The Thoracic Society of ANZ

VOLUME 2.02 MARCH 2017

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Research Roundup:

March 2017


Welcome Message

March is shaping up to be jam-packed with research. The ASM is just over two weeks away and on top of all the novel research which we will be hearing about, there are many additional workshops and post-graduate courses which are very exciting for both clinical and basic science researchers. Special mention also goes to the Early Career Researcher Networking Session which will again take place at the TSANZ ASM and all students and early post-docs are encouraged to attend.

Please be reminded that applications are closing soon for the Dust Diseases grants.

I would like to take this opportunity to let our members know that the Research Committee is still working through the many applications we received for the 2017 awards. Due to the increasing TSANZ Awards portfolio, the review process is taking longer than expected. Applicants will soon be notified of their award outcomes. 

There is much more information and opportunities for you to explore below. Please enjoy your March Research Roundup,

Prof Phil Hansbro

Chair, Research Sub-Committee

The following articles will take you to

No breathing space at the TSANZSRS conference. A shorter program this year doesn’t mean delegates at the combined annual scientific meetings of the Australia and New Zealand Society of Respiratory Science and the Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand will be getting shortchanged. Read More.

Five-fold variation in specialists’ fees. Experts are calling for more transparency around specialist fees after finding huge variations in out-of-pocket costs and bulk billing rates within and between specialties and geographic locations. But respiratory physicians had one of the lowest out-of-pocket costs for patients. Read More.

COPD-X update. The evidence for the benefits of pulmonary rehabilitation has been strengthened in the latest update of the Australian and New Zealand Guidelines for the management of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD-X). Read More.

Inhaler techniques haven’t improved in 40 years. A large study of almost 3,000 patients observed using their inhalers by GPs or respiratory physicians, found more than half were not using their devices correctly – regardless of the type of device. Read More.

“Don’t push yourself” mantra debunked in ILD. Clinicians should strongly encourage patients with interstitial lung disease to attend pulmonary rehabilitation, new research shows. Read More.

Cytology is sufficient to diagnose most mesothelioma cases. A review of over 2,000 cases of mesothelioma in WA since 1962 has shown a cytological diagnosis of the disease subtype is sufficient. Read More.

Apply caution to latest vitamin D study. Experts have thrown cold water over the findings of a recent meta-analysis that concluded the prevention of acute respiratory tract infection was a “major new indication” for vitamin D supplementation. Read More.

Open Awards



Lung Foundation Awards

Lung Foundation Australia / A Menarini Pty Ltd 2017 Travel Awards

Lung Foundation Australia and A Menarini Australia Pty Ltd are excited to announce that there will be six (6) Travel Grants of up to $3,000 for international conferences and up to $1,500 for national conferences on offer to health professionals/researchers in Australia whose work is focused on improving outcomes for patients living with COPD.


Watch this space for more award announcements…

TSANZSRS Early Career Researcher Networking Session

Sunday 26th March, 2017, 5:00 – 6:30pm

For those of you who are Honours, Masters or PhD students, or Post-Docs starting out their careers – this event is for you. This session allows students, post-docs and other early career researchers to come together for an interactive session to get to know your colleagues. 

This will be an opportunity to hear from Dr Kristin Carson and Prof Phil Hansboro for career advice and information, followed by a chance to get to know other ECRs and researchers from around Australia and New Zealand over drinks and canapés. 

Please RSVP for this event by 20th March, 2017 by clicking here


Australasian Clinical Tuberculosis Network (ACTnet)

We welcome the newly formed Australasian Clinical Tuberculosis Network (ACTnet). ACTnet is a collaborative clinical research group for Australia and New Zealand. Following the successful model of the European “TBnet” collaboration, ACTnet will engage clinicians and researchers to conduct high-quality research of national and international significance. It will provide a platform for individual investigators, within infectious disease, respiratory, public health and other disciplines, to propose and implement multi-centre studies and laboratory collaborations. In particular, it will develop evidence to advance the goal of TB elimination in the two countries.

ACTnet will facilitate research, obtaining funding and supporting research activities. The organisation will have complementary roles, and work alongside other peak clinical and research bodies in Australia and New Zealand to strengthen TB control through research.

ACTnet will be officially launched by Dr Greg Fox at the TSANZ ASM on Monday 27th of March at the end of the Advances in Tuberculosis SIG meeting 8.30-10am. We welcome attendees to join us for light refreshments afterward and to join our network to receive updates or interact with us via twitter @actnet_tb.


New Release

Global Strategy for the Diagnosis, Management, and Prevention of Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease 2017 Report (GOLD Executive Summary)

Published jointly in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, the European Respiratory Journal and the Archivos de Bronconeumologia.


