The Thoracic Society of ANZ

VOLUME 2.5 JUNE 2017

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Research Roundup:

June  2017


Welcome Message

At the end of last month the NHMRC announced the grant program restructure. These changes will consolidate support for investigators and boost funding for ideas. Grants will also be larger with the aim to achieve greater gains and reduce the burden of writing grants. I have recently returned from the American Thoracic Society Conference and saw these changes in funding models are being reflected internationally, with major changes in NIH funding models similar to what we are seeing with the NHMRC.

I would like to draw your attention to the Public consultation on “A Framework for NHMRC Assessment and Funding of Clinical Trials and Cohort Studieswhich is now open on the NHMRC Public Consultations Portal. The consultation paper is available here. TSANZ will submit a response to this consultation on behalf of the society and you are encouraged to send in your opinion to the office to ensure our response is representative of our membership. Please let us know your opinion on this by the 29th of June by responding to

For now, I will leave you with the many awards we are hosting, and the long list of direct-to-researcher funds which have been identified below, through  the Lungs for Life project. Respirology has also supplied us with their Editor’s Choice articles, again featuring our members.

Enjoy the June edition of your research roundup.

Prof Phil Hansbro

Chair, Research Sub-Committee

The following articles will take you to

Better bedside management of pleural effusions. Brisbane doctors have significantly improved the outcomes of patients with pleural effusions by giving registrars and trainees practical hands on training on the use of pleural ultrasound. Read More.

Integrating palliative and respiratory care is possible. Patients with COPD and their doctors are reluctant to consider palliative care however a new model of care might help with that. Read More.

Oxygen saturation should be the 5th vital sign. A pulse oximeter should be as ubiquitous as a stethoscope, according to the British Thoracic Society’s new guidelines. Read More.

Non-invasive ventilation cuts COPD readmissions. Hard to treat patients with frequent COPD exacerbations can be kept out of hospital for longer when NIV is added to home oxygen. Read More.

No need to wait for Europe on severe eosinophilic asthma. The European respiratory community is working towards consensus on the diagnosis and management of severe eosinophilic asthma but there’s no need to wait for them, according to an Australian expert. Read More.

Fake stone a lung hazard. Scores of people who work with a product hailed as a cheap alternative to marble and granite could be at risk of developing a debilitating lung disease, Australian respiratory physicians warn. Read More.

Open Awards

Thoracic Society Awards

TSANZ NZ Branch ASM Travel Grant – Supported by GSK  Deadline extended – 28 July 2017

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 – Closing soon – 30 June 2017

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 June and September, 2017:

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 – opens 06/07/17 and “closes once a volume of applications have been received”.
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.

2017 Research Australia Health and Medical Research Awards – closes 17/07/17
Research Australia’s annual awards recognise significant contributions to health and medical research.

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.

Westpac Bicentennial Foundation Research Fellowship – closes 31/08/17
The Westpac Research Fellowship supports outstanding early career researchers whose ground-breaking work has the potential to make a difference in one of the Foundation’s focus areas: Technology and innovation, Strengthening Australia-Asia ties, and Enabling positive social change.

Westpac Bicentennial Foundation Social Change Fellowship – closes mid-August/2017
The Westpac Social Change Fellowship is an opportunity to invest in your capability, knowledge and networks with a view to helping you bring to life your innovative initiative for positive social change in Australia.

Rebecca L Cooper Medical Research Foundation – Medical Research Grants – closes 01/09/17
Advancing, promoting and encouraging medical research into Brain Sciences (psychiatry and neurology), Endocrinology and Diabetes, Geriatrics, Lung Disease (other than cancer), Rheumatology, Vision Sciences. Funding is primarily granted for the purchase of equipment, but may be used for other tangibles (e.g. therapeutic or imaging markers, software etc.). Funding requests for salaries/wages are not strongly supported, but will be considered by the directors.

The Prince Charles Hospital Foundation Emerging Researcher Grant – closes 01/09/17
The Emerging Researcher Grant is aimed at providing New Investigators who have previously received and successfully completed a New Investigator grant from TPCHF the opportunity to further develop their skills, experience and build the research capacity of TPCH The priority areas are: 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.

Harkness Fellowships in Health Care Policy and Practice 2018-2019 – closes 05/09/17
For mid-career professionals (academic researchers, government policymakers, clinicians, managers, and journalists) from Australia, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom, to spend up to 12 months in the US conducting a policy-oriented research study, working with leading US health policy experts, and gaining an in-depth knowledge of the US and other health care systems.

Future Research Leader Fellowships – EOI closes 15/09/17
5 year full time Fellowships to provide salary and project support to encourage high calibre interstate and international emerging researchers to develop a program of work that support the activities that are being undertaken by the Translational Cancer Research Centres (TCRCs) in NSW. Applications must be in the area of implementation research and, more specifically, should address how research findings from the TCRCs can be taken up into routine cancer care.

Conquer Cancer Career Development Award – closes 21/09/17
Provides funding to clinical investigators who have received their initial faculty appointment to establish an independent clinical cancer research program. This research must have a patient-oriented focus, including a clinical research study and/or translational research involving human subjects. Submissions in all oncology sub specialties are welcome.

Financial Markets Foundation for Children – closes 30/09/17
Research programs designed to improve the health, welfare and wellbeing of Australian children. Preference will be given to projects focussed on children aged 14 years and under, although the Foundation will consider projects relating to children up to 18 years of age.

Cancer Research Institute CRI Irvington Postdoctoral Fellowship Program – closes 01/10/17
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.

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.


Respirology Issue 22.5

Airflow limitation severity and post-operative pulmonary complications following extra-pulmonary surgery in COPD patients.

Beomsu Shin, Hyun Lee, Danbee Kang, Byeong-Ho Jeong, Hyung Koo Kang, Hae Ri Chon, Won-Jung Koh, Man Pyo Chung, Eliseo Guallar, Juhee Cho and Hye Yun Park

DOI: 10.1111/resp.12988


From left to right: Juhee Cho, Hye Yun Park, Hyun Lee, Danbee Kang and Beomsu Shin from South Korea


Health-related quality of life in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis: Data from the Australian IPF Registry

IAN N. Glaspole SALLY A. Chapman, WENDY A. Cooper, SAMANTHA J. Ellis, NICOLE S. Goh, PETER M. Hopkins, SACHA Macansh, ANNABELLE Mahar, YUBEN P. Moodley, ELDHO Paul, PAUL N. Reynolds, E.HAYDN. Walters, CHRISTOPHER J. Zappala  and TAMERA J. Corte

DOI: 10.1111/resp.12989


National spread of participants of the Australian Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Registry recruited from all states and territories in Australia.

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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