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Alison Hey-Cunningham +61 2 9515 6651    


Centre of Research Excellence in Pulmonary Fibrosis
Respiratory Medicine and Sleep Unit
Level 11, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital
Camperdown NSW 2050



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Dr Britt Clynick - Postdoctoral Fellow

Dr Clynick completed a Bachelor of Science with first class Honours in Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the University of Western Australia, where she continued on in the department to complete her PhD in 2018 in the field of Cancer Genomics. Currently, she works for the Institute of Respiratory Health at the Harry Perkins Research Institute in Perth, with a main research focus on interstitial lung disease, particularly in the molecular processes underlying idiopathic lung fibrosis. 

Dr Leona Dowman - Postdoctoral Fellow

Leona Dowman is a senior exercise physiologist in the pulmonary rehabilitation program at Austin Health in Melbourne. She recently completed her PhD in ‘Therapeutic interventions in interstitial lung disease. Exercise training and supplemental oxygen’ through the La Trobe University, Melbourne. For her PhD she led a multi‐site randomised controlled trial which defined the benefits of pulmonary rehabilitation for ILD across disease subgroups, published in 2017 in Thorax.

Leona Dowman is currently holds a postdoctoral position Monash University, under Prof Anne Holland. Her main role will be to develop and conduct the first randomised controlled trial, across 4 Australian centres, comparing the  clinical benefits of a high intensity interval training protocol to the standard continuous exercise training method used in pulmonary rehabilitation in people with fibrotic interstitial lung disease.

Dr Jade Jaffar - Postdoctoral Fellow

2018 recipient of the Lung Foundation Australia/Lizotte Family Research Award for Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) Research.

Dr. Jaffar established the Alfred Lung Fibrosis Biobank (ALF Bank) in collaboration with Prof. Glen Westall. Since 2015, the ALF Bank has functioned as a biorepository of clinical lung samples from patients with pulmonary fibrosis and donor lungs which are not suitable for use in transplantation. Dr. Jaffar runs the experimental laboratory arm of Prof. Westall's research platform, which involves pre-clinical drug development with a variety of academic and industry partners. Dr. Jaffar is a fellow of the American Thoracic Society and member of the CREATE Program Advisory Committee. 

Dr. Jaffar's career and research interests include: Interstitial lung disease; the extracellular matrix; pulmonary fibrosis and therapy/biomarker development.

Dr Mariana Hoffman Barbosa - Postdoctoral Fellow

Mariana is doctor in rehabilitation science from Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais and KULeuven. During the PhD she worked with inspiratory muscle training for patients with advanced lung diseases and on the waiting list for lung transplantation. She completed her master in Adapted Physical Activity fin KULeuven, Belgium and her post-graduation in Cardiorespiratory Rehabilitation in the Einstein Hospital in São Paulo. She is a respiratory physiotherapist and has been working providing pulmonary rehabilitation, in private practice, to patients with lung fibrosis and COPD.

She is  currently a research fellow at Monash University (postdoctoral position) under Prof Anne Holland. She is the clinical trial manager of the PFOX trial. The PFOX trial will investigate the effects of ambulatory oxygen therapy during exercise to patients with fibrotic interstitial lung disease across 4 Australian centres and 2 Swedish centres.

Dr Yet Khor Clinician & Postdoctoral Fellow

Dr Yet Hong Khor is a graduate of the University of Tasmania, who attained her Fellowship to the Royal Australasian College of Physicians in 2014. After completing her NHRMC-funded PhD at the University of Melbourne in 2019, she undertook a fellowship at the Centre for Heart Lung Innovation (University of British Columbia, Canada), supported by an Australian Endeavour ScholarshipCurrently, she is a post-doctoral fellow at the Institute for Breathing and Sleep and the Centre for Heart Lung Innovation, and a physician at the Austin and Alfred Health Interstitial Lung Disease Services. Her main research interests include risk prediction and disease burden management in interstitial lung disease. 

