The Thoracic Society of ANZ

VOLUME 1.05 JULY 2016

Home 5 Research Roundup 5 VOLUME 1.05 JULY 2016

Research Roundup:

July 2016


Welcome Message

Some news to brighten up your Winter: Abstracts for the 2017 TSANZ ASM open next week! The 2017 ASM will be held at the National Convention Centre in Canberra next Autumn (25 – 28 March). Visit for updates on this event.

This research roundup brings you feature stories from the limbic and our regular section on research project and survey requests. As always, you are encouraged to help your fellow member out and complete these surveys. There are also new opportunities below with open awards from our friends at Asthma Australia and Lung Foundation Australia, and a lung cancer post-doc and PhD scholarship open for application. I am also happy to launch a special video presentation by Prof. Richard Beasley on the TSANZ Acute Use of Oxygen Clinical Guidelines.

Enjoy your July Research Roundup,

Prof Phil Hansbro

Chair, Research Sub-Committee

The following articles will take you to

the limbic is a free, independent news site for respiratory health professionals that covers the latest in clinical research and medico-political news.

Unravelling the complexity of the immune system. In this month’s Holy Grail Alan Hsu from the HMRI tells us about how understanding more about the human immune system is at the foundation of all of his research… And his plans for a mega yacht. Read more. 

Adult onset asthma: similar but different. Age-at-onset is an important distinguishing factor of adult asthma phenotypes the world’s longest running population study of respiratory diseases reaffirms. Read More.

Neutrophils aren’t always bad. In the latest Holy Grail Francesca Tang from the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research tells us about the day she discovered neurophils in asthma could also be anti-inflammatory. Read More.

Mind the cracks. A leading Melbourne paediatric respiratory physician from Melbourne has called for a national system to coordinate carrier, pregnancy and newborn screening for cystic fibrosis. Read more.

Researchers estimate lung cancer screening benefit. Some 450,000 Australians may be eligible for lung cancer screening – but researchers say there is a long way to go before a national screening program becomes a reality. Read more.

New approach needed to diagnose ‘dying’. Doctors’ inherent desire to go down a curative pathway is a driver for futile treatment, Australian researchers say. Read more.

If you have any issues accessing the limbic please contact

Open Awards

Asthma Australia Awards Now Open

Travel, PhD Applications and Project Grant EOIs – close 5pm on Friday 8th July 2016.

Apply Now


LFA /A Menarini Australia APSR Travel Grants – deadline extended

These travel grants, funded by A Menarini Australia Pty Ltd provide key Australian health professionals who work with COPD patients the opportunity to attend an international conference. Extra weighting will apply to those who have submitted an abstract (oral or poster) for the particular conference for which they are seeking to attend. Two travel grants of up to $3000 + GST are available for APSR 2016.

Closing – 8th of August, 2016 – Apply Now


Acute Use of Oxygen in Adults Guideline Video

Last year, TSANZ released new guidelines on the acute use of oxygen in adults. These guidelines called to formalise the use of oxygen as a drug that is rationally and precisely prescribed.

Evidence on the clinical use of short-term oxygen was analysed and interpreted for the published guidelines, dubbed “Swimming between the flags”, and recommends aiming for patient oxygen saturation in the range of 92–96% for acute medical conditions, rather than the current practise of high flow oxygen for all. The emphasis is on heeding changes in the levels of oxygen saturation, not for their own sake, but as a reflection of the underlying condition.

Now, the Agency for Clinical Innovation, with support from Victoria University of Wellington and eHealth NSW, has prepared a video of Prof. Richard Beasley presenting the Acute Use of Oxygen guidelines.

Watch the video: Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand oxygen guidelines for acute oxygen use in adults: ‘Swimming between the flags’

The full guidelines are available on the TSANZ website.


Lung Cancer Fellow and PhD Student Scholarship Available

University of Newcastle, School of Biomedical Sciences and Pharmacy seeks candidates for:

Lung Foundation Australia/Manchanda Postdoctoral Research Fellow in lung cancer

Working with Professor Phil Hansbro, an internationally recognised research leader in the study of respiratory diseases, the focus of this work is on investigating the genomic and epigenetic basis of the development of lung cancer and progression into adenocarcinomas.

Key activities will include:

  • running and analysing mouse models of lung cancer and assessing human tissues;
  • the use of array, bioinformatics, cellular and molecular techniques (in the field of respiratory disease);
  • supervising both undergrad and post-grad students;
  • development, management and delivery of research outputs for the project; and
  • preparation of internal and external research grant applications and manuscripts.

Applications close Monday 11th of July. Click here for more details.

Lung cancer PhD Scholarship

In partnership with Lung Foundation Australia, the Faculty of Health and Medicine of the University of Newcastle is offering a scholarship to support a PhD student to research a novel project that will enable, for the first time, identification of the somatic/genomic mutations and epigenetic changes that accompany the transition to lung cancer.

