Professor Philip Hansbro

Prof Philip Hansbro
Project Grant
2018 Project Grant
Travel Grant
2017 Travel Grant
Project Grant
2017 Project Grant
Project Grant
2016 Project Grant
Project Grant
2015 Project Grant
Scholarship
2015 Scholarship
Project Grant
2015 Project Grant
Project Grant
2014 Project Grant
Project Grant
2014 Project Grant
Project Grant
2014 Project Grant
HMRI Award for Research Excellence
2013 HMRI Award for Research Excellence
Project Grant
2013 Project Grant
Project Grant
2011 Project Grant
Project Grant
2011 Project Grant
Scholarship
2011 Scholarship
Project Grant
2010 Project Grant
Project Grant
2007 Project Grant
Project Grant
2007 Project Grant
Project Grant
2005 Project Grant
Project Grant
2003 Project Grant
Project Grant
2002 Project Grant

What are your research interests?

My focus is on understanding the pathogenesis of respiratory diseases likes asthma, COPD, infections and lung cancer, using laboratory models to identify new avenues of therapy. As a microbiologist and immunologist I’m investigating the role of inflammatory features and immune cells involved in the disease process.

Why did you get into research?

I began my research career in organic chemistry at the University of Leeds, principally to investigate intracellular signalling pathways relevant to cancer. I then headed to Australia to undertake post-doctoral studies into protein biochemistry, which involved elements of microbiology and molecular biology that widened my research fields and goals. In 1997 I started to design and test new vaccines against infection with the bacteria Streptococcus pneumonia, piquing my interest in airway inflammation.

What would be the ultimate goal for your research?

New treatments for asthma, COPD, infections and lung cancer are urgently needed. We’re currently conducting an extensive series of studies of each of these diseases.

Our aim is to identify how they develop and progress. This will enable us to identify new therapeutic targets and develop new therapies for these important diseases. We can then test potential new therapies in human samples.

Some of the areas that we are investigating are microbiomes and diets, epigenetics, genomics, mast cells, innate lymphoid cells, macrophages, cytokine/chemokines, microRNAs, etc.

Biography

In the race to develop urgently needed treatments for airway inflammation disorders such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), infections and lung cancer, Professor Phil Hansbro is leading the way.

Where previously it took six months to evaluate the effects of tobacco smoke – a major cause of COPD – Professor Hansbro’s lab team has reduced the period to just eight weeks. This international breakthrough fostered a paradigm-shifting collaboration with Harvard Medical School.

Professor Hansbro has been working in the Hunter since 1999, making outstanding contributions to medical research at a local, national and international level. The primary aim of his research is to use laboratory modelling and cell biology to identify new therapeutic targets.

By modelling key pathogenic events, his key achievements include:

  • Determining that early-life exposure to chlamydia infection induces severe asthma-like disease;
  • Showing that Streptococcus pneumoniae exposure is protective against phenotypic expression of asthma … he is proceeding towards clinical trials for a potential therapy; 
  • Discovering a novel role for mast cells in smoke-induced COPD that opens new therapeutic possibilities;
  • Identifying novel immune factors involved in protection against influenza;
  • Exploring a novel factor involved in protection against Chlamydia STDs that could be used as preventions/treatments; 
  • Discovering new lineages of avian influenza unique to Australia, influencing Government decision-making as part of the National Avian Influenza surveillance program.  

Professor Hansbro’s outstanding publications record includes 95 journal articles in the past five years. The majority of these are in high impact journals; more than half are as first or senior author. 

His work is cited more than 400 times per year. He also presents regularly at leading international respiratory meetings, while convening the annual Newcastle Asthma Meeting that he founded in 2005.

Professor Hansbro holds and NHMRC Principal Research Fellowship and is the Chair Of Microbiology in the School of Biomedical Sciences & Pharmacy at the University of Newcastle and is leader of the Microbiology Asthma and Airways research group in HMRI’s VIVA program. 

He is also the Associate Director of the Priority Research Centre for Asthma and Respiratory Disease, which draws together around 100 researchers from clinical and biomedical fields at the University of Newcastle and Hunter New England Health. 

Professor Hansbro has built his team up from just himself in 1999 to 30 researchers in 2016, with 15 PhD students under his supervision. 

