The Thoracic Society of ANZ

VOLUME 7.05 – JUNE 2022

Home 5 Research Roundup 5 VOLUME 7.05 – JUNE 2022

Research Roundup:

June 2022

Welcome Message

Welcome to the June issue of TSANZ Research Round up. First up, I’ve got some questions for you to think about. What do you need to make your funding applications more competitive? Is there a gap in your skills, knowledge base, network, or something else, but you just can’t find a way to fill it? Is there some training that you would really like to get, but can’t find a course or person able to provide it? TSANZ wants to fix these problems for you, but we can’t do that unless you tell us what your needs are.

To do this, please fill out the training needs analysis survey, which should take around 12-minutes and can be accessed here. Big thank you to everyone who has already completed this survey. So that we can provide all our members with the best and most tailored support possible, we need to get at least 300 people to complete this survey, but so far, we have about 100. Thank you to everyone who has already done this. It’s very much appreciated. Would you mind asking anyone and everyone around you to also fill this out? If you like, you could even try and skew the data by having everyone you know request the same training needs, to try and get TSANZ to deliver the support you need first. On that note, Graham, John, Anne, and Hannah, no need to re-read that last sentence or look closer into submissions from my network; Nothing to see here.

While we’re on the topic of training, early bird registration is now open for the inaugural TSANZSRS Education Hub. This is an exciting opportunity for a much needed in-person event, running in Sydney from the 14-15th of October. Yes, you read that right, IN PERSON! There will be a host of workshops to choose from, including sessions to help build skills in crafting successful grant applications and how to get your research published in high quality journals. Of course, one of the biggest benefits of an in-person gathering will be facilitated through the Friday night networking event. Providing an opportunity to reconnect in person with distant colleagues and begin to explore new associations among members with shared interests.

In some other exciting news, a big congratulations to all recipients of Lung Foundation Australia’s Hope Research Fund Grants, and to our members who have been successful with NHMRC Clinical Trials and Cohort Studies Grants. It is fantastic to see this essential respiratory research being supported through competitive grants and awards. Speaking of successes, we would love to help celebrate any of your recent achievements with the broader TSANZ membership by sharing the news in future editions of the research roundup. Instructions on how to do this are provided below.

As usual there are some excellent reads from the Research Review, and Respirology has a special issue focused on occupational lung health. Cure4CF’s Holckner Family CF Impact Grant has just opened, with up to $500,000 is available for Cystic Fibrosis research seeking to develop therapies and cures for the disease. Recruitment is being sought for patients with COPD or ILD for SINFONIA, a singing for breathing trial, and views from healthcare professionals within three different studies. If you have a minute to spare, please help support fellow TSANZ members by contributing to their research.

Finally, some inspirational words to end this edition of research round-up come from anonymous “Not all storms come to disrupt your life, some come to clear your path”.

Happy researching everyone.

A/Prof Kristin Carson-Chahhoud
Chair, Research Sub-Committee 

TSANZ Training Needs Analysis Survey

We are asking all members to complete our first-ever Training Needs Analysis Survey regardless of role, profession, or whether you are clinical or not.

This short survey will only take approximately 12 minutes to complete and is a set of multiple-choice questions.

The Thoracic Society is committed to continuing its development of education offerings and strives to improve our learning opportunities and develop education where gaps exist. We will use this data to evaluate all continuous professional development programs and improve our educational offerings.

This training needs analysis survey utilises the Hennessy-Hicks training needs assessment tool (Hennessy D, Hicks C 2011), endorsed by the World Health Organisation. It will provide reliable information about current performance levels and skill areas requiring further development. It is considered best practice for analysing training needs helping to address problems in turning knowledge into action.

The Thoracic Society would like to thank you for taking the time to complete this survey.

Open Awards

Thoracic Society Awards

TSANZ NZ Branch ASM 2022 Travel Grant – closing 1st August 2022

How to participate

Follow the links above to access each award application and follow the instructions online.

Please email the TSANZ Awards Coordinator (TSANZawards@thoracic.org.au) with any questions, comments or enquires.

Education Hub Logo

TSANZ Education Hub

Registrations are now open for the inaugural TSANZSRS Education Hub on 14-15 October 2022, at Rydges World Square, Sydney.

There will be a wide range of workshops, courses and skills sessions available to choose from, including research skills updates, such as how to craft successful research grant and funding applications, and writing research outcomes for publication.

To view the programme, please visit the Education Hub website.