Lungs for Life Grant Bulletin

The Lungs for Life project has identified the following direct-to-researcher grants and awards due between late March and mid-2017:

Ramaciotti Foundation’s (Perpetual Trustees) Biomedical Research Award – closes 17/03/17
Presented every two years to a group or individual undertaking biomedical research within universities, public hospitals, medical research institutes or other similar organisations. The award funds projects including personnel, equipment, major infrastructure improvements or new laboratories that help an existing, well-funded program of research or enable a major new program to begin. Traditionally, it funds a need that would not attract funding elsewhere.

Channel 7 Children’s Research Foundation Grants – closes 21/03/17
Supports health, educational or social research to encourage and advance investigation into the cause, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of any condition that may affect the general health, education or welfare of children in South Australia and the Northern Territory.

World of Children Health Award (2017) – closes 01/04/17
The Health Award recognises an individual who has made a significant contribution to children in the fields of health, medicine or the sciences.

Cancer Research Institute CRI Irvington Postdoctoral Fellowship Program – closes 01/04/17
Supports qualified young scientists at leading universities and research centres around the world who wish to receive training in cancer immunology. An eligible project must be immunology with direct relevance to solving the cancer problem.

L’Oreal Australia and New Zealand for Women in Science Fellowships – 2017 – closes 03/04/17 
For early career women scientists to consolidate their careers and rise to leadership positions in science. The Fellowships are awarded to women who have shown scientific excellence in their career with an appropriate research plan that will be assisted by the one-year Fellowship.

Association for International Cancer Research Grants – 21/04/17
Project grants of between one and three years to support fundamental and translational research into the causes, mechanisms, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of cancer. Proposals in which a mixture of basic and clinical research is proposed will be considered.

The Rebecca L. Cooper Medical Research Foundation Al and Val Rosenstrauss Medical Research Fellowship – closes 28/04/17
The Al and Val Rosenstrauss Research Fellowships are named in honour of the late Al Rosenstrauss OAM and his wife, Val, for their contribution to the work of the Foundation over a period of more than 28 years. Research project must be in one of the nominated areas of medical research that are supported by the Foundation; Brain Sciences, Diabetes, Geriatrics, Lung Disease (other than cancer), Rheumatology, and Vision Sciences. Applicants who have received previous funding, or worked in a laboratory supported by the Foundation, will be favoured.

Sylvia and Charles Viertel Charitable Foundation Clinical Investigatorships – closes 30/04/17
To stimulate and encourage clinical research in Australia. In particular the grants are intended to assist new investigators to establish their research programs at the time of the difficult transition from doctoral and post-doctoral training posts to their first definitive clinical positions in an academic environment.

Sylvia and Charles Viertel Charitable Foundation Senior Medical Research Fellowship – closes 30/04/17
Providing salary and project grant support for outstanding medical researchers.

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Grand Challenges Explorations Round 19 – closes 11/05/17
Early-stage innovative research projects from a range of disciplines and regions.

Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellowship – closes 15/05/17
To provide an opportunity for Australians to travel overseas (for 4 – 6 weeks) to conduct research in their chosen field that is not readily available in Australia.

The Prince Charles Hospital Foundation Experienced Researcher Project Grants – closes 20/05/17
To support strategic, world-class, sophisticated research on the Foundation’s campus or in significant partnership with this campus in the priority areas of: Heart disease – heart failure, valvular heart disease, congenital heart disease; Lung disease – lung cancer, asbestos related diseases, COPD, pulmonary hypertension, cystic fibrosis, sleep disorders, asthma; Dementia – Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, Lewy Body disease, fronto-temporal dementia; Arthritis – osteoarthritis, joint replacement, growing cartilage.

Australian Institute of Policy and Science – CSL Florey Medal – closes 28/05/17
Award for an Australian biomedical researcher with significant achievements in biomedical science and/or human health advancement for research conducted primarily in Australia. Winners are expected to attend a presentation ceremony in Canberra in November.

The NVIDIA Foundation Compute the Cure Cancer Research Grants – closes 28/05/17
To advance the fight against cancer. Will fund projects that use computational omics to dramatically impact the battle against cancer and reduce the time it takes for research outcomes to be used effectively in a clinical environment.

Australian Institute of Policy and Science – CSL Young Florey Medal – closes 06/06/17
Award for an Australian biomedical researcher with significant early career achievements in biomedical science and/or human health advancement. Selection Criteria: Excellence in research achievement in the biomedical science and/or human health advancement; and Excellence and passion in communication and community engagement to promote understanding and engagement in science.

Wellcome Trust Pathfinder Awards – closes 20/06/17
The diagnosis, prevention and treatment of orphan and neglected diseases that present an unmet medical need. Seeking to fund pilot studies to develop assets and de-risk future development.

Australian Cancer Research Foundation (ACRF) Cancer Research Grants – expected close 24/06/17
Seeks to support all aspects of cancer research and control including but not limited to: cell or molecular biology, epidemiology, early detection, prevention and drug development. Focused on seed funding; primarily providing capital grants for major equipment, and the establishment of capital works and facilities. Collaborative projects between institutions are encouraged.

