Asthmatics can breathe easier knowing that local medical researchers at the Lung Institute of Western Australia (LIWA) have contributed to significant research on eosinophils and their importance in regulating asthma and inflammation of the airways.
Eosinophils play an important role in allergic diseases and can be potent inducers of inflammatory and immune responses in people who suffer from asthma, eczema, rhinitis, and other allergic diseases.
A major study, conducted by DeCODE Genetics (https://www.decode.com/) involving an international consortium of leading researchers from around the world, has identified new and potentially important genetic associations with asthma and the role of eosinophils. The study has just been published in the highly prestigious journal, Nature Genetics.
LIWA Director, Prof Phil Thompson said that the study involved a significant input from many groups dedicated to studying respiratory health, with LIWA pleased to have played a major role in the study.
"LIWA's involvement commenced in 2006 when Dr Carolyn Williams (Head of LIWA's Genetics Unit) and DeCode agreed to work collaboratively to carry out studies to support this important international research activity."
"LIWA is proud to have contributed to this global effort to better understand the mechanisms involved in asthma and other allergic diseases, and to have these findings published in a journal of such repute."
"It is a great example of the power of collaborative research," comments Prof Thompson.
The study has identified important genetic sites that now require more specific and detailed research.
"Once we can clearly identify the specific gene(s) involved, we can focus on ways to correct the problem in asthma and other allergic diseases," adds Professor Thompson.
Sharon Squires-Hansen (Public Relations Manager) (+61 8) 9346 4758 / (+61 4) 18 320 165