Of course, there will also be an opportunity to reconnect with colleagues from across Australia and New Zealand at the networking function on the evening of Friday 14th October.

All programme content will be recorded and made available to delegates for 6-months after the Education Hub, giving you access to the entire program, regardless of which sessions you attend at the time.

Register before 4th August 2022 and receive the early bird rate.

We look forward to welcoming you to the TSANZSRS Education Hub in October.

 

Open Request for TSANZ Member Achievements

TSANZ would like to invite members to share their achievements. One of TSANZ Strategic Objectives is to raise the profile of the respiratory research workforce in Australia and New Zealand, especially those who are TSANZ members. As part of this we would like to share member success in our monthly Research Roundup.

Examples of achievements we would like to hear about are:

  • Receipt of major grants, such as grants from the Medical Research Future Fund or the National Health and Medical Research Council
  • Receipt of major honours, such as those from the Order of Australia
  • Notable recent journal publication
  • Completion of a PhD

Please send notification of these achievements to TSANZawards@thoracic.org.au, along with a short blurb (2-3 sentences) about your achievement for us to share. If applicable please include documentation of your achievement, and, if you would like, provide a photo of yourself. Please also share with us success of your fellow TSANZ members!

TSANZ Members awarded the Lung Foundation Australia’s Hope Research Fund 2022 Grant

At the recent Hope Research Fund lunch on 2 June, 13 exceptional researchers from around the country will be awarded $876k in grants, in several different research areas, including asthma, bronchiectasis, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD), and lung cancer. 

Huge congratulations to our talented TSANZ members, 
Lung Foundation Australia – Ludwig Engel Research Grant: Dr. Hayley Scott
Lung Foundation Australia Andrew Harrison Bronchiectasis Fellowship: Prof. Julie Marchant
Lung Foundation Australia John Farrell COPD Fellowship: Dr. Narelle Cox
Lung Foundation Australia – Boehringer Ingelheim Fellowship in COPD: Dr. Arwel Jones
Lung Foundation Australia – Better Breathing Foundation PhD Scholarship in Chronic Lung Disease (full): Mrs. Jessica Walsh
Lung Foundation Australia -Ivan Cash Research Grant: Dr. Sheetal Deshpande
Lung Foundation Australia – Lizotte Family Research Grant: Dr. Peter Bell
PACT Grant-In-Aid: Dr Hayley Barnes and Dr Ryan Hoy
CREATE Hope Fellowship (scientific): Dr Gang Liu
CREATE Hope Fellowship (clinical): Dr Ingrid Cox
LUCAP PhD Topup: Dr Jess Nash

The Hope Research Fund aims to not only invest in discovering scientific breakthroughs but bring new hope to millions of Australians impacted by lung disease and lung cancer. 

Lung Foundation Australia Launched the Hope Research Fund last year with the vision of creating Australia’s leading national long-term commitment to fund life-changing lung disease and cancer research, which is severely underfunded. 

With a goal of raising $50 million by 2030, the Hope Research Fund relies heavily on the generosity of Gifts in Wills to fund this life changing research. 

TSANZ Members Success with NHMRC Grant Funding

TSANZ wishes to extend our congratulations to the TSANZ Members who were awarded NHMRC Clinical Trials and Cohort Studies Grants. Over $75.3 million in funding was granted to support 33 clinical trials and cohort studies. It was excellent to see some of this go towards respiratory research. 

Professor Gregory Fox, from the University of Sydney was awarded $4.77 million for The FLIRT-TB study: A fluoroquinolone-based regimen to treat the commonest form of drug-resistant tuberculosis. From Professor Fox; “Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious respiratory disease affecting 10 million people each year worldwide. Resistance to isoniazid, one of the most important first-line antibiotics used to treat TB, leads to increased mortality and more advanced drug resistance. We will undertake the first clinical trial to evaluate the effectiveness of new-generation fluoroquinolones antibiotics in treating isoniazid-resistant TB. This trial will be conducted in Australia, Vietnam and Canada.”

Dr Danielle Wurzel, from the University of Melbourne was awarded $3.72 million for Translatable Evidence To Improve Lung Health Outcomes In First Nations People – A Cohort Study From Birth to 6 Years. From Dr Wurzel; “First Nations children have unacceptably high rates of lung disease which means poorer adult health. Our project, co-designed with Aboriginal researchers, scientists and clinicians, will address the disproportionate burden of lung disease in First Nations People. Through a birth cohort study of First Nations People we will evaluate a range of exposures and biomarkers for lung health indicators to identify high-risk children. This research will inform interventions to prevent early-onset chronic lung diseases and will assist clinicians, researchers and policy makers in our shared vision to Close the Gap. Other TSANZ members who are Chief investigators on this project are Prof Shyamali Dharmage (UoM), Prof Anne Chang (QUT), Prof Paul Robinson (UoS), (QIMR) and Dr Gabrielle McCallum (Menzies).”