John T Reid Charitable Trusts – closes 28/06/17
The John T Reid Charitable Trusts is a national funding organisation with a wide ranging commitment to philanthropy around Australia. Funding focus is on community and social welfare, health support, aged and palliative care, education and youth support, arts and cultural heritage and the environment.

The Sir Robert Menzies Memorial Research Scholarship in the Allied Health Sciences – closes 30/06/17
The purpose of the scholarship is to try to improve the health of Australians by supporting an outstanding applicant from one of the non‐medical allied health disciplines, or from an applicant who is working directly in applied clinical research.

The John Burge Trust – closes 30/06/17
The John Burge Trust was established by the late John Burge to assist people with tuberculosis and support work towards the prevention and cure of the disease. This can include: educational programs for health workers; aid and help for tuberculosis sufferers and who by reason of the disease are disabled; medication; research.

Shepherd Foundation Research Grants – closes 01/07/17 and 15/09/17
For research projects in all aspects of preventative medicine and/or occupational medicine. Applicants may apply for funding of one, two or three years.

Lung Cancer Research Foundation Grants 2017 – closes 01/07/17
Lung cancer projects focused on one or more of the following: basic science; translational research; clinical research; supportive care; quality of care/outcomes.

CSL Centenary Fellowships 2017 – closes 31/07/17
To foster excellence in Australian medical research by supporting mid-career Australian scientists to pursue world class medical research. The fellowship provides for a full-time salary (generally equivalent to a Senior Research Fellow C1 level) plus research costs and/or a post-doctoral research assistant. The breakdown is determined by the Fellow, in conjunction with the employing institution at the commencement of the Fellowship. The fellowships are primarily awarded for discovery and translational research with a focus on rare and serious diseases, immunology, and inflammation. However, those who meet the eligibility are strongly encouraged to submit an application for their medical research project.

Government of Western Australia – 2017 Healthway Intervention Research Grants – closing date TBA
Intervention Research Grants will fund applications that demonstrate a clear pathway to a health promotion program or intervention in WA, including policy interventions. Applicants are required to focus on at least one of Healthway’s priority areas of tobacco smoking control, reducing harm from alcohol, good nutrition promotion, physical activity promotion (including reducing sedentary behaviour), mental health promotion, skin cancer prevention, reducing harm from illicit drugs and Aboriginal health. Applications in other areas of health promotion will not be considered.

Rolling Grants

Advance Queensland Founders’ Fellowships – closes 12/05/17 (quarter one round)
To support entrepreneurial scientists, researchers and clinicians to take 12 months away from their normal job to develop their early stage novel and innovative ideas with commercialisation prospects into new products, processes or services.

Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds Travel Grants
Grants for non-European researchers to travel to Europe for up to three months to pursue an experimental project in basic biomedical research.

Baxalta Bioscience Grants – Medical Education & Fellowship Grants
Baxalta provides Medical Education & Fellowship Grants to support accredited or unaccredited educational symposia, seminars, web-based sessions, or fellowship programs directed at certified healthcare professionals. They are currently interested in supporting the following areas: Immunology; Hematology; Oncology.

Coopers Brewery Foundation
Medical research and health care; educational development for the young; aged care; promotion of family and community support based on Christian values.

The Balnaves Foundation
The Balnaves Foundation supports organisations that aim to create a better Australia through education, medicine and the arts with a focus on young people, the disadvantaged, and Indigenous communities.



Research Project and Survey Requests

Australasian Lung Cancer Trials Group 16/002 Fear of Cancer Recurrence

My name is Dr Peey Sei Kok, a medical oncologist and research fellow for the Australasian Lung Cancer Trials Group at the NHMRC Clinical Trials Centre. I am currently working on an NHMRC project grant submission on behalf of A/Prof Sue-Anne McLachlan, medical oncologist for a trial being developed by a collaboration between the ALTG and Psycho-oncology Co-operative Research Group (PoCOG). I am seeking input and support from thoracic surgeons and respiratory physicians for this prospective longitudinal cohort study which aims to assess the prevalence and nature of Fear of Cancer Recurrence in patients with resected stage 1-3A NSCLC.

I would be very pleased to receive your expressions of interest through the link provided below. To finalise the grant submission on time, I would be grateful if you would submit your responses to this short survey by 10th of March 2017.

EXPRESSIONS OF INTEREST for ALTG 16/002 Fear of Cancer Recurrence (FCR)

This will be the first large scale, longitudinal study of FCR in lung cancer and an important contribution to the research for survivorship of lung cancer. We are submitting an NHMRC project grant application (seeking funding from 2018) and need to ensure we have confirmed support from investigators for this important initiative. 

For further information please contact Peey-Sei Kok, Research Fellow at


Reminder: Survey invitation for Nurses and Allied Health on advance care planning in COPD

Dear Colleague

Our research team is conducting a survey to understand Palliative Care Nurses, Respiratory Nurses, and Allied Health Professionals that work in respiratory care’s knowledge and practice around 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 you 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 anonymous 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.









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