The Thoracic Society of ANZ

VOLUME 2.03 APRIL 2017

Home 5 Research Roundup 5 VOLUME 2.03 APRIL 2017

Research Roundup:

April 2017


Welcome Message

Wow, what a conference! I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who contributed to making TSANZSRS17 a headline conference. There were many ideas shared and members celebrated. In this Research Roundup we bring to you a full list of the 2017 award winners. But this year of awards is not over yet! Please see below and online at Open Awards to find current opportunities in CF training and research, conference travel, and project support through the Lungs for Life Research Awards. 

Enjoy the April edition of your research roundup.

Prof Phil Hansbro

Chair, Research Sub-Committee

The following articles will take you to

Aussie research win! The American College of Physicians have highlighted an Australian study as one of the most influential in respiratory medicine from 2016. Read More. 

First-ever pulmonary rehabilitation guidelines for Australia and New Zealand. One key message from the guidelines is that all COPD patients should be offered pulmonary rehabilitation regardless of their disease severity, guideline panel Chair Professor Jennifer Alison told the limbicRead More.

Hidden population at risk of thunderstorm asthma. Many more people than previously thought are at risk of thunderstorm asthma, particularly people who have hay fever, a survey reveals. Read More.

Doctor deaths prompt further investigation. NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard has asked his department to report back within four weeks with advice on how to make hospitals a safer workplace for junior doctors. Read More. 

Respiratory nurses agree they have a role in advance care planning. But tension still exists about how and when to initiate conversations with patients, Dr Rebecca Disler told conference delegates. Read More. 

Short on drug options for shortness of breath. Morphine is still the best pharmacological treatment for chronic breathlessness, according to an extensive review of the literature. Read More.

GPs too passive in approach to COPD. GPs hold back on formerly diagnosing people with COPD and delay offering interventions such as smoking cessation or pulmonary rehabilitation, a survey shows. Read More.

New hope for people with IPF. Evidence is building for the non-pharmacological management of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis including ambulatory oxygen and pulmonary rehabilitation, Professor Anne Holland told the conference this afternoon during a plenary session on novel therapies in IPF. Read More. 

2017 Award Winners

Presented at the 2017 TSANZ ASM in Canberra

Thoracic Society Medals

Laennec Medal – presented to the outgoing TSANZ President, Prof Peter Gibson

Society Medal – presented to A/Prof Peter Holmes

50th Anniversary Medal – presented to Prof Jennifer Alison and Prof Richard Ruffin

President’s Award – presented to Dr Becky Freeman

Wunderly Oration – delivered by Prof Jennifer Martin


TSANZ / National Asthma Council Australia – Asthma and Airways Career Development Fellowship – presented to Dr Adam Collison

2016 Vertex Adult Cystic Fibrosis  Fellowship – presented to Dr Anna Tai

Lung Foundation Australia / Boehringer Ingelheim COPD Research Fellowship 2017/2018 – presented to Dr Anna Hudson

Abstract-linked Awards

TSANZ Janet Elder Early Career Travel Awards – presented to Dr Luke Garratt and Dr Jade Jaffar

TSANZ Janet Elder Mid Career Travel Award – presented to Prof Lisa Wood

TSANZ / Japanese Respiratory Society Early Career Travel Award – presented to Dr Eugene Roscioli

TSANZ / Boehringer Ingelheim COPD Travel Award – presented to Dr Eskandarain Shaffudin

Ann Woolcock New Investigator Finalists

Tim Rosenow, Telethon Kids, University of Western Australia
Simone Barry, Royal Adelaide Hospital
Eugene Roscioli, Royal Adelaide Hospital, Lung Research Laboratory
Thomas Iosifidis, University of Western Australia [Winner]
Rhiannon Werder, University of Queensland
Phillipa Southwell, Charles Sturt University

Research Project Support Awards

2016 Boehringer Ingelheim COPD Research Award – presented to A/Prof Greg Hodge and Prof Sandra Hodge

2017 Boehringer Ingelheim COPD Research Award – presented to Dr Maria Sukkar and Dr Jane Bourke

Maurice Blackburn Grant-in-Aid for Asbestos Research – presented to Prof Steve Mutsaers

AstraZeneca Grant-in-Aid for Severe Asthma – presented to Dr Fatemeh Moheimani

TSANZ Robert Pierce Grant-in-Aid for Indigenous Lung Health – presented to Dr Holly Clifford

Lung Foundation Australia / Ivan Cash Research Grant-in-Aid Award – presented to Dr Yet Hong Khor

Lung Foundation Australia / Lizotte Family Research Award – presented to Dr Michael Schuliga

Lung Foundation Australia / Ludwig Engel Grant-in-Aid for Physiological Research – presented to Prof Peter Middleton