Associate Professor Adrian Lowe, from the University of Melbourne was awarded $7.56 million of Testing an implementable strategy to improve infant skin barrier to prevent asthma and preserve lung function: a 4-year follow-up of the existing PEBBLES RCT. From Associate Professor Lowe; “Childhood asthma is a major public health problem worldwide, and poor lung function in childhood increases the risk of chronic adult lung disease and early death. There are currently limited strategies to prevent children developing asthma and early lung function deficits. It has been hypothesised that impaired skin barrier in early life can increase risk of allergic sensitisation and asthma.  In this follow-on study of our large NHMRC funded trial, we will test if an intervention to improve skin barrier can reduce early life asthma and lung function deficits.”

External Grant Opportunities

Cure4 Cystic Fibrosis Foundation National Grant Round

Grant Round Now Open – Holckner Family CF Impact Grant

In 2022 Cure4CF will provide up to $500,000 to advance medical innovations in cystic fibrosis. We prioritise research with a clear translational path that seeks to develop therapies or cures that will result in an increase in average life expectancy of people with cystic fibrosis with consideration given to quality of life. Grant round closes August the 5th at 5pm ACST.

Visit https://www.cure4cf.org/research-grants-2022/ to find out more

Merck Investigator Studies Program (MISP): SARS CoV-2/COVID-19 Investigator Initiated Grants

Effective January 2022, the Merck Investigator Studies Program Review Committee (MISP-RC) for SARS CoV-2/COVID-19 TREATMENT will accept FUNDING ONLY, PRECLINICAL, and CLINICAL, NON-INTERVENTIONAL, submissions within our current areas of interest (AOI). This is a competitive review process that will be conducted by the MISP Review Committee. Decisions will be made on the basis of scientific merit and strategic fit within the AOI. Please review the critical activities and abide by the timelines as outlined below. Clinical, interventional/treatment AOIs will be added at an upcoming date; until then any submission for use of molnupiravir in a treatment or prophylaxis study WILL NOT be reviewed. The following areas are of interest to Investigator Studies Program Committee:

  • In vitro studies to assess the antiviral activity of NHC against RNA viruses of human significance
  • Proof of concept studies demonstrating the antiviral activity and mechanism of action of molnupiravir in validated animal models of zoonotic RNA viral infections
  • In vitro or animal studies to assess the development and mechanism of viral resistance to NHC/molnupiravir by RNA viruses of human significance
  • In vitro or animal studies to assess the relationship between the number and type of accumulated errors in the viral genome and impact on viral infectivity
  • Studies that may validate a standardized definition for post-acute SARS-COV2 (PASC) or long-COVID
  • Studies that may provide clinical or biomarker predictors of infection severity in COVID-19 in children (<18 yr olds)
  • Studies that may better characterize moderate/severe breakthrough infections and/or provide predictors of severe COVID-19 in high risk vaccinated populations such as the elderly, transplant recipients (solid organ or allogeneic stem cell transplant) and other immunocompromised/immunosuppressed patient populations, persons with BMI >30, DM, cardiopulmonary disease, and/or BIPOC, LatinX, native peoples.

Please complete the corresponding preclinical or clinical PROTOCOL and BUDGET templates via the Company’s on-line study management system (in US) or your MSD country representative (outside US). The submissions will be collectively reviewed and selected by the MISP Committee.

https://engagezone.msd.com/SARS_Cov-2_COVID-19.php

Review Cycle 2: May 26, 2022

Review Cycle 3: August 24, 2022

If you would like more information, or are interested in submitting a proposal related to an area of interest please email mandeep.sembi@msd.com

Surveys and Research

SINFONIA Singing for breathing trial

SINFONIA is a multi-site, online singing for breathing trial for people with COPD or ILD and their caregivers. This study is led by a research team at Monash University (A/Prof Natasha Smallwood) and aims to investigate if group singing classes assist with improvement in symptom management and overall wellbeing. The trial is not just limited to people in Victoria, as people from around Australia can be referred or self-refer to take part. In case you are interested in telling your patients about the study, the eligibility criteria are:

  • Patients aged over 18 with a confirmed diagnosis of COPD or ILD on lung function (within last 2 years) or CT (last 5 years)
  • Stable on treatment for at least 4 weeks (i.e. no new or changed cardiorespiratory medications or hospital admissions for COPD or ILD)
  • Breathless: mMRC ≥ 2
  • NOT currently participating in pulmonary rehabilitation
  • Capable and willing to give informed consent
  • Carers aged over 18 years may also participate

Participants in the online singing group will attend a 90-minute online group singing session once a week, for 12 weeks. People randomised to the control group (delayed entry) will be offered to join the singing sessions after 3 months.

