Respiratory Immunology

The Respiratory Immunology Laboratory focuses on identifying pathogenic pathways that underpin the onset, progression, and exacerbations of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. To achieve this, high-fidelity preclinical models of disease are developed that recapitulate key gene-environment interactions and allow for elucidation of cellular and molecular mechanisms. Where possible, scientific findings are translated with ex vivo model systems using primary human cells and by analysing clinical material.


    • insights into the influence of maternal diet on the severity of infant RSV bronchiolitis
    • regulation of HMGB1 and IL-33 release
    • microbiota and immune cell development in early life
    • eicosanoids and viral exacerbations of COPD


  • Asthma
  • Viral Bronchiolitis
  • Pneumonia
  • COPD


  • Alec Bissell, Research Assistant
  • Dr Bodie Curren, Research Assistant
  • Daniel Howard, Student
  • Dr Herlina Handoko, Senior Research Officer
  • Dr Ismail Sebina, Research Officer
  • Muhammed Rahman, Student 
  • Ridwan Rashid, Student
  • Samadhi Ellepola, Student 
  • Sylvia Ngo, Scientific Technical Officer
  • Tufael Ahmed, Student 

External Collaborators

  • Dr Paul Dennis, The University of Queensland
  • Dr Anne Chang, Menzies Institute
  • Dr Michael Binks, Menzies Institute
  • Dr Paraic O’Cuiv, The University of Queensland
  • Dr Sumaira Hasnain, Mater UQ
  • Dr Lucy Burr, Mater UQ
  • Dr Kirsten Spann, QUT
  • Dr Catherine
  • Dr Henry McSorley, The University of Edinburgh
  • Dr Mark Everard, University of Western Australia
  • The National Health and Medical Research Council
  • Nestlé


Understanding the mechanisms by which the assembling neonatal microbiome promotes neonatal immune development

This project is suitable for a Master, Honour or PhD student. BACKGROUND The microbiome is known to affect immune development. For example, germ-free mice have fewer Peyer’s patches in the gut wall, suggesting that the gut microbiome regulates the formation of this lymphoid tissue. Other studies have shown that germ-free mice have fewer natural killer […]

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Insights into the influence of a maternal high-fat diet on infant susceptibility to severe lower respiratory tract infections

This project is suitable for a Master, Honour or PhD student. BACKGROUND Viral bronchiolitis is an infection of the small airways (bronchioles) characterised by the infiltration of neutrophils, oedema, and shedding of the epithelial cells that line the airway. A recent population study found that the offspring of mothers who ate a poor diet in […]

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