This PhD scholarship is available for a student to investigate Elucidating and targeting genomic and epigenetic changes in the development and progression of lung cancer under the supervision of Professor Phil Hansbro.

This full-time scholarship will provide an annual living allowance of $26,288 p.a. (2016 rate – indexed annually).  In addition, the successful applicant will receive student research support of $5,000 per annum for 4 years and a laptop.

Click here for more information. Applications close Friday 29th of July.

Research Project and Survey Requests

GP COPD Survey for Primary Care SIG

Dear Colleague

Our research team is conducting a survey to understand how General Practitioners (GPs) and GP registrars approach symptom management and palliative care, when caring for patients with severe Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). From the results of this study we hope to develop educational resources to assist GPs when caring for this patient group.

We invite you to take part in a voluntary online survey, which will take 5-10 minutes to complete.  There are no right or wrong answers to the questions in this survey.

Participant Information letter

Kind regards

Dr John Politis | Basic Physician Trainee | Department of Respiratory & Sleep Medicine  The Royal Melbourne Hospital – City Campus | Level 1 Centre for Medical Research Building | Melbourne | Tel: +61 3 9342 7708

Dr Natasha Smallwood | Respiratory Physician | Department of Respiratory & Sleep Medicine  The Royal Melbourne Hospital – City Campus | Level 1 Centre for Medical Research Building | Melbourne | Tel: +61 3 9342 7708 | 

 A/Prof Louis Irving | Director of Respiratory & Sleep Medicine  | The Royal Melbourne Hospital | Melbourne

 A/Prof Brian Le | Director of Palliative & Supportive Care | The Royal Melbourne Hospital | Melbourne


COPD survey invitation for Physio, Primary Care and Respiratory Nurse SIG

Dear Colleague

Our research team is conducting a survey to understand physiotherapist’s, occupational therapist’s, nurse’s, social worker’s and other allied health professionals’ knowledge and practice behaviours regarding advance care planning in patients with COPD. From the results of this study we hope to develop educational resources to assist health professionals when caring for this patient group.

We invite to participate in a survey, that should take only 10-15 minutes to complete. Several disciplines are represented in the overall survey, however you will be directed to only those questions relevant to your discipline.

Ethics approval has been granted for this study from the University of Sydney. All responses will be anonymous and confidential. No personal information that could identify you is being collected and your email address will not be linked to your survey response. Your consent to participate in this study is implied by completing the survey.

Further information about this research study is provided in the enclosed document [DOWNLOAD]. If you have any questions regarding this research, please do not hesitate to contact Dr Rebecca Disler directly. Thank you in advance for participating.

Please click on the link below to proceed to the survey. If the link fails to load automatically, please cut and paste it into your internet browser:

Kind regards

Dr Rebecca Disler | Senior Lecturer in Chronic Disease | The University of Sydney
Email:  | Tel: 0406 876 587

Dr Natasha Smallwood | Respiratory Physician Department of Respiratory Medicine | The Royal Melbourne Hospital

A/Prof Louis Irving | Respiratory Physician Department of Respiratory Medicine | The Royal Melbourne Hospital
Prof David Currow | Palliative Care Physician Flinders University | Adelaide


Yuxiu Cui will be analysing the study results as the basis for her degree of Bachelor of Advanced Nursing (Honours) at The University of Sydney. This will take place under the supervision of Dr Rebecca Disler.


Anti-viral Immunity in Asthma – Call for participants in Brisbane

The LUNG AND ALLERGY RESEARCH CENTRE is conducting a research project on antiviral immunity in asthma to understand why asthmatic people suffer from worse colds and flus. We need people with and without asthma to donate 40mL of blood. Participation takes place at the PA hospital and takes only 15-30 minutes. Option for allergy testing with total 100mL blood donation.

For more information please contact Liisa Murray | 07 3443 7133 | Flyer


International Malignant Pleural Effusion Practice Survey

In 2003, an international survey was conducted to gain an idea on the variations in pleurodesis practices for malignant pleural effusions in different parts of the world. The study provided useful data and highlighted areas of significant differences in practice that could be addressed with clinical trials.  In the last 12 years, malignant pleural disease management has dramatically changed especially with the increasing use of indwelling pleural catheters and medical thoracoscopy.  Given the options available researchers would like to see how opinions and practice vary across the world. (Lee, Rahman, Ahmed, Feller-Kopman, Sivakumar). 

They would be most grateful if colleagues could find the time to complete the following survey which will take approximately 15 minutes to complete.

To ensure that all information will remain confidential and anonymous, researchers will not record any personal information including IP addresses. You have the option of providing your email address if you would like to receive a copy of the analysed results. Email addresses will be recorded on a separate database to keep responses anonymous. Your email address will not be used for any other reason or correspondence.

The survey can be found at
Thank you!

Austrailan Co-ordinator: Prof YC Gary Lee







Become part of a network of professionals working in respiratory and lung health clinical care and treatment, research, health promotion and advocacy.

By browsing our website you agree to our use of cookies outlined in our revised Privacy Policy and Terms & Conditions.