Dr Gang Liu - Postdoctoral Fellow

Dr Gang Liu obtained his PhD in Prof. Phil Hansbro's lab at Hunter Medical Research Institute and the University of Newcastle (UoN) in 2016. His PhD study is on extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins regulate tissue remodelling and fibrosis in lung disorders, in particular idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) using experimental in vivo and ex vivo models. He received Lung Foundation Australia/Lizotte Family Research Award for IPF 2016 on ECM in IPF study during his PhD. He did his first postdoctoral training at the same group on mast cells regulate inflammation and airway/lung remodelling in lung fibrosis. He then started his postdoctoral research fellow position from 2017-2019 on tissue remodelling during gut-lung axis at UoN.

Dr Liu started his lecturer position at UTS in late 2019 and recently joined in Centre for Inflammation at UTS/Centenary Institute as a postdoctoral research fellow to lead fibrosis research program. His current research is to understand the mechanism of ECM proteins regulate lung fibrosis and inflammation in IPF and identify novel therapeutic option to IPF.


Dr Ashleigh Philip

- Clinician and Postdoctoral Researcher

Dr. Philp is an Early Career Research Officer and the recent recipient of the Graham Painton Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship at St Vincent’s Clinical School, UNSW Medicine. Her research includes identifying novel therapeutic targets in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, and to improve lung allograft patient outcome and identify therapeutic strategies to prevent chronic lung allograft dysfunction. She gained her PhD in 2017 from the Centre of Inflammation and Ageing at the University of Birmingham, UK, examining the role of adipose secreted cytokines in driving the pathological changes in osteoarthritis. She has received expert training in inflammation research and how systemic changes in cellular stress lead to alterations in fibrosis, utilising proteomics, metabolomics and Next Generation sequencing.

Dr Jyotika Prasad - Clinician and Postdoctoral Researcher

Dr Jyotika Prasad is a Respiratory and Sleep physician at the Alfred and Royal Melbourne hospital who has now completed he doctoral studies through Monash University. Dr Prasad's research interests include physiology of disease progression in IPF and LAM as well as understanding and improving diagnostic processes for patients with interstitial lung disease.

Hayley Barnes

Dr Hayley Barnes - Clinician & PhD Student

Hayley Barnes completed her FRACP training in 2018 and is now working as a Respiratory and Sleep Physician. She is currently undertaking her PhD in Improving Clinical and Biological Approaches to Improving Diagnostic Confidence of Chronic Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis through the Alfred Hospital and the University of California, San Francisco. She has also completed degrees in Biomedical Science, Masters of Public Health, and has been working for the Cochrane Collaboration for over 10 years.

 She is passionate about good quality research for ILD, is an Editor of the Cochrane Pain and Palliative Care Review Group, and a tutor in statistics and epidemiology at Monash University. She is supported by an NHMRC scholarship and has previously received the LFA/Cochrane Airways Scholarship. 

Mr Kaj Blokland - PhD student

Kaj received his Bachelor of Applied Science in Biology and Medical laboratory research from Saxion University of Applied Science, Netherlands in 2013, during which he developed a strong interest in regenerative medicine. In 2013 he enrolled in the new jointly developed Master Programme “Regenerative Medicine & Technology” at the University of Utrecht and Technical University Eindhoven, Netherlands. The focus of his Master degree was on reinforcing biomaterials to regenerate articular cartilage and the prevention of epigenetic silencing of γ-retroviral vectors in stem cells.

In December 2016 Kaj started his Dual Degree PhD in the laboratory of Professor Darryl Knight at the University of Newcastle where his focus is on epithelial-fibroblast cross-talk in Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) to gain a deeper understanding of IPF pathology. After 2 years, in December 2018 Kaj commenced the final two years of his PhD in the laboratory of Dr. Janette Burgess at the University Medical Centre Groningen where he is rewarded with an Abel Tasman Talent Program Scholarship.