Australian Cystic Fibrosis Research Trust 2017 Innovation Grant – presented to Dr Jay Horvat, Prof Peter Wark, and Prof Phil Hansbro

Travel Awards

TSANZ Peter Phelan Travel Fellowship – presented to Dr Kimberley Wang

TSANZ Respiratory Nurse Career Development Award for Indigenous Research – presented to Ms Erin Plumb

Special Interest Group Awards

  • TSANZ Best Poster Prize (supported by Boehringer Ingelheim) – presented to David Chapman
  • Asthma & Allergy (supported by National Asthma Council Australia) – presented to Joy Lee
  • Asthma & Allergy (supported by Asthma Australia) – presented to James Pinkerton
  • OELD/Population Health (supported by Maurice Blackburn ) – presented to Holly Clifford
  • Lung Cancer (supported by Maurice Blackburn) – presented to Koliarne Tong
  • COPD (supported by Boehringer Ingelheim) – presented to Steven Maltby
  • OLIV (supported by Boehringer Ingelheim) – presented to Rebecca Harper
  • Primary Care (supported by Boehringer Ingelheim) – presented to Juliet Foster
  • Respiratory Nurses Oral (supported by Boehringer Ingelheim) – to co-presenters Mary Roberts and Vinita Swami
  • Pulmonary Physiology and Sleep, John Reid Prize (supported by Lung Foundation Australia) – presented to Mahesh Dharmakamara
  • David Serisier Memorial Award 2016 for Translational Research – Respiratory Infectious Disease (supported by Lung Foundation Australia) – presented to Su-Ling Loo
  • Cystic Fibrosis (Supported by Cystic Fibrosis Australia) – presented to Michelle Wood
  • Cell biology/Immunology – Andrew Reid
  • Evidence Based Medicine – presented to Narelle Cox
  • Interventional Pulmonology – presented to Arash Badiei
  • Peter van Asperen Paediatric Award – presented to Ajay Kevat
  • Physiotherapy – presented to Sally Wootton
  • Tobacco Control – presented to Jenifer Liang

Open Awards

Vertex Awards

Vertex Paediatric Cystic Fibrosis Clinical Fellowship

The TSANZ Vertex Cystic Fibrosis Paediatric Clinical Fellowship supports an articulated training program for advanced trainees who are currently, or who wish to sub-specialize in Paediatric Respiratory Medicine, specifically to conduct the research, diagnosis and management of cystic fibrosis in Australia and New Zealand.

This is a unique opportunity to secure a fellowship that supports clinic based training in a Paediatric specialty area.

The fellowship shall be to the value of AUD$50,000 per annum for two years.

Vertex Adult Cystic Fibrosis Fellowship

The TSANZ Vertex Adult Cystic Fibrosis Fellowship will support a health practitioner or research scientist working in respiratory medicine who wishes to undertake research into adult cystic fibrosis, accompanied with professional development in adult cystic fibrosis in Australia or New Zealand.

This is a unique opportunity to secure a fellowship that supports either research and/or clinic based training / professional development in the adult cystic fibrosis specialty area.

The fellowship shall be to the value of AUD$50,000 per annum for two years.

Vertex Cystic Fibrosis Research Awards

To foster ongoing original cystic fibrosis research and its communication internationally.

The winners of the awards (2) will receive an award up to the value of AUD$7500 each to support their economy class travel, registration and accommodation to present their research at the European Cystic Fibrosis Society Annual Meeting or the North American Cystic Fibrosis Conference.

Lungs for Life Awards

Lungs for Life Research Awards

This Research Award aims to provide seed funding for critical and impactful areas of respiratory research. Preference will be given to research proposals in the priorities areas of early lung development, infection, and lung cancer. Three research proposals will be funded.

The Research Award value will total $40,000. Funds will be offered as $20,000 from Lungs for Life and must be matched with equal or greater funding from the applicant’s institution.

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…

Lungs for Life Grant Bulletin

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

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.

The Bioinformatics Peer Prize – closes 30/04/17
In partnership with the Centre for Systems Genomics at the University of Melbourne, The Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute at Monash University & Melbourne Bioinformatics, Thinkable is excited to launch the inaugural ‘Peer Prize’ for bioinformatics. The objective is to accelerate wider knowledge exchange & drive multi-disciplinary collaboration with the latest bioinformatics research from around the world, while celebrating the most exciting new discoveries made in the field as voted by peers.

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 – closes 23/06/17
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.

The Alan Westcare Project Grant – closes 31/07/17
The Alan King Westcare Project Grant is a 12 month $50,000 grant to available to laboratory, clinical and epidemiological research into the cause, diagnosis, prevention and treatment of respiratory infections such as tuberculosis.

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 – current round closes 01/08/2017
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.



