Professor Joerg Mattes

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2014 Project Grant
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2009 Project Grant
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2006 Project Grant

What are your research interests?

I am the Professor of Paediatrics at the University of Newcastle and a Senior Staff Specialist in Paediatric Respiratory Medicine and Sleep Medicine at the John Hunter Children’s Hospital. I am director of the Priority Research Centre GrowUpWell™ at the University of Newcastle in partnership with HMRI and Kaleidoscope. Our vision is to see an Australia where children grow up healthy, safe and well.

  • Bronchiolitis is a virus infection of the small airways and the most common cause of hospital admissions in babies. It is a strong risk factor for the development of asthma in infants with asthmatic parents. We have identified the world-first prevention for bronchiolitis in infants born to mothers with asthma.  
  • Asthma is the most common chronic disease in childhood and can be dangerous if uncontrolled. We have identified the factors that drive the inflammation that underpins the development of asthma symptoms and work on the development of drugs that target those factors.
  • Food allergy is an increasing problem and there is no cure available. It is important to know how severe the allergy is because anaphylaxis can occur. We have identified a blood marker for peanut anaphylaxis, which we are currently validating in a large clinical study.
  • Eosinophilic oesophagitis is an inflammatory condition of the gullet. Our research searches for the key factors which are activated in eosinophilic oesophagitis and modulates them to find better treatments.
  • Non-coding RNA molecules are involved in controlling how our genetic information is used to produce proteins which sustain the function of our body cells. We were the first to prove that inhibiting some of these molecules can be inhibited in the lung to ameliorate allergy and inflammation in the lung. 

What would be the ultimate goal for your research?

We have seen enormous advances in knowledge how diseases develop and progress. The challenge is now however to develop those discoveries into benefits that really matter to children. This is exactly what we at HMRI work on very successfully in collaboration with our community.
 

Brief Profile

Professor Joerg Mattes is the Chair of Paediatrics and Child Health at the University of Newcastle, course coordinator for the Women, Children and Adolescent course in the Joint Medical program (MD) at the University of Newcastle and Clinical Director of the Paediatric Lung Function Service in the Northern NSW Child Health Network (Kaleidoscope).

Professor Mattes’ research looks at understanding how asthma, allergies and respiratory infections develop and how to prevent them from occurring in early life. As a trained clinician and basic science and clinical researcher, Professor Mattes believes that excellence in research and education promotes self-improving health care.

Professor Mattes was trained as a physician at the University Children's Hospital in Freiburg, Germany, from 1996 to 2005 which included a Research Fellowship at the John Curtin School of Medical Research, Australian National University Canberra from 1999 to 2001. In 2005, Professor Mattes earned a premier Research higher Degree doctorate qualification in Germany in Paediatric Immunology and Respiratory medicine and shortly after settled in Newcastle working as a Consultant in Paediatric Respiratory and Sleep Medicine across the entire Northern NSW Child Health Network but based at the John Hunter Children’s Hospital. 

Professor Mattes has published more than 100 peer-reviewed research articles in top ranking journals and has brought in over $10 million in grant funding in the past 10 years. Using state-of-the-art experimental disease models, advanced laboratory and molecular techniques as well as infant and preschooler lung function testing, Professor Mattes is at the cutting edge of research into asthma during pregnancy and early life, allergies including peanut allergies in children and genetic susceptibility and regulation of infection and inflammation in the airways. 

Specialised/ Technical Skills

  • Paediatric respiratory specialist
  • Clinical trials 
  • Clinical research
  • Asthma research
  • Peanut allergy markers
  • Eosinophilic oesophagitis
  • Tissue culture
  • Experimental models
  • miRNA
  • miRNA arrays
  • siRNA
  • PBMC culture
  • Lung function testing
  • Warm flow oxygen
  • Diagnostics

Affiliations

2017

Understanding how diet modulates the gut microbiome in asthmatic children
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Description:

The burden of asthma in children is unacceptably high. Asthma is the most common chronic childhood disease, affecting more than 10% of Australian children. Inhaled steroids are the most effective therapy for controlling asthma day to day, however, they do not prevent many acute attacks of asthma and many patients and carers are concerned about unwanted side effects, which reduces adherence to prescribed medications. Therefore, alternative strategies for managing asthma in children are urgently needed.

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2016

The role of microbiome development in the early origins of asthma in a high risk population
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Description:

Children born to mothers with asthma are three times more likely to develop asthma themselves than those with asthmatic fathers, which suggests that a risk factor extends beyond genetics. There is emerging evidence that bacteria in the infant’s gut can impact immune function and contribute to the types of immune responses that are seen in asthma.

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Brand new assay for prediction of anaphylaxis risk
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Description:

Food allergies cause an enormous health burden to our community and peanut allergy is the most severe and persistent food allergy.

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2015

A novel peanut allergy biomarker to predict anaphalaxis risk
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Description:

Year 1 - $16,050
Year 2 - $10,700
Total - $26,750

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Viral infections in the BLT cohort in the first year of life
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Improving diet quality to reduce risk of asthma attacks in children
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Description:

Asthma is the most common chronic childhood disease, affecting 10% of Australian children.

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Lung-function in early life for children at high asthma risk
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Description:

Currently infants from the BLT cohort will be followed-up at birth, 6 weeks of age and 12 months of age.

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2014

Improving diet quality to reduce risk of asthma attacks in children
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Description:

Asthma is the most chronic childhood disease affecting  10% of children.

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2013

High-flow Nasal-prong Warm Humidified Oxygen Pilot Randomised Control Trial for infants aged ≤ 24 months with moderate bronchiolitis
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Description:

Bronchiolitis is a very common life-threatening virus infection of the terminal airways affecting infants only.

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Inflammometry-based management of asthma in pregnancy for the prevention of preterm birth: the iMAP study
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Researchers:
Description:

Clinical trial renamed to "The Breathing for Life Trial (BLT): A randomised trial of fractional exhaled nitric oxide based management of asthma during pregnancy and its impact on perinatal outcomes and infant and childhood respiratory health."

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Effect of better asthma management in pregnancy on antiviral responses, atopy and airways inflammation in early childhood
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Description:

Asthma affects up to 10% of Australians and is the most common chronic disease complication during pregnancy. 

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Molecular and cellular characterisation of TLR7 signalling in rhinovirus-induced asthma exacerbation
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Description:

One third of the total annual asthma-related health care expenditures may be attributable to asthma related hospitalisations. 

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2011

Development of novel therapeutic approaches for rhinovirus-induced asthma exacerbation
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Novel molecular markers in children with eosinophilic oesophagitis association with symptoms, oesophageal function and treatment response and role in disease pathogenesis
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The Growing into Asthma Study: Wheezing prevalance and markers of airways inflammation in preschoolers born to mothers in asthma exacerbations in pregnancy
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Researchers:

Professor Joerg MattesProfessor Peter Gibson, Professor M.Hensley, Associate Professor B.Whitehead, Dr Vanessa Murphy

2009

A study of obesity and inflammation in children with asthma
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Description:

Asthma prevelance has increased in many western countries over recent decades. Currently, 1 in 6 children in Australia are affected by the disease. Over this time, obesity rates have also increased, and obesity now effects around 10% of Australian children.

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Growing into Asthma - a birth cohort to investigate the prenatal and developmental origins of asthma
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2006

Role of TRAIL on development of atopic dermatitis and T helper type 2 immunity
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