Dr Chris Brereton – Clinician and PhD student

Chris is currently a respiratory advanced trainee at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney. He has recently returned from a 3 year clinical research fellowship in Southampton, UK where he delivered clinical trials for novel treatments in interstitial lung disease. He is also undertaking a translational science-based PhD with the University of Southampton, investigating the causes and biomechanical effects of changes to collagen cross-linking in Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis. He aims to bridge the divide between translational research and clinical medicine in order to increase our understanding of the mechanisms driving pulmonary fibrosis and deliver better treatment options for patients

Dr Ingrid Cox - Clinician & PhD student

Ingrid is currently a PhD student at the Menzies Institute for Medical Research, University of Tasmania researching idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis in Australia. After completing her medical degree in Cuba, she worked as a physician at the national public hospital in St. Lucia for seven years after which she worked with the local Ministry of Health in public health and policy in the field of HIV. Ingrid has since then worked with regional governmental agencies in the Caribbean (Caribbean Public Health Agency and CARICOM Secretariat) in the area of public health policy and planning, taking a break in 2014 to complete a Master’s Degree in Health Economics and Policy at the University of Adelaide. Ingrid’s research during her PhD will focus on the epidemiological profile of IPF in Australia, quality of life of persons living with IPF and the economic burden with the aim of developing a disease simulation model to predict patient outcomes and evaluate the cost-effectiveness of interventions for IPF

Dr Jun Fukihara – Clinician & PhD student

Dr Jun Fukihara is currently studying at the University of Adelaide as a PhD student.

He completed a Bachelor of Medicine at Nagoya University (Aichi, Japan) in 2009 and has worked as a respiratory physician for 10 years at some Japanese hospitals. He started doctoral studies at Nagoya University in 2017 and came to Australia in January 2019 through the Joint-Degree Program between Nagoya University and the University of Adelaide.

He has a special interest in interstitial lung diseases. In addition to some clinical studies regarding ILDs (diagnosis and acute exacerbation of IPF, characteristics of drug induced lung disease, secondary PH, and so on) he has carried out in Japan, currently he is focusing on the effect of gene-modified cell therapy in pulmonary fibrosis. He will complete his PhD by the end of 2020.


Ms Archana Gaikwad - PhD Student

Archana Gaikwad is a PhD student at University of Tasmania, Launceston campus. Her doctoral research investigates role of endothelial to mesenchymal transition (EndoMT) in pulmonary hypertension and interstitial fibrosis in IPF. She had been awarded with Lung Foundation Australia/ David Wilson CREATE PhD scholarship in IPF research 2019. Before starting her doctorate, she comes with experience of over 10 years in global companies including GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis and Becton, Dickinson (BD) Medical. During her tenure, she was involved in the development of new affordable, point of care diagnostics for Tuberculosis and Immunoassays for Malaria, Dengue and Typhoid. She has worked with global organisation such as World Health Organization (WHO), FIND- TB organisation, Program for Appropriate Technology in Health (PATH) and regulatory agencies across the world.  She also has expertise in managing each aspects of the clinical trials ( Phase I- IV) for newly developed therapeutic treatments and diagnostics.  She holds a postgraduate certificate in clinical trial management from National University of Singapore and a master’s degree in microbiology from India.

Dr Laura Glenn – Clinician & PhD student 

Dr Laura Glenn is a final year Respiratory Medicine Advanced Trainee at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and is also commencing a PhD in 2020 within the RPA Interstitial Lung Diseases Unit. Her research will focus on the use of novel diagnostic tests in interstitial lung disease, investigating previously unidentified or poorly understood pathobiologic pathways and biomarkers in interstitial lung diseases such as IPF, which will have implications for diagnosis, prognostication and treatment of ILD. S he hopes that it will contribute to more easily accessible, accurate and safe diagnostic pathways for patients with ILD.

Her long term goal is to become a Respiratory Physician in a teaching hospital, contributing to education and clinical research with a particular focus on interstitial lung disease and bronchiectasis.

