welcome applications linked to the topic of climate change and lung health.

Applications are now open for events focused on World Lung Day and awareness days later in 2022. The closing date for applications is 31 July 2022. To find out more and apply please follow this link.

Cure4 Cystic Fibrosis Foundation National Grant Round

Grant Round Now Open – Holckner Family CF Impact Grant

In 2022 Cure4CF will provide up to $500,000 to advance medical innovations in cystic fibrosis. We prioritise research with a clear translational path that seeks to develop therapies or cures that will result in an increase in average life expectancy of people with cystic fibrosis with consideration given to quality of life. Grant round closes August the 5th at 5pm ACST.

Visit https://www.cure4cf.org/research-grants-2022/ to find out more

Merck Investigator Studies Program (MISP): SARS CoV-2/COVID-19 Investigator Initiated Grants

Effective January 2022, the Merck Investigator Studies Program Review Committee (MISP-RC) for SARS CoV-2/COVID-19 TREATMENT will accept FUNDING ONLY, PRECLINICAL, and CLINICAL, NON-INTERVENTIONAL, submissions within our current areas of interest (AOI). This is a competitive review process that will be conducted by the MISP Review Committee. Decisions will be made on the basis of scientific merit and strategic fit within the AOI. Please review the critical activities and abide by the timelines as outlined below. Clinical, interventional/treatment AOIs will be added at an upcoming date; until then any submission for use of molnupiravir in a treatment or prophylaxis study WILL NOT be reviewed. The following areas are of interest to Investigator Studies Program Committee:

  • In vitro studies to assess the antiviral activity of NHC against RNA viruses of human significance
  • Proof of concept studies demonstrating the antiviral activity and mechanism of action of molnupiravir in validated animal models of zoonotic RNA viral infections
  • In vitro or animal studies to assess the development and mechanism of viral resistance to NHC/molnupiravir by RNA viruses of human significance
  • In vitro or animal studies to assess the relationship between the number and type of accumulated errors in the viral genome and impact on viral infectivity
  • Studies that may validate a standardized definition for post-acute SARS-COV2 (PASC) or long-COVID
  • Studies that may provide clinical or biomarker predictors of infection severity in COVID-19 in children (<18 yr olds)
  • Studies that may better characterize moderate/severe breakthrough infections and/or provide predictors of severe COVID-19 in high risk vaccinated populations such as the elderly, transplant recipients (solid organ or allogeneic stem cell transplant) and other immunocompromised/immunosuppressed patient populations, persons with BMI >30, DM, cardiopulmonary disease, and/or BIPOC, LatinX, native peoples.

Please complete the corresponding preclinical or clinical PROTOCOL and BUDGET templates via the Company’s on-line study management system (in US) or your MSD country representative (outside US). The submissions will be collectively reviewed and selected by the MISP Committee.

https://engagezone.msd.com/SARS_Cov-2_COVID-19.php

Review Cycle 3: August 24, 2022

If you would like more information, or are interested in submitting a proposal related to an area of interest please email mandeep.sembi@msd.com

Surveys and Research

Perspectives on Telehealth for the care of patients with Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD)

We are recruiting health professionals who are involved in the care of patients with Interstitial lung disease (ILD) to participate in this research project. Telehealth for ILD provides an opportunity to improve access to healthcare for patients. Its use has rapidly increased during the COVID-19 pandemic, however there is still a high level of dissatisfaction with telehealth amongst both patients with ILD and healthcare professionals. This study will help us to understand the opinions and experiences of patients with ILD, their caregivers and health professionals of using telehealth in the management of ILD, and ways in which the model can be improved.

Participation in the study will involve taking part in one interview, either in person, over the phone or via zoom. If you are interested in participating or would like further information on this study, please contact:
Dr Sheetal Deshpande
Phone: 03 9903 0214
Email: sheetal.deshpande1@monash.edu

SINFONIA Singing for breathing trial

SINFONIA is a multi-site, online singing for breathing trial for people with COPD or ILD and their caregivers. This study is led by a research team at Monash University (A/Prof Natasha Smallwood) and aims to investigate if group singing classes assist with improvement in symptom management and overall wellbeing. The trial is not just limited to people in Victoria, as people from around Australia can be referred or self-refer to take part. In case you are interested in telling your patients about the study, the eligibility criteria are:

  • Patients aged over 18 with a confirmed diagnosis of COPD or ILD on lung function (within last 2 years) or CT (last 5 years)
  • Stable on treatment for at least 4 weeks (i.e. no new or changed cardiorespiratory medications or hospital admissions for COPD or ILD)
  • Breathless: mMRC ≥ 2
  • NOT currently participating in pulmonary rehabilitation
  • Capable and willing to give informed consent
  • Carers aged over 18 years may also participate

Participants in the online singing group will attend a 90-minute online group singing session once a week, for 12 weeks. People randomised to the control group (delayed entry) will be offered to join the singing sessions after 3 months.

