During most asthma attacks airway narrowing, viral infection and inflammation of the airway occur simultaneously. Previous work has focused on these three elements separately, however we will examine their interaction. Our early data suggest that during an asthma attack the body is unable to fight the virus which has triggered the attack and as a result, inflammation in the airway increases, so worsening the patients asthma and making airway narrowing more likely. We aim to break this vicious cycle and improve care for asthma attacks.
My research examines the causes and consequences of asthma attacks. As recent events in Melbourne have shown, severe attacks of asthma still kill in Australia and my aim is to understand what happens during these attacks, and treat them better. We will investigate how airway narrowing that happens during an asthma attack not only leads to worse asthma symptoms and in some circumstances death, but also has other effects.