Ms Giulia Iacono - PhD Student

Giulia Iacono received her Bachelor of Science with first class Honours in Respiratory Immunology at Monash University in Melbourne in 2019, during which she developed a strong interest in the epithelial and immunological processes that underlie the development of pulmonary fibrosis. She is currently undertaking her PhD under the co-supervision of Professor Ben Marsland at the Central Clinical School, Monash University, and Professor Glen Westall, from the Alfred Hospital. Using a multidisciplinary approach, including bioinformatics on bronchoalveolar lavage from lung transplant patients, in vitro air-liquid interface mammalian cell cultures, and an in vivo mini bronchoscopy technique ina fibrosis mouse model, her research investigates the pulmonary microbiome during inflammation and fibrosis, with a focus on elucidating fundamental host-microbe interactions and metabolites underpinning respiratory health and disease.

Ms Joanna Lee – PhD student

Joanna is a researcher with translational research experience in various disciplines. In recent years, she has been working with Prof. Anne Holland and her team at Alfred Health in Melbourne. She has spent some time working on projects that mainly involve individuals living with pulmonary fibrosis and their caregivers. In 2020, she commenced a PhD at Monash University under Prof. Holland's supervision. Her project focuses on self management in pulmonary fibrosis.

Dr Adelle Jee - Clinician & PhD student

Recipient of the Lung Foundation Australia's David Wilson PhD Scholarship.

After completing her FRACP in Respiratory and Sleep Medicine in 2015, Dr Adelle Jee commenced her career in clinical research with a PhD at the University of Sydney and Royal Prince Alfred Hospital.

After completing her FRACP in Respiratory and Sleep Medicine in 2015, Adelle commenced her career in clinical research with a PhD at the University of Sydney and Royal Prince Alfred Hospital.

Dr Jee’s project has aimed to characterise patients who fit proposed criteria for "Idiopathic Pneumonia with Autoimmune Features" (IPAF) and investigate the role of traditional and novel diagnostic techniques for connective tissue disease associated interstitial lung disease (CTD-ILD).

Dr Jee’s motivation to pursue clinical research was shaped by her real-life experience and many unanswered questions faced when managing patients with ILD. Although her main research focus is on interstitial lung disease, particularly of an idiopathic and autoimmune aetiology, she also has interests in the clinical management of patients with general respiratory and sleep disorders. 

Dr Jee is the successful recipient of the Lung Foundation Australia David Wilson PhD scholarship in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and looks forward to the ongoing opportunity to collaborate with physicians and scientists across multiple disciplines and integrate her research findings with clinical practice.

Dr John Mackintosh - 

Clinician and PhD Student

Dr John Mackintosh (BSc, MBBS(Hons), FRACP) is a recently qualified Respiratory and Lung Transplant Physician at The Prince Charles Hospital, Brisbane. In 2018, John completed a clinical fellowship in interstitial lung disease at the prestigious Royal Brompton Hospital, London. John has developed a keen interest in familial pulmonary fibrosis and the genetics of interstitial lung disease. He is a strong advocate for patients with interstitial lung disease and is passionate about the multi-disciplinary approach to these patients. He has recently been part of a collaboration who were awarded funding through the Medical Research Future Fund to conduct a clinical trial of danazol in people with pulmonary fibrosis related to telomere shortening.

Dr Jennifer Mann - Clinician and PhD Student

Dr Jennifer Mann is a Respiratory and Sleep Physician with a special interest in symptom management in interstitial lung disease. Having attained her FRACP in early 2019, she undertook a 12-month clinical fellowship in interstitial lung disease at The Royal Brompton Hospital in London. Her undergraduate studies included a Bachelor of Pharmacy and Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery at the University of Queensland. She is commencing a PhD in 2020 on Cough in Interstitial Lung Disease with the Institute for Breathing and Sleep and the University of Melbourne.  

