Professor Phil Hansbro
Director, Centre for Inflammation, Centenary Institute
Respiratory diseases are major clinical issues. Ten-12% of Australians have asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the third commonest cause of death in the world. There are no effective treatments for severe asthma or COPD. Asthma results from aberrant T cell responses to innocuous antigens and in Western countries cigarette smoking is the commonest cause of COPD. In both diseases chronic inflammation results in tissue damage leading to airway remodeling, mucus hypersecretion and fibrosis that combine to impair lung function. Alveolar destruction and emphysema also occur in COPD. Current therapies are ineffective alleviating some symptoms but do not reverse nor cure the disease. Lung cancer is the commonest cause of cancer related death, has the worst prognosis and is least researched and funded. Our approach is to develop the most representative animal models that we can of these diseases and interrogate them to identify new therapeutic targets and develop and test new potential therapies. We perform translational research in primary human cells and tissues ex vivo. We have a whole range of different projects in these diseases. I will discuss our models and strategies and a selection of example studies. I hope this will provide insights into what we do and give people ideas of how we might collaborate using our models and tissues or our expertise in different areas.
Professor Hansbro is the Director of the Centre for Inflammation, Centenary Institute and University of Technology Sydney. He is also an NHMRC Principal Research Fellow. He has established internationally recognised research programs in infections, COPD, asthma and recently lung cancer. His group has developed several novel mouse models of the important diseases (COPD, severe, steroid-insensitive asthma, early life infection & lung cancer). He has interrogated them (immune, histological, pathological, lung function & molecular analysis) to substantially further our understanding of pathogenesis and to develop novel therapies. He performs complimentary collaborative clinical and multi-disciplinary studies and collaborates widely. He publishes extensively in influential journals and he is regularly invited to present internationally including as plenary and to chair sessions. He has a substantial funding record of obtaining nationally competitive grants that support his group. He undertakes substantial mentoring and supervision activities of junior researchers, regularly sits on grant review panels and is on the editorial board of 4 journals. He is an active advocate for respiratory research in lobby groups and is regularly in the press promoting research and funding.
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