Individual responses to influenza infection can determine the severity of disease even in otherwise healthy people. Associate Professor Ben Tang is leading highly innovative network analysis research that is revealing the role of neutrophils in influenza disease progression and mortality. His work has demonstrated that immune responses in people with moderate to severe influenza disease predominantly lead to neutrophil activation, and people with the most severe disease experience neutrophil-related inflammation, delayed apoptosis and oxygenation impairment. Real-time examination of neutrophil-related responses may be the key to early identification of patients at risk of life-threatening influenza virus infection.
Associate Professor Greg Fox is leading several large randomised control trials in tuberculosis (TB) prevention and treatment in partnership with Vietnamese research organisations and colleagues, which are reaping enormous benefits for the country and the Asia-Pacific region. For example, annual community-wide screening for TB is now being implemented in Vietnam on the basis of the ACT 3 (Active Case-Finding in TB) Trial. Investigations are now underway to determine the efficacy of a novel preventive therapy for multi-drug resistant TB (the VQUIN MDR Trial), universal testing and treatment of latent TB (the 2R-squared study), and mHealth interventions to improve treatment of patients with drug-resistant infections.
Professor Daniela Traini is leading highly translational NHMRC-funded projects in aerosolised delivery of treatments for lung disease. She recently received an Investigator Grant to investigate the use of repurposed drugs and adaptation for pulmonary delivery and treatment of respiratory disease. Daniela is a Professor in respiratory science at the Woolcock Institute.