A taster of TSANZSRS16

Wednesday, 16 Mar 2016


In almost two weeks over 1,000 delegates will convene in Perth for this year’s TSANZSRS annual congress. With a speaker line up guaranteed to draw a crowd we’ve caught up with conference convener Dr Jane Bourke to get a little taster of the highlights and sessions not to miss.

Early life and lung health

The major theme of this year’s congress is early life influences on lifelong lung health. It’s certainly a theme that’s reflected in the impressive line up of 12 international speakers secured by the TSANZ organising committee.

One of the speakers is James E. Gern MD a Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health in Madison.

Taking to the stage right after the conference opening plenary on Saturday (13:00 to 15:00) he will talk about his work identifying the childhood viruses that predispose children to developing asthma and how they can be potentially targeted with vaccines.

You may want to toss a coin with your colleagues on this session, however, as there’s a concurrent session taking place on the pattern of lung function from childhood to adult life.

Fernando Martinez from the Arizona Respiratory Center in the US will talk about the impact of asthma, Colin Robertson from the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne will address the impact of premature birth, and local Stephen Stick will give his view on the impact of cystic fibrosis on lung health.

Breakfast with the editors

On Sunday morning delegates can acquire some top tips on getting work published from leading respiratory journal editors Fernando Martinez (Deputy Editor of The American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine) and Peter Eastwood (Editor-in-Chief of the Respirology).

Judging by last year’s packed session with journal editors you will need to book this ticketed event soon.

A growing interest in pulmonary intervention

 Over the last few years interventional pulmonology has become a recurring theme in TSANZ annual meetings.

“Interventional pulmonology used to be a small special interest group with only a few abstracts and maybe only one session but it’s really expanded over the time I’ve been involved in the meeting,” Dr Bourke told the limbic in a pre-conference interview.

In an exciting session (time to be confirmed) Dr Charlie Strange from the Medical University of South Caroline will present his findings from the RENEW study investigating bronchoscopic lung volume reduction with endobronchial coils.

This is the first time the research has been presented to the Australian respiratory community.

Consumers in research: not ‘Why should I’ but ‘Why I should’

At 8:30am on Monday this session will highlight the importance of consumer awareness and participation in research, a topic close to TSANZ’s heart for many years.

“The TSANZ have been interested in highlighting the lack of funding for respiratory research given its impact on health in Australia…this is another particular take on it and addresses how we increase people’s awareness of research and their involvement in it” Dr Bourke says.

Wunderful Wunderley

 Another not to miss session is of course this year’s Wunderly oration that will be delivered by Professor Patrick Holt from the Telethon Kid’s Institute in Perth (Monday at 13:00). Professor Holt set up the division of cell biology at the Institute and his work focuses on the paediatric immune system and asthma and allergies.

Women in Respiratory Science and Medicine  

 With the support of Asthma Australia Susan Gunst a Professor of Cellular and Integrative Physiology at the Indiana University School of Medicine will be attending this year’s congress.

As well as leading this breakfast session on Monday  (*ticketed event) she will be talking to delegates during a session on Sunday on targeting airway stiffness to treat asthma (15:30-17:00 pm).

Shaken not stirred

This year’s conference also provides many opportunities to let your hair down and get social with your colleagues. A good start is the welcome reception on Saturday (18:00) followed by the James Bond themed gala dinner on Tuesday evening.

For a glance at the full conference program click here. 

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