Affiliations

2018

Investigating the role of microbiomes in COPD
Project Grant
Researchers:
Description:

Smoking leads to lung inflammation that causes emphysema - a major health problem in Australia. Emphysema progressively declines even if smoking stops and there are no treatments. Recently changes in gut microbes have been linked to inducing or protecting against inflammation in the gut and lung. Thus we may be able to control inflammation by modifying these gut microbiomes. We may be able to ingest specific microbes or use specific antibiotics or other factors as new treatments for emphysema.

more

2017

Investigating the role of microbiomes in COPD
Project Grant
Researchers:
Description:

Smoking leads to lung inflammation that causes emphysema - a major health problem in Australia. Emphysema progressively declines even if smoking stops and there are no treatments. Recently changes in gut microbes have been linked to inducing or protecting against inflammation in the gut and lung. Thus we may be able to control inflammation by modifying these gut microbiomes. We may be able to ingest specific microbes or use specific antibiotics or other factors as new treatments for emphysema.

more
Jennie Thomas Medical Research Travel Grant
Travel Grant
Researchers:

 David Skerrett-Byrne, Prof Phil Hansbro, Dr Matt Dun

2016

Investigating the role of microbiomes in COPD
Project Grant
Researchers:
Description:

Smoking leads to lung inflammation that causes emphysema - a major health problem in Australia. Emphysema progressively declines even if smoking stops and there are no treatments.

more

2015

Greaves Family Postgraduate Scholarship in Medical Research
Scholarship
Researchers:

Mr James Pinkerton, Jay Horvat, Phil Hansbro
 

Description:

The Greaves Family Postgraduate Scholarship in Medical Research will allow James Pinkerton to complete his PhD studies to understand the mechanisms that underpin steroid-resistant asthma.

more
Understanding how lung infections in childhood promote the development of chronic lung diseases in later life
Project Grant
Researchers:
Description:

Early-life lung infections, caused by respiratory bacteria and viruses, lead to permanent alterations in lung structure and function that predispose children to the development of chronic lung diseases such as asthma and emphysema in later-life.

more
Investigating the role of microbiomes in COPD
Project Grant
Description:

Smoking leads to lung inflammation that causes emphysema - a major health problem in Australia.

more

2014

Investigation of the progression of Alzheimer’s Disease: Identification of potential drivers of disease
Project Grant
Researchers:

Dr Jay Horvat, Liz Milward, Philip Hansbro 

Description:

Our research group is investigating the link between smoking and infection in disease progression in an experimental model of Alzheimer’s disease.

more
Mast cell proteases as therapeutic targets for stroke
Project Grant
Researchers:

Dr Michael Fricker, Professor Phil Hansbro, Dr Rohan Walker 

Investigating the role of microbiomes in COPD
Project Grant
Description:

Smoking leads to lung inflammation that causes emphysema - a major health problem in Australia. Emphysema progressively declines even if smoking stops and there are no treatments.

more

2013

Award for Research Excellence - Phil Hansbro
HMRI Award for Research Excellence
Protecting Pregnant Women from Death during influenza epidemics
Project Grant
Description:

Pregnant women are much more susceptible to viral infections.

more

2011

Mechanisms of predisposition to secondary bacterial pneumonia - Greaves Family Research Higher Degree Support Grant
Scholarship
Researchers:

 Alexandra Brown, Professor Philip Hansbro, Dr Simon Keely, Dr Jay Horvat
 

COPD-induced systemic inflammation activates mast cell specific tryptases which lead to cardiovascular disease - Radford Bequest Cardiovascular Research Project Grant
Project Grant
Researchers:

Professor Philip Hansbro, Dr AG Jarnicki
 

Elucidating the mechanisms of steroid-resistant asthma.
Project Grant
Researchers:

Dr Jay Horvat, Professor Phil Hansbro
 

2010

Antioxidant therapies for suppressing infection-induced asthma in children
Project Grant
Researchers:

Dr Jay Horvat, Lisa Wood, Philip Hansbro 

2007

Elucidation of the association between Haemophilus influenza infection & neutrophilic asthma
Project Grant
Researchers:

Dr Philip HansbroDr Jodie Simpson, Professor Paul Foster, Associate Professor Margaret Dunkley

Respiratory Viral infection induces pulmonary angiogenesis; implications for the development of asthma
Project Grant
Researchers:

Dr Nicole Hansbro, Dr Simon Phipps, Dr Phil Hansbro, Professor Paul Foster
 

2005

Chlamydia infection of dendritic cells drives the development of pro-asthmatic Th2 cells
Project Grant
Researchers:

Associate Professor Ken Beagley, Professor Paul Foster, Dr Phil Hansbro and Professor Peter Gibson
 

2003

Treatment of asthma by vaccination with bacterial antigens
Project Grant
Researchers:

Dr Philip HansbroAssociate Professor Peter Gibson, Associate Professor Ken Beagley

2002

The Role of the Immune System in Asthma
Project Grant
Researchers: