The Thoracic Society of ANZ

VOLUME 2.4 MAY 2017

Home 5 Research Roundup 5 VOLUME 2.4 MAY 2017

Research Roundup:

May  2017


Welcome Message

This edition of the Research Roundup is full of open awards which are quite varied in who and what they support. However, I would like to highlight the Lungs for Life Research Awards, which are seed grants purely to support respiratory research. We want these grants to support the generation of data which can be used for larger projects in the future. Research proposals for the Lungs for Life Research Awards may come from any area of respiratory medicine, however preference will be given to research into early lung development, lung cancer, and respiratory infectious disease, as they are the current priorities of this strategic project. These awards are an exciting opportunity and not to be missed.

For those of you heading off to the Congress of the American Thoracic Society, please make sure you drop into the TSANZ stand. Our CEO, Tanya will be on site and will welcome any visitors! I will also be there and hope to see you there enjoying the latest in respiratory research.

Enjoy the May edition of your research roundup.

Prof Phil Hansbro

Chair, Research Sub-Committee

The following articles will take you to

Final thunderstorm asthma report needs to be broader. The final report on the emergency response to the unprecedented thunderstorm asthma event that affected thousands of people in Victoria last year demonstrates commitment to preventing similar events but needs to be broader, an expert says. Read More.

Integrity of large international trials in question. Large international randomised controlled trials, the cornerstone of modern medicine, are in big trouble. Read More.

Euthanasia debate killing the bigger picture. The persistent media and political focus on euthanasia has skewed the debate about end of life issues and diverted attention away from adequately resourcing palliative care services that would benefit many more people, an expert says. Read More.

Steroids risky in the short-term. A BMJ study that found an up to five-fold increased risk in fractures, blood clots and sepsis with short-term use of oral steroids is a wakeup call for clinicians to consider whether their use is evidence-based for the problem they’re treating. Read More.

Death by air pollution. Long-term exposure to fine air particles caused 4.2 million deaths and over 103 million lost years of healthy life in 2015, a global report of pollution levels over a quarter of a century shows. Read More.

Australian study most influential respiratory paper. The study has been highlighted by the American College of Physicians as one of the most influential studies in respiratory medicine to be published last year. Read More.

Open Awards

Thoracic Society Awards

TSANZ NZ Branch ASM Travel Grant – Supported by GSK

These travel awards are made available to encourage eligible TSANZ members to attend and enrich the NZ Annual Scientific Meeting through presentation of their work and active participation in the meeting.

There will be seven awards of $NZ500 to support the career development of TSANZ nurses and allied health professionals.

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 Australia 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.

Cystic Fibrosis Australia Awards

Abbie Fennessy Memorial Fellowship (Sponsored by Technipro-Pulmomed Pty Ltd). More Information [PDF] | Application form [word doc]

The aim of the Fellowship is to improve the knowledge and skills of Allied Health & Nursing professionals working in Cystic Fibrosis care to benefit those who have Cystic Fibrosis. The award provides up to $5000 to support education, training, academic purposes, and/or medical research, activities that improve the quality of medicine and the improvement of Cystic Fibrosis patient outcomes.  The Fellowship is open to Allied Health & Nursing professionals involved in the treatment or care of people with Cystic Fibrosis in Australia.

Watch this space for more award announcements…

icare dust diseases care Scholarships and Fellowships


Lungs for Life Grant Bulletin

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

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.

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.

The Peer Prize for Women in Science 2017 – closes 31/05/17
This prize is for women researchers across Australia with a mission to accelerate open knowledge exchange and cross-disciplinary innovation.  The are two main areas of research focus: Life Sciences; and Earth, Environmental and Space Sciences. The prize for each category is $20,000.

Australian Institute of Policy and Science – CSL Florey Medal – closes 05/06/17
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.

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.

GlaxoSmithKline Australia Award for Research Excellence – closes 10/07/17
Recognition for an outstanding researcher with a demonstrated track record of significant work in human medical health, and for whom the award will facilitate career development and further achievements.

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.

Centenary Institute Medical Innovation Award 2017 – closes 31/07/17
The Prize focuses on creativity – the essential ingredient in all human endeavour, whether in science, art or marketing. It will be presented to the biomedical research scientist based in Australia who demonstrates the greatest creativity in their scientific approach in a given year. Valued at $36,000.

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

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.


PhD Scholarships

PhD Scholarship opportunity available at the University of Newcastle: Maternal and early life nutritional status and respiratory health of the offspring.

Please see flyer for more information [PDF]

Applications close 31st July, 2017.

Research Project and Survey Requests

‘Usual’ antenatal asthma management

Dear Colleague,

Our research team at the Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI) and University of Newcastle is conducting a nationwide survey to determine what ‘usual’ antenatal asthma management consists of. Gaining this knowledge will help to form a foundation on which to build improved antenatal asthma management across Australia.

If you are a health professional who provides antenatal care within Australia then we invite you to participate in a survey. This survey should take approximately 10 minutes to complete.

Ethics approval has been granted for this study. All responses will be anonymous and confidential. Further information about the project and request for consent is outlined once you click on the survey link. If you have any questions regarding this research, please do not hesitate to contact Vanessa Murphy at or Karen McLaughlin on 0425277200.

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:


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


Barriers and Facilitators to Optimal use of Acute Oxygen Therapy in Adults

Dear colleagues,

Our research  team is conducting a study to investigate the  barriers, facilitators and attitudes of health care professionals towards the prescription and delivery of oxygen therapy in the acute care setting. We hope that the results from this study will provide information that will be used to inform and facilitate the translation of evidence based guidelines into clinical practice.

As a clinician who delivers care to patients who use oxygen therapy, we understand that your views and opinions are important. You are invited to participate in this voluntary online survey. It is expected that this should take no longer than 15 minutes. There are no correct or incorrect responses, this survey is designed to explore your opinions regarding acute oxygen therapy.

This study has been granted ethics approval by Hunter New England Human Research Ethics Committee  (Approval number: 16/04/20/5.03) and the University of Newcastle Human Research Ethics Committee (Reference Number: H-2016-0222). For further information you can view the participant information HERE.

There are no anticipated risks to you for taking part in this survey. Information that you provide will be anonymous and remain confidential. Only those directly involved in this research have access to any answers that you provide. Participation in the survey implies consent and can be completed by clicking  the  OXYGEN SURVEY LINK HERE.

Please feel free to contact us directly if you have any questions regarding this research.

We thank you in advance for participating and ask you to consider forwarding this survey to other colleagues, who also deliver care to patients with oxygen therapy.

Kind Regards

Professor Vanessa McDonald
Professor Peter Wark
Joyce Cousins (PhD Scholar)







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