Virus, Infections / Immunity, Vaccines and Asthma

The HMRI Viruses, Infections/Immunity, Vaccines and Asthma (VIVA) Program brings together clinical, applied, epidemiological and basic science research to investigate clinical health problems in infectious diseases, asthma and other airway conditions, and the development of vaccines for prevention, management and treatment of disease.

The program is focussed on five key areas:

  • Viral infections and viral oncolysis
  • Infections and immunity
  • Vaccine development
  • Asthma and airway diseases
  • Nutrition and airway disease

Researchers within the VIVA Program collaborate closely with other HMRI programs. Working with the Pregnancy and Reproduction Program, researchers are looking into the effects of asthma and infection during pregnancy. Similarly, working in partnership with Information Based Medicine Program, VIVA researchers are investigating the role of genetics in infectious diseases and SIDS. They also work with two biotechnology companies based in the Hunter, Viralytics and Hunter Immunology.

The Program also specialises on improving management strategies for airway diseases. Researchers have developed a gene signature panel which can be used to select appropriate treatment for asthma patients. They have also set about re-evaluating laryngeal disorder classifications according to specific symptom burden, in order to ensure suitable management techniques for these wide ranging syndromes.

Researchers working in respiratory diseases are affiliated with the University of Newcastle Priority Research Centre for Asthma and Respiratory Diseases, and the national Cooperative Research Centre for Asthma and Airways.

Program LeaderLaureate Professor Paul Foster, The University of Newcastle, and Professor Peter Gibson, Hunter New England Local Health District

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