Respiratory and Infectious Disease

respiratory and infectious disease banner

Our research into respiratory diseases is focused on improving asthma treatment and other lung diseases, and improving lung function and quality of life for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD); a chronic lung disease affecting one in seven Australians over the age of 40.

In our clinical focus, we cover a wide range of conditions such as allergic rhinitis, infections, and apnea and spans population groups such as children and the elderly.

Research strengths

  • Advanced formulation and drug delivery for lung health
  • Functionalized nanomaterials or biomedical applications
  • Clinical services and specific clinical interventions
  • Effective patient/health education
  • Self-management techniques.

Research highlights

  • The Advanced Drug Delivery Group, led by Professor Kim Chan, has developed novel aerosol formulations of repurposed therapeutic agents including colistin and bacteriophages, which allow effective inhaled antimicrobial treatment for respiratory infections caused by multi-drug resistant bacteria (‘superbugs’), helping those with difficult-to-treat infections.
  • Understanding how electrostatic charge on aerosol particles can be harnessed to control delivery of inhaled aerosol particles to the lungs, with the purpose to maximizing the clinical benefits of inhaled treatment for a wide variety of lung diseases.
  • An asthma self-management app has been co-designed with young people with asthma, led by Associate Professor Lorraine Smith. The app was launched on World Asthma Day (1 May). The app is designed to engage young people with asthma in their health so they develop effective self-management skills and strategies to manage their condition. The app is undergoing further development and testing.
  • Associate Professor Saini was recently part of a successful DIKTI grant supported by the Indonesian Government. This will involve translating pharmacy asthma care models developed by her team into Indonesian community pharmacy settings. As a NHMRC TRIP fellow, she is currently also building implementable pharmacy based COPD care models.
  • Polymer synthesis, fabrication and characterization of biocompatible organic, inorganic nanomaterials for biomedical applications, led by Dr Hien Duong. Her research also focuses on understanding the interaction of functionalized nanomaterials with cell organelles and intracellular fate of nanoparticles using powerful fluorescence microscopic techniques.

Meet our research theme leader

Professor Kim Chan



Professor Kim Chan
Research Theme Leader

Professor Chan is a world leader in respiratory drug delivery. Since joining the University of Sydney, he has developed a leading research program on aerosol drug delivery, ranging from in vitro particle engineering processes and aerosol formulation, to scintigraphic imaging of lung deposition and clinical outcome.