Respirology Issue 22.3

Association between asthma control and asthma cost: Results from a longitudinal study in a primary care setting

By Nguyen et al. (resp.12930/ RES-16-407.R2)


Singhealth Duke-NUS Research team members from Canada and Singapore. Left to right:Lye Weng Kit, Dr Ngiap C. Tan, Dr. Nivedita V. Nadkarni, Usha Sankari, Dr Hai V. Nguyen and Shweta Mital.


YKL-40, CCL18 and SP-D predict mortality in patients hospitalized with community-acquired pneumonia

By Spoorenberg et al. (resp12924/RES-16-449.R1)


CAP study group members from St Antonius Hospital in Nieuwegein, The Netherlands.

Left to right: Willem Jan Bos, Simone Spoorenberg, Stefan Vestjens and Jan Grutters.


Respirology Issue 22.4

Home-based telerehabilitation via real-time videoconferencing improves endurance exercise capacity in patients with COPD: The randomized controlled TeleR Study


(DOI: 10.1111/resp.12966)


The respiratory telerehabilitation (TeleR) trial team from Sydney, Australia


Nasal lavage, blood or sputum: Which is best for phenotyping asthma?


(DOI: 10.1111/resp.12958)


The Asthma Group EPM-Unifesp from São Paulo, Brazil. Left to right: Danilla Assad Fernandes, Lilian Ballini Caetano, Michel Dracoulakis, Patricia Bueno Fernandes, Fabiana Stanzani, Camyla Fernandes, Maria Amélia Carvalho Santos, Ana Luisa Godoy Fernandes, Maria Marta Amorim.

Australasian Clinical Tuberculosis Network (ACTnet)

The Australasian Clinical Tuberculosis Network (ACTnet) is a collaborative clinical research group spanning Australia and New Zealand. Following the successful model of the European “TBnet” collaboration (, ACTnet will engage clinicians and researchers across the two countries 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.

ACTnet aims to promote basic science, clinical and public health research into TB in Australia and New Zealand. We will be working in partnership to create the knowledge required to eliminate TB in Australia, New Zealand and beyond.

We are inviting TSANZ members to join our network. There are a variety of ways you can contribute to the growth of this network but becoming a member is the first step.  Please see our website  further details and if interested click on the ‘Become a member’ sign up box on the home page.

Alternatively you can send an email to the ACTnet Network Officer. ACTnet is supported by ARC, TSANZ, ASID and TBForum.

Research Project and Survey Requests 

Recruiting for new study investigating the effects of ambulatory oxygen therapy via portable concentrator in interstitial lung disease

Researchers at Austin Health are currently recruiting patients with chronic interstitial lung disease and exertional desaturation (< 90% on room air during the 6-minute walk test) for a randomized controlled trial investigating the effects of ambulatory oxygen therapy via portable concentrators. Inclusion and exclusion criteria are in the link below.  

If you wish to discuss possible patients for screening and enrolment or receive further information, please contact Yet Hong Khor on 03 9496 5390 or

This study has been approved by the Austin Health Human Research Ethics Committee.


Are you interested in helping us further our understanding of healthcare professionals’ perceptions of asthma using an innovative method – drawings?

If so, and you are a healthcare professional, you are invited to take part in a research study exploring the use of drawings to further understanding of healthcare professionals’ perceptions of the experience of asthma.

An emerging approach for investigating people’s perspectives of illness is the use of drawings. Despite the high prevalence of asthma, there is yet to be research using drawing to explore healthcare professionals’ perceptions of the experience of asthma in the Australian population. Drawings may be useful for expression and could increase our understanding of the perspective of healthcare professionals involved in asthma management. The total time commitment is expected to be approximately one hour. You will be reimbursed for your time.

If you would like more details or would like to take part, please contact the researchers (details below). Thank you!

A/Prof Lorraine Smith, Faculty of Pharmacy, The University of Sydney
Email: Telephone: 02 9036 7079

Melissa Cheung, PhD Candidate, Faculty of Pharmacy, The University of Sydney
Email: Telephone: 02 9351 3710


Paediatric PFT needs assessment

We are undertaking a project to assess and address the needs of the global paediatric pulmonology/respirology community for practice guidelines for paediatric pulmonary function testing in both the clinical and research settings.

The first step in this project is to define and understand those needs via a short (less than 5 minute) survey. We ask that you complete this brief survey to help us understand how to best meet the needs of our community. Please click on the link below to complete the survey online.


Thank you for your time.

Nitin Kapur, Paediatric SIG Convenor

on behalf of 

Members of the American Thoracic Society/European Respiratory Society Infant & Preschool Pulmonary Function Testing Working Group and the European Respiratory Society Pediatric Respiratory and Sleep Physiology Working Group:

Graham Hall, BSc PhD
Jessica Pittman, MD MPH
Padmaja Subbarao, MD MSc FRCP
Claudia Calogero, MD
Stephanie Davis, MD
Margaret Rosenfeld, MD MPH








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.