The Thoracic Society of ANZ

VOLUME 5.02 – MARCH 2020

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Research Roundup:

March 2020


Welcome Message

By now I’m sure you’ve heard that TSANZSRS 2020 has been postponed until 29 April – 4 May 2021. The TSANZ Board released a letter and FAQ outlining this decision on 12 March 2020.

The Board is busy working through all the issues that have arisen from this decision and we will be in touch with updates as they happen. Whilst the the Research Sub-Committee has finalised most awards, we are now looking at how to publicly acknowledge 2020 award recipients. 


Infectious diseases research is a significant area of strength in Australia and the TSANZ acknowledges the important work of our Australian researchers who are international leaders in research surrounding COVID-19. Examples include the creation of the vaccine candidate for COVID-19 by the University of Queensland – achieved in just three weeks! Scientists at CSIRO’s state-of-the-art biologics production facility in Melbourne have already begun small-scale testing. Doherty Institute researchers have mapped immune responses from one of Australia’s first novel coronavirus (COVID-19) patients, showing the body’s ability to fight the virus and recover from the infection (published in Nature) while CSIRO’s research aims to get a better understanding of the virus – how long it takes to develop and replicate, how it impacts the respiratory system and how it can be transmitted. 

We also acknowledge the support of the Australian Government that will invest $30 million for COVID-19 research to enable Australian researchers to contribute to global efforts to control the outbreak. In addition, NHMRC recognises that the COVID-19 pandemic may be affecting the research of current grant holders. If you have received a grant and circumstances have changed – for example, there has been a delay in your Research Activity because of involvement in the clinical or public health response – you can apply to vary your grant. Variations that may be relevant due to the impact of COVID-19 include: Deferral of commencement date and requests for grants applications, deferral of an in-progress grant and extended leave requests, extended end date, change to a research plan or change to chief investigators. For more information please visit:

TSANZ are collaborating to support the Australian Living Evidence Consortium who, with Cochrane Australia are working to develop a National COVID-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce. There is a survey below which will help to determine high-priority clinical questions and a request for EOIs to join the guideline panel. I encourage all interested parties to contribute to this work through the article below.

We wish you all the best in your work and in preparation of your grant applications.

Please feel free to get in touch with the office if there is anything we can do to support your research needs during this time.

Enjoy the March edition of your Research Roundup.

Prof Sandra Hodge

Chair, Research Sub-Committee

National COVID-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce

Dear colleague,

The Australian Living Evidence Consortium and Cochrane Australia are working with others to support the development of a National COVID-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce. As part of this we are working with peak professional bodies to develop living, evidence-informed guidance for primary, hospital and critical care of adults and children with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 infection. Guidance will be updated weekly as new evidence emerges.

We would like your suggestions for high-priority clinical questions to be addressed by this guidance.

Please suggest questions by completing the form at by 9pm Sunday March 22.

We are also seeking interested clinicians to join guideline panels. These will initially be convened next week, and then meet regularly over the next weeks and months to review emerging evidence and refine the recommendations. To express your interest in membership in a guideline panel, please email your CV to Dr Britta Tendal, Senior Research Fellow at Cochrane Australia at by 9pm Sunday March 22. 

If you have any queries please contact Dr Tari Turner, Senior Research Fellow at Cochrane Australia at

Thank you

Respirology – Editor’s Choice 

Respirology Issue 25.3 March 2020


Global Lung Function Initiative‐2012 ‘other/mixed’ spirometry reference equation provides the best overall fit for Australian Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander children and young adults

Tamara L. Blake, Anne B. Chang, Mark D. Chatfield, Julie M. Marchant and Margaret S. McElrea


DOI: 10.1111/resp.13649

Study participant from Thursday Island performing spirometry (with permission by the Queensland Government)


Association of serious adverse events with Cheyne–Stokes respiration characteristics in patients with systolic heart failure and central sleep apnoea: A SERVE-Heart Failure substudy analysis

Faizan Javed, Renaud Tamisier, Jean-Louis Pepin, Martin R. Cowie, Karl Wegscheider, Christiane Angermann, Marie-Pia D’ortho, Erland Erdmann, Anita K. Simonds, Virend K. Somers, Helmut Teschler, Patrick Levy, Jeff Armitstead and Holger Woehrle


 Schematic representation of CheyneStokes respiration signal.

DOI: 10.1111/resp.13613



What are the barriers and facilitators to implementing best practice?

Dear Members of the Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand,

The Centre of Research Excellence in Pulmonary Fibrosis (CRE-PF) is inviting physicians involved in the management of people with pulmonary fibrosis (PF) to take part in our study aimed at identifying the barriers and facilitators to the implementation of best practice for the diagnosis, treatment and management of the disease.

Participation is voluntary and involves providing your views, opinions and experiences on the management of PF through confidential, in person interviews of about 30 minutes in duration. 

Your perspective is important to help us understand the barriers that may be impeding the implementation of best practice in clinical settings. The findings have the potential to guide the development of behaviour change strategies aimed at improving implementation and in turn, optimise the prognosis and management pathways for people with this insidious disease.

Like more information or interested in participating? Click here

The study has been approved by the Monash University Human Ethics Committee (Number 22350) and the Sydney Local Health District Human Ethics Committee (Number 2019/ETH13556).

If you would like to speak to us about any aspect of this study, please contact:

Professor Anne Holland

Professor of Physiotherapy, Monash University and Alfred Health

Department of Allergy, Clinical Immunology and Respiratory Medicine, Monash University or (03) 9903 0214

Thank you for your time and consideration of our study.


Can you help TSANZ make a difference?

Your support makes a difference, and helps us continue to provide funding for research and our TSANZ awards. If you would like to support our work, you can leave a tax deductible donation of your choice in our areas of need.

1. Making a donation to our Benevolent Fund

The Benevolent Fund supports projects aimed at improving the respiratory health care of individuals who are in a setting where health care resources and delivery are poor.
CLICK HERE to make a donation or by filling out the Support TSANZ form. Once you have completed the form, please email

2. Making a donation to support research

With your support, we can continue to support Australia and New Zealand’s most significant and cutting edge respiratory health research, and benefit Australians and New Zealanders suffering from lung disease.
Please CLICK HERE to make a donation or by filling out the Support TSANZ form. Once you have completed the form, please email

3. Establishing a named award

For significant donations of above $10,000 AUD, a TSANZ award can be established in your name. Please call the TSANZ office on +61 2 9222 6200.

4. Leave TSANZ a gift in your will

If you are interested in supporting TSANZ in the future, one way to do so is to leave TSANZ a gift in your will. Any support is greatly appreciated and will leave a lasting legacy.
If interested, please notify us by ticking the box on the Support TSANZ form. Once you have completed the form, please email Alternatively, please call the TSANZ Office on +61 2 9222 6200.

5. TSANZ New Zealand Branch Incorporated 

New Zealand members are reminded that you are also able to make a tax deductible donation directly to the NZ branch. You can assist the NZ branch to provide services to members across NZ. If you make a payment via electronic funds transfer (EFT), please notify the TSANZ office so that we can arrange a receipt. 
CLICK HERE to make a donation.

Thank you for your continued support of TSANZ


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