We aim to uncover the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying chronic respiratory diseases such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM) and pulmonary fibrosis.
Judy Black founded the Respiratory Research Group, together with Carol Armour, in 1980. The primary focus of the group is cellular and molecular biology and pharmacology of asthma, fibroproliferative lung disease, lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). At the end of 2013 Judy and Carol stepped down as researcher leaders.
The RRG today
The groups main laboratories are based at the Woolcock Institute and the University of Technology Sydney, and is formed due to a collaboration between researchers based at the School of Life Sciences, and the Graduate School of Pharmacy, University of Technology Sydney, and School of Medical Sciences at The University of Sydney. It has had continuous support from the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia and The Asthma Foundation of New South Wales. The group constitutes the Respiratory Cell & Molecular Biology Group of the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research.
We provide projects for PhD, Masters and Honours students, as well as for Postdoctoral Fellows from both Australia and overseas, in addition to options for the Graduate Medical Program, the Combined Degree Program (MBBS/PhD) and the Master of Pharmacy (Clinical).
We grow cells from donated lung tissue to understand what goes wrong in chronic lung diseases such as asthma, LAM and smoking related lung diseases such as emphysema and COPD. We aim to discover new treatments and/or improve existing ones.
The group has established one of the largest collection facilities for human lung tissue in the world against a background of collaboration and goodwill from physicians, surgeons, pathologists and transplant coordinators. This ready availability of human lung tissue positions the group to address pivotal questions about the underlying pathophysiological events in chronic lung disease. In recent years the group has successfully cultured airway cells from biopsies from asthmatic volunteers.
We have research collaborations with groups in Newcastle, Australia and Perth Western Australia, London, UK, Groningham in the Netherlands, San Francisco, USA and Ferrara and Modena, Italy and ongoing joint research projects with Michael Roth from University Hospital, Basel, with exchange of cells, tissues and research personnel between our groups. In our studies on LAM we are collaborating with Professor Vera Krymskaya in Philadelphia, USA.