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WA Medical and Scientific Advisory Committee

Members of the Asthma WA's MASAC are drawn from the Western Australian scientific and medical sector of our community and are each highly regarded in their fields of expertise. The MASAC members are designated to serve in an honorary capacity and therefore receive no fees for their services on the Committee.

The overall role of the Asthma Foundation's MASAC is to scientifically review applications for asthma research funding including taking into account the views of expert external assessors and reviewers. The MASAC provides advice and recommendations to the Board for funding approval.

Professor Graham Hall | Telethon Kids Institute
Chairman
G HALL Professor Graham Hall is Head of Paediatric Respiratory Physiology at the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research and specialises in researching the impact of lung disease on how the lungs grow. His research involves improving our ability to diagnose and manage asthma and other lung diseases in infants and young children. Graham is also the Senior Respiratory Scientist in Charge of Respiratory Medicine at Princess Margaret Hospital. He has Professional Memberships with the Thoracic Society of Australia & New Zealand, the Australian Society of Medical Research, Asia Pacific Society of Respirology, the Australian and New Zealand Society of Respiratory Science and the European Respiratory Society. Graham was appointed Chairman of MASAC in January 2013.
   
Professor Peter Henry | The University of Western Australia
P HENRY Professor Henry is a graduate of UWA, completing a double major in Biochemistry and Pharmacology (Honours), and a PhD in Pharmacology. Following a rewarding 3-year post-doctoral period at the University of Melbourne, he returned to UWA to join the Respiratory Pharmacology group headed by Professor Roy Goldie. He was awarded an NHMRC RD Wright Fellowship for New Investigators, and then appointed to the NHMRC Fellowships Scheme as a Research Fellow. In 2001, Peter was appointed to an academic teaching and research position within the Pharmacology and Anaesthesiology Unit at UWA. Professor Henry has spent over 20 years investigating novel pathways that protect the lungs from the injurious effects of airborne allergens, respiratory tract viruses, bacterial products and environmental toxins. These studies have typically involved collaborations with scientists from international pharmaceutical companies and academic institutions, and have been extensively funded by the NHMRC. Recently, Professor Henry’s research team has been particularly interested in understanding the role of protease-activated receptors and their signalling pathways in the airways during both health and disease. His research group currently consists of Ms Tracy Mann (Research Associate), Mr Terence Peters (PhD student), Mr Samuel Taylor and Mr Ferrer Ong (Honours students). Professor Henry has received several Excellence in Postgraduate Teaching nominations (UWA), and two of his PhD students have been awarded passes with distinction. His current academic responsibilities include being Unit coordinator for Systems Pharmacology PHAR3301, and he has been the Head of the Pharmacology and Anaesthesiology Unit. He has also previously held the position of Head of Teaching and Learning Committee for the discipline of Pharmacology (UWA) and coordinator for the Honours in Pharmacology program.

Professor Mark Everard | The University of Western Australia
M EVERARD Mark Everard has recently moved to Perth to take up the above post having previously been Head of Paediatric Respiratory Medicine at the Sheffield Children’s Hospital, UK. He has an international reputation in aerosol research having undertaken the full range of studies form bench top testing of novel devices through gamma scintigraphic, pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic studies to the impact of patient behaviour on clinical outcomes when using inhaled medication. He has a particular interest in ‘difficult asthma’ highlighting the significant level of mis-diagnosis and inappropriate therapy. Most recently he has been supervising a physiotherapist undertaking a PhD in the areas of dysfunctional breathing, a doctor undertaking a PhD addressing bacterial bronchitis and a doctor undertaking a PhD addressing the area of adherence and clinical outcomes in asthma. In addition to running academic research groups and has served on European & N American committees developing guidelines for asthma and for the use of inhalers. He has also contributed to the European WHO report on air pollution and health effects. His experience in utilising most techniques applicable to aerosol research together with an in depth understanding of patient behaviour permits him to contribute to help place developments in therapeutic drug delivery in a ‘real world’ context. Non-asthma research areas include bacterial bronchitis, acute bronchiolitis, RSV and viral induced disease.
   
Associate Professor Anthony Kicic | Telethon Kids Institute

A KICIC

A/Prof Kicic completed his undergraduate and doctorate degrees at the University of Western Australia, specialising in Molecular Biology and Cell Biology. He has continued along this theme and his current research interests centre around tissue engineering and cell biology, particularly focusing on the identifying how the cells in the body repair, including stem cells. Since 2004, he has been at the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research and has focused his research efforts on the role of the airway epithelium in asthma. Specifically, his group has made a number of discoveries including; (i) that epithelial cells from young children with asthma display inherent biochemical and functional differences compared to similar cells from non-asthmatic children, (ii) that these differences are maintained in vitro both in undifferentiated and differentiated culture models and most significantly, (iii) that asthmatic epithelial cells exhibit dysregulated responses to injury and that this appears to be an innate feature of these cells. Being continually and successfully funded from numerous sources including: NHMRC, Asthma Australia, Asthma Foundation WA, PMH Foundation, BrightSpark Foundation, Raine Foundation, his work contributes towards a fundamental shift in the approach to asthma, specifically, from one that focuses on the responses to injury to one addressing prevention of injury, restitution of normal repair and maintenance of epithelial integrity.
   
Professor Deirdre Coombe | Curtin University
D COOMBE

Deirdre Coombe is a Professor in Biomedical Sciences at Curtin University. Biomedical research on cell interactions with the extracellular matrix (ECM) and the structure and function of a class of carbohydrates (glycosaminoglycans) which are found in ECMs and on cell surfaces, has been the focus of her research for over 25 years. Her interests have been in cancer cell migration through matrix and how matrix molecules regulate cell differentiation. As well as these research topics her focus over the last 10 or so years has been development of potential carbohydrate-like therapeutics for the respiratory diseases of asthma, allergic rhinitis and COPD. Non-respiratory applications like osteoarthritis may also benefit from drugs of this class. Her work in this area has led to a number of patents which have been granted in USA, Europe and China as well as locally in Australia and New Zealand. In 2006 she co-founded Glycan Biosciences Pty Ltd., which was spun-out of this research as the commercialisation vehicle for these potential drugs. This company is now Glycan Biosciences LLC and is based in Philadelphia, USA. She received her BSc Hons (1st Class) andPhD from Adelaide University and has held research positions at the John Curtin School for Medical Research, Australian National University (Canberra), National Institute for Medical Research (London), Imperial Cancer Research Fund Laboratories (London, now Cancer Research),Department of Biochemistry and Sir William Dunn School of Pathology, Oxford University (Oxford, UK) and Institute for Child Health (Perth)before joining Curtin in 2000. She is on the Editorial boards of the journals: Frontiers of Immunology, and Clinical Medicine Insights: Therapeutics. In 2015 she became an adjunct Professor at University of Western Australia.

   
Dr Li Ping Chung | Fiona Stanley Hospital
L CHUNG

Dr Chung is a respiratory physician with specific interests in severe airways disease including asthma, COPD and non-CF bronchiectasis. In addition to her role as clinical lead for airways disease at Fiona Stanley Hospital, she is also currently involved with the novel development and expansion of community respiratory service from Silver Chain for patients with chronic lung disease especially COPD. Dr Chung would like to be involved with clinical and translational research aimed at improving patient outcomes for those with airways disease and also looks at strategies to better support these patients in the community or a non-tertiary setting. She is happy to involved as a collaborator for scientific research aimed at better understanding of disease pathophysiology.

   
Associate Professor Svetlana Baltic | Institute for Respiratory Health
S BALTIC

 

 

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