Ms Tylah Miles - PhD Student

Tylah was awarded 1st class Honours in pharmacology in 2017 for her research project investigating the role of B cells in the mouse model of bleomycin-induced lung fibrosis. In early 2018 she commenced a PhD at the University of Western Australia to continue her research with A/Prof Cecilia Prele. She is focusing on the role of the immune system in the pathogenesis of Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis.

Dr Matthew Parker - Clinician scientist

Dr Matthew Parker is a rheumatologist with a special interest in connective tissue and autoimmune diseases. He completed his FRACP in 2017 with a fellowship in Manchester, UK, funded by the Leanne Stafford Award, researching idiopathic inflammatory myopathies. He works at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and is a Clinical Lecturer at The University of Sydney.

He considers that an early accurate diagnosis of CTD-ILD is of paramount importance in delivering appropriate management and is planning to complete a PhD studying the pulmonary manifestations of connective-tissue diseases.

Ms Debra Sandford – Clinical Psychologist and PhD Student

Debra Sandford holds an affiliate appointment as a senior clinical psychologist research fellow at the Royal Adelaide Hospital and runs a private clinical psychology practice in the Ashford Specialist Centre. Debra returned to The University of Adelaide to undertake a PhD in the Disciplines of Psychiatry and Respiratory Medicine. Her research topic for her PhD investigates the psychological impact of IPF on the patient and their caregivers before and after a psychologically based 6-week group intervention. The aim of the intervention programme is to improve patient and caregiver perceptions on their health-related quality of life.

Debra’s motivation to research this topic and to develop a programme to increase psychological well-being, came about after an IPF patient referred to her private psychology clinic related the significant impact this disease had on his and his wife’s mental health. Currently, there are 3 hospitals, The Royal Adelaide Hospital in South Australia, The Austin and The Royal Melbourne Hospitals in Melbourne, Victoria involved with recruiting participants for this research.

Ms Claudia Sim - PhD Student

Claudia completed a BSc Honours degree with High Distinction on a silicosis-related project under the supervision of A/Prof Jane Bourke in the Respiratory Pharmacology Laboratory at Monash University. During her time there, she developed a research interest in pathophysiologies that underlie fibrotic lung diseases like silicosis, and potential treatments that may attenuate or reverse lung fibrosis. She worked as a research assistant for a year and commenced her PhD in the same laboratory in 2021, focused on identifying and characterising novel treatments for Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and silicosis. 

Dr Alan Teoh - Clinician & PhD student

Dr Alan Teoh is currently a 3rd year respiratory and sleep advanced trainee working at Westmead Hospital.

Dr Teoh completed his Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery at the University of Tasmania. He completed his BPT training at RPA hospital and continued his respiratory advanced training at Westmead Hospital. He has a special interest in interstitial lung diseases, particularly idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis which will be the focus of his PhD research in 2018.

Dr Hari Wimaleswaran – Clinician & PhD student 

Dr Hari Wimaleswaran is a Respiratory and Sleep Medicine Physician who currently works at Austin Health and Monash Health. He has a vast interest and experience, especially in the areas of pulmonary fibrosis, bronchoscopy and lung cancer. 

After undertaking his initial studies and work as a physiotherapist in Victoria, he undertook post-graduate medicine in Western Australia. He underwent his physician training at the Royal Melbourne Hospital and his Respiratory and Sleep Medicine training at Monash Health and Austin Health. 

He is conducting his PhD through the University of Melbourne, Institute for Breathing and Sleep and Austin Health in “biomarkers in silicosis disease” and potential treatment targets alongside supervisors Associate Professor Nicole Goh, Professor Christine McDonald and Dr Tracy Leong.

Dr Qiang Zheng

Dr Qiang Zheng completed his Master’s Degree of general surgery (including gastric cancer, colon cancer and rectal cancer) and received 3-year standardized training for surgical residents at the First Affiliated Hospital of Anhui Medical University. Then, he worked as an anesthetist for six months. Currently, he is undertaking his PhD at the Menzies Institute for Medical Research, University of Tasmania and he will focus on the epidemiology, health and economic burden of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis in Australia.