The Lung Institute of WA's Annual General Meeting had historic significance with guest speaker Winthrop Professor Geoff Laurent of The University of Western Australia meeting members for the first time in his capacity as director.
Professor Laurent recently took over from inaugural director Winthrop Professor Philip Thompson, who founded the Institute 15 years ago.
Professor Thompson successfully dedicated LIWA to world-class laboratory science, clinical research and clinical practice with the purpose of making a difference to those with lung disease. The Institute supports high quality research into the treatment and management of lung diseases such as asthma, chronic bronchitis, emphysema, bronchiectasis, cystic fibrosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma.
Professor Laurent said he planned to build on those strengths.
"We are lucky in WA to have leaders in lung research and a great depth of talent across paediatric and adult lung disease," Professor Laurent said. "Bringing the team together and working with other experts worldwide will allow us to be preeminent in improving the lives of people living with these debilitating conditions.
"I will also be focusing on maintaining and building the Institute's national and international research profile, increasing our research capacity by recruiting more scientists and physician-scientists, and expanding and supporting the Clinical Trials Unit."
Professor Laurent is currently the director of the Centre for Cell Therapy and Regenerative Medicine (CCTRM) at UWA and will continue in that role and in his commitment to the University. He is also an Honorary Fellow at University College London. Prior to his appointment at UWA in June 2012, he was the director of the Centre for Respiratory Research and head of the Department of Internal Medicine at University College London.
UWA Vice Chancellor Paul Johnson said: "I'm very pleased that Winthrop Professor Geoff Laurent has accepted the position of director of the Lung Institute of WA. Geoff's pioneering studies have changed the way respiratory disorders are treated. He's published more than 300 peer-reviewed articles in international journals of biomedical research and was awarded the European Respiratory Societies Presidential Award for his contribution to lung science.
"Geoff will hold his new position concurrently with the directorship of the Centre for Cell Therapy and Regenerative Medicine. In this dual role he will be able to promote stronger collaborative research, and enhance the University's success in winning competitive research funding."
The Lung Institute of Western Australia is a leading research organisation dedicated to fighting diseases such as asthma, chronic bronchitis and emphysema (COPD), bronchiectasis, lung cancer and pneumonia.
LIWA's internationally recognised scientists and clinicians conduct research to better understand and treat lung disease.
For the six million Australians who struggle to take a breath, LIWA offers support and hope for a healthier future.