Patients or clinicians can refer by contacting our team’s research assistant Catherine Buchan: c.buchan@alfred.org.au.

Physiotherapy and exercise management of patients undergoing thoracic surgery across the continuum

This research project is aiming to describe the current practices of exercise health professionals (e.g., physiotherapy, exercise physiology, allied health assistants) when assessing and managing patients undergoing thoracic surgery for lung cancer across all phases of the treatment continuum (pre-operative to 12 months post-operative).  

You are invited to participate in this project if you are a registered exercise health professional working with people with lung cancer undergoing thoracic surgery across the continuum of care, including pre-operative, post-operative acute, and community/outpatient programs (e.g., pulmonary rehabilitation and/or oncology rehabilitation).  On completion of this survey, you will be given the opportunity to enter the draw to win a new Apple iPad. 

The survey will close on July 22nd.

To complete the survey and to read the Plain Language Statement please visit https://bit.ly/thoracicsurgsurvey.

For further information, please contact A/Professor Catherine Granger Catherine.Granger@unimelb.edu.au or Georgina Whish-Wilson gwhishwilson@student.unimelb.edu.au.

Views of healthcare professionals on smoking cessation options project

Are you a health professional who provides smoking cessation advice to the people you see?

Researchers at The University of Queensland are seeking health practitioners for research exploring smoking cessation treatment in a changing regulatory environment. Participation involves a 30 minute interview about your experiences and views on smoking cessation options.

This project is led by Dr Kylie Morphett at the UQ School of Public Health and you can find out more and register your interest here: https://tobacco-endgame.centre.uq.edu.au/our-research/views-healthcare-professionals-smoking-cessation-options-project

We need healthcare professionals involved in pulmonary rehabilitation to complete our online survey

Researchers from the University of Newcastle are conducting an online survey study to better understand current pulmonary rehabilitation programme practices for prescribing exercise intensity for people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). We want to know:
1) How exercise intensity is commonly prescribed; and
2) How the availability of different resources influences current practices around prescription of exercise intensity.

You are eligible to complete the online survey if you have knowledge of how the exercise training is prescribed for people with COPD who attend the pulmonary rehabilitation programme where you work. If this is not your area of expertise, you may forward this study information on to a healthcare provider who would be best placed to complete the survey on behalf of your pulmonary rehabilitation programme.

Participation in this study involves completing a one-off online survey. It is estimated that this survey will take 20-30 minutes to complete. You do not need to complete the survey in one session. You can save it and come back to it later. We will not ask you to enter any information that identifies you or the pulmonary rehabilitation programme where you work.
You can find more information about the survey, and complete the survey, by clicking on this link: https://redcap.hmri.org.au/surveys/?s=989TJJH4NETCY7LY

We are also conducting a parallel survey of people with COPD. If you could please help to distribute this to people who are living with COPD and attend, or have attended, your pulmonary rehabilitation programme, that would be much appreciated. The study information and flyer (with the COPD survey link) that can be sent to people with COPD, can be found by clicking this link: COPD survey (https://1drv.ms/u/s!Ar_gKTMrKI41gWHGMFe57HUfd8p_?e=KBKyxg)
Please contact the lead researcher, Dr Hayley Lewthwaite (hayley.lewthwaite@newcastle.edu.au), if you have any questions about
the online surveys.

TBPod

The TBPod are podcasts designed for clinicians and policymakers with an interest tuberculosis. These podcasts consist of conversations with expert clinicians, researchers, policy makers and advocates about their work in the field of tuberculosis. The TBPod is prepared by ACTnet and the TB Forum and can be found on ITunes, Spotify, and the ACTnet Website.

tb pod logo

 

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 TSANZOffice@thoracic.org.au.

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 TSANZOffice@thoracic.org.au.

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 TSANZOffice@thoracic.org.au. 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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