- 17 May 2018
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Thursday 17 MAY 2018, 1.00 PM
Auditorium, Level 6, Bancroft Building
Can we prevent asthma by reducing the severity of viral bronchiolitis in infancy?
Associate Professor Simon Phipps,
QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute
Infants who develop severe viral bronchiolitis are at increased risk of developing childhood asthma. Increasing evidence suggests that this association is causal, and therefore limiting viral bronchiolitis may serve as a preventative strategy for asthma. We have developed a high-fidelity pre-clinical model that simulates the human epidemiology in order to interrogate the complex gene-environment interactions that underpin both diseases. These high-fidelity models have led to the elucidation of novel pathogenic mechanisms and the identification of new therapeutic targets. I will give an overview of our recently published findings, and present some of our unpublished data, to provide a flavour of the research directions in which the group is headed.
Associate Professor Simon Phipps undertook his PhD thesis at the National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London, under the supervision of Professor Barry Kay, before postdoctoral fellowships at the John Curtin School of Medical Research, Australian National University, and then the University of Newcastle. In 2010, he moved to the University of Queensland to set up an independent research laboratory focusing on respiratory mucosal immunity. After seven years in a res/teach position, he joined QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute to head the Respiratory Immunology group. His research program employs both in vivo and in vitro model systems that simulate important gene-environment interactions that underpin the association between severe viral bronchiolitis in infancy and the subsequent development of childhood asthma. Associate Professor Phipps is committed to the training of young biomedical scientists; he presently mentors two postdocs and four PhD students, and has overseen eight PhD completions in the past five years. He was recently awarded the Klosterfrau Award in recognition of his work in the field of pediatric pulmonology.