Initial focus: respiratory diseases
Respiratory diseases linked to inflammation are among the leading causes of all deaths worldwide. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), lower respiratory infections and lung cancer make up three of the ten leading causes of death globally.
More than 1 billion people suffer from either acute or chronic respiratory conditions. Asthma is also a massive cause of illness affecting 1 in 10 Australians. Currently the SARS-CoV-2 is causing a huge global pandemic infecting millions of people and many tens of thousands of deaths.
Professor Phil Hansbro, one of the world’s leading respiratory researchers, has been appointed to lead the newly established Centenary UTS Centre for Inflammation. He and his team have over 20 years of experience exploring how the immune system, and in particular the inflammatory process, contribute to progression of chronic respiratory diseases.
Initially, Prof Hansbro and his team are focussing on COPD (the third most common cause of death in the world), severe asthma and now COVID-19. In these diseases chronic or excessive inflammation results in tissue damage and current therapies are ineffective. As the Centre expands, activity in other disease areas will also be brought into the program, including lung cancer and cystic fibrosis, then non-respiratory diseases.
Delivering for our community
The work of the Centenary UTS Centre for Inflammation will transform our understanding of how respiratory diseases occur, providing new targets for investigation and offering up exciting new possibilities for treatments and cures that will positively impact lives. By understanding the role of inflammation and the immune system in respiratory disease we will be closer to unlocking the drivers of other disease areas too, where inflammation also plays a leading or significant role.
Professor Philip Hansbro
Professor Phil Hansbro is an internationally recognised research leader in the study of respiratory diseases, such as asthma, chronic obstructive airway disease (COPD, aka emphysema) and infections and is developing interests in lung cancer. His work is substantially contributing to understanding the pathogenesis and developing new therapies for these diseases.
His work has made internationally important contributions and led to the identification of novel avenues for therapy that are under further study. This is achieved through the development of novel mouse models that recapitulate the hallmark features of human disease, including infections, asthma and COPD and now lung cancer. He employs these models in integrated approaches (infection, immunity and physiology with particular expertise in lung function analysis) to understand human diseases, and develop new treatment strategies. Research outcomes have a translational goal and his studies are conducted in parallel with collaborative human studies with clinical researchers.