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2017 Australasian Asthma Conference



Conference registration of interest:

There is a perception in community and health professional circles, that asthma is no longer a significant health problem. Whilst the development of new medication and treatment regimens has produced significant reductions in asthma morbidity and mortality over the last 50 years, most asthma related deaths in Australia remain preventable. The 2017 Asthma Conference will bring together key national and international researchers, practitioners and policy makers to explore these issues. 

Register your interest for the 2017 Australasian Asthma Conference. 

Keynote speakers:

 Prof Adnan Custovic

Primary and Secondary Prevention of Asthma

Professor Adnan Custovic - Clinical Professor of Paediatric Allergy at Imperial College of London.

Prof Custovic’s professional training consisted of a Specialist training in Paediatrics (University Children’s Hospital Sarajevo, 1987-91) and successive appointments as Clinical Research Fellow and Specialist Registrar in Allergy (University Hospital of South Manchester, 1992-98). This period saw him awarded M.Sc. (1991), M.D. with Gold Medal (1996) and Ph.D. (2000). He was awarded prestigious National Asthma Campaign Senior Clinical Research Fellowship (2000-2005).  Dr Custovic was promoted to a position of Reader at the University of Manchester in 2000, which was followed by a professorship in 2002. He was a Professor of Allergy at the University of Manchester until September 2015, when he moved to Imperial College.

Prof Custovic has worked tirelessly to build the scientific basis of clinical allergy. His research has focused upon the origins and natural history of asthma and allergy across the life-course, with an emphasis on prevention and translation for patient benefit. His research findings are of great practical significance, and have informed and changed national and international guidelines on asthma prevention/management. His studies in food allergy substantially impacted clinical practice. His discovery that IgE-response to peanut allergen Ara h 2 is much more predictive of true peanut allergy than standard tests using whole allergen extract marked the start of the component-resolved diagnostics as the new gold standard in clinical practice.

His current research programme combines world-leading expertise in birth cohorts and statistical machine learning, and capitalises on the recent developments within the field of computer sciences to provide powerful new tools that are well suited to the challenge of integration of different scales of data (from molecular-level to population-level), and different levels of directness of measurement of factors.  To gain more from birth cohorts across the UK, he assembled a multidisciplinary MRC-funded STELAR consortium, which combines world-leading expertise in birth cohorts, statistical machine learning (Microsoft Research) and health informatics (Farr@HeRC). To facilitate the interdisciplinary dialogue and collaborative “Team science”, he led the development of Asthma e-Lab (a secure web-based research environment to support consistent recording, description and sharing of data, computational/statistical methods and emerging findings across the five birth cohorts). This effort enabled the discovery of latent subtypes of childhood asthma/allergies and developmental patterns of lung function, and helped identify phenotype-specific genetic risk factors and gene-environment correlations.

In 2015 Prof Custovic was awarded the highly competitive European Respiratory Society Gold Medal for research in asthma. In 2013 he received the BSACI William Frankland Medal for outstanding contributions to clinical allergy, and the CIPP President’s award for the distinguished achievements in childhood asthma. He delivered numerous prestigious keynote/named lectures, including Nemacolin Asthma Conference (2014), Alain De Weck Memorial Lecture (2013), Cas Motala Memorial Lecture (South African Allergy Society, 2013), James Hutchison's Memorial Lecture (Hong Kong Paediatric Society, 2012), the RSM Priscilla Piper Lecture (2011) and Caspar Weinberg Lecture (2007).

He has supervised 17 PhD/MD students to completion, was an Associate Editor of Thorax, and serves on 13 journal editorial boards.

Prof Peter Gibson 

Asthma and the COPD Overlap

Professor Peter Gibson - Hunter Medical Research Institute. 

Peter Gibson is a respiratory physician, clinical researcher and Co-Director of the HMRI Viruses, Infections/Immunity, Viruses and Asthma research program as well as Co-Director of the University of Newcastle’s Priority Research Centre (PRC) for Asthma and Respiratory Diseases.

He is also the current President of the Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand.

Throughout his career working at the clinical interface as a respiratory physician at the John Hunter Hospital, Professor Gibson has been able to inform his research into improving treatment regimens and management strategies for asthma and airway disease.

Professor Gibson and his team are working to improve the management of asthma in pregnancy to better diagnose and optimise the use of effective treatments in pregnant women who may be otherwise reluctant to treat their asthma during pregnancy. He is also working to develop an accurate blood test to diagnose asthma separately and distinctly from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). These are clinically difficult to distinguish and require very different treatments.

Another major aspect of Professor Gibson’s research is to develop a new treatment for non-eosinophilic asthma with macrolide antibiotics. Eosinophils are a form of white blood cells in the immune system which are thought to exacerbate respiratory inflammation when expressed in excess in conditions such as asthma. This five-year, $2.9 million study is trialing an antibiotic on approximately 400 people in four cities and is the biggest study into non-eosinophilic asthma in the world. It is funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council.

Professor Gibson has published more than 400 peer reviewed original research articles in high ranking journals and has presented at over 250 national and international conferences.

General Practitioner Masterclass: 15 October 2017

Prior to the 2017 Australasian Asthma Conference we will also be holding a Masterclass for General Practitioners. More information on this will be made available.  


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