Patients or clinicians can refer by contacting our team’s research assistant Catherine Buchan: c.buchan@alfred.org.au.

Views of healthcare professionals on smoking cessation options project

Are you a health professional who provides smoking cessation advice to the people you see?

Researchers at The University of Queensland are seeking health practitioners for research exploring smoking cessation treatment in a changing regulatory environment. Participation involves a 30 minute interview about your experiences and views on smoking cessation options.

This project is led by Dr Kylie Morphett at the UQ School of Public Health and you can find out more and register your interest here: https://tobacco-endgame.centre.uq.edu.au/our-research/views-healthcare-professionals-smoking-cessation-options-project

We need healthcare professionals involved in pulmonary rehabilitation to complete our online survey

Researchers from the University of Newcastle are conducting an online survey study to better understand current pulmonary rehabilitation programme practices for prescribing exercise intensity for people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). We want to know:
1) How exercise intensity is commonly prescribed; and
2) How the availability of different resources influences current practices around prescription of exercise intensity.

You are eligible to complete the online survey if you have knowledge of how the exercise training is prescribed for people with COPD who attend the pulmonary rehabilitation programme where you work. If this is not your area of expertise, you may forward this study information on to a healthcare provider who would be best placed to complete the survey on behalf of your pulmonary rehabilitation programme.

Participation in this study involves completing a one-off online survey. It is estimated that this survey will take 20-30 minutes to complete. You do not need to complete the survey in one session. You can save it and come back to it later. We will not ask you to enter any information that identifies you or the pulmonary rehabilitation programme where you work.
You can find more information about the survey, and complete the survey, by clicking on this link: https://redcap.hmri.org.au/surveys/?s=989TJJH4NETCY7LY

We are also conducting a parallel survey of people with COPD. If you could please help to distribute this to people who are living with COPD and attend, or have attended, your pulmonary rehabilitation programme, that would be much appreciated. The study information and flyer (with the COPD survey link) that can be sent to people with COPD, can be found by clicking this link: COPD survey (https://1drv.ms/u/s!Ar_gKTMrKI41gWHGMFe57HUfd8p_?e=KBKyxg)
Please contact the lead researcher, Dr Hayley Lewthwaite (hayley.lewthwaite@newcastle.edu.au), if you have any questions about
the online surveys.

Climate Change and Health – WA Healthcare Professionals Survey

The University of Western Australia and Department of Health WA are interested in your views on climate change and health. The information gathered through this project will be used to develop public health messaging and resources for both community and health professionals.

All WA healthcare professionals and healthcare workers with direct client or patient care contact are encouraged to participate. The survey is open from 18 July 2022 to 15 August 2022 and can be accessed online at https://consultation.health.wa.gov.au/pahd-sdu/climate-change-and-health/, and will take approximately fifteen minutes to complete.

Queries can be directed to Sarah Joyce at the Western Australia Department of Health, via email at sarah.joyce@health.wa.gov.au, or by phone on (08) 9222 4017.

LFA COVID-19 Survey

Lung Foundation Australia (LFA) are currently running a survey to gain an understanding of how COVID-19 has impacted Australians and what healthcare, information and support may be needed to help people manage ongoing symptoms. If you’ve had COVID-19 or cared for someone who has, LFA would love to hear your experience by completing this 5-10 minute survey. Completing the survey will put you in the running to win a $150 Visa gift card!

Even if you haven’t had COVID-19, you can share your experience on the government response during the pandemic and the impact of the pandemic on your access to healthcare.

Webinars and Seminars

RACP COVID-19

The RACP COVID-19 Expert Reference Group invites you to attend the upcoming July COVID webinar series.

The RACP have hosted a number of COVID-19 webinar series over the past couple of years in order to inform doctors about important COVID-19 matters, discuss key information and share learnings. We have a great line-up of panellists detailed below and are looking forward to some really engaging discussions.

Please register via the link to attend: REGISTRATION LINK

CALL FOR WEBINAR QUESTIONS – 28 JULY

Do you have any burning questions that you would like us to ask at the webinars? Please send them through to COVIDERG@racp.edu.au.

COVID-19: Where to now?

Thursday 28 July, 6pm-7.30pm AEST / 8pm-9.30pm NZST

This webinar will provide attendees with an understanding of some of the lessons learned though the COVID-19 pandemic and how they might be applied moving forward. The webinar will be in the format of an open panel discussion to guided questions as well as Q&A from webinar attendees.

