EpiC Asthma Research Community Group REF TK00081

Do you or your child have asthma? The EpiC Asthma Research Team at the Telethon Kids Institute are looking for you to join a Community Members Group. You will be able to help the research team understand what its like to live with asthma.

About the project

The cells lining the airways in the lungs are called epithelial cells. They were once thought to be a simple barrier to toxins breathed in from the environment. It is now known that these cells are very important in many of the repair and inflammatory processes in the lung. Most research to date has been done in epithelial cells obtained from adults. We have now found a safer way to research these cells in children.

In several chronic airway diseases, including asthma, these epithelial cells are prone to injury and do not behave in a normal manner. Injury may be caused by through exposure to allergens, pollutants and pathogens. Our work in the past has shown that asthmatic epithelial cells do not heal normally following injury. Current and future research will specifically monitor the movement of epithelial cells at the site of injury in children with and without asthma. Research will also test the use of medicines that act by helping this healing process.

Our work aims to

  • Assess the movement of asthmatic and healthy airway epithelial cells after injury
  • Identify cellular and molecular processes that control epithelial cell movement during healing
  • To assess how asthma may affect the way epithelial cells talk and interact with each other
  • See if changing these processes by using medicines improves healing in asthmatic epithelial cells

About the position

What am I expected to do?

Some of the activities the community group members will be involved in are:

  • Identify areas of asthma research important to the community
  • Review any information sheets/brochures/questionnaires/consent forms to be given to families invited into our studies to ensure that they are both understandable and sensitive
  • Contribute to grant applications by reviewing appropriate sections
  • Contribute towards identifying the best methods of communicating our findings to the general public
  • Provide a “lived experience” perspective to asthma research

From time to time provide feedback on current research being conducted by the EpiC team.

We would like to hear from you if you:

  • are passionate about using medical research
  • want to improve our understanding of childhood asthma
  • are interested in contributing as part of a team to positively influence the way asthma research is being conducted here in Perth
  • can commit to the time required to attend meetings and review information
  • want to help find better ways to treating asthma and to potentially find a cure
  • have ideas and opinions that can help us change the way we do asthma research

What is the time commitment?

Meetings are held four times per year for 1 – 2 hours with the option for face to face or online meetings (meeting days are made to suit members). Minimum 2 year term.

Where will meetings be held?

Telethon Kids Institute. Roberts Road, Subiaco, WA

What support is offered?

Out-of-pocket expenses are covered. Training is offered by the Consumer and Community Involvement Program