Asthma researchers shine in Thoracic Society awards

May 30 2014

Professor Peter Gibson

Professor Peter Gibson, co-leader of the HMRI VIVA (Viruses, Infections/Immunity, Vaccines and Asthma) Research Program has been elected incoming President of the prestigious Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand.

As the national professional body for health professionals working across the gamut of lung disorders, the role will involve the promotion of health care practices and improving the standards of practitioner training, along with funding for research.

“The society brings together scientists working at the basic mechanisms of the disease and clinicians who work with patients, helping to build the bridge between important laboratory discoveries and seeing how they pan out in terms of improving health,” Professor Gibson said.

Fellow HMRI respiratory researchers featured prominently among the recipients of major fellowships and international travel prizes awarded by the Thoracic Society at its recent scientific conference in Adelaide.

Among the winners were:

  • Hayley Scott – TSANZ/Astra Zeneca Asthma Research Fellowship
  • Katie Baines – TSANZ National Asthma Council Mid-Career Fellowship
  • Andrew Jarnicki – Lung Foundation of Australia/Boehringer Ingelhiem COPD Research Fellowship
  • Malcolm Starkey – International Travel Grant
  • Vanessa McDonald ­– International Travel Award
  • Lisa Wood – International Travel Award
  • Bronwyn Berthon and Rebecca Forbes – Young Investigator Finalists

Professor Gibson said it demonstrated HMRI’s standing of excellence within the national respiratory science community.

“The awards are competitively judged throughout Australia and New Zealand and it reflects the local talent and the fact that people want to come to the Hunter to train in research,” he said. “Asthma is so common in Australia that research is being undertaken in most of the major metropolitan institutes.”

HMRI is a partnership between the University of Newcastle, Hunter New England Health and the community.