Hosted by:
Dr Susan Graham, rehabilitation physician and Chair of the RACP COVID-19 Expert Reference Group
Associate Professor Asha Bowen, Head, Skin Health Wesfarmers Centre for Vaccines and Infectious Diseases, Telethon Kids Institute and member of the RACP COVID-19 Expert Reference Group

Expert panellists include:
Professor Paul Kelly, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health
Professor Christopher Blyth, Director, Wesfarmers Centre of Vaccines and Infectious Diseases; Paediatric Infectious Diseases Physician and Clinical Microbiologist
Professor John Massie, Respiratory Physician and Clinical Director, Children’s Bioethics Centre, Royal Children’s Hospital
Dr Paresh Dawda, General Practitioner, Director and Principal Prestantia Health and Next Practice Canberra
Helen Kulas, NSW Respiratory Network Manager
Professor Peter Wark, Senior Staff Specialist – Respiratory and Sleep Medicine, John Hunter Hospital; Co-Chair NSW Respiratory Network

ACTnet TB Genomics Seminar

Whole genome sequencing of Mycobacterium tuberculsosis is increasingly being
implemented for antimicrobial resistance prediction and transmission surveillance. Join us as our expert panellists discuss the application of this technology for TB control.

When: 3rd August 2022
Time: 1200pm-1330pm (AEST)
Register: Here

Speakers

Dr Chris Coulter, QLD MRL – Topic: Introduction TB to Genomics
Dr Chris Coulter is a Microbiologist, the Chair of TB Expert Advisory Group for Tuberculosis in Queensland, and the Director of the Queensland Mycobacterium Reference Laboratory

Dr Norelle Sherry – Topic: Implementation of TB Genomics for Antimicriobial Resistance Prediction and Public Health
Dr Norelle Sherry is an Infectious Diseases Physician & Clinical Microbiologist, co-appointed at MDU-PHL and Austin Health, with a special interest in antimicrobial resistance (AMR). She is also a clinician-researcher, investigating the use of genomics for surveillance of antimicrobial resistance in multiple different settings, and translation of genomics from the research lab into clinical use.

Prof Vitali Sintchenko – Topic: Case Studies in TB Genomics
Professor Vitali Sintchenko is a leading public health microbiologist and informatician who conducts research on biosurveillance of communicable diseases. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia and the Australian College of Health Informatics. As the Director of CIDM-Public Health (a translational research hub funded by NSW Health), he leads a public health and diagnostic microbiology team working toward improving laboratory and epidemiological. investigations of communicable diseases.

TBPod

The TBPod are podcasts designed for clinicians and policymakers with an interest tuberculosis. These podcasts consist of conversations with expert clinicians, researchers, policy makers and advocates about their work in the field of tuberculosis. The TBPod is prepared by ACTnet and the TB Forum and can be found on ITunes, Spotify, and the ACTnet Website.

tb pod logo

 

Can you help TSANZ make a difference?

Your support makes a difference, and helps us continue to provide funding for research and our TSANZ awards. If you would like to support our work, you can leave a tax deductible donation of your choice in our areas of need.

1. Making a donation to our Benevolent Fund

The Benevolent Fund supports projects aimed at improving the respiratory health care of individuals who are in a setting where health care resources and delivery are poor.
CLICK HERE to make a donation or by filling out the Support TSANZ form. Once you have completed the form, please email TSANZOffice@thoracic.org.au.

2. Making a donation to support research

With your support, we can continue to support Australia and New Zealand’s most significant and cutting edge respiratory health research, and benefit Australians and New Zealanders suffering from lung disease.
Please CLICK HERE to make a donation or by filling out the Support TSANZ form. Once you have completed the form, please email TSANZOffice@thoracic.org.au.

3. Establishing a named award

For significant donations of above $10,000 AUD, a TSANZ award can be established in your name. Please call the TSANZ office on +61 2 9222 6200.

4. Leave TSANZ a gift in your will

If you are interested in supporting TSANZ in the future, one way to do so is to leave TSANZ a gift in your will. Any support is greatly appreciated and will leave a lasting legacy.
If interested, please notify us by ticking the box on the Support TSANZ form. Once you have completed the form, please email TSANZOffice@thoracic.org.au. Alternatively, please call the TSANZ Office on +61 2 9222 6200.

5. TSANZ New Zealand Branch Incorporated 

New Zealand members are reminded that you are also able to make a tax deductible donation directly to the NZ branch. You can assist the NZ branch to provide services to members across NZ. If you make a payment via electronic funds transfer (EFT), please notify the TSANZ office so that we can arrange a receipt.
CLICK HERE to make a donation.

Thank you for your continued support of TSANZ.

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